Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Is the West [region of the departed] being good to you?
Look, I am one you loved.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
After more than twenty hours of travel by plane and coach, and dinner with conference staff, I was ready for bed when I got to my room in Pratt's hotel on South Parade in Bath. The room was charming, as is the Georgian city, but the night was very far from still. Raucous, sometimes feral, bands of drunken youths ranged the streets, howling and squalling, even in front of the seemingly dormant police station a block away on Manvers street. The packs were often fifteen or twenty strong.-
Drawn by curiosity, I had drifted through the window and down among them. I realized it might not be a good idea to have unfiltered contact with these local spirits., especially since some of them might have contributed to the disorder of the human rat-packs that had bothered me earlier.
I felt the need for a guardian. He was there before I reached for him, standing at my left shoulder, a tall, strapping figure with a great mane of hair. He held a long-handled hammer, something like a croquet mallet, balanced against his left shoulder. I knew his name, because many years ago, in a time when I needed to re-set and maintain psychic boundaries, I had dreamed repeatedly of carrying a similar weapon as I parolled the borders of my property. The recurring dream symbol has prompted me to do some research, and I came up with images and inscriptions relating a Celtic god named Sucellos in Gaul. In Gaulish, "Su-cellos" means the "Good Striker". He seemed like the very image of the right gatekeeper in this environment, especially since he also has an association with beer and is sometimes depicted carrying what may be a beer pot.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
I am teaching two ways of re-making the future. One involves working with what looks like a ball of string. The second way involves scooping, molding and sculpting a heap of soft material, like dough or squishy clay.
I have announced that a prize will be given for the best student in each category. The bigger prize will go to the one who sculpts from the formless mass of pliable "dough".
The students are eager to try this assignment. As they take turns to separate strings from the ball, I notice that the strings look a bit like long strips of celluloid, as were used to record and project films. A vigorous, stocky man throws himself into molding and sculpting the heap of soft matter. He's building an amazing structure and he's the clear favorite to win the prize I have announced.
Feelings: Actively curious and intrigued.
Reality: I teach people to play with the idea that we can switch from one probable event track, running into the future, to another. This can be visualized as selecting one string of events from a ball of possibilities. I also like the idea that we can "rewind" a certain sequence - in life as in dreams - back to a certain point of decision, and then go forward with a different scenario.
I also love the image of sculpting a life project out of a soft mass of unformed material. The prize is no doubt bigger here because there is more creating to be done. I think of how, in the imaginal realm, we can build cities and palaces of subtle and ideoplastic substance. It could be contended that it is from creation on this plane that physical structures and situations are manifested.
Tunnel of Light by Eve Fouquet
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I dreamed again of the golden king.
He is amazingly beautiful. He seems to be in his early twenties, yet he is ancient. A golden light emanates from his body. He is naked, except for the circlet of gold around his brow. At first he seems beardless, because the hairs of his face are very fine and silky and soft, like threads of light.
He is in the posture of sleep, but his eyes are wide open, fixed on something beyond ordinary sight.
His bed is a marble slab, perhaps the lid of a sarcophagus, but in no way cold or hard.
As always, I am awed by this golden king. I know he is the essence of the true king, the one who can repair the world.Perhaps a woman will dream of him, and transfer this dream to the man she chooses to embody him....
Saturday, February 12, 2011
and hugged me so hard
my cabin lifted off its foundations
and whirled me west, over moonlit waves,
to the Dream Kin who call me out of time
into the All-at-Once. Eucalyptus people
took off their clothes and danced with delight.
Wind and wave, moon and stars,
the feigned death of a monarch butterfly
lying still as a fallen leaf, waiting for the sun
to warm it back to drink milkweed,
and the owl who called me three times
thirty times more, around midnight
when the glow at my skylight was exactly the blue
of the launch chamber of an Egyptian star traveler.
I remember a box I had long forgotten.
Not the letter drop at my door, or a metal drawer
at the post office, but an old-time box on a post
at the edge of the Street of Dreams.
How could I have forgotten this?
I open it, and find it stuffed with unread night mail
including letters and cards and legal documents
and business papers from a woman I loved and lost
who left the world of pain, shockingly, before me.
I know I will need to travel to her return address
from the place where fresh water joins the salt
when the moon lays a path across the waves.
Sunday, February 6, 2011
She asks me at one point, "Do you still have Cobra-Rattler in you, or do you just do good works for non-profits?" She's goading me to do business with her, propositioning me in a flagrant and sexual way (which may also be part of the agenda).
I tell her I'm going to make a phone call in her presence, so she'll be able to see what and who I value
I call a wonderful editor who is also a good friend, who understands and supports my work. I want to make the woman with the red, red lips understand the depth of my commitment to those who value my work for its own sake, and that I will simply not be distracted from The Work by the seductions of money or power.
Feelings: Satisfied I made the right choice, and did not get caught in this creature's coils.
Reality: Not sure of the location.
The editor friend I call in the dream is someone with whom I have a wonderful creative relationship.
