House Sitters America
House Sitters America
The Eagle & The Vulture; Two Archetypal Bird Dreams
When a comrade is too extremely embedded in the collective, outer
actuality of everyday life, the discovery in his or her have dreams of
universal, archetypal images .
can be a freeing experience.
(Jungian Dream Interpretation Hall, 114)
In the totality of archetypal symbolism birds in our dreams often motion a hallowed endeavor.
After all, they fly above us, closer to the heavens than we normally find ourselves.
Their scope looks exhilarating.
In the something of a jet where we might find ourselves flying faster and higher than birds, we dormant deprivation alert air, the wind in our hair so-to-speak, and we’re confined in mainly trifling seats amongst supplementary people, who fairly than lifting their arms entrained in synch with ours, are coughing, eating, sleeping, working, or looking other concerned than carefree.
Therefore when we caress our fine feathered friends in dreams, we consider the context of course, but often conjecture of the heights and liberation of the spirit.
Of a extraordinary mammoth species, unless we are ornithologist, we largely categorize the birds we see in dreams generally.
Two important dreams I had at a instance of hallowed probation in my life delivered messages about two irregular paths due to the differences in the winged creatures and the situations in which they appeared.
Yet both dreams appeared to avowal worthwhile journeys.
I had been steeped in groan when a dream lifted me out of my dejection nearly immediately.
At the situation of the wish I had not been a egghead of reverie work, but even in my relative ignorance, I could endure that the desire was a blessing.
As background information, sublet me area again that I had misplaced 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 past his life.
Another relevant gospel relating to this period in my young life was that my mother told my siblings and I that he died of a kernel attack.
In her retain excite and pain, she soldiered on, never visibly mourning, so that we did not express our grief either.
I grew up with a certain enquiry about my father’s death but I kept it to myself and repressed what heart I had about those two heavy years.
I was fair becoming a female and my advent into womanhood was stilted by what I had witnessed, a friendly of calmness and sometimes not-so-quiet desperation in my father.
I began to reap boyfriends and later, men friends, who would stop me and I often reacted with some mad end-of-the-world responses to the termination of these relationships.
By the point that my maiden dreams occurred, I intellectually understood that my reactions to the loss of a man were irrational and at times, out of percentage to the seriousness or privation thereof, of the relationship.
I “knew” that my unarticulated grief for my father surfaced and additional exacerbated my comprehend of loss.
Knowing however, didn’t assistance the love to subside.
So when in my mid thirties, I was suffering from the betrayal of a person I had been very jocular with, I didn’t seek out traditional therapy, having former through five years of that a few years back after a divorce.
One day a man suggested I see her astrologer who lived on an island in Casco Bay, outside of Portland, Maine where I was living.
I liked the thought of crossing the water, an archetypal thesis 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 gambol water.
The striking October aspect maltreat me with its gorgeous auburn leaves and cerulean sky and the receptive contrasting colors stabbed at my eyes like an insult, the complete scene somehow provocative of my mislaid happiness.
A day for lovers, I thought.
Whatever the weather, during that strenuous time, I seemed to turn each day into another instigation to mourn.
The beautiful view of churning ominous woebegone irrigate wrapped around the speckled islands of the bay only made me observe my loneliness fresh intensely.
In my self-contained universe, every song on the radio seemed designed to bear back the crest of my lover, our quixotic ritual of dancing in his living room.
I wallowed in memories.
Images played through my attitude like some dopey refrain of the country air he’d introduced me to and yet, entirely the wailing rural diva myself, I kept bringing them back in behest to ask myself why it molest so much.
Was it equitable the stock cliché, betrayal, jealousy, disillusion and shame I felt, or was it truly losing the material of this wonderful partner 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 craft and sour on foot up one of the unpaved roads of the island, my embitter was foregone but the grief puddled up in my thing so that only the consistent speed of my sighs, like the whitecaps, one after another washing condemn the boat, could convince me I was stagnant living.
As clueless as the gaping gulls who waddled toward me in pursuit of a hand-out, I had crossed the irrigate to find an answer.
Once on the island, I followed the twists in the dirt road according to a scribbled map, my ogle strained from the street notation to the wild flower gardens, the slatted fences and yards littered with tricycles and lawn chairs even this late in the season.
The weeds which had begun to overtake the gardens seemed to tang 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 chatter without knowing me or my time at all.
Yet within my two hour meeting this lovely and accomplished astrologer, a judicious peeress and mistress of metaphor, was able to apportion me explanations about the fragile sector of my psyche that made fresh notice than the analytical I'd worked through in my therapy.
Her peak device of me was that my hands were stuck in a Chinese puzzle.
The other I tried to wiggle them out, the supplementary I found them locked up.
Without acceptance too technical, I’ll fair talk that she showed me how two remarkably intense planetary transits were at afafir affecting my moon or emotions, and Venus, my relationship life.
She advised me to aptly surrender, to sit in my rocking chair by the fire, drinking tea with my favorite cover around my shoulders, playing my saddest georgic arias allowing myself to descend into the dogmatic abyss of loss— (the gloss spell here is divine) “Until you are lifted out,” she said.
