Galina’s been running an interesting series of Devotional Polytheist questions, and while I don’t plan to answer them all, this one – and her answer – caught my eye.
“6. What does it feel like when one receives inspiration from the divinities?”
“It is like drinking fire…..It’s like being utterly swept away but at the same time it energizes, fires the mind, ignites the spirit, brings focus and clarity to one’s world…..It leaves a fierce joy in its wake to which nothing, absolutely nothing can compare.”
It’s not that I don’t know what she’s talking about – I’ve been there, for sure. But I thought I’d talk about a different sort of experience that I’ve started paying more attention to lately, especially in regards to artistic (in the broadest sense) inspiration. Yes, sometimes it’s a crazywonderful explosion of intensity, but other times it is more subtle – so subtle I find I sometimes don’t acknowledge it for what it is, or I only can recognize it in retrospect. It’s when things are simply, obviously, undeniably RIGHT. When you catch upon an idea, for instance, and it feels like you’ve always had it. When you could not possibly explain any rational motivation for the piece you’re making, you just know you have to make it, even if no one ever sees it. When you suddenly just know the solution to a problem, or the right way to construct something. It doesn’t feel like anything’s really happened, because it seems so natural. If anything, it is like remembering rather than creating.
I’ve noticed the same effect at work on the high seat. Sometimes I would hear or see the answer to a question, but often the oracles which proved to be the most powerful, the most on-target, were ones which I just suddenly knew. It would take me a moment to realize the oracle had been given, because it just seemed so familiar, not new information at all, and then I’d realize I didn’t know it a minute ago.
With a lot of time and experience under my belt at this point regarding both sacred art and oracular work, I can recognize that these are examples of extremely clear divine inspiration – so clear it’s invisible, so to speak. Having been able to judge the results in the long-term, I have noticed how often such experiences prove fruitful, on a level I am not capable of alone. Not to mention, they often happen after I pray to a god or spirit for assistance, even if they’re not the way I’d expected to be answered.
And that reminds me of another thing – a similar process seems to be at work during some of the most intimate moments of spirit contact. It doesn’t feel like reaching out across a great distance to communicate with an otherworldly being, as such things often do, it is instead like looking up to see Them right next to you, and realizing They’d been there the whole time. It was only your perception that changed. Not calling or invoking, or even praying, just opening your eyes.
I love the whirlwind of passionate divine contact as much as anyone – probably much more so – but for me, in a way, these other times are actually coming CLOSER to my gods and spirits. So close there is no barrier between my mind and Theirs, as if for a moment we inhabit the same exact place and time, not enough space separating us for me to even observe Them. Only after They are gone do I realize what has just happened.