>Dreams and Tarot – Gaining Deeper Insight into an understandable dream

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Although it’s clear to me what the dream in my previously blog was about, I thought I’d also look at it with the Tarot too, to show how this is a useful path to dream analysis if you ever get stuck. Again I’ve used The Shining Tribe Tarot by Rachel Pollack.
I broke the dream down into simple parts as follows:
1. Myself: 8 of Trees.  This came up in an earlier dream and it’s literally about leaving a barren landscape, flying from it and finding freedom.
2. Woman with suitcases: Gift of Trees. The gift of passion, joy, great energy, intuitive wisdom, physical and emotional healing, confidence, belief in myself.
3. The young child: Ace of Stones. Connecting many levels of life, creative power, long-standing achievements, good economic situations, success.
4. Owner of Shop: Knower of Trees. Awareness of nature, confidence, ability to love and help others without losing sense of self, unconditional love.
5. The Shop: Awakening (Major Arcana usually known as Judgement). Transofrmation. A moment, possibly an event, that has built up over a long period of time. Joining with others.
6. Outcome: Knower of Birds. Wisdom, knkowledge, development of ideas, psychic vision and ability to communicate it clearly to others, setting up a system of thought.

It’s pretty self-explanatory, and it does relate to my book-writing project quite clearly. As I said I was aware anyway of what The Shop dream meant, but a Tarot reading can give additional meanings which give greater insight into what a dream is about.

>Rituals and Dreams

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I subscribe to Barefoot Doctor’s Supercharged Taoist website and get the occasional e-mail from him.  The last one suggested a Good Friday ritual to release old stuff no longer needed, given that this is a day of death heralding rebirth.  So on Good Friday I made a list of all those habits I wanted to release, wrote them down on some lovely Chinese wishing paper a friend gave me, and burned the paper.  It went up like Mt St Helens, very fast, and burned down to ashes really quickly..
Just before I woke up on Easter Saturday I had a most amazing dream which seems to have really given a clear indication that old crap has really been cleared out.
In the dream, I’m standing in front of a modern shop.  A woman comes out with a couple of suitcases, kisses the little child by the front door, then takes off for somewhere else.  I go into the shop just as the owner does and ask him if there’s a vacancy..  He says yes, I immediately apply and he takes me on.  I go to the back of the shop and fill out an application form in which I am incredibly positive about my life experience.
As I wander to the front of the shop, which is filled with records, crystals and other lovely stuff, a lady appears who offers me a cup of coffee and tells me they’ll hire a pick-up truck so that I and my friend (whom I’ve left outside) can go to markets on a Friday, as that’s when it’s really busy.  I’m thrilled and tell her I love markets as I enjoy talking to people.  I walk outside to tell my friend, an old boyfriend from my early ‘twenties who is wrapped in a blanket and shivering, that I’ve been employed and he is really pleased for me.  
When I woke up I could feel the energy of that dream coursing through me – light, joyous, confident, thrilled, energised, and much, much lighter as if a huge burden has fallen off my shoulders and I feel really, really free.  It’s hard to describe but it’s as if I’ve set out on a completely new part of my life
The woman leaving with the baggage is obviously that part of me that’s been weighed down with old crap from the past finally taking her leave. And in so doing, her kiss has bestowed a blessing on my inner child who has been freed from the burden of past injustices.  The shop is brand new, spacious and filled with lovely things which indicates a whole new arena opening up in my life.  And the episode with my friend, a boyfriend from my early ‘twenties, indicated to me that I’d rehabilitated him in my memory as the super-hurt he’d dealt me had finally been eradicated and cleared out.
I continue to be bowled over by the power of ritual and the messages of our inner, wise selves.  I don’t know about anybody else, but I have been dreaming non-stop since Neptune entered Pisces.  I don’t remember all the dreams but I’ve woken quite knackered after nights full of dreams that have left me half-awake until I’ve fallen asleep again to embark on a new set of dreams.  
This afternoon, Easter Sunday which is symbolic of rebirth, I’m going to simply ask the Universe to gift my life with whatever I need, rather than ask for specifics.  I was going to get down to the nitty-gritty of individual wishes, but on this occasion I feel so enthralled by my dream that I’ve decided to be open to what I need rather than what I want.

