Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
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If we were having coffee this week I would invite you to the nut bar to find the right mix to pair with your tea or coffee. The nut bar is a nod to both #OctoberUnprocessed, which I find easy to do, and to the tidy guru, whose advise I am finding very difficult to follow. I purchased more fall festive flavors of white tea and chai partly because my tea company offered a free tiny bottle of honey with an order over a certain amount. I was a sucker for the honey, and have yet to impose any kind of tidy rules on my tea cupboard. It makes me very happy, and when a swing the lazy susan cabinet that houses it closed it adds no visual clutter to my kitchen.
In my journey to minimalism and clean eating I have created an alternative to processed crackers this week that is far superior to the store bought version. I made pesto shortbread to die for. I still have some in the fridge ready to slice and bake. It has the flavor of homemade pesto I already had on hand and utilizes some of the pine nuts I also have in stock. My tidy muse reminded me that all of the nuts in my fridge are from last year. The few pecans I still have in the shell have been waiting for way to long to be cracked open and eaten. She (tidy muse) is absolutely right about consuming the old food to make room for the new crop which is soon to arrive on the market. In the spirit of tidy AND unprocessed I have started eating a daily deconstructed dessert. It started with apples and honey for Jewish new year. It is so pleasant and satisfying that I have followed with sliced apples or pears with cheeses and with nuts. I have been enjoying this sweet indulgence by purchasing different honey and apple varieties to combine. The honey from the tea company is cinnamon flavored, which is delightful with both the nuts and the apples. I have pecans, pine nuts, walnuts, hazel nuts, and pistachios all on special for my tasting pleasure. During your weekend beverage visit please help yourself to these seasonal delights. The tidy muse will be so pleased when all the nuts are gone.
I am inspired by the many ambitious writers who frequent this coffee share. Some of you are very prolific while you continue full lives in other realms. I have been thinking about writing more poetry, since I do really love it. Like tidying, I have to struggle against some lazy lady lurking in the shadows who does not want to make the effort to write poetry. I was set up to attend a poetry reading on Thursday, meant to get my poetry mojo working. I slept through it, as I did the vice presidential debate the previous night. I am extremely early to bed and early to rise, as well as a very sound sleeper. I count myself as lucky to be able to easily sleep and dream, so I am not too harsh on myself when I snooze through anything. I can always catch up on world events on twitter when I awaken.
Politics in the United States are heating up in all the most bizarre ways. The tidy lady needs to school the politicians about hoarding old nuts. There are now scary clowns in the woods as well as in government. We are on a strange collision course with destiny. There is absolutely no telling what will happen.
Catch up with writers who share coffee on the weekend here. Sit down, enjoy, share whatever is on your mind. Have a Nut! They are on special this week.
She slipped in through the open window, the Rock-a-By Lady from Hushaby Street
Her curls were tangled around her face, her countenance was calm, quiet, and sweet
Her work revolved around the delivery of deep dreams to answer life’s questions
She drew vivid images, symbols within ancient stories containing characters I must meet
Her home is with the Mother Moon, a place where fairies dance, sing, hide, and play
Dream flowers, colored fountains of jasmine scented liquid fill the air with a spray
Intoxicating transforming bolts of light shine out from behind dream boats at the dock
This harbor is a shelter in the storm, granting time to the mariner who may have gone astray
This poem is built around a line I found in another poem, The Rock-A-By Lady, by Eugene Field. In Mr Field’s poem she is covered head to toe in poppies, each of which brings a fleet and tiny dream to her patrons. I like that image very much. Find poems you like this month at #NaPoWriMo where you can find other poets who used this same prompt to write today.
Symbols in dreams are personal. We dream only of faces we have seen before, even if we are barely familiar with the person. The character, or archetype played by the face depends completely on personal experience. Dream dictionaries and aids to interpret meaning found in dreams can only make references to universal archetypes. To grasp the personal message brought to the dreamer the images themselves must be savored and visited in waking time. Writing in a diary upon awaking before moving or engaging in the activities of the day is helpful. By keeping these notes on a regular basis you may discover themes that you can identify in a personal way.