I don't recognize the power-focused woman with the red lipstick. My first associations are with a couple of of "powerful" women who have approached me in recent months, offering ways to money and fame that I have rejected as distractions from my work. I can see that the "devil in red lipstick" could also be a shadow side of myself, since I do essentially spend nearly all my time "doing good works for non-profits" in the sense that money and power are simply not priorities. It's entirely possibe that the dream could also be a rehearsal for a future situation.
I have never heard of a "cobra-rattler". Sounds sexy, and a little sinister. The kundalini force used for a certain purpose?
I proceeded to call the editor friend and told her the dream.This produced a delightful conversation and reaffirmation of values. Dreams help us to navigate by our inner compass, and to avoid being blind-sided by otherwise unexpected events that could throw us-off course. In a workshop this weekend, immediately following my nocturnal encounter with Red Lips, a woman reported a dream in which she was given a compass that always points towards Truth. I was reminded of Lyra's "alethiometer" in The Golden Compass.
Thursday, February 3, 2011
Bach’s Chaconne turns a key in the soul. It gives voice to inconsolable grief. It is achingly beautiful; it lays the heart open and frees the spirit, like a bird, to soar on shining wings.
Bach wrote the Chaconne when he returned from a trip with his princely employer to find that his beloved wife, Maria Barbara, had died in his absence and was already buried.
He made it the fifth movement of his Partita in D Minor. Less than fifteen minutes in length, the Chaconne is the grail of solo violinists, fiendishly challenging.
Arnold Steinhardt, the first violinist of the famed Guarneri String Quartet, was asked to play the Chaconne at the funeral of a dear friend, Petra, who had died tragically young. He had played the Chaconne many times before, and recorded a wonderful rendition, but his grief over the loss of his friend drove him to study again how the music wanted to be played. He practiced and practiced, using a facsimile of Bach’s original music, listened to the recordings of other great violinists, consulted friends and mentors.
Then he dreamed he was up in the attic of his friend’s house, where he used to practice with the skylight open, to give space for the strokes of his bow. In his dream, Petra brings Bach up the stairs to meet him.
Bach was not wearing his flowing wig and was dressed in contemporary clothes, but his identity was immediately clear. What good fortune for me! Here was a golden opportunity to get at the Chaconne’s essence from the master himself.
Steinhardt opens the skylight to play for Bach, but the composer waves the violin away. Steinhardt tries to ask him about the connection between the music and the death of Bach’s wife, but instead of responding, Bach seizes his arms and begins to dance with him in the cramped attic space. Bach dances slowly, gracefully, guiding the violinists through the steps, while humming the rhythm of the Chaconne. He was teaching Steinhardt to dance the Chaconne.
The violinist carried that thrilling sense of movement into his subsequent performances, at his friend’s funeral, and later – in a personal tribute to the source of the music – at the grave of Maria Barbara Bach.
Arnold Steinhardt tells the story of dancing with Bach in his beautiful memoir, Violin Dreams, which celebrates his passionate lifelong love affair with the instrument that cries and sings. At every turning, his rich dream life supports and illuminates his calling. He opens the book with a dream that sends him on a quest to learn the history and prehistory of the violin. In another dream, a beautiful woman visitor reveals herself as the soul of a violin.
At a time when one of his fingers has weakened and he fears he will lose his ability to play at his best, Steinhardt dreams he is standing with a friend before two quaking aspen trees. As the leaves quiver in the wind, the violinists find they can read the leaves as musical notes. They play the music revealed by the trees, and it is of surpassing beauty. That dream lifted Steinhardt’s fear and depression, and gave him strength to move through surgery in the sure knowledge he would be “able to move on and make music”.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
We need guidance on where the crisis in Egypt is going, and what it will mean for our world.
What can the dream speaker mean, when he predicts that what is coming in Egypt will be worse than anything seen in Germany in 1868? On waking, this reference was mysterious to the dreamer, though she is no slouch at research and resolved to do some digging into 19th century history.
Bismarck was my first association. I dimly remembered writing an undergrad paper on how the Prussian statesman triggered a war in order to make an empire. My memory of the details was foggy, but Auntie Google soon gave me what I had forgotten. In 1868, when relations between Prussia and the France of Napoleon III were tense because of a struggle for the Spanish succession, Bismarck used deception to start a war. He tampered with a letter from his own monarch, Wilhelm I, to make the text read like an insult to the French - goading Napoleon III to declare war. The Franco-Prussian War that ensued was a disaster for the French, leading to the loss of Alsace-Lorraine and the declaration, in the hall of mirrors of Versailles, of the German empire in 1871. This was the birth of the German Reich, and it eventually gave us the Great War and all that followed.
1868 in Germany also saw the publication of a viciously anti-semitic novel titled Barruel , which depicts Jewish leaders plotting world domination. Material from this was used by those who concocted one of the most evil forgeries known to history, the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, used by the Tsar's secret police and later by the Nazis to justify the assault on the Jews.