Cheetah Eagle Monkey Dog
The Counselor and the Cheetah
The Counselor is a 2013 Ridley Scott film about a drug dealer’s attorney (Michael Fassbender), whose first attempt at a drug deal goes horribly wrong.
The attorney and the male drug dealers (Javier Bardem and Brad Pitt) are outwitted by Barden’s girlfriend (Cameron Diaz) who steals the drugs and loots Pitt’s offshore account.
Diaz is “Malkina,” derived from the word Grimalkin, meaning "an evil looking female cat." She has a cheetah print tattoo and revels in both the hunting skills of her two pet cheetahs and her own talent as a human predator. The cat associations are suggestive of the Egyptian lioness-goddess Sekhmet whose “chief delight was in slaughter, and her pleasure was in blood.” (The Story of Re)
The word “Malkina” also includes the letters of Kali, the dark goddess who is often depicted holding a decapitated head. Malkina’s schemes result in two decapitations. Sex and death are the dual sides of Kali, and Malkina’s boyfriend (Bardem) senses both qualities when Malkina displays her voracious sexuality by “having sex” with his sports car.
In the Tantric approach to Kali, the goal of the devotee is to be reconciled with death and to learn acceptance of the way things are, a philosophy copied in the film when the Counselor is advised “You are now at the crossing. And you want to choose, but there is no choosing there. There's only accepting. The choosing was done a long time ago.”
Near the end of the movie Malkina says, “And the slaughter to come is probably beyond our imagining.” Filmmaker Scott may be hinting at a sequel or perhaps to the growing global tide of blood; the slaughter of the drug cartels has expanded exponentially to include the slaughter by ISIS and other jihadists.
Two paths to Idaho In The Counselor, the attorney goes to Idaho to meet his fiancé, but she doesn’t show up because she has been abducted and murdered. I saw the movie on a DVD from the library on April 4, 2015. Several hours later, I had a dream in which I meet actress Mary Tyler Moore on a bench in Idaho. She looks to be about 70 but has aged well, not like her real self. She talks a bit awkwardly, like in her first interview with Lou Grant in The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She seems happy to see me and indicates our meeting was long overdue. I say I may see her again on my return trip from Texas.
Meanwhile, would she like to have lunch? She eagerly says yes. We go to a cafe but first look at a museum exhibit in the same room. There are several displays of gold nuggets and gold coins. I suggest they are replicas but Mary insists they are real. Since I do meet a live woman in Idaho, perhaps the dream suggests I haven’t made bad decisions like the counselor. And, in the dream, I never go to Texas, which is the site of much killing in the movie. I have won the favor of the dark goddess.
Seeing Mary Tyler Moore in the dream may indicate I am destined to follow her role: the self-effacing news person, although the dream also suggested a romantic possibility. My skepticism about the gold in the museum suggests my doubts about the value of my ideas and their value. Apparently, my “golden” knowledge will eventually wind up in a “museum” where everyone has access to my commentaries.
Image The Counselor poster, 20th Century Fox, et al, fair use
Open Cathedral, Open Heart
In a dream from about 1993, I am standing in the doorway between the kitchen and the living room of a very old house. I am naked except for a white towel I clutch around my waist. Robed members of a church choir file through the living room and out the front door, on their way to church. They pay me no mind.
I need to get some clothes on. I head up a staircase to my bedroom. I open the door. Nine middle-aged women from a liberal Methodist church I had been attending are sitting around the room, some on my bed and others on chairs. I tell them I have paid for the room, I need to get dressed and they cannot meet there.
They seem disappointed but understand and file out of the room. I suggest that maybe they can come back when I’ve finished dressing. They don’t respond.
I open a dresser but there are no clothes inside. I look under the bed. Nothing. As I peer up, I first see the shoes then the black evening dress of a young woman. As I look at her, I realize it is my mother when she was young. She has been out dancing. I stand up. She wants me to come over and hug her, but I know I cannot do that unless I drop the towel first. I step toward her and let go of the cloth.
Now I am flying through the sky, looking down at a small valley in a pine forest. Rising from the clearing are the gray spires of a modern church or cathedral. As I draw closer, I see that the spires are like the points of a crown. The church has no roof; the floor is open to the sky.
