Book of Dreams Excerpts cont........

Excerpts from Ariadne's Book of Dreams, Warner Books, 2001


Mined from the depths of the Lower World, ancient symbols bring forth a rich history of associated meanings. Whether historical or religious, ancient symbols may be traced to mythological origins. The ancient symbol of the ankh, for instance, is associated with the healing power of Isis, the Egyptian goddess. In her mythology, she restored the life of her dismembered husband, Osiris, pointing to the healing power of the great goddess as a life-giving and life-renewing force.

Ancient symbols may offer esoteric meanings that are related to mystical traditions. Sometimes these symbols occur randomly within our dreams, even when we may not have any personal relationship to the tradition from which the symbol originated. They appear as part of a rich legacy of the collective unconscious. These symbols may be researched in ancient religious texts or in more modern encyclopedias of ancient symbols.

From basic shapes and elementary symbols to the complex geometric forms, a vast array of symbols that rest within soul memory may appear in dreams. The most common first scribbles of children are circles and crosses, basic symbols of wholeness and spirit. Concentric circles, or circles within circles, for instance, have a long historical association that depicts the cosmos and its spheres as a microcosm within a macrocosm. These early shapes are imprinted deeply in the soul, emerging through expressive art forms and within dreams quite spontaneously.

More complex symbols such as mandalas, Hebrew letters, labyrinths, and the yin and yang offer examples of a legacy of spiritual history that connects man to the journey of the soul and its spiritual origins. Mandalas, with their intricate patterns, display rays that conjoin at the center of a wheel that has no beginning and no end. They express an order and symmetry to man in his quest for spiritual attainment. The Hebrew letters were offered as the word of God; the labyrinth is the pathway of the inner journey. The symbols of yin and yang represent the balance of male and female opposites.

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The primordial power symbols and archetypes of the Lower World have accumulated their meaning over thousands and thousands of years. The symbols of the Lower World differ from those of the Middle World in that their meanings are imprinted deep within us as part of a universal consciousness that is separate from our personal experience. We may form associations, however, with symbols from the Lower World that may be positive or negative. Sometimes these associations are born of biased opinions or because of a personal historical reference to them. Thus, we may miss the deeper spiritual meaning these symbols seek to convey. Other symbols can be seen as a doorway to sought-after wisdom that leads to deeper knowledge. Their psychological pull is strong-so strong that when one's own beliefs challenge the archetypal patterns, conflict arises and must be addressed and resolved through conscious effort. Through conscious contact with a symbol and the pattern of energy the symbol holds, we may discover some deeper truth. In this way, meditation on an ancient symbol, such as the cross or a five-pointed star, may induce a physical experience that brings a deeper, truer understanding of the symbolic message. This can be a profound awakening experience to the meaning of a symbol.

The deepest aspects of the soul exist within the Lower World. Thus, Lower World dreams transform the soul at the most fundamental level and leave a collective imprint for future generations.

copyright held by Ariadne Green and Skylight Press 2001