The following is an excerpt from my book, “Psyche’s Dream: A Dragon’s Tale” (still in editing stage) where the young neophyte learns of “The Mother” the most powerful of the human archetypes.
Human beings live in two different worlds simultaneously, the conscious and the unconscious.
There may also be a conscious part of the unconscious. An organizing paradigm similar to that of the ego of the conscious mind.
When we sleep the conscious mind is disengaged and yet something stimulates the brain into creating a symbolic world much like that of the conscious world yet many orders of different that speaks to hidden material that the conscious mind doesn’t notice and does this just as the conscious mind brings up thoughts and feelings associated with the world it finds itself in.
To be whole and thus powerful in magic one needs to be able to access and understand both worlds. One needs to integrate all the parts of oneself. But how to do this?
There are archetypes living in both worlds that can help us to navigate the whole. The Mother is one of these.”
Seek not answers from outside the Mother. She is the powerful aspect of the feminine and is the key to opening the door to the magic of the world. Your masculine form is what you use to act and assert upon your decision to walk through the door, but it is your feminine aspect that provides you the opening. It is the marriage between the two that will make it possible for you to wield the magic that is life. But as with the general human psyche the masculine and feminine aspects are also of two worlds i.e., two minds, the dark and the light.
Seek your answers from both your mothers she of the bright light and she of the dark and deadly. They are both illusion and of the deeper self and both inform your being. You must confront them both and recognize them for who they really are. In this you will be the Way.
Intuitively we know that the Mother is a Spirit Guide into the unfamiliar territory that will lead us into a new way of being and will give us the power to survive the world we live in. But we also know that we would have to untie the knot that binds us to our own mother, the knot that keeps us tied to her memory and all the decisions we have made regarding our lack of trust in her for our well-being or our overdependence on her for the same. The knot is illusory but keeps us from freely being who we are. Love the being not the knot. It is time to let go and open to a new spirit.
Alone one morning last week I sat outside under the broad canopied and cascading Elm that’s taking on new leaf as Spring brings warmer days, though the morning’s are still chilly so I was bundled in my favorite throw blanket across my legs. As I do virtually every morning I was playing around with words and concepts on my laptop hoping for some inspiration to visit and this poem made itself known and demanded that I write it down.
Hidden deep in my heart I hear a plaintive cry, find me, I am here, can you not see?”
What you are looking for is also looking for you. It has always been there waiting for you to show up.
What is it that binds us all together it asks? Surely it is not your illusions of separateness.
What would happen if you were not so interested in your own personality and were grateful for all who come your way for they are your teachers and mirrors to your Self.
You were born of love in a space where there are no boundaries. It is the head that knows boundaries. Not so for the heart. That magic knows no boundaries.
I look closer at the ideas visiting me and see that magic is always my companion if I had but the eyes to see it and the heart to walk with it.
When I see the magic in another person I know that it is my own magic as well that I am seeing.
Tolerance, compassion, and patience are doors into this magic and this magic is never loud for it dwells in the silent places within my heart.
But I struggle to see the magic let alone to be it. And sometimes it is just so hard, and I tire of the scuffle and my body slides down into the chair losing the energy to sit upright.
But then that bossy Spirit that never lets me stay in a good slide for very long pulls me up and I find myself saying that I need embrace the struggle for it is like a fire to the metal beaten by the blacksmith’s hammer and anvil. It makes me pliable to change. The change I need to see the magic.
When the goal is to be open to all the magic that is around and within me, in time I will hear what I am ready to hear and see what I am ready to see. And I whisper to myself,
Be careful as you walk through the hidden forests of your dreams. They compose the unprotected essence of who and what you are. They are the messengers of your soul and your deeper self.
They harbor all your worries and fears, your dislikes and rejected aspects, your hopes and desires laid bare. They are born of the irrational, the imaginative, and the intuitive—a world of being as real and as informative as the rational world of science.
Both the outer masks that we all present to the world and the masks turned inward so that we don’t look too deeply at the mysterious inner self are stripped away during our sleep, allowing us to see our most beautiful faces and darkest shadows.
Through our dreams we get a glimpse of what God sees in each and every one of us without judgment or condemnation. Dreams are a grace unearned and a gift to those who learn to accept and interpret them.
Treat them with care, respect, and compassion, for they reveal the best of us and the worst of us. They represent our guide through life and the equilibrium and balance that all living creatures need in order to survive in what is often a chaotic world. Our dreams are our inner saviors.
