One week I had two different clients who called frantically before their appointments, having lost my address. They reached my answering machine, but somehow figured out where I live and arrived early, thinking they were late. Amusingly, both were artisans. When an artisan friend of mine told me that he was marrying another artisan, I joked, “What? You’ll never find your keys!”

Artisans have a reputation for the charming flakiness that sometimes accompanies high creativity. One reason is that artisans have five “inputs” or simultaneous “psychic (as in psyche) receivers.” Artisans operate on five levels or “tracks” at the same time—they can receive and process five impressions from the outer world, either consciously or unconsciously—whereas warriors, for instance, operate on one. This facilitates the widest possible awareness of “what’s out there,” which aids creativity, because new creations are new combinations of already existing elements, and the artwork of artisans tends to have many levels. However, having five inputs can also be disorienting if artisans aren’t well grounded, and can make concentration difficult. Artisans can seem not fully “there” when one is talking to them, whereas warriors are usually totally “there” or are not “there” at all. Sages have three inputs, with similar but lesser abilities and challenges in that regard. Sometimes artisans and sages compensate by being highly organized—with so many inputs, they have found that they need to be in order to keep track of everything “coming in” and all the projects they may be juggling at once. I am an example of this: I have a compulsion to write everything down and keep things in their place; otherwise, I don’t feel that I have a handle on my life. (People sometimes think that I’m a Virgo, but there are not any Virgo influences in my astrology chart. Nonetheless, I have always been highly organized as well as detail-oriented.) On the other hand, warriors, who have only one input and are the most focused of the roles, tend to be naturally organized, but they can also sometimes live in a mess and still feel that they can function effectively—being so focused, their sense of organization may be more internal. Also, warriors are normally “one thing at a time” people and artisans usually have several projects going at once, but sometimes the opposite is true.

Some artisans like to do things “one at a time” because it is too disorienting for them otherwise. It helps them feel in control. On the other hand, there are warriors who, because they are only dealing with one input, can keep several balls in the air at once, so to speak, like jugglers.

Michael student Ed Hamerstrom suggested that the five inputs of artisans relate to 1) current reality, 2) the state of the work in progress, 3) the muse or vision of what he wants to create, 4) random unconscious stimulation that allows creativity, and 5) the application of that imagination, as in “What would happen if I try this here?” He suggested that the three inputs of sages relate to 1) current reality (the setting or basic situation), 2) what is being expressed, and 3) the audience. Michael said that that is a valid way of looking at their inputs.

The inputs are “slots” that can be filled in various ways or, at least, described in widely varying ways.

Scholars, kings, and warriors—the “solid” roles—have one input. Let’s make an analogy here. Until recently, all television sets could display only one channel at a time. This is like having one input. Now there are televisions that can play a football game in the corner of the screen while the rest of the screen is taken up with Dallas reruns, or whatever. A person watching such a screen can receive two broadcasts at once. That is like having two inputs. The advantage of this is that two different sources can be integrated in some way. A person watching Dallas and a football game at the same time may see similarities and connections between the two that someone watching one show probably would not. He might, for instance, perceive Dallas characters and football players maneuvering toward their goals in similar ways. He may then try in some way to integrate the two shows, such as making a sculpture that illustrates the relationship between Dallas and a football game.

On the other hand, a person with a television set that plays only one image might be seen as a specialist in what was being viewed, either Dallas or the football game. If you are watching Dallas, you can explore everything about Dallas in full detail, noticing what all the characters are doing, wearing, and so on. This is of particular interest if, for instance, you are a scholar specializing in soap operas.

With a one-image set, you can change channels, either quickly or slowly, but you are not as well equipped to integrate the two programs in your consciousness as someone watching them simultaneously. You might also tune your set between two stations, but you would just get static.

The four roles with more than one input approach integration in different ways. Priests and servers each have two inputs. Priests are concerned with integrating their vision of what is higher or of greater ultimate importance into the immediate circumstance. Their “television screen,” rather than having a second smaller image in the corner, has a horizontal line dividing it into higher and lower images. They view these two images simultaneously at all times. It is so natural to them that they take it for granted. The “screen” of servers is split with a vertical line, holding an image of the common good next to that of the immediate circumstance.

Sages have three inputs. Their screen is divided by two vertical lines into three side-by-side images that are more or less equal in size. Sages can use these three inputs to integrate the three other axes: inspiration, action, and assimilation. Sages are communicators and mediators. They interpret between warriors and priests, scholars and artisans, and so forth. They express what the other axes need to hear. Sages can also use these three inputs to integrate love, truth, and pure energy. By reconciling them, by sensing what is not only the most loving action, but simultaneously the most truthful and healing, you discover wisdom. Sages seek wisdom in the same way that warriors seek challenge and artisans seek originality.

Artisans have five inputs to help them in their quest. Their “screen” is divided into five sections similar to a pie divided into five pieces. These divisions, however, are not necessarily equal in size, and they can change. Images enter from the periphery of the screen toward the middle. What comes in through the piece of the pie labeled “A” might go back out in a different form through the piece “C.” The images are constantly moving and changing. This allows artisans to arrange and rearrange realities, creating new ones as a result.

