Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

The Artist’s Way: Fundamental Principles

The Awakening ©Sabin Boikinov
What we need is more people who specialize in the impossible.
— Theodore Roethke

As we begin our journey on The Artist’s Way, I want to note that because I am approaching this endeavor from my own spiritual path, one that I believe many of you share with me, I am going to replace some (not all) of Julia Cameron’s frequent references to “God” with “Goddess,” as well as occasional other, more Pagan-based nomenclature.

She does a very good job of being inclusive in her book, but when I worked through it before, I found myself frequently itching to scribble in the “-dess.” So now, here, when I want to, I get to! I hope this doesn’t bother or distract anyone!

Today we begin with Julia Cameron’s fundamental spiritual principles for the discovery (or healing) of our creativity. She recommends that throughout this process, you read these once a day, “keeping an ear cocked for any shifts in attitude or beliefs.”

I agree. I also suggest that you read them out loud, letting the sound and meaning really penetrate into your deep awareness. Notice any parts that arouse resistance or your disagreement. And observe where you resonate in harmony with the views being presented. You might want to journal some of your personal responses, especially if you are reading these for the first time.

1. Creativity is the natural order of life. Life is energy: pure creative energy.

2. There is an underlying, in-dwelling creative force infusing all of life – including ourselves.

3. When we open ourselves to our creativity, we open ourselves to the Creator’s creativity within us and our lives.

4. We are, ourselves, creations. And we, in turn, are meant to continue creativity by being creative ourselves.

5. Creativity is the Goddess’ gift to us. Using our creativity is our gift back to the Goddess.

6. The refusal to be creative is self-will and is counter to our true nature.

7. When we open ourselves to exploring our creativity, we open ourselves to God:
Good Orderly Direction.

8. As we open our creative channel to the Creator, many gentle but powerful changes are to be expected.

9. It is safe to open ourselves up to greater and greater creativity.

10. Our creative dreams and yearnings come from a divine source. As we move toward our dreams, we move toward our divinity.

Pretty juicy stuff, isn’t it? I look forward to your comments as we continue!

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  • February 18, 2009, 4:20 pm Shell

    The refusal to be creative is counter to our nature. This one stands out for me.
    I know whenever I feel tired or ready to give up on some of my creative dreams. I always get encouragement or a push to keep going. I like to think of our creatrix not wanting me to stop. Intervening with a light hand to give me some more strength to keep going.

  • February 18, 2009, 6:58 pm Liz

    Very, very juicy. Thanks for that…

  • February 18, 2009, 7:06 pm Rhondda

    Hey, this has really inspired me. I bought a few of her books way back in the 90’s. I never got time for myself and my morning pages were nothing but whines and complaints and dense as I was, it has taken me a while to work through all of them.
    I am very happy that you are doing this. I have spent alot of time working through my degrading experience of being a preacher’s daughter. Wow, there was alot of stuff. I grabbed the book and read it through. My biggest block was the way the Christian god was relayed to me and getting out of that ‘tribal’ mentality. Thanks. I look forward to your daily post. I had forgotten about this. Rhondda

  • February 18, 2009, 8:50 pm Star

    I’m inspired! I have been expressing a lot of my creativity through my songs and and my art, but I need a little boost and maybe some refinement in my process. I will be traveling this path with you Beth Owl as the year progresses. I ordered some of the Artist Way books and look forward to the discipline of this practice over the year. Thanks for the encouragement.


  • February 19, 2009, 7:22 am Anonymous

    Thank you! Very inspirational! I’ve ordered one of Cameron’s books and look forward to enhancing my creative flow in all that I do. Blessings!

  • April 3, 2009, 1:18 pm Thalia

    Commenting now on this post since we’ve been redirected back here to go through them again. I hope that’s okay (as I write a novel in your comments box).

    1. Yes. Which also makes what we are doing not ‘just’ about artsy stuff, but about our entire lives. The more I get into this the bigger I realize it is, because creativity is everything. The life-force, the libido, the will to live, really live. I am finding this huge, and tangled up in pretty much all the issues I have. Maybe I shouldn’t mention this? If I’d known how big it was I’d’a been too scared and wouldn’t have started!

    2. Wow, even uses the word ‘indwelling’. Again, no idea at all, oh no, no, ahem.

    3. Mostly yes, but only because I have issues with ‘creator’ or even ‘creatrix’. As a general archetype, okay. Otherwise, though, I tend to see it as we have all been creating since time began, not that there is one force or one guiding hand behind it. So in some ways, I think of creativity as even less distanced from us. It is something inherently within us, whether there is a creator/creatrix or not. What is the main goal of evolution? Perpetuation of the species. That right there is creativity hard-wired into us, with or without God/dess. If that makes sense.

    4. Took me a while, given my philosophy in 3. But then I remembered we are all born of mothers, who literally hold us within them and create us from their own bodies, from the nutrients she takes in (or doesn’t; baby gets priority when it comes to calcium in bones, for example) and I was like, okay, yeah. We are creations. Also we create ourselves.

    5. I kinda don’t do the responsibility thing, or the keeping track of who gave me a gift so I need to reciprocate; I don’t like the relationship implied. But I am extremely non-hierarchical and I think that’s what I’m picking up on. I don’t think I actually have an obligation to use my creativity. I think I am happier if I do, and that it is a way to fully explore my life in love and in beauty, but I still retain free will if I want to ignore it. If that makes sense?

    6. Maybe. But one does have the right to refuse, even if it is, ultimately, counterproductive. Always.

    7. Meh.

    8. Powerful, yes. Gentle, no. Not so far, anyway. Though not traumatic, either, and not wrong or contrary; just I wouldn’t call it gentle necessarily. For me, anyhow.

    9. Not necessarily. But I will make it safe.

    10. Yes. And that divine source is not separate from us.

    Most of my teeny issues are probably some kind of Christian/Pagan translation issues, I think. I can feel her assuming that God has some distance and power to Him and needs to be approached with humility or something. Or that she’s getting her brain around the idea that divinity can be found within us humans and she’s trying to come to terms with it, whereas as a Pagan I already take that kind of thing for granted? I don’t know if I’m making any sense.

  • April 4, 2009, 8:44 am Beth Owl's Daughter

    Thalia – you are making terrific sense here! Thank you so much for coming back here and posting! However..

    “I don’t think I actually have an obligation to use my creativity. I think I am happier if I do, and that it is a way to fully explore my life in love and in beauty, but I still retain free will if I want to ignore it. If that makes sense?”

    Yes, it does, but rather than it being an obligation (I don’t like that language, either!), I believe that it is contrary to our nature to not use/celebrate/honor our creativity.

    Not only does using it make us happier, it is intrinsic to our identity. So, to me, there is no neutrality about “ignoring” it.. it takes EFFORT to thwart it. Only if we are deeply wounded or self-destructive, I think, can we pretend that it is just a matter of choice.

    Just a couple of my thoughts!
    – Beth