In talking about personas yesterday, my focus was mostly on the perceptions of names and the ways that they can define, contain, or inform us in some way. But the creative use of personas can also be expansive and enlightening adventures into who we are or who we might become. This is more in the realm of the names we give ourselves or the names that others offer us in reverence.
But instead of identifying us in a particular way, these personas are more about claiming aspects to embody and explore the nature of. By doing so, we can learn alternative ways of being in the world, enhance our current ways of being, or move into, shift and work towards a whole new way of being and experiencing the world. Within this playground, we can investigate and apply the personas of historical figures, of role models, of animals, or of metaphysical and spiritual beings.
This use of personas was first introduced to me within a classroom situation where I chose to bring through a spiritual teacher named Papaji. In investigating this persona, I was asked to learn about his life path and to note his ways of being within the world through his environmental experiences, beliefs, writings, speech, and presentation. Then, I was also asked to offer a presentation of this persona, allowing this spiritual being called Papaji to come through me as I inhabited his way of being within the world. In doing so, I actually felt an energy come through my body, assisting in my ability to create the presence of Papaji.
A second creative use of personas is in investigating qualities of yourself that you want to move into or to further invoke. In this case, I’ve been involved with an Anam Cara Journey group to claim specific qualities of myself. Within this experience, I proclaimed my resonance with the goddess Morgan Le Faye while also holding the aspects of Kuan Yin, Spiderwoman, and Hathor.
Prior to and beyond these experiences, I have also worked shamanically to allow personas or energies to move through and within me. This can occur through a couple of different ways. On the one hand, I can use intention to merge with particular animals or beings, learning from their ways of being and their presence within the world. On the other hand, I can also call upon those same animals and beings to come and offer assistance or healing through my body. Furthermore, these beings or animals might come to offer me a particular experience or enable them to receive an experience of my own presence. So, the use of personas in this way can be both a process of receiving and giving.
Thus, I invite you to work more creatively with personas, as enhancements to your life experiences. What personas might you want to investigate, learn about, feel, receive from, or give to? How might these personas impact your current life? How might these personal selections of personas then impact our collective dreaming together, in our allowance of death and cultivation of heart?