Ocean House Watch Hill
Ocean House Watch Hill
The Eagle & The Vulture; Two Archetypal Bird Dreams
When a comrade is too painfully embedded in the collective, outer
truth 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 universe of archetypal symbolism birds in our dreams often motion a holy endeavor.
After all, they fly above us, closer to the heavens than we normally find ourselves.
Their latitude looks exhilarating.
In the body of a jet where we might find ourselves flying faster and higher than birds, we quiescent lack alert air, the wind in our hair so-to-speak, and we’re confined in largely trivial seats amongst further people, who tolerably than lifting their arms entrained in synch with ours, are coughing, eating, sleeping, working, or looking further concerned than carefree.
Therefore when we observe our fine feathered friends in dreams, we consider the context of course, but often assume of the heights and deliverance of the spirit.
Of a very immense species, unless we are ornithologist, we chiefly tab the birds we see in dreams generally.
Two revered dreams I had at a time of sacred novitiate 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 affirmation worthwhile journeys.
I had been steeped in grieve when a dram lifted me out of my hopelessness partly immediately.
At the point of the vision I had not been a egghead of reverie work, but even in my relative ignorance, I could touch that the daydream was a blessing.
As background information, rent me sector again that I had mislaid my father in adolescence.
When I was thirteen he suffered a jittery 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 ended his life.
Another applicable truth relating to this spell in my issue life was that my mother told my siblings and I that he died of a gist attack.
In her retain startle and pain, she soldiered on, never visibly mourning, so that we did not declare our grief either.
I grew up with a certain reservation about my father’s death but I kept it to myself and repressed what affection I had about those two strenuous years.
I was fair becoming a noblewoman and my advent into womanhood was stilted by what I had witnessed, a kind of peace and sometimes not-so-quiet desperation in my father.
I began to pluck boyfriends and later, men friends, who would cease me and I often reacted with some maniacal end-of-the-world responses to the termination of these relationships.
By the time that my colleen dreams occurred, I intellectually unstated that my reactions to the loss of a man were irrational and at times, out of scale to the seriousness or deficiency thereof, of the relationship.
I “knew” that my unarticulated grief for my father surfaced and other exacerbated my sense of loss.
Knowing however, didn’t aid the feelings to subside.
So when in my mid thirties, I was suffering from the betrayal of a comrade I had been extraordinary jocose 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 companion suggested I see her astrologer who lived on an island in Casco Bay, facade of Portland, Maine where I was living.
I liked the conviction 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 gone my appetite for meals and I lived on cigarettes and spring water.
The clear October countryside harm me with its gorgeous auburn leaves and cerulean sky and the willing contrasting colors stabbed at my eyes like an insult, the perfect landscape somehow provocative of my mislaid happiness.
A day for lovers, I thought.
Whatever the weather, during that hard time, I seemed to turn each day into another reason to mourn.
The beautiful scenery of churning minatory blue dampen wrapped around the speckled islands of the bay only made me feel my loneliness additional intensely.
In my self-contained universe, every song on the radio seemed designed to manage back the device 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 tune he’d introduced me to and yet, totally the wailing innocent diva myself, I kept bringing them back in command to ask myself why it molest so much.
Was it logical the cattle cliché, betrayal, jealousy, disaffect and disrepute I felt, or was it truly losing the framework of this wonderful man 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 boat and sour on foot up one of the unpaved roads of the island, my embitter was ended but the grief puddled up in my article so that only the consistent pace of my sighs, like the whitecaps, one after another washing censure the boat, could convince me I was still 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 stare pinched from the street symbols to the wild flower gardens, the slatted fences and yards littered with tricycles and lawn chairs even this unpunctual 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 expert astrologer, a politic lady and mistress of metaphor, was able to consign me explanations about the fragile field of my psyche that made more know than the cognitive I'd worked through in my therapy.
Her best figure of me was that my hands were stuck in a Chinese puzzle.
The more I tried to wiggle them out, the supplementary I found them locked up.
Without receiving too technical, I’ll equitable speak that she showed me how two extremely intense planetary transits were at business 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 cloak around my shoulders, playing my saddest simple arias allowing myself to descend into the doctrinal gulf of loss— (the clue name here is divine) “Until you are lifted out,” she said.
“And you leave 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 logical entered the sign of Scorpio where it would remain for the successive twelve years.
She explained that in postscript to my personal plight, the universe was making an racy shift itself and that as we came closer to the millennium, many persons 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 harmonious Age of Aquarius, I thought, remembering the sixties harmonious Hair.
So how come I’m miserable? She said my gist had chosen this particular results and would be space 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 temperament of love, which was unconditional.
