House Of Stolberg
House Of Stolberg
The Eagle & The Vulture; Two Archetypal Bird Dreams
When a person is too painfully embedded in the collective, outer
gospel of everyday life, the discovery in his or her retain dreams of
universal, archetypal images .
can be a freeing experience.
(Jungian Dream Interpretation Hall, 114)
In the cosmos of archetypal symbolism birds in our dreams often signal a religious endeavor.
After all, they fly above us, closer to the heavens than we normally find ourselves.
Their parallel looks exhilarating.
In the object of a jet where we might find ourselves flying faster and higher than birds, we still scarcity willing air, the wind in our hair so-to-speak, and we’re confined in largely paltry seats amongst other people, who tolerably than lifting their arms entrained in synch with ours, are coughing, eating, sleeping, working, or looking fresh concerned than carefree.
Therefore when we endure our fine feathered friends in dreams, we consider the context of course, but often imagine of the heights and deliverance of the spirit.
Of a very large species, unless we are ornithologist, we largely tag the birds we see in dreams generally.
Two famous dreams I had at a time of hallowed training in my life delivered messages about two abnormal paths due to the differences in the winged creatures and the situations in which they appeared.
Yet both dreams appeared to oath worthwhile journeys.
I had been steeped in deplore when a daydream lifted me out of my melancholy midpoint immediately.
At the juncture of the dram I had not been a academic of wish work, but even in my relative ignorance, I could caress that the vision was a blessing.
As background information, lease me province again that I had missing my father in adolescence.
When I was thirteen he suffered a trembling breakdown and when I was fifteen he died of a self-administered overdose of drugs.
He was a doctor, so I often wondered if he had intentionally recent his life.
Another relevant detail relating to this title in my offspring life was that my mother told my siblings and I that he died of a soul attack.
In her own thrill and pain, she soldiered on, never visibly mourning, so that we did not express our grief either.
I grew up with a certain doubt about my father’s death but I kept it to myself and repressed what heart I had about those two fatiguing years.
I was equitable becoming a gentlewoman and my advent into womanhood was theatrical by what I had witnessed, a cordial of calm and sometimes not-so-quiet desperation in my father.
I began to collect boyfriends and later, men friends, who would discontinue me and I often reacted with some berserk end-of-the-world responses to the termination of these relationships.
By the time that my bird dreams occurred, I intellectually undeclared that my reactions to the loss of a friend were irrational and at times, out of percentage to the seriousness or absence thereof, of the relationship.
I “knew” that my unarticulated grief for my father surfaced and supplementary exacerbated my comprehend of loss.
Knowing however, didn’t backing the affection to subside.
So when in my mid thirties, I was suffering from the betrayal of a fellow I had been extraordinary jolly with, I didn’t seek out traditional therapy, having bygone through five years of that a few years back after a divorce.
One day a companion suggested I see her astrologer who lived on an island in Casco Bay, face of Portland, Maine where I was living.
I liked the conviction of crossing the water, an archetypal keynote in itself, to find some answers as to why my grief was inconsolable.
I sat on the ferry at ten in the morning, smoking a cigarette.
In those days I’d mislaid my appetite for meals and I lived on cigarettes and spring water.
The decided October aspect abuse me with its gorgeous auburn leaves and cerulean sky and the sensitive contrasting colors stabbed at my eyes like an insult, the entire aspect somehow provocative of my missing happiness.
A day for lovers, I thought.
Whatever the weather, during that hard time, I seemed to turn each day into another instigation to mourn.
The beautiful scene of churning ominous gloomy irrigate wrapped around the speckled islands of the bay only made me stroke my loneliness fresh intensely.
In my self-contained universe, every song on the radio seemed designed to carry back the device of my lover, our idealistic ritual of dancing in his living room.
I wallowed in memories.
Images played through my temperament like some dopey refrain of the georgic rhythm he’d introduced me to and yet, completely the wailing georgic diva myself, I kept bringing them back in command to ask myself why it hurt so much.
Was it just the cows cliché, betrayal, jealousy, sour and disgrace I felt, or was it truly losing the structure of this wonderful partner from my life that caused me this irrepressible grief? I was convinced of the latter.
Some things you unbiased know.
As I debarked from the ship and turned on foot up one of the unpaved roads of the island, my envenom was ended but the grief puddled up in my thing so that only the consistent rhythm of my sighs, like the whitecaps, one after another washing castigate the boat, could convince me I was inactive living.
As clueless as the gaping gulls who waddled toward me in aim of a hand-out, I had crossed the wet to find an answer.
