White Swan Meet Black Snake
The dance of polarity, the yin and the yang, the tree of life, the infinite circle, the way of the shaman. The source of it all, our pulse and our story, the way balance is defined and the extraordinary nature of existence, can be found here in the powerful relationship between White Swan and Black Snake.
Listen to the simplicity and the silence that stands true. Awaken to the realities of black and white and find reverence in the profound depth of Earth’s grounding roots complementing the white realm of the bright sky. Which is better, smaller bigger, more? Neither.
Living A Balanced Life
Equality and the harmonic bridge is cultivated when the extremities are seen for what they represent. It is not good or evil but rather the Swan and the Snake that see in each others’ eyes, the story of the past or future. A window or mirror into the totality of the soul… kind or violent, this is our spiritual archetype, we embody it all. Making peace with our pain is our definite key. Admiration and reverie for what seems so far reaching is all but deeply internal. Each of us embody a Swan and a Snake. This exhibit suggests the potency in ‘making nice’ with our polarities and to honor the energetic dance these two power animals share, the powerful forces that live within each of us. It is the story of chiaroscuro, light and shadow. Looking at this polarity in the context of the human emotional body, this dichotomy gives us an opportunity to make peace with our pain. To go into that pain can take great willpower, courage. It also asks of our higher selves to transcend the boundaries of human limitations and allow spirit to govern and guide us. Where black meets white, in the middle is the crux of our greatest power. It is the space between the inhale and the exhale, where everything and nothing can be found. Where two bodies become one and the defining line of separation becomes blurred or frayed. Without the other one cannot be seen. Without the other one cannot be felt. Without the other one can not thrive or be understood.
Like the primitive form Ouroboros, an ancient symbol found in many indigenous cultures shows a snake eating its own tail and tells us the story of circular nature. The White Swan, Black Snake here symbolizes self reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly re-creating itself, the eternal return. Just as the Phoenix rises from the ashes, reborn, she operates in cycles that begin anew just as soon as they end. There is also a representation the of primordial unity related to something existing since the beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished.
“For a trees branches to reach he heights of heaven, its roots need to touch hell.”
– Alchemical Dictum
This is a dictum that we may consider living by. These words suggest that we view the force of life, the cycle of life in such a humbling way in which to embody, understand and blossom through and through time and time again. Welcome the Infinite Circle.
The Infinite Circle
The white light of the divine can only beam brightly due to its counterpart, opposing force and root foundation of the underworld. Snakes are recognized as power animals of the underworld, governing and dominating the force of energy that allows rebirth. The Swan, a power animal representing ease, grace, beauty and innocence, can be appreciated for its enlightened glisten. Looking closely we can see that the swan and the snake are both creatures powerful beyond measure. What they bring to the middle world and how we choose to translate their message of polarity is the art of our own existence.
The Emotional Body
When our emotional body is detached from the polarity dance, this concept is sometimes more easily accepted or embraced. Because we are human we often feel pain upon suffering, angst and deep sorrow upon loss, hatred upon abandonment. Our emotional body therefore experiences deep purge, catharsis. This is our emotional body mirroring our relationship to the journey of life. Beneath it all there lies the deep roots of grounding and expansive branches that ascend above, all of which at one point in the circle of time return to each other once again. In a basic mandala of alchemy, the snake devouring its own tail or the swan and the snake ‘playing nice’ shows a poignant illustration of the circle of life. We all are given the opportunity to find peace with our pain, camaraderie with our polar opposites, undeniable trust in the delicate balance and most of all, reverence for where we have come from and where we are going.
Body Paint Creation
by Robin Barcus Slonina, Skin City Body Painting
White Swan Black Snake Models
Jada Fire (Feather Heart) and Melanie Shaefer