Medicine Drum © 2017

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Acrylic drum painting. 20 x 20 inches. Private party commission. "This ceremonial medicine drum is a teaching wheel symbolizing how we learn and create ourselves. Our development follows the four sacred directions, beginning in the east with the yellow gold of the rising sun and new beginnings, of fire, spring and higher self. It corresponds to childhood and adolescence. Its guardian is the eagle and its power is to determine with spirit and have passion. The south is the color red, representing water and blood, the heart, emotions, summer and trust. This is the direction of innocence and respect for life, the place of mythology and storytelling, of finding our song. It corresponds to early adulthood. Here wolf is guardian with the power to flow with emotions and give. Black is the color of the west representing the earth, our body, death, change and transformation. It is the place of the starry night, of dreams, introspection, reflection and autumn. It corresponds to adulthood and middle age. Bear is the guardian with the power to hold firm and remain grounded in times of adversity. The north is white, representing air, Father Sky, breath, the mind, clarity and philosophy of life. It is the place of winter, wisdom, elder-hood and ancestor beings. The guardian is the buffalo with the power to receive guidance and perceive truth. Our soul, represented by the central yin-yang symbol, is where all learning is anchored and balanced. It is divided into two parts: the light blue of the Pleiades suggests the return of feminine empowerment: the dark blue of Orion symbolizes the metamorphosis of the masculine from dominator to protector. Surrounding the center is the cosmic serpent in the form of a rattlesnake, a symbol of the inescapable evolutionary force that results in spiritual growth. The serpent’s tail, which warns before it strikes, is being chased by its head in the west, suggesting a profound cultural ending followed by new beginning in western culture. "