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Hokusai - shunga



Type of Spiritual Experience


Hokusai's mother was a Geisha.  He thus knew what it meant to achieve spiritual experience via love, making love and other forms of sexual experience.  These days Hokusai’s Geisha paintings tend to be viewed [in the west] as a sort of high class pornography, but this shows absolutely no understanding of what they are attempting to depict.  All his paintings in this series show that spiritual experience of the highest kind – ecstasy in its true sense -  is obtainable via love – love making of various sorts.  He is actually depicting ‘union’ in the same way that Hindu temples often showed couples achieving union.  The vastly enlarged penis is symbolically an extension of the celestial pole.

The colours used here may or may not be correct [printers these days do not understand colour symbolism and often use the wrong colours], but the use of red to indicate Fire and thus union above Fire – the mystic marriage -  is symbolically correct.  The chequered cloth probably depicts the matrix symbolically.  The green Earth level is also symbolically ‘correct’.  The ‘Old Man’ is symbolic.  The white of her skin is also symbolic.  The cloth around his head may symbolically be similar to a wreath.

A description of the experience

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items

Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Making love
Sex magick
Sexual stimulation