The Dionysian Mysteries were a ritual of ancient Greece and Rome which sometimes used intoxicants and other trance-inducing techniques (like dance and music) to remove inhibitions and social constraints, liberating the individual to return to a natural state.
We all need to return to that natural state from time to time – if not, too much sanity will drive us mad. It’s particularly important for creative people. This is how you tap into the unconscious where stories and art and music are borne.
It won’t happen naturally. How you do it is down to you – I have many ways that work for me. One is to make sure I get away into the wilds a few times a year. Trek across wind-swept moors where there’s not a soul around for miles. Sleep under the stars. Dive into the ocean and let the swell carry you. The Wild forces the front-brain to switch off.
And when you do, you start to see strands of myth all around you – like the installation above. And myth is the way the Wild communicates directly with the unconscious – the real – you.
I took this photo at the Eden Project (Motto: Transformation: it’s in our nature) on a recent journey through Cornwall, one of my favourite places. If you want to see more of what I do in my life, make sure you follow me on Instagram.
After completing the latest draft of The Scar-Crow Men, the next Will Swyfte book, I took a week off to re-charge in one of my favourite UK locations, the Penwith peninsula on the far tip of Cornwall. Some time in the surf, local beer and good food, with a lot of reading and a trip to Tate West thrown in.
It did the job – which is good because I’ve come back to several projects piling up on my desk. More on those later.