Suppose that at this moment, an artisan has Dallas on input “A,” football on input “B,” “Tom and Jerry” cartoons on input “C,” and so forth. He is likely to change some of or all the channels before the programs are finished. He senses when he has what he needs to create something new, and then moves on, seeking more raw material.

There are inherent challenges in each way of inputting, and no way is better than another. The roles with one input have the advantage of greater stability. They can change channels but they still have just one image. Generally, those with one input wait for Dallas to be over before tuning in to the news, or whatever. Also, being more focused, they tend to plan what they are going to “watch” ahead of time.

The solid roles are basically dealing with what is. The inspirational roles want to add something higher or greater to what is. To do this, they have to simultaneously see what is as well as “that something more.” The expression roles, with three or five inputs, want to change what is. In a sense, they have more “on their plates” than the other roles. Life may not seem so simple to them. However, they are designed to be this way, so seeing various realities simultaneously isn’t foreign to them.

Although artisans, especially, and sages focus on creativity, all the roles can be creative in their own ways. The essential creativity of artisans and sages is to see new possibilities through combining diverse realities. The creativity of warriors, for example, is more straightforward. It is more likely to spring from an intimate knowledge of one reality than from drawing from more than one. If a warrior does draw from more than one, he does so deliberately rather than as an expression of his customary way of being, and he would tend to quickly refocus on one image.

You can learn to recognize inputs at work, but it isn’t as simple as saying that sages and artisans are more “spacy” because they have more inputs, although that is sometimes the case. “Spaciness” is disorientation stemming from not being able to handle whatever is on the screen, whether it is one image or five. However, five images can be especially disorienting if they are not being integrated.

Having multiple inputs brings diverse stimuli into one’s thinking and feeling. This is not the same as having an excessively busy mind, which, by the way, is more common with those who are intellectually centered, because they tend to use their minds a great deal. Thinking tends to be more orderly and efficient when the mind is centered and serene. Nonetheless, when sages’ minds, for instance, are centered, they are still receiving through their three inputs, and sages can shift their dominant attention among them. When scholars, who have one input, have busy minds, their content is likely to be on a single track or subject, rather than sages’ three. Priests, when their minds are busy, tend to conduct a debate between “higher” and “lower” points of view. Incidentally, this can engender feelings of guilt if they judge themselves as not measuring up to their vision of higher function.

Thinking itself is output, not input, and output is on one track; in other words, you can only consciously think (or do) one thing at a time. If you seem to be thinking more than one thing at a time, you are actually rapidly switching your focus back and forth. If you have multiple inputs, you might be integrating the multiple “tracks” “playing” in the background into your thinking. This can occur whether or not you are consciously engaging with them; much integration occurs unconsciously. It is this integration that is the foundation of artisans’ and sages’ creativity.

More material about Inputs, compiled from the Yahoo Michael list

Michael has said that inputs are like modular slots into which various kinds of perceptions can be plugged. One input is usually concerned with current reality, the more-or-less concrete, objective facts of circumstance. The three roles with just one input focus there, making them more solid, practical types. However, scholars are the least so of the three: they can become "absent minded professors" when they focus their one input on some train of thought.

For the priest, adding another "slot" that they can use for holding a perception of the higher good allows them both to be visionary and to bring their vision into practice. It is similar with servers, except their vision is "wide" rather than "tall," a vision of what would be good for the whole on a practical, earth-plane level.

It's more complex with sages and artisans. In Yarbro, Michael talks about how the three sage inputs makes performing energizing, whereas it can be enervating for, say, warriors. Sage actors on stage can pay attention to the audience, the other actors, and their lines at the same time. In other circumstances, they could use their inputs for other things. Two could also be temporarily dormant, such as when concentrating, which is not so natural for sages and artisans--this is partly why we are more easily bored and distracted.

An artisan creating a piece of art may be simultaneously aware of many different ideas he/she wants to put into it, making it easier to weave them together seamlessly, than, say, for a king artist, who has to go back and forth among those ideas. I've noticed that scholar artists can create complex, detailed art with a lot of concepts in it, but I think that's different.

Artisan art tends to be more surprising and inventive, maybe more right-brained, with more layers that the artist may not even be aware of; scholar art tends to be more calculated. Five inputs make it easier to make the kinds of connections between disparate elements that we also make in the dream state; artisans tend to daydream a lot and in general be thought of as dreamers.

BTW, I've noticed that artisans and priests, the two high-frequency roles, tend to have the most interesting, vivid nighttime dreams, as well as being the most visionary people (in different ways).

Action axis artists, such as Picasso and O'Keefe, tend to create bold, striking pieces. A lot of visionary, new age art is by priests (as well as artisans), I would imagine. I can see servers creating warm, perhaps decorative art such as still lifes that would help create a homey environment. Of course, essence twin role and casting, overleaves, astrology, training, and everything else also have an impact.

About Shepherd Hoodwin

Shepherd has been channeling since 1986. He also does intuitive readings, mediumship, past-life regression, healing, counseling, and channeling coaching, where he teaches others to channel. He has conducted workshops on the Michael teachings throughout the United States. His other books include Enlightenment for Nitwits, Loving from Your Soul: Creating Powerful Relationships, Meditations for Self-Discovery, Opening to Healing, Growing Through Joy, Being in the World, and more to come.

Visit his website at


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