Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Step One: Recovering a Sense of Safety

Our aspirations are our possibilities.
— Samuel Johnson

Julia’s book was written as a 12-week program, mirroring the 12-step recovery process of Alcoholics Anonymous and other similar programs. Well, it took me more like 4 or 5 months, not 12 weeks, when I was working through it my first time.

I am not sure how long it will take us, but I am certain it will be more than 12 weeks, just because of the way that I post – Mondays are my Tarot Card of the Week, and weekends are dedicated to other voices, like essays, poetry, videos, and other works. Not to mention the occasional diversion of observing the sacred holidays, current events, or other magical
topics that demand a detour.

Therefore, if there are references in Julia’s text to her weekly organizational system, I will probably change them, substituting instead more general terminology about the duration, and I may or may not bracket my changes. If you are following along in your own copy of The Artist’s Way, you will certainly notice this discrepancy. I did this in yesterday’s contract, for instance.

So today we begin with the first step of our recovery: recovering our sense of safety. “This [first step] initiates your creative recovery,” she explains in the introduction to the chapter. “You may feel both giddy and defiant, hopeful and skeptical. The readings, tasks, and exercises aim at allowing you to establish a sense of safety, which will enable you to explore your creativity with less fear.”

Let this set the tone for how we will be approaching this work together, establishing this as a place where we can share freely, safely with one another. I know the Internet can be a weird, anonymous place sometimes, but I hope you will feel comfortable here in our nest, discussing your process.

Julia begins, “One of our chief needs as creative beings is support. Unfortunately, this can be hard to come by. Ideally, we would be nurtured and encouraged first by our nuclear familiy and then by ever-widening circles of friends, teachers, well-wishers.

“As young artists, we need and want to be acknowledged for our attempts and efforts as well as for our achievements and triumphs. Unfortunately, many artists never receive this critical early encouragement. As a result, they may not know they are artists at all.”

The number one rule for all of us, as we meet here day by day, is that we will support and encourage one another: for our attempts, for making the effort. We do not demand results, much less success. This is for you to find your own pace, your own creative voice. And I will guarantee that means you (and I) will have to make a lot of mistakes and flubs along the way.

Therefore, consider this your safe space for sharing, where you can receive the support you need, in whatever ways you need it.

Tomorrow, we’ll examine something I see a lot of in my Tarot practice, something Julia calls “Shadow Artists.”

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  • February 25, 2009, 11:27 pm Catherine BTW

    thanks so much for leading the way.
    your encouraging and informative ways help make it safe. I am doing those pages & working on my "date". 😉 I'm ready to PLAY!!!

  • February 26, 2009, 6:24 am Star

    Today is my first artist date. I go to the yoga class and enjoy the mineral springs baths at Bedford Springs Resort. The resort has been restored to its beautiful, awe inspiring state in the last few years. This is my time for relaxing and reflecting in a space of beauty, history, and many photos of people all the way back to the 1800’s hanging on the walls. It is the closest to an art museum that we have in Bedford! I think my next artist date will be to look at art books in the local library! I am keeping my artist way inspirations posted on my blog, too. It is very nice to be able to share here with others on this path!


  • February 26, 2009, 3:01 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    Catherine — I am so delighted you’ll be our companion. Yes, let’s PLAY!!

    And dearest Starflower, I just have to say that you are one of the most talented, beautiful souls I am privileged to know; what fun we are going to have..

    – Beth