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Reply To: On Synchronicity and Meaning



Here is my “Part Two” to my intro/post and in collaboration with things James discussed in his post # 5348 above. I first have to say I find resonance with all the thing James writes above and which we have discussed in chats and also with Shaahayda, and Shaahayda and I have been in chats about these sorts of topics from way back also. Today I have written what I was planning to say in a rather casual way by making a list as I would do if composing an outline for a paper…

I was going to try to finish the introductory Part II sooner than now, but was out of town yesterday first East and then West, spanning a large distance of my neck of the woods in the state I am in—and pun there is intended, I could have just said Ohio, but as for the state I am I think it is called exhaustion, haha! I mentioned this to James and Shaahayda to please just go ahead and post and not wait for the part two I am writing.

Here is the (or a sort of) LIST:

1) Divination is by Jung explained (not as causal however—but as coincidence!) as synchronicity. Throwing the coins for Chinese form of divination The I Ching (to which Jung wrote the intro of the Wilhelm’s edition), reading one’s Tarot cards or having them read, and astrological coincidences of the birth chart of daily predictions are all forms of synchronicity. To understand this better, I refer the reader to the following books,

–The Tao and the I Ching are “forerunners” to Jung’s theory of synchronicity as mentioned in the book, Psyche and Matter, by Marie Louse von Franz, p. 210.

–Another forerunner according to von Franz as mentioned in the same book above (ditto or ibid!) is the “Hippocratic ‘sympathy of all things,’ which Hippocrates observed in his own day as a “breathing together or flowing together of all things, even the smallest in the cosmos.” You can read about other examples of this sympathy in the rest of that paragraph, again on p. 210.

–Synchronicity: Through the Eyes of Science, Myth, and the Trickster, by Allen Combs and Mark Holland, is an excellent book on the subject. On the back cover, a blurb explains that it is “An accessible and Intelligent Exploration of the Intriguing Phenomenon of Coincidences.”

And in the forward, Robert Robertson wrote, “Synchronicity makes the points at which the personal and the transcendent come together in each of our lives.”

–Here I would like to add that it is this feeling of experiencing something numinous that seems to make an occurrence of synchronicity feel like a monumental, often life-changing (as Shaahayda and James have been discussing), and mystical experience (which accompanies so frequently “transcendence, as it can feel as if the veils between the outer world (of matter) and the inner world (of psyche or what we also call “psychic”—all acts of divination are “psychic” because they come from psyche—we tend to think of “psychic” as meaning “mediumship” and ESP but all acts/states of psyche are “psychic,” just in different ways.

2) Synchronicity and the New Sciences are a vital and exciting understanding of the full extent of the notion of synchronicit, as you will also find in the book I mentioned directly above,  Synchronicity: Through the Eyes of Science, Myth, and the Trickster, by Allen Combs and Mark Holland. This book provides an easily comprehensible view to so many aspects or facets of the gem that this theory of synchronicity is. The doorway to the new physics was opened by Einstein and his theory of relativity and suddenly the world and universe was not as people previously perceived it to be. We can read more about it in this book (“Extra! Extra! Read all about it!)

In the Myth chapter in the Combs and Holland book referenced above, Hermes and the imagination comes into play. And as Hermes is a messenger between gods and from gods to “hu(men)/humans, I would here like to include a message I received in a dream that was another occurrence of synchronicity I had (in the first post I did as intro on synch, I wrote about an event I had with a monarch butterfly in my awake-world; here is one from my dreaming world, with important messages from my unconscious psyche to my awareness—as if these things wanted to be known somehow—or as if my inner knowing was pressing it into my consciousness from my unconscious knowing. This is the power of Hermes!


In one dream I had of a monarch, it was flying towards me with what would normally be grace yet in this dream it was flying in slow motion as if an invisible hand was directing it to me like a conductor of an orchestra directs music. It seemed it was being either pushed or pulled–but definitely led–to me as if by some magnetic force. The monarch then landed on my lips and wanted to enter my mouth to be inside me.

At first I was taken aback, and startled, I closed my mouth which I had opened in astonishment so that it would not end up in my mouth and so that I would not swallow it. I did not want that experience and I did not want it to die by my ingesting it.

However, at the time I was guided by a great dream and one of my Jungian dream teachers to go ahead and let the butterfly in and see what happened–in a session of Jungian Active Imagination which is in some ways similar to meditation sometimes.

When I did as was suggested, I realized that the butterfly and I had had two different interpretations of its activity. By entering through my mouth, it was not going to be ingested in my dream the same way we would ingest things in our regular waking world. It was the spirit of the monarch that wanted to enter my being. I was then able to dance the monarch dance to in spirit fly with it for the healing of its medicine.

