Imagine that! I had a good chuckle when I was editing the Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Montclair New Jersey’s January edition of the Gazette newsletter. The Soul Matter’s theme this month is imagination. My congregation has been following the monthly themes for about two years now, almost as long as I have been attending and lately they seem to resonate closely with me.
I laughed so hard because of my elder, the Rev. Foxxy (Sher) Pullen, leader and co-founder of Three Fires Grove, a Druidic online learning community. She has stressed for almost 20 years to me to use mine. She and her late husband Hermotimus “Herm” noticed right away that I was lacking in that department. I have grown in many ways since then but there is still improvements I need to make especially when it comes to thinking outside the box.
A good imagination is key for any Pagan, no matter what path you walk. It is an important component for grounding and centering, as well as for producing shields and wards. It is also critical for meditation and in doing visualizations. Moreover, for spell work, you must see the outcome clearly in order to ensure it is successful. This is especially important when you perform a working such as a healing; you need to “see” that person healthy.
One of the first few assignments in Three Fires Grove is to dress an animal from head to toe including accessories. It is a group project where we each play off what the last person added. The goal of the lesson is while making this creature as silly as you can, you also create it so vividly that it almost comes to life in your mind. The reason is to stretch your imagination as far as you can, and for some people, to use it again for the first time since childhood.
It is just as important to have a creative imagination for an adult as it is for a child. Herm use to say in class if you can imagine it, you can make it happen. Visualizing what you want clearly will manifest the outcome. He would use work for example and tell us to picture ourselves there.
Now during this pandemic, I have an excuse, not that anyone needs one, to use mine every day. My family and I are babysitting a two-year-old every week. She has a vivid imagination and is now revitalizing mine. Who would have thought a toddler would teach an adult. Recently she grabbed her changing pad and pretended to change her teddy bear’s diaper. My mother did not understand what she was doing and said the doll does not wear diapers but I noticed it right away. My niece just started exploring beyond the intent of her toys.
I told my elder about this and she said great, play with her; get back to her level. Therefore, I am and we have a ball together.
Role-playing games are another way to expand a person’s imagination. A few years ago, my elder invited me to join her in playing Dungeons and Dragons online with her friends. We generally play once a week in the evening. My character is a high elfin wizard, who is a conjuror with a library background and has a raccoon as a familiar. Should be easy enough to role-play, yet I am just getting the hang of it. We now use a server to speak our actions. This is helpful to hear instead of read what is going on in our game world. I still struggle some on the storyline when we are not in combat but I am improving.
Any of these exercises will help you expand yours. To be able to visualize richly and vividly is a useful tool that you can carry with you wherever you go.
This is one lesson that I will be teaching my CUUPs chapter – UUCM Sacred Wheel in the coming month. We recently started doing monthly healing circles. Since our events are open to the entire congregation, we run through the process, a quick explanation placing emphasis on how you need to see the positive outcome – the person or persons healed. This time we will go through the exercise first and create a creature, it will serve as a good icebreaker and at the same time get everyone’s minds working on really seeing themselves sending the healing to the person or persons and the results.
I think we all should take my elder’s advice, step inside the shoes of a two-year-old, and just have fun again. Find the child inside and allow it to play. It is healthy and needed, especially now with the stresses of the pandemic and the current events in Washington, D.C.
Go explore, create and let your imagination wander, it is not only okay – it is healing.