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House Sitting South Australia
The Eagle & The Vulture; Two Archetypal Bird Dreams
When a comrade is too intensely embedded in the collective, outer
actuality of everyday life, the discovery in his or her own 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 indicate a religious endeavor. After all, they fly above us, closer to the heavens than we normally find ourselves.
Their parallel looks exhilarating. In the phenomenon of a jet where we might find ourselves flying faster and higher than birds, we torpid scarcity alert air, the wind in our hair so-to-speak, and we’re confined in largely derisory seats amongst further people, who moderately than lifting their arms entrained in synch with ours, are coughing, eating, sleeping, working, or looking further concerned than carefree.
Therefore when we fondle our fine feathered friends in dreams, we consider the context of course, but often surmise of the heights and freedom of the spirit.
Of a remarkably vast species, unless we are ornithologist, we mostly tab the birds we see in dreams generally.
Two important dreams I had at a time of consecrated initiation in my life delivered messages about two deviant paths due to the differences in the winged creatures and the situations in which they appeared.
Yet both dreams appeared to attestation worthwhile journeys.
I had been steeped in bewail when a vision lifted me out of my misery midpoint immediately.
At the situation of the dream I had not been a student of dram work, but even in my relative ignorance, I could observe that the reverie was a blessing. As background information, lease me field again that I had mislaid 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 elapsed his life.
Another applicable actuality relating to this expression in my children life was that my mother told my siblings and I that he died of a gist attack. In her keep startle and pain, she soldiered on, never visibly mourning, so that we did not show our grief either.
I grew up with a certain query about my father’s death but I kept it to myself and repressed what passion I had about those two tiring years.
I was logical becoming a duchess and my advent into womanhood was unnatural by what I had witnessed, a kindly of calm and sometimes not-so-quiet desperation in my father. I began to pick 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 time that my bird dreams occurred, I intellectually unstated that my reactions to the loss of a individual were irrational and at times, out of rate to the seriousness or need thereof, of the relationship. I “knew” that my unarticulated grief for my father surfaced and additional exacerbated my understand of loss.
Knowing however, didn’t assistance the passion to subside.
So when in my mid thirties, I was suffering from the betrayal of a individual I had been extraordinary convivial 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 comrade suggested I see her astrologer who lived on an island in Casco Bay, guise of Portland, Maine where I was living. I liked the impression of crossing the water, an archetypal theme 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 missing my appetite for meals and I lived on cigarettes and skip water. The clear October aspect injure me with its gorgeous auburn leaves and cerulean sky and the perceptive contrasting colors stabbed at my eyes like an insult, the entire countryside somehow provocative of my lost happiness.
A day for lovers, I thought.
Whatever the weather, during that arduous time, I seemed to turn each day into another inducement to mourn.
The beautiful landscape of churning minatory woebegone bedew wrapped around the speckled islands of the bay only made me fondle my loneliness additional intensely.
In my self-contained universe, every song on the radio seemed designed to carry back the device of my lover, our quixotic ritual of dancing in his living room. I wallowed in memories.
Images played through my disposition like some dopey refrain of the simple harmonization he’d introduced me to and yet, totally the wailing georgic diva myself, I kept bringing them back in direction to ask myself why it harm so much. Was it logical the bovines cliché, betrayal, jealousy, disillusion and ignomity I felt, or was it truly losing the material of this wonderful man from my life that caused me this irrepressible grief? I was convinced of the latter. Some things you moderate know.
As I debarked from the boat and bad on foot up one of the unpaved roads of the island, my anger was elapsed but the grief puddled up in my object so that only the consistent throb of my sighs, like the whitecaps, one after another washing against the boat, could convince me I was inactive living. As clueless as the gaping gulls who waddled toward me in pursuit 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 haggard from the street symbols to the inhuman flower gardens, the slatted fences and yards littered with tricycles and lawn chairs even this behind in the season.
The weeds which had begun to overtake the gardens seemed to aroma 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 time at all. Yet within my two hour meeting this lovely and accomplished astrologer, a intelligent noblewoman and mistress of metaphor, was able to allot me explanations about the fragile territory of my psyche that made further recognize than the cognitive I'd worked through in my therapy.
Her best symbol of me was that my hands were stuck in a Chinese puzzle.
The further I tried to wiggle them out, the additional I found them locked up. Without acceptance too technical, I’ll impartial say that she showed me how two thumping intense planetary transits were at work affecting my moon or emotions, and Venus, my relationship life.
She advised me to plainly surrender, to sit in my rocking chair by the fire, drinking tea with my favorite overlay around my shoulders, playing my saddest simple arias allowing myself to descend into the religious canyon of loss— (the explanation title here is divine) “Until you are lifted out,” she said.
“And you cede be lifted out.
” She peered at me seriously; “And when you are, you commit become someone completely new. ”
On the collective level, Pluto, the planet of damage and riches, had equitable entered the figure of Scorpio where it would remain for the later twelve years.
She explained that in postscript to my personal plight, the cosmos was creation an dynamic 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 transact many years to become apparent.
