"Spirit of LeeLou"
"Wild Woman in My House!"
A Dreamed TAROT Card
Major Arcana #13 (Death) "Freedom and Rebirth"
As the dream begins I am in "my" house: a house I live in. The house is big, elongated, a peculiar layout to the rooms. There seem to be many of these, laid out linear-fashion room after room, but the entryways or passages from one room to another are staggered so that there is no straight line of passage thru them even though the rooms are really in a row! You have to travel a convoluted path to make your way through what first appears to be simple to traverse! At the end a long kitchen runs at right angles to the rest: you make a final left turn to go into it. I recall this well because I seem to spend most of my time in the kitchen and the first room adjoining it. I also have several cats: they don't "do" much (do cats ever?), but they are always present. As for the rest of the rooms: as they get progressively further and further away from the kitchen and main living area, the more messy and junk-filled they become. And at first I think this is mess and stuff left over from the previous tenants ... but somewhere along the way I realize it's all my junk!!! And it becomes apparent that I am "trying" thru the course of my days and activities to clean this up: to deal with it ... but I don't seem to be making much headway! Then one time I go back into these junky messy rooms and that day I decide to travel further back than I ever have before (How can this be when it's my stuff??? Don't know but that's how it is! Maybe it's further back than I've been in a long time???) And I get into a room 'way back there and as I turn a corner into the next one there I see a woman! Has she been living back here "squirreled away" without my knowledge? I guess! Anyway when I walk in and this gal sees me she goes nuts! Starts squalling and running around the room and literally bouncing off the walls! She seems angry and throws things at me! She is a thin woman dressed in spare black clothing: a fluid skirt and tank top. She has shaggy wild shortish-longish black hair and her skin is rather pale. Her feet are bare. She has a "red streak"... in her hair? She seems a "wild woman" in every aspect, and I immediately think of her as "hostile"! I suddenly feel very threatened and turn and start to run from her - through the rooms and around the corners: the twisted pattern of doorways in this place isn't easy to move thru at a fast pace, I discover! The woman pursues and stays right behind me no matter how hard I try to get away from her! Why is she trying to catch me? I don't know, but I breathlessly fear for my safety and that of my cats ..... so on and on I run and run and run, but I never can get away from her, and after a while I start to think - what's going on... the rooms are endless... WHY haven't I come to the kitchen yet??? And I come somehow in that moment to a realization that the rooms are endlessly repeating, over and over again, on and on, and that they will do so for as long as I run! So I just stop, and turn to face my pursuer. And when I stop I realize that now I am in the room next to the kitchen! But the woman doesn't do anything to me at all! As soon as I stop she stops too, and just starts bouncing and dancing around the room. She suddenly reminds me now (in behavior - she hasn't changed appearance, although I notice that IS somewhat similar!) of a favorite character of mine - a woman called LeeLou - the "Supreme Being" - who appears in a science fiction tale I love. I begin to feel that she is not hostile now! Like LeeLou, she is capable of being combatant, particularly when protecting - but also like her, what she is now is energetic and joyful. And she is innocent. She is bouncing from sheer Joie de Vivre! I am aware that though she does sometimes break stuff in her abandon, she is no threat to me or my cats. I realize much in that moment! There is no use trying to fight her or destroy her because like LeeLou she will come to life once again even though she seems to be destroyed, and can do this over and over as long as the Spirit of Life remains! She contains something of all of life within her. I know who she is... And then with this realization the dream becomes vague ............... but I know she stays with me, in my house, and I have a memory of serving her food, and ?coffee? And my final impression from the dream is very strong - I try for a while after this Wild Spirit Woman comes to continue my project (or is it an "obligation" I feel I have???) of cleaning up those messy back rooms ... but now, since her arrival, I DON'T WANT to do it anymore - I know what I want...and in fact what I want is to be as free as she is! And at this point I wake up!!!
When I awoke from this dream I wrote "This was a REBIRTH!" in my Dream Journal. And I loved the dream and the feeling I had when I woke up and I called it wonderful. As I began to write about it I realized what a big important dream it really was!
