Linking Creativity and Spirituality

By Molly Anderson | Posted 12/8/05 | Updated 8/13/23

Recently, I have begun to explore different ways to blend the realms of the creative and the sacred, to let these two sides of me dance with and discover one another.

Examples of creative spirituality exist in many religions all over the world. The links between artistic inspiration and the Divine are seen throughout history. With this article, I will introduce some different spiritual practices that lend themselves well to creative and spiritual work.

The ancient Greeks worshipped Muses, Goddesses who inspired their poets and musicians to create. The Nine Athenian Muses still have the power to inspire and surprise artists today. They have often graced me with wonderful ideas, and their presence in my life is truly a blessing.

When I am feeling stuck, blocked, or distinctly uninspired, I use the following creative visualization to connect me with my Nine Inner Muses. As they guide me through the Sacred Labyrinth, I find myself ripe for inspiration. I enter a creative, meditative state that invites wild dreaming, creative solutions to creative problems, and big ideas.

Invoking The Muse: A Guided Visualization

Light a candle.

Close your eyes gently.

Picture nine laughing, beautiful women dancing down a path… Which leads you through a graceful arch, into a sacred stone labyrinth.

The Muses dance and sing.

Some play flutes, lyres, hoop drums.

Weave through the spiraling halls of the maze with them.

Unwind a mystery.

Face your fears… unmask them, give them faces, ask them all your questions, and send them on their way.

The Muses lead you past them, beyond them… you dance down the spiral path, laughing.

And in the center, a magical waterfall, surrounded by a silvery pool.

This is the elixir of inspiration.

Touch and taste it. Feel it run through your fingers like the finest silk. Touch it to your forehead, your lips, your throat in cool kisses. Open your eyes.

Go forth now, and create!

Creative Giving: Helping Those in Need

One of the central tenets of the Muslim religion is caring for the poor and needy. Rather than hoarding wealth and possessions, they distribute their plenty among those in need. I feel that this is a beautiful tradition, which anyone can participate in. If you want to do something to help others, give them the gift of your creativity. Consider donating your creative time and energy to a local soup kitchen or homeless shelter.

If you're a visual artist, donate a painting, give lessons for free, or allow your work to be sold at a fundraiser to benefit a local charity. Can you act, dance, or sing? Invite some friends to help you bring entertainment into these places with music, comedy, and drama. Creative gifts can be practical, too — a homemade blanket, hat, or scarf will surely be appreciated as winter approaches. If you're a culinary whiz, whip up some soup, bread, or a salad and deliver it to the local shelter.

A collage I made to illustrate different stages of personal healing. This three-dimensional accordion book is entitled, "The Book of the Burning Rose: How I Learned to Speak the Language of Vanishing as a Thirteen-Year-Old Anorexic." This work illustrates my personal experience with anorexia nervosa.

A collage I made to illustrate different stages of personal healing. This collaged box, "The Healing Journey," portrays the different factors which helped me to heal myself from an eating disorder — a combination of creativity, self-love, spiritual quests and discoveries, and the love of a good man.

Healing With Sacred Art

Many Native American tribes of the Southwest incorporate art into their traditional ceremonies and rituals. Handmade costumes, masks, and ceremonial pipes are an important aspect of their culture's spiritual life. Their rituals, such as the Sun Dance, include dancing, drama, music, and sacred songs.

Navajo healing ceremonies may include a sacred sand-painting, with the patient in the center. This is said to have a healing effect on the afflicted person; as the sand-painting is completed, their health is restored.

To create your own sacred healing art, find a safe place to be alone for about an hour. Choose a place where you will not be interrupted by phone calls or distracted by visitors. My favorite place to create is outside; inspired by Nature's beauty and healing energy, I can re-connect with myself and with the Divine. Say a prayer to your Higher Power of choice, and ask for the inspiration to create a healing work of art. Allow a vision of yourself as healthy, happy, and spiritually fulfilled to form in your mind. Then, bring it to life with painting, creative writing, music, sculpture, or any form of self-expression you choose.

I hope this opens your eyes to new possibilities for spiritual and creative work. A constant seeker, I plan to explore this topic further with you. May you belly-dance with your Inner Muse and tango with the Goddess of Dance!

©2005 by Molly Anderson. All rights reserved.

Rain GoddessMolly Anderson is a a highly creative writer and artist from Durango, Colorado.