ART AS A SHAMANIC JOURNEY
According to Sandra Ingerman,
“Shamanism is an ancient powerful spiritual practice that can help us thrive during challenging and changing times. In our modern-day technological world we have been led to believe that what we see, touch, hear, smell, and taste with our ordinary senses connects us only to the world that is visible around us. Conversely, shamanism teaches that there are doorways into other realms of reality where helping spirits reside who can share guidance, insight, and healing not just for ourselves but also for the world in which we live."
Shamans make contact with these beings by accessing an altered state of consciousness. This direct perception of other realms can be accessed by anyone. Our world crisis is a people who are hungry for this contact. It is obvious in the rising number of drug related deaths. We hunger for direct perception of the spiritual.
There are various safe ways to make contact with this realm.
"Journeying is a method of direct revelation and it is the experiential centerpiece through which shamans make contact with their helping spirits to access empowerment, personal guidance, and healing help.” Sandra Ingerman
The journey is accessed through a variety of methods. One method is listening to rhythmic drumming. Shamanic drumming induces brainwaves between 4 and 7 hz. Known as theta waves. This type of brain activity is the rhythm brainwaves fire during meditation. An altered state ensues and a dreamlike journey begins. Within this state the journeyer can ask for answers to problems and guidance in life. Often times power animals or helping spirits may appear. They give the journeyer guidance needed to unlock the key to psychological issues. This is done symbolically and often needs some contemplation to infer the messages that are provided by these kind beings. Unconscious memories that are causing disruption in your energy field may be brought to your attention for acknowledgment and assimilation.
This is a powerful tool for healing.
I believe artistic creation can induce a similar trance like state. It can invoke a dreamlike journey through symbolic language. The unconscious is speaking to us relating to us what the spirit is trying to convey to us. This is the basis for art therapy. This is the basis for dream therapy. During an artistic journey, visual images come to the surface of consciousness that may have symbolic meaning individually and collectively.
One of my first experiences with altered states of consciousness was in a still life drawing class. Three hours would feel like 20 minutes. As I contemplated on the still life I would become so relaxed. This trance like state can be achieved through any creative process. Later in life when painting I might glimpse the face of a woman and little by little she would appear as a painting often having her own story.
One of my favorite ways of artistic journeying is to thrift store shop for used books. When I flip through old books, I’m drawn to certain illustrations. The juxtoposition of images creates a story for me, a daydream. I collect these snippets and scraps. They are symbolic to me of certain feelings or archetypes and have shown up in my artwork and often my dreams time and time again. As I shift and move my scraps around I feel as if I’m sifting through the mud of our collective unconscious. This refuse, this trash... I bring it up and out, repurposing it. This act is theraputic to me and helps to keep at least some trash out of the landfills.
Learn to journey. It may help you realize your power... your special light / vibration. In remembering this light you uncover your potential.
Below is a link to a book by Sandra Ingerman which comes with a CD of shamanic drumming. I have also listed a link to my other website, Lunalily Botanicals, which features ceremonial incense I create for use in journey work. Let us clean out our psychic trash and evolve.