'Spa Culture & Dream Time' with Dr J.P. De Vierville
Oracles and divinations that offer insight into the complexities of human psyche and the choices and challenges that life presents fascinate many of us. We're also intrigued by dreams, and how these night-time visions can dive beneath our everyday personality and presentation to reveal what might really be going on both in our own lives and in the world around us.
As February comes in, according to Chinese astrology we shift from the year of the Water Dragon to that of the Water Snake. Dragon and Snake are both fiery creatures but the former has masculine qualities and the latter feminine. Last year and this one are both about 'fire under water', two elements in conflict. But what say we see the shift between these years as a chance to get out of hot water and into hot springs, set aside drama to do some dreaming!
For me, spa has always been associated with water, and especially warm waters. This increasingly minority view is shared by my friend Jonathan Paul De Vierville whose work I've featured each year on this blog. My encounter with him, and some notable others, led me to view water as more than a utilitarian substance; it's also the element associated with the unconscious, the realms of imagination and hidden knowledge, and dreams.
The Chinese motif for this year especially strikes me, since snakes appear often in my dreams (2013 already brought me one). Snakes are also present in the Ozark landscape where I live; the photo above is of the shed skin of a water snake found while wading in the creek that ran beside the spa-retreat I once owned. Snake signifies a heady mix of mystery and danger: these shy and sensitive creatures are linked with sexuality and sensuality as well as spiritual wisdom.
A Black Water Snake year is said to require attention to illusions and delusions ~ how easy it is to be seduced by the feminine beauty, glitz and glamor of spa or to get carried away by the advances in spa technology (the latter might associate best with the previous year's masculine Water Dragon!). But Water Snake also calls for revelation of our most daring dreams. If we can bear to shed old skins, it's said to be a year for transformation and new beginnings. Who knows.
Whatever your view on Chinese astrology, it's still worth taking time this year to look inside and beneath the surface of things and ask what most matters to you, what is truly needed by the world you live in. Seek out wild water places, soak in warm waters, contemplate your dreams. If you're wondering what a new vision for spa might look like, please take a look at my dream for change.
A unique experience in spa and dreaming
Join Jonathan De Vierville for Spa Cultures Dream Time in Bad Orb, Germany, June 23 to 28, 2013. To read more about it, including how to register, visit www.spacultures.com.
More on the ideas behind this workshop, adapted from my earlier post on the Evolution of Spa:
Jonathan's workshop carries with it the hope that a few people willing to dive deeper into the mysteries of spa might bring back new ways of celebrating and sharing its healing potential. This fascinating workshop incorporates Jungian dreamwork and Asclepian healing methods in the spa context. He's been offering this for nearly 15 years now at Toskana Therme in Germany, where the Liquid Sound Temple, cultural context, and natural surrounds, provide an ideal setting.
This unique seminar is 'for people who want to explore the unconscious for a variety of reasons from therapeutic to creative, and the right people find out about it mainly by word of mouth. The authentic spa experience prepares people for deeper exploration', says Jonathan. The seminar might be described as a spa mystery school but, he emphasizes, it is open and safe, and not in any way cultist.
Jonathan De Vierville talks to Mickey Remann of SalveWeimar (2008)