Speaking in Symbols

Learning the language of the subconcious

Archive for the category “subconscious”

Eye, aye, I.

It’s been how long since I’ve blogged? Ahem.

Without going into too many details, the past few months have been challenging. Between family drama, having a nervous breakdown (I’m better now, thanks!) my computer giving up the ghost and not being able to replace it until I got a tax return…

Well, I’m back now.

I don’t really have reoccurring dreams. What I have is reoccurring dream settings. Not long ago, I found myself in one of these settings, an old Mormon pioneer Tabernacle.

So, for my non-Utah readers, let me explain. Temples and tabernacles are both places of worship, but the temple is only for members of the Church who meet certain moral requirements, like attending church regularly, not Blogdrinking  coffee or tea, and paying tithing. Tabernacles are meeting halls, similar to cathedrals, where anyone can come in. Often times, the doors of the tabernacles are open to the community at large, and host things like graduation, concerts, and inter-faith worship services.

Some of these tabernacles feature the Eye of Providence, or the all-seeing eye of God . This picture is from the St. George, Utah, tabernacle. The tabernacle in my dream also has an eye, and in this particular instance, the eye seemed to be the most important thing.

After this dream, I began to see eyes EVERYWHERE. I don’t mean in people and animals, I mean in graffiti, random shapes in nature, jewelry, etc. Every time I saw a circle or an oval with something in the middle, it became an eye. I picked  up new book, and in the first paragraph, the author describes being in the Pantheon in Rome, and looking out the Oculus at the sky.  Clearly this is a symbol I need to pay attention to.

As I pondered on eyes, the word itself struck me–namely, the three English homophones for eye. There’s eye, like the ocular organ, that allows us to see. There is I, as in myself, and there is aye, as in yes.

220px-Blue_eyes

Humans are primarily visual creatures. While the other senses are important, we generally observe our world through our eyes. And as such, the eye has taken on a mystical element. We have such expressions as “the eye is the window to the soul”. We say a clairvoyant has a “third eye”, and those who wish to do us harm cast an evil eye on us–the charms in the picture to the right are to ward off such evil.

So eyes equal sight, as well as magical powers. For me, it became a realization that I needed to really look, to see.

But what do I need to see. I. I need to see myself. I need to examine the “I”, the me. The eye symbolism was telling me how I needed to do it too–aye. Yes. Positive.

The symbols of the eye that were popping out all over the place are telling me that I need to see myself in a positive light.

This isn’t an easy thing to do. But it is important, and it is a thing that I’m working on.

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Stairs

While I have begun to notice and documents the symbols that pop up in my life, I don’t believe in signs or omens. A big part of me wants there to be a mystical side of life, but I have a hard time accepting that the universe really cares about what we do in our day to day lives.

That being said, I firmly believe in the subconscious. I think our bodies, and our minds know what is best for us–it’s just that we don’t always know how to listen. A big part of the work I’m doing with my therapist, and with this blog, is learning how to speak the language of the mind. It’s too bad that occasionally the mind has to use the body to get it’s point across.

I live in a 3rd floor walk up with exterior, concrete stairs. I’ve lived in my home for about six years. I am up and down those stairs at least three times a day, and can count the number of times I’ve tripped on them on one hand. That is, until today. I’ve tripped on my stairs twice within the last 36 hours.

Yesterday,  I tripped going up the stairs, I discounted it as simply wearing bad shoes and being in too much of a hurry. I also happened to have a little dog under my arm, and I considered the giant bruise on my knee a small price to pay, as long as Lulu was unharmed.

Flip flops. Not even once.

Flip flops. Not even once.

I didn’t think much of it.

This morning, I was chasing a dog (Lulu again–I wonder if she’s jealous that Max has become an archetype, but she hasn’t.) and I stepped wrong on the last step, spraining my ankle and going down hard. I didn’t hit my head, but the pain in my ankle, and in my bruised knees (the bruise from yesterday was freshened up, and it got a friend on the other knee) was bad enough, I thought I was going to pass out. Thankfully, I didn’t, and was able to collect myself enough to hobble through my morning appointments, and safely make it back upstairs where I could rest, ice, elevate and compress my hurt ankle. Oh, and figure out exactly how many ibuprofen I could take before overdosing, then taking exactly ONE LESS. (kidding. kind of.)

