The Beansidhe Alchemist
The Art of Dream Alchemy: Imaging the Mythical Contest
Every time I gaze at an image: the photograph upon a wall, the painting at a museum or the flashes of pictures that come from the dream soul, I ponder, what are the tones and rhythms that make up this artistic image? It is always the crossroad of uncanny cadences and in sync rhythms, a song that stirs the memory. So to replicate remembrance, I go in search of a song, engendering the image in front of me, ultimately to shine a light on the offering from the collective unconscious. This is a process of engaging with psyche, and in particular, with the unconscious aspects of psyche: the underworld of soul. For me, the way to move to the depths of the underworld, to know the archetypal presence of the dream is to know the presence of the unconscious through its archaic remnants that move through the presence of music.
And so this contest is a practice in engaging with all the elements: the dream soul, a mythological story, a photograph, and imaging them into a short story, so that you build a relationship with your personal psyche, in relation to the unconscious realms of the psyche in the world.
Within the photograph, the dream soul, the mythological story, and the lyrical elaborations through prose, we engage with the image: psyche. This is The Art of Dream Alchemy: Imaging the Mythical, a process whereby psyche or soul reveals our most intimate imaginative muses into the daylight realm.
To enter the contest, you will need to submit the following elements. All materials must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 30, 2018. The winner will be announced December 15, 2018. The winner will receive a cash scholarship and a free coupon to take our 8 week online creative writing course, The Art of Dream Alchemy: Imaging the Mythical Tale. The winner’s submission will be posted to our website for one year. Below the instructions is an example of the process of imaging, and what you will submit.
Instructions for contest:
1) Brief description of your dream image (one paragraph)
2) Brief description of the mythological story you will use (one paragraph)
3) Photograph of artistic image
4) One page, single spaced (no more than 550 words) short story that encompasses and images the dream, mythological story, and photograph.
Meeting the dream soul, Bok:
I am sitting on a chair, looking at a pale blue/grey wall. There are rows of chairs lined up, as if, for a concert. The room appears to be empty but then it shifts, as if, in a mist, and it is now a bar, rather quiet though. A lad with sandy blonde hair and blue eyes sits in a chair in front of me and turns around towards me. He reminds me of Essex, maybe it could be … the older Essex, but then he says, “My name is Bok.” I smile and giggle, thinking and wondering, if he is German … reminding me of Maibok … but he is not. He reaches out his hand and asks me to come with him. He wants to take me out of this room and show me something. “You need to go out,” he says, with a crooked smile. I take his hand and go with him, wondering, if he is another trickster.
Revealing the Myth: Deidre
The most compelling image and idea of this Celtic mythological story is the foreshadowing of the great female warrior, Scathach’s teaching of the salmon leap to Deidre, for even Deidre does not know this warrior’s tool will release her from a life long sorrow. Although the salmon leap brings her life to an end, she would rather follow her beloved to the death realm than live in the arms of the king. This choice of moving into the underworld through a warrior’s leap, reminds me that to take risks for our truth is never easy, a major feat beholden with great sorrow at great costs to our physical body and wounding to the psyche. But I would like to move deeper into a knowing, that leaping for love brings us closer to the personal, as well as, the collective soul, revealing the depths of the unconscious elements of psyche.
The Prism of Psyche
by: gina rochell (2018)
“It’s our dream, lavender and no affection.”
(There’s Your Man, Ben Howard)
Dagmar always said, “Listening to music is a metaphorical act, an unraveling concoction of a composition that beckons me to the door of my tribe … it is never one word, nor a single melody: the crash of the horns against the strings; it is much more complex and perverse … embedded in the depths of the archaic past, trinkets that remain hidden if ignored. We, the world must take steps to return to the soul memory: the prism that contains fragments of our psyche that we must put back together.”
Then she said, “And you Bok … you cannot rescue me, nor can you save me from the pain of what is to come … you may only be a witness to the crack in the crossroad, where I will fall, in order to retrieve the remnants left by my tribe.”
I wanted to be the one that took her hand, but instead, I just observed … I gazed into the prism, which revealed so many contradictions that I would never be able to balance upon the scale … And she…
Dagmar looks to the troubadour belting out a ballad in a subway station; the drunken woman, holding her glass of whiskey, cigarette between her fingers, head titled, as she summons with her rough voice the gods to grant her a single wish … the repetitive internet stream of just one song, reeling in the teenage mind … the strumming of the lover’s fingers upon her belly, as if, the notes, echoing outwards, shifts into a composition that only he can hear…
Shall we call it a lyrical sonnet?
