Demands of the creative path
FOR MONTHS I’VE BEEN SITTING BACK WONDERING: ARE WE IN THE INITIAL STAGES OF A COLLECTIVE BAPTISM?
Baptisms are a common practice amongst almost every culture. I class it as a soulful rite of passage where someone is taken from their current reality and dunked into a more conscious one to emerge anew. Collectively, what we are seeing is a fight for our humanity. AI technology is being implemented yet threatening workers. Hollywood malpractices which are no longer tolerated by its creators. Clients who once confided in me a desire for a 4 day work week, are now demanding entire sabbaticals.
These are noticeable splits in culture that makes one beg to ask the question: Is society creating a new subculture, or are we being foundationally shaken to create a new one?
Witnessing the pandemonium of the West’s political leadership has shaken many of us into a kind of ‘soul-shock’ Our pixelated screens have drawn back the velvet curtains, revealing the dystopian contents within the underbelly of our society. But yet, if we look back at history, this is precisely the tipping point where our creative power can create a profound impact. An impact that extends beyond the self, and ripples into the heart of our communities.
So, if you’re beginning to feel the volcanic heat of our changing times, one question stands on its heels: how can we find our creative power to world-build a new vision for ourselves, our communities and for the disenfranchised?
But truthfully, the sandtimer has turned on its head since the inception of 2020, and in the throes of isolation, I began to collect the pearls that have been cooking in my psyche since long ago. From moving out of the corporate landscape to devoting myself to work of the soul. And, here I am, born anew talking to you about the ‘gold’ that has been mined from the bedrock of my heart.
Let’s start at the top with the story book of alchemy. Alchemists before recorded time, experimented with turning lead metals into gold. Using nature’s principles, some were searching for immortality, whilst for most it was about finding a tangible way to represent the metaphorical process of the stages of spiritual transformation. In biblical allegory, an alchemical example was written in stone when Jesus turned water into wine. Or, when the Great Mother Isis ventured into the underworld to find the elixir of life to resurrect her husband Osiris. To alchemise in a literal sense is to transform one form into another.
The search for purpose and meaning was the driving force behind the alchemist’s ambition. The core goal is to achieve ‘The Great Work’ whereby through all the trials and errors, they’ve now found the answers to all of their existential dread.
In a modern form of lore, Netflix show The OA features a heroine whose purpose was made visible in her interaction with the mystical spirit-guide woman named Khatun. Yet like all of us, without moving into the dark cosmic void to meet her inner messengers, she may have blissfully skipped her ‘soul’s assignment’.
As a student of alchemy, one of the most important aspects of finding one’s own Great Work is carving out the time for space, silence and solitude. It is in the dark unconscious where the alchemists found their North Star. For the artist Hilma AF Klint, she had to lose herself in her spiritual creative process, by turning away from public speculation. AF Klint was convinced that her art drew its essence from direct instruction from spiritual entities, so one might wonder: how could her spirit guides reach her if she was distracted by extroverted living?
One mustn’t be naive to the trickster edges of the creative alchemical journey, as it has driven people to incredible heights of Stanley Kubrick style madness. When we’re in the thick of on-going reiterations of our work, it can push the mind into a strange trance of psychological pressure.
But, this intimate relationship with the ‘inner self’ was embraced by alchemists as part of the way to meeting one’s creative genius. Rather than a sign that they were straying off course. Have you ever paused to marvel at the sheer number of times when an inventive idea swept you off of your feet, not as a product of a planned strategy, but as an unexpected stirring within the depths of your psyche?
Living in the West comes with a canon of complications. Complications that include many distractions that hypnotise us away from our soul’s creative awareness. Jungian analyst Marion Woodman once said ‘in the absence of adequate rites of passage, ad-men become the high priests of an initiation into the addictions of consumerism.’
Different channels of media manipulation are constantly disconnecting us from our own interior landscape. Board rooms of spell casters who convince the masses that they have the antidote to cure our psychic wounds. As we are pushed into the smokescreen of our consumerist culture, we are led away from the dark, and into artificial light.
Carl Jung, the world’s renowned mystic scientist, noted that through the tapestry of creative living, we return to the feminine soul. The feminine makes way for us to move outside of our logical landscapes, into the vast seas of our creative potential. And, as we sail into these liminal twilight zones we are called to make love to the imagination. The alchemists call this the “mundus imaginalis”. When we give ourselves over to this unknown part of us, we awaken to our inner mysteries and begin to look at our lives from a multidimensional perspective.
Returning to alchemy speak, the “conjunctio” represents a pivotal lightning strike moment of creative clarity. However, this can only take place in the underworld of our psyches, meaning when we have spent enough time going into the downward spiral of the soul. This is the stage where our tension and fascination of an idea or life decision spark its own fire and they merge as one. Without honouring this private experience, our creative breakthroughs will only half bloom. In fact, the alchemists rarely shared the material of their work, and many psychological scholars note that when we share our creative ideas too soon, it can tamper with our own process.
Embarking upon the creative path is no walk in the park, it’s a journey that demands sacrifices and a daring defiance of conventional norms. This looks like people looking at me with glazed strange eyes over a friend’s birthday dinner, when I tell them I support people across the world using the art of astrology. If I chose to keep this side of myself underneath a mask, my creative soul would sink into shame, and I refuse to dim her light.
Think about the magnificence of Frida Kahlo and how she transmuted her pain into the sacred brush strokes of her life’s work. How can you translate this same mystical alchemy into your own? This is a dance of wild abandon, a devout expression of your essence in its purest form.
The Matrix handlers are everywhere, throwing us rewards for artificial growth at every turn. And so, to protect the acorn of our creative potential, we need to consider viewing our sacred work through the lens of seasons, recognising that growth ebbs and flows. Just like the natural world. It’s in the remembering of these ancient rhythms where we find our creative liberation.
So, let capitalist and patriarchal ideologies of success burn to ash, and instead, allow the symphony of your creativity to guide your next steps. In this current, we unearth the magic of the soul’s intricate movements, finding solace in the beauty of its unpredictable, ever-evolving flow state.