>Eagles and Gardens

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As I’ve said in previous blogs, one of the reasons I love living in Bowraville, small village inland from the mid-north coast of New South Wales, is that you stay in close contact with nature.
A few days ago we had the joy and honour of watching a wedge-tailed eagle circle down close overhead.  We had gone out to drive into a nearby town to do our shopping and it was a beautiful, autumn day with bright blue, cloudless skies and a sun beaming down on us. Something made me look up and there was the eagle approaching to fly over us.  It was so low we could clearly see its huge size, its white head, its wing-tip feathers spread out, and its wedge-shaped tail.  Three times it circled low over us, looking down, then lazily drifted up and away on the thermals around this area.  It was truly a magical moment in time to see one of these magnificent raptors in such detailed close-up.
And now for the gardens bit.  My husband is a great gardener and I thought I’d post some pics of our central garden beds and the beds in front of our verandah now that we’ve been here since December 2010.  This is a very warm to hot, fairly high rainfall area so plants grow pretty quickly in this lush climate.  This is a pic of our pink grevillea which has just come into flower and now big enough to have mutiple flowerheads.  Butterflies and honeaters love these flowers, as do rainbow lorikeets when they’re around but at this time of the year they seem to have migrated further north for warmer parts:

Here are pics of the main garden bed which reaches into the lawn area:

This photo is taken from the right-hand side of our back garden.
This picture is taken from the left-hand side of our garden.
Here are the two smaller garden beds which are just in front of our verandah:

Just to show you how much the garden bed has grown, here are two pics, one of the garden as it was when we moved in, and the other of the original garden bed. Actually, the backyard was all long, but not for long. Super-Gardener got going  not long after we moved in! Nothing like living close to the sub-tropics to make your garden grow! As you can also see, the house trim has been re-painted green while the back verandah has been enclosed by lattice-work.

>More dream Tarot work-outs!

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I’m really on a roll with interpreting dreams via the Tarot, it does give helpful insights which I might have missed before.  And certainly Neptune in Pisces has accelerated my dreaming process no end, don’t know how it’s been for anyone else.
This latest dream I had went as follows:
I’m being followed by a shadowy someone and a man with a Volkswagen convertible offers to help me escape.  I climb into his car, bit of a squeeze as it’s very small, and we hare off trying to outrun the followers.  But wherever we go there is a policeman or secret service agent blocking our way.  Next thing the driver has morphed into a woman and I get her to push down all the locks on the car, back and front, as I’ve done to ensure no-one can get in. Then we drive off again looking for  way to escape.
I don’t really think I would have got a handle on this dream if I hadn’t read a while back that pursuers in your dream can be your shadow side.  Now the thing that I’ve been wrestling with recently is an incident that happened years ago when a woman was incredibly rude, in a group of us out for dinner, about my weight.  She never let up sniping at and belittling me all night.  When I left the group, I cried from the depths of my heart all the way home.  I felt utterly humiliated and also very angry with myself for not replying in like kind to this wretched woman.
And the reason I’ve been wrestling with this incident is that all the emotional upset I felt about it has been surging up to the surface – not surprising since Chiron, which is about healing deep emotional wounds, is also in Pisces.  My habit has always been to swallow stuff that has upset me and to bury it very deeply and not talk about it.  As I have so many astro air signs and quite a few water signs (a few fire signs and no earth signs), I battle between being very logical, not revealing my feelings, and letting out my hurt and being emotional.  Being emotional frightens the life out of me, particularly as my family history involves battening down on emotions and not letting them out.
This incident has surfaced because it’s a reminder to me that, in being emotionally open, I can help other people heal emotionally.  So I worked out that the shadowy figure I was trying to escape was my fear of being open emotionally and that, in not being able to escape, my inner wisdom is telling me to open up and stop trying to squeeze myself into the small space of emotional lockdown.   With this in mind, I then went on to go deeper into the dream with my trusty Shining Tribe Tarot deck by Rachel Pollack.
I divided the dream up as follows:

