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Art and Mystery

What Do You Create?

This last weekend I attended an afternoon of esoteric lectures at Light Haven in North Carolina. Early in the afternoon, one of the speakers, Ivo Dominguez Jr., asked us: What do you create?

Now, as a visual artist his question at first seemed easy to me. I create art, specifically paintings and mixed media shrines. Your answer may be that you write, sing, play an instrument, act, build houses, cook, garden, dance, arrange flowers, or raise children. There are many ways to create, many things to create in this world. Listen up, you out there who say you are not creative! These are all valuable and, yes, creative.

But then I went deeper. Just what is it that I am creating?

Creation is manifestation. It is bringing something, some vision, from the imagination or the astral realms into the physical or manifest realms.

Now, I have a wild imagination. I think all sorts of thoughts and imagine all kinds of scenarios in my head. But I do not manifest them all — nor do I want to. Because once I actively move that image or thought into the manifest world, it has consequence. It has an effect on everything else in the world.

As an artist I believe I bear a responsibility for what I create. The garden I plant and tend, the building I design, the ritual I write, the meal I prepare, the song that I sing, the canvas I paint — all of these have repercussions in this world. They are carriers of energy into the physical realm.

So, what am I creating?

Am I creating things that will nourish the world and those who live on her? Am I creating things that will expose and heal unspoken wounds? Are my creations inciting love? Action? Compassion? Violence? Healing? Community? Indifference? Strength?

In my artistic practice, I work closely with the ancestors, elementals, and individual spirits, gods, and goddesses. We are working together to manifest their presence in the physical realm. The creative process is a dialogue and negotiation, often out loud and sometimes confrontational. Because we have work to do — real work in the physical world, and as I said before, I feel that I bear some responsibility for what my hands bring into this world. I want to make sure that my work is working to bring about a better world.

That is my goal. That is what I am creating.

What do you create?