I found out later I had a serious stomach ailment I could have died from and indeed had been dying from slowly. The dream told me about my stomach ailment that needed attention and medicine in the ‘real’ world. The butterfly symbol wanted to help me with my digestive system—or give me the message I needed attention and here I did not want to ingest it! The thought of ingesting it according to the laws of the physical world in our everyday lives averted me from letting the butterfly do its medicine. I had to get used to the idea of being able to work with the medicine of the monarch this way. I had worked with my dream world before, but this was a new type of experience for me from which to learn more.

This monarch waited for years of my lifetime for me to engage it in my imaginal world–it had been there since my childhood. In fact, it was my childhood friend, my cousin, who in the dream held out a small jewelry treasure box to me and opened it when the monarch flew out; together, when we were children, we would watch and chase the monarch butterflies along the banks of the lagoon off the lake. We were always delighted to see them. And finally, the monarch was delighted I could work with it as a totem in this dream.The dream was perhaps also telling me to pay heed to a treasure of an experience I had when younger that was key to my later development of this issue—I was to look back at my childhood for hints and to a particular occasion with my cousin in my dream.

In an earlier dream some years before, I had a dream I was in a science lab and had a notebook and pen and camera and around me were a whole bunch of monarchs flying all around the room. This, I learnred later, was an announcement that I was somehow going to work with monarchs. I now often do things to help save the monarchs such as plant indigenous flowers that the monarchs like and also their caterpillars, such as milkweed.

Other times monarchs come to me in ‘real’ life by giving me an omen of things. Once when I had quit a job I loved for a higher paid position and more hours, when I got to my car to open my driver’s seat door, I looked down and saw a dead monarch at my feet laying right at the door. My heart ‘sunk’ in that moment and I knew my decision was taking me off my path. I eventually was able to make my way back on track.

Other times Monarch has showed up when I am thinking about something I need to make a decision on (I wrote about an example of this in my first intro-post of this topic); it seems like an affirmation of a particular idea I have when I need to decide. This has happened often. This is called the symbolic life when the world is viewed that way and ancient shamans and artists throughout the ages too have often viewed the world this way in symbols–in an animated sense that the animals “spoke” to them or gave them messages like Hermes/Mercury would–from the anima mundi or world soul. Ancient people had the sense of animism in life.


You can see (photo not presented here) why the monarch butterfly gets its colors–gets it wings, so to speak! It is like the tiger: orange and black. They also both have white markings. Both these animals (though one is an insect it can still be referred to as an animal for the sake of animal totems) have unusual colors. We tend to think of orange and black as rather odd colors for camouflage, yet these colors work in places where the grass is tall and where there is the play of light and shadow.

The monarch butterfly shares its colors with the tiger and many who have monarch butterfly totems might also have tiger totems if they are sensitive to color in life. Orange is a common color of the stone amber and black is the color of obsidian, jet, the amber color is a symbol of life (orange or yellow-orange most commonly like the sun) and black is a symbol of the night and mysteries. Tiger eye too is a good stone for those with a tiger totem or wishing to work with the energies of the tiger. But, for now, I am writing about the monarch butterfly as one of my main totems and my experiences therein.

The colors of the monarch teach us to be able to play and dance in the shadows as well as the light–and about their interplay where there is that moment of transcendence of the opposites, as depth psychologist C. G. Jung described this bridging of opposites. Day and night and where they bridge are times of dawn and dusk. Even when we see a monarch at mid-day or any time in morning or afternoon there is the reminder of the night in its blackness of mystery.

Aside from universal or common attributes/qualities, how the monarch speaks to you can be also individual. In other words, though we may both experience the universal symbols of the monarch and its effects upon the psyche, my specific individual experience or dream of a monarch can be different from your experience or dream of this butterfly. Of course, butterflies are known for grace, and for liking the nectar or aweetness of life as do bees and hummingbirds. Butterflies are also common symbols in synchronicity for me in any types of dealing with energies that are of Air qualities or air signs such as Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.


Book: The Waking Dream: Unlocking the Symbolic Language of Our Lives by Ray Grasse. This book is simple and straightforward.


We have all heard/read it said that sometimes when we are sick enough to stay home from work or school that our bodies are trying to tell us to slow down. Or how about all the times we hear about a man or woman dying of heart failure—“a broken heart”—soon after the death of his/her spouse? How about someone who had a “huge/generous/burdened heart” in his or her life only to later find out that he or she has/had an enlarged heart? If interested Louise Hays has a lot to say about these matters. It happens all the time in medical matters connected to psychological matters of hysteria when someone in shock over something they have seen or heard suddenly cannot speak or cannot hear, or cannot see. However, sometimes too lack of outer sight might bring more inner sight. We might say that in older age old people cannot see anymore because we think their minds are going feeble; or, we might say that as they age and their vision goes inward into the twilight or dream time more than outward; and here is the myth of Odin noticed, as Odin had to sacrifice one eye at the well in order to obtain inner vision or sacred visions.


This topic is an unending bottomless pit—or well-spring of refreshment of discovery!

I had a lot of fun with this topic—thanks to any who have read even just parts of this!

Nota: Some of this material comes from out of my dream journals, which I mostly did just cut and paste!