July 1998: Dreams & Reflections

"The longing for light is the longing for consciousness."

                            C. G. Jung

From Maureen:

Dream of the Old Fool . . .

When I went to visit Jung the other night (in a dream), he was living in a rather pleasant, plant-filled and very light-filled apartment block, sort of like a hermit, suspicious of callers. When he answered the door after I’d knocked on it, he was in a very grumpy mood and I could tell (telepathically) that he suspected I was another ‘Jung groupie’, come to collect an autograph, or advice, or somesuch. I had to get really angry at him and tell him off for suspecting/projecting this assumption. I really yelled at him in indignation and he appreciated this and became friendly and let me in (he looked old-yet-young, white haired but very full of life). I then informed him that I’d come to read his aura, upon which he then suspected I was some sort of New Age ditz. Again, I got annoyed and proceeded to study his aura. It was remarkable, a swirling mass of rainbow hues - spectacular, bright and vibrant! We didn’t say anything in words, though; it was all telepathic and quite friendly (mutually respectful) from there on, and sort of faded out with us still chatting non-verbally.

A kind of synchronicity occurred the following evening, at my home gathering group. Myself and a good friend had some full-on shadow confrontation stuff - we got into a very emotive yelling (mutual Taurus-Scorpio shadow antagonism) match - something we’ve been dealing and sticking with for months, since we both know there are valuable lessons to be gleaned from the creative/destructive tension here - this guy is the only bod who can get me really riled (and vice versa for him). But it turned out to be very cathartic and releasing for everyone present and ended in much opening up of shared wounds, love and laughter - and hot soup all round (yep, it’s winter Down Under). The irony was that the topic for discussion that evening was ‘archetypes’! It was as if ol’ CG, chuckling over a tankard of ale, was saying, "So, you think you can all sit around talking about archetypes in a civilized and detached manner. I’ll show you!" The puer also came to the party, as one guy walked out in disgust muttering, "How childish!"

From: Covert Harris

To Maureen and All,

Maureen, I got up at 4:30 am because I could no longer sleep, with your Old Fool dream in mind. You guys are going to be the death of me. :)

If your post was tongue-in-cheek, you got me - I bit. Oh God, how do I say this? Okay. How, at your stage of individuation, could you ever feel indignation about anything - even in a dream? To feel indignation, one must somehow "believe" that s/he is important in some concrete "correct" or decreed sense, and that if anyone, even Carl Jung, were to dare disagree, or be "wrong," or mistaken about one’s station, even for a second, why that would be an insult, because one deserves to be held in a higher light. I’m having trouble phrasing this because it is so distant.

Don’t you think that everybody is a little bit of everything? I personally hold you in the highest light. I have read quite a few interpretations of Jungian thought, and yours is right up there with the best of them. I print your wonderful stuff out sometimes and show it to friends with pride that you even know my name. At the same time, I can’t say that a person who doesn’t know Carl Jung from Robert Young (that person would be with the vast majority) is wrong when s/he labels you a groupie or New Age Ditz. It seems to me that general agreement and the perspective of the looker is as valid as not, when there is no last-word decree anywhere that proves you are anything else, at least in part - I certainly accept those labels for myself, and any other label, if there is a person within or without who has the need to pin it on me. (Again, because I think I am everything and nothing.)

Could it be that your dream was coaxing you to look at the possibility that if the great C.J. could mistake your station for a moment, well then...in other words, what’s wrong with being a C.J. groupie and New Age ditz?

Hi Covert

Thanks (as always) for your input. Who was it who suggested a few days ago that our interpretations of dreams will inevitably reflect the projection of our own psychology (hence, as Jung stresses, one can never interpret someone else’s dream)? Your understanding of the motives for indignation perhaps reveal this, when you suggest they ‘must’ only be of one persuasion - self importance. Bear in mind, I invite you, that Christ was indignant at the money-changers in the Temple, and that Jung himself often yelled at his patients and sometimes scared them. Self -importance there? I don’t think so in their cases, so perhaps you can be a little more flexible here as well. I also put this to you: that a) Jung was appreciative of the response in the dream, that b) it ended with us ‘chatting’ as mutually respectful friends, and that c) there is a distinction, fine ‘tis true, between (unconscious) shadow projection and the conscious direction of the shadow. The latter requires one to have owned one’s demons, and believe me, one has no authority in shamanic work unless one has. (Funny you should use the word ‘higher light’ in describing your perception of me, when the shadow belongs to the ‘lower dark’ . . . I ain’t called ‘The Dark’ for nuthin’!)

Don’t you think that everybody is a little bit of everything? Including shadow? I personally hold you in the highest light.

Sorry to disappoint you here, Covert - as I say, I’m just at home in the murky depths of Underworld, lowest dark, and shadow. The other factor you fail to consider (and it’s one that Jung always insisted on) is the outer context of the dream, which I expounded on, namely the group work I have been doing on integrating the shadow. As I said, this work has had great therapeutic value for those of us who have stuck with it - and learned to live appreciatively with one another’s darker sides. (By ‘Jung groupie’, I meant, by the way, someone who cannot think for themselves, or who adopts Jung’s psychology as a belief system, or as a substitute for direct experience; ‘by New Age ditz’ I mean someone who refuses to acknowledge or deal with the darker side of the psyche and instead preaches a Gospel of ‘all light and positive thinking’).

Dream analysis is always what I call a ‘trialogue’ - not a monologue - or even a dialogue. The Third Factor, ideally in analysis, is Mercurius, whose passion is for truth at all costs, who is always ambivalent, and who will always override both ego and shadow to arrive at a ‘higher synthesis’ of the two perspectives.

Mercurial Blessings

Maureen/"The Dark" Nathair

Al wrote:

I feel that the two ethereal angelic beings [in my dream] who hover above the ground just above the rooftops were for me unattainable. In life I tend to have a tendency to soar to the heights (perhaps the puer aspect). In real life I used to climb mountains (I even climbed Mont Blanc in France years ago). For many years my hobby was competitive dog-sledding in -40 weather sometimes going for 300 miles, seemingly a heroic, puer activity. Maybe it has something to do with my being a Pisces and born on a full moon. At the end of my dream a wise old man instructs me on how to "fly" close to the ground - perhaps telling me that it is here, at a less dangerous level that I should concentrate on.

Interesting, Al

Have you read Jung’s account of the mountaineer who fell to his death after dreaming he’d stepped off a mountain? Jung asked him what he’d felt at that moment. The guy answered ‘ecstasy’, which is from ‘ek-stasis’, meaning to step outside of oneself. Pisces bods are more renowned than any others of the 12 zodiacal types for seeking to escape the confines of the body (Alice will perhaps confirm this?) I think the dream speaks for itself, and you speak clearly and honestly for it . . .


Kurt wrote:

The most powerful image of this creative tension for me is that of Christ’s crucifixion: feet nailed to the cross, but His spirit being pulled to the Father in heaven...