1. What lies at the heart of the dream?  9 of stones. Need for discipline, self-reliance and achievement.  Success, especially as a result of a long period of work.  This relates to the book project which I’m currently working on.
2. Myself: 8 of birds: Anger, expressing feelings, need to remember and create one’s own truth; discovering one’s wisdom. Finding one’s own way of expression. Release of blocks to creativity.
3. Male Driver: 7 of Rivers: Fantasies, inspiration, wondrous journeys. Action to make fantasies reality.
4. Female Driver: Gift of Trees: Passion, joy, energy; intuitive wisdom; physical and emotional healing. Confidence, belief in oneself.
5. Car: 3 of Trees: Pleasure, abundance, laughter, creativity.
6. Outcome: Speaker of Birds: Communicating from our deepest truths. Sharing ideas and information with a sense of inner authority. Using artistic or other gifts responsibly.

So what I’ve divined from this dream is that I need to be disciplined in approaching my book-writing project and that it’ll work out if I’m persistent and pay attention to what I”m doing.  I’m also being reminded by my inner wisdom to be open emotionally in order that my book has passion and delves into my depths to be as open and honest emotionally as possible.  The fact that the first driver of the car is a man indicates that I have all sorts of ideas which I need to get out in practical form, while the female driver is a reminder that working through and completing my book-writing project will bring me a lot of good things in terms of healing and belief in myself.  The car, which is about movement and direction, shows me that – if I open up emotionally and don’t get stuck in an emotional prison – I’ll feel so much more creative and flowing.  The name of the car is important too – Volkswagen = People’s Car, so it’s about writing to help people in ways which are supportive and inspirational. The outcome indicates that being absolutely open and honest will allow me to offer much deeper insights and assistance to readers rather than trying to keep a lid on my emotions.
I might say that even writing about the above incident and how upset I was has been incredibly hard for me as I find it difficult to share emotional pain.  So this is my first step forward, however small it is, and I hope to keep plumbing my emotional depths to give strength and power to my writing.
And just to wind up, I’ve always been very critical of and angry at myself for swallowing hurtful comments and not replying in kind.  But I know from first-hand experience that the old saying: “Sticks and stones my break my bones but words can never hurt me” is a heap of old cobblers. Words hurt and, as I have my Sun in Libra and Ascendant in Libra, my innermost urges are towards tact, diplomacy and keeping the peace.  However, yesterday I commented on my dream on one of Mystic Medusa’s blogs and someone pointed out that, instead of seeing myself as wimpy,, I had in fact responded to hurtful comments with grace and understanding and refused to respond in kind.  Now I find this interesting because it’s a perspective I simply didn’t have, and looking at past actions from a completely different viewpoint is incredibly healing.  It’s helped me move on from this long-ago incident and be far more positive about the way I’ve responded.  And now I’ve realised the power of writing, I know that I can work out emotional hurt through the power of my writing abilities. 
And what can I say, as I’m only human.  I do like the feeling, however unworthy it is, of occupying the high, moral ground in this unpleasant incident from my past.  At least I’m being honest, open and above-board on this, lolol.

>Another dream understood with the Tarot!

