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My Ritual Beheading

Dreamed l996/3/24, painted 1996, oil on panel, 24 x 16" by Jenny Badger Sultan

A line of people is about to be ritually executed. It seems to be a religious rite--Buddhist (Nepalese, Tibetan perhaps?) I see it happen to one after another in the row.

A group of monks or religious people, in robes, stop in front of the person. One of them paints a black arc at the joining of the neck and shoulders. Then another person, from behind, I think, puts an arm around the person's head, covering the eyes and holding the head still. Then, with a sword of some kind, the head is cut off. I believe that there is chanting or some kind of verbal part as well.

Painting of a dream by Jenny Badger Sultan. A line of people in white robes passively wait to be beheaded.
I am in the line. I am next. The black line is painted on me. I have closed my eyes. I am breathing very hard. I am trying to commend my spirit to God. I wait for the arm to come and steady my head, then I know that the cut will come. Painting of a dream by Jenny Badger Sultan. Eyes closed, she quietly waits her turn to die.

I keep waiting. The arm does not come.

I wake up.

--Jenny Badger Sultan


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