Dream Symbols: The Library
I had a dream fragment, something like a foggy remembrance that seemed to be in a library. While I don’t remember any particulars, I felt positive when I woke up. Why? Libraries are one of my favorite places to visit and get writing done. When I lived in Fauquier County in Virginia, I needed to use the library Wi-Fi services as my home was in a rural location, and the streaming was spotty. The local library had a comfortable study room. I will always remember that particular library because it’s where I fleshed out my first book. At the Garden’s Gate. Here, I could focus on one project in front of me for a set amount of time. I feel good when I complete the task, whether edits or new content, free of house distractions. You know what I mean: Should I get the laundry done? Stop for a cup of tea, answer more emails, or go down the rabbit hole of emails before I get to it.
It’s the ‘getting to it’ that can easily be put off.
Libraries also are filled with rich meaning, both literally and symbolically. Books hold all we could possibly be searching for, and more are added every day. New discoveries and old ones. Ancient and modern, books are containers, priceless vessels held in libraries free for our perusal.
Some of us cherish the smell of books and want to hold them in our hands, and there is research that supports the value of that experience. We comprehend more. While the younger generations are adept at e-readers, there are many ads and other distractions, so what do they retain? I do enjoy the convenience of my Kindle, especially for travel. I have traveled a bit and remember stashing away a couple of books to keep me company along the way and how they added more weight for me to carry around. EReaders make it easy for us to travel with any number of books all in one device. Today I see so many folks reading on their smartphones, smaller devices that are easy to tote.
For me, libraries hold possibilities. I can travel anywhere, feel the impact of another’s journey, delight in a whodunit, and so much more. Books have been friends, too, coming into my life through synchronicity. Way-showers for growth, self-awareness, and understanding. Since I am actively writing books, they are a place for research, new knowledge, or at least someone else’s perspective I can reflect on.
One of the most appealing libraries I have been to is Norfolk Public Library, CT, located in Northwestern, CT. Wooden lofts with arching hallways and stairways, music, and events enveloped in one woman’s gift in memory of her parents in 1889. Rich in architectural details and warm like a glass of oaken-aged wine, my imagination flourished as I walked between the stacks or enjoyed an art show with music playing from an upstairs balcony.
Do you have a favorite library? Do libraries inspire you? Sweet dreaming. Judith
What does the Cardinal dream symbol mean?
The other morning, I sat on my patio, enjoying my tea and the cooler air. A bright flash caught my eye as I was reading. A fire engine red cardinal flew into my tomato plant pot and proceeded to eat. I waited till he was done and then got up and looked at what caught his attention and palate.
I had placed some crushed eggshells the day before in my veggie pots. Tomatoes get hungry fast, and crushed eggshells add some nutrients. Sure enough, the cardinal chomped on the eggshells.
What a nice surprise this morning. I sat about five feet away from this pot and bird. My presence didn’t seem to bother him. He gave me an opportunity to be in the moment. Then I had to reflect on what this could mean to me.
I learned a wheel of truths from my elders. In their system, red symbolizes faith and trust and speaking the truth. I usually remind myself to grow faith and deeper trust when this beautiful red bird flies across my path, and this morning was no different. How do we grow faith? A ponderous question for sure, as it means different things to each of us. Trust is closely linked though trusting can be tricky. And that includes trusting our inner voice. How well do I listen to my inner voice and trust it? I know I’m getting better; a work in progress, they say. When I do, synchronicities abound, and that’s where the magic comes in. For more details about the medicine wheel of truths and red in particular, check out my first book: At the Garden’s Gate.
Cardinals have a distinct whistle that is easy to identify. Females join in, which apparently is unusual in the bird kingdoms. Some say they remind the feminine nature to be more vocal. I am finding my voice more strongly through writing. Each of us is unique in how we speak, and how we give voice to the wholeness of us out into the world.
Ted Andrews, in Animal Speak, reminds us that cardinals eat a variety of insects and could ask us to look at our diets more carefully. I know I did. I realized I had cut down on eggs. So, I made sure to include them in my diet over the next few days.
Cardinals also stick around through all seasons. Twelve months and their eggs hatch in twelve days. Not a coincidence, I’m sure. I have come to trust these seemingly simple glimpses as offering something more. So within these few minutes, I pondered faith and trust, speaking my truth, the number twelve, a one-year cycle, and lastly, made a diet change.
