This replica composition of a rock painting was extricated from a shelter in the Drakensberg Mountains and currently resides in the South African Museum, Cape Town. Its images of antelopes and humans have been interpreted as evocations of Khoisan trance experiences. Beautifully rendered in subtle tones of red and white, this is among the most famous South African rock paintings. Although its date of execution is not known, it is estimated to have been painted sometime during the eighteenth or nineteenth centuries A.D. It is also part of the South African coat of arms. By looking into the symbolism of rock art we can look into the minds of people who lived thousands of years ago.
Rock art can take us back to a time when the world was very different. It gives evidence of the world living much more connected to the universal spirit, the changing time are bringing this spiritual ancient way to surface again.
Gary Trower talks about the Trance Dance. The trance dance is an important spiritual aspect of Bushmen beliefs and religion. It creates an important sacred healing space, which facilitates as a doorway or portal into the spirit world. Although hallucinogenic plants may have been used to assist in entering the Trance State, most participants enter this state of consciousness through the combined effects of singing, dancing, clapping and rhythm. The woman do the singing and clapping in a circle or semi-circle, surrounding the men on the outside who dance in the center around the fire, but this was not a strict rule as woman could also become shamans in San culture and join in the dance at any time. During the dance a supernatural potency called !noom is called up from below the naval, concentrated, purified and refined to a point of ecstasy, where the shamans potency boils to a fiery heat. This can then be channeled for healing by the laying of hands in a balancing flow of electric energy, like the rhythms of the oceans, like the life force entering or exiting our lungs. In trance the shaman "dies", as his spirit becomes so detached from his physical body and travels vast distances into other dimensions. The shaman Spirit is free, he need never return to the physical world of hardship. Yet out of selflessness or the wanton desire to enlighten, heal and help his community with knowledge from higher levels of spiritual consciousness, he returns to this physical world and rises again from the dead, like the moon anew every month. Reborn rejuvenated, arisen.