Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

Think Pyschologically; Live Spiritually

Message To America From a White Horse November 7, 2016

lone_ranger_and_tonto_with_silver_1960I’ve always been proud of my country. As a child, I thought the Lone Ranger, Tonto and Silver symbolized everything good about the U.S.A.: respect for human rights, individuality and diversity, strength of character, integrity, commitment to our civic responsibility to protect the weak, the helpless, the innocent and poor. But if there were any vestiges of that naïveté left in me before this presidential race, they’re gone now.

Never have I ever felt so disillusioned about America. Never have I, like award-winning novelist Barbara Kingsolver, taken a political race so personally. The constant reminders of our collective shadow have been monumentally toxic and I’m sick of it. But I didn’t realize how sick until last week’s dream of a white horse.

Dream #4792:  I’m in a house (my psyche) where several people (inner characters) are attending a retreat. Two persistent and annoying women (parts of my shadow) want my attention and feel sorry for themselves when I don’t give it.  An elder white-haired man summons me outdoors where I’m given responsibility for a white horse (powerful unconscious emotions). Its owner (aspect of my animus) is in the house. He has neglected it so badly that it’s ill. The old man leaves the horse with me. Annoyed at the owner’s negligence, worried and sad about the horse’s condition, I caress it lovingly. When I turn my back on it to go and notify the owner, it crumples behind me and lies there, pitiful, sad, and listless.

That morning the sad feelings lingered so I searched Google and found this blog post from 2009.

Jung & Horse

Mark Wallinger's White Horse Sculpture

Mark Wallinger’s White Horse Sculpture

“There has been a massive outpouring of love for Mark Wallinger’s white horse, the 165 foot sculpture which will be placed at the new International Rail Terminal at Ebbsfleet, Kent. This is interesting for many reasons, not least because public art isn’t usually enjoyed by the lay person, ironic and upside down as that may sound. The iconic white horse has captured something in the collective consciousness, something primal and English to its core. Today, I stumbled upon this piece of an essay by equine behaviourist Chris Irwin:

“Clearly, some link between horses and the human psyche was surfacing. I’ve since learned that there is a branch of psychoanalysis, pioneered by Carl Jung, that tries to weave a balance between the outer world of action and events and the inner world of dream, fantasy and symbolism. A distinguishing feature of Jungian analysis is the concept of archetypes, symbols rising from the dark, deep psychic pool of the collective unconscious where humanity’s common experience is stored.

“Archetypes express a complex of images and emotions that surround the defining experiences of human life. Examples include the Hero, the Divine Child, the Great Mother, Transformation, Death and Rebirth. They are the same for us all, no matter who we are or where we come from. It’s as if they are built into the wiring of our brains. And one of the most commonly recurring archetypes is – you guessed it – the Horse.

Some of my horse books.

Some of my horse books.

“The Horse archetype throughout the ages has been closely linked with our instinctive, primal drives. Jung thought the Horse’s appearance could signify instincts out of control. The horse evokes intense feelings and unbridled passion instead of cool, collected thought.

“In many different situations and in many different ways, horses were enabling people to make contact with feelings they’d buried deep inside their shadow. There didn’t seem to be any doubt that equine-assisted therapy worked. The question was, why?

“Horses, by embodying one of the deepest archetypes in our consciousness, most definitely stir us up. All those things that are buried away or girdled safely up start swirling around in our psyches. Horses can be a direct connection into the unconscious. When we look at a horse, and especially when there’s a horse strutting across the pen in front of us, we see the flesh-and-blood incarnation of powerful forces bottled up within us that we wish we had the guts to saddle and ride.

More horse books.

More of my horse books.

“These are the forces that Jung called the shadow self. We know those forces could take us to our dreams and turn us into our best selves. We also know those forces could destroy us. That’s why we bottle them up in the first place. And when feelings are stirred-up and agitated, that’s when we have the chance to work with them and learn to control them. Horses give us this opportunity. They do this to us whether we’re aware of it or not. But what a powerful tool to be able to use consciously!

“Carl Jung also talked a lot about life’s paradox, and how important the embrace of seeming contradictions is as we travel the never-ending journey towards becoming fully human. Horses, which can both free us or hurt us, embody this paradox. How we handle this paradox in the arena becomes a metaphor for how we handle it everywhere. Only in this case, it’s such a potent and direct metaphor, that we can use it to change our reality. Horses force us to face our shadow selves. Once we do that, we discover much greater freedom, exhilaration and inspiration as we go forward in life.” ~Chris Irwin, author of Horses Don’t Lie

14358643_1430859230264226_4748031632577132298_nDream Mother gave me the perfect image to get my attention. My white horse was suffering the consequences of intense bottled up feelings:  grief, empathy, agitation, worry and self-pity, plus concerns about my recent diminishment of life energy, my neglected need for self-love and care, and my country’s neglected need for self-love and care.

