In Roman mythology, Vesta was the virgin goddess of purity, home, and hearth. She was represented by a sacred fire which Vestal priestesses tended to night and day in her temple. As long as this vital fire was kept lit, the people were protected under Vesta’s guardianship.
The Romans externalized this potent creative force as an eternal flame, but it can also symbolize the light we carry within each of us ~ our passion, ‘muse’ or inspiration. And like the Vestal flame, we need to tend to our own sacred fires with respect and awareness.
There are times when inspiration comes effortlessly, ideas flowing in a stream of consciousness we have only to follow. But sometimes we struggle for ideas and the more we try to control the process and demand things work our way, the more we are met with silence, a blank page, or wasted efforts.
Often, inspiration finds us when we are not actively engaged in solving problems or working on our craft ~ it can catch us off guard while we’re taking a shower, on a long walk, waiting in line… and sometimes, it comes to us in our dreams. It’s not that we are powerless to the ‘muse’ as something external to ourselves, but rather that we have yet to learn how to recognize that spark as something within us.
9. INSPIRATION ~ The Inner Fire
Essay by Katarzyna Vedah. April 1, 2019
Tending to our fire can mean respecting our creative cycles, regulating our energy, and moderating periods of control, discipline and conscious mastery with rest, play and unconscious wandering.
We experience our lives using both sides of the brain ~ with logic and emotion, structure and flow, objective and subjective reality ~ and what we call inspiration may be said to live between the two, facilitating the connection. When one side tries to dominate the other, extremes may erupt in an attempt to compensate for the imbalance.
If, in the heat of creative overdrive, we neglect our physical needs, balance, and routine self-care, the surge of energy can finally burn up, leaving us depleted and depressed. Or, after a time of repressing our needs and natural self-expression, the energy may eventually burst through, flooding our senses and overloading us with overactive or grandiose thoughts.
If we are caught in such extreme energetic compensations and cycles of highs and lows for too long, learning to live in the ‘middle’ can end up feeling a bit numb while our system takes the time to adjust to the subtle nuances of day-to-day life again.
Creative inspiration need not lead to such extremes, however. With patience, practice, and awareness, we can learn to respect the natural cycle of our creative lives while tending to our sacred flames.
Sometimes, working with inspiration means translating our private pains and personal desires into something more universal and publicly accessible.
Such creative acts can move beyond the confines of immediate time and space and become something the world can connect to and participate in ~ inspiring others to their own sacred temples and inner flames.
Who Decides What Art Means? (TED-Ed)
Art – History of Ideas (School of Life)
Aesthetic Appreciation (Crash Course)
What's a Masterpiece? (Art Assignment)
VIDEO (YouTube): Academy of Ideas
DOCUMENTARY (YouTube): Trailer
CREATIVE INSPIRATIONS TO ENGAGE THE CAPACITY TO FEEL
THE FLAME THAT BURNS
HEALTHY MENTAL OUTLOOK & PSYCHOLOGICAL SUPPORT
UP IN THE CLOUDS ~ BOREDOM & INSPIRATION
PRACTICAL REINFORCEMENT FOR SELF-CARE & DAY-TO-DAY LIVING
INTERVIEW / SPEECH / VIDEO:
How To Be Creative (PBS Off Book)
Nature of Creativity (Academy of Ideas)
Habits of Highly Effective Artists (Blender)
How an Artist Turns Pro (Storytellers)
EXPANDING PERSPECTIVES, AWARENESS & CONSCIOUSNESS
THE INNER MUSE
Every Story is the Same (Will Schoder)
The Psychology of Myth (Crash Course)
VIDEO (YouTube): Transition21
BLOG / ARTICLE: Matrignosis
Muse, Anima, Or Soul? By Jean Raffa.