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Author Topic: Creativity and your faith  (Read 7694 times)
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« Topic Start: March 14, 2007, 05:56:38 pm »

How does creativity play a role in your religion?  Has your creativity changed because of your religion?  Or your religion from your creativity?

Is there any interplay at all?
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« Reply #1: March 14, 2007, 10:17:00 pm »

Hoo boy. Yes.

The entire reason I got involved with the Egyptian pantheon is because of art. My current projects are all greatly influenced by my spiritual and magical practices. I honestly can't think of two aspects of my life that are more intertwined than my art and my religion.

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« Reply #2: March 14, 2007, 11:50:58 pm »

How does creativity play a role in your religion?  Has your creativity changed because of your religion?  Or your religion from your creativity?

Is there any interplay at all?

My religion IS created by me, and my creativity plays a huge part in my worship. I use my art and writing as a form of devotion.
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« Reply #3: March 15, 2007, 07:40:29 am »

My religion IS created by me, and my creativity plays a huge part in my worship. I use my art and writing as a form of devotion.

Well said. Same here.

I'm guessing that creativity is more integral to pagans on the whole compared with JCI religions, if only because so many of us are finding our own way. Plus imagination seems to play a big role in many pagan paths.
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« Reply #4: March 15, 2007, 09:40:12 am »


I did the belly dance thing for...about 6-7 years.  It was probably the most self centered period of my life.  In some ways it was a time a of great self discovery, but in others, incredibly self destructive.

To tie this to the Feri thread a little bit, it makes me wonder if the stage personalities in Feri, (Both Anar and Thorn danced in a troupe called Painted Fan, and Anar has worked with a few other dancers for some Tribal and Gothic shows) ride that same line.  In De Grandis' (who also danced briefly) Third Road, she talks about disagreeing with some of Andersons techniques, which she felt were dangerous to the psyche of the average person, and unless you are on a crash and burn, and desperate to take control of yourself and your life, then the initiation would leave you worse off instead of better.

Which makes me wonder of the mindset of the Thorns, the Starhawks, the Anars of the world when they first came to Feri.  It also makes me wonder if the pelvic centered dances that seem to appeal to the gals who practice Feri have anything to do with Hula, since Feri is rooted in the Huna tradition; where dance would have been a part of day to day life and spirituality.

Most of the people I've worked with in the belly dance community, all have some common demons.  Wonderful people, but in the progression of learning dance, performing dance, teaching dance, owning their dance; there is a definite spiritual transformation.  In some cases it's not for the better. 

There are students of dance who don't go through this, but those who have dedicated and made it their lives, go through something all together different.

Performance dance, especially Belly Dance in a non-ethnic (Tribal belly dance is not ethnic) community is making your internal demons pretty, and feeding them to an audience that transforms them into something valuable.  It turns it into validation; even if the audience doesn't quite know what they're validating.  It allows you to see people as they project their fantasies onto you.  It lets you be who people wish they could be.  Which is very gratifying.  One of my biggest issues with some forms of dance.  Some people aren't giving to an audience, they are taking from an audience, and the audience doesn't really notice the energy cull because they are so focused on you.

Thorns work is useful in combating some of the more obvious belly dance pitfalls, becoming as big as you are, both in your persona and your self esteem is important in dance.  You have to fill a stage, and dernit it's lonely on that stage sometimes.  Then the other side of this is that you can't be so big that you need others to be small.  Detracting from others doesn't make you any bigger.  Although this is a pretty common thing in the dance community.  The backbiting is prolific.

Knowledge doesn't decrease in value when shared.  Power increases when shared, another belly dance thing.  There are some gals who insist that all cameras and video cameras be turned off when they perform.  Not because they are any better than any one else, but they feel they have a *move* that if it's captured on tape will be copied.  They feel they've coined something so original that only they have a right to it.  Which is just not true. 

When you're dealing with a dance form as old as Middle Eastern Dance; there's not much you can come up with that hasn't been done before.  You had to learn it from someone, and your learning it didn't make the person you learned it from any less.  You must also share that power, or it dies.  You smother it and it becomes useless.

The stage itself is a form of initiation.  When you're performing regularly you live on stage.  All of the best and worst moments of your life happen on that stage.  The rest is just preparing for the stage.  Every action in your life is either validated through, or detracts from those moments on stage.

With the stage being an analogy for power, or a place of power; and an audience as witnesses to that power you can make yourself into anything you want to be while on that stage.  The downside being that without witness, things start to seem unimportant.  Power drawn from external sources will leave you empty when there are no sources.  The lights are off the house is closed. 

You come to need the stage more than it needs you.  and that's when it's time to hang up the belt and go home.
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« Reply #5: March 15, 2007, 10:27:03 am »

My gods demand it. Wink

Brighid is the creative fire.

Lugh... well, he's got mad skillz!  LOL.  (He's good at everything.) 
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« Reply #6: March 15, 2007, 10:36:39 am »

How does creativity play a role in your religion?  Has your creativity changed because of your religion?  Or your religion from your creativity?

Is there any interplay at all?

