I recently wrote another blog, http://1sojournal.wordpress.com/ about my adventures in my imaginary Creativity Closet. In the course of doing so, I was reminded that one of my original purposes for starting this blog was to write about my Personal Mythology and its symbolism. I intend to do some of that this morning and will include others in the forthcoming weeks.
Each of the creatures and characters within my Mythology are products of my imagination. However, they also come from my own intuitive knowing and thus, capture a great deal of symbolic meaning. Meaning that is pertinent to my journey through life, but also has some value to the world in general.
Spontaneous imagery is just what its name implies: spontaneous images that come unbidden to the individual and are often direct messages from the intuitive faculties. Our minds most often speak to us in pictures and images. If we fail to learn some of the symbolism involved in those images, we may spend our time missing some of the most important messages we may ever receive.
My encounters with the wild creatures that inhabit my imagination, didn’t only happen when I was in my bedroom attempting to meditate. Because I used my imagination often and paid attention, the images often came at odd moments, no matter my particular location during that time period. That is how it was with Beatrice, a very angry Golden Eagle.
I was taking a lunch break from my job at a new/used bookstore. I was seated alone at a small table in a diner around the corner from my work place, eating my lunch. I looked up and saw her perched on the back of one of the stools lining the diner’s counter. She was obviously a product of my imagination as she was far larger than her physical counterparts. And she was extremely agitated.
She was on a very short leash, a metal cuff that encircled her right leg and was attached by a very heavy chain. She would spread her huge wings and try to lift off her perch, but the chain wasn’t allowing her any movement and she would flop back in place, screeching her indignation.
I spoke to her in my mind. She immediately swiveled her head in my direction, pinning me in my seat with that fierce gaze that only eagles seem to own. Now all that anger and frustration were aimed at me. Whew! And I knew why. She was a product of my imagination, come to tell me that I had chained some part of my own personality so that it couldn’t move freely, or as originally intended. I even knew which part. Eagles are the very essence of spirit. That is what they symbolize as they soar between earth and the heavens.
Needless to say, I was appalled to think that I had somehow chained my own spirit, preventing it from moving in any direction it needed to go. But, this bird was extremely large and also extremely angry about her current situation. At first, I spoke to her in a somewhat hesitant manner, apologizing for my unwitting actions of the past that had bound her so cruelly. She simply continued to lean forward and stare at me in that uncompromisingly fierce manner.
I had to make a decision. This was my imagination so I could set her free with little effort. But, I would have to move in close to those wicked looking talons to do so and the thought was a bit heart-stopping. As I spoke more easily to her, I asked her her name and was given not one, but two. The first was Katherine, the second was Beatrice.
The decision was made, and in my mind I carefully approached her and unlocked the cuff that held her captive. She waited until I moved out of harm’s way and then launched herself straight out the window of the diner and into the sky high above. I left my forgotten lunch and walked slowly back to the bookstore.
That evening I looked up the meanings of the two names. Katherine means pure. That is not necessarily the purity attached to innocence or ignorance. It isn’t about chastity either. It is about the purity of choices one makes as one travels through life. The ability to discern which choices are best, not only for ones own person, but also for those one makes contact with on that journey. Beatrice means voyager through life, blessed.
The message of those two names combined was quite clear. I had made choices that had muddied, perhaps even overshadowed my own path. I needed to correct that reality and began to do so. Added to that was a wonderful piece of synchronicity.
A few days after my diner experience, I came into work to discover a box of books that my employer had left for me to put up on the shelves. They were used books that he had obviously bought from a customer. One of them was a book about a Golden Eagle, and how a father and son set to work to train her to come to arm when signaled. The book is Gifts of An Eagle, and was written by Kent Durden. It was published in 1972 and although it is no longer in print, it can sometimes be found for sale, or located in libraries.
It has been years since I read the book, but still have a copy of it. I didn’t read it alone. Katherine/Beatrice accompanied me through its pages, telling me bits and pieces of her own story with images. Her story is obviously a portion of my own, versed in symbolism that I could not only understand, but also relate to my own experiences.
Personal Mythology is an important aspect of Intuition. Naming is another, as is story. Names are a type of definition and they can guide one in certain paths that might otherwise be missed. Stories are humankinds oldest teaching tools, whether they are cultural, universal, or personal. They contain a great deal of information about ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ choices, and can guide one through the process of ones own personal journey in numerous and untold ways.
My experience with Katherine/Beatrice took place more than twenty-five years ago. It remains vivid and detailed in my memory. I now need to go back and reread the book. After all, I figure she came into my present awareness for a reason and purpose. I intend to listen.