|Oracle of the Bee - Encaustic, Julia Inglis|
I thought I was going mad and then I found out that on 6th of June Neptune went into Retrograde. Neptune is the planet that rules dreams, intuition, memory, magic and emotions. When a planet goes Retrograde (backwards) we begin to go back in our memories and dreams (Neptune) to revisit old events and experiences to understand how we dealt with those issues in past times. For the past week I have been dreaming back into my past - not the great memories that I'd like to relive again. Oh no, I haven't taken a trip back to all of those amazing early gigs I went to you in my youth - the gigs I can't quite remember unfortunately because I having so much of a good time. No, I have been revisiting all of the terrible workplaces and jobs I did in my teens, 20s and early 30s - so many soul-destroying temp jobs. So many... I've pretty much done it all. And the driving force? To pay the rent. To survive. And I've been getting a nightly reminder - it's not a trip down memory lane, more like being dragged down a dark alley that I've avoided visiting for a long time.
|Spirit Dancer, Encaustic Oracle - Julia Inglis|
And it's ok. Because the gift of Neptune Retrograde is that if you stay with your dreams long enough, really sit with them, write then down and connect with all the very uncomfortable feelings that come up with them, you will receive a great gift : a missing part of yourself returned. I am seeing all of the ways I mistreated myself in the past when I could not admit that I was an intuit and artist. I have been feeling again the pain of what it was like to go into an environment every day that felt like enemy territory. And there's no judgement of the people there or even the work itself, it just wasn't the right environment for me. A painful reminder of what it feels like when you are ignoring your own spirit and trying to accommodate everyone else. Each night I am being shown that these kinds of actions, particularly done daily over many years, creates Soul Loss. Soul loss occurs when you become so far removed from your authentic Spirit, your Dreaming Self, that a part of you gets lost or bound up in the past event. And even though we feel this missing part of ourselves keenly, we often don't know why and so we try to fill this hole with all kinds of shadow behaviour.
Last night I feel I had the last of this sequence of dreams when I saw myself in a tiny room in a high office block. I was working for a bank and pretending to work because there was actually nothing to do (how many of us have been in that situation before?!). I was so bored that I deciding to sneak outside for a walk and I found myself beside the ocean. It looked so beautiful and deep. However I ignored the sea because I realised that I could not find the door back into the building and panicked. I wandered the city streets and laneways trying to find my way back until I came to a small make-shift pop-up-shop, where a couple were calmly and happily creating the most beautifully crafted and detailed hand-made boots. The shoemaker smiled and asked me to sit down and began to measure my feet, preparing to create a pair of boots for me that were made to my exact needs and measurements. When I woke up I felt this beautiful pair of boots was actually the missing part of my soul that I'd lost all of those years before. When I woke up I saw so many links and symbols of meaning. How many of us 'work for the bank' - basically to pay off debts and mortgages? Becoming debt-free is of utmost importance for us now. As much as we can we are urged to live simply and within our means. It was a reminder of the beauty of what it feels like to be doing my own work now with my own hands, and most importantly, beholden to no-one. The intricate boots were a symbol of authenticity and individuality and even a little nod towards the traditional shoe of the witch?!
In retelling this dream I hope that it helps anyone who is feeling the burden of these changing times. I know it can be scary sometimes and we are often consumed with worry over how we are going to pay our bills. Believe in what you are doing and try not to make decisions out of fear. We are at a time of change and I believe we will soon see the Artisan acknowledged and honoured again. We are so sick of anything that is mass-produced and cheaply produced. We want to support local businesses and craftspeople. And we want to hold something unique and hand-crafted. This is the sacred art of enchanting inanimate objects - infusing them with love and care. The archetype of the shoemaker has stayed with me all day and I was reminded of the fairytale The Elves and the Shoemaker by the Grimm Brothers. I think it's a story to encourage us all to put our love into our work, to hang in there in the tough times and to be grateful for kind help that comes along the way - however strange and magical that may be!
As I was writing, The Killing Moon by Echo and the Bunnymen began to play. I read that Ian McCulloch woke up from a dream with the words 'fate up against your will' in his head and wrote the song from there. This 'All Night Version' is so beautiful, I hope it helps you to sail the seas of this Neptune Retrograde that is going to be with us until November. Do not fear it but set sail with all of your divining tools - stay with the ship and read the maps, become the cartographer for your Dreamer. In the depths are the jewels and you can only reach them by diving right down.
Sweet dreams, beautiful artisans. See you in the Deep.