WEEK 9: My Dancing Dreamer
The Dreamer Archetype
Recording of LIVE class on Neptune
Combinations and Comparisons
Your Inner Dreamer
What do you imagine? This week our focus is on the archetype of the Dreamer. We explore fantasy and dreams. We immerse ourselves in the power of the imagination. What images guide you? Is dreaming working for you or are you lost all the time? We explore what it means to embody this misty, compassionate, and non-selfish part of us. The Dreamer is also our pathway to transcendence. How do you 'get away'? Do you meditate, read romance novels, get stoned, or drink? None or all of the above? The Dreamer is your ability to fantasize, to imagine what is not yet real. We will dive into this archetype and also explore his shadow. There, we discover addiction, escapism, and disappearance acts - to name just a few. Your inner Dreamer is also your connetion to the invisible world. Some call this their relationship with God, others with Spirit, others with Soul. There are endless ways we step into the dreamer to feel conneted with All.
Fog, Dreamy, Imagination, Alcohol, Fantasy, Spirituality, Mysticism, Drugs, Cloudiness, Poetry, Dancing, Veil, Inspiration, Sensitivity, Disillusion, Anesthetics, Counterfeit, Secret Sorrows, Medicine, Invisibility, Yeast, Séance, Undulation, Prisons, Music, Clouds, Compassion, Confusion, Savior, Mirage, Lost, Sixth Sense, Illusion, Idealism
When you read the words above, and before you dive deeper into this week, what is your immediate reaction? Use your journal for this:
- When you imagine a person with many of the qualities described in the key words, does that person seem to you to be a friend, and enemy, or a stranger?
Your ability to imagine something that is "not really there" is a gift from your Dreamer. We live in an era where, perhaps since the Enlightenment, the need to measure, control and conquer the world has dominated. This scientism has also pushed aside the imaginal as it exiled the imagination. You are "just imagining things," "myth vs. reality," and such expressions show how far away from the imaginal we have come. Yet, every night we dive deeply into the imaginal, or we remember something from long ago, or we sit before an empty canvas or sheet of paper and can conjure up the most beautiful things. Nowadays organizations are looking for creative people with imagination because only imagining what is not there yet can move us away from the mess we are collectively in. The rational can take us so far but the irrational, mystical, magical and dreamy mast ha e equal say or we shrivel up and become machines.
With your journal answer the following:
- What is the most imaginal thing you have ever done?
- The most creative?
- What is the most moving dream you can remember ever having had? How real did it feel?
- How does it feel to be on that threshold between dreaming and being awake?
- Have you ever had a waking dream? What did that feel like? How did you know you were dreaming?
Too Much Dreamer: Escapism and Drugs
When the Dreamer consumes us we lose objectivity. So strong can the longing for the other-worldly be, and so lost can a person get that, she turns to alcohol or other drugs in an attempt to shortcut her way to an ocean of dreams.
In your journal, answer the following questions:
- Were you ever consumed by your dreamer where you had no more control over your behavior for a long period of time? If yes, how did you get out of that state of mind?
- Do you know an alcoholic, a drug addict? What are the most notable things about him as it pertains to the Dreamer?
- Have you ever pursued a Fata Morgana (mirage) even though every one told you it would be a disaster? How did things turn out?
- What do you have blind faith in?
- Is there an area in your life where you pretend to have it together but really you are completely lost?
Too Little Dreamer: No Imagination
Whereas too much of the dreamer can mean drowning in a foggy seascape, not enough dreamer is just as difficult. Where there is a lack of imagination there are few options. The mind goes dry and nothing can be fertilized.
Once again in your journal, work with the following questions:
- What do you do to get inspired? Music? Imagery? The art museum?
- When your creative well runs dry, who do you call? Why?
- Do you play an instrument? Or, do you sing? Have you ever tried?
- Do you regularly soak yourself in water? For instance, take baths, swim in a body of water or use a floatation tank? Showers do not count here...
