20 August 2007
Totem Poles & Other Complaints from a Transpersonal Art Therapy Student
This strange looking object is actually a TOTEM POLE. It would be kind of you to not laugh that hard!
As a student of Transpersonal Art Therapy we are sometimes requested to do some strange (very strange) things. Last week we got a couple of hours to meditate, and call upon our "totem" and then construct a totem pole. Well, chicken mesh, soggy paper mache and a week of drying time later, I finally got to paint mine in time for going to my course tonight...
Oh, it get's better - we have to "bring them to life" through ritual as well?! Needless to say, I have had some difficulty with this whole project, but, at 4:30 this afternoon I had my wonderful and very open minded partner practicing the ritual with me.
I need to mention that when one forces ones self through mental obstacles the reward is worth it, and this Totem Pole has taken on a new symbolic meaning of various stages in my life.
To sum up - this totem - painted on all four sides, represents life, in the form of youth and innocence, then troubled times, injuries - including self inflicted and those by others, moving to hope and healing... and finally as you can see ending with the front of the Totem Pole which symbolises the knowledge, strength and wisdom we gather on our journey through life.
If there are any other Art Therapists, or Art Therapy Students out there who have had similar experiences I would love to hear from you... I would love everyone elses comments too.
Native Americans - I love your Totem Poles, I am sorry mine doesn't compare very well, but I am sure you can relate to me when I say that on a personal level this ended up being a very rewarding process.