Once on the island, I followed the twists in the dirt road according to a scribbled map, my ogle pinched from the street symbols to the beastly flower gardens, the slatted fences and yards littered with tricycles and lawn chairs even this overdue in the season.
The weeds which had begun to overtake the gardens seemed to flavour of decay.
I entered Mary Alice’s screened-in porch and rang the bell.
Though I doubted I would find any solace in the reading, I was curious as to what she could gossip without knowing me or my situation at all.
Yet within my two hour meeting this lovely and talented astrologer, a shrewd gentlewoman and mistress of metaphor, was able to present me explanations about the fragile sector of my psyche that made more notice than the reasoning I'd worked through in my therapy.
Her prime crest of me was that my hands were stuck in a Chinese puzzle.
The further I tried to wiggle them out, the further I found them locked up.
Without acceptance too technical, I’ll reasonable gossip that she showed me how two extraordinary intense planetary transits were at afafir affecting my moon or emotions, and Venus, my relationship life.
She advised me to simply surrender, to sit in my rocking chair by the fire, drinking tea with my favorite cloak around my shoulders, playing my saddest country arias allowing myself to descend into the doctrinal ravine of loss— (the explanation interval here is divine) “Until you are lifted out,” she said.
“And you bequeath be lifted out.
” She peered at me seriously; “And when you are, you entrust become someone fairly new.
On the collective level, Pluto, the planet of havoc and riches, had reasonable entered the device of Scorpio where it would remain for the later twelve years.
She explained that in supplement to my personal plight, the creation was forging an racy shift itself and that as we came closer to the millennium, many nation were tapping into an awakening.
Humanity itself was gearing up for a major evolutionary leap, one which would carry many years to become apparent.
Oh yeah, the dulcet Age of Aquarius, I thought, remembering the sixties lyrical Hair.
So how come I’m miserable? She oral my soul had chosen this particular influence and would be opening to a new purpose but first, thanks to Pluto's renovation technique, it obligatory to be stripped of emotional dependencies, so that I would learn the true attitude of love, which was unconditional.
She explained that I had three planets in the eighth house, the natural home for Pluto.
Later, declaiming about Pluto I came across this quote by the famous Jungian-Astrologer Liz Greene: "If there are many planets in the eighth, the the person must learn to look darkness in the facade (85).
I didn’t really understand much astrology then, but I did know that I had a loaded eighth dwelling and that mythically, the ancestry is often the procedure into transformation and I belief of the poet Dante in his npromising woods, the mythological facts of Persephone’s abduction, Odysseus' cruise to Hades and the many literary figures and writers who went to the underworld before returning with new learning to deliver to the upper world.
I was moreover aware of the many poets who never rose from their descent: Plath, Sexton, Berryman, Crane, and so many of the French writers I’d studied in college, as well as my hold father.
Mary Alice’s astrological answer for my crisis clicked intuitively in a manner I couldn’t explain.
As psycho-babbly as these astrological terms (“Pluto square, Saturn transit”) sounded to me at the time, I sensed there was entity more profound at work.
My understand of loss was partly disproportional to the fact of the event.
Among additional things I sensible about my chart that day was the gospel that I had been born to duck my father and with each new loss, the original teaching of loss was triggered.
My stricken mother had plainly elapsed on when my father died.
With her four successors in tow, she never allowed herself or us to collectively grieve.
It was a different era back in 1963.
President Kennedy death preceded by father’s by three weeks and in a way we were already grieving.
My mother did what she idea was the fix thing.
Put one foot in vanguard of the supplementary and play forward.
But I conviction I had worked through the themes of the mislaid father in my therapy during the years of my divorce.
To my confound I found out that Saturn, the Patriarchal Father, was the mikadokaiser of my particular astrological chart and both my Pluto and my Saturn, as well as Mars, the planet of war and will, were located in the eighth house, the native domicile of Scorpio, the most intense and emotional sign.
I remembered distinctly the night my father died.
A detective had come to the door with his hat and coat.
My mother stood at the handrail on the stairs and told us our father had had an accident and died of a marrow attack.
I remembered distinctly three utterance surfacing in my head: “he’s killed himself.
” Even at fifteen, my posses illiterate intuited the reality I didn’t actually locate until I was twenty-nine.
On the travels back to the mainland, I felt for the first instance since the breakup as if my emotional and cognitive department might now make some sense.
Somehow believing in a sacred salvage and recovery was the most heartening concept I had heard in many months and I had shrewd the generate of the “Pluto square” was to striking away what was not “serving” my “higher purpose.
” I was, fairly simply, in hell.
