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November 15, 2011

Fending Off Negative Influences: Bringing Life Back Into Balance

Here we are at "cold and flu" season again, something I rarely have to give much thought to, except for times like now when I am struggling to rid my system of a tenacious virus that's been hanging on for several weeks. This reminds me of a few years ago when my sister and I had both been hit with a similar bug. Luckily, I began to feel better by resting more (seems I am more susceptible when I over-extend myself), gargling with saltwater, taking extra supplements, eating healthy foods, and drinking plenty of liquids. It appears that this time around something more is needed. But what?

Around the same time my sister and I were battling our own viruses, I discovered that I had 15 viruses on my computer that had to be removed as well. The computer guy cleaned everything up, installed a program called Malwarebytes, and changed my old PC over to a new computer tower.

After my computer was fixed, I opened a freshly posted message from  “Solar Winds” Blog: “It doesn't surprise me that the horror at Ft. Hood was committed by a trained psychiatrist or psychologist.  Mental and spiritual illness is contagious just as most physical ailments are.  No bacteria or viruses involved, but more a matter of vibrations.  So when you are constantly around disturbed people, you have a good possibility of becoming one. This is especially true of a spiritual person because of their greater sensitivity, so we need to be on guard more than others.”

Hmmm…it seemed like negative vibrations (viruses?) were popping up in every direction. Thinking about this as I went to bed, I woke up with a knowing that we each have a choice in how we look at things: Either from a negative (no possibilities) or a positive (many possibilities) perspective, and that it takes stamina and resolve to resist being “infected with negative thinking.”

While the past virus thing was going on, I had been listening to the CD version of the novel Sarah’s Quilt, the continuing saga of Sarah Agnes Prine, by Nancy E. Turner while driving back and forth to work. I was uplifted by Turner's wisdom and the nobleness of her character, Sarah Prine, who lived in uncertain and difficult times.  The book showed how Sarah’s association with her wayward nephew Willie, who just showed up one day on their doorstep, caused her so much heartache and trouble and almost caused her to lose her ranch.  But she transformed her hurt and anger into love for this wayward boy due to his own determination to come clean and make things right.  She stood by him to the end, supporting him with her unfailing love and support when he was eventually jailed, tried, and hanged for horse thieving, cattle rustling, and murder.  The author also showed how Sarah's tender nature - although she was a woman of pioneering spirit and tough resilience who liked to present a tough and independent face to the world - almost got her killed by allowing a lunatic to roam free on her land who eventually tried to kill her. However, Sarah, led by her compassionate and courageous spirit, prevailed as a light in the world around her.  Intrigue piled upon intrigue, as another character in the novel was secretly working to drive Sarah and another rancher off their land by doing things like poisoning her animal water trough and burning out his land and stock. This nefarious character went by the name Ernesto Maldonado. Sounds like the name of a bad virus, no?!. Sarah displayed intense anger almost to the point of shooting Maldanado whom she had mistakenly thought was an entrusted friend before finding out his true design to poison her well to drive her to ruin so she would marry him and combine their ranch lands. But in the end her compassionate nature won out again, and she let him live. Having been shown mercy, Maldanado made up the material loss he caused to both Sarah and the other rancher, but he and Sarah were never friends again.

The meaning in the connected events for me is that there are many ways to bring life back into Balance. It takes a person’s whole vision, inner and outer, to watch for the things in life that “infect” her material, mental, and spiritual worlds.  Healing comes in different ways, depending on the situation: Some healing calls for compassion and forgiveness (Willie did die for his crime, but he was healed spiritually by Sarah’s love); other events might call for a combination of sharp insight, elimination, forgiveness, and applying personal protection.  Just as Malwarebytes cleaned up my computer viruses and gargling with salt, getting plenty of rest, taking extra supplements and eating healthy foods helped me to get well, it takes combined analytical and intuitive thinking (awareness of signs that something is wrong) combined with heart (knowing when to forgive and facilitate healing) and practical application (remedying the problem and setting healthy boundaries) to bring things in life back to balance and harmony.

October 2, 2011

More Work with DNA/Double Helix Symbolism: A Divination

I experienced another meaningful coincidence around the subject of DNA/Double Helix symbolism in a passage I opened to at random minutes after publishing my last blog post titled, Shamanic and Jungian Perspectives on Sacred Geometry, Serpentine/DNA Symbolism. The passage is from Jeremy Taylor’s book “Dream Work.” In it, JT describes a lucid dream experience in which he twists two pieces of oak railing he is holding in his hands together so that they wrap around each other like the snakes on Hermes' caduceus and the molecules of the DNA helix.” He does this before he is to give a sermon in the dream to everyone he has ever known in the past and is going to meet in the future.  The passage continues, “I decide that I will use the archetype of the double spiral as my ‘text.’ As I float down the amphitheater, I hold the pieces aloft as a concrete example of the archetype of spiral, evolutionary development…As I hold up the oaken helix, it metamorphoses in my hands into a large, self-luminous sphere within which the genetic material can be seen repeating the shape of the oaken pieces. I am surprised and filled with joy at this transformation…The shiny spherical image is a kind of confirmation from the dream itself that my lucidity is not merely a manipulation of the dream experience by ego, but rather an activity in harmony with my deeper being.

