I’ve always longed to be a writer of fiction. From my earliest youth, poems and stories would flow from me effortlessly as I mined what author Julia Cameron calls my “vein of gold.” In 1975, I transferred from UCSD to San Diego State, to partake of their excellent creative writing program. My teacher and advisor was the talented Jerry Bumpus. I can still see his eyes blazing as he read us one of his short stories—a wild tale of being stuck in dense traffic that keeps accelerating until everyone is whizzing along at over 100 mph. We hung on every word. That’s what I want to do, I thought—to captivate people that way.
Then, when I was just a few credits shy of graduation, Prof. Bumpus caught me cheating on a test. I don’t remember the nature of the exam; no doubt it was something I could easily have passed without the notes scribbled on my left palm. My teacher was horrified—I was one of his favorite students. Upon receiving the “F” in his class (when I’d always gotten “A’s” in English), I dropped out of college and left town. I focused on journalism from then on. Though I attempted to write several novels and screenplays over the years, failure was the inevitable result. I figured my creative well had run dry. I didn’t connect the problem to that old source of shame until I read Julia Cameron’s The Vein of Gold, and began writing down my life stories. By openly revealing this deep, dark secret, I’m hoping to release its stranglehold on me.
Perhaps you have a similar story. Maybe a teacher disapproved of your artistic style, or a family member made fun of your musical efforts—nipping your creative path in the bud. In her book, Cameron says that many voracious readers are closet writers, and that a love of music can indicate a gift for it. Often we don’t recognize these gifts, adds Cameron, or we give them up in order to make a living. Reclaiming what spiritual traditions call the Divine Child, or creative self, is an alchemical process of healing the heart. “The heart is the origin of creative impulses,” she explains. “If that heart has been wounded, it must be healed for our vein of gold to flow freely.” Writing down our stories is one way to do this, she says; others include daily walks to balance the right and left hemispheres of our brain, and weekly “artist dates.”
The August 17 Leo New Moon (8:54 a.m. PDT) is perfect for reclaiming our creativity. As the Sun and Moon join in heart-centered, imaginative Leo, they’re stabilized by a sextile from Mars and Saturn in harmonious Libra. This brings clarity and decision-making ability to both projects and relationships. Saturn loves structure and commitment; Mars favors action. And Leo is the lion-hearted courage to take a risk, break out of old ruts and try something new. Any habits instigated at this New Moon stand a better-than-average chance of sticking. And, with no significant retrogrades through September, the only thing holding us back is our fear.
Julia Cameron says, “Our dreams and desires are the voice of our soul, the God-voice awake within us, dreaming of expression and expansion through our daring and our faith.” Now is the time to listen to the voice of your soul, and give it an outlet. As for me, at this New Moon I’m signing up for a screenwriting class through UCSD extension. What creative path or heart-felt desire will you commit to?
For inspiration, watch my new two-minute Astro Feng Shui slide-show/video and see how one woman enhanced her Creativity gua, clarified her artistic goals and cleared the way for more love and joy. And, to further prime your creative pump, here’s a fun Leo New Moon ritual from my book, Astro Feng Shui: Making Magic in Your Home and Life.
© 2012 by Simone Butler
Painting by Claudia Fernety. See more of Claudia’s work at her website.