by Amber C. Snider
You don’t have to be an artist to invoke more creativity in your life. Here are seven ways to channel the divine muse, including creative exercises, manifestation tools, and spiritual tips.
Creativity is at the center of human nature. You could even say it’s at the heart of nearly everything we do as a species. And although the divine spark is never far away, it sometimes takes some work to tap into that moving, elusive, profoundly spiritual energy.
The ancient Greeks began all their epic poems and hymns with an invocation of the Muses (think of the Hymn to Demeter, The Iliad, The Odyssey, etc). It was based on the idea that creativity itself was a gift from the Gods and only through them, with their blessing, could we access or tap into knowledge of the universe, thereby catching a glimpse into that ecstatic world where creation becomes manifest.
Here, we outline 7 ways to “access” the deeper realms of your creativity (in the modern world), including sound bath meditations, art exercises, and mystical musings.
Seek out mystical art
The work of artists like Hilma AF Klint, Salvador Dalí, Frida Kahlo, Leonora Carrington, and more is steeped in spirituality, symbolism, and mysticism. Take a day trip to a museum and see their works in-person (similar to Julie Cameron’s idea of the “Artist Date”), purchase one of their art books and meditate on their images for a month, or simply Google search/explore their paintings via a computer screen. As you do so, notice what emotions come up when you look at a particular painting: What is it trying to tell you? Write down your reactions, use the art to help with your Shadow Self work (more on that here), or try to create an imitation painting.
We’re loving this list of artists from Dazed: Eight Female Artists Who Channel Spirituality Into Their Work.
The work of psychologist and philosopher William James at Harvard had a deep and lasting impact on the concept of “automatic writing.” Automatic writing involves tapping into the subconscious, but perhaps just as compelling, it was regarded as a tool to channel messages and ideas from the higher spiritual realms. One of his most dedicated students, the modernist poet and writer Gertude, took his ideas and used them to create some of her most revered literary works, cementing her place as one of America’s greatest avant-garde artists.
Try these easy steps to automatic writing here. To enhance a meditative state, try Enchantments Spiritual High incense or Divine Muse incense.
Use the sound as a tool to tap into creative insights, transcend the temporal, move deeper into the divine, creative spirit that moves through all things.
Try a free meditation app like Insight Timer, seek out sound bath artists like NYC-based Sara Auster (who does weekly sound baths via IG Live), or buy a set of crystal bowls to create your own musical flow at home, anytime. Try Purple Wisdom Oil (anoint your Third Eye) as you listen.
Set the intention to open Crown Chakra in order to unlock deeper creativity in your everyday life. Get in a comfortable position and use your headphones as you listen to a sound bath at home. Visualize what your life will look like with more creativity –– in all its forms. What will true creativity feel like? How do you look and move throughout the world with this heightened energy?
“Invoke the Muse” painting
Similar to seeking out mystical art, try to do a painting of your own, too. Even if you’re not a visual artist, it’s not only fun to “play” and try new things as an adult, but you could surprise yourself. First, set an intention for the painting: It could be as simple as “I want to see my inner child” or “I want to explore the origins of the universe” or “I want to channel Mother Earth.”
Then try a 5-10 minute meditation on this intention, going through your chakras one-by-one, from the Root Chakra up to the Crown, sending each energetic center light (read more about Chakra work in the article here). When you get to the Crown Chakra, ask for divine inspiration, sit there in the light you’ve created for several moments, open your eyes, and let your hand guide you.
Keep a notebook
We’re so confined to our phones (all the time) that there’s something freeing –– and also inherently creative –– about writing with pen and paper. Take a small notebook with you wherever you go and look for inspiration in the mundane. Write down overheard conversations, record observations of the natural world, draw pictures of tiny herbs and plants as you find them, jot down incantations, mantras, recipes, prayers, muse up new recipes, and pen messages from your Spirit Guides (you know, that quiet, yet powerful voice inside you).
Remember, just like Joan Didion wrote in her famous essay “On Keeping a Notebook,” what’s written inside these pages isn’t for the world out there, but rather it’s a document for yourself; to “remember” who you are, who you’ve been, and who you’ll become. And for the ultra-organized Capricorns out there, consider trying the Bullet Journal Method for your notebook. Keep a daily tracker of your spiritual activities, rituals, and recipes, all in one place.
Use what you have
Witchcraft has always been about making do with what you have on-hand. You don’t need to go out and buy “fancy” or trending tools. Looking for herbs for a sea salt bath ritual? Use the sea salt that’s (probably) already in your cupboard and add some lavender to the mix. Need to cleanse your home of negative energy? Again, try burning herbs you already have: Bay leaves, cinnamon, or rosemary. Design and personalize your own Book of Shadows, make a wand using found Birch or Cedar wood in your local park, create your own sacred oil blends. Use your hands, don’t be afraid to get a little messy, and have fun with the so-called mistakes.
Too often in this year of isolation we’ve shut down the world out there, often as a protective or survival measure. But the time has come to open ourselves back up. Inspiration is omnipresent in the natural world (but you knew that), so when’s the last time you ventured out of the house for the sole/soul purpose of seeking beauty?
For candle work and spells, check out this story on the best candles for creativity and renewal.