Yes, and isn’t this perhaps the foremost symbol of (obsolete) Piscean matter-spirit dualism? Jung comments on this in his Letters in relation to the Pisces-Virgo/Christ-Mary/Heaven-Earth axis. If matter is mother ‘mater’, then the new coniunctio will involve the equal partnership of spirit and matter, not the privileging of one pole (formerly Neptunian/Piscean spirit) over the other. Hence the incoming Aquarian age is dominated by matter’s foremost advocate - Saturn. (Again, Alice would have wisdom to add here)

An extract (on Jung Circle site) from my shamanism book:

"In this context we can appreciate the importance of the central World Tree, or axis mundi in shamanism, for its top reaches into the celestial Overworld and its roots, passing through the middle realm of World, descend into Underworld. As Jung discusses, the dead tree of the Christian Cross, symbolic of the rejected vegetative realm and Nature, reinforces Christ’s one-sided spiritualization, which is compensated by Mary as Virgo, the feminine Earth. The shamanic World Tree is, in contrast, alive and central; equally in touch with above and below, hence a perfect synthesis of the two, it communes with earth, darkness, matter and water through its roots, and is at home with light, air and the Sun’s fire above. Symbolically, when Christ is buried again in the mother’s womb at Easter, he regains his lost wholeness. Similarly in the Greek myth, an image of Attis is nailed to a tree, then cut down and taken into the cave of earth mother Cybele."

Maureen/"The Dark" Nathair

From: Covert Harris

Maureen wrote:

there is a distinction, fine ‘tis true, between (unconscious) shadow projection and the conscious direction of the shadow. The latter requires one to have owned one’s demons, and believe me, one has no authority in shamanic work unless one has.

I’m trying to understand Hoyle here: I assume "unconscious projection" refers to a shadow we don’t see. It will be recongnized as a past shadow only after it becomes conscious, but will remain protected in the dark by psychological defenses before that time. How can a shadow be outed other than by a dream or some other spontaneous manifestation of the unconscious, or by someone else pointing it out? I don’t know you well enough to legitimately go shadow hunting, but if I did, I would never be dissuaded by you "correcting" me; that goes with the territory.

(Funny you should use the word ‘higher light’ in describing your perception of me, when the

shadow belongs to the ‘lower dark’ . . . I ain’t called ‘The Dark’ for nuthin’!)

I accept the possibility that you have a profoundly dark aspect to your personality, but I will own my "Freudian slip" in what I said. I don’t feel dark from you, and I also know what I know about dark would never leave my fingertips, so I assume your dark likewise will probably stay in the dark away from the light of my perception.

As I said, this work has had great therapeutic value for those of us who have stuck with it - and learned to live appreciatively with one another’s darker sides.

What I know about dark includes an element of evil, which, if discussed, could result in serious confrontations with society, which isn’t ready yet for anything of the sort.



From: Alice Howell

if we remember that the PROCESS of spirit is creating - yang - the PROCESS of matter or matering, mothering is to give form to life! yin. Also what even material mamas do!:} Sophia’s job in Old Testament.

and as all so-called matter is energy moving at a slower rate, the conclusion surely is that hidden in all matter is energy=consciousness=spirit. if you draw a cross an invisible circle of spirit is implied by the adding of 4x90 deg. the celtic cross implies the unity as does celtic christianity. thus the crucifixion is symbolically a metaphor for us all. the unity of god is broken into diversity ergo separation and potential suffering, experience, n eventual joy of wisdom through reunion or the yoking of opposites.

the whole story of fall n redemption is only true of the ego as an extension of our divine guest/Self. The divine guest/atman/christ within watches n waits while we struggle collectively to make this world conscious.

which is why god can’t eat a poached egg but we CAN n can share it WITH

not "IN remembrance of thee"-

it has takn me 75 yrs to come to this but if you can take these few thoughts, so necessarily condensed, into the heaven within yr own psyche maybe an aha! might drop off the living tree of beauty growing within....

"Heaven is spread upon the earth but men do not see it." gospel acc. to Thomas

it is extraordinary what can happen when you look at the manifest world w/all its critters, human as well, with a loving eye. all the philosophy, science, theology etc. leads us surely around the circumference - but such truth that we seek so diligently probably only comes through the process of revealing what was never concealed - being too obvious, too simple. Then the holy grail is filled with that love - the circle is only its rim.

except we become like little children...

love n blessings from

alice, well into second childhood! :]

Cogito ergo sum..... ergo scivio deus est! or Awareness sanctifies.


Covert Harris wrote:

In Sphere, as much of it reflects the dream or active imagination state as conscious reality. In dreams, for instance, when you know there is something to discover about yourself, but your subconscious is not quite ready to offer it up for conscious reflection, you may ask a question and find the question completely ignored. This kind of thing cropped up in the movie, serving as a reminder that the movie operated on both levels of the psyche.

Not a particularly good flick, agreed, but a few of relevant archetypal themes ‘surfaced’ in Sphere: a 3 + 1 quaternity (1 woman and 3 blokes) descend to explore the alien vessel. The Sphere is gold, yet its surface swirls ‘like mercury’ (shades of the Philosophers’ Stone - hey, maybe that’s why S. Stone stars!) The fear, manifesting the crew’s unconscious, materializes in one point as nasty jellyfish (limbic brain/primordial consciousness stuff). The movie reflects a growing trend in sf: the well-known theme of inner mirroring outer space, where the outer is projected as either ‘Above’ or ‘Below’ - space or sea (as symbols of the unconscious); cf. an equally lame but intriguing movie, ‘The Abyss’, in which the face of each bod on the submarine is reflected back to them in the form of an alien snake-like water-shape that mimics their facial gestures. (Jules Verne of course started this ‘underwater enemy’ trend with his ‘20,000 Leagues Under the Sea’).

Did anybody else see it and get a different take, or some other great symbols or metaphors (such as S. Stone as Anima to D. Hoffman - I forgot their stage names)?

Or Hoffy as animus to Stone (this is what I saw)? I think the old androcentric models are fast fading in science fiction, i.e. the males are no longer the main reference point; the androgynous individual is (a more Aquarian perspective). It’s not, in other words, the ‘common man’ (as you put it) who’s not ready to face the Sphere’s power to manifest fear; it’s each of us (male and female) who are unable to ;)

What a vastly superior movie ‘Contact’ was! Here the issues of Christianity vs gnosis as the lone individual’s death-rebirth experience of transcendence is dealt with with astounding subtlety, complexity, poetic sensitivity, and brilliant acting (especially by Jodie Foster as the heroic quester into the Unknown ‘Heavens’).

‘Hopping mad’ blessings

Maureen (Unipedal Alchemical Androgyne & SF Buff)

From: Gwen Wolf

My interests are in a deepening spirituality that informs my own healing journey and my work with others; a greater awareness and conscious connection with something one might call "unitive consciousness". I am a tentative explorer of Jung, though I must admit not at this time a "strict devotee". I have found the ideas gained from participating in Jungian dream and discussion groups both helpful and provocative enough to goad me to explore further.

Several dreams have been offered for consideration in the last week. Since I know none of you, anything I would say would obviously be my projections. Of these, perhaps the one I find easiest to project and learn from is Maureen’s. The ideas which reach me in it were a desire for respect, respect for the dreamer’s "knowing" and "skill" from a person who represents the very groundwork of a discipline that is important personally as well respect as for individual creative applications or abilities in the professional setting which are still regarded with some skepticism (an experience not unknown to Jung in his day, too). On the very threshold of meeting this entity at the doorway to his turf is a test - one successfully countered by showing anger. Not just loose cannon, random or irrational anger, but apparently persausive discussion (? argument) fueled and focused in the presence of... and maybe with the assistance of anger, successful enough to gain respect as a colleague. That’s a pretty powerful experience!

