Following on the heels of last month’s adventures when my dream cards
tasted, for the first time, the “real world” out in the community with
Barb Turner, we now have a completely different turn of events as Jim Fitzpatrick’s
Vampire Dream Cards raise their nightmarish heads on my website. Here’s
how it happened. Jim is my good friend, Tai Chi partner and patient editor
of my many articles. He has watched the evolvement of my dream cards from
a vague idea to their manifestation and monthly airing on this website.
Therefore, when he told me about his disgustingly yuck vampire dream series,
and I suggested, “How about making your own dream cards,” he jumped into
action. What follows is Jim’s colorful account of his Vampire Vamping a
la imaging in cards (or bringing to light) these foul monstrosities.
(More or Less)
by Jim FitzPatrick, guest essayist
I read Dracula by Bram Stoker in college. I thought it was a good scare, but nothing compared to the more subtle terrors of Camilla, that most seductive of night stalkers, the dark creation of another English Victorian, Sheridan Le Fanu.
Then there is The Night Stalker, wherein the greatest of hack reporters, Carl Kolchak, first encounters the Dark. A great flick, 4 stars, 2 thumbs up! And then there’s Anne Rice, whose vampires are heroic, misunderstood nobles. We have come a long ways from the vicious blood sucking monster of Bram Stoker!
I had my first vampire dream early on Friday, November 20, 1998:
The Young Vampire is the Reluctant Chosen One
There is a resort where young people are identified as vampires
and go through a kind of adolescence, after which they get their fangs.
One has been chosen. He says to his guide (who is not a vampire), “
Maybe you ought to choose someone else.”
But his guide says, “No, you are the one who has been chosen. You have to do what it is you have to do. You do have a choice, you may destroy or be destroyed.”
And the young creature says, “Are you saying that I must destroy all the others?
Can’t they be allowed to live?”
“No, there would then be too many of them.”
“Well, I don’t want to do this!”
But, finally, the young creature is willing to accept what he must do.
The young vampire doesn’t know what it all means, nor why any this is happening.
None of it makes any sense to him.
It took a while for any of this to make sense to me either. Luckily, I had a bit of help! One suggestion was to regard this as an initiation dream. This resonated since I have managed to miss most of the key initiation moments in my life; No Bar Mitzvah, no clan recognition ritual, no military service. I was just not there for these opportunities. So now the Unconscious takes over and I am given another chance.
So, does this mean I should go out and slaughter vampires as a means
Probably not. At the same time that I was directed to consider this an initiation dream, a few hazards of the danger of taking the vampire as a role model were suggested. Just as well. Remember what happened to Carl Kolchak when he killed a vampire (...the cops came in and arrested him for murder! Of course, in The Night Stalker, the powers that be just hassled him and then ran him out of town, but, hey, we’re not all Carl Kolchak!). So, what then was I to do with this dream?
Well, I could paint my vampire, and at Noreen’s suggestion, make a series of Vampire Dream Cards.
So, with that in mind, I got out my trusty colored pencils (actually
I used Noreen’s....) and a bit of paper and out came the following picture:
At first glance, he is as nasty a lout as you are likely to meet in an alley at the dark of the moon! But upon consideration, he wasn’t near nasty enough. In fact, if you regard the colors and the general look of the face, well, he is almost friendly! Or, perhaps friendly is not the right word, but he is not quite as vile as he ought to be.
Consider that vampires suck the life blood, the life energy, out of a person. That this creature is sucking the life energy right out of ME! No! He needs to be nastier.
So I scanned him into the computer, and began to play. Nothing seemed
quite right. He just didn’t look vicious enough. And so, I decided to twist
him around a bit and hit the ‘Inverse’ button, which I took to mean ‘flip
over’. But instead it changed him to this:
Whew! I practically leapt out of my seat when he appeared. Somehow, in my original drawing, I had managed to create an ‘ inverse’ of what was actually the demon within! How had I done that?
The answer came with a bit of pondering... a lot of pondering.
Consider that the vampire is symbolic of what Carl Jung might call a ‘Complex” which is a kind of black hole in the psyche. As I approach one of these powerful complexes, I get absent minded; I forget exactly what it was I was going to say or do; I know I’m there because I can’t quite tell where I’m at. It’s a paradox. Jungians love paradoxes.
So a complex must be approached obliquely, if it is going to be approached at all. I must gaze intently to the right as I skitter myself absently to the left. And when I bump something, why, there it is, Mr. Complex.
Of course, not all complexes are nasties, but this one sure is. Whatever this vampire is, he is inside of me, draining my life energy. And, perhaps more significant, he is in there striving to destroy all the other complexes, so that he may be all that is! And this includes that most pertinent of all complexes which we call the ego! This is not good.
Now, just for a moment, pause and think about that!!
[pause]Ok, that’s enough.
One life energy sucking parasite controlling my unconscious; controlling me! Ugh!
But now consider what it is that vampires despise; that make them fearful.
Garlic, so they say. And crosses, some say. But it is daylight that destroys them. That is what they appear to most hate and fear. So what would represent daylight, sunlight, to a dream vampire?
Certainly, a picture would be a way of bringing the image of the creature into light. Each time I represent it, the creature is made weaker. It only exists, only thrives, as a creature of darkness. That is, a creature of the hidden way. Once the path is known; once the map is drawn; once the picture is made; the creature’s power is weakened.
Or so I believe.
And so, I have made a series of paintings. I prefer to use watercolors and then to scan them into my computer. Once in the computer, I poke around in Painter and see what emerges. It is often as bad or worse than what I originally painted!
But, however nasty the image, it is better out in the light of day than festering within me!
Below is a gallery of my ‘favorite’ vampire paintings. Enjoy!
CLICK HERE for Episode 10: “YES/ NO Dream Oracle Key Card.” How you can use your own dream cards to answer YES/ NO questions.
BIO: Noreen is owner of 7 Arts Studio in Milford, Ohio, and is in turn owned by her 5 cats. She is a stained glass artist, dream adventurer, writer, computer art buff and teacher of Tai Chi.
Write me. I’d love to hear from you.