The dreams provide us with the imagery, often set in a metaphorical story, to move us into the feelings necessary for alchemy to occur within us. Alchemy, in the psychological sense, implies transformation, integration of opposites, and ultimately the transmutation of our inner conflicts into inner harmony.
"In reference to the divine work of creation and the plan of salvation within it, the alchemistic process was called the 'Great Work'. In it, a mysterious chaotic source material called materia prima, containing opposites still incompatible and in the most violent conflict, is gradually guided towards a redeemed state of perfect harmony, the healing 'Philosophers' Stone' or lapis philosophorum: First we bring together, then we putrefy, we break down what has been putrefied, we purify the divided, we unite the purified and harden it. In this way is One made from man [masculine, yang] and woman [feminine, yin]."The dreams are as rich with archetypal imagery as the great hermetic works of the alchemists and mystics. As an Archetypal Dreamwork Practitioner, I work with clients to explore the images and motifs to help illuminate what they might mean for each dreamer.
Büchlein vom Stein der Weisen, 1778
The ancients used many methods for divination, one being astrology, another mystical and archetypal-rich system for communicating through symbol the mythology of our journey.
My painting above offers a symbolic representation of the promise of my astrological natal birth chart, those positive planetary aspects that hold the potential of my own Opus Magnum, or greatest work. In Archetypal Astrology, based on the work of Dane Rudhyar with further development and exploration in recent years by Marc Bregman, we view the birth chart as it relates to the dream. Succinctly, each aspect carries either a process energy or a pathological (shadow) energy. The configuration is infused with the archetypal/shadow energy of the planets, signs, and rulerships. The planets and sign are all in a dance, and each dream adds a layer to the telling of the story of our own unique journey.
In my own work with clients, the natal birth chart is an invaluable tool. Not to define the client by their potential or their blocks or to make judgments about the dreams, but to offer insight into the images and feelings that arise in the dream and how these images and feelings relate to the dreamer's personal mythology. By finding the archetype or shadow figure who appears in dream within the birth chart, a line of inquiry can be developed that can help divine the intention of the dream and how the aspect manifests for each dreamer in their life. While the planets and signs may carry their own mythology, the key is to find how the mythology plays out in the dreamer. This is unique to each dreamer. Working with the astrological birth chart in this way, is a very esoteric and complex subject of which I've only scratched the surface.
Here is my personal natal birth chart:
Configuration 1. The configuration over the pinky finger relates to mars opposed Jupiter with Mars in Libra and Jupiter in Aries. This speaks to the expansive, bursting joy of the "boy" energy in me. A spirit of adventure, a sense of joy in exploration, playfulness and creativity are all parts of myself that can be found in the potential of this configuration. This energy has played out in numerous dreams where I am the child with the Father, in relationship, dancing, playing, following Him, being held by Him. My mars energy has me stepping forward, leaning in, being seen today in my life in unexpected and exciting ways.
Configuration 2. The grouping over the ring finger represents Mercury conjuct to Pluto with both sitting in the sign of Virgo. The configuration manifests in me through my creative expression and an ability to express and convey with discernment my pain and my passion. The configuration carries my deep connection and trust in Spirit. It is through Pluto that the transformation of self happens, which for me includes discernment through the creative expression. In this configuration lies access to Gnosis. Much of my painting and writing come from this place and all have been inspired by the dreams.
Configuration 3. The North Node! My north node is sitting in cancer which speaks to my heightened capacity to feel, my intuitive self, and my deep connection to the Gnosis of the feminine. This is the representation of the Anima, the Sophia, the Mother and the Girl. The eternal girl is held in my chart by the moon conjunct venus and the north node cancer. The north node is my soul in the light, what it desires and aspires to. The girl when she has come in my dreams is always an enigma, intelligent beyond my comprehension, powerful and fierce despite her vulnerability. The Anima has been the most supportive archetypal figure in my dreams, coming repeatedly to offer healing, teaching and guidance. I have been fortunate to have this powerful archetype throughout my journey. This is not to say that I am "special" but simply that I have needed her and she has come.
Configuration 4. This is my sun sign. Leo, a fire sign, is also a sign that speaks to my heart and the unconditional love of the Divine. I have experienced alchemy around my heart, the healing of old wounds which had my heart closed and protected. I experienced the opening of the heart Chakra in an initiatory/ritual dream where the Anima opens my heart with a knife.To feel pain and to feel joy and love is to feel the full breadth and depth of my heart in a way that I had not understood before my heart was opened.
In the final two images above. I have placed the sign of Ourboros at the center of the palm. This symbol carries a unifying energy: what was, what is, and what shall ever be...materia prima. What was lost has been found in the cyclical nature of this work and cycle of my journey. The image on the right, which depicts the intertwined snakes and the all seeing eye, carries for me the energy of the awakening. There has been an awakening of kundalini energy in my body in waking life, but the felt sensation of it first manifested in the dreams so that I could come to know it. Alchemy brought the inner to the outer so that I might experience this in my waking life too. This image also carries the marriage of the opposites, the girl and boy together, yin/yang, conjunctio of the masculine and feminine...balance, harmony from a conscious place.
|Red Boat with Blue Sails ~ Odilon Redon|
This is the promise.
As a Dreamwork Practitioner, I follow the dreamer down into the salty sea of their soul, and stand with the dreamer at the rudder of their vessel as together we navigate through the heaving storms, the doldrums, and when the sailing is smooth. It's up to the dreamer to trim the sails or let them out, with the support of the archetypes...Together we follow the intention of the dream to the promise.
If you are interested in commissioning your own North Node Promise painting, feel free to contact me. The painting is 5 x 7. This painting is oil, but a commissioned piece could be acrylic to facilitate a faster turn around. If interested, you may contact me through my website. In the contact form simply provide me with your birth information, including birthday, birth city, time of birth (if not known, indicate not known rather than guessing). Also, if there is a particular spirit animal that you have felt personally connected to, that has come in the dream in a supportive way, or represents a totem for you, tell me what that animal is. Let me know what your favorite color is...this will become the basis for the background (the blue you see in mine). Anything else you think it would be important for me to know. 5 x 7 acrylic works are $75.00 unframed and 5 x 7 oil works are $125.00. Allow 6 -8 weeks for acrylic, 8 - 12 weeks for oil.
To provide info for your painting, follow this link to my contact page: http://www.archetypaldreamworks.com/contact-me.html.
May your dreams guide you into your Opus Magnum!