Then I wonder, for myself, what part of me might be struggling this hard, even in anger, to gain internal acknowledgement and confidence that my "knowing" is worthy of respect. How do I need to support it and how do I need to just keep mining my depths and darkness to keep that wisdom vital?

Will be listening again when I return.


From: Irene

[Maureen]< Pisces bods are more renowned than any others of the 12 zodiacal types for seeking to escape the confines of the body Is that true Maureen?? I have two Pisces children almost 2 years apart, February 20th and 22nd.

Hi Irene

Lucky you - Pisces children are usually delightful - dreamy, peace-loving, empathic. I have a pal who has twin Pisces boys and they’re quite telepathic with one another - and with the cows out in the fields! As I say, Alice, who knows far more than I do about ‘Jung and astrology’, could add more here, but the mythic counterpart of Pisces is Dionysus, who (as the antithesis of focused Apollo) symbolizes the explosion of the isolated ego into the world, hence Pisces bods often have weak ego boundaries - they’re often not sure whether what they’re feeling is their own stuff or someone else’s emotions or pain. Also, being naturally in touch with the collective unconscious and Neptunian dream-world, they are the least egoic of all the signs, hence the least protective of personal space and physical form. Being ruled by Neptune means that they prefer the idealism of escape from the material plane. Hope this helps - does this describe your kids?

Maureen "the Dark"

FeatherStar wrote:

Amongst our discussions, we talked about how when energy is placed in something like a centrifuge, and spun (reminds me how we get spun in life) that a fraction or piece of energy (smaller than an electron) is broken off, and goes crazy inside the centrifuge trying to find its way back home. Until the fraction is able to find its way back to the original energy it broke from, or a new place which is a good environment, it will keep searching, and in some cases will burn up looking. Sometimes when it stays in a place it doesn’t belong, it causes the energy group to be unstable energy, like the kind used in atomic bombs.

From Maureen:

I am particularly intrigued by the above; as you suggest, there are indeed parallels between psyche and matter here, and this helpful input has thrown some light on a recent therapy session. In it, a woman whose daughter is ‘trapped in the past’ through having been sexually abused as a child, recounted a dream of a female pet dog who had been caught in the wheel of a land-rover and was trapped in the hub, spinning around helplessly. We explored my suggestion that the dog symbolized her daughter, which the woman felt was right. The centrifugal spinning is of course analogous to the self-cycling alchemical process of individuation, but here the energy is trapped and not progressing. I felt this might relate to a splinter psyche (the lost fraction, or piece of energy you mention), hence that the dream hinted at a soul loss which might benefit from a shamanic soul retrieval. (The ‘energy groups’ which the lost bit enter correlate to what Jung called ‘complexes’, bundles of energy that act as indepenedent personalities and cause neuroses). I will certainly put all this as a possible perspective to the woman when I next see her, as I felt that the dream of the ‘centrifugal dog’ was very significant. (These comments might also help folk on the list appreciate how Jungian analysis, shamanism and physics work hand in hand in hand).

Thanks & Safe Journeys

Maureen R.

From Maureen R.:


Your likening of yourself to a beached bottle rack struck me as an overtly sexual image - but one that raises the feminine receptivity of yin to new heights, or rather depths, to wit of the ocean. It sounds as though your ability to conceive, gestate and birth has, in Will the Shake’s words, ‘suffered a sea-change into something rich and strange’(?) ["Those are pearls that were [her] eyes . . .’] The sea, that surging alchemical vessel of death and rebirth, creation and destruction is surely (along with you and Alice Howell) the maternal grandmother par excellence. And what are the begetting bottles you hold - ones containing messages (the Logos to your Eros), or Dionysian wine (the orgiastic/ecstatic face of Eros?) Ah me, I wax lyrical (yet again). You wrote:

"This bottle rack, torn from its utilitarian context and washed up on the beach, has been invested with the lonely dignity of the derelict. Good for nothing, there to be used, ready for anything, it is alive. It lives on the fringe of the existence of its own disturbing, absurd life." And I say a total YES to all this. It is enough, a fine privilege to be a bottle rack!

Dunno about your retrograde Mercury, Teresa, but the above IS articulate and poetically Tao-ish. Bottle racks over bottlenecks (as the soul’s endured pressure preceding its release) any day.

I’d like to add that so far, the Circle has fulfilled my original ‘vision’ for it - as a friendly and mutually supportive sacred space for lovers of the Old Fool - a fire-warmed place where folk of all ages, occupations, levels of education, typologies and backgrounds could feel at home, and free to share their ‘memories, dreams, reflections’ in an open-hearted and open-minded way. This vision was also in one respect an attempt to compensate for the cerebral ping-pong, shadow-fuelled bickering, and (sometimes) soulless reductionism that has plagued and undermined other Jung lists in the past. Of course, the list has produced in every way ‘the unexpected’ as well, which is a sure sign of the rulership of Mercurius and soul!


From Shadowcatcher:

My life has been full of mystery, violence and death, moments of pain, and moments of ecstasy. Love, sweet and tender, love, tearing apart the fabric of my soul. I have found beauty and ugliness in the world, and in my own reflection. I have found promise in a smile and have gone the extra mile, only to falter near the end, having to begin again, paying my way with blood and tears, playing with the fire that sears, watching the years go by in ever diminishing moments. I have found the most precious treasure, only to see it fade away, day by day, slipping away in time, in my mind. Drinking my wine, singing my song, wondering where I belong, and to whom, silence, soft and dark as a tomb, was it a womb? Life in it’s entirety with its frivolity and its care, is better than no life, with no one to share.

Take care


From Maureen:

On Hillman’s view: "Oppositionalism, then, is a psychological myth underlying Jung’s approach to the unconscious."

Here I side with Jung, given that his concept of ‘opposition’, like all his concepts, is based on or extrapolated from direct and extensive experience of the psyche (his own and that of his patients). The spontaneous production of mandala symbolism by folk in crisis and visionary situations, or in cases of schizophrenia, along with alchemical symbolic processes in dreams (discussed from real life cases convincingly by Jung in Psychology & Alchemy) is strong evidence of the psyche’s natural tendency to balance and synthesise opposites. I experienced all this stuff myself - before I’d ever heard of Jung, alchemy and mandalas. And it was the fact that I had experienced it, and that Jung was able to offer a credible perspective on it, that drew me to Jung in the first place. Here (at last) was someone who understood what I’d experienced - because he’d lived through similar realities; hence Jung’s two central axioms: ‘the reality of the psyche’ and ‘you understand nothing psychological unless you’ve experienced it.’ Hillman, as much as I admire him and enjoy his work, is arguing from a false premise, namely that Jung started with the concept and tried to fit facts to it.

"Opposition is true friendship."

"Contraries are positives."

(William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell)

Maureen R.

From: Chris Ford

Dear Maureen, Kurt and all

Regarding the World Tree replacing the cross as the new symbol... A ‘big dream’ has been published about this exactly. I’d like to recommend "Renewal of the World Tree," by Margaret Allen (the dreamer) and Meredith Sabini, both Jungian psychologists. It appears in the book, The Sacred Heritage: The Influence of Shamanism on Analytical Psychology edited by Donald Sandner and Steven Wong (Routledge 1997).

