Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

Co-creation and Genius

In Spain, when a performer has done something impossible and magic — magnificent, bravo — incomprehensible, there it is – a glimpse of God – Allah! Allah! Olé! Olé!
— Elizabeth Gilbert

I. know that Julia’s description of the road hazard of fame doesn’t resonate with many of us. That word, I think, conjures up pictures of rock stars and Hollywood; interviews on Oprah, paparazzi, screaming fans and stalkers. And few here (I would guess) seek that kind of oversized glory.

But fame comes in many shapes and sizes. While I suspect few of us would be susceptible to the desire for huge fame, the longing to be a standout among our peers, or basking in some smaller, more selective glory can still be a dangerous temptation.

While it is only fair to get credit where credit is due (and there is rarely enough of this), when it comes to our art, it is a slippery slope from honest recognition and pleasurable validation to the bottomless pit of jealousy and insecurity.  As artists, we imperil our integrity when such needs gain ascendance.

Julia diagnoses this peril as a need for love and recommends several techniques for meeting our needs by ourselves. She recommends lavishing attention on our inner artist, like by sending ourselves fan mail, or spending extra quality time in the studio. These are helpful and fun, and I recommend them.  But I think that there is a more direct, long-term answer.

It seems to me that the better, more permanent  solution is to reframe what our creativity is about, in exactly the terms that Elizabeth Gilbert talked about in Sunday’s video. It is, in fact, something that Julia also frequently makes a point of, but in this case seems to have forgotten.

It is this: We are not the genius, we have a genius – our daemon, our Muse, a “divine attendant spirit,” that guides and gives us the creative magic that enables us to produce something for the world.

It is time to be honest (and much healthier!) and admit what sometimes the audience and artist both recognize – that this isn’t at all about me or you, it’s “Olé!

True confession time: I know that some folks who have come to my blog looking for a Spell A Day, or essays on magick, have been sort of disappointed, even bored, with this year of The Artist’s Way.  But!  One of the biggest reasons I have been interested in working through it here on my magical blog is that I know most of my readers are very open to alternative kinds of consciousness, non-mainstream spirituality, and yes, acceptance of Mysterious Other Beings who might be involved in our lives.

This puts you and me, as aspiring artists and creatives, in the most unique and favorable position of just about anybody in Western culture. It is an easy step for us to cultivate our genius without fear of the toxic side-effects we see so often in the mainstream culture. Because our genius is not us; it is Other + us.

Many of us are already very comfortable working with daemons, allies, Guardians, and the Fae (to name a few).  Many reading here day after day already know that they are co-creating other parts of their lives in harmony with the Divine. We, more than anyone out there, can risk complete surrender to Creator because we are experienced in such things and do it all the time!

So why not our art? If we consider that our creativity, like our magic, comes from Sources that know us, give us protection, wisdom and blessings, our fundamental idea of art can change. Without fear, we can let it soar unfettered. The response of our public (adoring or not) is nothing compared to the exquisite conversation we are having with our Guidance.

We need only to know it.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • January 13, 2010, 10:35 pm Star

    This concept of muse, daemon, genius, allies, divine attendant spirit, mysterious ones is an interesting one in relation to my art. You are right that I dance with some of these concepts in my devotional practice, why not my artistic practice. It makes sense to me, as I have felt that some form of ‘other’ has been guiding my hands and designs sometimes. This seems to happen when I am not interrupted for long periods, and when I have quiet, space, and materials to flow freely from one idea to the next. This is soometimes described as being in the ‘flow’ and often includes an ‘aha’ moment.
    I usually begin with a plan of some sort and a full or partial image of what the finished product may look like (my left brain dominant process). As I place the materials out and see and touch them, the plan gets revised several times during the construction of the art ,an experiment with colors, textures, and combinations. By the end, the result often looks nothing like the idea I started with, yet it is often more magnificent than I could ever imagine myself making. I have some finished pieces of art, writing, fabric art, mandalas, jewelry, and crafts that still surprise me when I look at them, even years later. I feel very satisfied knowing I am capable of creating such beauty. This does not happen every time I sit down to work, but when it does happen I feel the energy is different. I am deeply appreciative of the divine attendant spirits which show up for me. Thanks for getting this thought process going. I want to be more awake and aware the next time this happens for me. Writing it out like this has been helpful.


  • January 14, 2010, 6:59 am denise

    Thank you, Beth, for this insightful post. I had reached a point of giving up on my creative side; my writings for the last two years have met only disappointment and I took that as a sign to let go of my dream.

    But as I read your post, my inner Muse/Spirit/Creative Divine spoke up and reminded me if I gave up now, I was also giving up on her…my own ‘Horton Hears a Who” moment.

    So She and I will continue working together, regardless of what others think of our creations.