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I don’t know about anybody else, but my dreaming has gone through the roof since Neptune moved into Pisces.  Again, I had a dream early this morning which I remembered clearly.  I don’t actually bother remembering every dream because either you’ve forgotten them by the time you wake up, or you get a sense that a particular dream may just be a clearing out process of daily stuff and doesn’t need to be analysed.  Plus I don’t think it’s practical to analyse every dream, you can become a bit neurotic doing that.
So here’s this morning’s dream, and I might say I don’t remember all the details, I’ve just plonked down what I can remember in general terms.
Once again I’m travelling, this time on a plane, but I’m confused about where I’m supposed to be travelling to. I’m looking around for the right address. People and things from my past are hanging around but then I find that they are actually already where I’m heading to (if that makes sense, dreams are really weird and involve warpy time-travelling at times.
Once again, I couldn’t make head nor tail of this dream so I headed for my trusty Tarot pack.  In understanding the dream, I’ve stuck with Rachel Pollack’s basic comments as they actually form a narrative which is quite easy for me to understand.
1. Destination – 9 of Birds. Realisations of what has caused sadness in my life.
2. Confused situation – Gift of Stones.Intimate sharing. Harvest, wisdom found in journeys, abundance, the gifts of the earth.
3. People & things from past – Speaker of Stones. Speaking from total conviction (things and people from the past were when I was trying to be liked and popular, so wasn’t truly authentic).  Artistic or intellectual accomplishments. Societal recognition.
4. Outcome – Gift of Birds. Art, inspiration, outpouring of ideas. Passion, free-flying energy. Need to open up emotionally or mentally to make use of creative gifts.
Interestingly, the Gift of Birds card has come up again which signifies something to which I need to pay attention and on which to take action.
For me, this dream in reinforcing my earlier dream.  It’s telling me to be open emotionally in the book I’m writing and to explain how past experiences have affected my emotions, so that others can use my experiences to heal emotionally too.  By sharing what I’ve gone through, the flow of creative writing will open up for me and allow me to be authentic and open in what I write, not writing what I think others might want to hear.  So it’s warts and all in my book. Stay tuned, folks, lolol.
I hope, if you get stuck on a dream, this idea of breaking it down and using the Tarot to get insights, is something you might find useful in understanding your own dreams.  There are various ways to synchronise with your inner wisdom but sometimes cudgeling your brains really doesn’t work and this is a handy tool for deeper insight.

>Dancing to a different drummer

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I’ve mentioned before that we really enjoy watching a cute animated series from France called ‘Miniscule’.  It’s about insects and their various adventures and is quite short, only about 5-10 minutes per episode, but it often offers a rather insightful look at our human lives and the way we live them.
One episode shows ants working quietly and happily on quite a small anthill. Then they hear a whistle and stop to watch an army of ants march past with a head ant whistling commands. This new lot of ants, working hard with an overseer urging them on, then set about building a quite flash, complex anthill. Just as the complex anthill is finished and the ants in the smaller, simpler anthill are watching in bemusement, a new army of ants marches past, again with an overseer, and promptly begin building an even bigger anthill to outdo the first complex anthill.  And so the two military-type units then spend their time trying to build even bigger anthills and outdo each other, with the ants in the very small anthill relaxing and watching in amazement.
Eventually, the two ornate anthills started breaking up and eventually collapsed, with the two units of military-type ants scuttling to safety and watching the demise of all their hard work.  The first lot of ants just sort of shrugged and went back to pottering around and on their smaller, simpler anthill.
It seemed to me that we can perhaps learn from this – that getting caught up in the rat-race to be the biggest, bestest and richest is not always the most satisfying way to lead one’s life, and that “small is beautiful”, to quote the title of the book by E.F. Schumacher. This book had the premise that the economy should serve the people rather than the people serve the economy, an interesting comment given recent developments in the economies of many countries around the world.
The second episode that comes to mind is along the lines of dancing to a different drummer. The episode opens with a line of ants marching up to deposit bits of leaves into an anthill, with a sergeant-major type ant piping his commands. And then an ant turns up with a pink thong (Aussie for flat shoe) which is rejected.  Time and time again the ant arrives with something pink – a rose, an old photo, a tatty box, and so on – and gradually builds another pink mound of these rejected items close to the anthill where all the ants are slaving away.  And the ant with the pink mound finally defects to his own little pile of beautiful pink goodies.  The labouring ants turn to look at this strange occurrence – an ant having fun in a lovely pink paradise – and promptly take off for the far more attractive anthill leaving the overseer ant whistling his commands in vain.
The theme of this, to me, is that we need to listen to our hearts, not follow the herd, and be brave and courageous enough to dance to a difference drummer.  And you never know, as the ant with the pink goodies shows, you might inspire others to follow their own different drummer too!

And finally the one that really made me laugh. You never see human beings in Miniscule although you hear them at times. In this episode you see a load of snail eyes watching kids playing.  And once it’s night-time and the kids have gone home, the ants come out from behind their rocks, make their slow way across the playground, climb the side of the slide, then tuck themselves inside their shells and rocket down the slide – time after time after time. Snails having fun!   So I’ve wound up with this one, as we’re approaching the weekend, with a reminder to you to have fun, laugh, do silly things, remember how great it is to be a child, and kick up your heels!

