Palma Sunday

The Paper Parrot

As promised, here is the follow-up to Friday’s article on mandalas. The above is my response to the exercise. I thought that, seeing as I was asking and encouraging you to mine deep and to share, I should at least reciprocate or risk sounding like a hypocrite. I have called the piece ‘The Paper Parrot’.

A Tail of Three Parts

The Circle of Life
This piece consists of one circle, sliced. The pieces fall into three parts: one large, the other two small.

The sides of the main circle, the shape occupying the centre, have either fallen off or been removed – to let the ladybugs and the mice out? Or perhaps to keep them in?

What Lies Beneath
The circle itself sits within the embrace of the earth, just above the core. Is this its heart centre, or is it Hell? And what does each one represent to me?

Are the ladybirds looking to fly away home, like in the nursery rhyme? Is their house in danger? Or are they hiding or homeless like me?

The circle that contains them is fringed with white: teeth or ice?

Above them are three rows of mice, reminiscent of the board game ‘Snakes and Ladders’. Three is also a potent number, representing femininity and change and triangles and choices. It is full of ambiguity. Looking at them, I feel agitated. They echo my current restlessness, my desire to move, my search for a better somewhere else because right here is never quite right.

Two winged figures help to hold the circle in place, floating not just in the air but also at the edge of/or actually in the water. Fairies? Angels? Cupids? A calm sea. It is bereft of fish, empty of life. What lies within it? And what is the earth circle beneath saying about it? Is it a reflection?

Ground Zero
Two toad stalls grow on either side, suggesting a wood or forrest, as well as the presence of something faye or magical. Above them, inside the main circle, a rainbow seeks to brighten the space. Fringed by ice, it is a beacon of light and positivity, or hope, strung across the centre. It holds autumn within it. Does this signify the end to the falling, the letting go, the saying good bye to, the dying and the ending? Does it suggest the time has come for all of that to be over, for tomorrow to shine more brightly? What lies over the rainbow? Is it the land that I dream of?

The Inner Circle
Raising the focus to the main feature, the picture’s namesake, the parrot, I find the words ‘fractured sky’ and ‘shepherds delight’ filling my mind. The pink ribbon rips across the blue, like a tear, a cut, a gash. But is it tearing the bad away to reveal the good, or cutting what remains, eating further into it? And why the bird, tethered by numerous chords? And what of the carousel horses hanging beneath? Where are these ‘wild horses’ attempting to canter off to? And why are they tied up and who has tied them: me, someone else? And why is the bird attempting to flee in the opposite direction? In fact, why is everything in the drawing trying to move to the left, anticlockwise, when the bird wants to go right, in a clockwise direction? Which direction am I currently heading in? And in what direction ought I to go? Where does the future lie: east or west?

Another theory is that the circle is a clock ad, while everything within it is turning one way, attempting to move forwards; everything outside of it and around is turning anticlockwise, resisting, fighting, standing in my way, winding me back to a time before that was empty of mistakes.

Red Sky
Meanwhile, above, in the heavens things look hopeful, happy and positive. The creatures there look calm, concentrated and certain. I feel less anxiety when staring at them. Maybe that is the message here: turn around, head back, not to the beginning or the behind but down the opposite path, one that leads to an entirely different ending?

Am I walking the wrong way? Am I lost? Am I stuck on a dead end path? Am I tethered and tangled, tied down? In heaven the ice or snow looks soft, the mice and ladybirds calm, the angels buoyant, flying happy and high rather than weighed down. And the lace doilies to either side remind me of celebrations and cakes and marriage, of tea parties and gatherings, of groups of women and deep and meaningful conversations, of warmth and love and wisdom and insight. They make me wish for something that is absent.

In a Nutshell
The drawing is both cold and warm, happy and sad. There are beginnings and endings. There are circles and riddles. There is a complex message to be revealed.

What is it?
How do I find it?

It is all contrasts and contradictions, opposing sides, things pressing up against one another and things being trapped inside and turned inside out.

I guess, like my life, it is in a state of flux. Like an snow glass, I am all shaken up and like its inhabitants I am waiting for the dust or the snow or the stars to settle. I cannot make my move until I can see clearly again, until I can remove the grit that has lodged in my eyes.

