I invited dark energy to come and visit me so I could see if we could have a relationship. Nine 15-second digital collages were the product of our meeting. It took persistence on my part to get something satisfying out of the exchange, because at first our dialog seemed one-sided. Because of my recent connection to dark energy, I’m happy to report that my creative focus is moving in an exciting new direction: I recently received an invitation, out of the blue, to collaborate on a digital illuminated art installation with a fellow artist.
How did I invite dark energy into a relationship? I made up my own creative process. I started by collecting digital images that are frightening to most people, such as monsters. The images included historical archetypes, images of things that I found scary or disturbing. As Jung (2012, p. 58) put it, “The archetype is a tendency to form such representations of a motif–representations that can vary a great deal in detail without losing their basic pattern.”
After collecting all of the images, I collaged them together. I wanted to see what new insight would emerge in the creative process of collage, a modern artistic practice that involves the use of found objects being arranged together in a new and unique way. Making art or looking at art is one way to focus on the source of creativity. Jung and Shamdasani (2011, pp. 59-60) put it in the following way:
The process (of modern art) inevitably drives the interest away from the object to the subject, and instead of the real object, the internal object becomes the carrier of the values… So modern art leads us away from the too great scattering of the libido on the external object, back to the creative source within us, back to the inner values. In other words, it leads us by the same path analysis tries to lead us, only it is not a conscious leadership on the part of the artist.
Listening to my inner self in the creative process, I found that several images stood out, repeatedly attracting my attention. Each time I added an image to my collage, I would notice and be interested in a couple of the same images. If you are not sure how archetypes could speak through collage, just imagine something akin to a Ouija board in pictures. Like the board, there is one surface upon which you add your images. You can’t think too much while choosing where to put the pictures; similar to the Ouija board game, you let the spirit guide you. There is a mysterious energy that has the ability to guide the eyes and hands. von Franz (1995) put it this way:
As soon as you fall into an archetype, or identify with the powers of the unconscious, you get those supernatural gifts and that is why people do not like to be exorcised or rehumanized again. The loss of those gifts accounts for one of the resistances against therapy. (p. 157)
When I finished applying all of the images to my collage, I still felt as if there was something missing. I had created one large overall image that incorporated everything, yet there were specific parts of the image that demanded more attention. They were asking to be singled out and addressed individually; the images themselves were insisting that there was more work to be done. Here is the magical part, the part you might call spontaneous and synchronistic. Using my collage as the basic image, I decided to play with a new app on my iPhone called the Gifx App. However, I took a suggestion from Marie von Frans and worked with the persistent images using the Gifx app that captivated my imagination. “(W)henever such an inner image came up, I wrote it down and dealt with it in active imagination, and then there was complete peace” (von Franz, 1995, p. 186).
In my original collage, I made a conscious effort to represent a range of images; nonetheless, the final nine digital video collages all seemed to include some aspect of the female creator archetype. In researching this aspect, I discovered what I believe to be the core message from my inner self. This message is most clear in one moving image I created with two naked women looking into a moving laptop that also looks like a two- way mirror displaying an image of space. I was reminded of a quote from The Book of Lilith: “Again, a mirror is required to know the Lilith quality and transform it from self-destructive killing to self-acceptance and loving” (Koltuv, 1987, p. 88). After I created the nine animated digital collages, I felt complete and satisfied with my creative process and my life in general. If I had not continued to address the creative process to a point of inner satisfaction, it is possible that Lilith would still be haunting me today.
A couple days after I completed the new digital collages, I found myself thinking about how I might display the images on a wall or in a public environment. I watched the little video and wished for a place to display it in my environment other than just my computer screen. I received a serendipitous invitation to collaborate with a more experienced digital artist on a large-scale light installation. According to Aniela Jaffe, it was Jung who coined the term synchronicity: “The term (synchronicity) means a ‘meaningful coincidence’ of outer and inner events that are not themselves causally connected” (Jung, 2012, p. 226).
In this essay I have shared with my personal experience of expanding artistic identity as a result of inviting dark energy in a creative process. By calling on archetypes, consciously or unconsciously, and by engaging in a creative process, individuals have the potential to influence both our inner and outer worlds. Whether one actually creates images or just works with existing images in imagination, the potential for this relationship between archetypes and creativity is nothing short of life changing.
- Digital Collages – Animating #Archetypes with @Adobe Photoshop Mix and @gifxapp mobile creative work flow. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://mitracline.com/2015/01/11/digital-collages-animating-archetypes-with-adobe-photoshop-mix-and-gifxapp-mobile-creative-work-flow/
- Jung, C. G., & Shamdasani, S. (2011). Introduction to Jungian psychology: Notes of the seminar on analytical psychology given in 1925. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
- Franz, M.L. von. (1995). Shadow and evil in fairy tales (Revised ed.). Boston: Shambhala.
- Jung, C. G. (2012). Man and his symbols. New York: Dell.
- Koltuv, B. B. (1987). The book of Lilith. York Beach, Me: Nicolas-Hays.