Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Solar Phrygian

Solar Phrygian, 4 x 10", watercolor/Neocolor II
    As I got to know the seven modes, it was the Phrygian mode that most grabbed me. It is both an instigator of, and outlet for, passion. As it turns out, the Solar Plexus is likewise a fiery, passionate realm of energy. Both the Phrygian mode and the Solar Plexus chakra occupy the number 3 spot and their job descriptions have striking similarities.

     Stella Benson, in her book The Gift of Healing Modes, classifies the Phrygian as an exotic mode. Hildegard Von Bingen used this mode to write many of her compositions. The Phrygian mode has been used for laments for centuries. It is also the basis of flamenco and tunes of Iberian origin. So, In my representation of Phrygian, I thought of fire and depth: a flamenco dancer swirling down and up again. When I was preparing for a presentation of brief, improvised examples for each mode, I played Phrygian chords and started hearing Jefferson Airplane's White Rabbit. Seems fitting...
Phrygian Fire and Depth, 5 x 7", watercolor/Neocolor II
     In the Jungian interpretation of the chakras, the Solar Plexus is a fiery energy center where the conscious and unconscious, the root chakra and polarity chakra, are integrated as part of the path to individuation. This integration is an alchemic process that takes place through fire. Fire is the element for the Solar Plexus. In my representation of Solar Phrygian, roots and shadows enter the fiery yellow globe and come out as an organic, lavender presence. Lavender is the color that is emitted from the Solar Plexus chakra and yellow is the color absorbed by this energy center.
     This process strikes me as a very earthy interpretation of what we go through when we have a crisis and know we must change. It is a difficult, heated phenomenon, which we feel (often passionately). But, once we get to the other side, we know we have grown and we are in a better place. That leads us to the next level--coming up!