The Artwork depicts a Siberian shaman drum. The drum in Siberian shamanism, in particular, is symbolised as being the trance horse the shaman rides into an ecstatic state of consciousness. The motif of the horse is often symbolised as being an eight-legged Mare.
The eight-legs of the Mare represent the eight cardinal directions, which are also associated with the eight points of a ‘cube.’ Hence in the Tarot card of the ‘horned’ Devil XV, which depicts a demonised ‘horned’ shaman, he is traditionally depicted seated upon a ‘cube,’ you could imaginatively associate with the TARDIS of Doctor Who, since the shaman saw the drum as a macrocosmic tool, that empowers his microcosmic trance ingress into other (inner) realities.
At the centre of the ‘cube,’ and at the centre of the eight cardinal directions you have a ninth point. Whereby the eight-legged Mare was also associated with the world tree interlinking nine (worlds) states of consciousness, which of a symbolic formula was painted upon the drum skin.
The eight-legged-Mare is also a fusion of two horses, representing the two nerve channels running along either side of the spinal (world tree) column. These two (horses) nerve channels belong to the Autonomic-Nervous-System. When these two (horses) nerve-channels are brought into balance via meditative (hypnotic) drumming, the two horses become fused, as the eight-legged-Mare, which activates the central-nerve channel of the Central-Nervous-System running along the centre of the spinal (world tree) column.
When the central-nerve channel is activated, the shaman will experience the arousal of what is known to the Yoga practitioner as the Kundalini-Shakti, along his spinal (world tree) column. The Kundalini Shakti is considered to be the life-force, which is experienced as being a liquid (fire) light, whose ‘quintessence’ is intuitively felt to have a feminine (Anima Mundi) source. The Kundalini Shakti may be an intuitive description of the bio-photon, emanating from the Mitochondrial DNA, which is passed down from the mother to her children.
Whereupon the eight-legged Mare is seen to be the (female-centaur) animal form of a Spirit Wife, who manifests as a shape-shifting human (Anima) female within visionary states and bio-photon illuminated lucid dreams, a Surrealist Artist would call an Art Muse. If you are interested in an Art print or the shirt design, etc, Check Out my Redbubble shop, Please Click Here.
Those of a Westernised temperament will probably find that the symbolism employed by a shaman is a bit too much to swallow, concerning his/her trance tool of a (genie bottle) drum. In order to further clarify what the shamanic symbolism of the drum is communicating in regards to hypnagogic trance induction, which is none too dissimilar to inducing a state of self-hypnosis, find below an excerpt from a research paper:
“Scientific research has determined that drumming patterns are associated with different brain wave activity, as measured by cortical EEG. The research was conducted, to determine if the subjective experience of percussion in general, and rhythmic drumming in particular, would elicit (inner) images or (internal) sensations with a common (symbolic) theme.
Twelve participants were divided into three groups and monitored for EEG frequency response to three separate drumming tapes. These tapes included: Shamanic Drumming, at approximately 4 to 4 1/2 beats per second; I Ching Drumming, at approximately 3 to 4 beats per second; and Free Drumming, which incorporates no sustained rhythmic pattern. Four cortical sites, bilateral parieto-temporal and parieto-central areas, were monitored for each participant during three sessions. At the conclusion of the sessions, each participant prepared a brief written account and was given a tape-recorded interview of his or her subjective experience. These subjective experiences were then categorized according to recurring themes and consensual topics.
This research supports the theories that suggest that the use of the drum by indigenous (shamanic) cultures in ritual and ceremony has specific neurophysiological effects and the ability to elicit temporary changes in brain wave activity, and thereby facilitates (Triangle Of Art Imagination) imagery and possible entry into an ASC (altered state of consciousness – active imagination of varying visionary intensities), especially the SSC (shamanic state of consciousness – hypnagogic trance/ecstasy).
Drumming in general, and rhythmic drumming in particular, often induces (inner) imagery that is ceremonial and ritualistic in content (depending on setting) and is an effective tool for entering into a non-ordinary or altered state of consciousness (ASC – active imagination) even when it is extracted from cultural ritual, ceremony, and intent.
The drumming also elicits subjective experiences and images with common themes. These include: loss of time continuum; movement sensations, including pressure on or expansion of various parts of the body and body image distortion, “energy waves,” and sensations of flying, spiraling, dancing, running, etc.; feelings of being energized, relaxed, sharp and clear, hot, cold, and in physical, mental, and/or emotional discomfort.
The pattern of the drumbeat as it relates to beats per second can be correlated with resulting temporary changes in brain wave frequency (cycles per second) and/or subjective experience, provided the drumming pattern is sustained for at least 13-15 minutes.” (NOTE: The Theta brainwave is depicted in the design.)
NOTE: The excerpt of the research paper, was adapted with notations, from a ‘Presentation Abstract’ by Melinda Maxfield, Ph.D. for the Stanford University Centre For Computer Research In Music And Acoustics (CCRMA).
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