Reconciling Dreams and Reality I: Balancing the Sun and Moon

In September of 2010, shortly after making contact with the Bear guide, I was struggling to reconcile my career with my heart. This is a struggle a lot of people have, but my situation was much easier than most: I have an excellent job that I like a lot. In fact, perhaps you’re wondering how I could possibly dare to want more, when so many people on Earth suffer from such want and dissatisfaction. Well, I answered that question earlier this year: basically it comes down to the fact that none of us really deserve anything we have, good or bad, and it is simply unhelpful and false for us to think of each other as being in competition. After all, if I seek more fulfillment in my work, that in no way prevents other people from finding fulfillment in theirs.

shipwreckAnd in fact it was deeper fulfillment that I was seeking. I am a Gemini, and I am blessed / cursed with a mind that is fascinated with just about everything, and the way everything connects together. It’s one reason I like language so much: all those words, all those worlds, you can create just about anything… but there are rules. You can’t just drop irrelevant words into cabbage a sentence. You can’t the object and mix up the verb without consequences. And out in the real world, you can’t just remove a random person from history, or reverse the geography of North America, and expect everything to turn out the same (or can you?). But what are the rules (in language, and in life)? And how did it get to be that way? And what happens after? Asking these questions, and exploring their possible answers, is a source of great satisfaction for me.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a gadfly who jumps from idea to idea, project to project, without seeing any of them through, or exploring them deeply. What I want is to be able to direct my explorations myself, here or there, deep or shallow, depending on how my heart calls.

Maybe I’m crazy to think that’s possible. Well, then, I’m crazy. My insanity has done pretty well by me so far in life.

Diving In

After my meditations with the Bear in August, during which I did the inner work necessary to connect the Bear guide with my other guides (particularly Apollo) and start the process of deeper personal integration, my situation at work improved considerably. I was delighted at how quickly I’d been able to turn meditation success into real-world success, and I was emboldened to try and build on it, to seek a path to complete integration: a career path that would lead me to complete fulfillment.

I decided to try a mild ten-day fast, along with a daily schedule of rest, meditation, journaling, and divination. I looked up the astrological influences, saw that they were favorable, and laid my plans. I carefully chose the Tarot deck I would use (my favorite, the Buddha Tarot by Robert Place), the card spread I would use (the ten-card Storyteller spread designed by Diane Sylvan), which foods I would permit myself to eat (raw vegan only), at what times I would meditate or rest (dawn, mid-morning, mid-afternoon, and dusk), and so on. The trickiest part was scheduling the work on the days when I’d have my kids over, but even that wasn’t too difficult. I had done shorter, simpler versions of this kind of thing before, so I was pretty confident I would make some solid progress. If not… well, nothing would be lost, and at least I would learn more about what didn’t work.

Well, it did work — not all at once, and it wasn’t all pleasant, but I now have a clarity about my finances, my profession, and my career path that I haven’t had since… well, ever. I’m not at the end of the path, but my feet are definitely on it, and I can measure my progress day by day. It’s a deeply, deeply satisfying thing.

Fast Journal: Day One

Monday, Sept. 6, 2010

A long day and a good one. Woke up in the middle of the night from an odd dream in which Paul Atreides of Dune and the vampire Spike (from Buffy the Vampire Slayer) were engaged in knife fights. After Paul defeated Spike, he married a chimpanzee (!), and the two of them had a daughter, who was half-chimpanzee; and she had to be trained in all the arts of fighting and mental disciplines of the Bene Gesserit and so forth…

I wonder if there is there a connection to the ape in the Faerie Pool dream? There the ape is both precursor and, in a sense, child of humanity: simplified in some sense.

Today was one of those rare days when I neither had to work nor was with my kids, so I went through my piles of to-do emails and figured out what I wanted to do. Eventually I settled on doing some online reading and working on my Great Bear post. I also worked on cleaning up the old DJ posts, as before. I dealt with cooked-food cravings without too much difficulty. Then we went to the craft store, because I had decided to make necklaces for each of the seven astrological planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn) to wear when they were transiting. I got stuff to make nice necklaces for all of them except Mercury, I need a wooden one for him I think… Ali and I discussed financial things a lot this afternoon, especially relating to the kids college prospects.

At this point I will do the first card of the Storyteller spread. The idea here is to draw one card every night, for each card of the spread. My goal for the fasting period is to find a way to integrate the Moon Child (and its focus on the material world) and the Sun Child (and its focus on creation). Somehow these guys have gotten to working at cross-purposes. I mean, I think actually I’ve done a reasonably good job — I’m working as a linguist, after all, and I get to do some really cool creative work in that. But… things could be better.

I ask particularly that the Bear and the Bison assist me. Both of these are Sun symbols, but the Bear in particular brings knowledge and integration of the physical world. I ask for guidance from the Moon, too, and if She is already working through one of my guides, I ask for an indication of that. I honor Her energy and gifts.

The card was the Two of Pentacles, which in the Buddhist deck shows two hands, one holding a Sun and one a Moon. 🙂 How perfect is that?

I decided to try and meditate and reach each of these entities, starting with the Moon, because that would be harder. I knew how to reach the Sun: the fastest way was on Bison, right across the Sun Prairie. But I had no “Moon Prairie”; I didn’t know where to go. I tried going to the Observatory, but I was only able to see an image of the moon; and I grew tired with the effort. I tried going to the night-version of my inner landscape, and went from here to there in it, but couldn’t find the Moon anywhere (except in the sky). I tried going to a new place entirely — a completely flat plain, with nothing except the Moon in the sky, and myself; and I simply sat with the Moon. But with the darkness came exhaustion and fears, which gradually overwhelmed me and put me into a doze. It occurs to me now that, when I’m more awake, I might try traveling on the Ocean… it’s in the opposite direction from the Sun Prairie, after all, and of course water is associated with the Moon. And perhaps! perhaps this is why the Isle of Manifestation is an island in the sea…

Step by step… I’ll get there.

Another aspect of Moon Child: Kokopeli. I think related to Cernunnos.

Next time: the Pool of the Moon.


  1. I’m not a gadfly who jumps from idea to idea, project to project, without seeing any of them through, or exploring them deeply.

    That’s not a gadfly, darling. That’s a flea. 😉

    Love the post! Can’t wait to read what happens next!

  2. R.D. Hammond says:

    Incredibly well written cabbage. POST! I meant post.

  3. Jeff Lilly says:

    @Ali: You’re right. I still think there’s some kind of fly or something that is often said to hop from idea to idea and taste them all shallowly, without going in depth; but I can’t put my finger on what I’m thinking of!

    @RD: Thanks! Unfortunately I shouldn’t really cabbage claim credit for the cabbage joke; I first stumbled on it in an article by Douglas Hofstadter back in the ’80’s or something. The article was on self-referential sentences, and included things like “This sentence has cabbage six words,” “This sintence don’t know Inglish purty good,” and “This sentence is a !!!! premature punctuator”. To my 10-year-old mind, it was comedic gold…

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