So I guess the message I can lift out and take away is one of mystery and magic, and of the elements and the universe and my place within it. Like the stars shining bright, in the grass, in the sky, in the circle, I will continue to stay lit, watching and waiting…

Pulling it all Apart and Pining it Down

  • Heart: compassion/emotions
  • Hell: imprisonment/fear; a seemingly inescapable situation; the decision, direction or course of action being in someone else’s hand
  • Ladybird: beauty and good luck; something bugging you, numbers of representing the number of problems
  • Circle, fringed with teeth or ice: a broken circle symbolised imperfection, incompleteness, illness and death; going around in circles in some situation; monotony, endless repetition; obstacles and setbacks
  • Snakes and Ladders: journeys, challenges, virtues and vices, heaven and hell
  • The number three: life, vitality, inner strength, completion, imagination, creativity, energy, self-exploration and experience; a trilogy, as in the past, present, and future, or father, mother, and child, or body, mind, and soul; the message that the ‘third time is the charm’
  • The four winged figures: four denotes stability, physical limitations, hard labor and earthly things – as in the four corners of the earth or the four elements (earth, wind, fire and water); the winged figures symbolise child-like innocence, frailty, goodness, purity, protection, comfort and consolation
  • The sea: emotions and feelings, the subconscious and the transition between subconscious and conscious; perception of a situation “I see” or something I need to “see” more clearly; a need for reassurance, hope, a new perspective, a positive outlook
  • Toadstalls: hostility, a block, a necessary evil to overcome; fairy ring, magic circle, focus on the message inside the circle
  • A rainbow: hope, success and good fortune in the form of money, prestige, or fame; a bridge between the earthly, grounded self and the higher, spiritual self; joy and happiness in relationships; an end to life troubles, good winning out
  • Autumn leaves: an end and a beginning – to a project, relationship or situation; fallen hopes, despair, sadness and loss
  • The Parrot: a message being given in the form of gossip, someone mocking you or being obnoxious; a desire for freedom that is constrained or feels trapped
  • Red sky: an ending or a beginning to a relationship; hope, love, possible danger
  • Ropes, chains, ties: relationships and love, suggests you are letting your heart guide you and ignoring your head; unjust burdens, restrictions and constraints
  • Horses: strength, power, endurance, virility and sexual prowess; if the horse has two heads (or if there are two horses attached and bound), then it implies being pulled in two different directions as well as tied down, of strength and power being divided or of confusion over some sexual matter
  • Clock: anxiety of not being on top of things, preoccupation with a deadline or some other time-sensitive issue; the ticking of the heart, ageing, life ticking away, illness, death
  • Counter Clockwise: things moving in the wrong direction, contrary to the heart or true life path, fear of life passing too quickly, of standing still, of time running out too quickly
  • Heaven: freedom from suffering, peace, happiness, relief from physical and/or emotional pain, from sadness in real life; hinting at a need, a desire for all of this and a need to be more optimistic about the future, or the encouragement to have more faith in myself and in my loved ones, a reminder not to give up – on myself, on them, on hope
  • Paper Doily: sensuality and femininity, tradition and old fashioned ideals; being overly practical in some area of life; purity, ideas, patterns, ideals and the desire to conform to them
  • A Long Story:

    In brief, this image seems to be saying many things and could be read in many ways. Regardless, whatever the chosen interpretation, it serves as a stark reminder (gently told) that I am in the midst of a transition, a time of turbulence, and that things are changing. There is a reluctance within me (as ever, familiar as a dear friend) to embrace the new, to let go of the old. There is fear and anxiety, anger and frustration, sadness and intense heartache. I sense illness and death, whether as a result of my own age and ageing and a sudden realisation that I am not so very young anymore, that I am no longer invincible, or as a result of a period of extended ill health. Circles suggest loops, a sense of repetition, a feeling of being trapped. There is hope against the despair, and the underlying message is that of better things to come with perseverance and patience. I feel like the ugly duckling waiting to become a swan, or Cinderella waiting to meet her prince. I am running. I am exhausted. But I don’t feel like I am moving anywhere. It’s more like I’m on a treadmill, covering the same ground, over and over.

    To End
    I am thankful to this drawing for providing me with an insight into a possible present and both a desired and a feared future. I intend to take this information and to use in in conjunction with my other therapies in order to get the best out of it, in order to take the lessons and positive messages contained and put them to use. I will use EFT, Hypnosis and Guided Meditation to do this.

    I hope you enjoyed your own drawings and, with the help of the above, can work to reveal your own insight. Remember, the translation is unique to you. Try searching a dream or a symbol dictionary. See what it reveals. And then take from it what feels right, dismissing what feels wrong. You should be able to piece something together that reflects what you already know deep down inside. And hopefully take away some fresh insight in order to move on past current life issues and blocks.

    Feel free to share your art work and interpretations. I would love to read them and to post them here in order that others might benefit from them.


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