Dreams reveal a truth about our emotional state of mind, our physical well-being, our psychological health, and our sense of the spiritual. They are our deepest connection with everything, one another, and God or the universal spirit.
Dreams create a nightly map to the experience of being human, and if read properly, they can guide us to worlds not dreamed of through the conscious mind. And they do all this uniquely for the dreamer who has them.
Interpreters can hold our hands briefly and point to the way of the psyche, but the individual needs to walk this path alone. It is about the person’s story and life narrative, and only he or she can know the true meaning of dreams.
In a way, how we interpret our dreams may be about how we interpret ourselves and how we think and imagine ourselves into being.
Morpheus Speaks: This is the book 10 years in the making that many of you have been waiting for.
In it you will find a means for decoding the alchemy of dreams and the mysteries of the inner self. There are special sections on Native American, Aboriginal, shamanistic , pagan, and the Abrahamic and Asian religious traditions spread throughout the book.
The symbols of our dreams are like the paradoxical parables and koans of all religions. As with the questions presented by all holy ones our dreams are speaking to us in a way as to offer us an illumination of who and what we are. They are truly the road to our souls.
While cleaning up my desk from all the notes and paper, books, and articles I collect over time I ran across the following missive written on a napkin from some long forgotten coffee shop experience.
“Everywhere I look light is playing with me. Rays, rainbow streaks, dancing shadows and flying things winking in and out of existence as the sun plays off their wings before they dive into the shadows of the no-see-ums.
The tall tree sways in the breeze like the soft fur of a Persian cat being gently petted– the light playing off its many strands turning green into a palette of golds, rusts, and orange.
Suddenly a ball of light catches my eye. It radiates into a moving mandala with a center of pure light– delightful! Like a beam from another universe inviting me in.
“What am I?” It says.
“I don’t know.” I say.
“That’s right!” It says. “And what do you think of that?”
A dream dictionary is basically a book of symbols to aide a dreamer in interpreting a dream. I say “aide” because symbolic meaning is fundamentally unique to the dreamer i.e. the dreamer projects subjective meaning onto the dream images.
A dictionary can help with meaning, but it is not the ultimate meaning because as with any dictionary the author of the material attaches various emotions, memories, and cultural significance to a word in such a way that every word takes on several layers of meaning beyond that which is included in the dictionary. So the symbols in a dictionary can help, but they can’t ultimately define for the individual exact meaning.
Not too long ago I came across a number of dreams that included symbolic drawings that defied definitive meaning, so I decided to experiment with these “dream sigils” to see what they could reveal.
What’s a sigil? Essentially, they are symbols of ones “intentions” and in the process of creating a sigil the “will” of the person creating it is infused into the drawing thus reinforcing the intention. It is a “thought form” designed to giving “being” to an idea.
Before going any further, intentionality should be distinguished from intention because in intentionality the thought creates a reality within itself–a representation of something that has objective existence vs. intention that is the purpose or anticipated outcome of some action.
A sigil can be both in that it can represent an objective reality while it also can be used for some specific outcome.
In the mystic tradition of the Tibetan Buddhists it was thought that one could bring an object or being into reality through sheer will i.e. a materialized thought (the Tulpa). These thoughts could summon into existence a demon, or object of desire if delivered into reality in the appropriate manner.
For modern use the sigil may be similar in purpose to a mandala that may focus the mind, or in the development of a trance state. Some Buddhists suggest that certain deities live within a mandala and can be communicated with when focused upon.
This idea is not altogether unlike the reanimation technique used with dream material as a means of broadening the work and meaning of a specific dream. The dream itself becomes the mandala whose meandering designs pull the dreamers consciousness into its center. Carl Jung labeled the technique Active Imagining where the images of the dream can be brought back to life and interacted with within the context of the therapy session.
As with all things brought to consciousness their reality is pretty much a function of the material projected upon them by the observer. Thus in the creation of a sigil one can observe the associations that present themselves during the process.
For example, note the sigil on the left that I created for the word “Spirit”. In this representation I removed the vowels and left the remaining unduplicated consonants “SPRT”. The drawing took no time at all to produce, seeming to flow from the pen without much thinking on the part of the brain. I felt excitement laced with a happy feeling and a sense of success while producing it. The result exhibited a bold strength combined with a sense of purpose and confidence. For me, when I’m in touch with the Spirit, everything just flows.
Energized by this success I tried another and chose the word “Dreams” (what else?). Eliminating the “e” and the “a” and combining the DRMS I started to draw, but after several iterations I became frustrated, yet determined and wondering why there was such a difference. Then I realized that for the last two nights my dreams had been confusing and frustrating with me failing to get ahold of enough material to extract any meaning. This sigil also reflected the chaos and vulnerability experienced in my former nights dreams.
