straining at the bit

Summer is certainly licking at the frost at the moment, with some clear skies, and warm enough to walk round the garden in T shirt and sweat pants. And things are thawing in other ways too, and in a much more long term sense.

One of the messages I got at the spiritualist show at the weekend was relating to my creativity, which the spirit was very complimentary about, saying it was unique and unusual, and that I needed to stop hiding my light under a bushel. My attitude to creativity and artistry is democratic and individual, and pretty much still informed by punk. Everyone is royalty as far as I’m concerned, it’s just a lineage of one and one only. A democratic aristocracy of deviance (yes, I do have Sun conjunct Uranus in Leo). I could think of the spirit message as relating to a number of things, such as my writing which I do take pleasure in and care about. But where the arrow actually hits is with painting and drawing, visual arts, which I have done since I was a child. In my early twenties that was my primary creative focus, which I combined with magick and self-exploration. My patron saint in those days was Austin Osman Spare, the magical artist that was considered by many to be a strong part of the 93 current of Thelema, and an inspiration to Chaos Magic.

I had a lot of things to do in those days that led me away from painting and creativity; the job of finding a life basically. That led through quite a few scary experiences and situations, though there was a beautiful clear spell in the Summer of 1987 in which magick resurfaced and I was looking again to chaos magic, going to Psychic TV gigs, and I found a band called Coil that spoke to me more perfectly than any I had found before really. Horse Rotorvator was the soundtrack to my beautiful summer of darkly psychedelic love. Another that I really remember from about this period was “Swastikas for Noddy” by Current 93. By sometime in 1988 I was nose diving towards breakdown though, but that is another story. I had to find my life, and that would only really start to happen after January 1990. Eventually it would all lead to coming out properly, finding the bear community, and finding my husband.

Creativity was shelved; it was too psycho-active, too transformative, too shape-shifting. I needed earth between my toes. It makes complete sense to me that I would need to find a husband, more than anything else. That’s the person that I am. But now that I am married, and retired and looking after my husband, it also makes complete sense that creativity has returned as an opportunity. I imagine some would have a similar need to raise a child and focus on that, before they can get back to their creative nature. I could quite understand that. Creativity can be essential to a person, but some things have to come first. But that doesn’t make creativity any less essential.

I feel a bit like I was back in that clear spot of an island in 1987, cradled by the daemonic, in the sunny, dappled eye of a maelstrom. But here, now, there is no storm. Now I am in charge, in a way which I could not be before I found my mate. And I’ve returned to Crowley and Thelema in my own way (what other way is there?), and the enchanted freedom of an individual. It’s pretty wild, and at a certain level that is the only way to be.

On a cold Summer night in east London, you can still catch the smell of Pan, amongst the trees.

Man posed on rocks, nude, playing pipe (Pan) – by Frances Benjamin Johnston [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons



  1. Send some of that warmer sunshine this bro.

    The creative muse is an odd thing and seems to come and go at whim sometimes but certainly it ebbs and flows through life with us. If I had to choose between visual and literary it would be tough, but I think visual would win it as it is something I do purely for my own gratification and nothing else where as writing as much as I love it is how I make the rent.

    hugs and love

    • I think with me it is not so much that it has ebbed and flowed,as that I consciously told it to get back in the cupboard at one point, so that I could both heal and find a life. But it’s a doorway through which one sees a whole world, of enormous possibilities, and wonderful enjoyments, transformations and expressions. I am a little surprised at coming back to visual arts, but it was always my first love. As a child I used to draw incessantly with biros on paper my dad brought home from the factory for me.

  2. ha! yeah, it can do that 😉 also, if it’s a time when you are trying to develop a stable ego structure, well the boundaries are just not there. Once you have the structure you need within you, then it’s a different matter 🙂

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