I’m back now, recovering from Ireland’s delightfully unpredictable weather in the subtropical highland climate of the southern Smoky Mountains. Mother Nature blessed this region with a surplus of rain this spring, and at the moment she’s celebrating her mystery of rebirth with every color of the rainbow, unusually bold creeks, and riotous waterfalls the likes of which we haven’t seen in years.
This is my final insight from Ireland: My dream was precognitive. On the first night of the conference I was shown themes and symbols that would reappear many times in the following week.
I love the humanness of the dream I’ve been sharing. It’s so “lower chakra” with its symbolism of a possum and its excrement. Why do I love that? Andi sent me this quote in which Catholic priest Richard Rohr explains:
After I wrote my associations to the symbols in my Ireland dream, I started on its message. The biggest clues to a dream’s meaning are recent waking life experiences and how you responded to them. I was aware of some issues, thoughts and feelings in the days before the dream, but which were relevant and which were not?
Now that I’ve related my dream from the night we arrived at the Jungian conference in Ireland, I’d like to use it to demonstrate how I work on my dreams. Every year I start a new file on my computer and write out dreams in the order of their arrival, giving each one a number, date, and title. I try to include every detail, image, event, color, plot change, behavior, thought and emotion I can remember.
The third world is the realm of creative imagination. The fire in our head is also that realm, as well as an inner call to connect with it. I promise you, the fire is a very real mytho-poetic faculty inherent in every mind. Many do not feel its warmth; others are as attracted to it as a moth to flame. Drawing too close can be risky, even dangerous.
Alchemists were concerned with things spiritual rather than things temporal. They were committed to personal growth and refinement in preparation for the mystery of death and beyond. Their practices were attempts to understand the soul’s processes on its journey through life. Carl Jung incorporated their symbolic language and images into his groundbreaking psychological theories, and Yeats used them in his poetry.
This visit was special to me because Tuesday was my 70th birthday. And because we were staying in the Knocknarea Room at Cromleach Lodge. And because in Celtic mythology, Maeve was the Queen of the fairies and the archetype of the Sacred Feminine, the focus of this blog and my books. The synchronicities just keep coming! But wait, there’s more.
With my 70th birthday coming up this year I’d been giving some thought to how I wanted to celebrate. Top on my list was to be with my family, but might there also be something a little unusual and special? I was still considering possibilities this winter when I received an e-mail catalogue from the New York Center for Jungian Studies about their annual spring conferences in Ireland.