I'm quickly coming to the realization that FlameKeeping finds it’s way into most all aspects of life – Including creativity.  I write more (even if not public), and my wood art has seemed to have taken on new levels.
But the nature of our religion itself makes it impossible to separate from other things. If you follow it correctly at least  Wink
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« Reply #7: March 15, 2007, 12:00:10 pm »

My gods demand it. Wink

Brighid is the creative fire.

Lugh... well, he's got mad skillz!  LOL.  (He's good at everything.) 

+1. Haha.

Seriously, though- without creativity, my path wouldn't exist. Creativity is integral.
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« Reply #8: March 15, 2007, 12:19:02 pm »

How does creativity play a role in your religion?  Has your creativity changed because of your religion?  Or your religion from your creativity?

I...  feel like creativity should play a part in my religion.  I want to make things for the Gods, particularly Apollo.  I want to write things for Them.  That's the theory, though; the practice...  doesn't quite make it.

Not strictly true, sorry.  I did manage to design and embroider an altar cloth to go on my Apollo shrine.  And as soon as I get it properly printed and framed, a photograph of sunrise over the Atlantic that I took will hang over said shrine.  But that's been the extent of my religious creativity, very nearly, over the entire course of my 6- or 7- year stint in Paganism.  Which is odd, because I normally consider myself a pretty creative person otherwise.

The main thing, I think, is that most of my actual creative ability lies in writing, and I always feel a little odd doing that religiously.  Nothing ever quite comes out right; it comes out sounding all trite and stupid.  So I don't do it.  I just don't.

I suppose it could be argued that I've been creative in finding and forming my path...  But I dunno, I tend to think of that a little differently (at least in my particular case) than being religious creativity.  Because, really, I'm not creating a path.  I'm just finding my way along exising routes, making the occasional detour and mapping as I go.  What I do and have done, religiously, is not that different from stuff that's already out there (and indeed, right now I'm using existing material to guide me).
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« Reply #9: March 18, 2007, 02:16:44 am »

How does creativity play a role in your religion?  Has your creativity changed because of your religion?  Or your religion from your creativity?

Is there any interplay at all?

I write poetry/oracles/channelled writing for the deities I serve. 

My fiction works also have a spiritual element to them;  Sekhmet showed up for my first novel and Wolf is showing up for my second. 

I painted a picture for Ra many years ago.  Hmm.  Maybe I should start painting again.  I'd love to learn how to bead and make masks. 
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« Reply #10: March 20, 2007, 01:40:11 pm »

I am inherently creative.  I paint, write, sew, make incense, wands, and beads...  I love crafting tools and creating objects of art.  My primary Deity is Morpheus, Lord of Stories, Weaver of Dreams.  I can't recall meeting an artistic person who had never been inspired by a dream. 

So yes, they are connected.  I don't know that I see the point of a religion in which my creativity isn't expressed.
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« Reply #11: March 20, 2007, 03:14:22 pm »

Lugh... well, he's got mad skillz!  LOL.  (He's good at everything.) 

 Grin  LMAO!


Seriously, though- without creativity, my path wouldn't exist. Creativity is integral.

Same here.  I'm devoted to Brigid, and I'm also an "Art Student" (film student), so creativity is essential to my daily work and to my path.  It informs everything I do.

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« Reply #12: March 20, 2007, 08:27:09 pm »


With the stage being an analogy for power, or a place of power; and an audience as witnesses to that power you can make yourself into anything you want to be while on that stage.  The downside being that without witness, things start to seem unimportant.  Power drawn from external sources will leave you empty when there are no sources.  The lights are off the house is closed. 

You come to need the stage more than it needs you.  and that's when it's time to hang up the belt and go home.


I was very lucky to have learned from who I learned from, for just this reason.  She was so well grounded that she taught me from day one that the dance must be a gift from you out to the audience, that you must find the reason to dance within yourself, not to gain that reason from others, for only when the dance comes from deep within can you safely get out there on stage and not destroy yourself.

It isn't an easy lesson to learn the easy way.  Most of us have to find out the hard way how seductive and addictive that stage can be, and then we have to make amends for all the things we said and did that were horrible and cruel and selfish in an unhealthy way while we sought to feed our addiction to the lights shining upon us, the adulation of the crowd.

I hung up the belt for other reasons.  The addiction to the admiration of others never caught me, but I had no other life outside of the dance.  I lived and breathed, ate and slept in the dance to the point where I forgot to tend to matters of great importance.  In a moment I will never forget, it all unravelled around me.  My costumes were stolen, I got pregnant and then split my rectus muscle open.  The dance spun on.  I watched it leave me behind.

And then, I learned to dance again, as I had before that first show, before I stepped out onto the stage and heard the clink of coins in baskets on the tables.  I remembered what drew me into the dance to begin with.  Sheer unadulterated pleasure in my own body.
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« Reply #13: March 22, 2007, 11:27:16 pm »

I'm guessing that creativity is more integral to pagans on the whole compared with JCI religions, if only because so many of us are finding our own way.

I disagree.  It is a different type of creativity.  It is analagous the the difference between the type of creativity required for free verse poetry vs a sonnet. 

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« Reply #14: March 22, 2007, 11:52:07 pm »

I disagree.  It is a different type of creativity.  It is analagous the the difference between the type of creativity required for free verse poetry vs a sonnet. 

Good analogy. That makes a lot of sense.
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