It opens in a church ruin with an old altar and dilapidated cross the dreamer and her friends cannot ‘fix’. Christ appears and speaks about how the ‘stage’ of the scapegoat-victim worshipped as savior is now passing, and says he will not be getting back on the cross; a polished white tree is moved by an invisivle energy toward the site, followed by celebrants holding cords that link them to it. The dreamer realizes this will be the new centrepiece for the old altar; she asks how she is to worship in this new time; Christ suggests she contemplate the tree. In it the dreamer sees a different cross and the "familiar figure" of her own shining ally, spiritual guide. She finds her friends shared the vision, but each saw their own ally, the individual link to knowing the numinous, the invisible energy directly for themselves.

Regards, Chris

Kurt responds [to Maureen]:

Are you implying that the World Tree will replace the (obsolete) Cross as the central symbol of matter-spirit creative tension? There may be some evidence of this in the Ecology movements, but one could also argue that as symbols go the World Tree is even more obsolete than the cross.

Perhaps the most ubiquitous symbol of the 20th century is the Network. We have electrical networks, phone networks, political networks, etc. It has even become a verb. This discussion even takes place on the Net! The problem with this symbol is that it has no polarity, no tension, it symbolizes connection without an implication of something worth communicating (which in itself is symptomatic of the times).

To quote Alice: "aquarius is not carrying water - it is not a water sign - it is carrying invisible energy - aqua vita - makes some of Jesus’ acts n words symbolically more potent."

Do you see any evidence of a symbol implying ‘aqua vit’ that is gaining steam at the dawn of the Aquarian age??

Regards, ~Kurt


From Maureen R.:

Covert Harris wrote:

I’m trying to understand Hoyle here: I assume "unconscious projection" refers to a shadow we don’t see.

Hi Covert

I’d suggest it’s the shadow we don’t own (as a legitimate part of ourselves, and hence of others) that stays unconscious and is therefore projected. Read Jung’s account of the shadow in Aion for starters. Who’s Hoyle - not the Fred variety (a sf author?)

I accept the possibility that you have a profoundly dark aspect to your personality, but I will own my "Freudian slip" in what I said. I don’t feel dark from you, and I also know what I know about dark would never leave my fingertips, so I assume your dark likewise will probably stay in the dark away from the light of my perception.

Don’t count on it, Covert (see following log-stacked post.) As Jung clarifies, there’s a distinction between the personal shadow - some of which is morally reprehensible, some of which is useful, so we need to discern what’s worth integrating - and the collective, or archetypal Shadow (= genuine evil - to be avoided at all costs!)

Kind regards (be assured of that)


Hi Folk

Brace yourselves for a pile of logs: I’d like to share in some detail a personal concern of mine, which in turn relates to a concern I have for the potential vulnerability of folk (including myself!) on this list. Hopefully the following will serve as a sobering reminder that dream analysis, in the context of Jung’s clearly stated guiding ethics for psychotherapy, is not meant to be an opportunity for any Tom, Dick or Hilary to offer, no matter how well-intentioned, instant or ill-considered interpretations of shared personal dream material.

Dream analysis, if it is to have worth or validity, is, as Jung stresses, a painstaking work requiring courage and honesty (on both sides), scrupulous attention to detail, considerable knowledge of comparative mythology and religion, and a willingness to renounce ego control so that the Self (as Mercurius) might preside. It might be worth reminding ourselves that Jung, with commendable humility - and even though he had worked through thousands of dream-based psychotherapy sessions - began each dream analysis with the assumption that he had no idea what the dream meant, then proceeded cautiously and carefully from there, always including a thorough examination of the personal context and the dreamer’s own associations. As a personal note to Covert, who is always a valued contributor and who has been a welcome catalyst for these reflections, I hope you can appreciate that it’s not my intention to pick on you here (since I always appreciate your honesty and openness to sharing); I’m merely using the example of your response to a dream of mine as a cautionary reminder of the kind of trap we are all capable of falling into.

On a positive note, you have brought to light an archetypal situation that perhaps deserves further comment and consideration by all of us. Firstly on a personal note, then: if you have formerly put me on some kind of pedestal (‘I-regard-you-in-the-highest-light’ syndrome - and you’re not the first on this list to have done so and then been sadly ‘disappointed’), I suggest it’s because, well, you’ve put (a false image of) me there; I, on the other hand, am not at all concerned with climbing the stairs to that particular barren, lonesome, and overly bright summit. To put it more bluntly, I am not here to be repeatedly knocked - by disappointed idealists - off of a pedestal on which I have had no desire to be put in the first place. I have other fish to fry - following the ruthless demands of my daimon for starters. So to anyone else who might be tempted to try this pedestal toppling game, I say, to hell (meaning literally to Hades’ dark realm, one of my fav abodes) with your fantasies, unrealistic expectations and puer-ile delusions and projections of inhuman perfection. I might mention that it’s perhaps significant that it’s only (a few) blokes who have reacted this way, so maybe there’s an ‘idealizing anima’ issue at work here(?) Dunno . . . just a thought. From women, on the other hand, I have received nothing but friendship, generous support, empathy (from fellow artists/writers), and human warmth and companionship.

Far from being a trek to a pedestal top, my own ascent has always been felt and experienced as far more in the nature of the poet’s lone alchemical struggle to ascend - to insight and ‘com-passion’ for the world - from the prima materia of Saturnine depression in the ‘vale of the Soul-making’, in order to ‘earth the vision’ (and how well my favourite human being of all time, Mr John Keats, portrays this). Yes, of course I’ve ‘disappointed’ and annoyed various folk. So what? So did Jung - which perhaps puts me in good company. What makes Jung (for me at least) so lovable - and truly ‘great’ - is precisely his humility, his flawed humanity, his great-hearted passion for truth at all costs, his sense of humour and mischief, his compassion for suffering individuals, his love of Nature (and the feminine); not his (non-existent) perfection or papal infallibility (who, after all, can love a person with no quirks or failings?)

But folk have insisted, and still persist in putting him on a pedestal (‘the great Jung’ Monty Python Life of Brian Messiah syndrome), then find out - surprise, surprise! - that he was (gosh!) a human being like them, complete with grumpiness, personal failings, blind spots, and impatience with the cerebral dolts who falsely assumed he was primarily a (mere) theorist, rather than an empiricist who had actually experienced what he was writing about (e.g. archetypes). As for le moi - whose aim is (among many other passions) to follow Jung’s personal example of courage and honesty, not blindly imitate him, or regurgitate his teachings parrot-fashion - like the ‘Old Fool’, I’m not really sure about anything, except that I was born and exist and am carried along on an underlying current (Tao) that is infinitely vaster, deeper and wiser than I, or anyone can ever hope to fully comprehend and appreciate. Like Jung, I have simply dipped my hat in its ocean and have (again simply) aimed to share (from said hat) the heart, soul, passion (for truth), Dreams, visions and imaginal realities that I have been ambivalently blessed and cursed with, in the vague hope that it will inspire and encourage others to do likewise. Other than this, I know myself (= ‘gnosis’) as a simple, Nature-loving soul, who loves nothing more than curling up in a comfy chair with a good science fiction yarn, enjoying a yummy meal and chat with a pal around an open fire, strolling along an empty winter beach or through a forest, pottering in the garden, drumming and chanting to the silv’ry Moon, sleeping in a swaying hammock ‘neath the Sun, romping with my cat (‘Psyche’), listening to Pachelbel’s Canon in D (the long version complete with ocean sounds), watching Babylon 5 late at night, and writing, writing, and more writing. Simple? Yes, but then as ol’ C. G. reminded us, ‘how difficult it is to be simple.’

