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Four Elementals

Jan. 2010 drawing/sculpture based on four recurring dream characters from 2009, by Chris Wayan

I don't make New Year's resolutions. But as the old year wanes and the new year nears, I review all the dream-advice of the old year and make a to-do list of what I've neglected. For 2009, it soon became clear that four recurring dream-figures were vying for my attention--and for my waking-world time to do their thing. Three of the four felt neglected, and one (a mad artist) was afraid these three would confiscate all my art-time!

As a first step toward balance, I made a chart of them:

HEALTH
I get recurring fevers. I need testing/diagnosis, and meantime I need antiviral herbs, lots of sleep, moderate exercise (none or a lot make me worse), limits on computer work and a very specific diet.
ARTIST
Music, songwriting, poetry, prose, comics, drawing, painting, sculpture, digital art... Love them all! But can't there be too much of a good thing? Don't want to feed the illness.
SILKY
A dream-self who loves parties and socializing, fun and play, dancing, flirting, dating, sex and love. All good things--but they take energy!
AMBITION
Money, fame and respect. Steps toward grad school count since this part wants degrees and awards--recognition of knowledge and achievement.

Next I made a prompt--a list that pops up at the end of my journal each day. As well as asking what I dreamt, which I've done for years, my journal now asks what I've done to satisfy each of the four. And I have to fill that in. Painful some days, but it focuses me.

HEALTH: took herbs, stretched, limited computer time. Got free acupuncture. Made appt w/clinic
ARTIST: Work on two paintings. Worked on p.3 of comic PIXY. Practiced solo music.
SILKY: went to benefit, flirted with a fox-woman and that cute dream-artist in the tent.
AMBITION: got favorable mention in NY Times for Dubia piece in book Strange Maps
But the truth is, most days it's more like
HEALTH: Worse. Didn't call clinic. Overdid computer again. Stayed up too late.
ARTIST: No music or painting. Edited others' work for World Dream Bank but neglected my own.
SILKY: No. Stayed in, working. Longed for girls passing by my window, but talked to no one.
AMBITION: Nothing.
Now I've drawn the four on a small mirror and hung that on the wall so I have to face them every day. I've drawn them in their sexiest forms, so I'll at least try to court them instead of seeing them as threateners or nags...
A diamond-shaped mirror with a wide wood frame; four recurring dream figures are drawn on the wood. By Chris Wayan, 2010. Click to enlarge.
Each one seems like an elemental, guarding one of the four principles, though they're not traditional:

AIR
Traditional guardian/elemental: sylph
My guardian: angel. Though my bird-girl angel looks Peter Pan-ish. I won't grow up? Probably not. Not if it means being practical and giving up what I really like. But the others deserve time too!
ARTIST! This one's the easiest for me to honor daily--my mind likes to soar. The challenges are to balance this with the other three needs. And when doing art, to focus on real creative work, not slip into comfortable crafts where I just trance out. If I prioritize, I needn't reduce my true creative time.

Angel/birdwoman: recurring dream figure drawn/incised on wood by Chris Wayan, 2010.
WATER
Traditional guardian/elemental: undine
My guardian: mermaid
SILKY: love, play, social life, fun generally. Fewer opportunities lately, since I've been ill and tired. Staying out and staying up are fun but can drain me. Yet without fun, I don't heal. A hard balance.
Mermaid: recurring dream figure drawn/incised on wood by Chris Wayan, 2010
EARTH
Traditional guardian: gnome
My guardian: centaur
HEALTH: body, grounding--good food, rest breaks, stretches, exercise, herbs that help me. Avoid known stresses and triggers. Investing in diagnostic tests that drain me now but may pay off in the future.
Oh--that blue flying creature in the mirror is a reflection of an earlier attempt to unify all my personality aspects in one sculpture: Pegatauress.
Centaur: recurring dream figure drawn/incised on wood by Chris Wayan, 2010
FIRE
Traditional guardian: salamander
My guardian: fire-dragon!
AMBITION: pride, fame, influence, profit, even a little greed--my habit is to give stuff away, so I need to encourage a faint sense of me! This part also wants me to go to a grad school to be around other serious artists and writers.
Dragon or salamander: recurring dream figure drawn/incised on wood by Chris Wayan, 2010
Jungians will see obvious parallels with his four personality types--thinkers, feelers, sensers, intuitives.
Tarot users will also recognize the four suits:
A diamond-shaped mirror with a wide wood frame; four recurring dream figures are drawn on the wood and tinted with acrylic wash. By Chris Wayan, 2010.
Lastly, after contemplating the fifth image--that scary Einstein in the center--I got a haircut.



LISTS AND LINKS:
balance of four elements/paths/Jungian functions - mirrors and reflections - pencil dream-art - sculpture - sexy creatures -
1: angels, flight, air, brains, creativity, artists and the arts -
2: merfolk, Silky, water, joy, play, flirting, parties, sex and love -
3: centaurs, animal people, body image and health advice -
4: dragons, Puff, fire, intuition, ambition, boundaries and self-defense, assertion -

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