Sometimes at crossroads in life a person will receive a vivid memorable message during sleep. The images and meaning of mythic dreams are significant beyond the every day way the unconscious communicates. The protagonists in the drama make a deep impression that lasts and speaks to the psyche for a long time. Carl Jung identified seven basic archetypes making appearances in dream time.
Loaded images and story lines float through our heads while we sleep. If we have a problem on the mind it is possible to solve it during a dream. Practice and meditation on our own dream images will make clearer the point of the communication. Our subconscious warns us, encourages us, and sometimes tells us we are foolish. It is never straightforward, but over time we can dig more deeply into the messages our dreams deliver on a nightly basis. Have you ever kept a dream diary, gentle reader? Have you ever had a mythic dream that changed your thinking?
Dreaming images float or chase us in spaces we imagine
The faces are all from waking life, although they may not
Play the parts they occupy in regular time, but rather become
Part of an intricate message system designed to save us
From our delusional thought that we are alone, yet stable
Without any assistance from the rest of the universe our
Opinions stagger on in stubborn resistance to the music
Being played in harmony and ecstasy by angelic choirs
When slipping into sleep remind yourself to dance to the tune
Look deeply into the light of the moon, and seek guidance
From stars, from darkness, from your own inner lantern
That preserves the flame, the pilot light, inside your being
Throw silken scarf of brightly colored symbols toward the sky
Encircling the changing constellations of the heavens
Enjoy all kinds of poetry written by all kinds of poets here. April is a special month to write and read new poetry.
Dream state leading to broad daylight, lingering impressions
Trace history down long corridors of power, sorrows, laughter
Holding on to feelings while letting go of rigid definitions
Jumping into the stream of flowing light at the heart of the matter
Poetry is flowing profusely this month. Enjoy the creative thrills available at #NaPoWriMo during April. Ride the poetry train here.
Each night our psyche brings us images in dreams. We connect with them and live within the dream during our sleep. Upon awakening we sometimes lose the dream images as we file that dream somewhere within our unconscious and decide it is not part of our true reality. Notice that we are within the dream while asleep, and then the images are considered to be unreal when we are awake. We live within a gallery of art and image, dramas with set and costume, in our sleeping world. Our awakened ego is concerned with gathering information and meaning rather than absorbing art for art’s sake. We wake up and enter the world with an explanation for everything. By dismissing the power of the imagination we loose the opportunity to individuate. We diminish our own imagination by interpreting our dream images rather than interacting with them.
We run two systems in our awakened world, an economic system and a therapeutic system. All of our activities are divided into economic obligations and challenges or curing our ills. We are concerned with “growth” of our personal economy or “healing” our wounds. It is easy to see the connections that contribute to the cyclical nature of this limited spiral. What is not so simple is to break these cycles. If our addictions are fed by information, image is converted by the mind into interpretation. The ego prides itself on its ability to interpret everything. Since the ego determines that it alone is conscious, all the rest of reality can be fit into the unconscious basket. The ego explains the image and then its importance is belittled. We cease to interact with it once it has an explanation. Imagery has no explanation. Art and image are animate and inherently charged with insight.
I intend to respect the imagery inside of me by embracing a more poetic view of life. By bringing focus to imagination and imagery I want to contribute to my own creativity. I will investigate how I can interact with my psychic and artistic life through practice. This intention can only be controlled to a certain extent, and it is not my hope to contain my psyche, but to explore it. It has a lot to say.
Carl Jung, Leo Swiss shrink and alchemist, invited his patients to record their own visions as he did in his Red Book. He councils patients to record their visions in order to interpret the voice of the soul:
“Think of it in your imagination and try to paint it. Then when these things are in some precious book you can go to the book & turn over the pages & for you it will be your church-your cathedral-the silent places of your spirit where you will find renewal. If anyone tells you that it is morbid or neurotic and you listen to them-then you will
lose your soul-for in that book is your soul. ~Red Book; Page 216.
