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Chart the Growth

Dreamed 2004 and painted 2006 by Brenda Ferrimani
See more of her work at brendaferrimanidreamart.com

Acrylic painting by Brenda Ferrimani of a woman inside a bristlecone pine on a mountaintop. Click to enlarge.

THE DREAM

I received this dream one night as a result of a dream incubation question. I asked my deepest self, "What is my truest purpose?" Dream incubation questions are usually carefully crafted to ask about a specific problem or to receive a creative solution for something I'm working on. I should have known better than to ask such a HUGE question! Was I really ready for the answer? Psyche felt I was. However, the answer given me from my own inner depths, has started me on a journey that will take the rest of my life to explore and process!

In the dream I wake up inside a tree. I can see the many rings of the tree above me and I hear a voice say, "Chart the growth of the tree."

The dream's answer to my question was so amazing, and it affirmed in me that my work as an artist painting my dreams was (after all my doubting), the correct path for me. The command "Chart the Growth" seemed to mean that I was to follow my personal growth development in this lifetime; to record by journaling, painting, and writing how life's experiences and listening to my dreams had changed me. I was content with this interpretation until I attended the IASD [International Association for the Study of Dreams] conference in Berkeley, CA in 2005 and met someone who would open me to the dream's even deeper meaning.

"THE DISK IS FULL"

Dr. Sabine Lucas was attending the conference and presenting her paper and new book, Bloodlines of the Soul. I was fascinated by her own experience and how she pieced together evidence of many past lifetimes in her dreams and actually discovered physical data that linked her to these incarnations. It seemed we were drawn to each other and spent much of our spare time at the conference in conversation on this topic. She presented such a convincing case! I rarely take for granted such an encounter and I began to rethink the meaning of "Chart the Growth." Sabine agreed with my revelation that the rings of the tree that I saw in the dream were many lifetimes and I was being asked to chart my soul's growth over time.

We agreed to have sessions together to explore this further. Immediately I began to have dreams indicating I was on the right track. One night as I fell asleep I heard someone say, "The Disk is full." I woke up briefly and thought "That was strange!" I dismissed it and told myself that maybe it would be a good idea to trash a lot of unused files on my computer the next day. Then, when I fell back to sleep a literal flood of past lifetimes came pouring into my dream! Later Sabine Lucas explained that the voice meant the unconscious was full; that the Akashic Records held in the 8th Chakra had opened to me.

SALLIE WALKER

Among the scenes I saw myself as a man in a long green coat with a ship's log in his hand, and many 14th century ships in a harbor. A man from the Renaissance dressed in a cloak and pill box hat appeared. Then, I was an artist sketching animals in the arctic and suddenly I was under the ice in frozen water. I saw a blonde woman in 19th century garb, a dance hall girl named Sally Walker on a Steamboat with a man named Sam. This image bothered me because Sally seemed very sad and the man she was with was trying to hurt her.

How exciting it was to have past life visions night after night and to discuss the material with someone who could be my personal guide into this realm, but soon excitement was followed by disappointment as my unconscious began to resist the process. I could go no further in my phone sessions with Sabine, but later decided to visit her in person at her SanteFe, New Mexico, office in February this year. There we together decided to allow her to regress me to find out more about the sad woman, Sallie Walker. I was going through a difficult time of loss and I thought exploring Sallie's life would help me understand why my own sadness at this time.

In the session I was gently guided down into my unconscious, and Dr. Lucas asked me to call Sallie Walker. I saw her sitting in a bedroom, wearing a corset in front of a vanity brushing her long blonde curls. She asked me to ask her to turn around and when I did I saw that her face was old and weathered and her eyes were glazed over white! She was blind! From this point on I became Sallie and began to speak in first person. The story began to unravel that Sallie had come to California by railroad to marry a wealthy hotel owner who died sometime thereafter. Sallie had a young daughter who also died tragically in a street accident. Life began to spiral down for Sallie because of her hopelessness. She allowed a man to come into her life who robbed her of her inherited wealth and then forced her into prostitution. Finally alone and dying from a venereal disease she took her own life by hanging herself!

I was shocked by all that came out of this session! I did not want to accept it and believed the whole experience to be a contrivance of my imagination. I became depressed for a while thinking that my present life might have such a terrible end. This was a lot to process! Since my regression session with Sabine Lucas I have been trying to understand this story and to find what's important to me now. I've been trying to find evidence of Sallie Walker in historic documents and reading about women of this time to no avail. Yet, I have come to feel a deep compassion for this woman who existed not so long ago. In active imagination exercises I ask her to help me. Sallie Walker is much wiser now and counsel's me to be strong, independent and to never play the victim! She tells me to trust myself and not to compromise what's important.

She's in my psyche as a protective energy now. Like an older Madam who takes care of her "girls," she's there when I have to market my artwork and entice buyers; She won't allow me to be taken advantage of or do work that I do not love. I am learning to reflect on Sallie's experience to wisely deal with my own life. Perhaps I will finally be able to bring to completion a past life cycle of prostitution. Acrylic painting by Brenda Ferrimani of a woman inside a bristlecone pine on a mountaintop. Click to enlarge.

The dream, "Chart the Growth" continues to challenge me to explore every question about myself in every way possible, and to continue to evolve.

THE PAINTING

In expressing the dream "Chart the Growth," I have chosen to paint a bristlecone pine as a woman, (as me in fact) that resembles a famous photograph taken by Ansel Adams in the 1940's.

The old twisted tree tells the story of a life that is very ancient and has struggled and endured harsh elements in order to keep living and growing.

The light orb over the lake represents the voice I heard in the dream, and the rings of the tree are in petrified rock and repeated in the circular waves of the lake.

Jupiter is added to the landscape's sky as an added symbol of expansion and growth.

--Brenda Ferrimani




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