I am well aware and acquainted with the symbol of the house representing myself; body and psyche. So many of my dreams over the past few years have been concerned with "my house". The statement, "You have to travel a convoluted path to make your way through what first appears to be simple to traverse!" represents the convoluted path I must take to understanding myself. Yes, it's twisty, and it's a mess back there, particularly the further back (into my old hidden memories, and into my cluttered past) I go. And on this day I decide to go "...further back than I've been in a long time." But ahead I must forge. I know now, during menopause, it is finally the time to take a good look back there, acknowledge what there is, and then just let all that old junky baggage GO - delete it like junk e-mail: erase it like old tapes. AND BE FREE OF IT! So as to move onward with plenty of clear space and freedom to face whatever comes next... And I am cognizant of the fact that this is like a small, "practice" death, if you will - just in the same way that menopause is the death of one person you were and the birth of the new one you are.
Another theme which has come up in my dreams from time to time is that of people living in another part of "my house" without my knowledge! And I suppose these are the disconnected parts of my psyche; the different personae that live inside me - some of whom I don't want to deal with! But there they are, anyway! Time to meet and greet them! Embrace some of them, give some the old heave-ho? And I acknowledge as well that these may be my selves in different lives. And then there's LeeLou...
I have met LeeLou before in 2 dreams, one just when menopause was begining and another a couple years later (and a couple years ago). Only I didn't know it was her. The scenario in both those dreams was practically the same as in this one! An entity pursues me endlessly through rooms in my house, and I cannot escape it. But in those dreams I lacked the courage to confront it, although afterward I considered what might have happened if I had! In both those dreams the entity that pursued me was a huge snake! And I am not normally afraid of snakes - but in both the past dreams I feared this particular snake would "consume" me! The snake is not only the symbol of Kundalini, which arises twice in a woman's life: at puberty and at menopause, it is also the symbol of death and rebirth - a creature who can shed it's old skin, and coil into an endless circle. I knew, when I had the "all in that moment" realizations toward the end of this dream, that LeeLou and the snake were one and the same entity! And I know that what she wanted was my simple acknowledgement and acceptance! She pursued me all the way to the Heart (Hearth, the kitchen) to get it! I accept her there and "feed" her. Acceptance of Life, Death and Spirit...
There were a couple things I also KNEW when I woke up from this dream ..... I knew this dream embodied the energy of the Death Tarot card for me, and that is Freedom and Rebirth. And I knew I would make art from this dream, and somehow within that art use my broken pottery and bricky brac fragments, saved for years (some were my Mother's!), which I call my "memories". This was the first time I knew for sure I would use them, and what they were for.
About Major Arcana #13, and why this dream contains that energy for me.
The death card symbolizes transformation, transfiguration and rebirth. Despite the impression that many people have, reinforced by popular culture, that the card is a portent of physical death - this is simply not true! What the card does portend is complete change, renewal, and a new identity. A shedding of the old skin, like a snake. Freedom from the old form. Action and physical change are inherent here: "When one door closes another door opens..." is a phrase that describes the energy of this card perfectly. Leelou's snake persona and the passing through of all those doorways in this dream are potent symbols that refer directly to Death Card energy. She is clad in black, "the" color of this card. With the strong red streak of the enduring spirit.
Unlike serpents, people fear shedding old skins: more comfortable with the old than the unknown future. This dream was obviously an expression of the Death Card to me as soon as I woke up from it, as my comments above indicate. Like most people, for years I ran as hard as I could away from Leelou, until menopause, when so much of the old me died, and I was forced to recognize the enormity of changes that had taken place. This dream solidified that recognition. And now I don't so much fear irreversible change (death if you will) and loathe the thought of it as many others do, and so to me "Freedom and Rebirth" is a perfect name for this Major Arcanum.
Notes on the Artwork.
This piece is small: just 10"w x 13"h x 2"d. The central image of LeeLou and the doorways is acrylic on handmade paper. I created the frame from an oak frame found at a thrift store, which I completely coated with grout to create a mosaic that depicts for me an outer doorway and darkened walls of a house with symbolic objects 'flying' around. Besides the broken art pottery (by deceased artist Mary Lake of California) with it's stylized snake symbols, I used a bone - small vertebra - in the frame's mosaic because bones are associated with this card. As is Earth, which is why I kept the whole piece within a limited pallette of earth tones. This Major Arcana is ruled by Scorpio, and so I worked in the fragment of a scorpio zodiac pendant as well. The broken ceramic flower came from a collectible of my Mother's. This piece is not for sale.
Questions or comments about my art, my writings, or Tarot are always welcome! eMail me at: