Beginning the Artist’s Way program & Week 1 Check-In

I’ve had the Artist’s Way book for years and took a bit of wisdom from it, but never really delved into it. Now I’m doing it. I’m full steam ahead. I have the workbook, and I’m committed to do every single little suggestion and try it with good faith for 12 weeks. I’m now beginning Week 2. I think it will really help with all sorts of creative crafty or bardic pursuits, as well as be a good complement to my therapy for anxiety.

Here are the basic principles (slightly reworded for myself):

  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 creativity, we open ourselves to the Kindreds and the Folk within us and our lives.

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

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

  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 up to the gods.

  8. As we open our creative channel to the gods, many gentle though 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.

And here is my Week 1 Check-in:

I started morning pages on Tuesday and continued through Friday, but didn’t do any on Saturday and Sunday. Then I did it today. That’s 5/7. I found that most days ended up with 1-1.5 pages of narrative about my life, 0.5-1 page of worries written down on the page and processing them, and 1 page of reflection and analysis of events from my childhood or past, which for one reason or another were brought back into my current thought patterns.

My artist’s date was going to Michael’s, browsing through art books (how to draw manga, how to draw fantasy creatures, how to color using artist’s markers and watercolors) and art supplies. I bought a few things, then went back and bought a few more things. However, it was completely awesome to get two hours just browsing and poking about. (I think the store people found me comical; the guy at the register said something about how I kept going back and forth, back and forth.)  It opened me up to the possibility of being an artist again. I drew two things (one from my head, one a copy of a My Little Pony illustration from a coloring book). I colored many pages, some in cheap coloring books with coloring pencils and crayons, some in a coloring book with intricate designs with a set of cheap markers.

Sonnet of Wisdom

The universe is not a line of time,
But rather tapestry made from the threads
That each soul and each life in pattern bind
Through time and space, as each on her path treads.

If ye seek wise druidic intellect,
See past the lie of linear progression;
Instead see that our actions have effect
Beyond our own small triumphs or transgressions.

Each action that we make, each step we take,
Will strum the strings of truth that touch us all.
The unwise fumble blindly, make threads quake;
The wisest see these strings and seek to heal.

To hear the humming threads of truth that bind,
Observe the patterns, honor them in kind.

Bridget of the Healing Well …

This is a little song I made up a while ago. I still sing it sometimes in the shower or bath.

Lyrics:
Brigit of the healing well
Brigit of the water
Brigit, who is grandmother
Mother, maiden, daughter
Bring your healing waters in
Washing weary heart and limb
Take these able, willing hands
To heal all hurt across these lands

Brigit of the blacksmith’s hand
Brigit of the fires
Brigit, whose bright, noble brow
Works, creates, inspires
Bring your ever-burning light
Making new ideas alight
Take these able, willing hands
To make new craft to serve these lands

Brigit of the warming hearth
Brigit of the mantle green
Brigit, who brings light in the dark
Hailing in the coming spring
Bring the pow’r that makes things grow
Helps them thrive and lets them go
Take these able, willing hands
To foster growth throughout these lands

Melody:
3/4 time, quick, Â means the A above middle C

|:
G – G | G – G | ÂGÂ | G – –
 – E | D – E | D – C | A – – 😐

|:
A – C | D – E | G – E | D – –
G – E | D – E | D – C | A – – 😐

Cleaning Up

Here is a bit that I’ve developed over these first few years with ADF, and I find myself unable to comfortably end a ritual without these lines.

After the rite is ended, I blow out any candles (usually just the pillar candle I use for the sacred fire), saying:

Though this fire is here extinguished, may it burn ever on within me.

Then I take the offerings and the bowl of water representing the well (filled afresh before each new ritual) outside and pour it onto the ground, saying:

I return this to the earth, as all things return to the earth.