“I was able to make some kind of meaning that would reconnect me to life here again…I started to dream wonderful dreams. I mean, I always dreamed, but these were incredible dreams. I can’t tell you what it meant that somebody could recognize this huge part of me and say, ‘It does make sense and you aren’t crazy by paying attention to this.’ So of course we worked very, very hard on the dreams and I realized that this was my gold. That indeed the pattern of the dream would show me where the energy was trying to go. When I had no idea where to go there’d be this little hook on the end of the dream that said, ‘This way Marion.’ That’s true for everybody. The last little part of the dream is where the energy is trying to go.”
*Note to reader: You are entering my dreamworld:
I was standing in my bathroom topless. It seemed I had recently gotten out of the shower and was putting on my makeup for the day. I heard a noise at the bathroom window and turned to see a little girl hanging from it with one arm. My bathroom is on the second story, so I knew she was dangling from a pretty significant height. Despite that, my first reaction was to be annoyed. She was spying on me, staring with big, unblinking eyes. Staring at my nakedness. I felt embarrassed and that made me also feel angry. For a split-second I thought about just letting her fall. But then I softened and extended a hand to her and pulled her through the window. I thought it was strange that the little girl never seemed panicked, though she could have fallen at any point and gotten badly hurt. She seemed innocent. Pure. Uninhibited. Detached. Vulnerable. Gentle. Wild. Loving.
I walked the girl outside. I wanted to get her back to her mom. I don’t remember us having any conversation. I did notice however that there was something in my hand, two, glowing, orange snake heads that were eating their tails, so they had almost consumed themselves completely. They were from the little girl. I wasn’t scared of them, but I was very cautious with them. I knew they had great power. As we walked over to the girl’s mom I intended to return her daughter’s snakeheads to her, but suddenly I realized, they were too precious to tell the mom about. I had the sense that the mom would just confiscate them. They needed to remain a secret between me and the girl.
I thought about shoving the snakeheads down into my pocket, but felt like I needed to keep my eyes on them. I kept wondering if they would come alive, and didn’t want to feel them squirming in my pocket. So I held them loosely in my clenched fist.
They were a gift from the girl to me. I left the girl with her mom. The girl smiled softly at me.
* * *
How I choose to interpret this dream:
The three women in the dream are all forms of me. Me as childlike. Me as parental figure. And of course me as my very human, naked and ashamed self. I think it does relate to the Christian faith’s trinity, even if a bit askew. The childlike, free-spirited girl like the Spirit. The parental, somewhat intimidating figure to be cautious around like that of God. The broken and vulnerable one very much in body form, much like Christ.
My saving the girl who clearly didn’t care whether she was saved or not, is me, reaching out to the untamable, nonjudgmental, strong side of me that stares at the world around with me fresh eyes, a stare that sees through masks and cover-ups. A stare that sees the naked beauty in everything. A stare that doesn’t apologize for its eyes wide open. By reaching out to the girl I was reaching out to the me that isn’t scared to be put in harms way for the sake of loving one more glorious piece of creation, even if that creation is broken, angry, ashamed. By saving the girl I was saving the me that no one will fight for. The me that no one will notice. The me that the world would call a “fool” for dangling off window ledges when life could be safer and far more guarded and protected. I was giving this “fool” admission and permission. And I was learning from her how vulnerable and detached (my word from last year and this year) can actually go hand in hand, though they may seem paradoxical in nature.
This duality continued in theme when I was given the two ouroboros. I did not know the word ouroboros existed prior to this dream, but it is actually a real symbol of a snake or reptile eating it’s own tail, consuming itself. It was used in alchemic documents, amongst other ways. It’s a symbol for death bringing life. Another paradox. And I was given two of them. The number two can be symbolic for making a choice between two things. But what I was learning in this dream is that unlike the Western way of thinking dualistically, calling death bad and life good, calling vulnerable bad and detached good, I could think in terms of both/and. Death and life. Vulnerable and detached. Two snakeheads consuming themselves was actually freedom to let go and accept all of it. (Consequently the color orange is a color that is either loved or hated, which continues the dualistic symbols.)
The mother, though she never said a word, gave off this strong aura of someone who would snuff out the magic. I knew if I gave the snakeheads to her I would be betraying both myself and the little girl. The little girl didn’t care either way. She was very strong in accepting anything and everything. She gave me no warning to not give the snakeheads away. In fact, I don’t even remember the girl handing them to me in the first place. I knew they were from her, but it was like they were always with me. They had always been mine, I had just never noticed them before. I had not had eyes to see before. And perhaps I only had eyes to see them now that I was strong enough to not be so quick to give them away.
I could imagine that if I gave the snakeheads away to the mom she would say, “Oh these silly things? They mean nothing. My daughter and her crazy ideas.” So I kept them. Orange glowing ouroboros just for me.
I liked the mom. But it was very clear to me that she did not have eyes yet to see. She was still a doubter. She had transitioned from child to adult, and it was difficult for her to remember what she once knew. I ached about this, especially as I saw how tenderly she pulled her daughter in close, like she was going to be able to protect her.
I personally know at least one direction where this dream is taking me. I know what it relates to. I know what I need to do next. I know what it gives me permission for and I know what it beckons me towards. I know because I believe the soul-work I have done in advance, scraping away excess noise and listening to me and all my unanswerable, sometimes painful questions, allowed a small trench for this story-dream to well-up into it, like a fresh water spring finally bubbling through.
We are given gifts in the dreamworld that I think truly can cross the border into wakefulness. Why it was only a couple nights later that I dreamt of Mary Poppins and that she was real. I saw her with my own eyes, floating through the sky with her parrot umbrella. And in the dream, I lucidly thought, “No one will ever believe me. They’ll say it just happened in a dream.” Then with a deep inhale and exhale of excitement I continued, “But I know, even if it happened in a dream, it did really happen to me and for me.”
* * *
We are sitting with our dreams this month in The Art Journaler Community. We’re only half-way through the month. There is still plenty of time to see what your shadow-self has to say to you. We all art journal in different ways, some of us even through photography. Don’t let the art journaling part intimidate you. There are no rules. It’s a great place to help you make space to hear your own voice. I find it invalauble. Join us? It’s only $3 a month.