Onto a more serious and cautionary note, I will add that as far as I’m concerned, this is not a forum for people to be morally judged or criticised willy-nilly - i.e. without adequate background knowledge or examination of context - on the basis of their shared dreams. Statements such as, ‘How could someone as individuated (i.e. perfect) as you do something so, well, disappointingly self-centred?’ - the gist of Covert’s ‘interpretation’ of my (i.e. not his) Jung dream - certainly in my books slots into the ‘judgmental’ camp. (Again, Covert, please don’t take this criticism to heart).

Individuation - at least in my understanding and experience of it - is not about being a morally perfect ‘saint’ who never rocks the boat or upsets apple-carts; it is about becoming whole, and that includes integration of the shadow and its emotive manifestations, which include cunning, shrewd judgment, dropping of the Holy Turd (on rare occasions when that’s called for), and legitimate annoyances and complaints. It goes without saying that this is not an area to be trodden lightly, nor is it for the faint-hearted, or for those who naively assume that individuation = ‘being a nice person’.

Owning one’s demons requires finely-tuned discernment, guts and responsibility in order that the potentially destructive energies of the shadow can be used constructively, creatively, in the service of truth and wholeness, and in order to (ultimately) heal, not destroy (‘be ye wise as serpents and harmless as doves’). One can hold the opposites in creative tension only when the centre of one’s consciousness shifts from the ego to the Self. When this happens, one’s motivation likewise shifts away from petty concerns over defensive self-justification and becomes a far more detached passion for truth-at-all-costs. This means, in part, that one accepts, even welcomes criticism that is valid and helpful as well as rejects false assumptions, or criticisms that are unwarranted projections. The Self is equally detached from both responses, because its ‘still-centred’ passion for truth overrides its need to defend a biased ego position, or justify neurotic or monomaniacal delusions of ‘self-importance’. Sure, if the cap fits, why not wear it with honesty and good humour? But, putting it simply, this was not an apt response to the dream situation I shared, since the truth was my - and ultimately (of course) Jung’s - foremost concern here, hence the matter was quickly resolved.

One need not, in other words, react from a defensively egoic standpoint; indeed, the aim of individuation is that we move progressively beyond such narrow and neurotic horizons. In the dream, Jung was projecting onto me certain false assumptions and after realizing - with his characteristic humility and openness to truth - that he was doing so after I’d rebuked him for it, promptly withdrew them in good grace. He might just as easily have exposed a false assumption on my part, one which I trust I would have been equally prepared to acknowledge and renounce with the non-resentful sense of humour and friendly regard that he showed. (Indeed, in ALL my other dreams of Jung, the shoe has been well and truly on the other foot and it s been me that’s had to wake up to a blind spot, delusion, or false assumption I was making). Furthermore, the fact that no less than Jung could be ‘guilty’ of this minor relapse was, well, to me sobering and reassuring, since it reminded me that all of us, no matter how ‘individuated’, are humanly fallible and so need to be able to forgive this weakness in ourselves as well as in others.

In conclusion, if folk remain trusting enough to share their dreams here, and I hope everyone feels reassured that this is a safe ‘temenos’ in which they may do so, they are exposing their (sometimes wounded or fragile) souls and surely deserve to be treated with kindness and accepted as such, rather than become the target of someone’s projected ideals, neuroses, moral judgments, false assumptions, or whatnot. (And Covert, rest assured you are still a treasured tosser of logs into this Circle fire!)

Anahata in Anima Mundi

Maureen/"The Dark" Nathair

From Chris Ford:

Maureen and all

That was a bracing, thoroughly refreshing log pile! I’ve also enjoyed Covert’s posts - not the only one to feel we ideally minimalize the dark in individuation, sometimes confused with a Westerner’s perception of Eastern-style enlightenment at a ‘holy’ scale. Then there’s a point, maybe when we’re 90-something, when we fantasize that some approximate level of such attainment/detachment ‘could’ happen? Meanwhile, stay close to the also numinous dark to get some light on the subject.

A dream re the tree, new cross, and dark . . .

A rather small, urbane black man I know agrees ‘to help.’ He’s all business, like a big guy who works with his hands (which he’s not), he goes straight out to the mountains and fells two evergreen trees and rough trims them - a tall one and a short one - trucks them back to the city and parks in a structure above a lower one. Somehow I help him winch the rugged tree trunks down to that building, which houses old people. As I look at the shorn trees passing by in the air, it dawns on me they’re just right for a good large cross...kind of pagan...

This the latest in an over-the-years series of bringing numinous things down off a mountain to the city, digging channels for water, molten fire - this the first with help. In an earlier dream a more earthy ‘black man’ was ‘under’ the city with the water, sewer lines and communication cables.


These black guys intrigue me - do you see them as shadow figures (they usually are, according to Jung and Hillman)? The trees also sound important - one is stunted, one grown - could these be areas of personal development (related to practicality?) that relate to your utilising the shadow? What do you associate with the cross here, given that its 4-fold structure is a mandalic symbol of wholeness? And why ‘old people’ in the building - ancestral issues? (These are just tossed in immediate thoughts and intuitions, by the way, not an attempt at interpretation. Only if they resonate with you do they have any validity).

Maureen "the Dark"

From: Maureen Press

To quote Alice: "aquarius is not carrying water - it is not a water sign - it is carrying invisible energy - aqua vita - makes some of Jesus’ acts n words symbolically more potent."

Didn’t Jesus say that he was bringing water for a thirsty world? Or how about the water from a spring will satisfy your thirst, but you will become thirsty again. But the "water" from Christ (and Paradise, if I remember correctly) will satisfy your thirst forever.

People speak of a spiritual "hunger" these days (at least in North America); explorations in various spiritual philosophies and disciplines that make it clear that we are no longer satisfied with traditional religions. Yet the second coming of Christ - the birthing of Cosmic Consciousness - could be where we are heading - drinking the "water of life" that Aquarius brings us.

just some quick thoughts,

mitoke oyasin

From: Al


I would like to recommend a book by Alex Lukeman which I think is called What Your Dreams Can Tell You. He suggests, and I all too often forget this myself, that the dream interpreter within oneself is perhaps the best source.

From: Marilyn Geist

Al , You point to an essential part of the process Jung used in working with dreams, which was always to begin with the dreamer’s personal associations and then move outward to the collective/archetypal layers of meaning. It is tremendously helpful to know what meanings a grove of trees (to use a recent image) has to the dreamer personally, and only the dreamer can provide this. If the dreamer happen to have been raped in a grove of trees, images of sacred groves may not be very helpful - may, indeed, be hurtful - and s/he may need to work with images of groves from which evil things can leap out and pounce on one.

I used the plural, ‘meanings’, deliberately for in the Jungian view, dream images do not have only one meaning - one continues to unfold new and deeper meanings of a dream image over months and years. In time, if one continues on the path with courage and openness, a healing/transcending/opening-up-into-a-whole-new-place archetype becomes constellated. Our dreamer above may indeed find the sacred grove and the healing/blessing/protection it contains. Not instead of the earlier meaning, but along with it, bridged in a way we can never predict until it happens (that mystery we call the transcendent function).

And one does not stop there either - the individuation process is a continuing, lifelong process, and the sacred grove may be only the gateway to a larger, deeper place.


