Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dorian Polarity

Dorian Polarity, 7 x 5", mixed media
photographed in shadows
Continuing with an exploration of the relationship between musical modes and the energy centers, or chakras of the human body; this post considers how the Dorian mode relates to the Polarity chakra. The Dorian mode, when played with out flats or sharps begins on D. The tone of D vibrates at the same frequency as orange in the spectrum, according to Kay Gardner, in her book Sounding the Inner Landscape. Orange is absorbed by the Polarity chakra and electric blue is transmitted by the second chakra. The vibrational frequency of this electric blue, or indigo, is the same as the tone of A, which is the fifth of D.
    I would like to pause here and note some patterns which are universally appreciated. The first is the beautiful quality of notes, separated by fifths when played together. Our ear understands this relationship so well, that it is used for tuning. The colors which vibrate at the same frequencies as the notes related by fifths are complementary. This means that they are opposite each other on the color wheel (e.g. red is opposite green, yellow opposite violet, and blue opposite orange). Interesting...

     What I personally love about the Dorian mode is that it is a gentle minor mode and much of its character comes from the interplay between the d minor chord and C major chord (think of Scarborough Fare). It is just so pleasing to traverse between those worlds! It makes me think of walking through the woods with dappled sunlight; shadow and light.

     The second chakra, the Polarity chakra is also about combining shadow and light. Our conscious world is evident in our Root chakra and our Polarity chakra reveals what is hidden in the shadows: our unconsciousness. Our whole being exists in this energy center. In his book Archetypal Chakras, Arnold Bittlinger refers to Jung's interpretation of the chakras as the path to individuation. Our unconscious is revealed through our shadow side and projections. This shadow side links to the d minor of the Dorian mode.

In the Dorian Wood, 5 x 7", watercolor/Neocolor II
      My illustration for the Dorian mode was of the woods; a sort of magical wood with bright and shadowy places. No doubt I was under the influence of Joanna Mell and her description of the Dorian mode in her book Modal Musings. The forest seems like such an appropriate visual for both the Dorian mode and the Polarity chakra with its hidden and exposed qualities.

     I'll include an image of Dorian Polarity without the shadow of the blinds (it all seems so appropriate!) I hope you are enjoying this exploration of the relationship between musical modes and the chakras.
Dorian Polarity, 7 x 5", mixed media