Environmental and economic catastrophes present artists with a grueling task. As heirs to the visionary vocation of ancient shamans, they are called upon to offer their imaginations and bodies as vehicles for an encounter with realms of reality the ancients called the spirit world and Jungian psychoanalysts call the collective unconscious. These symbolic realms contain the wisdom necessary to live fully human lives in communities that prosper in right relationship with all aspects of creation. Symbolic journeys to win this healing wisdom pass through the darkness of dismemberment and death, which if survived bring about a rebirth of transformed consciousness. We owe our artists dearly.
True to his art, Killick has taken on the work of transformation. Through his own life and death experience of bleeding out, he brings the medicine of his music to us all, to the Earth and to the spirits of the land on which he dwells. Like a blood offering Killick’s music pours out and the foundations of ordinary reality slip away. His music brings the inside to the outside; the soul’s wounds become visible and move toward transformation. Historically, blood sacrifices accompanied profound transitions in life. At burials in ancient Greece, sacrificial blood seeped into the ground to feed the ghostly dead. A blood sacrifice could purify a murderer and restore the community, and marking the bounds of a place with blood sanctified it.
Killick’s music reminds us that as 21st century members of the global village, we cannot rely on our artists to do the work of transformation for us. In the same way we cannot rely on a savior-president or a tribal shaman to make us whole. But we can each enter the depths of human experience to find the hidden wounds draining our souls’ life blood, wounds that are reducing us to ghosts in a world stripped of diversity and the irrevocable connection between all living things. Our suffering might then have a purifying effect, making sacred again a land where we may prosper in the presence of all beings. Killick’s music invites us to go beyond usual categories of experience. He offers us a guiding thread on the difficult path back to the human heart and affirms that it is possible to return with the medicine of compassionate consciousness ready for action.