American Eagle Out Of Stock Before It Could Be Shipped The Eagle & The Vulture – Two Archetypal Bird Dreams

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The Eagle & The Vulture – Two Archetypal Bird Dreams

When an individual is just too deeply embedded within the collective, outer truth of on a regular basis lifestyles, the invention in his or her personal desires of common, archetypal photographs… could be a liberating enjoy. –James Hall

In the arena of archetypal symbolism birds in our desires frequently point out a religious enterprise. After all, they fly above us, nearer to the heavens than we usually in finding ourselves. Their freedom appears exhilarating. In the frame of a jet the place we would possibly in finding ourselves flying sooner and better than birds, we nonetheless lack outside, the wind in our hair so-to-speak, and we are confined in most commonly small seats among people, who relatively than lifting their hands entrained in synch with ours, are coughing, consuming, sound asleep, operating, or having a look extra involved than carefree. Therefore once we practice our positive feathered buddies in desires, we believe the context after all, however frequently recall to mind the heights and liberation of the spirit.

Of an overly massive species, until we’re ornithologist, we most commonly categorize the birds we see in desires normally. Two necessary desires I had at a time of non secular initiation in my lifestyles delivered messages about two divergent paths because of the diversities within the winged creatures and the scenarios by which they gave the impression. Yet each desires gave the impression to promise profitable trips.

I were steeped in sorrow when a dream lifted me out of my despair virtually instantly. At the time of the dream I had now not been a scholar of dream paintings, however even in my relative lack of know-how, I may just really feel that the dream was once a blessing. As background data, let me state a that I had misplaced my father in early life. When I used to be 13 he suffered a worried breakdown and when I used to be fifteen he died of a self-administered overdose of substances. He was once a physician, so I frequently puzzled if he had deliberately ended his lifestyles. Another pertinent truth in relation to this era in my younger lifestyles was once that my mom advised my siblings and I that he died of a center assault. In her personal surprise and ache, she soldiered on, by no means visibly mourning, in order that we didn’t specific our grief both.

I grew up with a undeniable suspicion about my father’s loss of life however I stored it to myself and repressed what feelings I had about the ones two tricky years. I used to be simply turning into a lady and my introduction into womanhood was once suffering from what I had witnessed, a type of quiet and occasionally not-so-quiet desperation in my father. I started to select boyfriends and later, males buddies, who would abandon me and I frequently reacted with some hysterical end-of-the-world responses to the termination of those relationships.

By the time that my fowl desires passed off, I intellectually understood that my reactions to the lack of a spouse have been irrational and every now and then, out of share to the seriousness or lack thereof, of the connection. I “knew” that my unarticulated grief for my father surfaced and additional exacerbated my sense of loss.

Knowing alternatively, did not lend a hand the emotions to subside. So when in my mid thirties, I used to be affected by the betrayal of a person I were more than pleased with, I did not search out conventional treatment, having long gone via 5 years of that a couple of years again after a divorce. One day a chum instructed I see her astrologer who lived on an island in Casco Bay, out of doors of Portland, Maine the place I used to be dwelling. I preferred the theory of crossing the water, an archetypal theme in itself, to seek out some solutions as to why my grief was once inconsolable.

I sat at the ferry at ten within the morning, smoking a cigarette. In the ones days I’d misplaced my urge for food for foods and I lived on cigarettes and spring water. The transparent October panorama harm me with its stunning auburn leaves and cerulean sky and the intense contrasting colours stabbed at my eyes like an insult, the entire panorama in some way provocative of my misplaced happiness. An afternoon for enthusiasts, I believed.

Whatever the elements, right through that tricky time, I gave the impression to flip on a daily basis into one more reason to mourn. The gorgeous vista of churning darkish blue water wrapped across the speckled islands of the bay most effective made me really feel my loneliness extra intensely. In my self-contained universe, each and every music at the radio gave the impression designed to convey again the picture of my lover, our romantic ritual of dancing in his front room. I wallowed in reminiscences. Images performed via my thoughts like some dopey chorus of the rustic tune he’d offered me to and but, slightly the wailing nation diva myself, I stored bringing them again with a purpose to ask myself why it harm such a lot. Was it simply the inventory cliché, betrayal, jealousy, anger and humiliation I felt, or was once it in point of fact dropping the essence of this excellent guy from my lifestyles that brought about me this irrepressible grief? I used to be satisfied of the latter. Some stuff you simply know.

