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Sacred Imagination
September 2001 Column & Gallery

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Dana's Current Column

by Dana Reynolds

Each month, Dana Reynolds shares her life-transforming thoughts, ideas, and sacred imagination based around our "theme of the month."  Dana is a visionary Spiritual Midwife, who devotes herself to helping women birth their creative gifts into the world.

Invoking Your Muse

Immersing yourself in the waters of the sacred imagination is a way to enter the flow of life. The sacred imagination is that blessed internal place where one goes to co-create with the spark of Divine inspiration. It is there where you dive into the spring of creativity.

In the waters of the sacred imagination you connect with the Muses who set the heart and soul on fire with passion for your ideas and projects while giving you the energy to birth them. Your Muses anoint you with the waters from their spring; this is a sweet initiation into the flow of life. They spark your journey with synchronistic happenings to guide you on your path as you discover your hidden gifts and talents.

In ancient Greece or Rome if you were called upon to write a poem or compose music or share wisdom with others and you needed inspiration you would have known how to call for it. You would have raised your head and beckoned the Muses, the personification of inspiration.

The Muses were the nine daughters of Zeus, the king of the Gods, and Mnemosyne, goddess of memory. They were born after Zeus and his companion gods had won a great battle against the Titans. His friends wanted to celebrate so they asked Zeus to create goddesses to bless them with singing and dancing. The Muses were born and their voices combined to sing the most beautiful music the heavens had ever heard.

Each Muse was named and assigned a certain area of the arts and science; Clio, the Muse of History; Calliope, the Muse of Epic Poetry; Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy; Euterpe, the Muse of Lyric Poetry; Erato, The Muse of Love Poetry; Terpsichore, the Muse of Choral Dance and Song; Polyhymnia, the Muse of Sacred Song; Urania, the Muse of Astronomy; and Thalia, the Muse of Comedy.

It is told that when Perseus severed the snake- infested head of the great gorgon, Medussa, from her body a winged horse flew from her insides. This magical creature was Pegasus, representing the transformation of chaos into creativity.

Pegasus soared into the sky and when he returned to earth on Mount Helicon his hoof plunged into the soil releasing an underground stream, the Hippocrene. The water gushed forth and soon the nine Muses appeared as inspiration from a hidden inner source.

The Muses are a composite of the strength and power of their father who was known for hurling thunderbolts with his bare hands, and their mother’s more contemplative and reflective ways of remembering. Creativity is born from both reflection and action. The Muses shine their light on those parts of ourselves that we may not be conscious of. This is the true source of our inspiration.

There are few stories attached to the Muses. For the most part, their lives were centered in patience as they awaited the call to serve the mortals on earth.

Each of the nine Muses has her own particular area of emphasis pertaining to the arts and sciences. Collectively, they seem to blend together and are often referred to in a singular way as, "The Muse."

How do we twenty-first century mortals connect with our Muse(s)? Before we begin a task or creative endeavor how can we engage in the flow and synchronicities that will lead us to fruition?

Creating ritual before engaging in creative activity offers a connection to your inner resources, the sacred imagination, and your Muses. Sometimes the ritual is as simple as going for a walk to a favorite place in nature or lighting a candle and offering a prayer for guidance before turning on the computer.

Ritual is a pipeline to the Muses. In order to connect to the flow of creative and inventive energy and to be open to the possibility of synchronicity in our lives, we must first make a shift in consciousness. Creativity and flow are not the act of "doing" but rather a state of "being."

In order to receive inner guidance from your Muses (Higher consciousness) you must be in a receptive mode. In order to receive you must become still. Only then can you become the vessel ready to be filled with the waters of the Hippocrene.

I invite you to begin calling on your Muse(s). Who are the Muses in your life? Muses can take many forms; a fourth grade teacher who encouraged you to color outside the lines or your calico cat who gently purrs a tune into your head.

You may want to create an altar to your Muse(s) in your workspace. Place a photo or image to represent the Muses you have known. Add a symbol to represent the daughter of Zeus who most reflects your particular creative emphasis; a tablet or pen (Calliope); a flute (Euterpe); a scroll (Clio); a tragic mask (Melpomene); a veil (Polyhymnia); a globe (Urania), a lyre (Terpsichore and Erato); a comic mask (Thalia). Write an invocation and record it to memory as your call to your Muses.

Inviting your Muses to co-create with you calls for you to open your eyes to the symbolism of everyday life. Pay close attention to books that seem to fall open to certain pages. Be careful to not throw away what at first glance appears to be junk mail and is actually an announcement for an upcoming workshop that will offer guidance for your project or interest. Working with your Muses calls forth your powers of observation and awareness.

September is the harbinger of autumn. The light of summer is diminishing. It is a time to begin moving inward. As you circumnavigate the spiral of the seasons, let this be a time to enter that deep place of memory and discovery. This is the place where you will encounter your Muses and in the process awaken your soul to new possibility.

You are invited to submit your story and accompanying photos to be considered as a feature for the Sacred Imagination column. E-mail me at dana@sacredimagination.com for details.

Copyright© 2001 Dana Reynolds. 


Read Dana's Past "Sacred Imagination" Columns:

August 2001 - The Blessings of Daily Bread

July 2001 - Entertaining the Dream Visitor

May 2001 - Embracing the Whole: Choices for Conscious Living

April 2001 "Nourishing the Souls of the Children"

March 2001 "Opening the Senses to Beauty"

February 2001 "The Eyes of Love"

January 2001 "Patterns of Authenticity"

December 2000 "Finding Peace in the Fields of Time"

November 2000 "Cultivating Gratitude: Heart-Hugs and Prayer Leaves"

October 2000 "Journey to the Center - The Sacred Mystery of the Labyrinth"

September 2000 "The Heart and Craft of Healing"

August 2000 "Transforming Life’s Challenges into Beauty and Story"

July 2000 "Sacred Spaces Invite the Muses of the Soul"

Read Dana's Soulful Living Feature Articles:

Visual Prayers

Intuition and the Sacred Imagination: The Dance of Co-creation

For ten years, Dana Reynolds has been facilitating women’s spiritual presentations and retreats nationwide. Her work as a Spiritual Midwife, one who assists women as they birth their creative gifts into the world, is the foundation of all her endeavors. Her background as a visual artist and writer enriches her Spiritual Midwifery: Birthing the Feminine Soul workshops.

As the creator of an art making process known as visual prayer, Dana teaches women how to combine ritual with sacred intention to create altars, collages, spirit dolls, and other touchstones. The creation of sacred spaces is also paramount to the Spiritual Midwifery experience. Her web-site http://www.sacredimagination.com offers samplings of her visual prayer collages, poetry, and a workshop catalogue.

Dana is the author of the whimsical and colorfully illustrated book, Be An Angel, a co-creation with illustrator and graphic designer, Karen Blessen, (Simon & Schuster). Her essay, Visual Prayers is included in the anthology, Our Turn, Our Time: Women Coming of Age, edited by Cynthia Black, (Beyond Words Publishing).

A trained labyrinth facilitator, Dana incorporates the labyrinth and other spiritual wisdom into her retreats and workshops. She recently traveled to Chartres and Vezelay Cathedrals in France to gather information pertaining to ancient sacred mystical traditions. She currently lectures on such topics as spiritual midwifery, sacred journal keeping, feminine spiritual wisdom, and the early Christian women saints and mystics.

Dana’s life follows the spiral path from rim to center and back again. She looks for the sacred in forgotten places and openly embraces the great Mystery of life. Guiding women to the discovery of their creative inner gifts is the passion that fuels her soul.


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