Today we have digital means of making art which I enjoy as self expression. What Carl is talking about here, however, is hand on paper. He tells the patient to use good paper and art supplies to document all visions. He explains that by drawing the vision the magnetism it contains is neutralized. He suggests that the expression of the detail is an important way to build self understanding. I will continue to enjoy my digital art making, but think it is time to spend more time with hand on paper. I love to draw mandalas and other geometric patterns. I wonder if I begin now if I can produce a Red Book worth saving. Have you started your Red Book?
Taste with your eyes, smell with your feet.
Take in the story with all our might
While there is color, while there is light.
Dreamtime reorders sensuality
In living color.
The archetype of shapeshifter is known as an element to build characters for plots in novels. It is also well known in mythology. Shape shifting involves skill navigating between levels of consciousness. It is related to the trickster Coyote in legend, but has less specific goals. In dreams this character can be a savvy guide. Flexibility is the theme and the great talent of the shapeshifter. In therapy or self realization the archetypes can be used to enlighten the eternal aspects of the human story. Another name for this character is spell caster.
My own direct experience with this energy came through a very funny Yaqui friend of mine in Mexico. First he effortlessly got me to wear a medicine bag made of deerskin. I am a very prissy vegetarian and asked him for one with no animal parts. He dangled it and told me it was my medicine but if I didn’t want it…I grabbed it and put it over my head faster than you could say Cachora is your shaman. It was, indeed, my medicine. A few months later he made me turn in my medicine. He freaked me out by attaching a buffalo tooth. When he gave it back with the tooth I was laughing so hard. I remember joking that next I would be wearing an entire coyote head around my neck. He announced that he would be able to be with me at night while I wore the tooth. I do still wear my medicine sometimes, although I have not seen Cachora in years. The medicine fell on the floor, breaking the tooth in two pieces, revealing the center of itself while I was at a hot spring on a personal vision quest. I thought about that buffalo. I thought it was significant, then promptly super glued it back together. My medicine still works and I still think it is funny. It reminds me to check all levels of consciousness before making moves.
Toni Wolfe, colleague and lover of Carl Jung, identified 4 feminine archetypes. These cardinal qualities divide feminine characters into power centers, or capabilities. Toni understood when she created this foursome as a guide that no individual is purely one archetype on the stage of life. These are ways of looking at personality and talent, not so different from fairy tales and mythological tales.
Life is circular and the core, or center of the circle, is essentially a seed from which the rest of the circle sprouts. Our DNA, birthplace and time, our circumstances at birth are at the center. We contain unique combinations of archetypal power and symbology, both in waking life and in dreams. We begin in the middle of a complex mandala, and work our way out to the edges of consciousness. Limitations are imposed for our education and edification. Dream images give us hints to our own potential as well as to danger. Fairy, Wise Woman, Lover and Queen existed in most cultures before Toni Wolfe mapped out her quadruple qualities. These can be divided, in turn, into variations on a theme.
All people have both male and female archetypes, anima and animus. These might be thought of as north and south, visible and invisible, cardinal points that must also be balanced in the fully realized being. No individual is completely masculine or feminine, good or evil, right or wrong. Tyrants represent an imbalance, a shadow or hidden quality of power, a failure to employ wisdom. Wisdom was historically embodied in the Titan goddess Hekate, guardian of the crossroads. She has three faces, looking in three directions. She carries, along with three torches, a key, a rope, and a knife. She meets you at the crossroads of life and has the power to both assist and punish humans. If she didn’t have three heads, a polecat and a pack of hounds she would resemble the Virgin of Guadalupe, and have similar intercessional powers. Her ancient symbol is a wheel with three parts.