Creative Prompts for Mercury Retrograde
Mercury crossed into retrograde the 17th of this month, prompting the usual hubbub of warnings not to sign any legal documents or make any major purchases until that flighty messenger turns direct! I will admit that on the 17th I DID almost leave my guitar at home on my way to a gig, all the busses were late, AND after five songs my show was canceled for rain. So maybe it's not the best time to take a trip to Aruba, but all that Mercurial energy can bring some magic and play into your creative practice.
Mercury is a trickster God, and the job of tricksters is to teach humility to the self important and generally wreak havoc on the status quo. Internally, you may find your creativity may have to play trickster if your internal critic is a tyrannical perfectionist. I have been working through Jennifer Hamaday's awesome book The Art of Singing which involves a fair amount of tricky techniques to quiet the technical mind so you can figure out what the body wants to do naturally, and ease the strain of mentally induced tension on the voice.
Tricksters also have a dark side if they're repressed. It's the impulse to get drunk, or stoned, or go out and create drama for the sake of intense feelings. Your inner trickster may whisper the lingering belief that your abilities some how spring from alcohol or drug use or any other crutch a creative mind uses to quiet their inner cynic. Tricksters can bend the terms of reality to suit their needs, so watch out for lingering delusions both of grandeur or of insignificance.
Here are some creative prompts to help you build a healthy relationship with your creative trickster.
1) Play with Nonsense or Surrealism - Think Jabberwocky . Lewis Carroll's piece is a perfect example of playing with gibberish. If words are not your medium, play with surreal images or shapes. Dance un-gracefully. Break the rules on purpose. Try to so overwhelm your critical mind so it just sits back and lets you play.
2) Hash out something heavy from your past. Mercury retrograde isn't just about messing up your forward trajectory, it's also about having something of a time warp into your past. Your ex's may be on your mind. You may be haunted by embarrassing middle school memories. Whatever it is, instead of running from it try digging into it and spinning it out into your creative medium of choice.
3)Write something satirical. Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, satire is an excellent trickster medium and we here in America have many a leader that could use a little humility, so knock them off their high horse with some timely and creative satire. This doesn't have to be on a national scale, though. Maybe write a song to your inner tyrant, or a school administrator, or anyone else that needs to be reminded that self importance just slows everyone's roll.
4) Use Found Sounds/items to create a piece. Create a dance with an abandoned hula hoop, or a poem inspired by 10 random things you witness on a walk. Keep your eyes and ears pealed for the creativity that is being offered to you by your environment. This isn't about making a masterpiece, this is about play and exercising your connection to your muse. Just take what comes up and roll with it.
5)Try a laughing meditation. Yes it feels weird and a little out of sorts, but laughing is often exactly what we need when faced with frustrations and blockages. Also, Laughter is very Trickster. If you're uncomfortable laughing in meditation, at the very least go out of your way to find the humor in your life, especially when it's frustration. Imagine you're watching a movie, if you saw someone else in your situation (like, say, forgetting to grab a guitar on your way to a gig) would you find it funny?
I'm going to be doing each of these exercises and sharing the results on the blog here with you. If you make something you would like to share message me about it at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll feature it on the blog.