“And you entrust be lifted out.
” She peered at me seriously; “And when you are, you cede become someone wholly new.
On the collective level, Pluto, the planet of ravaging and riches, had impartial entered the device of Scorpio where it would remain for the following twelve years.
She explained that in appendix to my personal plight, the universe was production an racy 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 take many years to become apparent.
Oh yeah, the harmonious Age of Aquarius, I thought, remembering the sixties melodic Hair.
So how come I’m miserable? She uttered my gist had chosen this particular impact and would be aperture to a new purpose but first, thanks to Pluto's renovation technique, it requisite to be stripped of emotional dependencies, so that I would learn the true character 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 instance by the revered Jungian-Astrologer Liz Greene: "If there are many planets in the eighth, the the person must learn to look darkness in the guise (85).
I didn’t really understand much astrology then, but I did understand that I had a loaded eighth dwelling and that mythically, the lineage is often the means into transformation and I concept of the poet Dante in his dark woods, the mythological report of Persephone’s abduction, Odysseus' expedition to Hades and the many literary figures and writers who went to the underworld before returning with new erudition to deliver to the upper world.
I was besides 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 gloss for my crisis clicked intuitively in a way 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 something fresh profound at work.
My recognize of loss was halfway disproportional to the detail of the event.
Among further things I prudent about my chart that day was the gospel that I had been born to evade my father and with each new loss, the original dogma of loss was triggered.
My stricken mother had tidily former on when my father died.
With her four issue 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 means we were already grieving.
My mother did what she belief was the improve thing.
Put one foot in model of the other and machination forward.
But I belief I had worked through the themes of the gone father in my therapy during the years of my divorce.
To my astonish 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 habitat 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 bonnet and coat.
My mother stood at the handrail on the stairs and told us our father had had an accident and died of a soul attack.
I remembered plainly three words surfacing in my head: “he’s killed himself.
” Even at fifteen, my obtain unconscious intuited the detail I didn’t actually spot until I was twenty-nine.
On the journey back to the mainland, I felt for the peak juncture since the breakup as if my emotional and logical state might now make some sense.
Somehow believing in a religious recovery and retrieval was the most heartening impression I had heard in many months and I had sage the originate of the “Pluto square” was to recognizeable away what was not “serving” my “higher purpose.
” I was, quite simply, in hell.
Incarcerated by the classical God Hades, deep in the dominion of melancholy and loss.
Another word for the king of subterranean spaces was “Plutus” which routine “riches.
” Treasures and resurrections were moreover associated with Pluto.
What I didn’t perceive at that occasion was how extraordinary want the voyage would bring to yield these treasures.
But shortly thereafter, in earnest, I was lifted out by a major archetypal dream.
I declared it as great by the numinosity of the images and the standard of emotional intensity it left me with.
I am animated on the beach with a young girl who is in my care.
She is cranky and nagging me.
I find her to be a pure pain in the glance .
At some spot 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 rectify between her eyes.
Now I am truly concerned about her because the splinter has become a wedge as gigantic as a meat cleaver.
I go to pull it out again but when I free it from her head, her head splits alert in aseptic uncommonly surreal planes and out flies a enormous bird.
The two extremely cubically neat halves of her skipper fold back into recess as the eagle flaps its enormous wings and flies above and around us.
We embrace each additional squealing and laughing in awe of the bird’s power, dramaturgy like giddy progeny girls and I stroke a deep affection this girl.
This daydream was a tremendous release.
I wasn't sure of all the implications but I knew the schoolgirl I didn't privation any ration of was me at thirteen or fourteen, that it spoke of an teenager wound, most likely my father's death, and that out of this girl's pain had come a gargantuan bird.
It seemed to me the cleft of abandoning girlfriend and the cut of the father were overlaid and had thrown me back to the miss who had never healed, who lived with this descendants now remedy between the eyes.
Depending on the genus, birds are often associated with the hallowed world, the heavens, although some like the owl, albatross or raven are associated with fresh negative augury.
But this schoolgirl was a immense eagle with an heavy wingspan and what I felt from the symbol of it flapping its wings was the sheer physical fastness of its body.
It was the bliss of witnessing that huge, muscular item and opinion the firmness of its wings that delighted me and the young desire girl.
It is fatiguing to convey the fascination and delight we felt in watching the enormity of that lass transact off.
The American and Native American amount of the eagle is material to celestial omnipotence.
Furthermore, the eagle is associated with the sun's power.
It is Zeus's companion in Greek myths, and to the Christian mystics, is a numeral 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.
Cooper's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols: “ .
release from bondage .
Alchemic: The soaring eagle is the liberated part of the prima materia .
resurrection and the new life in baptism: the kernel renewed by charm “ (italics mine).
In the fantasy there was a transformation and the master nick was instantaneously healed.
It was only modern that I realized in Freudian psychology that the foot nick is a sexual wound, the Oedipal gash from the father.
In the report of Oedipus, the baby man 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 commit 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 real father.
The progeny girl's splinter or foot wound becomes a slash in her head, an nescient complex.
When the affronting something is released, the sanctified power flies out in the hole of the eagle.
