“Exploring the wilderness of your own soul through contemplation brings you to the altar of your imagination. To have a circle of imagination in your being, walk with the untamed, wild, instinctual side of your nature, all the time knowing its power, like a woman aware of her own pregnancy and yet moving through the round of daily tasks. You need not focus on the unborn life for its nature to continue to grow. Remember always that inspiration comes after reflection, after the seed of creativity is planted. When you actually begin your creative work, the energy of the universe comes to you and imagination flows.” (“Imagination”card. The Power Deck)
I often think of great artists, writers, musicians, and dancers as shamans. They seem to pull out something within themselves, something of the divine, a sense of expression and creativity that most people think they can only dream about. But in truth, we are all artists in some way, just as we all carry the voice and innate wisdom of the shaman within us.
In all of my work with the Sisterhood of the Shields, and with my own apprentices, as well, we create a work of sacred art as a way of manifesting spirit into form. That work of art, whether it be a doll, a painting or something else, which often may not look at all like what we might think of as “art,” has the ability to transform you.
Creating sacred art helps to ignite the divine, creative spark within each of us in a more focused way, and that puts you on a path of transformation and healing. When I look at a painting, and that painting evokes an emotional response in me, I know it is something that was done with spirit. A true work of art is done from a place of spirit. When you allow your spirit to inform something that you do, it becomes a work of art, regardless of whether you are doing it to satisfy a job requirement or as to create something aesthetically pleasing.
Creativity is a process. You get an inspiration to create something, you are connecting with the spirit within you. To the shaman, inspiration is intimately entwined with a sense of the divine. You take that inspiration and you manifest it into something tangible. For instance, you may enjoy writing poetry. You get an idea for a poem by walking through a fabulous Japanese garden in a park. You take the images you see, and you then create the words to fit those images. You feel the scent of the flowers, you experience the serenity of the placement of stones and plants, you hold that inside of you, and, when you are ready, you pick up your pen and you put those feelings and images on paper. You create that poem, you manifest it into tangible form. As you re-read the poem to yourself, out loud, you return to the energy of spirit. Throughout my teachings, I refer to this as the movement between inspiration and manifestation, back to inspiration. It is a way of helping us to move forward in our endeavors.
Some years ago, when I worked with Zoila, one of my teachers in the Sisterhood from the area of the Yucatan in Southern Mexico, took me on a hike down a precipitous canyon called La Caldera. I was frightened out of my wits, but I knew I had to follow Zoila. Half way down the canyon, we stopped to rest inside of a little cave. I found an astonishing golden mask, encrusted with jewels inside of this cave. Zoila felt that treasures belong to the one who finds them, and she encouraged me to take the mask. I just couldn’t allow myself to take it, and for me, it also represented my fear of taking my power. One of the most difficult things for me to accept was the possibility of being recognized as a good writer, as someone who could tell a story. I was terrified of being “center stage,” frightened to accept a mystic quality within myself that helped me grow into becoming a teacher.
I think for many of us, to be center stage, with our art, or expression is tough, because maybe we were abused as kids. I was an abused child and my instinct was to remain hidden. If I presented myself to the world, to my father, I would get hit. In a sense, I created my fears of being recognized and successful in my life because of the fear of being seen. This is incredibly difficult for the artist within us to accept. Deep inside there may be a feeling of not being worthy of recognition. Our paintings may not be recognized by the art world, our sculptures may lack finesse, or whatever it is that is holding us back.
If you share the divine artist within you, however you might, perhaps, enlighten people to their own mystery. You transform the, just by being the beautiful work of art that you are. That is when you discover you can, indeed, own your treasure, and honor the gifts given to you by the Great Spirit!
Can you imagine a world without the music of Beethoven, or Mozart, or if you are so inclined, Lady Gaga? Where would we all be if the Susan Boyles or Pavarotti’s, or Michael Jackson’s of the world had chosen to hide their splendid voices and unique musical talents?
Not everyone will write novels or create massive marble statues; not everyone wants to. But everyone wants to create something and what I am asking of all of you to see, is that each one of us has that creativity within us. We are made with the creative stuff of the universe; all of life is a part of that cosmic material. We are creative by our very nature. Honor that, and explore it in any way that is beautiful and loving and joyful for you.
Prayer for the Afternoon Muses
So often in the afternoon, I become restless, Great Spirit. So I have learned, thanks to your wisdom, Great Spirit, to create in the afternoon. I have learned that the afternoon is the perfect time to learn something new, so I thank you for this most sacred of times. When the sun becomes lower in the sky, I begin to paint. I sit with a pad and a pen, and I begin to write. I feel the muses waking up from their slumber as they look over my shoulder, fascinated to see what I am creating.
Inspiration so often does not visit you, unless you are performing your art. If you wish to create a work of art, begin to paint, and the inspiration will come. If you wish to write something inspiring, sit down and begin, and the muses will come. They will join you in your effort and lend strength and ideas. It is the spirit of the afternoon that comes close and comforts you. It wants you, this afternoon being, to be at ease.
Turn the phone off. Drink something that pleases you. Find yourself a special natural setting where the little people can join you, and the etheric beings of the trees can lend you their sparkle.
Afternoon is a time of gathering and expression. It is a good time to pray. HO!
In Love and Spirit,
1st Online Course in the “Flight of the Seventh Moon” series for 2012 – “The Protector-of-Children Shield,” March 1 – 28, 2012. Online Courses
The Lynn Andrews Center for Sacred Arts and Training, “A Mystery School,” now entering its 19th year. LACSAT
Writing Spirit, The School. Begins April 11, 2012. Writing Spirit, The School
Please come to my website, www.lynnandrews.com to learn more about your favorite programs and to register!
Vol.5, Issue 2, February 2012