Of moths and men

In the dream world, we create our world symbolically. Our dream symbols are as varied and individualistic as we are. An airplane may signal your desire to change direction or get out of town. A prison may indicate feeling trapped in a tough situation…the list goes on and on. Dreams allow you to test probable outcomes that you’ll experience in waking reality and are a wonderful tool for analyzing thoughts, emotions and beliefs. But what if you had some of that same symbolic awareness in your waking life? You do.

Through our conditioning, we don’t see waking-life events and objects the same way we do our dream creations. Our waking life is full of the same kind of symbolic clues that we find in our dreams but we view them differently. We don’t realize we created those events and objects in the first place and now find ourselves in the position of reacting to them. This process is so seamless, so practiced, that we find it difficult to spot the very visible signposts we need to change our lives or continue doing what we do best.

So many symbols, so little time

Because we create everything in our lives whether we know it or not, it’s tough to know what symbols we should pay attention to. For most of us, it’s the self-labeled “negative” aspects that we experience that cause us to sit up and pay attention to what we are creating. So-called negative events don’t feel right and therefore get our attention in a more direct way. Recently I had a big reminder of this. Or, more appropriately, I had a lot of small reminders.

If you’ve never seen textile moths, be thankful. I’m not taking about standard Miller moths—the kind most people associate flying around light bulbs in the summer. Textile moths are very small, about a quarter inch, and are not attracted to light like others. They are extremely destructive and are the moths that prefer to dine on wool and animal-based textiles. If you’ve ever had a sweater eaten in the closet, it’s the result of these little creatures.

My own personal symbolism

A year ago, I discovered an infestation of textile moths in some family heirlooms in the closet. I was devastated. In just a few months time, they had eaten through many of my family’s treasured wool rugs and threatened to destroy more. We reacted quickly and salvaged what we could. I went on a house-cleaning terror and vowed that they wouldn’t harm anything again. At the time, I used the experience to remind myself of the benefits of the destruction, realizing they were helping me take action on some family issues I was working on.

Since then, I occasionally see a lone moth flying around at night. I check the traps I set out and double check anything valuable. So you can imagine my dismay last weekend when I moved a box in my office and found a nest of the little buggers infesting a chair. Sure enough, there were dead moths in some of the traps and I worked fast to mitigate the problem as soon as I could.

While I was cleaning everything in the house—again—I had time to think about the personal symbolism of the moths. Since they hadn’t destroyed anything this go-around, I was able to see them in a different light. In reality, they are small, annoying little creatures that prefer to stay hidden from sight. They start out small in number and quickly multiply if the conditions are right for their survival and growth. Left unchecked, they can unknowingly cause lots of damage and heartache.

Understanding your symbols

I realized that the moths were symbolic of my beliefs—beliefs that needed to be brought into the open, investigated and then changed or discarded. I had ignored the little glimpses I received here and there over the past year and was now facing an opportunity to address those beliefs before they cause any destruction in my life. At this point, the moths (and my beliefs) were in the process of changing from a nuisance to a destructive force and I needed to be awake enough, alert enough, and courageous enough to do something about them.

Now comes the fun part in identifying the actual beliefs I need and want to change. They are there waiting to be discovered. Like shining a flashlight into a dim room to find the moths, it takes the light of consciousness shining at exactly the right angle to illuminate hidden beliefs. For me, part of that process involves looking at things like the symbolism of the room I found them in (my office), where I found them nesting (my father’s chair) and what I fear will happen if they go unchecked.

Interestingly, once I became aware of the personal symbolism of the moths, they then also began to appear in my dreams. The exciting part for me was dreaming that I quickly and easily eliminated the moths. Upon waking, I realized that the same would be true in waking life and that with conscious creation, I can change my beliefs just as easily.

Discovering your own daily symbolism is an extremely personal process. It takes commitment and focus to realize when something is vying for your attention and then taking the time to decipher the clues. In the conscious creation model, nothing is left to chance; you create events in your life for very specific, personal reasons. Uncovering those reasons gives you the opportunity and the flexibility to change them and honor your spirit in the process.







7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lawrence
    Apr 17, 2012 @ 13:27:08

    As former teachers of mine once said, the entire manifest universe is symbols, and the trick is learning to decipher their meanings for you. Old Siggy Freud did incalculable harm, in my opinion, with his book, “On the Interpretation of Dreams.” I don’t know whether he wrote that before or after he famously said, “Sometimes, a cigar is just a cigar.”


    • Honor Your Spirit
      Apr 17, 2012 @ 15:49:02

      It seems like at times we manifest certain situations or objects in an attempt to get our own attention – for me it was the moths. For a friend of mine, it was a series of plumbing problems that was indicative of her relationship with her mate. Of course, it’s always easier to see them in hindsight. Still, they’re powerful tools when you learn the personal symbology for yourself.


  2. hamiltonal
    Apr 18, 2012 @ 01:55:30

    I’m reading “Tales of Power” by Carlos Castaneda, and in one place he’s complaining to don Juan about the complexity of his (Carlos) life and how burdensome don Juan’s expectations were. He says, “That’s easy for you to say, don Juan. I am on the receiving end, though. I am the one who has to live with all this.”
    Don Juan replies, “It is not that you have to live with all this. You ARE all this.”
    To me, this is a fundamental concept to conscious creation. We must acknowledge our role in our lives. This will help us see the symbology all around us that we’ve drawn in to us, that we’ve created.
    Great post, Chris. Thank you!


    • Honor Your Spirit
      Apr 18, 2012 @ 04:34:13

      Thanks for sending Allison. Great quote. We ARE ALL this for sure. Sometimes it makes sense to ignore some of the symbology but sometimes it really pays to take note and see what we are creating (plumbing! buzzards!).


  3. seekthesacred
    May 02, 2012 @ 13:27:43

    Have you tried Jungian dream analysis? I journal my dreams using this process, especially when my dreams are very vivid or life is in transition. The concept is very similar to your post – that symbols are highly personal, rather than universal, and we need to ponder them to understand the true significance. I pray for the light of God for your journey ahead.


    • Honor Your Spirit
      May 02, 2012 @ 14:32:46

      I use a dream journal as well and rely on my own interpretation of symbols. I’ll go through periods of little dream recall and then (like this week) have a lot to sift through. It is a fascinating process and I think the long-term benefits will certainly be revealing. thank you for reading and your kind words 🙂


      • seekthesacred
        May 04, 2012 @ 13:43:41

        I find intense dreams correlate with weather and the phases of the moon. I remember my dreams most often, and most vividly, in the spring and fall, and around the full moon. Some of the unusual ways I journal – sketch the dream, have a dialogue with the dream, flow chart the dream, all later on, after I have lived with it awhile.

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