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"Little Opal"

A Dreamed TAROT Card

Major Arcana Card Zero, "OvaJewel"
Traditionally known as The Fool

(Click image for larger framed view of art.)

As the dream begins I am at home, and I have a dear cat who has just had a kitten. It seems that periodically this cat gives birth to just one kitten, and it is the same kitten being born over and over again at intervals; and not just for this reason it is very different and special. There is nothing physically remarkable about the mother cat: she is a mostly yellow cat with some white - but the kitten doesn't resemble a kitten at all! She is an oval sphere, about the shape and size of a large egg - a lovely translucent fractally-mixed color combination of cream, lavender, pink, magenta, purple. Colors and ghost images play on and inside her. In fact she looks just like an opal. And that is what I call her, "Opal". I know she is female. She is the same every time she is born, and I Welcome her each time. I find nothing strange about her, and in fact I feel the Life and Spirit strongly within her. So does her mother, who takes very good care of her. The mother always has Opal in the top drawer of an old wooden dresser I have - I keep this drawer specially for this: partly open with soft cloths inside and pillows piled up around the dresser so that in case Opal falls out she won't be hurt. I truly love her just like her mother: in fact I think I am Another Mother to her.

One day when Opal is a few days old a situation arises in which I discover I must return to my old hometown, San Bernardino, where I was born and grew up. I am told I better go back and finally resolve things over there. It is unclear but there seems to be some legal imperative that I make this journey, and it has been brought on by unfinished business of my parents'. I hate to have to deal with this but I must - so I leave Opal and her mother in the care of a good woman friend, and leave on this trip. I hope to only be gone a few days; just a little while.

I drive the 500 miles in an old pickup truck, pulling a small utility trailer: the kind that is itself made from an old pickup bed. When I arrive the first thing I have to do is go to the house I grew up in and collect everything my parents left behind! I realize I literally have to "pick up the pieces" and move them out! WHY is all this stuff still here? And I pack and pack things into boxes - there's so much of it that it blurs together endlessly like the labors of Sisyphus but I do clearly recall trying to pack many many ceramic or otherwise fragile items. My Mother always did have an excess of "bricky-brack" and dustcatchers and now they are left to me, and as a burden. Rather than seeming precious or of sentimental value instead they are trouble - everytime I pick one up it breaks to pieces in my hands! No matter how careful I am! There is only one piece I come across: a blue-and-white ornate candlestick holder, that I feel drawn to, but it too crumbles away as I handle it! I am left with dust and pottery shards, carefully packed! But I do pack all I can - all there is I guess: it's so endless I don't recall. Then I have to put all the packed boxes into the trailer, which I eventually do. It is piled up to the sky! And at last I pull away from my childhood home, not really sure where I'm supposed to take all this! I now only want to go home to Opal and her mother and certainly don't want to haul this old stuff back with me. Even though the task seems done, it isn't!

I find myself driving out on San Bernardino's main street: "E Street", when I discover traffic is backed up behind me and everybody's honking honking, so I think I will pull over and let them all go by. I know I have been going very slowly... But in trying to pull over and parallel park I get the trailer jacknifed and am now blocking both lanes - traffic comes to a standstill! There is a real mess and traffic jam and confusion and shouting ... next thing I know the police arrive! There is more confusion after that: accusations and explanations, more shouting. I feel disconnected, confused...HOW did I get myself into this? Suddenly Fred and Roxie, old and dear friends of my family whom I thought were surely dead, drive up in their old blue Chevy pickup. Fred gets out, comes over and talks to the police officers. He tells them that I am in crisis, trying to finally cope with all my deceased parents' things-left-behind. He makes excuse that I am "an artist" and don't live here anymore. I stand by, speechless and nonplused. Fred and Roxie were like second parents to me, and I never thought I'd see them again, yet here they are! .........And at this point, I wake up!

Dream Commentary

This dream had a lot to say to me: about my art - and about those whom are, or whom I call, "my family". First and foremost - colorful and lively opportunity is born to me over and over, yet I keep leaving it! "For just a little while", I always say, to pick up the crumbling pieces of the past which are in reality deteriorating to the point that I can't do anything with them although I keep stubbornly trying! I feel obligated to deal with the long-gone biological family while my spiritual family must patiently wait. Yet they always do wait... And I always get myself jammed up (jacknifed) in the picking up the pieces process - my progress is hindered to where there is no forward motion at all. In this dream friendlier shades of the past try to intervene - to save me from myself and my old patterns it would seem! Fred is right in this dream when he says of me that I "don't live here anymore"! And I AM an artist. I must let go these old shards of the past so that when Opal is born again she can grow and develop ~ for I think another name for Opal is ART... and SOUL.

This was the dream that revealed my own Tarot to me. And at the time I dreamed it, I was struggling with not only the direction of my art, but also with some life issues that prevented me from immersing myself in my work as I had always longed to. But after this dream, while I still had to deal with those issues (and I did!), my focus became clear and so did my path...

About the Major Arcana Zero (Fool) Card,
And why this dream contains that energy for me.

All the possibilities of the Major Arcana are contained within the Zero card: the Void, the Dark of the Womb; from which anything can and everything will evolve. Thus the card represents a mystic seed; a magical embryo/child; a pure impulse; infinite possibilities. In a reading it often denotes the power to begin; to take a first step, albeit out into the unknown. Risking giving up what you have been to evolve into what you can become. Openness to the spiral, cylical, circular flow are necessary to activating the energy of the Zero Card. This is the energy of fresh starts; rebirth; reincarnation. New lives and new worlds regularly become available to us, and this card symbolizes that. Eggs and seeds are symbols associated with this card.

As stated above, life itself and a life work are born over and over for me in Opal. I see within her a full spectrum of what life has to offer: I see that she is an egg of possibility. She keeps coming back and she always will. All I have to do is let go the past and allow myself to start anew. And don't look back...

The dream also contains the idea of what occurs when the energy of the Zero is denied, ignored, or the personality is otherwise unable to access it. In a Tarot card reading this is depicted by the card turning up reversed. While the begining of the dream: Opal's birth and my appreciation of her, symbolize the pure Zero energy - my later actions: turning away from Opal and going off to the world of the past, a world where all forward motion ceases for me, are a perfect example of this reversal!

A note about the name "OvaJewel". My mother was the youngest of 9 surviving siblings - but 10 children were born. Another girl came two years after my mother, but lived only a few days. Despite being only two years old herself, my mother remembered the lost baby sister, and recalled her own mother's sadness at the loss of this last child as well. And she told me about her. Even though her life was fleeting, this baby was given a name to be buried with. In the sometimes-odd style of quaint southern names, this child was called "OvaJewel". Sounds like a mix of Latin and English, doesn't it? "Egg Jewel". When I was writing up my initial comments from this "Little Opal" dream in my journal, writing of the egg and the jewel that Opal was, I suddenly and spontaneously said, "OvaJewel". And felt that the spirit of this person who would have been my aunt had reached out to me. So OvaJewel it is.

Notes on the Artwork

This painting is small, only 8"x10", acrylic on handmade paper. I found an old oak frame and carved and painted it to imitate the candlestick holders I tried to save. This piece is priceless to me: obviously it is not for sale.

Questions or comments about my artwork, dreams or Tarot are always welcome! eMail me at:

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