- List three of the most inspired people you personally know. What about them is inspiring?
- Now do the same for three people you do not know. What is it about them that inspires you?
Illusion and Disillusion
The Dreamer is the master of idealization. When the dreamer is in charge we see things the way we want them and the glasses though which we admire are often very pink. This can happen in love, when working on a project that only we think will work, or anywhere else where the higher we put our idealized expectations the higher that ideal can fall. This is where the pie in the sky belongs, the forever hope that lady luck will smile our way. In Archetypal Astrology the dreamer is represented by Neptune. Throughout this week when you read about Neptune you can substitute him for the Dreamer. Here is a passage from my book Planets in Play:
"Here is another way to imagine how Neptune functions and what happens to you when you are in a Neptunian state of mind. Start with a clear glass of water. Into it, you drip a droplet of blue ink. As you watch, the ink disappears, dissolves, and becomes one with the water. The drop that was just now an entity, with distinct shape and color, is now gone and has seemingly vanished in the water, which now has a slight hue of blue. This dissolution, this absorption, this becoming one with, is what Neptune in your chart knows how to do.
Because of Neptune’s ability to make things disappear (although they are still there, just veiled), Neptune is the patron of all illusionists with their hocuspocus and abracadabra. The David Copperfields of the world need a well-placed Mercury for quick sleight of hand and trickery, but they also need a prominent Neptune to create large-stage illusions. Making huge objects disappear and reemerge and creating a sense in the audience of being magically transported to a different world—these are Neptune’s domain. He has the capacity to mesmerize us, to hypnotize.
In Chapter 8, we spoke about how Jupiter is omnipresent in Las Vegas. Neptune throws his veil and casts his spells over Las Vegas too. Thereby he creates a fool’s paradise, where fantasies and dreams prevail, not just among the many magicians and illusionists but with the city itself. First, the whole city appears to be a Neptunian mirage that popped out of the desert. The name Las Vegas in fact means “the springs,” and the hotel Mirage even advertises itself as “a South Sea oasis,” like a shimmering haven that some dehydrated traveler, delirious from the sun might think he is seeing only to see it disappear in an instant. Second, the recreation of famous places (for instance, the half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower) gives the visitor the faint notion of being transported into different illusionary worlds. Indeed, with the sudden apparition of Elvis on the Strip, or Marilyn Monroe, or the strange light created from all that neon, Neptune loves it here. Consider these lines from Norman Mailer’s An American Dream:
"The night before I left Las Vegas I walked out in the desert to look at the
moon. There was a jeweled city on the horizon, spires rising in the night,
but the jewels were diadems of electric and the spires were the neon of signs
ten stories high." (Norman Mailer, An American Dream (New York: Vintage, 1993), p. 269
Much like a fata morgana, Las Vegas shimmers in the middle of the desert as a Neptunian fantasy. Only when you have gambled away all your possessions, when you have lost the deed to your house and now sit devastated and depressed at the Greyhound bus stop on your way out of town, only then do you encounter another side of Neptune. Because Neptune takes you into a fantasy world, the morning-after, which always comes as the pendulum swings back, is harsh and cruel. So beautiful were your soap bubbles, so shimmering, enchanting, and effervescent. Until they pop. Then it is all over.
If you fall in love under a Neptunian spell, you can have a terrible awakening when the spell lifts. Suddenly you find yourself married (perhaps in Las Vegas!), pregnant, or in some other way locked into a relationship that now seems ill-conceived and irresponsible. Disillusionment is as much Neptune as is the delusion that got you there in the first place." (pp 259-261)
You connect to all things invisible through your dreamer. Therefore, all spiritual, out-of-body, substance induced and other kinds of accessing "other realms" belong to your inner Dreamer. His force is great and like the mighty God of the Seas, King Neptune himself, we can quickly loose control and become mesmerized by the archetypal power of Neptune. Your dreamer, in all his foggy subtlety can taqke over your life with seeming brute force. here is another passage from Planets in Play:
"Even if we do not have a prominent Neptune in our chart, Neptune is in everyone and will manifest somehow, often only for moments. We feel lost, we have an Alzheimer’s moment, we daydream, or we claim temporary insanity. Neptune sometimes steps forward, and other actors move to the background. In this way, the intensity of Neptune varies in our lives.