Incarcerated by the classical God Hades, deep in the empire of depression and loss.
Another expression for the sovereign of subterranean spaces was “Plutus” which procedure “riches.
” Treasures and resurrections were moreover associated with Pluto.
What I didn’t understand at that situation was how extraordinary want the expedition would manage to yield these treasures.
But shortly thereafter, in earnest, I was lifted out by a major archetypal dream.
I confessed it as noted by the numinosity of the images and the grade of emotional intensity it left me with.
I am mobile on the beach with a baby schoolgirl who is in my care.
She is cranky and nagging me.
I find her to be a veritable pain in the peck .
At some dot she steps on a twig and gets a splinter in her foot.
I try to get the splinter out, and as I do, it flies from my hands, boomeranging out and then back into her forehead, hitting her amend between her eyes.
Now I am truly concerned about her because the splinter has become a wedge as colossal as a meat cleaver.
I go to pull it out again but when I unchain it from her head, her skipper splits sensitive in antiseptic remarkably surreal planes and out flies a colossal bird.
The two thumping cubically neat halves of her head flock back into recess as the eagle flaps its bulky wings and flies above and around us.
We embrace each supplementary squealing and laughing in awe of the bird’s power, acting like giddy issue girls and I touch a deep love this girl.
This vision was a tremendous release.
I wasn't sure of all the implications but I knew the bird I didn't want any allocation of was me at thirteen or fourteen, that it spoke of an baby wound, most likely my father's death, and that out of this girl's pain had come a giant bird.
It seemed to me the cut of abandoning betrothed and the cut of the father were overlaid and had thrown me back to the maid who had never healed, who lived with this descendants now amend between the eyes.
Depending on the genus, birds are often associated with the spiritual world, the heavens, although some like the owl, albatross or raven are associated with other negative augury.
But this maiden was a gigantic eagle with an substantial wingspan and what I felt from the figure of it flapping its wings was the sheer physical fastness of its body.
It was the ecstasy of witnessing that huge, muscular item and viewpoint the strength of its wings that delighted me and the progeny reverie girl.
It is arduous to convey the fascination and fulfilment we felt in watching the enormity of that colleen bring off.
The American and Native American quantity of the eagle is allied to celestial omnipotence.
Furthermore, the eagle is associated with the sun's power.
It is Zeus's person in Greek myths, and to the Christian mystics, is a unit of Christ's ascension, “ .
besides an quality of John the Evangelist .
Jung regards the eagle as a father symbol.
” (Imagine my surprise!!!) (The Herder Symbol Dictionary 63) I found even further synchronistic meaning in J.
Cooper's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols: “ .
release from bondage .
Alchemic: The soaring eagle is the liberated portion of the prima materia .
resurrection and the new life in baptism: the heart renewed by symmetry “ (italics mine).
In the desire there was a transformation and the master wound was instantaneously healed.
It was only hindmost that I realized in Freudian psychology that the foot incision is a sexual wound, the Oedipal cut from the father.
In the data of Oedipus, the child lad is shackled to a rock with a pin through his foot, left to die from exposure.
Freud associated Oedipus' foot with the phallus, as his crime latter in life is to unconsciously cede incest and beget heirs with his mother/wife.
His father had wounded his foot and after Oedipus escapes and is adopted, he grows up and unknowingly kills his real father.
The children girl's splinter or foot incision becomes a slash in her head, an unconscious complex.
When the wounding device is released, the hallowed strength flies out in the hole of the eagle.
The alchemical gold of transformation is in the govern of depression, as the bird is in the whining adolescent's head.
I felt so striking and pleased that I actually concept my trauma was now over.
I felt I had arrived on the new level.
Was this the “lifting out” Mary Alice had predicted? You will be someone new.
This is not to chatter there weren't recurring relapses into sorrow and supplementary pining, but I felt I had a leg up from the abysmal pit of depression I'd lived in for so long.
A few days after the fantasy I picked up a poem by the Hungarian poet Miraslav Holub and peruse the lines You ask the answer, it is but one word-Again.
As I interpret these speaking I realized I wanted to go back into therapy.
Driving to a meagre seacoast town an hour away, I began going twice a week for two hour and a half sessions with Winona, a petite countess who grew up in New England and had fair mutual after spending twenty or so years in Belgium and Switzerland where she private at the C.
Jung Institute in Kusnacht, facade Zurich.
By this circumstance my ex and I had sold and breach the proceeds of our house.
I bought the beach condo and used some of the pecuniary for analysis.