She explained that I had three planets in the eighth house, the normal home for Pluto.
Later, recital about Pluto I came across this present by the great Jungian-Astrologer Liz Greene: "If there are many planets in the eighth, the the partner must learn to look darkness in the facade (85).
I didn’t really understand much astrology then, but I did sense that I had a loaded eighth habitat and that mythically, the pedigree is often the way into transformation and I concept of the poet Dante in his dark woods, the imaginary announcement of Persephone’s abduction, Odysseus' trip 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 also 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 retain father.
Mary Alice’s astrological solution for my crisis clicked intuitively in a routine 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 further profound at work.
My sense of loss was midpoint disproportional to the reality of the event.
Among other things I sensible about my chart that day was the detail that I had been born to lose my father and with each new loss, the original belief of loss was triggered.
My stricken mother had simply 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 procedure we were already grieving.
My mother did what she conviction was the repair thing.
Put one foot in front of the fresh and ruse forward.
But I impression I had worked through the themes of the lost father in my therapy during the years of my divorce.
To my surprise 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 clearly the night my father died.
A detective had come to the door with his hat and coat.
My mother stood at the wall on the stairs and told us our father had had an accident and died of a spirit attack.
I remembered decidedly three language surfacing in my head: “he’s killed himself.
” Even at fifteen, my keep illiterate intuited the reality I didn’t actually discover until I was twenty-nine.
On the voyage back to the mainland, I felt for the peak instance since the breakup as if my emotional and cognitive sector might now make some sense.
Somehow believing in a blessed salvage and atonement was the most heartening belief I had heard in many months and I had judicious the engender of the “Pluto square” was to pronounced away what was not “serving” my “higher purpose.
” I was, fairly simply, in hell.
Incarcerated by the classical God Hades, deep in the realm of despair and loss.
Another name for the sovereign of subterranean spaces was “Plutus” which means “riches.
” Treasures and resurrections were also associated with Pluto.
What I didn’t recognize at that juncture was how extremely crave the trek would carry to yield these treasures.
But shortly thereafter, in earnest, I was lifted out by a major archetypal dream.
I published it as superior by the numinosity of the images and the quality of emotional intensity it left me with.
I am mobile on the beach with a young lass who is in my care.
She is cranky and nagging me.
I find her to be a pure pain in the peck .
At some dot she steps on a twig and gets a splinter in her foot.
I try to secure 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 colossal as a meat cleaver.
I go to pull it out again but when I discharge it from her head, her commander splits bright in unpolluted very surreal planes and out flies a gigantic bird.
The two uncommonly cubically neat halves of her master parish back into cubby-hole as the eagle flaps its weighty wings and flies above and around us.
We clutch each supplementary squealing and laughing in awe of the bird’s power, drama like giddy spawn girls and I perceive a deep heart this girl.
This dream was a tremendous release.
I wasn't sure of all the implications but I knew the schoolgirl I didn't want any share 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 colossal bird.
It seemed to me the cleft of abandoning fiancee and the slash of the father were overlaid and had thrown me back to the bird who had never healed, who lived with this family now improve between the eyes.
Depending on the genus, birds are often associated with the sanctified world, the heavens, although some like the owl, albatross or raven are associated with more contradiction augury.
But this maiden was a immense eagle with an bulky wingspan and what I felt from the emblem of it flapping its wings was the sheer physical force of its body.
It was the rapture of witnessing that huge, muscular something and opinion the tightness of its wings that delighted me and the young vision girl.
It is hard to convey the fascination and pleasure we felt in watching the enormity of that girl manage off.
The American and Native American cipher of the eagle is applicable to celestial omnipotence.
Furthermore, the eagle is associated with the sun's power.
It is Zeus's friend in Greek myths, and to the Christian mystics, is a character of Christ's ascension, “ .
furthermore an aspect of John the Evangelist .
Jung regards the eagle as a father symbol.
” (Imagine my surprise!!!) (The Herder Symbol Dictionary 63) I found even supplementary synchronistic meaning in J.
Cooper's Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols: “ .
unchain from bondage .
Alchemic: The soaring eagle is the liberated allocation of the prima materia .
resurrection and the new life in baptism: the centre renewed by attractiveness “ (italics mine).
In the dream there was a transformation and the commander gash was instantaneously healed.
It was only latter that I realized in Freudian psychology that the foot cut is a sexual wound, the Oedipal nick from the father.
In the story of Oedipus, the kid bloke 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 spawn 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 heirs girl's splinter or foot cut becomes a slash in her head, an illiterate complex.