I have never been in love. When you are in love, your soul is naked to the person you love. The women in my life are the women in the bedroom in the dream. I barely know them because I did not bare my soul to them. No matter who I was with, I was always alone.
The last person to see my naked soul was my mother. When you are a child, you show everything in your heart. When you open your heart, your soul is a cathedral open to heaven.
About six years later, I saw in a Fairfield art gallery a composite picture created by photographer Scott Mutter. It depicts an eagle soaring above an open cathedral in a wooded mountain area. Naturally, I bought it. The inscription at the bottom of the print reads:
Born into this world
We create echos of our inward yearnings,
And shift along the axis
From matter to spirit.
Image Untitled (Eagle), Scott Mutter, fair use
Trump in the Year of the Fire Monkey
Chinese astrology promised success for Donald Trump. The Chinese New Year of the Fire Monkey started on February 8, 2016. According to Chinese astrology, the spirit of the year is inspired by the Monkey. The Monkey is hyperactive and strong-minded. Freed from inhibitions and guilt, the Monkey will think the unthinkable. Expect him to say and do outrageous things.
The Monkey looks at new ways to solve problems but he can be tricky, opportunistic and not trustworthy. The establishment fears the Monkey as he threatens to overthrow the old ways of doing things.
Trump was born on June 14, 1946, in the Year of the Fire Dog. According to famousbirthdays.com, “In all aspects of life, the Fire Dog displays confidence and an unbending will. These qualities, when paired with charisma and charm, make the Fire Dog one of the most effective leaders of its sign.” The Dog is complementary to the Monkey.
The media pointed out a third facet of the Trump personality. Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post: “Trump is a crybaby, not a bully.” Glenn Beck called him an “infantile act.” Trump is just a “big sulking baby,’ said Ben Stein.
If you combine Trump’s infantile qualities with the dog and monkey, you get a mythical creature recognized in popular culture: https://youtu.be/ql7uY36-LwA
Image Monkey by Angelus, derived from Monkey.svg, Creative Commons 3.0
The Case of the Demon Dog
While the conventional wisdom is to dismiss dream interpretation as an amusing and harmless parlor game, ignoring the meaning of a dream can kill you.
In December 2006 an acquaintance related to me a dream he kept having. In the dream, he is a bum wearing tattered clothes, he can't find a parked car, he fights someone, he sees a pretty butter dish, and he encounters a vicious black dog that is trying to scare him away.
I advised him that, according to a dream dictionary, dark demon dogs protect graveyards and are guardians of the underworld. The dog may be chasing him away from thoughts of death. Searching for a parked car indicated that he did not know where he wanted to go in life. To dream that he is a bum revealed that he is feeling like a failure or outcast. Tattered clothes suggested that he is too concerned about how other people see him. Fighting indicated inner turmoil.
The one seemingly benign image, the pretty butter dish, was a sign that he needed gratification and pleasure "dished out" to him.
With recurring dreams, the message may be so important or powerful that it just will not go away. The frequent repetition of the dream should force him to pay attention and confront the dream.
However, I also told him that he was free to dismiss these interpretations as just a bunch of New Age nonsense. "It's your call," I told him.
I was speaking to a person with a much richer life experience than me, was a success in the business community, and seemed in good spirits on the phone. Nine months later he committed suicide. He had hidden his problems from everyone except his wife.
Tombstone The time gap between the dreams and the death may seem large enough for many to dismiss these events as coincidences. However, on September 1, 2007, I was watching on TV the movie U.S. Marshals, starring Tommy Lee Jones and Wesley Snipes. In one scene, Jones and his partner followed a suspect to a chapel in a graveyard. As they waited outside, the partner stood behind a tombstone engraved with my last name, URBANEK.
The next day, my acquaintance called to ask if I was related to a woman named Urbanek who he had read about in a newspaper obituary. Like my mother, she had been born in Texas and had come to California in the 1930s. No, I was not related. On September 9 he shot himself. Apparently, the juxtaposition of the movie tombstone and the newspaper obituary, both with my last name, was a sign that I was dealing with a "grave" situation. I wish I had realized that sooner. Perhaps I could have made a difference. Or perhaps I am a Cassandra who only foretells the inevitable disaster.
Image Sidney Paget’s illustration of The Hound of the Baskervilles, public domain