Saturday, June 9, 2012
My Connection to Lady Wisdom
My Connection to Lady Wisdom
Some are called by Lady Wisdom early in life. I was, even though I didn’t know her name at the time. I was always an imaginative child, and the ancient archetypal stories found in fairy tales, myths and modern fantasy inspired me more than our modern cultural stories. As you will see in later chapters, those archetypal stories contain so much ancient Wisdom. After I learned astrology, I came to understand why I was drawn to them. The Sun in my birth chart, which symbolizes my sense of individuality and purpose, is located in the House of the Collective Unconscious. This part of a birth chart symbolizes the Piscean ocean of mystical union, indicating that my life’s purpose is to dive deeply into the mysteries of spirit, soul and life
After I studied Jungian psychology, I understood that my archetypal dreams were messages to my ego about my life’s purpose. I had to re-awaken certain archetypal energies within myself, so I could re-member and re-awaken my feminine powers. So I could hear the voice of Lady Wisdom.
Lady Wisdom came to me in dreams throughout the years. Dreams carry messages from Spirit; dreams show us the condition of our Soul. They come to educate our conscious ego, showing us the things that ego doesn’t see. They come to us to transform our feelings. They show us the future, or perhaps other worlds. And maybe they even literally take us to other dimensions. We can’t yet say for sure. But I know that dreams have meaning. C. G. Jung believed that dreams come from different levels of our unconscious. Some are from the personal unconscious, and show us our shadows and our complexes at work. Some dreams come from our cultural unconscious, where we work out our family lineage and any psychological complexes that are generational. Then there are the Big Dreams, the dreams that come from the Collective Unconscious, the World Soul, which entail multiple dimensions of reality. These dreams are archetypal because some basic principle of life is involved, some deep wisdom must be sought for and integrated into life. While archetypal dreams are unexpected and numinous, they are meant to instruct and guide the soul. So these are some of my formative dreams that I believe are the voice of Lady Wisdom.
The first two dreams I can remember from early childhood were recurring dreams. The first took me deep into the Collective Unconscious, into the waters that give birth to all of us, showing me its ancient beginnings.
I am under the ocean in a bathysphere. I am so cold, for this ocean is ancient beyond measure and it feels like the cold of outer space. I feel so ALONE. I look through the porthole and see giant, ancient whale-like creatures, swimming back and forth around me in the dark waters.
Not the usual childhood nightmare, although I had them too.
The second dream presented me with a fairy tale motif of finding the magical doll, which helps me with its wisdom and caring. This motif of the magical doll is found in many fairy tales, especially in the different versions of Cinderella, which is a story about Lady Wisdom being rejected and devalued. Cinderella isn’t waiting for a prince to marry her; she is waiting for the new cultural dominant (the prince) to recognize her Wisdom.
My family and I are visiting with friends of the family. I go off by myself and climb a secret staircase that nobody knows of except me, and I find a secret room. In that room is a beautiful doll that belongs to me. It is a magical doll and I know it is special. And I can come to this room often to be with my doll.
In the fairy tales where the doll is left with the daughter at her mother’s death, the doll represents the mother’s wisdom passed down to her daughter. And because it is woman’s wisdom it bears the stamp of Lady Wisdom.
These dreams were only the beginning of my journey in search of Wisdom. When I first started in Jungian analysis when I was 29 years old, I dreamed that I had to understand that the unconscious has its own consciousness and treasures, and engage my masculine intelligence and beliefs to work to understand it. And finally, I had to learn to let the Crone, who is also Lady Wisdom, lead me on my journey to wholeness.
I am in the maternity ward of the hospital. I am trying to get out of the hospital and my husband and father have come to help me. As we go past the nursery, I see through the glass a beautiful golden dragon instead of babies. I am filled with joy at the sight. I know that it will disappear in 69 seconds, the time it takes for one heartbeat of the Earth.
Then I’m walking down to the front of my high school auditorium where the principle is waiting to give me the silver sword of the king.
Then I am journeying down a country road, and an old woman is showing me the way.
The Dragon can symbolize both the highest consciousness as well as the most reptilian primeval unconscious. Of course, like any symbol, its power will come through each person according to their character. But for me, the Dragon holds deep Earth Wisdom, just as it guards the treasures of the Collective Unconscious, Wisdom’s glittering horde. A golden dragon is even more special and I immediately associated it with the queen dragons in Anne McCaffrey’s stories of The Dragon Riders of Pern, stories about a world where dragons bond with humans to save the planet from destruction. The golden queen dragons are especially conscious and intelligent, for they are the mothers of all the dragons. Later I learned to associate gold with spiritual consciousness, like the aura we see around the heads of saints. So to me, the golden dragon meant that I was seeing the birth of a conscious Unconscious, the birth of a connection to Earth’s Wisdom. And since big dreams influence us all our lives, I see this golden dragon, this golden consciousness, connected to the Woman clothed with the Sun.
The silver sword, like Excalibur, I received from my high school was the training of my mind, my ability to use my mind to discern truth, as well as my love of knowledge. I love to learn and that love keeps opening my mind to new and different perspectives. My sword is sourced in my values and my curiosity and my will. It is my ability to discern the Truth.
