Meaning & Symbolsim

Shakti in Pink Floyd's Ummagumma

This song is about the cycle that you go through in life, .

The sun symbolises darkness dreadfull as well as the light.

"One inch of love is one inch of shadow"

All creatures are scared of the sun rising at the dawn.

"counting the leaves which tremble at dawn"

"lotuses lean on each other in yearning"

" one inch of love is one inch of shadow",

Shadow is the protection from the sunlight.

"witness the man who raves at the wall, making the shape of his question to heaven" ,

A man suffering and asking god WHY?

"whether the sun will fall in the evening, will he remember the lesson of giving?"

When the suffering and pain is over, will "man" learn the lesson?


"Universal out of body experiences within meditation as described by spiritual seers include a stage where one penetrates through the middle of a spiritual sun, which leads to a higher stage of spirituality. There lies the basic concept behind the song: Setting the controls (spiritual preparation/meditation) to reach the heart of the sun."

“Little by little the night turns around”
"Breaking the darkness, waking the grapevine”
This is the meditation process, starting with inner darkness and slowly expanding to inner light. This breaking of darkness 'wakens the grapevine' which gives spiritual intoxication from its wine, Soma.

“Love is the shadow that ripens the wine"
This is the feelings of love in meditation which ripen the wine (wine in spiritual poetry being a symbol of spiritual intoxication).