"Sleeping with Snakes" by Bali painter Yamil
Oil on canvas, 16" x 47"
“What does it mean when you dream about snakes?” I ask Richard Wolf*, a noted dream psychic. It’s spring 1982 and we’re sitting on the front porch of the spacious house Phil and I occupy in the historic tree-lined Montrose neighborhood of Houston, TX.
A large, handsome and thoughtful man, Richard comes over once a month from Golden, Colorado to teach imagery work at our Wellness Center, located just around the corner on Audubon Place. Even though Richard is physically imposing, there’s something ethereal and untouchable about him, as if he lives in deep silence between the worlds and appears in bodily form only when needed and then just for a short while. When he speaks, his hands form soft circles in the air and his words come out rolling slightly as if they’re being washed. You have to pay close attention if you want to understand what he says.
“I have recurrent dreams of snakes.” I continue. “Sometimes they slide all over me, hissing and glistening in iridescent hues. They're scary but utterly fascinating. Other times they just slither around blindly on the floor, all muddy brown and wrinkled, and it's impossible to find a spot that's clear where I can step and get away from them. I wake up in a panic.”
A passing car revs up its engine and backfires, startling me. Richard is undisturbed.
“Your snakes show you your relationship to power.” he explains. “Your power to mesmerize, to hide, devour, destroy, to bring your deepest darkness up to the light, the power to renew yourself over and over. Find a way to get comfortable with them. ”
He pauses, then advises: “Eat your snakes.”
What?! I burst into laughter. But then, well, why not? My Chinese horoscope sign is the Snake. Why not be that mystical ravenous snake, Ouroboros, who devours its own tail, shedding everything, returning time and again, improvising, reinventing each new journey.
Just ask Phil. He has learned to shed his skin along with me, letting go of everything: Leave Houston, move to Hawaii. Leave Hawaii, move to Bali. Leave Bali, circle back to Hawaii. Always shedding, stripping bare. And now? Again we’re at a crossroads.
Who knows what will happen on December 21, 2012 when we’ll be part of the 800-voice choir to sing the ancient Lemurian tones that have not been heard on Earth for 26,000 years.** It will be a signal from Earth to the Universe. Of what? That we’re ready for change? That we remember who we are?
I know for me it will be first of all a signal of gratitude to Richard Wolf and to the multitude of my other teachers, embodied and in spirit, for showing me the immense power of dreaming; for encouraging, even pushing me, to shed old fears; to dream myself awake.
Lastly, my message will be to my fellow Snake Sisters and Snake Brothers through time and space. I want you to know that...
I remember you of old
We have done this before
Houston Wellness Center Clinical Staff 1988
Richard Wolf (center, 5th from left)
Phil and I (1st and 2nd from left)
* After losing touch with Richard Wolf in 1989, I have tried numerous times to find him, unfortunately without success. If anyone recognizes him, knows where he is, and how to reach him, please contact me at halfplot at gmail dot com. It would mean the world to me.
** See Lemurian Choir