The word Crone means the Crown, symbolizing a state of sovereignty and completeness. We will look at the figure of the Crone in later chapters. The Crone is associated with the radiant crown of energy surrounding the head when the body’s seven chakras are aligned with the crown chakra. The Crone who leads the way on my dream journey is another aspect of Lady Wisdom.
Wisdom does not come all at once and it does not come easily, but is gained through hard work and responsibility, and these dreams indicated that I was called to this work. Later, while I was training at the C.G. Jung Institute, I had this amazing dream that set me on the road to discovering the Woman clothed with the Sun:
I am hurrying my children along the streets of my hometown, trying to get them home because there is a lion loose in the streets. I meet an old friend and he is going to try to stop the lion before it hurts anyone. I don’t know if he’ll be able to do it or if he’s just being foolish to think he can.
Then I am at the triple-crossroads in my small village in Rhode Island. Everyone is gathered there so we can fight off the lion. I am sitting in an old-fashioned buckboard wagon. Suddenly it gets dark and I see that a giant wave is about to descend on all of us. I see a waning crescent moon in the sky and I think, ‘this is it’. Then it seems like the wave has gone past and I see a beautiful waxing crescent moon in the sky. I hear a voice that says, “You will be the mother of a savior.” Then I look around and see that everyone is putting things back to normal. And I think, “Just like the Swiss!”
The lion is an ancient symbol of royalty and power. A wounded lion can be dangerous. To understand this dream, I explored the astrological sign of Leo, the Lion. I’m one of the baby-boomers, born when the planet Pluto was in the sign of Leo from 1938 to 1958. Pluto’s archetypal energy brings the urge for evolution, the need to release what is dead and regenerate the energy on a deep level. My generation’s evolutionary task is to let go of our old understanding of Leo and heal the lion’s wound: our innate entitlement, our ridiculous sense of fun, our outrageous drama-making, our childish creativity that we usually waste on irrelevancies. My generation is called upon to give birth once again to the archetypal power of kingship and queenship, where our creativity is at the service of humanity. We need to learn how to use our creative power for life, rather than the death-in-life that our culture has become.
I was also born with Saturn, the archetypal reality principle, in Leo. Saturn presents us with the wound of not being good at a certain part of life, and its healing becomes our initiation into a deep full life. Saturn in Leo tests our ability to love and feel loved, to have self-confidence without bravado and to use our creativity. Saturn in Leo can fill us with pride and a refusal to see our faults. When Saturn (which can be crystallized, limiting and fear-bound) and Pluto (which destroys what will not die naturally) unite in a sign, evolution can be severely repressed and that energy can turn to violence and destruction. Change is hard work and many of my generation just refused the call to initiation. But Saturn can also focus our attention on Pluto’s evolution, giving us the discipline to do the hard work of transformation. Working with these energies, I got the chance to heal my wounded lion in Zurich.
The part of me that decided to go on this journey to stop the wound from being passed on the next generation is reminiscent of The Fool in the Tarot, setting off on an impossible journey with all the innocence of youth. My wounded Leo self-confidence specifically came from my family heritage and I didn’t want to pass it on to my children. A mother’s love is the strongest power on Earth, and I would not pass on pain if I could help it. So I knew I had to confront it and transform it, for my children’s sake.
The next part of the dream is Lady Wisdom giving me my instructions, if you will. She shows me that transformation is a natural process (the waning and waxing moon), even though it’s also overwhelming (the tidal wave of change)! And she sets me on my journey to discover who the Woman Clothed with the Sun is.
This dream called to me through the years, especially when I went to live in that town with the triple-crossroads to raise my children there. As you can see, Lady Wisdom came to me in my dreams, calling me out of the collective sleep we call reality and into a place that is more real and full than I could ever imagine.
Another dream that seemed to mark me as one of Wisdom’s daughters was a dream in which, to save my family, I had to let someone nail eagle feathers - another symbol of Wisdom - into my 3rd Eye. While this image might seem extreme, ancient shamans had to go through terrifying ordeals to gain their power. It was obviously very important that I learn to use my connection to the creative imagination (the 3rd Eye) with reverence, responsibility and Wisdom.
One last dream showed me how to dance with the mystery of life:
I am flying into Egypt. While the plane re-fuels, I decide to quickly go see the pyramids. I look at my plane ticket to make sure I can get back on the plane and see that it says my name is Star. As I walk down the road, I see someone coming toward me. As I get closer, I see that it is a baby Sphinx. It comes to me and takes my hands and it dances with me on the road. It is golden, with a human face, a lion’s body and small wings. We are both full of joy as we dance.
These archetypal dreams are products of the Creative Imagination, the realm of co-creation. The Sphinx has always symbolized the mystery of Life, and here was a living Sphinx, young and dancing and full of joy! What is wonderful symbol to give me hope on my journey to greater consciousness. Working with these dreams has brought me some of the Wisdom I do possess. They gave me a new understanding of Life, not only my life but also the way life works. It is through working with these images that I have discovered my inner truth, my inner creativity and great Love. This Wisdom helped me creatively and consciously raise my children, counsel people through crisis and have grown-up, loving relationships. It is through believing in these and other dream images that I have re-discovered my own feminine standpoint and wisdom.