From: Shadowcatcher

Dreams represent the emotions; the conflict arises when we attempt to intellectualize the emotions. Intuition is the best interpeter of dreams, IF one pays attention to intuitive thought/feeling. However, rationalization, a form of denial, blocks the way to the real meaning of the dream. The way to get around self-denial to self-honesty is a very long process, by overcoming morality and its creation, guilt.

From: Jim Spigener

Someone whose opinion I trust has assured me the response I made was an over-reaction, most likely predicated by a personal projection. I was aware of that possibility from the beginning but made the decision to trust the instinct rather than to debate the issue until it no longer had meaning. I know it’s no consolation to Maureen, whom I abused, that I took from the conflict a personal and profitable insight. Selfishly I don’t regret my action. But this is a public forum not group therapy. My apologies to the group. Though I don’t like to consider myself the center of the world, the rash of unsubscribers immediately afterwards looks suspicious enough that I accept responsibity for that, too. I won’t say what I think about people who leave before the dust has settled.

I recognize that Maureen wrote from her feelings, beliefs, and hard learned lessons. I believe now that her only intentions were to remind us all we’re part of one group, and should have one set of standards when dealing with one another as part of that group. People sitting around a fire with logs in their hands must be careful to aim it for the flames. I think she was only doing her job as de facto leader and I mistook it for a lengthy self-defense. I was wrong and I apologize, Maureen.

Since I have the floor where I feel most uncomfortable, especially when offering a retraction and apology, I’d like to jump tracks and say that I agree with Maureen about dream interpretation, but for a different reason: the dream tends to suffer for it. It can wilt and sometimes even die. You may have noticed yourself how people become suddenly calloused when you drag out your latest dream in a long season? But if it should happen they pick on me, by finding the one small detail I overlooked, and that detail happens to be the one that suggests I might be a lesser person than I thought a moment before, then the hurt is only initial and seldom without profit. For being made to consider someone else’s viewpoint about me—as Jung said, it’s amazing what people know about us that we don’t know about ourselves—requires some soul searching. And I end up with another piece to the puzzle, knowing that the only difference is that now I know what everyone else has known about me all along. Like as not, the dream only served as the springboard for the truth they’d been dying to tell me anyway. My puzzle seems to grow best, piece by stinking piece, through hurt and failure. And when, as sometimes happens, I see the puzzle as it’s so far laid out, and if I like what I see, I’m only glad for every hurt and every failure I’ve experienced. Then they all seemed planned by an unconscious process that fills me with wonder and joy and defies my repeated attempts to capture it. At those times I feel connected to every person who’s hurt me, and whom I’ve hurt, and begin to approach what I conceive is expressed by "compassion." So I give you license to call me names, providing Maureen allows me to be the exception.

Again, my apologies to all.

Jim Spigener

From: Al

I listened to a beautiful Celtic song last night the words of which are as follows:

When first I saw you

I saw beauty

and I blinded my eyes

for fear that I should weep

When first I heard you

I heard sweetness

and I turned away

for fear of my weakness

I blinded my eyes

my face I turned away

I hardened my heart

for fear of my ruin

To me this song reflects some profound dynamics of the Self. Life is a series of opposites: order-disorder, health and illness, etc. There is always conflict and tension and confrontation. When we confront our unconscious, our shadow, the power of collective patterns we at once see beauty and ugliness. Sweetness is there but it’s scary because in its footsteps may lie a thunderous destructive blast. We try to protect ourselves by putting on blinders. We erect walls around ourselves. I feel that in this play, this dance, this opus, there is great wisdom.

Just something I wanted to share.


From: Covert Harris

Maureen, Re your comment:

As a personal note to Covert: if you have formerly put me on some kind of pedestal (‘I-regard-you-in-the-highest-light’ syndrome - and you’re notthe first on this list to have done so and then been sadly ‘disappointed’).

Ironically, you may be correct about me putting you on some sort of pedestal, evidenced by my motivation to defend myself (protesting too much as it were), but I don’t think so, at least not on a conscious level. I was merely trying to point out my substantial respect for your academic achievement with regard to Jungian psychology (not any personal idealization) so that I could soften my suggestion that many other people, who didn’t know much about Jung, might consider you a typical New Ager. And I was using these people as a metaphor for possible, not necessarily factual, parts of your own mind (and Jung’s before he woke up and put you into the "proper" slot), that might be trying to tell you something in your dream. You are right, though, that I have no credentials to make any such suggestion, and you can rest assured that I won’t ‘lighten’ your doorway again soon with another such attempt. :) On the other hand, as I said before, never trust a Prankster ;)

From: Maureen R.

Jung’s Birthday (Mirthday) Dream . . .

Jung’s birthday was on 26th July (hope you all raised your tankards around the fire?) Interestingly, I didn’t remember it consciously, but that night remembered it was Jung’s birthday in a dream, which was an amusing sequel to the ‘aura-reading’ dream of Jung I had about a week back. In the dream, I was staying at a hotel with a female companion, with whom I’d been on a teaching tour. We’d opened a bottle and poured a hearty toast to Jung as we were standing chatting, laughing, and half-looking into a mirror (‘soul reflection’ theme). I then opened one of the hotel room drawers and found a large black Bible in it. I got the Bible out and put it on one of the beds, when lo and behold, the pages started turning over, backwards and forwards, as if an invisible wind or mischievous ghost was blowing them about. Immediately, my friend and I felt a powerful energy and presence in the room and knew it was Jung. There was a sort of whooshing, electrical humming, like a swirling vortex of energy, and the overwhelming sense of a mischievous prankster and kindly presence. The Bible pages stopped flapping about until they had landed on what we sensed was a key passage meant for us. I picked up the Bible and read the passage out to my pal: "I will be with you in the valley of shadow". Again, there was nothing overly serious or sanctimonious about this; it was a mischievous but benevolently meant message. I then looked at the gold binding of the Bible and it began to swirl with the same rainbow hues I had seen (in the previous dream) in Jung’s aura. All in all, it was a reassuring and quite light-hearted dream. A most intriguing synchronicity is that I am currently writing a chapter from my epic mythology saga; the chapter’s title? "The Valley of Shadow" . . .

From the Event Horizon & the Lunar-tic Fringe

Maureen "the Dark"

From: Shadowcatcher

"Love me, love my dog" "Faint heart never won fair Lady"

(especially one who is " Shady"). I am happy to see that the Circle is showing signs of being human. Platitudes are so lofty, and they often precipitate a fall. Moments of clarity, happiness, hopefulness and love are better than none at all; without their opposites they could not be obtainable, leaving me with an attitude of gratitude for all.

From: Rodney Ravenswood

Dear All,

As an astrologer amongst other things I must comment on the Mater & Spirit matter :-). Maureen has pointed out that we are moving from the Pisces/Virgo axis to another but she has not specified its shadow point. We have not only bright Aquarius (ruled I might add in modern astrology by Uranus not Saturn, and aptly so as I will point out) but egocentric and individualistic Leo to contend with. IT IS WELL TO BE AWARE OF THE SHADOW OF OUR EPOCH!

Now there are two versions of this post, the short and the long.

Firstly the short:

Aquarius is about Abstract Spiritual Principles or "Laws" which it sees as divinely given. All we need do is align ourselves with these laws and all goes according to the divine plan. No prizes for guessing what’s up if things don’t go right - Yes! You’re out of alignment! Leo (Aquarius’s shadow) is about subjectivity and individual and egotistical perpectives and in the context of the epochal changes, leads to individual greed, ambition, and aspirations, all especially in a spiritual sense. All the things the Aquarian age says it’s not about but secretly/unconsciously desires.

