By David Gregg
Emily Dickinson was a 7th level old
essence twin and king
casting. With that combination she primarily focused on three areas during her life:
knowledge, creation, and mastery.
A typical scholar, she thrived during her classical
education, demonstrating a king-cast mastery of Greek, Latin, and botany.
original thinker at an early age, she dazzled her teachers:
according to her brother,
"were unlike anything ever heard--and always produced a sensation--both with the
scholars and Teachers--her imagination sparkled--and she gave it free rein."
Emily also loved nature, especially her spacious
private garden. Perhaps a bit inspired by Thoreau, she satisfied her Naturalist streak with a
collection of pressed flowers that numbered over seventy specimens, each labeled using her knowledge of Latin nomenclature. Even her poems were
meticulously transcribed onto cloth sheets stitched into manuscript
books. Like most
scholars, she was
a vigilant observer, recorder, and chronicler of knowledge.
Not surprisingly, she was a voracious reader and
lived in a household with a library of over 2000 books (a partial list of her
collection can be found here). She loved the work of Shakespeare,
George Eliot, Charles Dickens, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. And frequently shared her books with
others -- another scholar trait -- hoping to spread the wisdom contained within.
Family members said that Emily had the most
composure of anyone in the household, which further validates her assimilation
axis role. But look no further than the natural neutrality in her eyes: the classic gaze of the scholar.
Less bleedthrough occurs with an incarnate essence
twin, but in Emily's case it apparently didn't matter: her creativity was inexhaustible.
Poetic gifts aside, she also had a musical
mind, possessing a talent for improvisation that was well documented by friends
and family. The story goes that after members of her household had retired for
bed, she would steal down the stairs to the piano and improvise over popular hymns,
veering off into musical creations of her own. Her musical excursions were poignantly described
by rapt eavesdroppers as, "haunting."
With king casting she sought excellence and
mastery in everything she did, introducing innovations to modern poetry
that are still incalculable. Her secondary casting was artisan, with a tertiary
of warrior. Coupled with her artisan ET, the creativity from this artisan
flavoring was readily apparent. And the smattering of warrior energy gave
enterprise to a prodigious effort that produced 1,775 poems.
Other Essence Qualities
of 49/51, which is the ratio between focused and creative energy, was an
excellent balance, not leaning too far in either direction. In other words, her faculties for
left and right-brained thinking were both within reach.
frequency (or the
vibration of her soul) of 62, was less solid than the average scholar and not as
grounded. But this may have allowed greater poetic flights of fancy.
With a high number of 15
(the average person in the United States only has 5) Emily was quite complex
on a soul level.
Emily's goal of
was evident throughout her life. Her sophisticated eye for distinction
and detail is a remarkable quality in her poetry, but she was equally discriminating in
her personal and social activities, as well.
She rejected the accepted paths often prescribed for women of her
intelligence, such as teaching; and marriage was, in her words, a
"burial at sea," where the pearl of your soul lies fathoms below.
often sneered at the efforts of suffragettes, viewing their efforts as
artificially emulating roles created by men.
In person, Emily was effusive and witty, but when rattled, a prickly side emerged that bordered on a cultivated snobbishness. She
did not suffer fools gladly.
Although she struggled throughout her life over matters of faith
and a search for answers, Emily stopped going to church at age 30 and
would no longer yield to the social demands of the Evangelical message, once
"Christ is calling everyone here, all my companions have answered, even
my darling Vinnie (sister) believes she loves, and trusts him, and I am standing
alone in rebellion."
She did have a network of
close friends, but was so intense and demanding that she drove some of them
away. As she grew older she became pathologically reclusive,
communicating through letters rather than personal visits. She would entertain neighborhood children in her garden,
for example, but if approached by an adult
would bolt for the house.
Speculation abounds regarding her psychological state,
with some suggesting agoraphobia or bipolar disease, but there is evidence that her reclusion from
society, and the vanity and oppression she felt it represented, was a palpable
choice -- perhaps a choice of discrimination.
Commenting on companions,
she once said:
little girl, I had a friend who taught me immortality: but venturing too near,
himself, he never returned...
My companions: hills, sir, and the sundown, and
a dog as large as myself that my father bought me. They are better than beings,
because they know, but do not tell."
