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Coming to the Jumping Off Place

Dreamed May 1, 1992; painted 1992, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 49.5", by Jenny Badger Sultan

Several dreams, one of ascending a ladder, one of descending stairs at night to the sea, made me choose the image of the ladder for this painting. For me it symbolizes change and transformation and connects the realms of sky, earth and underground.

Dream painting, 'Coming to the Jumping Off Place', by Jenny Badger Sultan. Click to enlarge Detail of dream painting, 'Coming to the Jumping Off Place', by Jenny Badger Sultan.

After I had been painting the ladder a while, I had a dream, on Beltane, May l, l992, which I put into the landscape behind the ladder:

A group of us is living on an island. We are constantly watched and our activity is controlled. It is unbearable. We decide that we will go to the highest place on the island and all jump off, to our deaths.

But a special being has arranged that when we do so, we will be transmuted and will all be reborn in a remote place where we will be safe and may grow to be the salvation of the earth.

This was a dream of release from the destructive, death-dealing aspect, and rebirth through a caring and nurturing spiritual presence.

I also made two monoprints based on these ladder dreams: Dancer Ascends the Ladder and Guardians of the Ladder.

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