Imagine having eight arms. Eight! You know those moments when you’re busy constructing something finicky and you would like to hold it just like that while you pick up a tool? With eight arms, you can. With eight arms, you can attend to the many parts of yourself that you hold dear, without having to compromise or weigh up values, because guess what? These eight arms work independently. They can be cast off when there’s danger, and regenerate later. They are fluid, graceful, flexible, intelligent.
And they can grab hold of you and drag you down into the depths of the ocean to drown.
I’ve mentioned before how the frog spontaneously came to me as a very important symbol.
The octopus has now joined the ranks of spontaneous symbols from my deeper psyche*.
Initially, she was a threat: a dangerous, clever, sinister octopus that wanted to strangle me.
But, like a good Jungian-inclined girl would do in a dream, I embraced her.
And she turned into an ally. An octopus has eight, EIGHT, independent, dexterous, smart legs. She can really do anything she wants, and she can do everything that she wants. Up to eight things. There are still some limits, after all.
While drawing my octopus, I was intrigued with the fact that their legs tend to spiral. A spiral is such an incredible symbol in itself — a topic for a different page, but worth mentioning that it seems to be embedded in the octopus.
So when I use the octopus in my art there is this dual aspect: until she is befriended, she wants to drown and strangle, hurt others. And as an ally she is powerful indeed.
* I could have just said that “I dreamed of an octopus” but that’s just such a boring way of saying it. This is my website and I will wax poetic when I want to!
Also: yes, ‘the ranks’ now consists of two symbols: frog and octopus.