Yeah, yeah, I am the author of two dream blogs, founder of an on-line community of 500+ people who dream together for global healing, I’m a dream therapist and I consider a night out at the latest Jung Society lecture a good time. So, I must believe in synchronicity, right?
Well I do.
And I don’t.
Like you, I live in a rationalistic what-you-see-is-what-you get culture. I believe, and then I doubt. I’m amazed by the magic, and then I screw up my brow and get all skeptical. I don’t think this makes me a flip-flopper or a fuzzy thinker as our politicians would have us believe. I think it makes me human, honest, and sometimes a pain-in-the-neck.
But this morning I’m a believer.
Here’s What Happened
The other day I signed up for a workshop about tarot and dreams with the popular dream shaman Robert Moss. According to the workshop description, participants need to bring either the Rider-Waite or Thoth Tarot deck. Whereas, dreams are big in my life, Tarot is relatively new to me, so knowing nothing about either I called two friends, R&G, and asked their advice. They were split down the middle, so I decided to go to the groovy store downtown and look at both decks myself.
As it happens there were several people milling around the store, so I asked their opinions. They were split, too.
Then, as I was deciding, a stylish, well-heeled woman came up to me and asked, “Where did you buy that coat?”
Turns out she’s the sales clerk in the fashionable, upscale store where I purchased my (fabulous) new winter coat a few weeks back, while I was shopping with the two tarot-loving friends, R&G, whom I’d initially called for advice about the deck.
Settled. Someone who could sell a fabulous coat like the one I was wearing had to know something about something. So I bought the Thoth.
The Luck of the Draw
That night, before bed, I decided to draw my first card and let it be the focus for my dream incubation. Immediately I learned that the coat saleslady was right about one thing at least: The deck is dark. My first card was: DEATH.
I had a momentary pang of distress at having drawn such a heavy card … followed quickly by my Jungian curiosity and excitement about death as the alchemical precursor to new life and new awakenings.
I put the card on my bedside table and went to sleep.
In the morning I recounted my rich harvest of dreams. With so many to choose from I wondered how to select the one dream or image that might have relevance to my card.
As I pondered this question, I was also waiting for my turn in my “Words with Friends” online game with my friend R, who, by the way, had quite heartily endorsed the Thoth deck.
Thus engaged, I decided that the image from the dreams that stood out most to me, because it had no associations to my daily activities or normal waking reality, was the photograph of white-faced monkeys with white manes around their heads that I was looking at with my cousin Jennifer in one of the dreams. In that dream, we were rifling through glossy pictures she’d torn out of a magazine, selecting which ones to hang on her walls. I told her, “These look like the monkeys I saw when I was in Central America [a trip I’d taken some 4 years ago in wake life].”
Jennifer, as well as being my cousin’s name, also happens to be the name of a new Tarot-loving friend I met online, and who recommended I meet her at the Tarot-Dreams workshop for which I’d bought the Thoth deck.
So, still waiting for R (my Thoth-Endorsing friend, you recall) to make a move in our on-line “Words” game, I thumbed through my Penguin Dictionary of Symbols to see what it had to say about monkeys.
Opening the thick tome I found that it had a LOT to say about monkeys, and I was not patient enough (before breakfast) to read the multi-page entry. I figured Penguin probably wouldn’t mention white-maned Central American monkeys anyway, so I dropped my forefinger on one paragraph and decided I’d read only that.
Here’s what it said:
“In ancient Egyptian symbolism the role allotted to the monkey was in broad outline the one which it would play in Central America. Taking the shape of a great white dog-faced baboon, the god Thoth […] was patron of the wise and the men of letters. He was the scribe of the gods, writing down the words of the creator, the god Ptah, […]when he judged the souls of the dead.”
(Penguin Dictionary of Symbols p. 664)
Seriously? All in the space of two sentences: Not just monkeys but white-Central American ones, Toth, and death … not to mention references to writers and letters (did I mention I’m a writer?).
So, yeah, like I said, today … yup, I’m a believer.