Today, we complete the second-to-last chapter, Recovering A Sense of Autonomy. We have some exercises to finish, and I think you are going to enjoy them.
The final segment of the chapter covers something that I would bet that a lot of you have already done. But if not, then now, at Imbolc/Candlemas/Brighid, we have the perfect timing for it. It is time to build our Artist’s Altar.
Julia, writing for a probably somewhat less enlightened general audience than us, feels she must explain, “Morning pages are meditation, a practice that brings you to your creativity and to your Creator. In order to stay easily and happily creative, we need to stay spiritually centered. This is easier to do if we allow ourselves centering rituals. It is important that we devise these ourselves, from the elements that feel holy and happy to us.
“Many blocked creatives grew up in punitively religious homes. For us to stay happily and easily creative, we need to heal from this, becoming spiritually centered through creative rituals of our own. A spiritual room or even a spiritual corner is an excellent way to do this.”
We are way, way ahead of her here, aren’t we? But if you haven’t already done so (and you may well have without even realizing it!), create a haven where Spirit and Creativity and You can all meet. “This haven,” she writes, “can be a corner of a room, a nook under the stairs, even a window ledge…Fill it with things that make you happy. Remember that your artist is fed by images…An artist’s altar should be a sensory experience.”
Light incense, dance to a drum beat, meditate in the flames of a candle, hold a smooth rock and listen to Gregorian chants, read the runes… create artist rituals in your sacred space. Quiet and listen for your Daemon’s guidance. “Remember that the artist child speaks the language of the soul: music, dance, scent, shells .. Your artist’s altar to the Creator should be fun to look at, even silly. Remember how much little kids like gaudy stuff. Your artist is a little kid, so …”
Other homework to complete this chapter:
1. Record your own voice reading the Basic Principles. Find a previous post from our work here and read that also. Use your recording as a meditation.
2. Write out, in longhand, your Artist’s Prayer from Chapter Four. Put it in your wallet.
3. Buy yourself one special creativity notebook. Number pages one through seven. Give one page to each of these categories: health, possessions, leisure, relationships, creativity, career, and spirituality. Turn off your practical brain and list ten wishes in each area. Let yourself dream big! Repeat this as often as you want, in the weeks, months and years to come.
4. Looking again at the work we did in Chapter Four, inventory ways you have changed since then. What do you discover?
5. List five ways you will change as you continue.
6. List five ways that you plan to nurture yourself in the next six months. You might think about courses you could take, supplies you will allow yourself, artist’s dates, and vacations just for you.
7. Take out a piece of paper and plan one week’s nurturing for yourself. This means one concrete, loving, action for every single day for one week. Please binge!
8. Write and snail mail (postal mail) an encouraging letter to your inner artist. This sound silly, but feels very, very good to receive. Remember that your artist is a child and loves praise and encouragement, and festive plans.
9. Once more, reexamine your God/dess concepts. Does your belief system limit or support your creative expansion? Are you open-minded and flexible about your concept of the Divine?
10. List ten examples of personal synchronicity that support the possibility of a personally nurturing creative force.
Then please share any or all here!