creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

creative consulting for the art of life by Jason Jenn

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Flowering Prince - an intro to darkness & light

"Bouquet" 2008 - JJ

Spring is the perfect time to introduce the subject of flowering, metaphorically in artistic terms and in connection to our creativity. There really is no better teacher to admire for her abundant creativity than Mother Nature. Plants are among some of the greatest spiritual instructors, and I ask you now to stretch your imaginations and visualize the Flowering Prince/Princess that is within you.

The Flowering Prince is a mighty archetype found throughout the world, but by different names and in different forms. It’s connected to a concept very key to the idea of Your ReBegin, that of creative growth and rebirth, the cycles of life and death. While the name “Flowering” is very apt for the beautiful forms and manifestations that are pleasing to the senses, the archetype also deals with very dark themes as well. For there is no flowering without death. The Flowering Prince is always half alive or half dead (depending on if your glass is half full or empty). The cycle of life always includes death, but from the process of breaking down organic material, new life emerges. The key is to be fully invested in the process, honoring the necessary step that comes with any form of “death” and using it as fertilizer for the rebirth that will eventually come. The Flowering Prince always dies, again and again, but is eternal.

Perhaps the brand Ed Hardy is so popular is that its imagery taps into the Flowering Prince motif - death and flowering

So too we have creative cycles within us that go through these phases. By properly cultivating all our various forms of deaths, our troubles, our personal dramas, our defeats, our failures, our fears — we contribute to new ideas so that we can nourish ourselves and bloom again. The act of creating new work is akin to growing out new shoots and vines and the finishing of a work is unfurling a brand new flower into the light of day. 

We often confuse the creative process for something happy and charmed. On the contrary, the creative process is actually a very dark and scary thing. It’s full of angst, which is why creative blocks exist - they stop us from proceeding any further on the dangerous path. The path takes us into the realm of death and destruction. If we get lost in that space, it can be very damaging to the psyche and we refuse to go forward through any more of it. We stall and perhaps even stagnate. We need to rally our spiritual troops and figure out how to move forward through the darkness, through the process of decay and death, so we can use it as fertile material towards our creative blossoms. The HOW to proceed is the tricky part, and there are many methods, but not all of them work for everyone. Since we are individuals, we must recognize we all have different processes that work better for us than others.

You need to experiment with different methods until you find one that gives you results. A team/network of friends to support you during the process will help. Fellow artists (other Flowering Princes & Princesses) know what the dark journey is like and can be sought out to give those little pep talks and advice. It’s actually a very welcome thing, because I often find that as I share words of encouragement to friends, I am actually speaking to myself as well. So imagine yourself one of many Flowering Princes/Princesses in a beautiful garden. Just be careful you don’t compare yourself to other blooms; admire them for their intrinsic beauty of individuality (if they are being true to who they are), but avoid judgments!  This of course takes time to develop and figure out. Cross pollinate with other flowers and experience a bit of the magic that comes from being out in the world. Don’t steal ideas, but be nourished energetically by the essence of creativity shared.

And remember, "deaths" are a part of the path that will come again and again in various forms. Learn to make the most of its dark embrace. The refusal of its presence only prolongs the struggle , the proper process of cultivation can help you go deeper into the journey of life and eventually bring more aliveness to your blooms!

More to come honey-blossoms!

images of Xochipilli - the Aztec Flowering God - a fascinating figure on many levels

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