Tuesday, December 3, 2013

the anima

 Dream: I am going to the NOE retreat center for the first time. My family is coming with me. They tell me we all must be naked at the retreat. I am afraid and embarrassed I don’t want to be naked or be there with my parents. I get to the center but don’t know where to check in. I see some stairs and I take them up to a room. I go through the door and find the NOE leaders having a meeting, which includes my analyst. I have interrupted them and made a big mistake. I am in trouble and must leave quickly. I am embarrassed and afraid. My analyst rises to engage me as I walk towards the stairs.

As I feel the cold air of winter settling in and the brittle leaves from the maple and birch crunch beneath my feet I am reminded of what I am becoming awake too in my dreams. Recently I had the reoccurrence of a sensory nerve issue, which has brought intense pain to my entire body. On top of that my dreams have continued to bring me stories that require my immediate and deep feeling attention. As a result a load of feelings of powerlessness, sadness and being trapped have filled me. In the past these feelings would have disabled me to the point of deep depression. Now as I work my dreams something remarkable has happened, a new way to engage my pain.
In Archetypal Dreamwork one of the stages of the work is coming into relationship with the archetypal world. An aspect of this means becoming open to the anima and animus in my dreams. So as I work with the homework my dreams open to the archetypes. This is amazing to me. Feeling into aspects related to the dream opens me to a deeper sense of what the dreams want for me. This is the gift of the archetypes.

In my dream the anima comes to me, I am in my shame and fear, I am exposed. The anima does not enter as the gender of a women but the representation of my deepest desires, fears and healing. Her image is that of a woman in my waking life I have come to trust and at the same time fear. I believe she represents the hope of love and healing energy. In the dream the anima comes to me in my most vulnerable moment, but I run from her. My shadow drives my decision through words built on distrust and fear. Will I be punished or rejected? And what is left is judgment about everyone because that is the only way to justify the loneliness.

My homework is to stand still and face the anima. This terrifies me. I am afraid of punishment/rejection but most importantly being loved. And even if I did stay would I feel the animas’ love? This is just not possible. I have always questioned others love of me and still do. And feeling love from a picture in my head? Is this doable? So if I did this and really felt the love from the anima, this would be one step closer to believing in love. Believing that another could actually have love for me. So I stand still and face the anima.
It is during the retreat and I am in the cabin during strings work.
The anima tells me it is time. She tells me I can wear this black vest to protect me.
 She also tells me we will do this for 5 minutes. We need to do this a little at a time. 
She instructs me to sit in front of her on the floor as she leans against the couch.
In my terror I make the choice to sit down. The anima wraps her arms
around me, hugging me. I feel afraid and uncomfortable. I feel the love.

My homework is to let myself be held and feel the fear and the love of the anima. And I choose to do this because my yearning is too great not to. 

In Druidry I also work to know the universal principles that exist in the archetypal world. The path is to understand and embody the essence of the god and goddesses that come to me in my practice. Druidry offers a process for evoking the archetypes and bringing them into my life as means for awakening to my true essence. For some it can also mean a way to the balancing the male and female in self. For me it is a way to self-discovery and opening to the support of the god and goddesses in that process.

Finding the wild in me. I could not have imagined doing this because I was afraid of what it meant to experience my wildness yet at the same time I have dreamed of being wild and what would that mean. Then in a daydream she came to me, an ancient primal being a wild warrior.  She gave me the courage to explore wild, to be wild even in the fear and shame. So I wrap myself in mud, make a spear from a branch and walk into the dark woods. I dance and sing and open myself to this unknown goddess, the wild warrior in me. I still struggle with being wild but now I know the energy of that primal being is in me. 
I see her now waiting at the edge of the forest. 
She is my teacher.

Dream: I am driving a car of colleagues to a meeting and I turn into a parking lot but not to park but to take a short cut. I start to move through but all this snow blocks my way. I decide to back up but then a black truck blocks me from moving. I am trapped.

What a familiar feeling especially from my young adulthood where I was trapped in a life of pain on so many levels. I would draw pictures of jail cells and have dreams of being trapped in a house where I would never escape. The pain and feelings left me no choice but to decide to end my life on a few occasions. But death was not my path, life called to me. Today yes I still feel trapped by a yearning for a new life and the confinement of an old where I do not feel awake in the spirit of the sacred.  And I feel the load of responsibility to the people in the car. So here is the dream and the opportunity to walk to the anima. 
My homework is to leave the car which I would never had thought of and walk to the anima across the street. She is waiting there for me. Feel being trapped and then get out and feel the love. Easier said then done. I have lived a life of feeling trapped and the fear around leaving engulfs me. Is feeling trapped also feeling safe too or maybe it is too comfortable because leaving is too scary.  Again will I get in trouble, will I be punished? Dam it the feelings are overwhelming, So instead of walking to her across the street I remembered her holding me. Standing on the side of a mountain in central Vermont in the falling snow I let the tears wash over me and feel her arms around me. I know I don't have to be trapped anymore and I can get out of the car.

Whether it is the love and healing of anima or the wild goddess they come to me as I walk this path searching for my true self. My homework is to stand still and experience the love. To get out of the car and walk towards her. My practice is to dance the wild goddess dance in me. So even in the doubt, fear and pain I do my homework and sometimes yes sometimes I feel the love. And the pain isn’t that bad anymore for a while.

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