This is an amazing article by Wesley Thoricatha that was posted on ignite.me. It outlines the connections between Avatarism, transformational festivals and our ability to change ourselves through consciousness.
“We can become the stars of our own lives, instead of the downtrodden victims of life. Change the script, change the movie. Write your life. Speak the words. Hear your voice as the will of the living god manifest in action. I am here to create beauty, I am here to give healing, I am here to collect the mysteries of life, I am here to manifest, realize, and love, I am here to give myself back into the spring.”
— Alexander Polinsky, founder of Avatarism
Where do your dreams and visions come from? How about your daily behaviors, or the story of your life? If you are like most people, these come from a variety of sources, some of them beloved and intimate, others banal, practical, and seemingly beyond our control. But what if your daily actions, your regular behaviors, your life story, and the very way you see yourself all came from a unified, sacred narrative that weaves through every aspect of your life? This is the gem that awaits those who take the reigns of their own story and cultivate a radically creative life through personal mythology.
One of the most direct ways we express ourselves as humans in through art, yet the art world, like many areas of our culture, suffers largely from commercialization and myopic trendiness. But beyond the walls of institutionalized art and patiently outlasting the latest trends persists a mode of expression that has been present since the brush of our oldest ancestors first touched a cave wall. Intuitive art, which encompasses outsider art, visionary art, and art brut, celebrates artists whose process is largely untamed by formal art training or the status quo. It is art motivated by a unique personal vision and the passionate compulsion to manifest it in reality, often in seclusion and without any thought of how it might be received by critics. It utilizes symbols and materials that map out the artist’s inner landscape, resulting in a transformational journey captured on canvas where the artist is both the subject and object of their art. Intuitive art carries the energetic imprint of personal metamorphosis as inner visions are honored and given form, not for fame or money, but for the process of expression itself. This realm of art is not closed to an elite or educated few; it is open to all, and it’s a powerful way to start expressing the story of your inner world.
When people adorn themselves with intricate costumes that takes months of preparation and work, are we seeing them out of their element, or in a rare authentic moment?
Arguably the greatest intuitive art gallery in the world is the one that appears every year in the Black Rock desert at the Burning Man festival, as tens of thousands of (mostly self-taught) people create everything from art installations to mutant vehicles to fantastical costumes. Be the person you always wanted to be, dress the way you’ve always wanted to dress, assume the identity of any character you’ve ever wanted to become. This is the invitation that burn events offer, and while much of it is whimsical, any authentic, boundary-expanding leap of self-expression carries with it a profound impression that leaves participants with experiences that stick with them their whole lives. The reason the popular greeting “Welcome home!” is so often heard is that people are returning home to their original selves, with the permission and encouragement to create their reality and be exactly who they’ve always wanted to be. This is personal mythology at its essence, and in action on a huge scale.
So you begin to make intuitive art in your spare time, and you attend burn events, but these actions remain in the margins of your life – a special retreat, rather than the norm. How do you integrate personal mythos into your daily life? One exciting answer to that question is a new movement called Avatarism. Alexander Polinsky, with a big dose of inspiration from his experiences at Burning Man, coined the term Avatarism as a way to live one’s life with inspired levels of continuous conscious creation.
In essence, Avatarism is the practice of seeing yourself as an avatar, a character in the game of Life, and it invites you to take creative control of your own self-definitions and intentionally develop the traits, connections, and skills that you most want for yourself – just as if you were playing a video game or a pen-and-paper role-playing game. It is a methodology for self-actualization and self improvement, and offers a practical means to formulate and keep track of your goals through the use of a character sheet which lists both your current abilities and your future vision for yourself. As goals are met, they are added to the sheet and new directions are mapped out. As top-level athletes, business executives, self-help gurus, and cavemen painting game on cave walls knew, positive visualization can have an enormous influence in our lives and help us attain goals we set for ourselves. In this way, Avatarism is taking powerful ancient wisdom and translating it into the language of the video game generation, not just for manifesting specific changes, but to write the story of our entire lives in a way that comes from our most epic visions.
Mythology is not simply some quaint or antiquated form of fantastic storytelling; it is the tapestry of cultural, spiritual, and personal belief that together makes up the way we understand and interact with the world. Creating art from the soul, radically expressing yourself at transformational festivals, and bringing the magic of personal mythos into your life through avatarism are all exciting ways to embrace personal mythology and become the person we’ve always wanted to be… and have always secretly been.
So, what is your story?