The very act of creation was a projection of myself in relation to the symbols! In both cases my attention was brought to focus on my real world experiences with the concepts being represented. It had been my intention to use this process to gain insight to the meaning these words implied and indeed they did just that–the subjective intention was realized in the objective creation. Hooha!
Though my sigil may not have charmed something or brought a demon into existence it did objectify an inner demon (my tendency to easily frustrate) and enable me to broaden the experience of the former night’s dreams. And again, by bringing the demon shadow into the light of consciousness I was able to deal with it and thus banish it. Now that’s magic!
I presented a workshop yesterday noon to a half circle of seekers willing to dive deep into their souls in search of the one spring from which all souls flow.
I spoke of the other times we had gotten together and as an after thought I happened to mention those times that I have presented this same workshop to the denizens of the forest where I entered the ancient green light of the woods and sang the songs that bring forth the soul of souls. No sooner spoken and beginning our chanting journey it was as if conjured through magic that the forest seemed to fill the room and began to sing its own song. I could hear the sound of the wind through its many branches, the crack and skitter of all kinds of four-legged players punctuated by an occasional chirp and squawk that all joined together creating a descant of harmonies singing to the spirits of the woodland thicket.
It was the perfect place to search for the spring of the soul of souls.
Soon enough the chanting of others started to rise above my own as they began to own the song. In a breath or two my voice no longer led them deeper into the copse for they were marching on their own path. They continued to sing the spirit into being and I was left to walk with them as they marched ever deeper into the wood. No longer needing a leader I took another trail, searching for my own soul but that would eventually lead me back to the main party just in time to invite them back to the room we had left behind.
As we sat around our spiritual campfire stories of individual journeys were shared until the time had come for us to leave.
All in all a good trek through our collective mystical forest I thought.
In honor of Samhain, the Gaelic festival known here as Halloween I’ve written two articles, one here and one in the Dark Knight of the Soul Blog where I’ve parted the veil between two worlds of reality. It is in this place where magic happens.
In a seminar of long ago and in a far off place I once sat with a stranger and face-to-face we just looked at each other. First there were all the worries about what he was seeing of me and then came my own judgments and critiques of him and of whether I was doing the exercise right. After what seemed like hours, but only several minutes, my vision of him softened and went slightly out of focus.
The voices in my head that I’d been entertaining that were related to the person across from me, and of myself, and of the process as well came to a standstill and I was left looking– quietly looking. It was then that I noticed that it was myself I was seeing in the chair facing me. There was no other chair, or person in the room, just me, looking at me. My sense of self seemed to expand outward and filled the space of the room. I seemed everywhere, but not really anywhere. It was so real that I inhaled sharply and my partner came into focus. I then shared with him some information about him that I could not have known. When finished he did the same for me.
The exercise was to reveal to the participants that there was a deeper level of communication available to us than the everyday of our experience. The experience was that for one brief moment I was not a separate being from him and something communicated in that space, something that should have only been filed within a separate head, a separate consciousness. It was then that I realized that we are all “communicating” unconsciously on some collective level. The exercise made it possible for our forms to experientially transcend the common experience of separateness. This was my first taste of magic– the magic that is the world throughout and around us.
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
Separation may actually be a function of the human brain and not really exist outside these rational and linear stacks of cells encased within our skulls. No that’s not to say that you and I don’t have bodies, or egos generated by memories, judgments, decisions, thought processes, feelings, and experiential input–those are separate, but perhaps our core selves are not?
Many times I’ve prayed to my God for help or guidance and had an answer to that prayer show up within virtually no time at all. How is this? Perhaps in the letting go of my own need to control I open myself up to what’s already available in the universe? When I let go of my projections, personal control, and self-protections, when I’ve stilled the mind of any expectations my vision clears and I can see what is directly in front of me, metaphorically speaking. I find myself in another world, one that transcends the world my mind has created. This feels like magic.
Things seem to work much better when I get my self out of the way, this is what the rituals and chemical inducements of the shaman, the wizard, and the witch are all about e.g. making room for the soul by getting the body out of the way.
Here’s a lesson in magic, when we don’t allow the body, or any of its aspects such as the ego (the internal image of self) or persona (the external image of self), define what we are, or are capable of, then the door to magic opens. When we can transcend the dominance of the body it frees the expression of soul. In short, letting go of ego-dominance allows for magic to happen.