As I debarked from the boat and grew to become on foot up one of the vital unpaved roads of the island, my anger was once long gone however the grief puddled up in my frame in order that most effective the constant rhythm of my sighs, just like the whitecaps, one after every other washing towards the boat, may just persuade me I used to be nonetheless dwelling. As clueless because the gaping gulls who waddled towards me searching for a hand-out, I had crossed the water to seek out a solution. Once at the island, I adopted the twists within the dust street in step with a scribbled map, my gaze drawn from the road indicators to the wild flower gardens, the slatted fences and yards suffering from tricycles and garden chairs even this overdue within the season. The weeds which had begun to overhaul the gardens gave the impression to odor of degradation.

I entered Mary Alice’s screened-in porch and rang the bell. Though I doubted I might in finding any solace within the studying, I used to be curious as to what she may just say with out realizing me or my state of affairs in any respect. Yet inside of my two hour assembly this beautiful and proficient astrologer, a smart lady and mistress of metaphor, was once ready to present me explanations in regards to the fragile state of my psyche that made extra sense than the reasoning I’d labored via in my treatment.

Her first symbol of me was once that my palms have been caught in a Chinese puzzle. The extra I attempted to wiggle them out, the extra I discovered them locked up. Without getting too technical, I’ll simply say that she confirmed me how two very intense planetary transits have been at paintings affecting my moon or feelings, and Venus, my dating lifestyles. She recommended me to easily give up, to sit down in my rocking chair through the hearth, ingesting tea with my favourite blanket round my shoulders, taking part in my saddest nation arias permitting myself to descend into the divine abyss of loss- (the important thing phrase here’s divine) “Until you are lifted out,” she stated. “And you will be lifted out.” She peered at me significantly; “And when you are, you will become someone entirely new.”

On the collective stage, Pluto, the planet of ruination and riches, had simply entered the signal of Scorpio the place it might stay for the following twelve years. She defined that along with my non-public plight, the universe was once making an full of life shift itself and that as we got here nearer to the millennium, many people have been tapping into an awakening. Humanity itself was once gearing up for a big evolutionary jump, one which might take a few years to transform obvious. Oh yeah, the harmonious Age of Aquarius, I believed, remembering the sixties musical Hair. So how come I’m depressing? She stated my soul had selected this actual have an effect on and could be opening to a brand new objective however first, because of Pluto’s renovation method, it had to be stripped of emotional dependencies, in order that I might be informed the actual nature of affection, which was once unconditional. She defined that I had 3 planets within the 8th space, the herbal house for Pluto. Later, studying about Pluto I got here throughout this quote through the eminent Jungian-Astrologer Liz Greene: “If there are many planets in the eighth, the individual must learn to look darkness in the face (85).

I didn’t really understand much astrology then, but I did know that I had a loaded eighth house and that mythically, the descent is often the way into transformation and I thought of the poet Dante in his dark woods, the mythical story of Persephone’s abduction, Odysseus’ trip to Hades and the many literary figures and writers who went to the underworld before returning with new knowledge 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 own father. Mary Alice’s astrological explanation for my crisis clicked intuitively in a way I couldn’t explain. As psycho-babbly as these astrological terms (“Pluto sq., Saturn transit”) sounded to me at the time, I sensed there was something more profound at work. My sense of loss was almost disproportional to the reality of the event. Among other things I learned about my chart that day was the fact that I had been born to lose my father and with each new loss, the original feeling of loss was triggered.