Maybe it’s because one of the appointments I had this morning was with my therapist that had me thinking of these accidents in the frame of the subconscious. I know that accidents happen, and that stairs are dangerous. But at the same time, it seemed odd that I should have two accidents on the stairs within two days of each other. The first didn’t cause the second–the first bruise hurt, but it didn’t affect my walking in any way. The second spill was caused because I wasn’t paying attention to where my foot was on the step, and I wasn’t balanced enough to keep upright. If the brain sends messages though dreams, random thoughts, images that pop into the mind and the like, then why not in the footing on familiar stairs?

With that in mind I started researching the symbolism of stairs and tripping. What I saw made me laugh.  From Dream Moods: *

“To dream that you slip or trip on the stairs signify your lack of self confidence or conviction in the pursuit of some endeavor. If you slip going up the stairs, then it means that you are moving too fast toward attaining your goals. If you slip going down the stairs, then it suggests that you are moving too quickly in delving into your subconscious. You may not be quite ready to confront your subconscious or repressed thoughts.”

Other sources had similar things to say, going up means you are successfully obtaining a goal, going down represents the hidden, and the subconscious. Tripping and falling is symbolic of being held up–not necessarily stopped. Tripping and falling are humbling acts, and happen when we get ahead of ourselves, or seek to usurp power.

This actually makes perfect sense to me. When it comes to intellectual projects, I tend to dive in head first, without checking the depth of the water, or even if I know how to swim. I get overwhelmed easily, and become doubtful of my ability to see things through. Interpreting the symbols that come into my life has been no exception, and it makes a lot of sense that my mind is trying to tell me to slow down, that I may not be ready for what I find.

Also that I need new shoes.

 

 

*Symbols are symbols, as far as I’m concerned. If they pop up in a dream, day dream, free write, meditative session, or on my shins, as in this case, the meaning doesn’t change.

 

 

Winds

Even though I’ve not been at this for very long, I’ve had several experiences where my subconscious brain sends me an image, feeling or intuition that completely takes me by surprise. I’ve learned not to ignore these archetypes, they tend to be important, even if their meaning isn’t intuitively obvious.

windThis image is one that took me completely by surprise. What came to mind was a the figure of a human–probably a woman–moving quickly through a dark forest. She was wrapped, and draped, in a sheer, white fabric that trailed behind her.

The image of wings that morphed into a set of lungs also came to me during the meditative session which gave me this image. I didn’t connect the two, at first, but it didn’t take long to bring them together. The instinct I got about this image (after the “what was THAT?!” moment had passed) was that it represented the wind.  And while I explored other explanations, like ghost or spirit, wind seems to fit the best.

WindmillWind is all about air, movement and travel. Wind is created from conflict, when two bodies of air of different temperatures collide. In the past, we harnessed the wind to power great sailing ships, and to grind our grain. Today, wind is created with the movement of airplanes, and we use it to generate electricity. It is an element of power, though unseen. It is a harbinger of change, like the winds that come before a thunderstorm, or Mary Poppins promising to stay only until the wind changes. Likewise, it can also foretell disaster–the phrase “an ill wind” comes to mind. We saying someone who doesn’t know what their talking about is “full of hot air”. Am I expressing doubts about this blog?

bullyIn her archetype cards, Caroline Myss connected an image of wind to the archetype of bully. This has never been an archetypal trait that I’ve associated with myself, though, the artwork has always given me reason to pause as I go though the deck, and the more I think about it, the more convinced I become that the archetype of the bully is being brought forward, if not to center stage.

If I am being a bully, it is towards myself. I’m not sure if it is the nature of human beings, or only those of us with chronic depression, but I know that I say and do things to myself that I would never dream of saying or doing to another person. By connecting the bully to the image of the woman in the woods, I find myself being reminded to be more gentle and kind to myself.

ForestThe setting of the original image seems important, too. Dark and forest are both feminine attributes, that represent what is hidden, what it unseen. For me, darkness is empty and void, but the forest is full of life.  Forests are places of mystery and magic, the setting of many fairy tales and European legends.

Forests represent the unconscious mind. Adding the darkness to that intensifies the symbolism for me. There is something in my subconscious that needs to be swept up, like Dorothy in a tornado. Something is changing, something needful.

 

 

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