Spiders and scarabs

My sculptures were on display at a local fantasy convention last weekend. Nothing sold. This is usually what happens at most of the conventions I go to, and I am really not sure why. Perhaps it’s because I’m a sculptor. Paintings seem to sell better. I felt down yesterday. My art “career” is feeling a little stagnant. My progress in Vodou has similarly plateaued at the moment.

I went to bed depressed and had an anxiety dream in which I am looking down into a clawfoot tub (yes, the notorious clawfoot makes its appearance yet again) that has a lot of spiders building webs along the rim. I hate spiders, so I proceed to begin killing them, but there’s too many. It seems hopeless. I notice a large blue scarab skittering along the floor. I try to squish it, and when I remove my foot the body of the scarab has changed into a blue metallic cigarette lighter. I try to squish it again, but am not sure if I killed it or not. Near the end of the dream, the bathroom floor is flooding, and the task of killing spiders seems rather pointless. I am both dismayed and relieved.

I spent today puzzling over this dream. I don’t usually refer to dream dictionaries to analyze my dreams, but I did find a good interpretation of spider dreams online:

SPIDERS : Spiders are a little like snakes in that they usually refer to something bad in your life. They will usually refer to some situation where you feel trapped or stuck. Perhaps you dislike your job and wish to move to something more interesting. Perhaps you feel stuck in a relationship. Just think of those emotions about being caught in a spiders web. Where do you feel that same sense in real life or been unable to move.

From www.unclesirbobby.org.uk

It was obvious to me that this dream was related to my frustration with my art. The spiders likely symbolize that I feel stagnant and trapped and, in spite of my efforts, cannot seem to move forward. The cobwebs might be old habits and ways of thinking that need to be re-examined before I can move on.

And bathtubs (from hyperdictionary):

Dreaming of a bathtub, suggests a need for self-renewal and escape from everyday problems. You need to rid yourself of the burdens that you have been carrying.

The scarab is part of the Cartouche cards, so I refer to that system’s interpretation for this analysis:

No 22 Scarab Egyptian Cartouche Card – Scarab

Rebirth, Renewal, Adaptability, Acceptance, Change, Death of a situation.
A spiritual rebirth.
A new beginning or new phase in life.
The ability to adapt to a new situation
“Move things around” – clean our your wardrobe, try a new hair style etc.
All things must pass.
Death puts an end to the old to make way for the new.
Have faith that life will bring something better than it takes from you.
Do not struggle against this change, instead try to accept it.
Cast off the old for the new.
Release the past with love and let it go.

My attempt to crush the scarab might be my sometimes stubborn resistance to change. I never planned to do 2-D art again, as I don’t really enjoy drawing and painting. However, today I’ve been rethinking and toying with the idea, and it’s starting to sound kind of fun. Maybe I can do some pencil or pastel drawings to show along with my sculptures? There are many advantages to 2-D art, including more venues, ease of reproduction, and smaller display requirements.

Much as I am rebooting my spirituality, maybe I need to reboot my approach to art. (The cigarette lighter might have been there to “light a fire” under my butt. Depression is usually a sign that I need to take action or make a change.) The water on the floor might be an indication that I can’t stop the tide of change, only accept it.

I will need to buy a new sketchpad and some good graphite pencils. I discarded most of my drawing tools years ago.

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6 Responses to “Spiders and scarabs”

  1. Spiders have received a really bad reputation, they are scary! That is possibly because they represent the twin powers of creation and destruction. Here is some lore that you might be interested in with regards to your dreams and art.

    http://www.crystalinks.com/spiderwoman.html

    Also if I may, I’m a dreamer and when reading through your post I had an insight. Take it or leave it only you can judge wether what I’m about to say holds any meaning for you. Bath tubs, hold water. Water (La Sirene xox) represents spirit, as you’ve already mentioned above. Your tub is empty! Spiders catch drops of moisture in their webs dew drops right?