As I write this it’s the day before the election. If Hillary is elected, I’ll celebrate. Either way I’ll be facing my shadow as I get on with my life. I hope Uncle Sam will too. I won’t turn my back on either of us.

A final note: I’ve just read an extraordinary article by award-winning author Barbara Kingsolver on why Trump has not been called out for the horror show he’s put our country through.  If you’re still sitting on the fence about this election, I urge you to read it.

Jean Raffa’s The Bridge to Wholeness and Dream Theatres of the Soul are at Amazon. E-book versions are also at KoboBarnes And Noble and Smashwords. Healing the Sacred Divide can be found at Amazon and Larson Publications, Inc.

Image Credits: The Lone Ranger, Tonto, and Silver; Mark Wallinger White Horse Sculpture, Wikimedia Commons.  Uncle Sam Cartoon, Facebook.

 

15 Responses to “Message To America From a White Horse”

  1. Susan Scott Says:

    Thanks Jeanie, I read Barbara Kingsolver’s post. I admire her so much as a person and writer and her ability to tease out the essential.

    I’ve just heard the leader of one of the many opposition parties here in South Africa state that all the whites in our country must be slaughtered. And to grab any land for themselves that belongs to whites – so, it’s a question I suppose of response vs reaction. I won’t react … and my response to this to myself is that this is dangerous talk and has no place anywhere anytime. He’s merely showing himself as he is …

    I know also, that in our August municipal elections the major opposition party (the one I’m aligned to) had been running the municipality of where we have our holiday home, well and smoothly for the last 5 years and had turned around around a huge deficit to profit after it had been in the hands of the ANC. The opposition party (our governing ANC) actually won it, in part because of unrealistic promises made to the voters, but also because 21 people did NOT come out to vote for the reigning party – so by a hair’s breadth we go back to corruption and poor running of that particular municipality –

    Your dream was timely, thank you for sharing it. And may all go well in POTUS. From afar I’m watching the outcome with great interest.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeanraffa Says:

      I adore Kingsolver too. Her books are mesmerizing examples of beautiful, deeply nuanced psychological wisdom as well as writing skill.

      I am so sorry to hear about your country’s version of the horror show playing out in the world. Political progress is painfully slow when you’re in the midst of it and so many human lives are wantonly ruined and destroyed.

      Yet when I stand back and take a cosmic view, I see extraordinary progress in the direction of human rights, freedom, and justice for all, with actual caring for our brothers and sisters leading the way in such realms as civil rights, gay rights, women’s rights, etc. All have improved dramatically in the last hundred years. Was there ever a century in the history of humanity like the last or current one in which so much positive change occurred and is occurring on such a massive scale?

      And yet, here we are, stuck in a place and time in which chaos reigns and no end is in sight and ours and our children’s and grandchildren’s happiness and very lives are under constant threat. My wider lens helps me put it in perspective and gives me hope. The momentum is growing, we are evolving. Our evolution toward our fullest potential cannot be stopped. It can’t happen soon enough. Sending prayers for safety for you and yours.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Susan Scott Says:

        Jeanie, it’s going on 2.00 p.m. here in SA – we heard the news early this a.m. And of course it is ongoing headline news …

        Already from yesterday, before any outcome of anything, I was thinking back on your reply to me about taking the ‘cosmic view’ – and we have come far in many and meaningful ways. So we’re grateful to the last century!

        I was thinking of this whole election thing: is this maybe a collision of opposites in many ways. This is surely a significant moment … in many many ways …. and we can only hope that out of this morass something will flower. Reminds me of the lotus arising from the mud. So for that I am hopeful … and grateful that so many, like you for example, are holding up a candle …

        Liked by 1 person

      • jeanraffa Says:

        Thank you, Susan. Yes, if ever a psychological mirror was held up to the U.S. of the conflict between our inner opposites, this was it. So many accusations of lying and being “evil” and rigging elections, etc. Seems like we can’t get past, or rise above, our dualistic thinking and blaming our dark sides on others. Yet that’s the only way we’ll ever approach the light and find peace.