This morning I decided to do a Tarot reading having to do with a relationship that I have been troubled about. I’ve been feeling an estrangement with my son that saddens me, because I love him very much. I have several divination decks from which to choose, but felt drawn to the "Intuitive Tarot” deck.  In the service of brevity, I will include just snippets from the four cards that showed up in the reading, representing the Past, Present, Future, and Overall Look at the Situation. The information I've included below is the most relevant to the question I asked about what is going on and how to remedy the situation I'm concerned about. I haven’t included in this post the beautiful guided meditations that go with each card, but will be using them privately to go deeper into the cards' meanings ~

1st Card – Past: Page of Discs…Self-protective could have been hurt in the past. Vain. Searching for a deeper sense of self. Remember to what degree the card mirrors myself.

Starter Interpretation: A quiet, thoughtful person who reveals themselves as unexpectedly earthy, witty, and perceptive. May have been badly hurt in the past and tends to ward off superficial contact. Financial issues may be an abiding concern. Humanist.

2nd Card – Present: XIII Death (Reversed)… Transformation.  Usually, about change, the death of a situation rather than physical death. Face our deepest fears about disintegration, loss, loneliness, rejection, homelessness, rejection, disfigurement, illness. By allowing the images to surface, and then letting the fears flow through and around us, we transmute them into energy. If we deny them, our souls wither. If we move towards death with love and acceptance, our world is transformed.

Starter Interpretation, Reversed: Preoccupation with death of something. Enforced removal of old, outdated ways. Stagnation. Rigidity of mind.

3rd Card – Future: Six of Swords…A ferryman rows a boat towards a narrow straight, the entrance marked by six of swords. In prow of boat are two passengers, possibly mother and child [Yes!]. The adult inclines her head solicitously towards the child who is staring into the water as it slips by…the worst is over. You might feel a sense of hopeful anticipation in response to the dawn[Smiling]...concern over health or bereavement [Yes. A tragic death in the family].

Starter Interpretation: Travel that allows a release from cares and worries [I will be visiting him and his wife soon]. While challenges still lie ahead of you, the main difficulties have been overcome. The ability to give care to yourself and the vulnerable areas of your psyche. The beginning of something unknown.

Overall Reading Card: Three of Rods…”The focus in the Three of Rods is a strange and beautiful egg-shaped object, its shimmering colours pulsing across the surface. The figure holding the object, caressing it with careful fingers, seems almost awestruck by its qualities. Twin strands of energy, the double helix of life, emerge and interweave through the three interlocked strands of rods above. An oval tunnel of light in the background echoes the egg shape and frame of the card."

The Philosopher’s Stone…The alchemical egg can be seen as creative inspiration; the idea that comes to you in a dream [certainly in JT's!]…the gift of life, love, and inner vision. Forged from both sorrow and joy, it can offer you a doorway to the universe [This double helix orb seems to be an Archetype across all levels of life - physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual].

Starter Interpretation: This is the card of the artist, writer, inventor, dreamer, scientist, or visionary. Inspired gifts that need expression. Creative possibilities coming up. Connecting to the different dimensions of existence. A gift, freely given. Talent.

Note: The cards say it all! I resonate to each one in the reading and see in each a portal to healing the relationship with my beloved son. I especially find the overall reading card, Three of Rods, as symbolic of what we have to offer each other and why we chose to walk this path together in this life: gift of life, love, and inner vision…forged from both sorrow and joy. 


September 29, 2011

Shamanic and Jungian Perspectives on Sacred Geometry, Serpentine/DNA Symbolism

Several months before the move from my house in Florida to California where I now live, I’d been wondering about the symbolic meaning of a black snake in my yard. It had been there since we moved in to the house, but mostly showed-up during times of transition in my husband’s and my life. In 2008, the year my husband died, Snaked presented itself by lying across the steps at both the front and back doors at different times, then, disappeared. It began showing up again before my move to California.

