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The Forest Bride

Dreamed July 23 & Dec. 10, 1994; painted 1995, acrylic on canvas, 49.5 x 60Ē, by Jenny Badger Sultan

Acrylic painting, 'The Forest Bride', by Jenny Badger Sultan. Click to enlarge

THE FOREST BRIDE: July 23, 1994

A gathering. An announcement is made of a coming wedding. Festive, celebratory things are said and done. Detail of acrylic painting, 'The Forest Bride', by Jenny Badger Sultan.

Then the bride-to-be steps forward. She has green leaves on her head and a necklace of small green fruits--like green kumquats--around her neck. Many strands of different lengths. She is holding a staff with green leaves on it also. She wants to speak--of her difficulty in being recognized, celebrated in this way. She will draw upon a speech or class that she developed for another occasion.

She is someone familiar to me--from the New Age/ Womanís spirituality world, though I canít remember exactly. The rest is gone.

THE PAINTING

This dream painting began with a decalcomania ground. A forest emerged from the random patterns on the canvas. Fiery elements are present here too, as they continue to be a part of many dreams. Detail of acrylic painting, 'The Forest Bride': dying girl, by Jenny Badger Sultan.

Into the foreground, in a golden pool, came the personage from the dream, a bride who has green leaves on her head, a necklace of small green fruits and is holding a staff which is sprouting green leaves. I see her as the maiden, the Positive Young Feminine, the young Persephone, and I also relate her to my daughter Naomi who is blossoming in her life as a young woman.

The small Russian Orthodox Church with beautiful blue domes appeared in another dream soon after. I associate the blue with sky and the Virgin.

Hiding in the tree is the young child/woman from a later dream:

THE PALE DYING GIRL: December 10, l994

I am at a gathering. There is a child woman who is going to die. She is small and pale--lank yellow-white hair.

Sometimes she seems regular human size and sometimes she seems like a doll.

We are gathered to be with her as she dies. She comes over to me and tells me that her death is very close. At first I avoid this and turn the conversation to other things. Then I know that this is not right. I say to her that I would like to know what she is feeling, what it is like to know you are dying. I say, "I wish I could see through your eyes and I wish I could see what it's like after death."

She goes off for a while. Then she comes back to where I am sitting and looks at me very intensely. "It is happening," she says. She means that she is actually dying right then. She has chosen me even though I do not know her very well. I pick her up and hold her (now she is small like a doll). I close my eyes and give myself over to being with her and holding her. After a while I think that she may be dead. I open my eyes and see that her eyes are partly open and she is still alive, looking around. She seems like a cat at this time (like Cinnamon).

A few minutes later another person notices that her eyes have closed (as a doll's eyes close). She is dead. I begin to carry her around. I see some friends who have just come. I tell them how it went--the whole time. They look at her--one looks up the white gown she has on and sees her feet, one of which is turned in in a characteristic way. That lets her know that this is all true. I hear a sound--it is a baby in a stroller. I kneel down to see the baby and show the small girl/woman. I say, "She is about your size," meaning either the baby or a doll of the baby's. I tell the woman that it was like holding a cat as it dies.

I was honored to have been able to hold her while she died. The holding and being with was very important.

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