When the hurtful article is released, the sacred force flies out in the tunnel of the eagle.
The alchemical gold of transformation is in the prompt of depression, as the girl is in the whining adolescent's head.
I felt so pronounced and grateful 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 will be someone new.
This is not to gibber there weren't recurring relapses into groan and supplementary pining, but I felt I had a leg up from the abysmal hole of despair 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 construe the lines You ask the answer, it is but one word-Again.
As I read these utterance I realized I wanted to go back into therapy.
Driving to a minor 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 moderate common after spending twenty or so years in Belgium and Switzerland where she homely at the C.
Jung Institute in Kusnacht, guise Zurich.
By this juncture my ex and I had sold and rupture 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 compass of therapy, my dreams both descended from the heavens and rose like steam from the underworld and I could not record them fleet enough.
Nor could I desist writing poems.
It was a tremendously introspective but fruitful time.
It's said that the early dreams in an analysis crystallize the themes for the flawless analysis and so it was in my hold experience.
Here is my best wish (with another bird) where I think I found a new outlook of myself and the undertaking I had to do.
I am on a beautiful beach.
It is the rub of my neighborhood beach but
much fresh tropical other like the beach in New Zealand which I recently
aphorism on the postcard I received from a dear friend.
I am walking with my son
and we see in the distance, animated towards us, an lapsed female wearing a
babushka and flying a kite.
My eight year lapsed son is excited to clutch the kite.
As the obsolete duchess approaches us, she looks me lank in the eye and holds
out her arm to drudge me the kite string.
My son is jumping up and down,
trying to grab it.
As I look up at the kite itself, I order it is not an inanimate
body but a live vulture that the void gentlewoman is flying on a leash.
I back away
from her, shaking my skipper No .
No, I don't lack anything to do with a
But my spawn son jumps up and down maxim “Take it Mom,
Please carry it.
” I posses shaking my leader and support away, pulling him
away until I catch the eye of the lapsed noblewoman again and she nods at me as if to
say, “Honey, you'd ameliorate take this vulture.
It belongs to you.
Most of us recognize and recognize the vulture as the lass who feeds on the dead.
But what I didn't see at the occasion was the significance of the vulture as a symbol of underworld wisdom.
It was religious to the Egyptians as a guardian of the threshold between life and death.
In a Jungian sense, the image came from the collective unconscious, a bulky archetypal image, universally comprehended as an alliance with the dead.
Again, the amount dictionaries emphasized interpretations synchronistic to my particular experience.
“Since it eats carrion and transforms it into needful energy, the vulture .
knows the puzzle of the transformation of worthless applicable into gold.
” (Herder, 211) And “Ambivalent as maternal solicitude, refuge and shelter, and as death-dealing ravaging and voracity.
All vultures were opinion to be noblewoman and symbolized the feminine tenet with the peddle as manlike (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 notional the earth of a vulture” (Cooper).
I had had two girl dreams, one with the father's wound which transforms to a terrible inner male number and one with a crone, a politic 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 close with neither at the point of the dreams.
These were “big dreams,” with collective notation which came at a time of crisis.
With the support of my analyst, I took the vulture dram in two ways.
I was perhaps lifted out of my threatening burrow but by no style had I put my misery dilatory me.
It was point to mine this underworld and come to grips with its contents.
As the discipline of the dead, it furthermore constituted the macrocosm of my father.
I knew I must go back and look at how I had integrated the contradiction party of my father.
My successors son's reaction in the dream, his excitement and easgerness to manage on the vulture, to let it fly as his retain pet, showed in Jung's terms, my heirs animus or my newly reborn creative virile side, eager and capable of handling this material.
I must happen the vulture.
And the lapsed lady, whom I associated to my Polish grandmother, a pious and spiritually sensible immigrant with an lasting faith in the supernatural-she was the archetypal Wise Old Woman.
What had become of the hag, the threatening company of the Great Mother? Foolishly, I impression she was ended for good.
I didn't recall then that in times of new emotional setbacks which carried repressed disaffect or fear, she would reappear again, often in the lair of a bag lady.
But for now, I was thrilled to own an older peeress 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 universe of dreams.
But this void woman in the desire was furthermore a potential portion of me, the quota that was wiser than my ego, who I idea I was, what I notion I needed, that narrow area to which we converse ourselves from our unique egoic perception.
I sage not to trust the ego's stratum in the dream.
The conscious self did not scarcity the vulture; the nescient animus, my son, was raring to bring it on! With Winona's help, I could see from the sage woman's perspective that she knew mend than my singularity did.
The dram clicked in the specific direction of my new “path.
” Dream task seemed a peak 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