The Eagle & The Vulture; Two Archetypal Bird Dreams
When a companion is too keenly embedded in the collective, outer
detail of everyday life, the discovery in his or her obtain dreams of
universal, archetypal images .
can be a freeing experience.
(Jungian Dream Interpretation Hall, 114)
In the creation of archetypal symbolism birds in our dreams often motion a spiritual endeavor.
After all, they fly above us, closer to the heavens than we normally find ourselves.
Their parallel looks exhilarating.
In the article of a jet where we might find ourselves flying faster and higher than birds, we still deficiency flexible air, the wind in our hair so-to-speak, and we’re confined in mostly insignificant seats amongst additional people, who reasonably 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 assume of the heights and liberation of the spirit.
Of a remarkably goodly species, unless we are ornithologist, we mainly tag the birds we see in dreams generally.
Two celebrated dreams I had at a instance of holy probation in my life delivered messages about two anomalous paths due to the differences in the winged creatures and the situations in which they appeared.
Yet both dreams appeared to affirmation worthwhile journeys.
I had been steeped in moan when a fantasy lifted me out of my dejection nearly immediately.
At the instance of the fantasy I had not been a student of dram work, but even in my relative ignorance, I could fondle that the dream was a blessing.
As background information, agreement me province again that I had missing my father in adolescence.
When I was thirteen he suffered a anxious 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 former his life.
Another pertinent fact relating to this term in my children life was that my mother told my siblings and I that he died of a centre attack.
In her own thrill and pain, she soldiered on, never visibly mourning, so that we did not declare our grief either.
I grew up with a certain doubt about my father’s death but I kept it to myself and repressed what love I had about those two fatiguing years.
I was impartial becoming a countess and my advent into womanhood was mannered by what I had witnessed, a cordial of calm and sometimes not-so-quiet desperation in my father.
I began to reap boyfriends and later, men friends, who would drop me and I often reacted with some maniacal end-of-the-world responses to the termination of these relationships.
By the point that my maiden dreams occurred, I intellectually implicit that my reactions to the loss of a fellow were irrational and at times, out of standard to the seriousness or want thereof, of the relationship.
I “knew” that my unarticulated grief for my father surfaced and other exacerbated my understand of loss.
Knowing however, didn’t support the feelings to subside.
So when in my mid thirties, I was suffering from the betrayal of a individual I had been extraordinary jovial with, I didn’t seek out traditional therapy, having gone through five years of that a few years back after a divorce.
One day a individual suggested I see her astrologer who lived on an island in Casco Bay, facade of Portland, Maine where I was living.
I liked the idea of crossing the water, an archetypal idea 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 caper water.
The glaring October aspect maul me with its gorgeous auburn leaves and cerulean sky and the perceptive contrasting colors stabbed at my eyes like an insult, the finished countryside somehow provocative of my gone happiness.
A day for lovers, I thought.
Whatever the weather, during that strenuous time, I seemed to turn each day into another reason to mourn.
The beautiful view of churning dark blue wet wrapped around the speckled islands of the bay only made me perceive my loneliness further intensely.
In my self-contained universe, every song on the radio seemed designed to move back the symbol of my lover, our romantic ritual of dancing in his living room.
I wallowed in memories.
Images played through my disposition like some dopey refrain of the country harmonization he’d introduced me to and yet, fairly the wailing country diva myself, I kept bringing them back in order to ask myself why it maul so much.
Was it just the bovines cliché, betrayal, jealousy, poison and disfavour I felt, or was it truly losing the structure of this wonderful companion from my life that caused me this irrepressible grief? I was convinced of the latter.
Some things you fair know.
As I debarked from the ship and gamy on foot up one of the unpaved roads of the island, my sour was ended but the grief puddled up in my thing so that only the consistent pace of my sighs, like the whitecaps, one after another washing condemn the boat, could convince me I was inert living.
As clueless as the gaping gulls who waddled toward me in chase of a hand-out, I had crossed the humidify to find an answer.
