Incarnating the Unicorn
Thursday, August 2, 2012
Becoming a Unicorn: A Jungian Active Imagination
Incarnating the Unicorn
I would like to end with an active imagination that speaks of a new realization of the power in nature which the unicorn represents. It seems that we can no longer kill, capture, or even tame the unicorn's transformative powers, as they did in the Middle Ages. Today, in our rapidly changing culture and with the development of consciousness in many new directions, we might consider letting the unicorn teach us its wisdom and show us how to handle the transformations that are coming our way. This could be the knowledge we need to turn back the tides of destruction.
I see a beautiful, strong white unicorn, running in a field, with his mane and tail flowing in the wind. I manage to go up to him and he lets me touch him. I am amazed that he gives me this honor. Then he tosses his head and runs off, only to return again in a moment. He starts circling around me, running faster and faster, closer and closer, while I stand there watching him. As he runs, he kicks up the earth, and it starts encircling me in a tower of green earth. Yet it is like transparent green glass to me; I can see through it. Then it turns to the darkness of earth, and soon I am enclosed in a small earthen tower. There is one hole left open, and the unicorn comes and looks in at me, offering comfort. Soon I sit down on the ground across from the opening and the unicorn, and wait.
After a while, I feel something on my forehead, and I discover that I have a horn growing out of the center of my brow. I see it touching the horn that the unicorn has put through the opening. Slowly, I feel myself turning into something else; when I look, I see that I now have the body of a unicorn. I am a black unicorn. When the transformation is complete, I stand and slash off the entire top of the tower with my horn. It falls away. The white unicorn uses his horn to slash down, ripping away the body of the tower, so that it falls away and I am free of it.
We touch horns and nuzzle. It feels wonderful in this body! Then he starts off and I know that I must follow his lead. We race across a grassy plain, separating and coming together, crisscrossing, playing and exalting in our movement. We come to a wood and he leads the way to a stream. I bend to drink, but I don't know what to do with my horn, it keeps getting in the way of my drinking! I realize that I have to learn how to live in this new body. The white unicorn doesn't have any trouble drinking, and he waits calmly while I figure out how to do it. Then he leads the way up a bank and on into the woods to a clearing.
He stops and starts sharpening his horn against a tree, and I begin to do the same, only I feel badly about scarring the tree. So I end up rubbing my horn on the earth itself. But I feel that this is silly, a mere human perception of right or wrong, and so I finally go back to sharpening my horn on the tree. After this preparation, the white unicorn rears up, and I suddenly know that he is going to teach me how to fight. I don't take it very seriously until I see that he really is going to attack me! We rear and lock horns, baring teeth and using our hooves. I can't quite figure out how to use my horn - like a rapier in fencing or like a pike to thrust into something? After a while, the white unicorn stops and turns to face a giant who suddenly appears, as if out of the air. The lesson now continues with the giant. The unicorn rears up and plunges its horn into the giant's belly, rearing again to strike in the heart. With swift and clean strokes he fights, and then the giant vanishes.
Next a serpent appears, crawling on the path. I immediately think, "He will stomp on it or kill it with a flick of his horn." (I had become quite bloodthirsty by this time.) Instead, the white unicorn bends his horn to the ground, and the serpent twines itself around it. I see then that it is a cobra, and am amazed that it submits itself to having the point of the horn pierce through the top of its 'neck'. Apparently unhurt, it settles there like a crown, looking out and all around. The white unicorn looks at me as another serpent crawls to my feet. I bend my head down to let this other snake twine itself around my horn. Since I am really a little bit afraid, I start wondering how it will do this, and if it will come too near my face. But it crawls up to the base of my horn and winds itself around it, piercing itself, like its sister, on the point and settling down as if it were the Serpent Crown of the Pharaohs.
At this point, my consciousness takes over and I start to remember things about serpents. Were they dangerous to unicorns? Didn't both the unicorn and the serpent belong to the Goddess? I struggle and finally dismiss all these thoughts from my mind, because I want to experience something new.
I look around me - there is the white unicorn, crowned with the serpent of wisdom, and I know that I am just as beautiful in my blackness. We start off down the path through the forest and end up at the ocean. Out in the ocean, a giant wave is coming toward us. As the wave hangs over us, the white unicorn steps into the water and touches his horn to the waters. As he does this, the wave descends on itself, flowing back on itself. The unicorn turns to me and I step into the water, joining him, pushing back and dispersing the destructive power of the wave. We run lightly over the water, as the wave is pushed back onto itself and forms other, smaller waves which sink into the depths and rise up once again. The waters circle around, its power unchanged yet no longer destructive.
Then I look back to shore and see that all along the beach there are multitudes of unicorns, black and white ones standing on shore with their horns pointing into the water, helping to dissipate the destructiveness. And I am happy beyond measure to be one of these guardians; to be there on that beach to meet the great wave.
To become the unicorn is the only way to experience its power and being. A beast who embodies spirit is a fitting symbol of the feminine powers of transformation, for it unites our earthy and heavenly natures. Wild, fierce and beautiful beyond imagining, the unicorn stands over against the overwhelming powers of collective consciousness. It offers us the opportunity to use our creative powers to help transform the destructiveness of the collective forces at work in our world into the waters of a new birth.
Go outside and watch the Moon cycle for at least a month. Don’t forget to dance! What changes come in your life as the Moon waxes and wanes? Pay attention to your dreams, especially right before your period. They will tell you something important about your life. Track when you dream and see how it relates to the phases of the Moon.