Definition: The formation of a mental image of something that is not perceived as present to the external senses; the ability to form mental images of things or events; the ability to deal resourcefully with unusual problems.
The power of imagination is one of the most potent resources we have for healing, for creative endeavors, inventions and for expanding our horizons. Imagination relies upon a high level of creative fluidity, and the ability to tap into and interact with the non-rational dream-like world. Engaging the imagination involves not only imagining pictures in one’s mind, but also utilizing all five senses as well as feelings, emotions, and intuition. When we imagine we engage in the imaginal as if it had a life of its own.
A strong imagination is a necessary component of all creative endeavors be it related to work, personal projects, or shaping the direction of one’s life. Some mystical doctrines believe that all things first arise in the world of the imagination before becoming real.
In the Asclepian Temples, healing rituals involved connecting to the inner imaginal world through dreams and visions to access messages for healing. Shamans have been some of the earliest healers bridging the “imaginal” world with mind, body, and soul. Science today has only begun to touch upon the powers of the imagination for healing utilizing techniques such as hypnosis, guided imagery, biofeedback and even EMDR.
Imagination can have a “downside”, which is not about imagination per se, but about the way it may be integrated in one’s life. If one is not centered, present or able to navigate and distinguish between the imaginal world and the “real” world, difficulties may arise. We may have flights of fantasy when carried away with the imaginal world, that under certain circumstances can become actively imagined worries and fears to the point of having difficulty distinguishing what is real. Extreme examples are found in episodes of psychoses or delusions that make it challenging to function.
If you have pulled this card you may want to explore the role imagination plays in your life. What are you imagining day-to-day? Is it something you would like more of? How could you have more of what you are imagining? Does your life function more in the world of the imagination? How could increasing imaginative play change your world? Do you need to ground your imagination in more practical ways?
© 2011 Leslie Helen Bambic Ciechanowski
Every week I shuffle and draw a card to write about and represent the week ahead. If you would to like purchase or view the full deck visit www.fuzionhealingarts.com/products.