“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”~ C. G. Jung
To Sleep, Perchance To Dream
I dreamed last night of a panther, deep and dark. She was so near me, it was as though we had one body. She wrapped herself around me and held me close. Through the darkness, we traveled together. She was my spiritual side-kick, her throaty purr almost inaudible. She listened to my most secret secrets and sounded just like I imagine moonlight sounds.
This morning when I struggled to wake, I felt her warm, animal softness. She stayed with me, even as I emerged from a dense cloud of sleep.
I knew the dream had profound, symbolic meaning.
“Nights, through dreams, tell the myths forgotten by the day.” ― C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, and Reflections
According to the website Mejik.net, the panther is a “powerful and ancient totem. […]It is the symbol of the feminine, the dark mother, the dark of the moon. It is the symbol for the life and power of the night. It is a symbol of the feminine energies manifest upon the earth. It is often a symbol of darkness, death, and rebirth…”
So, the dark feminine has come to call on me. I feel her like a silver stream, running straight through me.
In her book, The Secret Language of Signs, healer and writer, Denise Linn says, “Ancient dreamers believed that dreams contained valuable signs and messages. They stepped through the mysterious veil in the night to listen to dream messages and then carried back precious signs that sometimes changed the destinies of individuals and nations. They believed that their nightly visions came from external forces such as God, angels, nature spirits, gods and goddesses, and the spirits of their ancestors.”
Messengers in the dark.
I believe our dreams come to us as healing messages, as warnings, as visions. They circumvent our conscious ‘monkey’ minds and slither in through our shadow consciousness, ready to reveal layers of messages, pulsing just beneath the skin of our life experiences. Often relatives visit us after they’ve died. They return to assure us they are OK, or to remind us that life goes on, even in the face of death.
Right now, the world’s decaying and dying in front of us. I read the other day about a man traveling on a fishing trawler through the waters of the Pacific. Normally, he revealed, the ocean teems with life. Not now. Not since Fukushima. He reported everything’s dead. For 3,000 miles, nothing. The only living thing he saw was a whale with a horrible lesion on its face.
This feels like more than just the poisoning of the waters from the hobbled nuclear plant. It is also the result of over-fishing for decades. Now the killing will end; there’s nothing left to kill.
My dark half.
So, a velvet-soft panther has come to collect me and teach me and warn me and comfort me. The dark feminine, intuitive side of my nature is starting to tango with the dark feminine nature of the world at large. To me, this is both exhilarating and frightening. This is a deep dive into parts of me that I have not yet met. There is sorrow and shame on the underbelly. There is profound sadness and loss. I am coming face to face with Lyssa, Kuan Yin and Kali. I am tangling with high tides and a graceful crescent moon.
In my mind, I sit astride this gleaming wild cat as she strides deeper and deeper into the dream. The forest floor is scattered with patches of light that look like stars. Nothing can be born without putting death on the table. Nothing can change unless we cast a wider, deeper net.
Beside her, surrounded by redwoods and ferns, I kneel in prayer. I know she is my dark half, my wise half, my wounded half.
She can spill her all her secrets. I am ready now.
© 2013 Shavawn M. Berry All rights reserved
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