The alchemical gold of transformation is in the prompt of depression, as the colleen is in the whining adolescent's head.
I felt so clear and thankful that I actually notion my trauma was now over.
I felt I had arrived on the new level.
Was this the “lifting out” Mary Alice had predicted? You entrust be someone new.
This is not to gibber there weren't recurring relapses into bemoan and other pining, but I felt I had a leg up from the abysmal pit of melancholy I'd lived in for so long.
A few days after the dream I picked up a poem by the Hungarian poet Miraslav Holub and scan the lines You ask the answer, it is but one word-Again.
As I construe these language I realized I wanted to go back into therapy.
Driving to a trivial seacoast town an hour away, I began going twice a week for two hour and a half sessions with Winona, a petite peeress who grew up in New England and had moderate shared after spending twenty or so years in Belgium and Switzerland where she trained at the C.
Jung Institute in Kusnacht, front Zurich.
By this point 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 round of therapy, my dreams both descended from the heavens and rose like steam from the underworld and I could not register them quick enough.
Nor could I gap writing poems.
It was a tremendously introspective but fruitful time.
It's verbal that the early dreams in an analysis set the themes for the finished analysis and so it was in my retain experience.
Here is my prime desire (with another bird) where I imagine I found a new aspect of myself and the activity I had to do.
I am on a beautiful beach.
It is the knead of my neighborhood beach but
much other tropical supplementary like the beach in New Zealand which I recently
proverb on the postcard I received from a dear friend.
I am mobile with my son
and we see in the distance, ambulatory towards us, an void peeress wearing a
babushka and flying a kite.
My eight year former son is excited to hold the kite.
As the old female approaches us, she looks me straggling in the eye and holds
out her arm to drudge me the kite string.
My son is jumping up and down,
trying to clutch it.
As I look up at the kite itself, I command it is not an inanimate
article but a live vulture that the lapsed woman is flying on a leash.
I back away
from her, shaking my probe No .
No, I don't dearth anything to do with a
But my young son jumps up and down epigram “Take it Mom,
Please manage it.
” I retain shaking my leader and offices away, pulling him
away until I hazard the eye of the lapsed female again and she nods at me as if to
say, “Honey, you'd change manage this vulture.
It belongs to you.
Most of us distinguish and recognize the vulture as the girl who feeds on the dead.
But what I didn't see at the situation was the significance of the vulture as a number of underworld wisdom.
It was consecrated to the Egyptians as a guardian of the entrance between life and death.
In a Jungian sense, the crest came from the collective unconscious, a enormous archetypal image, universally comprehended as an collaboration with the dead.
Again, the figure dictionaries emphasized interpretations synchronistic to my particular experience.
“Since it eats carrion and transforms it into needed energy, the vulture .
knows the question of the transformation of worthless pertinent into gold.
” (Herder, 211) And “Ambivalent as maternal solicitude, lee and shelter, and as death-dealing havoc and voracity.
All vultures were opinion to be noblewoman and symbolized the feminine doctrine with the peddle as masculine (italics mine) .
As a scavenger the vulture represented purification, a worker of good.
In Egypt it represented the Mother Goddess, maternity and love, Isis having theoretical the den of a vulture” (Cooper).
I had had two girl dreams, one with the father's wound which transforms to a awful inner male unit and one with a crone, a intelligent inner feminine associated with the Egyptian Mother Goddess, Isis.
Consciously, in my quotidian life, I had no cause for having dreamt these symbols.
I was confidential with neither at the instance of the dreams.
These were “big dreams,” with collective notation which came at a instance of crisis.
With the aegis of my analyst, I took the vulture reverie in two ways.
I was perhaps lifted out of my menacing hole but by no procedure had I put my despair behind me.
It was instance to mine this underworld and come to grips with its contents.
As the section of the dead, it besides constituted the cosmos of my father.
I knew I must go back and look at how I had integrated the denial side of my father.
My young son's response in the dream, his excitement and zeal to carry on the vulture, to hire it fly as his own pet, showed in Jung's terms, my spawn animus or my newly reborn creative virile side, eager and capable of handling this material.
I must ensue the vulture.
And the lapsed lady, whom I associated to my Polish grandmother, a pious and spiritually wise immigrant with an lasting faith in the supernatural-she was the archetypal Wise Old Woman.
What had become of the hag, the threatening gang of the Great Mother? Foolishly, I thought she was former for good.
I didn't recall then that in times of new emotional setbacks which carried repressed anger or fear, she would reappear again, often in the lair of a bag lady.
But for now, I was thrilled to own an older woman 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 system of dreams.
But this expired woman in the wish was moreover a hidden share of me, the ration that was wiser than my ego, who I thought I was, what I belief I needed, that narrow radius to which we limit ourselves from our unique egoic perception.
I wise not to trust the ego's class in the dream.
The conscious self did not need the vulture; the nescient animus, my son, was raring to manage it on! With Winona's help, I could see from the learned woman's perspective that she knew renovate than my singularity did.
The wish clicked in the specific edict of my new “path.
” Dream afafir seemed a top person 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