Monday, October 21, 2013

The Snake Bite


I have stepped into the cave of remembering and been guided by the monsters of an ancient time.
The primal serpent of the God Hu has bitten me.
I have dug my grave a thousand times and lay waiting for the eternal death of self
Now I stand here as a seed at the edge of life waiting to be born.

A Dream: 2008
I am in my bedroom and a snake is in my bed. I know I have to sleep with the snake but I am afraid it will bite me. I leave the room hoping the snake will leave so I can go back in.

Most of my adult life I have been plagued by snakes attempting to bite me in my dreams. I am terrified of snakes in both my inner and outer world, especially rattlers. My belief is that if I am bitten I will die a painful death so I have done everything I could to stay away from any type of snake.

But the dream cannot be redirected when there is something important that must be recognized and as a result the snake has stalked me.  It wasn’t until I answered the call to walk a life connected to the earth that I began to understand the meaning of the archetypal snake in my inner and outer life. And when I stepped into the world of Archetypal Dreamwork  2 years ago the guidance of the dream became my path to feeling the fear and accepting the initiation of the snakebite.

Throughout history and across cultures the snake in all its forms has represented death, rebirth, initiation, sensuality, and/or wisdom.  The snake or serpent has I have come know it as is also an archetypal symbol for the deepest levels of the psyche, the primordial depths of which we have little conscious awareness. In my druid practice and archetypal dream work the snake has come to symbolize the opportunity to die to my old self and accept the initiation it has to offer. The opening to the depths of my primordial self.

A Dream: 2013
“I am in a cave sitting in a circle of elderly women. In the middle of our circle a fire burns brightly. A woman reaches down in front of her, picks up a stone bowl and hands it to me. I look into the bowl and realize there is a cut up snake lying inside and it is still alive.  I am now terrified. The woman looks at me and tells me you must eat the snake.”

“The snake comes to me as a gift to be eaten as in the story of Carl Jung and the young dead girl’s liver he was asked to eat.”

I have spent a great deal of my adult life searching for the key to health and the path to fulfill my lifelong dreams. I purchased self-help books, spent days alone in the wild, and paid the fees of a dozen shamans and healers. And still the physical and emotional pain would not subside. I was face with continuing to suffer this spiritual malaise. And the worse part was I didn’t feel the love I yearned for, the love a Druid should feel.

A Dream: 2013
I am outside a house in the yard. I see snakes all over the place in front of me. I see a man surrounded by children walk into the house. A snake comes up and bites him on the leg and won't let go. He just keeps on walking up the steps with the snakes attached. I don't see his face. I decide to follow him into the house.

“In this dream even the animus is sent to show me there is nothing to fear.”

So the Druid in me knew what the snake represented, the opportunity for transformation if I was willing to be bitten. To step deeper into my psyche. Archetypal Dreamwork asks me to feel into the guidance of my dreams. Could it be as simple as that?  Yes and no. When I feel into the terror of the snakebite I discover the deeper truth, which is that I am afraid to be whole. I am afraid to be loved by the earth or the divine, or any human being. I am afraid to live my desires because I don’t think I deserve any of it.  And I don’t trust that the love would be given in return because I am not worthy.

In the dream work my analyst has given me the homework of letting the snake bite me, to feel the fear and let it happen anyway. So I take the leap and feel into that fear and wait for the bite. This is not easy or simple because my shadow self, the self that wants safety without wholeness reminds me of the pain of the bite. But this time I decide to acknowledge that distrust and let the snake do it's work. And when I am bitten I begin to experience a deep feeling of wanting, a true yearning for the love I desire whether I think I deserve it or not. This has not been the only death I have been asked to step into and those dreams will be for another blog.

My Druid life and the guidance of the dreams are performing an ancient dance that opens me to the wisdom of the primitive wild self that is my soul.

This blog is the story of that dance highlighting dreams and aspects of my Druid life that open me to the love of the earth and the divine spirit.