Seventh Element



Sidonia Nightsky ©

Shamanic journey combined with painting is the 7th Element of my practice.  Creating and my artist expression is often not just a part of the creative process.  When painting or creating with any media the element transports this shaman into an ecstatic state of consciousness.  Listening to music can aid and accelerate the journey; stimulating an ecstatic state while painting, however it is not necessary.  The type of music will also affect the journey, where it leads.  The intention is set as well as the music.  If the journeys’ intent is to do soul retrieval, the music has to be conducive to lower world work, and healing.  Since formal training, the vision comes through either a dream state or ecstatic trance, with or without creating and music.  Drumming is a form of music that brings on journey state.  Music, dance, theater, writing, and art (such as painting) the creative processes, all are qualities that a person uses to express their inner state of conscience.    Is Art the seventh element, what have others concluded about the artistic state of consciousness? Why should you be interested in the 7th Element?


It has always been a fascination how the famous artists all share a common mental madness or eccentricity.  Reflecting on the beauty of their work, and what brought them to their recognition.  Not that this is what the post is about however, it does relate.  Jung had his impression of the artistic:

Jung believed that art itself had no inherent meaning, suggesting that perhaps it is like nature – something that simply “is”.  But the creative process was something distinct, and Jung posited that works of art could be seen to arise out of much the same psychological conditions as a neurosis.  Like all neuroses these conscious contents have an unconscious background which in their artistic manifestation often go beyond the individual and into something deeper and more broadly reflective of humankind. Jung offered the analogy that “personal causes have as much or as little to do with a work of art as the soil with the plant that springs from it.” True art is something “supra-personal”, a force which has “escaped from the limitations of the personal and has soared beyond the personal concerns of its creator.”

Jung concedes that not all art originates in this manner – art can derive from a deliberate process of conscious, careful consideration geared towards a specific expression in which the artist is at one with the creative process. But for Jung, fascination lay in the artist who obeyed alien impulses where the work appears to impose itself on the author; an external force wielding the artist like a marionette. This is the creative impulse, acting upon the conscious mind from a subconscious level – it guides the artist in a way which they cannot understand, regardless of the conviction they may have that it has originated within themselves.

For great artists, this impulse can be all-consuming. As Jung rightly observes, “The biographies of great artists make it abundantly clear that the creative urge is often so imperious that it battens onto their humanity and yokes everything to the service of the work, even at the cost of ordinary health and human happiness”. The biographies of the likes of Beethoven, Marcel Proust and many others are a testament to the creative process as “a living thing implanted in the human psyche.”

Read more at:  many a person over the years have been diagnosed with mental illnesses, and suppressed their ability to be creative.  Alternatively, have been drugged into suppressing their creativity.  Other’s fearing them because they are different.  Van Gogh’s brother would take his art to the dealers to sell, as people would not deal with Van Gogh himself.  Examples are Van Gogh, Beethoven, Degas, and Oscar Wilde, look at their work, and listen to the music, read their writing.  OH, what beauty and what feelings come through their work.

Other places that people see the mental state of art, and the 7th element are the savant syndrome has been reported repeatedly and consistently since Dr. J. Langdon Down first described savant syndrome in 1887 (2016, Treffert, D.)

The music of the savant is delightful in its own right, and we are its beneficiaries.  But it has a healing aspect to it also for the savant himself or herself.  The 60 Minutes program title “Musically Speaking” is an apt one, for as that program demonstrates, and as Soundscape documents, music provides for the savant the “conduit toward normalization,” particularly language acquisition, that I address elsewhere on this site. Recent research documents that musical exposure can increase verbal memory, and with it, language acquisition. With that increased language skill comes increased social skills as well.

With this information, what is to say that art does not have an intuitive connection?  All these activities are right brain.  Right brain actions are creative actions.

The Right Brain:Right brain

Articles on Right Brain artistic ability are very scholarly, and to quote the text is writing a deposition for college.  Shortening these versions would be ideal.

Thomas Cowan calls ecstatic trance the “fire in the head” and this is true.  When the fire is lit, nothing stands between the trance state and shaman.  There is no way to explain being there other than reaching that adrenaline peak and holding it there without dropping it until the journey is complete.

‘Fire in the head’ is a phrase that, in the Celtic shamanic/magical tradition, means, broadly, ‘inspiration’.  ‘I went out to the hazel wood because a fire was in my head…’  (W. B Yeats, ‘The Song of the Wandering Aengus’


“The Song of Wandering Aengus”

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

fire in the head

Another example of visionary art is the movie “What Dreams May Come” starring Robin Williams, After he dies in a car crash, a man searches heaven and hell for his beloved wife. After life, there is more, and in the end is just the beginning.  The visual effects are like a shamanic journey (my opinion).  Of course there are many more movies too many to mention.

There are many examples, but these are enough to get the idea across.

Is Art the seventh element? 

This is not for me to answer as an unqualified being.  However, on the etheric plane of existence, traveling between the veils to other worlds in shamanic journey, with the fire in my head…  Art is the 7th element.  Dance with me, as I dance like no one is watching in a place where no one else can experience without exclusive invitation.   Feel the music, and the fire in my head, as it propels me through the spirit realm, to the 7th element.

Over the years of training, art has always been a strong component and music an ingredient that influenced the results for this intuitive.  The intuitive connection also influenced the results of art pieces.  People sought out readings, portraits, mandalas, and intuitive paintings because of the life like quality.  Although, some did not like what I saw in them, others were overly taken by the results.

This introduction to “The 7th Element” explains the artwork you will see here.  The pictures, pages, and this journal as compiled of written word, paintings, and mixed media.  Note: Nothing here is for sale unless noted.  It is already sold, or in personal possession.  The photos are examples of my journeys and if you are interested in my contact me.

What do you think?  How do art and music stimulate your intuition?

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Shamans are a type of medicine
man or woman especially distinguished by the use of journeys to
hidden worlds otherwise mainly known through myth, dream, and
near-death experiences.



Andy Dilks


2016, Treffert, D
Darold A. Treffert, MD
St. Agnes Hospital, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry
University of Wisconsin Medical School, Madison
Personal website:

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