Brad, a client of mine, got a young woman pregnant when he was twenty-two. He quickly buried his dreams of traveling across the country on a motorbike. Instead, he committed to his soon-to-be wife and raised two children with her. He had a recurring dream that he was climbing up a ladder that fell backward, taking him down with it. Then, some twenty years later, he had a religious experience, in which, in his words, a voice told him, “Brad, it’s time to travel.” After this, for weeks, he cried easily and for no apparent reason, became atypically emotional, and was confused. It was in this state of mind that he came to see me.
I suggested that his dream might have been a suggestion to trust that he would be okay even if he fell off the ladder, so to speak. I suggested that he gather some friends and arrange for a “trust fall.”He did this by letting himself fall backward off a stone garden wall, where ten of his friends caught him in their conjoined arms. He said that he sobbed after that but that his friends supported him through it, although his kids were asking Mom what Dad was up to. The next day he dusted off his bike and headed into the sunset. He had been living in California, and crossed the New York state line three months later.
When he reported back to me, he spoke of the trip as a pilgrimage, a spiritual quest. I followed up with the suggestion that he read the book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig. Spiritual awakenings can come at unexpected times in our lives. For Brad, it was time for Neptune to take center stage for a while.
In a different example, Barb had a strong relationship in her natal chart between her archetypal Moon and Neptune. Her private inner life swayed back and forth between emotional loneliness and a deep sense of spiritual ecstasy. The king on her stage, her Sun in Capricorn, and several other factors pointed to a strong outer persona. Her nebulous Moon knew only to show itself secretly in some kind of double life. In Barb’s case, she was desperately trying to hide her alcoholism.
At times when we are compelled to seek Neptune, we are looking to escape, to be intoxicated. We may be extensively drawn to alcohol and drugs or equally so to a fantasy life, soap operas on TV, religion, or some kind of spiritual life that holds us in an altered state of mind.
Throughout the history of consciousness, there has been a persistent need in the human soul for transcendence and belief in the supernatural. Every culture has come up with a way to address this need, from nature deities to organized religion. The human need to step beyond what we usually call reality is universal because it is archetypal. It manifests in each one of us as an expression of archetypal Neptune.
Because of this inherent need, clever powers have always preyed on the vulnerability that is also our Neptune. Religious manipulation, snake-oil salesmen, and subliminal advertising promising the outrageous all cater to our Neptune. Neptune has no backbone and drifts like a flower that was blown from a tree onto a stormy sea. Wherever the currents go, there Neptune drifts.
The closest many people ever get to this numinous archetype is by getting drunk or stoned. So subtle is Neptune’s energy that in the crude world that most of us inhabit, this part of us rarely gets center stage. When our Neptune needs to be heard and seen, it is far easier for him to reach for a bottle of whiskey than to reach transcendence through sitting utterly still. Archetypally, these two behaviors are the same. They both take those who want to get lost out of reality." (pp 255-257)
Can you think of movies that well represent the Dreamer Archetype? Here are some to get you started. See if you can catch one this week! And then, add your own too the collection and post them in Slack! Amelie, Big Fish, Brother Sun - Sister Moon, Ed Wood, Fairytale, Finding Neverland, Groundhog Day, King of Hearts, Lost in Translation, Photographing Fairies, Prospero's Books, The Abyss, The French Lieutenant's Woman, The Illusionist, The Prestige, The Science of Sleep, The Sixth Sense, Valley of the Dolls.