My stricken mother had simply gone on when my father died. With her four children 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 way we were already grieving. My mother did what she thought was the right thing. Put one foot in front of the other and move forward. But I thought 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 ruler 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 house 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 railing on the stairs and told us our father had had an accident and died of a heart attack. I remembered distinctly three words surfacing in my head: “he is killed himself.” Even at fifteen, my own unconscious intuited the truth I didn’t actually discover until I was twenty-nine.

On the trip back to the mainland, I felt for the first time since the breakup as if my emotional and mental state might now make some sense. Somehow believing in a spiritual rescue and recovery was the most heartening idea I had heard in many months and I had learned the effect of the “Pluto sq.” was to clear away what was not “serving” my “upper objective.” I was, quite simply, in hell. Incarcerated by the classical God Hades, deep in the realm of depression and loss.

Another name for the ruler of subterranean spaces was “Plutus” which means “riches.” Treasures and resurrections were also associated with Pluto. What I didn’t know at that time was how very long the journey would take to yield these treasures. But shortly thereafter, in earnest, I was lifted out by a major archetypal dream. I recognized it as important by the numinosity of the images and the level of emotional intensity it left me with.

I am walking on the beach with a adolescent girl who is in my care. She is cranky and nagging me. I find her to be a real pain in the neck. At some point 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 right between her eyes. Now I am truly concerned about her because the splinter has become a wedge as big as a meat cleaver. I go to pull it out again but when I release it from her head, her head splits open in clean very surreal planes and out flies a huge bird. The two very cubically neat halves of her head fold back into place as the eagle flaps its enormous wings and flies above and around us. We hold each other squealing and laughing in awe of the bird’s power, acting like giddy young girls and I feel a deep love this girl.

This dream was a tremendous release. I wasn’t sure of all the implications but I knew the girl I didn’t want any part of was me at thirteen or fourteen, that it spoke of an adolescent wound, most likely my father’s death, and that out of this girl’s pain had come a huge bird. It seemed to me the wound of abandoning boyfriend and the wound of the father were overlaid and had thrown me back to the girl who had never healed, who lived with this issue now right between the eyes. Depending on the genus, birds are often associated with the spiritual world, the heavens, although some like the owl, albatross or raven are associated with more negative augury. But this bird was a huge eagle with an enormous wingspan and what I felt from the image of it flapping its wings was the sheer physical power of its body. It was the joy of witnessing that huge, muscular body and feeling the strength of its wings that delighted me and the young dream girl. It is difficult to convey the fascination and pleasure we felt in watching the enormity of that bird take off.

The American and Native American symbol of the eagle is related 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 symbol of Christ’s ascension, “… additionally an characteristic of John the Evangelist… Jung regards the eagle as a father image.” (Imagine my surprise!!!) (The Herder Symbol Dictionary 63) I found even more synchronistic meaning in J.C. Cooper’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols: “… liberate from bondage… Alchemic: The hovering eagle is the liberated a part of the prima materia… resurrection and the brand new lifestyles in baptism: the soul renewed through grace ” (italics mine).

In the dream there was a transformation and the head wound was instantaneously healed. It was only later that I realized in Freudian psychology that the foot wound is a sexual wound, the Oedipal wound from the father. In the story of Oedipus, the baby boy 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 later in life is to unconsciously commit incest and beget children 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 young girl’s splinter or foot wound becomes a wound in her head, an unconscious complex. When the wounding object is released, the spiritual power flies out in the form of the eagle. The alchemical gold of transformation is in the lead of depression, as the bird is in the whining adolescent’s head.

I felt so clear and relieved that I actually thought 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 say there weren’t recurring relapses into sorrow and more pining, but I felt I had a leg up from the abysmal pit of depression 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 read the lines You ask the answer, it is but one word-Again. As I read these words I realized I wanted to go back into therapy.

Driving to a small seacoast town an hour away, I began going twice a week for two hour and a half sessions with Winona, a petite woman who grew up in New England and had just returned after spending twenty or so years in Belgium and Switzerland where she trained at the C.G. Jung Institute in Kusnacht, outside Zurich. By this time my ex and I had sold and split the proceeds of our house. I bought the beach condo and used some of the money 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 record them fast enough. Nor could I stop writing poems. It was a tremendously introspective but fruitful time.