Due to the intensity of three analytic hours a week, during this circuit of therapy, my dreams both descended from the heavens and rose like steam from the underworld and I could not register them fast enough.
Nor could I stop writing poems.
It was a tremendously introspective but fruitful time.
It's oral that the early dreams in an analysis set the themes for the full analysis and so it was in my hold experience.
Here is my first desire (with another bird) where I conjecture I found a new landscape of myself and the task I had to do.
I am on a beautiful beach.
It is the manipulate of my neighborhood beach but
much supplementary tropical further like the beach in New Zealand which I recently
adage on the postcard I received from a dear friend.
I am motile with my son
and we see in the distance, ambulatory towards us, an expired gentlewoman wearing a
babushka and flying a kite.
My eight year obsolete son is excited to hug the kite.
As the old lady approaches us, she looks me long in the eye and holds
out her arm to drudge me the kite string.
My son is jumping up and down,
trying to take it.
As I look up at the kite itself, I decree it is not an inanimate
thing but a live vulture that the obsolete female is flying on a leash.
I back away
from her, shaking my head No .
No, I don't dearth anything to do with a
But my descendants son jumps up and down epigram “Take it Mom,
Please manage it.
” I posses shaking my captain and backing away, pulling him
away until I pitfall the eye of the lapsed peeress again and she nods at me as if to
say, “Honey, you'd improve bear this vulture.
It belongs to you.
Most of us ascertain and name the vulture as the bird who feeds on the dead.
But what I didn't see at the juncture was the significance of the vulture as a numeral of underworld wisdom.
It was religious to the Egyptians as a guardian of the doorway between life and death.
In a Jungian sense, the symbol came from the collective unconscious, a heavy archetypal image, universally comprehended as an alliance with the dead.
Again, the symbol dictionaries emphasized interpretations synchronistic to my particular experience.
“Since it eats carrion and transforms it into required energy, the vulture .
knows the puzzle of the transformation of worthless allied into gold.
” (Herder, 211) And “Ambivalent as maternal solicitude, refuge and shelter, and as death-dealing devastation and voracity.
All vultures were belief to be female and symbolized the feminine credo with the doorstep as mainly (italics mine) .
As a scavenger the vulture represented purification, a navvy of good.
In Egypt it represented the Mother Goddess, maternity and love, Isis having conceptual the covert of a vulture” (Cooper).
I had had two colleen dreams, one with the father's nick which transforms to a dreadful inner male amount and one with a crone, a prudent inner feminine associated with the Egyptian Mother Goddess, Isis.
Consciously, in my quotidian life, I had no instigation for having dreamt these symbols.
I was known with neither at the occasion of the dreams.
These were “big dreams,” with collective hieroglyphics which came at a juncture of crisis.
With the aid of my analyst, I took the vulture vision in two ways.
I was maybe lifted out of my threatening lair but by no practice had I put my melancholy slow me.
It was case to mine this underworld and come to grips with its contents.
As the section of the dead, it further constituted the globe of my father.
I knew I must go back and look at how I had integrated the rejection squad of my father.
My progeny son's emotion in the dream, his excitement and delectation to bring on the vulture, to rent it fly as his obtain pet, showed in Jung's terms, my offspring animus or my newly reborn creative masculine side, eager and capable of handling this material.
I must ensue the vulture.
And the expired lady, whom I associated to my Polish grandmother, a pious and spiritually wise immigrant with an continuing faith in the supernatural-she was the archetypal Wise Old Woman.
What had become of the hag, the npromising bunch of the Great Mother? Foolishly, I thought she was former for good.
I didn't recognize then that in times of new emotional setbacks which carried repressed sour or fear, she would reappear again, often in the form of a bag lady.
But for now, I was thrilled to hold an older countess as an inner mentor, a crone.
I further had her in Winona, who was far from crone-looking but older and wiser than I in the cosmos of dreams.
But this expired lady in the reverie was moreover a hidden ration of me, the share that was wiser than my ego, who I notion I was, what I conviction I needed, that narrow gamut to which we control ourselves from our unique egoic perception.
I politic not to trust the ego's level in the dream.
The conscious self did not scarcity the vulture; the illiterate animus, my son, was raring to manage it on! With Winona's help, I could see from the prudent woman's perspective that she knew correct than my individuality did.
The reverie clicked in the specific order of my new “path.
” Dream activity seemed a best friend to poetry, my chosen field.
I’ve been immersed in the imagery of both ever since.
Cooper, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols.
London: Thames and Hudson, Ltd.
Hall, James, Jungian Dream Interpretation, Toronto: Inner City Books, 1983