“Magic is a way of living. If one has done one’s best to steer the chariot, and one then notices that a greater other is actually steering it, then magical operation takes place.”
–C. G. Jung (The Red Book, p. 315)
Because we live in two worlds, the one of the every day, and the one of the archetypal unconscious, that which informs most of what we do in the every day, and yet keep these worlds separate we are incomplete in our ability to impact reality, or to even understand it for that matter. Dreams, and meditation allow us access to both these worlds through the portal of the imaginal.
When young we lived in the imaginal that made life a place to play in. We then strove to be others expectations of us. This cut a lot of us off from our magical selves. This happens so much that we often find ourselves walking through life with little or no purpose as though what we do, or have, or feel, or don’t feel is the goal of our lives.
We have lost the magic of “being” because we have lost much of the art of imagining and magic arises from the imaginal. The soul loves to play and when released, amazing things can happen. The artist knows this, as does the writer, the poet, and the musician–anyone who releases themselves from their limits and intentionally creates. It’s when you “let go” of your same-old, same-old and drop into the chaos of uncontrolled play that the magic of the child returns.
Here’s another lesson in magic: If you want to learn about magic, watch the children.
“An apparition of indeterminate gender floated high above us, then drifted gently down into the circle of light, barely touching the floor as it landed. It was a ghostly apparition in a form that never seemed really present in the here and now. It was as though I was seeing it in the past, present, and future simultaneously, but not quite solidly in any of those frames… A cold breeze worked its way up my back, and I consciously forced it back to wherever it had crawled out from…”
“I see discontinuity (it said). I see a place where both aspects of being and spirit are not sharing. I see a rift forming where this Being lost the vision given by the Is. I see this Being made up for its loss by creating its own reality in the name of the Is, but not of the Is. I see “ a vision of oneness, the light and the dark in harmony, aspects seemingly in conflict operating as a whole. The vision of the Is includes everything with nothing left out. The yin struggles in your world to be heard, the yang having actively suppressed it out of fear, greed, and ignorance and then codified it as though it were the word of the Is. But the Is becomes aware through the Being. It needs the Being to manifest all of itself, and when the Being becomes unbalanced through the expression of only half of itself, the expression of the Is also becomes unbalanced.”
This was part of an otherworldly conversation between myself and an apparition met one summer evening some thirty-three years ago on the other side of reality. It was an experience of painful awareness that threatened the very fabric of my life as I knew it. But this was not exclusively a story about me but of all of us and the rabbit hole we’re all falling down.
The conversation was an excerpt from the story of a journey I took one dark and rainy night that dragged me beyond the reality I knew and into a world of chaos that was vaguely familiar. This was a story of a desperate need for healing for myself and for the very fabric into which we all are woven. It’s a story that continues into this day and has now pulled all of us into its torn and fragmented web.
Take a peek beyond the veil and into a world beyond this world and come with me on my journey to visit the Dream Healer on the Archipelago of Dreams.
He drew a circle that shut me out, heretic, a rebel, a thing to flout. But love and I had the wit to win, we drew a circle that took him in.”“Outwitted” by.– Edwin Markham
The Circle it’s arguably the most powerful of all the geometric symbols in both the waking and dreaming worlds. There’s “a circle that drew him in”, an inner circle, crop circles, expand the circle, circle of life, concentric circles, magical circles, circular thinking, a containment, circular file, geomancy, Ouroboros, circle the wagons, coming full circle, secret circles, pie charts, Arctic Circle, going in circles, square the circle, circle of friends,, circling the drain and on and on and on…
Circles in dreams, mandalas, magical incantations, and intuitive awareness’s are used to exclude and include, highlight or delete, expand or restrict awareness. Without the circle virtually nothing would move or exist for that matter e.g. there are gears, wheels, cells, atoms, planets, planetary orbits and galaxies that all come in circle-like forms.
Interpreting dreams can be like peeling an onion that symbolizes the concentric layers of the dream’s symbolism that can lead one to the inner self or God Him/Herself.
This process of digging down into the self is often represented by a circle that is in itself a representation of the self called a mandala. There are also bisected circles to represent the need for balance (yin/yang) or a circle with a cross to represent the Earth our birth mother or with a central dot to represent the life giving mate of the Earth, the Sun.
Buddhists draw the circle to represent completeness and wholeness while Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and Jews use it to symbolize the divine.
Carl Jung the famous Analytical Psychologist and dream guru suggested that anything circular in a dream from a bicycle wheel to a ball symbolized a mandala that in itself represented a divine map to the soul.