Today we begin our journey with Julia Cameron’s book The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.” We will work through the entire 12-week program together; although I expect that it will take us more than 12 weeks as there is a lot of wonderful information to cover.
In addition to working with the material in the book, we’ll incorporate Tarot into the program, using the cards to help unblock our creativity and tap into our inner artist. The use of Tarot is optional – the program stands fine just by itself. But as this is a Tarot-themed blog, I’ve decided to integrate it into our work with the book to illustrate how Tarot can be used in the creative process.
The Artist’s Way – What Is It?
So first off you may be wondering: what does this program entail? What is it all about? There are several ways that one can answer these questions. To put it simply, it’s a course to help you discover and recover your creative self. This course will help you find your creative side and teach you how to “unblock”.
It was well over twelve years ago when I first went through the course and it truly did change my life. It convinced me to leave the unfulfilling corporate world in which I was engaged – to stop going to work every day to a cubicle – and instead, focus on the creativity that was inside of me, just waiting to be rediscovered.
After the course, I published my first novel, began a computer manual business and went professional as a Tarot Consultant. Now I’m not knocking the corporate world for there are many people who are happy and satisfied with their corporate jobs. I am simply saying that I was not one of them and instead, yearned for a different path.
The Artist’s Way & Spirituality
The tools in this course will help you to unblock and to create more freely, to have as Julia put it “A Spiritual Awakening of sorts.
Speaking of Spirituality, Julia uses the terms “God” and “The Great Creator” throughout the book. She points out that some people, especially those who have had negative experiences from a childhood religion or otherwise unworkable or unpleasant ideas about God, may have a difficult time with this word. To succeed in this course, no God concept is necessary. Julia tells us that we can substitute good orderly direction or flow if we wish. Others may use such terms as Goddess, Mind, Universe, Source and Higher Power As she states:
The point is not what you name it. The point is that you try using it.
I sometimes refer to the flow as The Divine Source or My Higher Self or, as I learned from my OBOD training, Awen. But what is important, is that you call it whatever your are comfortable with – substitute the appropriate words that resonate with you – or call it nothing at all, if you are so inclined. But Julia does say :
“The Artist’s Way is, in essence a spiritual path, initiated and practiced through creativity….Please be open minded.”
The Course Outline
The course is laid out into 12 segments, each covering a week’s worth of work. Because of the limitations of the media we are using (the blog), we will most likely spend more than a week on each part. Each week contains various tasks and exercises that you will be asked to do. While we may not have the opportunity to do all of them, try to complete as many as you can. The more you do, the more you will get out of the course.
You’ll also be expected to use two basic course tools on a regular basis: The Morning Pages and The Artist Date. I’ll discuss both of these later on this week. Don’t worry though – they’re fun to do!
Pull a Card
To keep this post in the spirit of Tarot, ask the deck of your choice: “What will help me in my Artist’s Way journey?” and pull one card for the answer.
I pulled the Knight of Swords from the Rider-Waite-Smith Tarot – The Lord of Winds and Breezes. This card tells me to charge in at full force and not look back. This is not the time for doubt or hesitation but rather, it’s a time for action and commitment. In my quest for creativity, I must be ruthless against inertia and focused on my goal. It is only with such determination and persistence that I will succeed in finishing this course.
What about you? What did your card tell you? Please share in the comments.
Before we dive head on into the course, there are a few preliminaries we have to cover first. Tomorrow, I’ll present Julia’s 10 Basic Spiritual Principles for Creativity.
You can buy your copy of the Artist’s Way HERE