The Aquarius- Leo axis leads to a cult of success based on the perception that of the individual who aligns to the spiritual laws being the successful one. Oprah Winfrey, an Aquarian, typifies this in America by combining individual socio-economic success with so called spiritual values and implying that one depends upon the other.

Now the long version:

The shadow of the Piscean (Christian) age with its martyrdom, surrender and self sacrificial imagery is rampant materialism. It has reached its peak during the last century of mass production, scientific materialism and the secularisation of society. Values such as materialism, the ‘Protestant work ethic’, ‘cleanliness is next to Godliness’, the moral tone of the Victorian Era which was only finally broken in he 1960s and 70s and scientific materialism as the tool of transcendence, are the hallmarks of the closing stages of the Piscean epoch. Yet how utterly un-Piscean these values seem. But it has a very definite logic astrologically, for the values of the late 19th and first half of the 20th century are utterly Virgoan - negatively Virgoan that is; the shadow of a sign is always the negative of its opposite.

Neptunian immersion in the collective culture at a materialist level is the unconscious expression of a Piscean shadow as superficial and literalistic Virgo qualities. Virgo, rather than offering appropriate compensation for overly-Piscean values, becomes the prison warder who chains production and loyalty to productivity of the collective good - shopping malls and cyberspace are the transitional spaces through which we will enter the Uranian Utopia of the Aquarian age which is to follow. Trancendent it truly is. We have transcended all understanding of the sacredness of matter/Mater, for transcendence, too. has its shadow as loss of consciousness. So we live in the projection of an ideal which bends her to the undifferentiated utopian visions of all being part of the great economic oneness and material security as the divine order.

We must beware the next phase when mighty Uranus (Ouranos the Sky God) takes over and abstract vision replaces undifferentiated oneness.

The emergence of a secular rationalistic society also logically proceeds from Christian monotheism and the institutional Christian Church. Science has become the ‘One God’ with the power to transcend matter (or struggle free of ‘Mater’), which Christianity always foretold. Science and Protestantism emerged in parallel to extend the battle against the many gods of paganism and Catholicism. Death and the body are the great enemies which genetic engineering, cloning and virtual reality will free us from, when transcendence becomes not mere visionary escape or the promise of the hereafter, but the death of Death and the immortality of the body.

Much of what is touted in the New Age wears a cloak of individuality but is really individualism - they are different. One is about a truly unique and solitary path, unfettered by the claims of loyalty to collective values - INDIVIDUATION in Jung’s terms; the other is about self-serving cloaked in undifferentiated collective values of spirituality and spiritual laws - individual responsibility means I get what I want by adhering to universal laws; it’s Aquarius-Leo dynamics again.

Is the New Age and Aquarian consciousness really our deliverance, or just another phase in which we are challenged to redeem the shadow of our epoch or be subverted by it? I suggest the latter. And what will be the shadow of the bright Aquarian New Age? It is as I indicated egocentric and individualistic Leo, the performer par excellence. Already early in the Aquarian age we can see the Leonine shadow at work behind the bright vision of Uranus, performing his/her tricks to sell you the bright ideal and vision of healing, utopia, transendence or personal success.

So back to Aquarius, which brings not a grounded and practical structure and earthy matrix (which Saturn would offer) but visionary spiritual principles as guiding structures in a time when the world is seen as being brought to either its scientific/economic peak (rational materialist view) or its physical end (extreme New Age Ascensionist view). You only need to look at the Ascension mythology which abounds on the Internet to see this latter view at work. It’s time to step off the ground of Mater/matter, since she is no longer relevant; we are all to be given (in some stories only those of us who are chosen) light bodies - bodies more acceptable to the airy sky god who locked his earthy children, the Titans (including Saturn) in Tartaros because they offended him. And all this is a very individual and at the same time collective process.

At the more everyday level we see this reflected in economic rationalism where all material value is subverted and replaced by theoretical and abstract values. Most of the world’s economy is now based on things that do not physically exist. And it supposedly runs according to a set of rational laws, which if individuals understand and apply leads to success and wellbeing for all. Never mind that it doesn’t seem to be working; we’re obviously not aligned to the economic laws properly yet - we’ll call in the IMF or World Bank to tell us how to align to the economic revelation and all will be well. We trade in abstractions; futures, shares, currency speculation, information itself, forgetting that all these, and that grand new tool of technology cyberspace, are mere spectres, shadow shows in which we have forgotten the shadow puppets which lie behind them. Nonetheless we assign them value and trade in them regardless of the supreme sublimation and inflation that they represent.

Or the scientists promise us freedom from the body’s imperfections and the vaguaries of nature via genetic engineering and cloning with the ultimate promise of a victory over death - look only to the Square of the Leo/Aquarius axis to Taurus/Scorpio to understand this one. And while we await these developments we can escape into cyberspace and virtual reality.

All this is seen as based on the power of individuals and the right to trade as individuals. Individual ownership and initiative is raised to its highest pinnacle of idealisation in this Brave New World of economic rationalism, with never a thought for those who are condemned to the economic scrap heap - the rationale is that everyone who wants to can become a millionaire - just look at and listen to Oprah Winfrey! It’s just a question of individual will and getting your vision statement right and working out the right affirmations. If it doesn’t work you’re just not getting the mental picture together enough, so back to the personal motivation expert and the mental drawing board and have another go at, maybe you’ll get it next time?

The New Age itself is a manifestation of this same consciounsness in ‘spiritualised’ form. Workshops on all forms of spiritual cum psychic business are big business in New Age circles; everything from prosperity consciousness and crystal healing to shamanic drumming and chanelling are everywhere. No one any longer asks whether the participants are actually suited to the ‘commodity’ being offered; they may have to turn people away if they did that. No one would let you into a conservatorium of music without the prerequisite ‘gifts’ and experience, but in the commerce of the New Age it’s rare that anyone bothers to ask of such matters.

Here I am touching more on the shadow of the Aquarian age. It is a sort of false individualism and appeal to egocentric desire to be one of the special and gifted ones. What ought to be recognised as true of every one, each in their unique and separate way to be recognised and encouraged and trained under the personally watchful eye of an elder, is made a matter of commerce. This allows indiscriminate trading in what was once sacred knowledge to take place and turns gifts into currency to be sold like so much produce at a market. The necessary basis of real learning, the love and respect of teacher for pupil, pupil for teacher, guru for chela, chela for guru, master for apprentice and apprentice for master (sic!), and their mutual love of what passes between them is debased.

That is not to say that everyone should not have access to finding out what their gift may be but rather that so few are willing to say when no gift is apparent and even suggest and alternative gift and agency of help. (Why give business to a competitor?) Everywhere training is being offered in everything from dream interpretation to rebirthing to Reiki to channelling with hardly a question asked as to the qualifications of the trainers or the trainees. Its just assumed that everyone has the right to train and be trained. Everyone has a right for their real gift to be seen and acknowledged and to be given the appropriate opportunity to develop it if they will; no more, no less but this is rarely what’s on offer. What people make of a gift is up to them.

