Claudia, The Growler, psyche skeleton keys, and long passages from my favorite books
“Yesterday they called it coincidence; today — it’s synchronicity, but tomorrow they’ll call it — skill.” (Antero Alli)
Synchronicity has been stalking me, so this is pretty much a continuation from last week’s mind dump.
There’s no clear order to any of this, just a stream of dreams and possibilities, and two long passages from books that might as well be bibles.
CLAUDIA, THE GROWLER
Three nights ago, I felt embarrassed in a dream. The polar opposite of this dream experience:
Another version of me resurfaced from The Wild. She was on the news, and word had gotten around that she was me, and she was called Claudia, The Growler.
A Growler is someone who one day leaves behind their life and recedes into the wild to go crazy in peace. My mother had wanted to be a Growler too. (This is what I knew to be true in the dream).
Apparently, she had been in exile. I was embarrassed because now everyone knew that this Claudia existed, without ethos or etiquette. And that whoever I had become in the past 37 years would be replaced by this wild woman. Then I woke up.
I immediately thought of Clarissa Pinkola Estes, the mother figure to all wild women. I went back into the book “Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype” and searched for solace and clarity. What I found was a manifesto and a newfound responsibility for my life and self:
The things that have been lost to women for centuries can be found again by following the shadows they cast. And make a candle to Guadalupe, for these lost and stolen treasures still cast shadows across our nightdreams and in our imaginal daydreams and in old, old stories, in poetry, and in any inspired moment. Women across the world—your mother, my mother, you and I, your sister, your friend, our daughters, all the tribes of women not yet met—we all dream what is lost, what next must rise from the unconscious. We all dream the same dreams worldwide. We are never without the map. We are never without each other. We unite through our dreams.
Dreams are compensatory, they provide a mirror into the deep unconscious most often reflecting what is lost, and, what is yet needed for correction and balance. Through dreams, the unconscious constantly produces teaching images. So, like a fabled lost continent, the wild dreamland rises out of our sleeping bodies, rises steaming and streaming to create a sheltering motherland over all of us. This is the continent of our knowing. It is the land of our Self.
And this is what we dream: We dream the archetype of Wild Woman, we dream of reunion. And we are born and reborn from this dream every day and create from its energy all during the daytime. We are born and reborn night after night from this same wild dream, and we return to daylight grasping a coarse hair, the soles of our feet black with damp earth, our hair smelling like ocean, or forest or cook fire.
It is from that land that we step into our day clothes, our day lives. We travel from that wildish place in order to sit before the computer, in front of the cook pot, before the window, in front of the teacher, the book, the customer. We breathe the wild into our corporate work, our business creations, our decisions, our art, the work of our hands and hearts, our politics, spirituality, plans, homelife, education, industry, foreign affairs, freedoms, rights, and duties. The wild feminine is not only sustainable in all worlds; it sustains all worlds.
Let us admit it. We women are building a motherland; each with her own plot of soil eked from a night of dreams, a day of work. We are spreading this soil in larger and larger circles, slowly, slowly. One day it will be a continuous land, a resurrected land come back from the dead. Munda de la Madre, psychic motherworld, coexisting and coequal with all other worlds. This world is being made from our lives, our cries, our laughter, our bones. It is a world worth making, a world worth living in, a world in which there is a prevailing and decent wild sanity.
The imagery of spreading the soil of my psyche in larger and larger circles until it becomes a continuous land, resurrected from the dead, is the same imagery as last week’s resurfaced audio. The Universe confirms your journey over and over and over again until you pay it attention.
I can’t be embarrassed or ignore Claudia, The Growler. I know the answer is to not feel embarrassed, and to instead wear her like my soul. She’s returned from exile. She wants to live beside me. I breathe her wild and it infuses everything I do.
ART AS SKELETON KEYS
Sacred geometry, like mandalas, work as keys unlocking new “rooms of awareness.” They are doorways and they are soul awakening. All art has the potential to work in the same way. I scroll through my Artsy app every day fully expecting to be surprised and provoked and raptured by imagination. These are my favorite from the past week. Each one is a skeleton key.
The Leonora Carrington painting above is actually always on my mind. But this week especially. I own a sculpture pendant of her limited edition set called “Looking In”. It has sapphires for eyes and I bought it for myself as a spiritual gift. I wear it to sleep sometimes, and when I do, I have the most surreal dreams — more so than usual. The most recent one being that I was in that room, seated where the Minotaur is seated, and I was painting over the same painting I was inside of.
When I woke up I thought of two things: “Her pendant is a consciousness breadcrumb and it is active — or maybe I am activated,” and then I remembered this passage from one of my favorite books, “The Nature of the Psyche” by Jane Roberts:
You are an artist in the throes of inspiration. There is before you a canvas, and you are working in all areas of it at once. In your terms each part of the canvas could be a time period — say, a given century. You are trying to keep some kind of overall balance and purpose in mind, so when you make one brushstroke in any particular portion of this canvas, all the relationships within the entire area can change. No brushstroke is ever really wiped out, however, in this mysterious canvas of our analogy, but remains, further altering all the relationships at its particular level.
These magical brushstrokes, however, are not simple representations on a flat surface, but alive, carrying within themselves all of the artist’s intent, but focused through the characteristics of each individual stroke. If the artist paints a doorway, all of the sensed perspectives within it open, and add further dimensions of reality. Since this is our analogy, we can stretch it as far as we like — far further than any artist could stretch his canvas. Therefore, there is no need to limit ourselves. The canvas itself can change size and shape as the artist works. The people in the artist’s painting are not simple representations either — to stare back at him with forever-fixed glassy eyes, or ostentatious smiles, dressed in their best Sunday clothes. Instead, they can confront the artist and talk back. They can turn sideways in the painting and look at their companions, observe their environment, and even look out of the dimensions of the painting itself and question the artist.
Now the psyche in our analogy is both the painting and the artist, for the artist finds that all of the elements within the painting are portions of himself. More, as he looks about, our artist discovers that he is literally surrounded by other paintings that he is also producing. As he looks closer, he discovers that there is a still-greater masterpiece in which he appears as an artist creating the very same paintings that he begins to recognize.
Our artist then realizes that all of the people he painted are also painting their own pictures, and moving about in their own realities in a way that even he cannot perceive. In a flash of insight it occurs to him that he also has been painted — that there is another artist behind him from whom his own creativity springs, and he also begins to look out of the frame.
It’s kind of a mind fuck, but slowly, as I keep unraveling my dreams and subconsciousness, I pull out further from the frame. I see us painting each other, on top of each other, layer after layer, infinite brushstrokes of life and love and intent. And then that becomes a spiritual freedom, because then I know, all that is required of me is to keep digging deeper into myself, find my raw material, and then paint my world with it.