How to Win a Staring Contest with Medusa

Full Moon November 14, 2016, “Super Moon”

I felt like this full moon personally tapped me. The degree of the Sun happened to fall precisely on my natal Neptune. Even more than usual, I found myself channeling dreams for group perspective.  Neptune is a transpersonal planet which deals specifically with the collective unconscious, so that does make a certain kind of sense.

Presently, an enormous super moon is shining a very large, bright light into some very dark shadows and I want to tell you what I see through my dreams. The first dream is on election night, before my conscious knew any outcomes, I saw a man holding two snakes, one harmless and one venomous. He chose the venomous snake. Then it was Wednesday morning…

In a second dream there is white graffiti on a white background. I can't see the words until a caustic cleaning product is sprayed on the wall. Now I can see the filth and dirty words. I start to clean it. No matter how much we placate and police internalized distress patterns, until we see and process misunderstood and triggering messages, no peace can be found.

I have written down my dreams since I was 12 years old. In fact, I have so many dream journals now that I can’t lift the bin that holds them all. At times, I wonder: what’s the point in keeping these scribbled narratives? It's not like I sit around and read them. I think of them like a fisherman taking trophy shots. Each dream represents a victory in the struggle to pull a vision up from the deeps. Like a fish, they are hard to catch at first, but if you practice long enough, you will develop some skill in grasping these slippery things.

Surprising as it seems, I can also grasp other people’s dreams. It is a peculiar ability I developed over years of obsessive dream capture and processing.

I think of it like SCUBA diving. Serious focus and preparation is required. First I study a person's astrology chart like an explorer studying the map of an exotic terrain. I place paper and pen by my bed to prepare for the catch. Then there’s the dive, in which I let go of everything that I think I know. Once under the surface, I go down into the common roots of our collective unconscious. Unresolved dilemmas and histories lie in the dark like sunken ships awaiting discovery. My job is to haul dream images to the surface, delicately retrieving each piece without interfering with its message.

Dreams convey intuitively stored wisdom through images, sights, sounds, colors and feelings; and most often do not make literal sense. Collaboration in puzzling the personal and archetypal meanings builds the bridge between the intuitive and conscious rational mind.  

Recall that my dream showed me the man with two snakes. In the sky there are also two snakes. The evil star Algol, which, at 26 degrees of Taurus, is close to the full moon position. Algol is part of a constellation, it represents Medusa's severed head. In Greek myth she is an evil monster with venomous snakes in place of hair. One look can turn you to stone. Even after decapitation, the head maintains its power and appears on the evil-averting shields called Gorgoniens. Athena the Goddess of wisdom had such a head on her shield. This dangerous star, which traditionally causes misfortune, violence, decapitation, and even mob violence, can become a powerful protection against evil.

The other snake in this planetary line-up is a point called Dark Moon Lilith.  This point presently finds itself within 2 degrees of the Sun. In her early incarnations, Lilith is associated with a wild bird and a snake, the screech of an owl, wind and storm demons.   Again in the Hebrew creation story, Lilith is the original woman who is unwilling to take on a subservient role. She escapes to the wild and mates with demons.

As the full moon casts its light into the dark, two faces of Lilith stare back. One is untamable, and the other has power even when decapitated.

As a society and as individuals, we are in part heroes and in part monsters.   Our primate fear nature protects itself by identifying who is in the out-group and thus who must be blamed for our outrage.   These prejudices and anxieties have been passed down to us by people and organizations that were otherwise good, loving and protective. We did not choose these but we carry them.  Prejudice is not our fault, but we are the only ones that can do anything about it.

So let us use the light of the moon to illuminate dark places in ourselves. Look into the face of Medusa.  What in us is paralyzed by horror?   Shrieking in fear and angst are appropriate, it is scary!   Crumpled up misunderstandings, prejudices and anxieties passed down to us can not stand the stare, or the light. Innuendos that were once the dog whistle are now a scream. Errant, uncivilized and ugly words that go against our ideals, are apparent now. Once we have emerged from the scream room, consider what remains powerful in us even after it loses its head.  The goddess of wisdom stands even stronger now that she carries an apotropaic shield.