Natural Dreamwork with Mary Jo

send in the clowns…

Since 1969 we have surrounded ourselves with Native American art, especially those of the Hopi and Navajo cultures, with Joe even becoming an accomplished weaver of Navajo rugs that included otherworldly trips to the reservation to select wools. 
Each item is a thread that connects us to the earth, from the Apache burden basket for picking berries with its little jingling metal pieces to chase away bears to a seed pot with the tiniest of openings to store seeds to the pottery storytellers with whimsical women keeping alive the oral tradition of their people.  

Among the truly mystical pieces we own are the kachinas, those cottonwood root carvings of the deities of the Hopi spirit world.  During Hopi ceremonial dances, men emerge from the underground kiva dressed as a particular deity. They bring teachings and healing to their people.  

Of these none have captivated us more than the koshari (Hano)…the clowns. They are kind of a comic relief for what can be an intense ceremony…but a comic relief with an intention. The role of the koshari is manyfold. Body painted with wide stripes, the koshari can be counted on to do something inappropriate. During this very serious ceremony they can be loud, boisterous, make themselves a glutton by overeating a watermelon, perform some lewd act, all ways of satirizing and exposing what would not be considered appropriate behavior. They can be outrageous…and by being so they expose the unspoken shadow side of the collective unconscious of the tribe. Like the more serious kachinas the koshari are teaching their people but in a way that is humorous and can be received.
Our dream characters come to us like this.  Some are very serious, delivering the difficult message and then there are those who are over the top outrageous.  In the dream or upon awakening we may even be offended by this particular character in our dream. But if we let ourselves soften and see it from a different perspective we are gifted with a  deeper view…that this ‘clown’ in our dream is really our teacher, disguised in a way to poke fun at our ego, to lighten the heaviness of how seriously we take ourselves…and if we are willing to listen we can learn more about who it is we truly are.

Mary Jo Heyen
Archetypal Dreamwork Practitioner
Author of the dream primer, “Who are Those Guys?”
Dream sessions in person, via Skype or on the phone

2 thoughts on “send in the clowns…”

  1. I love this…the Koshari sound a bit like the trickster Animus! Provocative, with humor, with the high energy that can offer release from our more serious exploration…the place where we can laugh at ourselves a little bit. We have a story in AA recovery which arose out the personal conflicts of a group which had decided to create this elaborate recovery facility with many offerings to be partially funded by the town. Naturally much discussion ensued and the group came up with 61 rules about how it would operate, who could be involved, etc..They sent their rules and their conflict to the AA central office for help. While the AA folks in NY central were scratching their heads over this, they got another message from the group which said. \”Rule 62: Don't take yourself so damn seriously.\”

  2. This is great, Laura. I imagine the indigenous people had a real knowing of archetypal energies…and laughter, especially when we can laugh at ourselves, sure keeps the heart open to what could otherwise pinch it closed. Thank you!

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