Art and the trance state
The use of art and achieving trance states has a history as long as time itself. Some theorize that the earliest known cave paintings of Cantabria and Laxcaux, were actually expressions of ritual magic, produced by shamanic hunters attempting to summon and manipulate animal spirits. This incredible power that art held for early man as a bridge between the sacred and the profane continued throughout the cultures of the ancient world. In Egypt, India, Mesopotamia, Persia, Pre-Colombia, China and many more all incorporated aspects of art and trance to draw man ever closer to the gods.
Art as a therapeutic tool
Along with divine communication art also began to be used in rituals to help people with physical and emotional problems. The Navajo of the American southwest and the Aboriginal Australians incorporated sand paintings and healing ceremonies to accomplish this and still do today. As human consciousness evolved and greater insight was shed upon the workings of the mind, art began to be seen, not only as an expression of the spirit world but also the outflowing of the psyche. In the early 18th century it was discovered that art could be used as a effective tool for helping severely troubled individuals express thoughts and emotions that went beyond language. Begining primarily with the insane, the practice eventually became more and more respected. Such great names as Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung embraced the powerful healing properties of art in their work with children and adults alike. Eventually an entire field of practice was created called Art Therapy (Hill, Adamson, Caumburg, Kramer and Ault) that focuses upon helping people express their emotions non verbally thru the creative process.
How does hypnosis and art work together?
Whether you realize it or not whenever you draw, doodle, paint, or sculpt you are entering a hypnotic state. By the sheer act of focused creation your breathing slows down, you achieve a deep state of relaxation and your perception of time becomes temporarily distorted. Founders of modern art like Miro, Kandinsky, Pollack and the Surrealists all relied heavily upon the idea of entering trances and allowing the subconscious to work 'through' them.
Used separately or together art and hypnosis are fantastic tools that we can use to access the subconscious, unlock creativity and remove stress. With my many years of working as a artist and extensive training in hypnosis I offer my clients an exciting and powerful approach to self empowerment. For non artists, art therapy and hypnosis allows for a time to try something fun and new. It helps unlock old doors to creativity, spontaneity and playfulness that they might have completely forgotten about. For artists or all kinds hypnosis allows them to access that special place of greatest creativity ('the creative zone') whenever they want to! The bottom line is if you want significant, long-lasting changes in your life and behavior, hypnosis and art is the way to go - plus don't forget they're Fun!
Do I have to be a good artist to do art therapy?
Absolutely not! Making art in a therapeutic environment has nothing to do with how 'good' it is or how much artistic talent you have. In fact we've found that people who can barely draw 'stick men' produce some of the most profound and rewarding imagery because they're not bogged down with preconceptions of how great their work should be. No one is there to judge or criticize you on what you produce, the images you create are direct communications (a gift) to you from your subconscious mind (your true self).
Mandalas are an amazing example of how art can be used as a therapeutic tool and vehicle for personal transformation. The term 'maldala' comes from the Sanskrit word 'circle' and can be seen in various forms throughout the world. Probably the most famous example is found with the dul-tson-kyil-khor in Tibet. These are exquisite, colored chalk paintings meticulously created by monks over long periods of time. Upon completion, the entire image is swept away in a ritual to express the temporal nature of the universe.
Personal mandalas are an incredible way to focus the mind and uncover and release long held emotions. My clients create mandalas to represent themselves, their feelings, their dreams and their desires. The image created is an expression of the unconscious mind, charged with energy, life and power and can be used as a key to unlock emotions or as a personal 'icon' to focus and meditate upon.
Click here to see how Skee uses his art as a tool for hypnosis
Click here to view more of Skee's art, including original paintings and limited edition, prints.
Note: Skee is not a licensed Art Therapist but uses some of the creative tools and techniques used in the field.