Four months before the move, I Felt drawn to a beautiful mandala that I’ve included here, titled “Serpentine Fire” by Jean Raffa. I copied it from Jean's blog “Matrignosis” in the post titled “Dream Symbols of the Beloved,” June 12, 2010.
Later in the same day I’d found the Serpentine mandala, I opened at random Alchemy of Nine Dimensions by Barbara Hand Clow and Gerry Clow to an Australian aboriginal painting of “The Cosmic Serpent.” Underneath the picture, the caption compares the serpents with double helixes and DNA.
Below that, the Clows write how “Shamans often see serpentine images, especially double ones, which resemble the DNA double helix. The DNA molecule is a single long chain made of two interwoven ribbons connected by four bases: DNA is both single and double, just like mythical serpents. Jeremy Narby (The Cosmic Serpent, pp. 78, 80) concludes that DNA is the origin of shamanic knowledge.”
A few days later, working with my Medicine Cards (1988, Jamie Sands and David Carson) I shuffled and picked one at random, as was my custom, to give me a focus for the day. I pulled #34 Grouse ”of the sacred spiral, leading us on to reach the everlasting heights, where we live as one.”
Also, copied from the text: “…If you have Grouse medicine in your cards, undertake a meditation on the various qualities of movement within your world. Begin by visualizing the sun as one member of a huge group of stars swirling in the massive pinwheel shape of the Milky Way. Then draw yourself out of this pinwheel of light into the spiraling of your own DNA’s double helix, an arrangement similar to a rope ladder coiled like a corkscrew…contemplate if
your own movement is compatible with your greatest desires and goals…Grouse medicine is an invitation to the dance, and offers this dance to you as a gift. You can spend a lifetime learning Grouse’s lesson on how to harmonize your dance with Mother Earth’s cycles, and how to offer the dance as creation of selfless beauty.”
I was beginning to feel like there was an important message here for me in the DNA double helix! Perhaps, Jean Raffa would have more information for me.
So, that afternoon, I commented on the “Dream Symbols of the Beloved” post and told Jeanie about the meaningful coincidences I’d experienced and had recorded in my synchronicity journal about Snake, the Clows’ passage, and the Medicine card I'd chosen, and how they all seemed to point to the double helix symbol and its meaning.
Jeanie’s reply:
Dear Jenna, Welcome to my garden! It’s so good to hear from you. I love your synchronicity journal and wish I’d been keeping one all these years. Here’s another synchronicity you can add to it: I just came to my computer moments ago and as I was waiting for my mail to open up, I picked up my copy of Aion (Jung’s collected works, Volume 9, ii) and opened it to a place I marked some time ago to have another look at what Jung says about Self symbols. I was thinking I need to write another post about this topic because it’s been so popular and there’s so much more I could say. The paragraph I was most interested in (#356) is the one where Jung says that the Self also has animal symbolism; among these is, you guessed it, the snake. A few pages later he says that the snake symbol brings us to the images of Paradise, tree, and earth; together these symbolize creation, our origins. This brings to mind the idea that the original unity had to be split up into the multiplicity of the visible world and that our job is to reunite our separate parts (in the inorganic realm) into a whole, unified being. So after I read that, I opened your comment. I think snake is talking to us both. I need to get busy writing that post! Much love, Jeanie
Our comments continued:
Jenna Says:
Oops, forgot to put the title of my synchronicity journal entry in my last post: Synchronicity: June 14, 2010 Sacred Geometry/Serpentine/DNA
jeanraffa Says:
Dear Jenna, Of course. At the beginning of the chapter in Aion I just told you about, Jung reviews the facts that led psychologists to conjecture an archetype of wholeness, i.e., the Self, and says, “These are in the first place dreams and visions; in the second place, products of active imagination in which symbols of wholeness appear. The most important of these are geometrical structures containing elements of the circle and quaternity…” Jeanie
Jenna Says:
Thank you for sharing your synchronicity, too, Jeanie. What fun! I bet there are others of your readers who have their own events of synchronicity to share around these discussions. It has been my experience that when an archetypal subject comes up in group, many in the conversation experience a synchronicity which highlights their own personal meaning(s) around it.
By the way, do you mind if I share this exchange in my thesis/book, using your name and referencing your blog? If you would prefer that I do not, please don’t hesitate to say so. I always ask, before using anyone’s ideas or words.
Can’t wait for your next posts…
jeanraffa Says:
Jenna, Of course you may share this exchange and any others we may have in the future. I already know of at least one other synchronicity occurring around this same topic. A few days ago a Jungian friend sent me a dream featuring an elephant and asked for any thoughts I may have. I sent a few, then two days later picked up Aion and turned to the page I cited in my previous comment about the animals that represent the Self in dreams. The elephant was the first one mentioned. When I wrote that to her she responded that she had done a meditation and active imagination with her dream elephant and its message to her had been about how much it loved her. Nothing could point more strongly to the Self than that.

Jean Raffa's
newest book, Healing the Sacred Divide: Making Peace with Ourselves, Each Other and the World, will be issued from Larson Publications in June of 2012.