Once on the island, I followed the twists in the dirt road according to a scribbled map, my gaze haggard from the street hieroglyphics to the barbarous flower gardens, the slatted fences and yards littered with tricycles and lawn chairs even this delayed in the season.
The weeds which had begun to overtake the gardens seemed to smell 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 gibber without knowing me or my case at all.
Yet within my two hour meeting this lovely and talented astrologer, a shrewd gentlewoman and mistress of metaphor, was able to allot me explanations about the fragile province of my psyche that made additional understand than the rational I'd worked through in my therapy.
Her finest crest of me was that my hands were stuck in a Chinese puzzle.
The more I tried to wiggle them out, the further I found them locked up.
Without receiving too technical, I’ll equitable natter that she showed me how two extremely intense planetary transits were at task affecting my moon or emotions, and Venus, my relationship life.
She advised me to neatly surrender, to sit in my rocking chair by the fire, drinking tea with my favorite envelop around my shoulders, playing my saddest innocent arias allowing myself to descend into the divine canyon of loss— (the key duration here is divine) “Until you are lifted out,” she said.
“And you commit be lifted out.
” She peered at me seriously; “And when you are, you leave become someone wholly new.
On the collective level, Pluto, the planet of havoc and riches, had logical entered the badge of Scorpio where it would remain for the sequential twelve years.
She explained that in supplement to my personal plight, the universe was making an vigorous shift itself and that as we came closer to the millennium, many mortals were tapping into an awakening.
Humanity itself was gearing up for a major evolutionary leap, one which would manage many years to become apparent.
Oh yeah, the dulcet Age of Aquarius, I thought, remembering the sixties harmonious Hair.
So how come I’m miserable? She said my gist had chosen this particular collision and would be fracture to a new purpose but first, thanks to Pluto's renovation technique, it required 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 standard home for Pluto.
Later, recital about Pluto I came across this present by the important Jungian-Astrologer Liz Greene: "If there are many planets in the eighth, the the friend must learn to look darkness in the face (85).
I didn’t really surmise much astrology then, but I did notice that I had a loaded eighth quarters and that mythically, the parentage is often the manner into transformation and I opinion of the poet Dante in his sinisteru woods, the allegorical data of Persephone’s abduction, Odysseus' cruise to Hades and the many literary figures and writers who went to the underworld before returning with new letters to deliver to the upper world.
I was furthermore 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 have father.
Mary Alice’s astrological interpretation for my crisis clicked intuitively in a fashion 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 thing other profound at work.
My understand of loss was almost disproportional to the reality of the event.
Among additional things I intelligent about my chart that day was the reality that I had been born to avoid my father and with each new loss, the original feeling of loss was triggered.
My stricken mother had simply former on when my father died.
With her four descendants 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 procedure we were already grieving.
My mother did what she belief was the rectify thing.
Put one foot in lead of the additional and stratagem forward.
But I impression I had worked through the themes of the mislaid father in my therapy during the years of my divorce.
To my stun I found out that Saturn, the Patriarchal Father, was the sovereign 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 clearly the night my father died.
A detective had come to the door with his bonnet and coat.
My mother stood at the fortification on the stairs and told us our father had had an accident and died of a soul attack.
I remembered distinctly three vocabulary surfacing in my head: “he’s killed himself.
” Even at fifteen, my obtain illiterate intuited the gospel I didn’t actually locate until I was twenty-nine.
On the excursion back to the mainland, I felt for the finest case since the breakup as if my emotional and mental department might now make some sense.
Somehow believing in a religious reclamation and recovery was the most heartening belief I had heard in many months and I had prudent the generate of the “Pluto square” was to decided away what was not “serving” my “higher purpose.
” I was, fairly simply, in hell.
Incarcerated by the classical God Hades, deep in the section of despair and loss.
Another name for the sovereign of subterranean spaces was “Plutus” which means “riches.
” Treasures and resurrections were furthermore associated with Pluto.
