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Art Healing 4: The Sound of Fear/Shawoman

The Sound of Fear/Shawoman


(mixed media: branches, leaves, rope, twine, Mayan chili flakes, dried chili peppers, metal, fur, feathers, cotton, wood chips, sage, stone, avocado pit, wood skewers, printed acupuncture paper using my original photographs from Belize except for jaguar and calendar which are stock.

26" x 36")

This is my fourth in the healing art series for the senses and 5 elements theory. In Chinese medicine the kidneys are associated with fear and fear causes that ache, the pain in our lower and middle backs that won't heal except from emotional healing and detoxifying the kidneys of impurities--physical and emotional from the fear of change and the first half of life's challenges to the next stages. I wanted to combine all of my classes in these last two pieces as I had intended to do for the series but found that this piece is when the digital canvas finally called to me. I have had a connection to Mayan healing in the past and it resurfaced as I was creating this piece and it all came together as a complete idea.

The printed quote is a Mayan prayer for healing...Oh Yum Hunab Ku Evam Maya E Ma Ho = All Hail the Harmony of Mind and Nature...

Maya healing and massage: The Mayans believe in healing with spirit, nature, and ancestral connection and I wanted to create a piece that combined those traditional beliefs with other native healing. Every detail in the mid section or core of the piece is about Mayan healing--the spirit and sacred animal jaguar is for giving strength and healing to the viewer. The pyramid is symbolic of the steps we need to climb and take to heal to reach the tree of life and nature's healing benefits. The woman warrior healer is symbolic of all women who struggle and need to find their inner warrior and shawoman and be protected with armor from outside influences but have inner strength to heal. The Mayan calendar,the circular shape as Gaia/mother earth and the world, the Mayan healing prayer, healing gods as watchmen and protectors, and 3rd eye golden god statue all are there to watch over the woman who needs healing.

Sound healing: The Mayan believe in sound as healing as do most native cultures. I have included symbolic but also functional representations of Mayan instruments: drum ("hide" made of hot South American chillis to cleanse the body of bad spirits & drumstick made of a polished avocado pit and wood stick along with the native addition of animal fur tied to represent the totem spirit animals that ward off bad spirits and connect to nature's healers) . The shaker is made of a tin filled with pebbles and Mayan dried chillis that are used in healing ceremonies. The wood chimes are meant to symbolize parts of the Tree of Life that is so powerful and important in Mayan culture. I kept my burlap sack since the Mayans loved their coffee and chocolate and the colors in my digital piece reflect that earthy chocolate and gold color palette.

I have added sage again as it is part of the native 4 directions cleansing ritual that I believe is an important part of a healing ceremony to purify all the directions. In Mayan culture the 4 directions and numerology is very important so the number 13 is painted as symbols in the digital canvas. Ultimately I would like to print the digital image onto cloth and stretch it as the main cloth. The main knot of wood at the top skewered is meant to represent the sacrifices woman make and the sacrifice for healing the Mayans believed in (without the bloodshed). I am still working on the necklace companion piece for this since it needs to be strong and encompass the Mayan elements. I will post this when it's done.

(Talisman: drilled wood chip with healing prayer on back, rope, blue agate stone to help one overcome fear, help express one's voice, help with confidence and communication.)

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