It’s said that the early dreams in an analysis set the themes for the entire analysis and so it was in my own experience. Here is my first dream (with another bird) where I believe I found a new view of myself and the work I had to do.

I am on a beautiful beach. It is the shape of my neighborhood beach but much more tropical more like the beach in New Zealand which I recently saw on the postcard I received from a dear friend. I am walking with my son and we see in the distance, walking towards us, an old woman wearing a babushka and flying a kite. My eight year old son is excited to hold the kite. As the old woman approaches us, she looks me straight in the eye and holds out her arm to hand me the kite string. My son is jumping up and down, trying to grab it. As I look up at the kite itself, I notice it is not an inanimate object but a live vulture that the old woman is flying on a leash. I back away from her, shaking my head No… No, I don’t want anything to do with a vulture. But my young son jumps up and down saying “Take it Mom, Please take it.” I keep shaking my head and backing away, pulling him away until I catch the eye of the old woman again and she nods at me as if to say, “Honey, you’ll higher take this vulture. It’s yours. It belongs to you.”

Most of us identify and recognize the vulture as the bird who feeds on the dead. But what I didn’t see at the time was the significance of the vulture as a symbol of underworld wisdom. It was sacred 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 heavy archetypal image, universally comprehended as an association with the dead. Again, the symbol dictionaries emphasized interpretations synchronistic to my particular experience. “Since it eats carrion and transforms it into important power, the vulture… is aware of the name of the game of the transformation of nugatory subject material into gold.” (Herder, 211) And “Ambivalent as maternal solicitude, coverage and safe haven, and as death-dealing destruction and voracity. All vultures have been regarded as feminine and symbolized the female concept with the hawk as male (italics mine)… As a scavenger the vulture represented purification, a employee of excellent. In Egypt it represented the Mother Goddess, maternity and love, Isis having assumed the type of a vulture” (Cooper).

I had had two bird dreams, one with the father’s wound which transforms to a powerful inner male figure and one with a crone, a wise inner feminine associated with the Egyptian Mother Goddess, Isis. Consciously, in my quotidian life, I had no reason for having dreamed these symbols. I was familiar with neither at the time of the dreams. These were “giant desires,” with collective symbols which came at a time of crisis.

With the help of my analyst, I took the vulture dream in two ways. I was perhaps lifted out of my black hole but by no means had I put my depression behind me. It was time to mine this underworld and come to grips with its contents. As the realm of the dead, it also constituted the world of my father. I knew I must go back and look at how I had integrated the negative side of my father.

My young son’s reaction in the dream, his excitement and enthusiasm to take on the vulture, to let it fly as his own pet, showed in Jung’s terms, my young animus or my newly reborn creative male side, eager and capable of handling this material. I must follow the vulture. And the old lady, whom I associated to my Polish grandmother, a pious and spiritually wise immigrant with an abiding faith in the supernatural-she was the archetypal Wise Old Woman. What had become of the hag, the dark side of the Great Mother? Foolishly, I thought she was gone for good. I didn’t realize then that in times of new emotional setbacks which carried repressed anger or fear, she would reappear again, often in the form of a bag lady. But for now, I was thrilled to have an older woman as an inner mentor, a crone.

I also had her in Winona, who was far from crone-looking but older and wiser than I in the world of dreams. But this old woman in the dream was also a potential part of me, the part that was wiser than my ego, who I thought I was, what I thought I needed, that narrow range to which we limit ourselves from our unique egoic perception. I learned not to trust the ego’s position in the dream. The conscious self did not want the vulture; the unconscious animus, my son, was raring to take it on! With Winona’s help, I could see from the wise woman’s perspective that she knew better than my ego did. The dream clicked in the specific direction of my new “trail.” Dream paintings gave the impression a highest pal to poetry, my selected box. I’ve been immersed within the imagery of each ever since.

References

Cooper, An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Traditional Symbols. London: Thames and Hudson, Ltd., 1978

Hall, James, Dream Interpretation, Toronto: Inner City Books, 1983

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