top of page

"Embracing Change: Navigating Seasonal Shifts in your Creative Practice"

Updated: May 17

The more I look, the more I see myself in parallels of all things cyclical.

It is the weekend of the spring equinox and I have been contemplating the seasonal change around me. This winter has felt long and hard along the border of Wales. Granted we gather more rain from the mountains here, but across the UK spring has been less sprung than years before. As the climate patterns are changing, I wonder how seasonal shifts will also shift us?

In the Celtic calendar, Spring and Autumn Equinox are the two points between the Winter and Summer solstice, the shortest and the longest days of the year. Celebrating the change of light, temperature and life force on the Northern Hemisphere. In between those there are four cross over days that celebrate the in between spaces, Imbolc, Beltane, Lammas and Samien. I find these in between spaccs more curious now where a deeper celebrations of nuance become tangible,

The Celtic Calender has been living among us for thousands of years, bringing ritual and celebration to life within nature. I have come to see them as openings and mirrors for us to learn more about our own life and nature. Seeing natures qualities alive both outside and inside of us.

Around the world, similar rituals, ceremonies and marks of the calendar year take place. Expressed representatively depending on the hemispheres, climate and history deeply rooted in cultural meaning. I find it endlessly fascinating to think about how our environments shape us. How we shape our environments and how our cultures and identifies are formed within this parallel mirror.

With my Welsh heritage, I do feel a resonance with the Celtic history that feels very alive when walking in the Welsh marches and mountains. Echos of things old seem to create poetry in the landscape, playing with my imagination and inspiring my creativity.

After reading 'Wild Power' by Alexandra Pope, I began to feel my very being as a woman as part of a cyclical nature. Alexandra Pope talks about the female menstrual cycle and its biological connection to the seasons. Just like the seasons there is what she calls the 'Inner Seasons' with a hormonal charged emotionally journey. Alexandra Pope describes how 'The Full Moon' can be seen as our 'Inner Summer' during the ovulation. An outwards time of our full energetic force and a metaphor for a 'Birth' moment in the cycle.

Touching on astrological cycles here too, the sun and moon too mirror a cyclical relationship by orbiting the earth. When the Sun and the Moon are in direct opposition in the earth's orbit, they have a polarising effect creating a strong energetic force known as 'The Full Moon'. Myself and I know who experience menstruality, say they feel a connection to 'The Full Moon'. I personally find it hard to sleep. I often think, if the full moon has enough power to move the oceans how can it not create movement in me being nearly 90% water. I often find myself in these moments with nature, bathing in this awe.

The New Moon is where the Sun and Moon rise together and the Moon is directly covered by the Sun. Withdrawing all this energy can be seen in our Winter time when everything hibernates. Alexandra Pope compares this time in the menstrual cycle when one bleed's as 'Inner Winter', an inwards time where the body is concentrated on letting go. 'The New Moon' can be seen metaphorically as a time celebrating letting go, even a 'Death' moment in the cycle.

I want to look at all these cyclical structures as a type of map, a view in which to look at ourselves from different perspectives. 

Over the years the creative process for me has become so much about shifting my perspective. As an Artist training in the Expressive Arts, I was struck by a term I learnt called 'Decentering'. This is about moving your gaze far away from the subject at hand in order for you to gain a bigger picture. This can also be approached by zooming in to focus on the surface of what is actually there, whats happened, what marks, what storey has unfolded here. Here the parallels of shifting our attention from thought to feeling, allowing me to see what was missed or where things sits poetically in contrast to something. Shifting my gaze is something i have done without knowing, however realising this has become an essential tool for me in which to pay attention more deeply. Giving myself parameters in which to work has become a helpful companion for me to hold close on my ever shifting creative path. I have come to find parameters as perspectives.

I too want to link now how the cyclical natures of birth, death and rebirth in nature are also mirrored in the creative process. Stages of creativity can be divided into many different schools of thoughts, I will name a few. For example, Rudolph Steiner broke it down into an 'Incubation', 'Manic', 'A Secondary Revision' and 'A Resolution State' which then leads to a 'Residue'. I love the idea of 'Residue', being something that's left over, informing the next. Here i think of my echos in the Welsh mountains as thousands of years of history lingers. The idea of 'Incubating' early ideas, such as the gentle nature of spring has allowed me to take time and allow softness.

Stephen Levine (1997) and Expressive Arts Writer, talks about the creative and therapeutic process as first being able to 'let go' and move into 'experiencing emptiness' which brings 'the emergence of the new'. These shifts seem important in integrating one stage to another in order to complete an expression. Here the idea of 'Emergance' seems only possible if there is space to do so, space from a 'Letting go'.

My favourite is written about by Clarissa Pinkola Estés' in which i have written in more depth about in my article called 'Creative Lessons from 'Women Who Run With Wolves' . She too broke the creative process down into the four following areas. 'Inspiration', 'Concentration', 'Organisation', 'Implementation', 'Sustenance'. I have been using this format in my own practice for the past few years and use it to create the foundations of my Expressive Arts Workshops , Sessions and within my upcoming 'Online Arts Circle'.

Each of these creative theories require a cyclical psychological and physiological assimilation of the body and mind. Here the many parts of us or perspectives enter the creative practice.

The journey of birth, death and rebirth, is not old or new, it's natural and can be a metaphor for many journeys. The creative process is a journey, a cyclical one happening and overlapping many larger and smaller ones at once. Each cycle brings in all of our experience, it is never new, we never really begin again, we bring it all back with us into our continuous rebirth into integration.

“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” ​― Ansel Adams

The creative process for me has not only become so much about shifting my perspective during the process, but also become about creating frameworks that feel authentic and bring the many parts of myself. A frame to create parameters in which to work that connects my internal experience to my outside experience of the world. For me this frame has become the glue of my creative process and turned the process itself into a work of art. You may have another frame that is authentic to you, that supports you in the wild nature that is you and your creative process.

I wonder how nature inspires you and where you see yourself in it? I am curious to what frames may support you in your practice? I would love to know, please feel free to write and leave comments below.

94 views0 comments


About Me

Screenshot 2022-01-17 at 16.25.26.png

I am an Artist and Expressive Arts Facilitator ​working from my home studio on the Welsh Borders in Hay on Wye. Working from home I run my own online business, whilst training in London for my MA in Integrative Arts Psychotherapy. I also run creative and therapeutic workshops locally and very soon, online! 


Posts Archive

bottom of page