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Saturn: ‘there are no arbitrary impediments’.

January 4, 2010

Last night I had a dream with familiar interpersonal dynamics, but because I’m keeping myself open to what the universe is trying to tell me (psychological alchemy generally, but Not So Big Life specifically), I saw the situations in a new way, and discovered novel ideas, which I hope will become insights as I work through them. Not very welcome ones, but hey, sometimes (usually?) the greatest growth comes from the most painful events.

In the dream, four people play primary roles: me (dMe), my sister (dI), my mother (dA), and my formerly-favorite cousin (dQ). As is customary in dreams where these people appear, there was lots of tension and drama and scheming and fighting.

  • dMe was squabbling with dQ, trying to make him jealous of a non-existent “other guy”; dQ was doing the same thing back to dMe.
  • dI was trying to get into my room, and I was so enraged by her mere appearance in the dream that I completely lost my cool, and went after her with single-minded intensity, trying to make her utterly disappear. So, fought with her, hoping to win so I could insist she leave the scene altogether.
  • dMe had some argument with my mother too.
  • But dMe appealed to my mother’s authority over my sister, trying to get dA to make dI disappear. It would work, briefly, and then my sister would reappear. So I’d appeal again to my mother, but also fight some more.

Although it pains me to admit it, previously I always felt smugly sure that dMe was right about everything, and the other dream-figures were wrong, so I was justified in my rage and mindless violence. (Which is actually really weird, because I’m a pacifist.)

Looking at this dream through the lens of authority (since we’re in Capricorn after all), I see there’s a lot more going on that I need to process and work through.

If dMe was actually in charge (“held legitimate authority”), then both (1) appealing to dA, and (2) fighting with dI to push her off-stage, make no sense whatsoever. Those two actions only make sense if dMe is not in charge. But then, who is in charge? Seemingly, none of the four characters I’ve identified. (My guess is my higher Self, who must’ve been off-stage.)

Seeing my sister in a dream always utterly distracts me from my goals, and sends me off in a rage. I then spend the rest of the time fighting with her, squandering all my time and energy on endless turf wars that neither of us ever wins.

In none of these dream-relationships does it ever occur to me to try talking to the people involved, and asking them what they want or need. Determining whether we can work together as friends or allies, or not.

I’d like to be able to say that in waking life, I’m much more direct, and would ask. But in these particular relationships, I mostly haven’t. I’ve only ever been allied with either my mother or my sister when I had literally no other choices, and was desperate for aid. And those alliances tended to extract such high costs that I eventually decided I was better off without them. No matter what the alternative was. My cousin was once the keystone my life depended on, and then became my worst enemy. I haven’t talked to him in 20 years, and I try to never be in the same room with him.

When I originally conceived of inviting my inner personas to come out and show themselves, so we could get acquainted and eventually re-integrate, I expected shy and fearful fragments that would need gentle coaxing. (And some have indeed been like that.) To now be facing the prospect of aspects of myself that clothe themselves as unpleasant personalities that I heartily dislike, if not fear outright … it’s daunting. I’m afraid and uncertain of what I might find.

The title quote is Carolyn Casey from Making the Gods Work For You, p. 83. The next two sentences are:

“All obstacles are intended to catalyze us to experiment with different parts of our psyche that we would not explore unless compelled. In times of extremity, we will try things we might not think of in less demanding situations.”

I’ve committed myself to facing whatever’s there. After all, it’s not going anywhere –I’ve been having dreams like this for years and years. And I’ve replayed these sorts of dramas out in waking life more times than I care to remember. So, into the dragon’s lair I go…

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