Being foggy in nature, the Dreamer can also manifest as invisibility. When you have a strong inner Dreamer you can walk the streets an be invisible, be overlooked. Sometimes, religion forces invisibility on women or members of its clergy. Or, some of the secret teachings are withheld and kept invisible until the adept shows a certain maturity. Just as inhabiting our dreamer makes us invisible, it also gives us access to the Invisible.
Some religions demands invisibility of certain body parts (or as seen here women as a whole) and its holy men (some monks and nuns).
The homeless and the poorest are the most invisible in a society .
Your Dreamer cares for others. Deep compassion and empathy are among his strengths. He knows how to feel others' suffering and he knows how to tune in, with great sensitivity, to others' deepest sadness and pain.
This week, do something for your fellow humans. Find suffering somewhere and relieve it by calling on your inner Dreamer. You can volunteer in a soup kitchen, bring canned goods to a food pantry, sit with an elderly person in a nursing home, or offer some childcare to someone in need. If you don't have time for any of that, you can also donate to a charitable organization as a ritual. Remember that in this course, a ritual is defined as, "a repeated behavior with a meaning."
Dreamer foods include: Wine. All intoxicating food and drinks, especially Absinthe. Cotton candy. Water. Anything that is diluted. Soufflés. Steamy foods that fog up your glasses. Anything that is translucent (such as really thin pasta or very flaky dough). Jelly fish. Sea food.
Can you think of other foods that belong here? Share them in Slack!
- Take a long steam bath
- Walk in the fog for hours
- Unplug your phone and daydream for a day or so
- Get pleasantly tipsy
- Dance until you are delirious
- Spend an extra amount of time waking up in the morning and remain in that place between sleep and wake for hours
- Soar in the clouds (in a balloon or in a plane)
- Paint with watercolors that you first dilute with a lot of water and then use paper that you first soak in water
- Wear soft blue colors
- Wear gauze fabrics and shawls
- Write some dreamy poetry or fantasy fiction
- Read some dreamy poetry or fantasy fiction
- Do some active imagining
- Use your camera and capture the essence of an object
- Develop your psychic abilities
- Learn how to read auras
- Gather some extremely delicate flowers, perhaps of a bluish color
- Blow soap bubbles and catch them with the tips of your fingers.
- Blow on a spent dandelion and watch the seeds spread in the wind
Have you ever found that you were lost or couldn't make a decision? Those are times when your Dreamer takes over. Here is another passage from Planets in Play:
"Neptune is comfortable floating. When you are in a Neptunian state of being, you happily float down the river of life in an inner tube. In your hand is a drink, and while you let the current have its way with you, you enjoy the landscape as it goes by. Everything is just lovely until you come to a fork in the river. Neptune hates making any decisions. Choosing one branch of the river means missing all the beauty of the other. What if you choose wrongly? But, of course, indecision is a decision, too, and you end up on the sandbank in the middle. We are forced to make decisions all the time in life, another reason why Neptune has such a hard time in the “real world” of science, facts, and choices.
Perhaps Neptune is wiser than our ego for not having answers for everything. There is a deeply philosophic and spiritual view of the world that says that what will be is the right way, sometimes expressed as “Let Go and Let God” or, staying with our image, “Don’t Push the River.” Keeping the ego out of life (as we saw in Chapter 3 on the Sun) is a possible way of life. Lewis Carroll expresses this idea well in Alice in Wonderland:
Of course, in a fast-paced world, where decisions are required constantly—as though we were always in a fast-food line placing our order while others are honking behind us and telling us to “hurry up and make up your mind already”—such Neptunian indecision is usually seen as wishy-washy. We don’t normally equate someone who does not easily make up his or her mind with being spiritual and philosophical. Perhaps it is most useful to describe such a person as Neptunian, which then opens up all sorts of new possibilities. (pp 261-262)
You can let these play automatically, or you can click through them at your own pace by using the left and right arrows.
Think of the key-words for the Dreamer when you look at these. Why is each of them here?
That's it for the Dreamer.
See you next week!