Oh yeah, the lyrical Age of Aquarius, I thought, remembering the sixties harmonious Hair. So how come I’m miserable? She said my kernel had chosen this particular impact and would be gap to a new purpose but first, thanks to Pluto's renovation technique, it essential to be stripped of emotional dependencies, so that I would learn the true disposition of love, which was unconditional. She explained that I had three planets in the eighth house, the common home for Pluto. Later, itemizing about Pluto I came across this adduce by the esteemed Jungian-Astrologer Liz Greene: "If there are many planets in the eighth, the the fellow must learn to look darkness in the frontage (85).
I didn’t really presume much astrology then, but I did notice that I had a loaded eighth abode and that mythically, the lineage is often the method into transformation and I idea of the poet Dante in his sinisteru woods, the mythical data of Persephone’s abduction, Odysseus' journey to Hades and the many literary figures and writers who went to the underworld before returning with new knowledge to deliver to the upper world.
I was further 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 key for my crisis clicked intuitively in a style 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 phenomenon more profound at work. My sense of loss was nearly disproportional to the detail of the event.
Among supplementary things I sage about my chart that day was the detail that I had been born to flee my father and with each new loss, the original doctrine of loss was triggered.
My stricken mother had cleverly gone on when my father died.
With her four family 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 practice we were already grieving. My mother did what she opinion was the remedy thing. Put one foot in model of the more and gambit forward.
But I thought I had worked through the themes of the missing father in my therapy during the years of my divorce.
To my amaze I found out that Saturn, the Patriarchal Father, was the ruler 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 strikingly the night my father died.
A detective had come to the door with his boater and coat.
My mother stood at the railing on the stairs and told us our father had had an accident and died of a nucleus attack. I remembered strikingly three speaking surfacing in my head: “he’s killed himself. ” Even at fifteen, my posses unaware intuited the detail I didn’t actually locate until I was twenty-nine.
On the trip back to the mainland, I felt for the boon case since the breakup as if my emotional and cognitive territory might now make some sense.
Somehow believing in a holy recovery and atonement was the most heartening concept I had heard in many months and I had politic the effect of the “Pluto square” was to blatant away what was not “serving” my “higher purpose.
” I was, entirely simply, in hell. Incarcerated by the classical God Hades, deep in the dominion of depression and loss.
Another word for the ruler of subterranean spaces was “Plutus” which procedure “riches.
” Treasures and resurrections were further associated with Pluto. What I didn’t recognize at that occasion was how uncommonly long the excursion would bear to yield these treasures.
But shortly thereafter, in earnest, I was lifted out by a major archetypal dream. I declared it as eminent by the numinosity of the images and the quality of emotional intensity it left me with.
I am moving on the beach with a kid maiden who is in my care.
She is cranky and nagging me.
I find her to be a legitimate pain in the peck . At some spot she steps on a twig and gets a splinter in her foot.
I try to earn the splinter out, and as I do, it flies from my hands, boomeranging out and then back into her forehead, hitting her redress between her eyes.
Now I am truly concerned about her because the splinter has become a wedge as gangling as a meat cleaver. I go to pull it out again but when I unchain it from her head, her skipper splits willing in sterile extremely surreal planes and out flies a huge bird.
The two remarkably cubically neat halves of her leader commune back into niche as the eagle flaps its weighty wings and flies above and around us.
We clutch each additional squealing and laughing in awe of the bird’s power, theatre like giddy young girls and I fondle a deep love this girl.
This dram was a tremendous release.
I wasn't sure of all the implications but I knew the miss I didn't deficiency any measure of was me at thirteen or fourteen, that it spoke of an infant wound, most likely my father's death, and that out of this girl's pain had come a vast bird.
It seemed to me the slash of abandoning betrothed and the slash of the father were overlaid and had thrown me back to the maid who had never healed, who lived with this offspring now redress 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 additional contradiction augury.
But this colleen was a enormous eagle with an ponderous wingspan and what I felt from the image of it flapping its wings was the sheer physical fastness of its body.
It was the rhapsody of witnessing that huge, muscular entity and teaching the firmness of its wings that delighted me and the heirs daydream girl. It is hard to convey the fascination and fulfilment we felt in watching the enormity of that miss bear off.
The American and Native American quantity of the eagle is applicable to celestial omnipotence.
Furthermore, the eagle is associated with the sun's power. It is Zeus's man in Greek myths, and to the Christian mystics, is a amount of Christ's ascension, “ . . . furthermore an feature of John the Evangelist . . . Jung regards the eagle as a father symbol. ” (Imagine my surprise!!!) (The Herder Symbol Dictionary 63) I found even fresh synchronistic meaning in J. C. Cooper's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols: “ . . . liberate from bondage . . . Alchemic: The soaring eagle is the liberated portion of the prima materia . . . resurrection and the new life in baptism: the gist renewed by charm “ (italics mine).
In the daydream there was a transformation and the probe slash was instantaneously healed.
It was only latter that I realized in Freudian psychology that the foot cut is a sexual wound, the Oedipal gash from the father. In the data of Oedipus, the kid boy 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 final in life is to unconsciously leave incest and beget successors 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 issue girl's splinter or foot slash becomes a cleft in her head, an uneducated complex. When the hurtful entity is released, the consecrated firmness flies out in the form of the eagle.
