Imaginal Book Club

A group I’m part of has been doing an imaginal exercise for which we were asked to focus on a specific relationship in our lives. I read constantly (mostly about metaphor, psychology, philosophy and religion) and get a lot out of it but also feel in many ways like my reading life is weirdly cut off from the rest of my lifeā€“so I chose to take a deeper look at my relationship with books.

Describing imaginal processes is always a bit odd, so I mostly just want to say that this one has been pretty powerful. When I first went fishing for images there was some kind of silver energy snake that was maybe also a dragon or the alchemical spirit of mercury, and after a while there was a general flavor of the Arthurian cycle as that dragon energy started to become more present in my everyday life and synchronicities started adding up.

The second time I went looking for specific images I also saw some popup books, which were two powerful things for me: a symbol of the way in which information can get kind of condensed into a linear sequence and then reconstituted back into the world (I think about this a lot, actually), and a reminder that I enjoy book-related arts. I left this session with an intention to create something myself (a written response, a piece of art, a ritual or even just a conversation) for every book I read.

A couple of days later I finished the book In the Company of Friends, which is about Sufi dreamwork. I’ve been having interesting dreams, including one in which a bear chased me into a house and got stuck inside while I escaped out the window, so that image was on my mind when it was time for my first post-book project.

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