Shaman Kitaro * Aquarius, Kokoro, Bridge Between Worlds

Kitaro is an Aquarian (Februrary 4, 1953), one  who exemplifies this Sign’s unusual gifts, so often lifting talent into the realms of channelled inspiration.

His music sounds as if it comes to us direct from the planet of Aquarius – the big, eccentric and very beautiful Uranus.

Recognized as the pioneer and founder of New Age music, Kitaro’s Japanese Zen master calls him setu, which means bridge between worlds (which is also the meaning of the Shaman). I think of Kitaro as a living Silk Road between East and West, between Heaven and Earth.

Kitaro was and remains self-taught through a lifetime of enormous creativity. He draws inspiration from his deep spiritual connection with nature, especially in Japan, where he carries out a reverent drumming ceremony each year at the base of Mount Fuji. In the beautiful mountain setting of his American home in Colorado he tells us : “I listen and watch nature and then go back to the studio to turn the experience into music…”

About his music, Kitaro simply says,

“My music comes from a power beyond myself, it is not from my mind. My music is from Heaven; it goes through my body and out of my fingers when I compose…. I, myself, am the same; nothing’s changed but my energy.”<

Uranus and Saturn are the two rulers of Aquarius, and both contribute to the genius associated with this Sign of the Zodiac.  Uranus, more than any other planet, is associated with electrical and electrifying originality, a special quality that always seems to come from another world.  Uranus bestows on Kitaro the inspiration which seems to come to him from higher realms, and indeed must channel through Kitaro’s own Higher Mind as it moves into the human world.

Saturn, the traditional ruler of Aquarius, is the Builder, Patron of Pattern and Form, and giver of Laws that underlie mathematics and music as well as other great structures. Kitaro seems to tap Saturn as the architect who lays down the mystical frameworks which support so many of the large, majestic suites Kitaro has created, ranging from the Silk Road Suite that made him famous to so many later compositions.

His sweeping musical score for Oliver Stone’s war movie of Vietnam, Heaven and Earth, won the 1993 Golden Globe Award for best original score..

Here, I celebrate Kitaro’s Kokoro, a favourite of mine from this musical Shaman.


Kitaro Performing Live in Madrid

Kokoro is from Kitaro’s CD Mandala and was performed live in Madrid. It seems to me – like the whole CD – to be his most Aquarian piece of music, embodying the power and originality of Aquarius’ other ruler – Uranus. As a musical piece, Kokoro sounds Aquarian. It captures the defiant yet joyful lament of the lonely soul who loves, and is loved by, the very world in which Aquarius cannot really belong.

The Japanese word Kokoro  is elusive in meaning, and not an easy term to translate.  One translation is heart but this, in turn, needs subtle and very beautiful, intuitive expansion. Kokoro – as heart -is not merely emotion; it is akin to something identified as Heart Intelligence that precedes, embraces, and amplifies the intelligence emanating from the brain.  It involves – a westerner might say – the Higher Self – so that Heart, in this sense, embraces and expresses the spirit, mind, and heart as one.

It is well understood in Japan – here is a short, marvellous readKokoro is not confined to spiritual life but describes a way of perceiving, feeling, translating and creating experience – a way of consciousness which is also a way of being.

We can, I think, say that we are living Kokoro when we give – and surrender – the whole essence of our Being in a heroic embrace of Life itself.

In Kitaro’s dramatic piece, with one of the greatest guitar solos you’ll ever hear (by guitarist Angus Clark), Kitaro takes us on the Great Road – through the joyful springtimes, golden summers, autumn chills, and harsh winters of our lives. Through the sun and the rain, through the winds and the storms, we rise every Dawn to meet Life with all the Heart we can give.

Kokoro moves us through time and remembrance, through the anguish and the ecstasy – the pure feeling – of being alive. In Kokoro, we celebrate a defiant, sustained courage as we face up to the darkness that would challenge our Light.

With breathtaking faith and a daring that touches the heart of God, we offer ourselves in each lifetime, without pause or deception, without holding back, through the tears, through all the years, we return, still joyful travelers on the Silk Road of Life.

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