>Understanding a dream with Tarot

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I’ve actually been sidelined with a very painful heel for the past couple of weeks.  I’m using silica tablets and comfrey ointment (which also contains silica) and it’s gradually getting better.  But it hasn’t done my patience any good, believe me!
But as Neptune has moved into Pisces I’ve been having an extraodinary amount of dreams and one in particular in the early hours of this morning stayed with me and hovered like a ghost until I decided to work it out.  I couldn’t make head nor tail of the contents, as happens with dreams when the symbols seem incredibly weird and mysterious. So in the end I decided to break it down and work on it with Tarot cards. I thought I’d explain how I’d done this in case any of you feel drawn to work with the Tarot to understand your own dreams.
I usually work with the Thoth Tarot when I do readings for other people, but in readings for myself I use Rachel Pollack’s Shining Tribe Tarot (the Shining Tribe being the rich heritage of diviners, soothsays, readers and prophets over humanity’s history).  I love this pack because it’s based on nature – rivers (emotions/water – cups); stones (material world/earth – coins or pentacles); trees (creation/fire – wands); and birds (thoughts/air – swords).  Quite often I can work out dreams quite easily, but using the Tarot this time, as I felt drawn to do, really opened up the dream to a fuller understanding and a feeling of overcoming blockages which has been quite inspiring for me.  I’ll break the dream down into parts and then explain the cards I drew:
Here’s the dream:
I’m going on an excursion and the coach with many others is ready to go.  A lady is waiting to drive the bus and I tell her I’ve forgotten my suitcase and I’ll be back in five minutes, and ask her to wait for me as I’ll only be five minutes. I rush home to find someone cleaning it for me.  I grab my suitcase, set off again and then realise I’ve left my make-up. So I grab that, stuff it in the suitcase and leave. Somehow I end up in a Turkish restaurant but I can’s tay as I have to get back to the coach. Then our cat (which is actually our neighbour’s and comes to visit us for company) turns up but hte cleaning lady says she’ll look after it for me. Bryan (my husband) appears and gives me a helping hand to get to the bus.
I broke the dream down as follows:

1. What the dream is about: 8 of trees. Leaving a destructive situation behind, and flying to freedom with joy.
2. Destination: 4 of Rivers. New beginnings and commitment, casting off old limitations.
3. Bus: The Lovers. Free sharing with others, trust, commitment, passion.
4. Woman: Gift of Birds. Art, inspiration, outpouring of ideas. Opening up emotionally and mentally to make use of creative gifts.
5. Suitcase/Makeup: The Devil (I laughed at this one). Represents what’s holding me back – suppressed energy; old fears and chains I can easily release, plus a need not to hide behind a mask or behind those old fears.
6. Cleaner: Spiral of Fortune. Breaking out of old patterns, change that liberates. Making progress.
7. Cat: 8 of Stones. Accomplishments in work or business.  Hard work with powerful results. Liberation through fresh ideas.
8. Restaurant: Knower of Stones. Finding inner meanings in ordinary objects and experiences. Conviction. Certainty. Hard work. Relating to nature.
9. Bryan, my husband: 2 of trees. Breakthroughs, new beginnings, opening to a higher level of awareness.
10. Direction: Speaker of Rivers. Storytelling; imagination; power to inspire and heal others.

This dream has surfaced just after I radically revised the way I was writing my book.  I’ve been a bit hesitant about this new direction, but the dream – which I think is quite clear from the brief meanings Pollack assigns to these cards – has been a reassurance that I’m moving in the right direction, I need to let go of the baggage of old fears and hesitations which have been holding me back; and to rely on the storytelling of my life and what I consider quite ordinary experiences to perhaps inspire others to understand that we don’t all have to live big lives to live life to the full. The fact that the final card was Speaker of Rivers, which is related to emotional matters, has also been a reminder to me that emotional healing is the core of my book, rather than the current preoccupation with thoughts as the source of healing.