I teach people about dream interpretation and astrology but I would not claim to train them. I know some of them are naturals and some will never grasp these disciplines in more than a rudimentary way. There’s nothing wrong with that; all I offer is to show them what may be possible and encourage each to understand her/his gifts to what ever extent they exist, just as I expect when I go to learn from someone else.

All of this has had its expression in other ways in other epochs of course. This is just my personal, if somewhat passionate reflection on the particular issues we face under the Aquarius-Leo axis.

In closing I quote Jung:

"What is it in the end, that induces a person to go his/her own way and to rise out of unconscious identity with the mass as out of a swathing mist? Not necessity, for necessity comes to many, and they all take refuge in convention. Not moral decision, for nine times out of ten we decide for convention likewise. What is it, then that inexorably tips the scales in favour of the extra-ordinary? It is what is commonly called vocation: an irrational factor that destines a person to emancipate him/herself from the herd and from its well-worn paths. True personality is always a vocation and puts its trust in it as in God.... But vocation acts like a law of God form which there is no escape... He must obey his own law, as if it were a daemon whispering to him of new and wonderful paths. Anyone with a vocation hears the voice of the inner person: he/she is called." [CW vol. 17 para. 299]

From: Kurt

The story of Icarus can be interpreted as a fable of the Child who oversteps his/her limits; Hubris brings Nemesis. This song seems to be the opposite - about someone who through self-defeating behaviour has not yet flown to the heights of which they are capable. A "reluctance to let go of some self-defeating notion" could imply a rationalization, a hesitation to step out of a comfort zone. "Symptomatic of a soul that’s been streamlined for convenience / an excuse to keep the lesser dreams alive" reinforces this idea.

"Where’s the dignity in dealing from a point of disadvantage?" might indicate a level of consciousness of the situation, but it is posed as a question, so perhaps the questioner is unclear as to how to proceed.

The conclusion, "Tell your demons and your deities to fight it out somewhere new" suggests that the protagonist has resolved to take action, to get a release from the conflict in which they are "stuck". This mirrors the title - the moment has come, the protagonist is at a crossroads, is crucified on the cross of choice. The "demons and deities" suggest that the conflict might be between the shadow and the desire for perfection. Can someone with a better knowledge of mythology than I have suggest a myth or fairy tale that might apply here?

A similar problem is described by von Franz in Puer Aeternus as the ‘Provisional Life’. Puer behavior is often characterized by self-defeating behaviour in which the solution to every problem is to depart and start anew. The feeling I get from the lyric suggests that the protagonist is not engaging life, is not risking entering the ‘flow’.

I’m afraid my comments are sophomoric, obvious, and as mentioned before mostly the result of my own projections.

Regards ~ Kurt

From: Al

We worry about our defences, our shadows, all that bad stuff out there which we carry around in a bag. A "day of reckoning" seems to imply a resolution, a balancing of the scales, an answer to it all. More and more and I have to keep reminding myself of this: we have to learn to live with uncertainty without any definite end-point. As it’s said, the voyage is in the process, not the goal. So much will always be left unsaid and undone. Also, whatever pathology is here is not necessarily something to feel guilty about. The fear, the perversion, what we hate most about ourselves may not need to be embraced but at least given a respectful acceptance.

From: Maureen

Hi folk

Just a note to say that I’m off to Tasmania for 2 weeks this weekend and that Deborah has kindly agreed to be ‘fire-minder’ for awhile. (I’ve been invited by the Australian Centre for Shamanic Studies to run some Medicine Wheel workshops and a Vision Quest in a snow-clad, forest region there).

Just reading some recent messages, I feel moved and humbled by the sense of simultaneous fragility, mutual sensitivity and open-hearted courage that’s been displayed around the fire. It reminds me very much of what’s been happening in the home group ‘shadow work’ I was describing earlier; the shadow, owing to its creative/destructive ambivalence, indeed both wounds and heals, perhaps because its ‘coming to light’ exposes our weak spots to hurt, without which there can be no healing. I, for one, think that it’s OK for the Circle to be - on one plane - a kind of ‘group therapy’, since many of us are stretching the boundaries of trust and learning how vulnerable and fallible we ALL can be. I don’t want this ever to turn into a mutual admiration society, but I do want to say that I feel honoured to be able to share a tankard of ale with all of you flame-hearted folk around this fire. Mercurius and soul do indeed reign here.

(Specially kind regards and respect to Covert and Jim S.)

Safe journeys!


From: Teresa

Gentle Ones, hello again. A couple of nights ago my husband Joe and I watched and were completely fascinated by the video rendition of the Australian film "Oscar and Lucinda". The symbolism is rich and varied, a very beautiful film. Oscar is tormented by his "call from God"; Lucinda, probably his anima, is fascinated by glass, glass and more glass. Eventually they build a glass church and float it down an Australian river as a gift to a churchless minister who is much admired by wealthy Lucinda. There is a strong gambling theme - risking all? Then there is the sensual woman who tricks Oscar into having sex in the glass church - and conceives his child. Oh, do tell me what you think . . . I’m still haunted by it.

Still a little glazed myself,


From: Shadowcatcher

The other day, late in the afternoon I was watching an interesting program on my Prime-star satellite TV (the information channel), when I began to doze off and started dreaming. In about ten minutues I slowly began to emerge from my dream and began to listen to what was being said on the TV. I suddenly realized that I had been trying to solve in my dream some of the unanswered questions that were being related on the program, as though I had been listening to it all along. This got me thinking about the different levels of sleep, about dreams and about their mental application. Whether my dream solutions had any rational resolutions I can’t remember, as they quickly faded away. Has anyone else had this experience?

From: Deborah

Well, I think Shadowcatcher has a foot in the door, fitting for a poet. A few summers ago, I read Mysterium Coniunctionus continuously - ate it, slept it, drank it - and I would drift in and out in the night and find the Old Fool there reading to me. I could see the words on the page. Connections would grow in my mind like a crystal mapping itself. And some very strange things happened. On the other side, when I taught Lamaze we would do a segment on visualization towards the end when everyone was grokking relaxation (it’s pure Yoga). It was amazing how often the visualizations were on money. Which proves [your theory here] . Also, I had an amniocentesis when I was pregnant with Ariel, and I remember watching her on the ultrasound screen as the needle was inserted, and telling her to be still. I knew the moment I connected with her ‘sound-shadow’ that it was ‘Ariel’ - a girl, and she did hold perfectly still. I knew her, just as she is, as if it had been for years.

Richard Roberts asked us to bring forth our personal experiences with archetype. In constructing fiction, using active imagination the encounter is unavoidable. Writing is a sort of rite of passage; you have immersed yourself in a created reality, full of surprising connections and coincidences never consciously planned or foreseen. I think it’s  like a wagon train: you got your map, you got your supplies, you got a wing and a prayer. Once it begins moving, though, it has a life of its own. You're just the wagon master, folks. 

As far as actually solving problems in the dreamstate - this is done all the time. The classic example is in organic chemistry with the resonance hybrid. The researcher was trying to figure out the structure of a compound. He knew he was only dealing with 6 carbons, but there just weren’t enough hydrogens to fit all the empty connections. He was stumped. So he went to sleep and dreamt of a snake chasing its tail, ye old ouroborus, the alchemical dragon. The snake caught its tail, and he awoke to the realization that he was dealing with a circle: the benzene ring. Not a bad night’s work. It’s where we really ‘think’, anyway.

Summa felicitas, ~Deborah


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updated 17 sept 98