What I didn’t know at that case was how uncommonly long the expedition would bear to yield these treasures.
But shortly thereafter, in earnest, I was lifted out by a major archetypal dream.
I recognized it as important by the numinosity of the images and the quality of emotional intensity it left me with.
I am ambulatory on the beach with a baby lass who is in my care.
She is cranky and nagging me.
I find her to be a real pain in the smooch .
At some dab she steps on a twig and gets a splinter in her foot.
I try to attain the splinter out, and as I do, it flies from my hands, boomeranging out and then back into her forehead, hitting her fix between her eyes.
Now I am truly concerned about her because the splinter has become a wedge as high as a meat cleaver.
I go to pull it out again but when I liberate it from her head, her commander splits bright in sterile uncommonly surreal planes and out flies a gargantuan bird.
The two extraordinary cubically neat halves of her captain district back into cranny as the eagle flaps its massive wings and flies above and around us.
We hug each additional squealing and laughing in awe of the bird’s power, acting like giddy successors girls and I fondle a deep heart this girl.
This dream was a tremendous release.
I wasn't sure of all the implications but I knew the lass I didn't lack any allocation of was me at thirteen or fourteen, that it spoke of an kid 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 wound of abandoning girlfriend and the gash of the father were overlaid and had thrown me back to the maiden who had never healed, who lived with this young now correct 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 fresh dissension augury.
But this schoolgirl was a immense eagle with an enormous wingspan and what I felt from the token of it flapping its wings was the sheer physical force of its body.
It was the elation of witnessing that huge, muscular object and teaching the tenacity of its wings that delighted me and the children dram girl.
It is tiring to convey the fascination and pleasure we felt in watching the enormity of that maiden transact off.
The American and Native American character of the eagle is relevant to celestial omnipotence.
Furthermore, the eagle is associated with the sun's power.
It is Zeus's comrade in Greek myths, and to the Christian mystics, is a amount of Christ's ascension, “ .
also an attribute of John the Evangelist .
Jung regards the eagle as a father symbol.
” (Imagine my surprise!!!) (The Herder Symbol Dictionary 63) I found even additional synchronistic meaning in J.
Cooper's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols: “ .
unchain from bondage .
Alchemic: The soaring eagle is the liberated measure of the prima materia .
resurrection and the new life in baptism: the heart renewed by loveliness “ (italics mine).
In the wish there was a transformation and the leader wound was instantaneously healed.
It was only later that I realized in Freudian psychology that the foot gash is a sexual wound, the Oedipal wound from the father.
In the story of Oedipus, the youngster chap 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 entrust incest and beget offspring with his mother/wife.
His father had wounded his foot and after Oedipus escapes and is adopted, he grows up and unknowingly kills his veritable father.
The heirs girl's splinter or foot cut becomes a wound in her head, an uneducated complex.
When the abusive article is released, the consecrated fastness flies out in the tunnel of the eagle.
The alchemical gold of transformation is in the govern of depression, as the girl is in the whining adolescent's head.
I felt so striking and pleased that I actually conviction my trauma was now over.
I felt I had arrived on the new level.
Was this the “lifting out” Mary Alice had predicted? You leave be someone new.
This is not to prate there weren't recurring relapses into deplore and further pining, but I felt I had a leg up from the abysmal quarry of melancholy I'd lived in for so long.
A few days after the daydream I picked up a poem by the Hungarian poet Miraslav Holub and interpret the lines You ask the answer, it is but one word-Again.
As I construe these talking I realized I wanted to go back into therapy.
Driving to a small seacoast town an hour away, I began going twice a week for two hour and a half sessions with Winona, a petite noblewoman who grew up in New England and had unbiased shared after spending twenty or so years in Belgium and Switzerland where she tame at the C.
Jung Institute in Kusnacht, appearance Zurich.
By this time my ex and I had sold and division the proceeds of our house.
I bought the beach condo and used some of the financial for analysis.
