Art as a Magical Act

The connection of art, magic and healing

Author: Cambra Skadé
Category: Art, Music & Literature
Issue No: 93

Art belongs to our oldest spiritual and healing roots. It was and is the language of shamans, medicine men and women, healers. We can remember the ancient connection of art, magic and healing and let it become a vision that is about shaping realities, about our power of creation. Then the arts, creativity embed themselves in a larger field, then it becomes a holistic connection again, and this is what is needed especially now in these powerful times of upheaval.

Human beings are formative, creative, expressive beings. They always have been.

Creative expression is our mother tongue. Expressing ourselves creatively is deeply healing.

It is never a matter of our voice being optimal, of meeting anyone’s criteria, or of our images being marketable to the art market. What is healing is when we express ourselves, that alone is. Of our creative expression, of our old motherland, much has been expropriated or shamed in the course of our lives. This is painful and a great loss to us and to society. It is in these challenging times of change that we need everyone’s creativity, yours and mine, our neighbors’ and that of all those to whom we would not at first attribute creativity.

When we empower and encourage each other to reappropriate our ancient motherland of creativity, of artistic expression, and to take our creative mother tongue fully to ourselves, it is a great gift to the community. How fulfilling it is when we grow deeper and deeper into holistic expression, into our own power with which we express our distinctive being. We bring so many gifts that long to be lived. Our creative treasure troves are full, even if we have not learned to believe in them. It is an exciting adventure when we are willing to engage and tap into our full repertoire of expression. Perhaps someone was allowed to make music because it was deemed promising, but dance was denied her. For others, it was the encouraged singing and the shaming of images. We have been trained for decades to evaluate, up and down, compare, grade. That’s the way it is in our collective, and out of that comes a collective wound. In my case, singing was put to shame. Doubts about my voice came up and then the certainty that I couldn’t do it. There was always this “compared to …”. So for a long time I hardly sang, left it to others and packed it away in the back drawer. Trusting my voice again started with singing for a rock and a cat. They helped me to release my voice and get back the magic of my singing.

The rediscovery of our inherent creativity

With shamanic art we enter a field with completely different criteria and orientations than the field of art we have learned and are familiar with. The closest we came to knowing about it was as children. As a child, I would make deep, strange sounds for hours and cover huge areas with tapestries, singing myself into a trance and naming everything in a creaky way. Movement, sound, image – everything was still connected. Many people can find similar examples from their childhood days, which tell of this sacred expression. What gave us joy back then? What was our creative expression like? It is a search for traces that can lead us to important treasure troves.

We can be travelers and explorers who set out to rediscover something – new impulses in the lands of art, free spaces, crumbling dictatorships of form, our truth, our authentic, holistic expression, our very own way of life.

When we become aware of and acknowledge the dispossession of creativity, we are already entering a healing space. We have forgotten many things that need to be remembered, for example, that creativity is not a gift of grace, but that it is our right to live a creative life, according to our visions.

Much has happened in the educational institutions where we had to learn agreed codes, where intellect was required along with the rational compulsion. It is a long way, conditioned in decades of schooling and education and centuries of occidental infofield. But like the force of water that eventually washes out and undercuts the biggest rocks, the steady, gentle stepping out of judgment will make a difference. So judging ourselves and others and comparing ourselves becomes less and less. Then the door into the field of shamanic art opens again. The moment we understand art as a healing-magical act, we begin to free ourselves from evaluative schemes related to creativity.

Creativity is one of the most precious resources of us humans.

How incredibly self-defeating is it for a society to weaken it? However, creativity is also extremely powerful and so it becomes clearer why many people in power are not interested in too much free creativity. What would happen, then, if we were to reappropriate all the expropriated facets of our creativity? Or why should we all use our creative power? Because it makes us humans generous, joyful, courageous and compassionate.

About the author : Cambra Skadé

Cambra Skadé explores feminine wisdom paths and the healing arts as an artist and teacher, weaving images and stories from them that are featured in her books, blog, and films. The connection between art, magic and healing is an important theme in her work and in her seminars. Myth poetries are created from her life maps using a variety of means and much that is applicable to everyday life.

This article appeared originally on the German Homepage of Tattva Viveka: Kunst als magischer Akt

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