Making Constellations

You will not find these

seven grouped in your

celestial atlas,

though they do ride

the ecliptic arc,

appearing south south east

near eight pm this mid

January night.

War goddess, raised spear

about to thrust down

and slay some monster below.

No? Do tell.

What do you make of it?

There are no wrong answers.

A constellation

but the imagination

wrapping itself

around a pattern like this.

The Amplification Effect, No. 7

An invitation for artists and writers, creators of any medium, to participate in a group exercise.

A group exercise performed in the comments.

A symbol is provided, and participants are asked to share at least twice to generate an amplification of that symbol.

Carl Jung championed approaching unconscious symbolic material with an ‘as-if’ attitude. Jung taught that meaning may be circumscribed, but not described.

The Process

1. Participants self-select.

2. Responses are placed in the comments to this post.

3. Each participant replies with an amplification of the symbol.

4. Each participant replies with an association to another participant’s amplification.

5. Participants are encouraged to repeat steps 3 and 4 as often as they wish.

6. Participants are encouraged to reflect on the group results of the exercise to provide an impetus for future creative work.

Postscript: Consider linking back to this post with any work this exercise generates. Links from this post to any work generated will be shared below.

(For further information, as well as an example of a completed group response mind map, see the inaugural Amplification Effect)


Week #7 Amplification Effect Symbol:

A solitary beach.

Join us in the comments below!


Group Response Mind Map (updated throughout the exercise):


Links to Works Generated:

Longing for the Wrack Line, by Richard Reeve

Cosmic Wake

It won’t last forever.

The stone, dust, and ice

already gently raining down

to the surface below.

This period of public morning

a fitting royal tribute.

The remains evenly spread out,

so perfectly arranged

by Queen Ops.

A spectacular display

this wake for Chrysalis,

their lost daughter torn apart

by unrelenting tidal forces.

She will be reigned back in

and her ashes scattered

across the surface

of King Saturn.

One by one,

the slow moving

viewing line of

poorly dressed spacecraft

swing by

to pay our respects

on their way out

to even colder

more distant realms.

After the viewing,

in hushed voices,

each of the mourners

can’t help but marvel

at just how lovely she looks.


Cosmic Wake written in response to the inaugural Amplification Effect, a group exercise exploring symbolic material. The symbol explored was a ring that is not a ring. Join in this Sunday for the next group symbolic exploration.

Ode to Demeter

Though You’ve departed

I’ll hum the sacred intervals

through these dark days.

Stacking wood needed

to fight back the bitter chill,

a fraudulent squatter

inhabiting Your absence,

I’ll soon take comfort

from a cup of hot cereal,

a faint echo

of ancient sacraments

shared on the steps at Eleusis.

Foolish how Your Greatness

taken for granted

until You turn from us

to find again

Your divine daughter.

Though You’ve departed

I’ll hum the sacred intervals

through these dark days.

Angel’s Trumpet ⚠️

Poisonous to pets,

an understatement targeting

plant loving pet owners – 

Lady Datura,

You disguise your potency

beneath a shower

of trumpeting splendor.

Like the rose

you both attract and repel,

your seed pod

a thorny grenade

of delusional potency.

The records show

settlers at Jamestown

went out of their minds

dining on a tossed salad

with these culpable greens

A delusion is/isn’t 

hallucinating,

so heard the doctors

from one emergency room case

after the activated charcoal

had kicked in to counteract

the startlingly real effects.

Friends found him scrubbing his hair

standing stark naked

in the middle of an unknown

neighbors living room,

indulging in a convincingly real

yet imaginary shower.

He could not recall crossing

the well disguised threshold.

It all remained

as tangible as

daily commonplace reality.

Wait!

He screamed in horror.

Is it still going on!?!

He lost his mind.

Let us know if you find it. 

Panegyric for Death

Mussel Shell by Richard Reeve

A convoluted theory

poured from the radio,

decrying the current

cultural fixation

with certainty.

We need room for mystery!

A mandate to breath in our doubts,

drink down our yearning

for negative capability.

The claim (seems simple enough):

dark matter strewn throughout the universe,

by implication throughout

our-very-selves,

a crossroads,

our intersection

with another dimension.

I’m not sure what to do with that

but leave it here in this poem.

Let us lift then, a tiny cup

tossed up with the tide

amongst piles of detritus

strewn across this beach.

Though not nearly enough to quench this thirst,

it will have to do.

Let us sip rain water from a shell.

A toast to dark matter!

Obscura Materia,

Our Lady of the Portal,

Our Black Madonna,

Certainty sown through uncertainty,

She that awaits us all.

What would Sekhmet say?

When pondering the cataclysmic loss of biodiversity, the rapid increase in climate related weather catastrophes, and the threats posed by emerging pandemic cycles, our general malaise would indicate that our cultural forms, which typically place humanity at the center of creation, fail to have access to the resources and creativity needed to generate a new path forward.

Will more computation power and data collection bring about innovative solutions? Or will those answers emerge from the dark depths of our collective inheritance. As Jung would put it, the earth has a soul.

I wonder, “what would Sekhmet say?”