So Dear Friends, I ask you: What does the cardinal mean to you?
There is so much to be grateful for. Sweet dreaming.
Halcyon days entered our language sometime in the 14th century, referring to a calm and peaceful atmosphere. The use of this word has its roots in an ancient Greek Legend.
Halcyon and her husband Ceyx were married in a Greek ceremony. Shortly after the marriage, her husband left on a voyage where he drowned. Deep grief and longing kept Halcyon pacing the shores, looking for him. She threw herself into the ocean to be with him when she knew he died.
The Gods were moved by her love and devotion. So, they turned Halcyon and Ceyx into kingfishers. They symbolized peace (think of the expression: Halcyon days) and prosperity. They also symbolize love.
Kingfishers mate for life, both incubating and rearing their young. They also live by the water, dive for fish, and make a clacking type of sound which, once heard, becomes easier to identify them.
During these hot summer spells, the river calls. I sit under dappled light while breezes come and go. Here the humidity feels less. Today I sat near a small river dam. I heard the first one and then saw a second kingfisher follow. They resemble a blue jay a bit, some with blue wings.
When they come into view, again, not always an easy bird to see, I think about relationships. The joint effort it takes to be in the flow of a partnership. Raising and rearing young is no easy task, but when we work together, the load is lighter.
Have you ever seen a kingfisher? If you are reading this today, I propose that the kingfisher is here before you. What does this bird mean to you? Are you thinking about any relationship today, and if so, how can this beautiful water bird give you a clue? For me, I think of a solid relationship, a positive partnership, a mature one. And the Kingfisher reminds me of the value of such a mature relationship. They are a positive omen for me. What do they mean to you? I would love to hear from you.
Sweet dreaming. Judith
“I have an excellent idea – Let’s change the subject.” The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland
The other day, a cottontail sat quietly and still nearby while I sipped tea and sat with the sunrise. I was quite surprised at how close she was to me. She brought to mind going down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland. The first character she meets is the White Rabbit, who hurries and can be late. So, I decided to hop into the energy of the rabbit as a symbol. for this week’s post.
Cottontail Rabbits are plentiful around here. These furry little critters also cross my path on the walking trails in town. Since they are one of the most common prey animals, I wonder about the predator populations. I have heard from hunters that when we see many prey animals, they help predators survive and bring back some kind of balance. By nature, then, they are very fertile, with 4-6 litters per year. So when in the wild, what do you observe?
Rabbits are found in children’s literature and are pets. From Brer Rabbit to Alice in Wonderland, rabbits appear in myths and legends. What does going down the rabbit hole mean to you? Could rabbit holes be symbols of gateways and portals? Which folklore rabbit do you connect with, and what reference could they have to your daily life? The White Rabbit is always looking at his watch and seemed anxious, maybe a reflection of a busy life.
Rabbits hop and jump, and for those with this totem, remember that many ideas can hop and jump in and then out. It requires an instinctual effort to grab what feels right and then let go and look in another direction or hop into something else. Fertility is often related to creativity. If a rabbit has hopped into your awareness today, what creative ideas or projects can you turn your attention to? Maybe Rabbit reminds you that you are very creative, a confirmation of a gift or talent. Since rabbits appear on the different trails here, being here in this location this spring and summer is proving to be a very creative time for me.
Their offspring are very tiny when born, one ounce. They stay with their mom for twenty-eight days and then are kicked out. Twenty-eight days speak of one moon cycle. In the Chinese astrological calendar, they represent one of the significant signs, and folks born under this sign are considered very creative and artistic. And have a connection to the powers of the moon.
So, how does the rabbit speak to you? What could the rabbit as a totem mean for you?
As Lewis Carroll reminds us: “It’s no use going back to yesterday because I was a different person then.” The dream I had last night, playing with symbols, enriches my day and stimulates, changes, deepens my perspective so I am not the same as yesterday. Pretty cool, right!.
Thanks for sharing. I enjoy your comments and stories.
Sweet dreaming. Judith
I’m down by the river again. The shade of the trees brings a breeze and coolness, a shelter from 90-degree days. I sit and write, observe, and enjoy the quiet time. Today geese swim by. Several families as if taking a leisurely Sunday stroll.