    A spider totem, or tutelary spirit is a very very powerful ally especially for artists!

    see http://www.sayahda.com/cyc4.html and scroll down for Spider. Please note the importance of the arachnids 8 legs as opposed to most insects 6. What does 8 mean to you with regards to the Loas?

    One last thing… have you ever delved into textile arts? Weaving or anything of the sort? You could do some fantastic 3-d stuff using some of these techniques. Also hmmm the www is an appropriate medium isn’t it? LOL!

    Really am enjoying your blog. Okay off to read more.

    Happy Sunday.

    Sincerely,
    Hazel.

    • cheshirecatman Says:

      Hi Hazel, I’m glad you are enjoying the blog and thank you very much for the information; it’s fascinating and gives me more insight into the dream. I am not sure which lwa is associated with the number 8. Studying Vodou has been challenging because I find bits of information in different places and then have to piece it together later.

      As for textile arts, I am not the best with fabric. and don’t know if I could get the detail I want with it. There is one amazing artist who is able to get detail in fabric, her name is Lisa Lichtenfels http://lisalichtenfels.net/

  2. Hi Chechirecatman! Thank you for that link, I’m also looking at StudioNocturna as per your blog. Awesome!

    Just to be straight, I am not an adherent to voodoo or any system of belief, yet. I am no expert but have a thirst for wisdom and some kind of capacity for working with spirit. Which is why I think I’ve been led so strongly to voodoo over the past two years (or so) I say this to underscore I’m no expert, but I would characterize myself as a dreamer, many of which involve symbols. Which of course has forced me to learn a lot about symbolism, something I’ve come to enjoy immensely. Your dreams are fascinating.

    With regards to the number eight I was hinting at a bigger picture, not with regards to just one Lwa, but all of them. 8= infinity notice the symbol for infinity is an 8 turned sideways? it is also one of the basic designs you’ll find in the various vever’s. You know the design that looks like * or two crosses combined? It’s protective. I learned that while designing a tattoo for myself (Erzulie of course 🙂 )

    I was stunned by your writings on searching for your Met Tet,

    I’ve been resonating to La Sirene I supose all my life. I did not know what a met tet was until today reading through your blog. I guess I’ve always been aware of La Sirene as a personal spirit. It’s taken me a lifetime to realize its more than just my imagination. So THANK YOU very much for that piece of the puzzle. I need to learn so much more about this vibrant tradition. I’ma lovin’ it! With regards to you and this blog, I keep thinking Legba. Did a search and found your veve symbol on this blog is Legbe’s. What do you think about Legbe as your Met tet? I’m off to learn more about him.

    Thanks again, this blog is AMAZING!

  3. Okay, one last comment, sorry to be a bother. It just struck me that you may have overlooked papa Legba due to your being too humble. LOL!

    Quote:
    Papa Legba is the master linguist, the trickster, warrior, and the personal messenger of destiny. He has the power to remove obstacles and he provides opportunities. All ceremonies begin and end with Papa Legba, and there can be no communication with any of the other loas without consulting him first. His gift for linguistics enables him to translate the requests of humans into the languages of the spirits and loas.

    Well la di da! I’d be intimidated too!

    source http://www.mysticvoodoo.com/papa_legba.htm

    Have a good evening.
    H.

  4. cheshirecatman Says:

    You’re not a bother, I very much enjoy reading your comments! I’m glad if something I wrote assisted someone else along their path. La Sirene is wonderful—I’ve always had a thing for mermaids and the number 7, which if memory serves me correctly is her number.

    I was not sure if Legba could be anyone’s met tet, but recently read that he could. The thought did cross my mind–he is the first one who appeared to me. I’ve never been called by anyone before, so I’ve become very fond of him. My local Mambo explained that your met tet resonates with your energy and personality. In that light, what I have in common with Legba is communications (visual and written) and that I love providing opportunities for others (particularly in the art scene). So he is another possibility.

    Glad you enjoyed looking at Studio Nocturna. I love her stuff.

  5. cheshirecatman Says:

    Oh I should also say thanks for the spider woman info…it gave me a wonderful idea for a relief piece.

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