The alchemical gold of transformation is in the cause of depression, as the lass is in the whining adolescent's head.
I felt so striking and relieved that I actually impression my trauma was now over. I felt I had arrived on the new level. Was this the “lifting out” Mary Alice had predicted? You consign be someone new. This is not to talk there weren't recurring relapses into moan and further pining, but I felt I had a leg up from the abysmal quarry of depression I'd lived in for so long.
A few days after the desire 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 speaking I realized I wanted to go back into therapy.
Driving to a trifling seacoast town an hour away, I began going twice a week for two hour and a half sessions with Winona, a petite duchess who grew up in New England and had logical reciprocal after spending twenty or so years in Belgium and Switzerland where she tame at the C. G. Jung Institute in Kusnacht, facade Zurich. By this time my ex and I had sold and break the proceeds of our house.
I bought the beach condo and used some of the cash 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 list them express enough. Nor could I delay writing poems.
It was a tremendously introspective but fruitful time.
It's vocal that the early dreams in an analysis set the themes for the perfect analysis and so it was in my hold experience.
Here is my boon fantasy (with another bird) where I conjecture I found a new view of myself and the undertaking I had to do.
I am on a beautiful beach. It is the shape of my neighborhood beach but
much supplementary tropical further like the beach in New Zealand which I recently
maxim on the postcard I received from a dear friend.
I am moving with my son
and we see in the distance, expressive towards us, an terminated woman wearing a
babushka and flying a kite.
My eight year expired son is excited to nuzzle the kite.
As the lapsed lady approaches us, she looks me straight in the eye and holds
out her arm to workman me the kite string. My son is jumping up and down,
trying to snatch it.
As I look up at the kite itself, I notice it is not an inanimate
item but a live vulture that the obsolete noblewoman is flying on a leash. I back away
from her, shaking my commander No . . . No, I don't lack anything to do with a
But my progeny son jumps up and down adage “Take it Mom,
Please take it.
” I obtain shaking my master and aid away, pulling him
away until I trap the eye of the lapsed duchess again and she nods at me as if to
say, “Honey, you'd improve transact this vulture.
It belongs to you. ”
Most of us distinguish and spot the vulture as the maiden who feeds on the dead.
But what I didn't see at the juncture was the significance of the vulture as a unit of underworld wisdom. It was consecrated to the Egyptians as a guardian of the doorway between life and death. In a Jungian sense, the crest came from the collective unconscious, a heavy archetypal image, universally comprehended as an collaboration with the dead.
Again, the quantity dictionaries emphasized interpretations synchronistic to my particular experience.
“Since it eats carrion and transforms it into vital energy, the vulture . . . knows the enigma of the transformation of worthless relevant into gold.
” (Herder, 211) And “Ambivalent as maternal solicitude, cover and shelter, and as death-dealing ruination and voracity.
All vultures were opinion to be noblewoman and symbolized the feminine principle with the peddle as mainly (italics mine) . . . As a scavenger the vulture represented purification, a workman of good.
In Egypt it represented the Mother Goddess, maternity and love, Isis having assumed the cave of a vulture” (Cooper).
I had had two schoolgirl dreams, one with the father's incision which transforms to a terrible inner masculine figure and one with a crone, a politic 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 familiar with neither at the situation of the dreams.
These were “big dreams,” with collective signs which came at a time of crisis.
With the help of my analyst, I took the vulture dram in two ways.
I was conceivably lifted out of my npromising lair but by no system had I put my misery tardy me.
It was circumstance to mine this underworld and come to grips with its contents.
As the dominion of the dead, it furthermore constituted the world of my father. I knew I must go back and look at how I had integrated the rejection squad of my father.
My family son's sentiment in the dream, his excitement and delectation to bring on the vulture, to lease it fly as his retain pet, showed in Jung's terms, my issue animus or my newly reborn creative mainly side, eager and capable of handling this material. I must arise the vulture.
And the expired lady, whom I associated to my Polish grandmother, a pious and spiritually learned immigrant with an permanent faith in the supernatural-she was the archetypal Wise Old Woman.
What had become of the hag, the menacing troupe of the Great Mother? Foolishly, I idea she was foregone for good.
I didn't recognize then that in times of new emotional setbacks which carried repressed envenom or fear, she would reappear again, often in the sett of a bag lady.
But for now, I was thrilled to obtain an older countess as an inner mentor, a crone.
I furthermore had her in Winona, who was far from crone-looking but older and wiser than I in the globe of dreams.
But this former lady in the reverie was moreover a latent part of me, the portion that was wiser than my ego, who I thought I was, what I opinion I needed, that narrow area to which we limit ourselves from our unique egoic perception.
I intelligent not to trust the ego's grade in the dream. The conscious self did not deficiency the vulture; the illiterate animus, my son, was raring to move it on! With Winona's help, I could see from the sage woman's perspective that she knew better than my personality did.
The dream clicked in the specific edict of my new “path. ” Dream venture seemed a prime fellow to poetry, my chosen field.
I’ve been immersed in the imagery of both ever since.
Cooper, An Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Traditional Symbols.