Geese as symbols have a rich history. Their flight, flight formations, and family systems offer possible guidance.
When these birds fly in formation, they create an uplift draft for the one following them. This allows for a greater flying range than if one bird flew alone. Think about teamwork and how it impacts your goal or job outcome. Think about the teams you currently work in, family, or job-related experiences. And if one goose falls out of order, they immediately feel the drag. So, they get back into formation quickly. They also share the leader position. When the leader is tired, another takes over, so the first one gets a break. Seems to be the opposite of our 24/7 type mentality. And they take care of each other when down and out.
Also, geese head out in Autumn, going south to warmer climes. And then head back North in the summertime. This ability to move back and forth speaks of flexibility, especially for our inner growth/ spiritual quest. As symbols, the South is the place of blossoming, warmer weather, and then back North to not only enjoy more of the same but come back to the wisdom place. They are sensitive to the seasons. Are you a snowbird? Do you enjoy the southern states in the wintertime?
Feathers were made into writing implements, the quill pen. For writers, this could be a great symbol. Though we have the computer, getting thoughts down and expressing ourselves clearly as possible takes disciplined efforts. The noble Goose and its patterns seem to be a perfect fit for application in our society whether work or family.
They mate for life, and both share in the raising of their young. Those with a Goose as a totem would probably mate for life and share in child rearing and perhaps have a love of travel.
Several years ago, I lived by a large pond. One November day, cold and chilly, I heard loud honking noises. I looked out my back window and saw hundreds of geese on our pond. Seems like there were having a family reunion before heading south. It was fun to watch. Yet, some folks who live on lakes, ponds, and rivers don’t like to see them wandering around in their yards because too many create quite a mess. Yes, I have seen geese seem to be pests on waterfront lawns. They eat grass and a few insects. Today overhunting, destruction of staging and winter habitats, and the ingestion of lead shot threaten their existence. And warming temperatures are delaying their flights south. They have a purpose within our ecosystems. How can we live with them if they appear to be pests on our personal land space? If we understand that we are holistic by nature, then we can figure this out. Any ideas?
Mother Goose, the Golden Goose Egg captures the child in us, the innovator, the dreamer of dreams, and the possibility we can bring our dreams into our daily life. So, how do you relate to Geese today? I would love to hear your thoughts and comments.
Sweet dreaming. Judith
While reading down by the river, the corner of my eye caught movement. In-flight large wings maneuvered through trees and landed on the opposite bank, mid-way down on dead branches. The empty limbs, a perfect perch, allowed those of us who noticed a chance to gaze upon this river bird. Grooming and sitting, observing and grooming, all in harmony with its nature.
There are many types of herons. The smaller ones are not so easy to find. The blue heron, with its long length when flying, its curved neck, and its large wingspan, causes us to pause when we chance upon it. I know I do.
I’ve met folks along the way with the heron as a totem and feel drawn to the symbolism of the heron. What comes to mind? Connected to marshland and rivers, they are waders. So, though they fly, they are connected to the earth and water. With longer legs, they can wade a bit deeper too.
Before I completed this blog, I went back to the river. Surprised, a pair of herons flew in front of me, going down the river. Again, it’s unusual to see so many, but here they like our small rivers
In Animal Speak, Ted Andrews characterizes them as symbols of self-determination, self-reliance. And their graceful flight speaks to their wonder and nature. They demonstrate great balance standing for long hours as they observe, waiting for the right moment to catch their prey. In older traditions, the heron was thought to be a message from the Gods and conveyed great psychic ability.
In Navigating Your Dream World, I talk about the elements. Earth, the ground, and air, thoughts, say to me that my thoughts in those moments are in flight, but when stopped, they are grounded. Grounded means they are not flighty, at least for me, when I am present to the now.
Though mostly a solitary creature of the marshlands, I have seen two or three rookeries high on dead trees where there are conservation measures.
So today, the heron is before you. What does the heron mean to you? Do you feel this creature as a symbol has a gift for you today? If so, how do you see the heron and its characteristics applied in your daily life? I enjoy your comments. And as I mentioned, it’s enough to give thanks for their presence. Sweet dreaming. Judith