What is Image Hive?
Image Hive is a series of talks about the craft of creative writing, drawing in influences from poetry and literary fiction. Image Hive derives its title from the idea that a writer is a collector of images: that it is our capacity to see and have vision that underlies our word craft.
Image Hive is also a community - a gathering of people who are collecting images and recording their impressions. By endeavoring upon this as a group, a certain field (hive) consciousness opens up. My best writing education personally happened in groups so I wanted to create that here as well.
Writing from Image
Working with writing has long been a way to engage in life as a mystical theater. I've noticed life become more vivid when I'm in the habit of looking for inspiration. I've re-written my identity or perception by playing with language.
If you've found this page, you probably already know me! I'm Sabrina Monarch and you likely know me as an astrologer and podcaster. My voice has often been called lyrical, and writing is my original love. I wanted to finally share some insight on how to develop a writing practice as I circle back to it from the perspective of being a mystic. In my early writing education, I didn't know that the word was leading me to a mystical life, but I often had experiences of seeing in brighter colors after reading/writing or seeing text glow on the page.
I found an online writing community at age 11 and made friends all over the world who critiqued and encouraged my writing. In my time in that community I also critiqued thousands of pieces of writing. In college, I studied creative writing again, mostly poetics. From a whole life of writing, experimenting with and exploring language, I'm excited to share Image Hive with you.
Energetics behind the writing are invisible until we name them...
"It is our task to imprint this temporary, perishable earth into ourselves so deeply, so... passionately, that its essence can rise again 'invisibly,' inside us. We are the bees of the invisible. We wildly collect the honey of the visible, to store it in the great golden hive of the invisible." - Rainer Maria Rilke
Image Hive will explore the following six topics:
Beneath the craft of the word, the writer is a seer. Primarily it is important to cultivate vision, to stoke a fire of vision that never really goes out - its light is unconditional, and can be carried like a lantern into any labyrinth. The writer can be a translator of images, but first we have to see. (We can also ‘see’ with other senses, by vision here we do not just mean visual sight.) Vision can be natural, but it also can be cultivated - and we’ll explore practices for stoking vision.
Chrysalis Meltdown: On Not Making Sense
To loosen up the physical body we might shake or stretch. As communicators, always trying to “make sense” keeps us rigid and our imaginations tightly wound. Most people don’t spend time with abstract language (think modern abstract art but in literary form, poems that ‘don’t make sense’ in a conventional way). When caterpillars are transitioning to butterfly in the chrysalis, their DNA melts down and re-forms. When we stop trying to “make sense” with language, we traverse through a portal of transformation where we come out with a freer and more expansive linguistic range.
Relating with the Muses
As creatives, we are in collaboration with a Universal creative energy that moves through us. Deepening a creative practice can really be a deepening of our relationship with the muses. We’ll explore some perspectives on cultivating this relationship as well as cultivating ourselves as individuals within this relationship. For example, spending time with craft/practice strengthens our channel - so every time we sit down to create can be a ritual with a potency that compounds over time. There are spiritual and pragmatic approaches here.
Hypnotics, Hypnagogia, and Weaving Chords that Hit
One of my favorite constructions personally is the creation of a hypnotic landscape and ending the piece or section with something striking that hits or pierces through the vaporous fog. It’s a little like being in a dream and waking up abruptly during a striking sequence. While I am certain other writers do this (I can feel it in certain pieces I read), I’ve never heard anyone talk about it directly or with this framing. I’ll share ideas for how to get into a more hypnotic trance as a writer and how to find your way into that striking image.
Capturing Essence, Portrait, and Surrealism
Literature that came before the advent of film had a huge impact on me - I loved the chunky, page-long paragraphs with descriptive intimacy about a person’s facial expression or a dish breaking on the floor. It’s like time passed differently in older literature. I feel like a lot of contemporary literature has broken with this in favor of short, choppy paragraphs that are mostly dialogue. We will spend some time with classics, dissecting the craft of portraiture through writing (depicting reality through writing, simply, in a way we have often replaced with cameras now). I’ll share some thoughts on how to cultivate the capacity for portrait, especially in short-form vignette which can be more accessible to our quickly-paced lives.
Identity and Persona of a Writer
Identities and personas can be taken lightly - they are not the deepest truth of who we are, but they are like vehicles that we drive, or clothes we wear. There is a LOT of room for play when it comes to actually identifying as a writer and experimenting with this persona. Simply holding the belief that we are a writer is a magical portal into embodying greater talent and skill in this arena. Writing is all-encompassing - it is a lifestyle, it doesn't just happen in the moment of writing. If we allow ourselves to entertain the identity as writer, there’s a lot of room to investigate and explore what kind of writer we are and how that would actually impact the way we design our lives.
How Image Hive is delivered
Participants may attend these talks live, and will be added to the course portal where they have lifetime access to these videos.
Classes are live & recorded at 5:00 - 6:30 PM Pacific time on Mondays: August 2, August 16, August 30, September 13, September 27, and October 18.
Participants will have the opportunity to practice concepts through assignments and share their writing with the group, and offer and receive feedback.
This series is only $333 currently, at its lowest ever price. The course is available through the Kickstarter opening the seventh year of Monarch Astrology. July 29, 2021 is the last day to back the campaign.Enroll Now via the Kickstarter