The Imaginal Realm of the Muses
Director's Vision Statement

This film's story acts as a metaphor for my relationship with the Imaginal realm as a place just as real as, and sometimes more real than, the mundane world of physical existence. The autonomous Muses archetype makes its home in the Imaginal realm and my dialogue with this archetype has inspired many stories, themes and characters in many of my films but none reflect this inner process quite like "Out of the Woods".

My experience with the Imaginal realm began over fifty years ago as a young boy playing outdoor war games with other boys encountering, escaping, and shooting imaginary enemies. My commitment was hundred percent - my heart raced on the wings of angels fluttering over imaginal battlefields. As a teenager during the wild Sixties, my awareness of the spirit realms accelerated with LSD and cannabis. After turning 23, I stopped taking psychoactive drugs and embarked on a series of nonstop romances with young women, inflaming the powerful Anima archetype that forced a whole new level of spirit realm interaction all throughout my twenties and my thirties. As intoxicating as it was to keep falling in love, over and over again, they left me emotionally exhausted. These romantic catastrophes drained whatever power I needed to create Art. I also fell into a deeply naive error in judgment by confusing any living woman for the Muse. Women are not archetypes, they are human beings. I needed to change my life.

As I entered my forties, I initiated a more commited and disciplined approach to the Imaginal realm through Paratheatre (a ritual technology I'd been developing since 1977) that opened me up to a more conscious interaction with the Muses archetype. The idea of “the Muse” and “the Muses” has vexed, haunted, and inspired artists, poets, musicians, book authors, painters, sculptors, and other creatives for aeons. I never call them “my Muses”; if they can be be owned, they are not Muses but ego trips. I call them the Muses for good reason. They come and go on their own accord. They are not on my watch; I am on their watch.

Courting the Muses can sometimes feel like falling madly in love as my soul whips around like a rag doll tilt-a-twirling in gale-force winds. No matter how inspiring or stimulating, following the call of the Muses creates its own unique stresses on the instrument of self. If I fall sick or suffer pain or collapse and die, I am no longer useful to the Muses and they move on to their next vessel. The Muses don't care what happens to me; they only care about how well their Presence finds expression through me. Note to self: stay healthy, stay useful.

If I was not artistically inclined and possessed of self-discipline, any notion of interacting with autonomous archetypes, entities, muses, and spirits could easily be misconstrued (or clinically diagnosed) as a schizophrenic episode or some kind of psychotic break. But I'm not crazy that way; I'm crazy about being alive. To engage the wilder forces that inspire the creation of Art and their manifest products -- this requires a healthy, reality-based ego, not a big ego but a flexible ego that constantly checks itself for inflation.

These processes define the self-work that sustain my creative processes.

- Antero Alli


Sylvi Alli





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