Due to the intensity of three analytic hours a week, during this compass of therapy, my dreams both descended from the heavens and rose like steam from the underworld and I could not record them hasty enough.
Nor could I rest writing poems.
It was a tremendously introspective but fruitful time.
It's spoken that the early dreams in an analysis crystallize the themes for the flawless analysis and so it was in my posses experience.
Here is my best dram (with another bird) where I suppose I found a new prospect of myself and the assignment I had to do.
I am on a beautiful beach.
It is the press of my neighborhood beach but
much more tropical fresh like the beach in New Zealand which I recently
epigram on the postcard I received from a dear friend.
I am ambulatory with my son
and we see in the distance, mobile towards us, an lapsed lady wearing a
babushka and flying a kite.
My eight year old son is excited to clutch the kite.
As the void female approaches us, she looks me lifeless in the eye and holds
out her arm to menial me the kite string.
My son is jumping up and down,
trying to take it.
As I look up at the kite itself, I dictate it is not an inanimate
object but a live vulture that the void noblewoman is flying on a leash.
I back away
from her, shaking my probe No .
No, I don't want anything to do with a
But my descendants son jumps up and down aphorism “Take it Mom,
Please bring it.
” I retain shaking my skipper and support away, pulling him
away until I catch the eye of the invalid female again and she nods at me as if to
say, “Honey, you'd ameliorate transact this vulture.
It belongs to you.
Most of us name and distinguish the vulture as the miss who feeds on the dead.
But what I didn't see at the case was the significance of the vulture as a unit of underworld wisdom.
It was hallowed to the Egyptians as a guardian of the beginning between life and death.
In a Jungian sense, the crest came from the collective unconscious, a weighty archetypal image, universally comprehended as an collaboration 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 secret of the transformation of worthless material into gold.
” (Herder, 211) And “Ambivalent as maternal solicitude, protection and shelter, and as death-dealing havoc and voracity.
All vultures were thought to be woman and symbolized the feminine creed with the sell as manlike (italics mine) .
As a scavenger the vulture represented purification, a hand of good.
In Egypt it represented the Mother Goddess, maternity and love, Isis having theoretical the hole of a vulture” (Cooper).
I had had two lass dreams, one with the father's slash which transforms to a dreadful inner masculine unit and one with a crone, a wise inner feminine associated with the Egyptian Mother Goddess, Isis.
Consciously, in my quotidian life, I had no actuation for having dreamt these symbols.
I was familiar with neither at the time of the dreams.
These were “big dreams,” with collective symbols which came at a juncture of crisis.
With the support of my analyst, I took the vulture reverie in two ways.
I was possibly lifted out of my ominous covert but by no practice had I put my depression overdue me.
It was case to mine this underworld and come to grips with its contents.
As the section of the dead, it furthermore constituted the system of my father.
I knew I must go back and look at how I had integrated the opposite side of my father.
My progeny son's response in the dream, his excitement and zest to take on the vulture, to let it fly as his obtain pet, showed in Jung's terms, my family animus or my newly reborn creative manlike side, eager and capable of handling this material.
I must chance the vulture.
And the old lady, whom I associated to my Polish grandmother, a pious and spiritually learned immigrant with an lasting faith in the supernatural-she was the archetypal Wise Old Woman.
What had become of the hag, the dark side of the Great Mother? Foolishly, I conviction she was ended for good.
I didn't identify then that in times of new emotional setbacks which carried repressed anger or fear, she would reappear again, often in the den of a bag lady.
But for now, I was thrilled to have an older peeress 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 void peeress in the vision was furthermore a potential share of me, the measure that was wiser than my ego, who I thought I was, what I belief I needed, that narrow span to which we limit ourselves from our unique egoic perception.
I sensible not to trust the ego's status in the dream.
The conscious self did not lack the vulture; the nescient animus, my son, was raring to transact it on! With Winona's help, I could see from the sage woman's perspective that she knew improve than my identity did.
The dream clicked in the specific order of my new “path.
” Dream task seemed a finest partner 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