Creativity: Why Does it Matter?
Writing is something that I have always been inspired to do. From a young age I had a dream of becoming an author and would spend hours sitting at a typewriter, clicking away poems and stories with big dreams on who would see them. Fast-forward many years and…well…not much has changed. I no longer rely on a typewriter, but I still love writing and it has become an important part of my personal polytheism practice. I write prayers and poems dedicated to the beings that I work with regularly, and those who I’m trying to forge a relationship with. I write articles and essays about the things I learn. I write rituals and meditations, and it is all so important to me. I am someone who is much more comfortable with the written word than with speaking out loud, so I feel like the act of writing gives me more freedom to express myself and to share my own experiences with others who may be interested. Feeling inspiration call to me as I write something new is moving and beautiful, and helps push me through days when writing may not come as easily. It also helps that I know just how vital the arts are to both our future, and our connection to the past. I believe that without inspiration and the bardic arts that I would not have the spiritual path I have today, because I wouldn’t even know those practices existed.
The bardic arts play a vital role in our knowledge of the ancient Greek culture. Without the creation of artists, authors, poets, and playwrights we would not have the knowledge that we have today. Through poetry, stories, and art we have learned about their practices, religion, and society. We can learn about ancient societies and practices that may no longer exist by translating the words of the people who actually lived those moments. For example, the Odyssey is an epic poem, but it also gives us a glimpse into the history of ancient Greece. This poem explores the journey of Telemachus while he tries to find his father, Odysseus, and bring him home. It is captivating story with successes and failures, intervention from the deities, revenge, monsters, chases and escapes, an epic love story, and so much more. It also simultaneously gives us insights into the culture and what was importance to the people at that time, such as the emphasis on the importance of hospitality and the consequences when the expectations of hospitality were not met. If we dive into the mythology of the Nine Muses we can representation of many different types of artistry and creation. Each Muse was said to bring inspiration to those they worked with, while also giving knowledge and remembering all the things that have come to pass (Theoi Project). The description of the muses shows us just how diverse the bardic arts were within ancient Greek culture. It is through these arts that mythology, customs, and traditions were passed between groups and from generation to generation.
In modern-day polytheism, we also see bards and artists playing a variety of roles in our community. Traditionally, bards were the historians and lore keepers of their tribe, as well as the musicians, poets, and storytellers. In modern practices, each of these roles can still be utilized. Through stories, lore, and poetry, bards can create or perform invocations for rituals, or write books and stories to be shared with new and experienced polytheists. Musicians can help to bring music to our community for celebration and devotional practices. Singing, playing instruments, or drumming can be helpful in rituals to raise energy, and focus intent. By creating songs and poems that can be shared across the population, artists help to build community. The performances of bards can help to build a positive image of polytheism to those outside the community while also showing the beauty of our religion to those who may not understand it in other ways.
So, long-winded story short, that’s why writing, inspiration, and creativity are so important to my practice. I believe it is through the works created in the past, and through the artistry that we create in the present, we can gift the future with our wisdom, love, and creations.
Works CitedTheoi Project. Theoi.com. n.d. August 2015. <https://www.theoi.com/>.