The Three-Legged Ones (the dream of a 50 year old man)

The dream that inspired the painting “The Three-Legged Ones” happened in January 2008…

In the dream I saw a clearing. Off in the distance at one end of the clearing was a city. At the other end of the clearing was a thick forest. The clearing was covered in snow. It was night.

In the clearing was a group of mountain lions—young ones and adults—each one of them was missing a leg. In spite of this they were all moving easily and confidently, they did not seem lame or awkward. Some were running, some were playing, some were sitting still and waiting. There was a feeling that a journey into the forest was about to begin.

A man appeared and addressed me. He was the animal rehabilitator who had helped the mountain lions recover from their injuries. He told me that he work was now done, and he was handing things over to me; I was to accompany the mountain lions in the next phase of their lives—the journey into the forest. I felt excited about this. The mountain lions seemed ready. The rehabilitator said goodbye, then turned and walked back towards the city. As he approached the gate that divided the clearing from the city, another male figure appeared in the dream. This man was not ready to go on the journey, he wanted to go back to the city with the rehabilitator. He slid along the path towards the city gate, as if he was sliding down a hill on a piece of cardboard. I called to him. The mountain lions watched and waited. The journey could not begin without him. We must try to convince him to join us…


I think this dream is saying something about making the shift from healing to manifesting– from working with a primary focus on healing ourselves, to recognizing that we are “healed enough” to move on to the next phase of our journey. This is a key shift for me personally, and also professionally, as a practitioner helping other people (I am a naturopath and homeopath).

The mountain lions have all sustained serious wounds, but they have also recovered well. They can never recover fully, to their former four-legged state of health; but they can adapt to the limitations of their wounds and be in a good-enough state of health. It is this acceptance of the healed-enough state which opens the way to the next part of the journey.

However, a part of me is clearly not ready to make this transition, and tends to slide back to my familiar (and successful) identification with the rehabilitator.

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