        This morning I received a note from a friend who said, “Jean, I think your horse dream was precognitive.” She may be right. In going over my dreams of the last two weeks most of them mentioned darkness or had dark themes—dark rooms, driving too fast down a dark road at night and not being able to see where I was going, being kidnapped and held hostage by some rebellious art students, (art students?), a husband telling his wife to shoot a woman I had taken to see their home and seeing the bullet hole in her left temple, etc.

        But your mention of holding up a candle reminds me that there was mention of light in some of these dreams too. In the dream in which I was told to get a new lens, I felt compelled to put five candles in an antique candelabra and light them in a dark fireplace. In my driving down the dark road dream, my destination was a desert where several people were gathering to have their picture taken at sunrise. I think the recurring mention of dark and light was not only addressing a conflict of opposites going on in me as have struggled to write the last several posts about the election with some balance, but also the psychological conflict going on in our country….. one which I have absorbed and been struggling with for some time. Perhaps the sick white horse was not just an intimation of that, but also of things to come.

        Thank you for the kind thoughts and words.

        Like

    • Brian Carlin Says:

      IT feels like one of those momentous years like 1848 or 1968… Where popular left and right wing movements are on the rise. It’s a time to know who you are or who you’d like to be. A time to spread the word above the shouting. Stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Susan Scott Says:

        I agree Brian – the extremes are being expressed. Sometimes it has to go that way for change to happen – even if it is not strictly necessary. But the rises of nationalism is frightening …

        Liked by 1 person

      • jeanraffa Says:

        Yes, it does. I thought 2016 was going to be a watershed year because of a woman running for, and possibly being elected as, president of the U.S., but perhaps that’s only one aspect of the right/left wing movement history will remember us for. Certainly it has been momentous for me; I do now know for sure who I am and who I’d like to be above the shouting. I’ll do my best to stay safe. 🙂 Thank you.

        Like

  2. Brian Carlin Says:

    Please look after yourself Jeanie.
    I hope your dream reminds you to embrace your wild horses.
    Over here in Scotland there is a public work of art in Falkirk called The. kelpies, which is a massive steel structure of two horses heads and necks, beautifully animated which the public have embraced enthusiastically, coming from all Scotland to view. This, in a country which has seen an upsurge in an open accepting nationalism which welcomes migrants refugees etc., markedly different from the feeling south of our border in England.

    Meanwhile, President Trump is a reality. The Don with his acceptance speech making him out to be a rebuilding New Dealer. And worst of all, a Supreme Court which will be right wing/ conservative for the next twenty years or more. Hopefully the Republicans in the Congress and Senate can rein in his worst ideas.
    The saddest thing I lessons learnt by impressionable kids, it’s ok to behave/talk like him and still be President. Sad.
    But, back to you, please look after yourself. You know you are much loved.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jeanraffa Says:

      Thank you, Brian. I woke up today feeling numb. Is this what despair feels like? I think so. It’s a lot better than the agitation and irritability I was feeling all day yesterday. I just had lunch with a friend and we commiserated with each other over our loss of hope. She had a call this morning from an employee who wasn’t coming to work because she was up all night crying and vomiting. I find shutting down easier than letting it all out like that. But I will take care of myself and it will pass.

      I share your concerns for our country’s future and the impact this president will have on our impressionable children. And I hadn’t even gotten to the Supreme Court thing until I read your comment! I find that very scary.

      Thank you for your sympathy and concern. And for reminding me that I am loved. That feels good. So I guess I’m not totally numb! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Susan Scott Says:

    Thank you for your lovely response Jeanie, full of pain and yet – I also thought about the beautiful horse now not well at all, pitiable … these wounds need to be healed and they will be – more now than ever is the time for introspection and retrospection. Why do things always get harder before they get better? Why is it always darkest before dawn?

    Hillary Clinton concession speech was gracious – I imagine her and Obama helping to steer the ship through troubled waters in this transition time ..

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeanraffa Says:

      I like your image of Hillary and Obama helping to steer the ship (of state) through troubled waters. I, too, imagine them being healing agents for each other and the country. Yes, it’s darkest before dawn. I look forward very much to the dawn….

      Liked by 1 person

  4. elainemansfield Says:

    Oh dear Jeanie. What a big rich dream. It’s all the more poignant knowing the outcome. I agree. Either way, we’d have to face the shadow. My post for this coming week was written right after the election. Please, please take care of yourself.

    Liked by 1 person


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