The intricacies of each string, contains a tone that shatters the clarity of the prism, blurring the dimensions so that we see on her face the contorted lines of a musical note. She could be a blushing bride, but instead winter’s windy snow places her in an indefinite sleep. There … there … in the prisms you will find her dream image: the leap of descent. And within each block lives the yet to be heard tones of words. And such words twist and contort to create the story, reflecting the cavernous darkness of psyche. She wants to call it death but for me it is just remnants of, that which, we are trying to retrieve. I know … repetitive … repetition … just so I am clear…
This choice of dangerous love fractures: a searing tone that shatters a prism, which does not mean the musical mystery will fall apart; it answers the question … not all romantic tones lead her to love, what they do is create a trick in the mind that all can be trusted, when trust is, that which, we struggle with daily. And really … I just want her to scrutinize the lines … listen longer … listen over and over and over to that rhythm … the pattern that repeats … this is the signal that reveals the map of her psyche … to leap into his arms, or better yet, to plunder to the depths, where something more elaborate awaits: music dwells not in the physical; music is soul memory.
~MERRY MERRY MY LOVELY DREAMERS~
Welcome to The Art of Dream Alchemy… I invite you to venture into the realm of Essex… for every dream there is the story, with every story there is the image… kisses…
Sacred Shadow Realm Image
About the Artist
Dennis van de Rijke, aka DigitalHyperGfx is a digital artist that loves to explore the depths of digital painting, illuminating the exquisite nature of his art and magnificent fantasy world. His unconventional style, which exhibits the romantic landscapes and buildings of a city, or stunning expressions of a musician’s face, reveals the evocative essence of his unconscious: the archetypes coming to life upon the digital canvas. The observer is enchanted and intoxicated by each painting’s arousing and enigmatic image, as well as its dazzling and vibrant colors. While his style is unique, it also replicates and unveils the magic and mystery that exists within the world.
In the sacred realm of my sleep there is a young lad who stands before me. He is holding my hand and he is smiling. He has crystal blue eyes, and sandy blonde hair. We are in an old city with cobble stone streets. We are standing near a tall black lamppost, and white glazed glass in a bulbous shape covers the light bulb. The sky is gray, foggy. I know I am in Northern Europe. I ask him his name and he answers, “I am Essex and I will protect you.” I giggle, and ponder that it is the best name in the world, and I sense he is my best mate. As I awaken to the first morning light, I am still laughing and I yearn to return to him. (Dream Journal, 1977)
Whisper, dear heart, betrothed, I am to you
Longing, sweet heart, beckons me too soon
Fall, I would into the sea, fall, I would for thee
Recount the tolling of the bells, luring me to Essex Street
Rustle, dear heart, promised, I shall our love exhume
Pining, sweet heart, summons me to you
Fall, I would into the sea, fall, I would for thee
Recount the tolling of the bells, enchanting me to Essex Street
(gina rochell, June 2013)
The Art of Dream Alchemy
Integrating the masculine/feminine attributes within the Self/Psyche: Heart
I met Essex in the sacred shadow realm of my sleep one dark misty evening on a cobblestone street in Europe. I knew he was a spirit guide from my ancient past, a nurturing and protective soul who came back to remind me that if ever I was lost on this earthly plain, I could call upon him for guidance. So I did… many times. The young lad with blonde hair, and blue eyes is an archetypal image, and represents the masculine attributes within my psyche: creative, nurturing, consciousness within unconsciousness, ancient knowledge and wisdom; the way I express and communicate creatively with my spirit and the world.
Essex is my anam cara: soul friend/mate, and I spent over thirty years integrating his essence with the feminine aspect of my Psyche/Self, so that my severed sacred soul could heal. Whenever I see him in the sacred shadow realm of my sleep, I know he is returning to make me aware of a buried treasure within my unconscious.
The song, Essex Street was written for a friend who is also a reflection of my masculine qualities. Yet the song ultimately is a eulogy to my spirit, signifying the integration and healing of my wounded spirit and soul. Even though I pined for Essex to return to the material plane, I mostly yearned for the two elements of my psyche: masculine and feminine aspects of my Psyche/Self to be integrated and united as one. This is found in the lyrics of the song, the ‘tolling of the bells’ and falling ‘into the sea.’ Whenever I hear the bells, or fall into the sea, I am home within my spirit. Each time I feel as if I am off balance, or that my soul is being severed, I need only ‘recount the tolling of the bells’ which guides me back to Essex Street; the heart of my spirit. If ever I am lost, I need only stand near the sea and summon my love, the feminine attributes of my psyche, betrothing my love to her; my Self, promising her devotion that I will always be one with her, living from my balanced and whole creative spirit. And if ever we part, the tolling of the bells shall call us forth to return home: spirit.
(gina rochell, June 2014)