Emily embraced her attitude of pragmatist with a philosophy of
simplicity that's apparent in the structure of her poems (despite the density of
language) and the minimal level of existence she favored that reinforced her
solitude. This reduction of self and need for an absence of complication is
expressed as follows.
Deprived of other Banquet,
I entertained Myself --
At first -- a scant nutrition --
An insufficient Loaf --
But grown by slender addings
To so esteemed a size
'Tis sumptuous enough for me --
And almost to suffice ...
In another poem, she expresses both her scholarly
love for books and her pragmatic nature:
There is no frigate like a book
To take us lands away,
Nor any coursers like a page
Of prancing poetry.
This traverse may the poorest take
Without oppress of toll;
How frugal is the chariot
That bears a human soul!
The observation mode was a continuation of Emily's scholarly
leanings. Her ability to effortlessly assimilate knowledge was displayed in her
poetic observations of nature, which showed a detailed grasp of flowers, birds,
insects, and even the patterns of the seasons. Her keen eye illuminated the
objects she observed with a clarity of perception that brought new perspectives.
The world around her frequently found its way into her poetry.
The influence of friends and family that worked around legal systems, for
instance, led to the
inclusion of legal terms into her verse; similarly, living in a house where her bedroom
once overlooked a cemetery, led to life-long observations about death and the
after-life. Seemingly anything she observed was assimilated and used as fodder
for future poems.
Physically, people in the observation mode frequently have large,
perceptive eyes, and a close examination of Emily's picture reveals that she's
no exception: there's a quality in her eyes that seems to absorb the light they
receive. This is the assimilative process at work.
Given her formidable intelligence, one might assume that Emily
was intellectually centered, but she was channeled as moving centered with the
intellectual part. Perhaps she got insights while moving and
Her daily routines and social interactions were much too vague to
pinpoint this centering, but it's interesting that her poems often used her body
as a focal point. She was keenly aware of her body and the physical sensations she experienced.
Shepherd Hoodwin remarked that being moving centered with a 100%
active bodytype, yet a recluse, is an interesting self-karma.
To quote Emerson, "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of
little minds." And as mentioned earlier, Emily did not suffer fools
gladly and had little tolerance for those whose imaginations set self-imposed
Her impatience with the inscrutable was
another common theme in her poetry. She struggled all her life with the enigma of death and
what she called the "horror of the unknown," once writing,
"The cemetery is filled with the dead and under 'every little
knoll' there lies someone who was once a little child plying its tasks and
pursuing its dreams; yet all are now equally dead, equally far from life's
Over time, Emily transcended such foolish consistencies and
explored concepts of infinity and the immortality of the soul, unanswered questions
that she pursued relentlessly in her poems, perhaps fearing that one day she
might miss the eventual reply from the universe.
Regarding Emily's soul age, that's not
easily narrowed down. The images in her poetry could be intense and dramatic,
and pain was a common bedfellow in her art. Considering the anguish inflicted by
some of her relationships (all of them platonic, though), an argument could be
made that she was a mature soul. On the other hand, old souls are not necessarily
immune to the unsettling effects of a relationship gone sour; pain is pain at
any soul age. And although Emily indeed suffered over relationships, it was the
loss of them rather than their dramatic intensity that caused so much pain.
In a poem about the passing of two close friends, she beautifully wrote:
I never lost
as much but twice,
And that was in the sod.
Twice have I stood a beggar
Before the door of God!
Angels -- twice descending
Reimbursed my store --
Burglar! Banker -- Father!
I am poor once more!
Beyond the suffering she attributed to her spiritual growth, the transcendent
nature of her life perspective was more aligned with old soul beliefs. Even her poetry often unfolded from a
specific observation about a flower or a bird, to a more transcendent vision
that offered a birds-eye view of the world, and at times, the universe.
Although she wrote close to 2000 poems, she
largely saw her work as "art for art's sake," a creative outpouring that was
spiritually transformative versus a vehicle for fame or ego. Friends like Helen
Hunt Jackson found this baffling and thought Emily's voice should be heard in
the world, but indefatigable in her resolve, Emily rarely submitted her poems to
publications, and would not concede to the editorial standards of her day
that required altering any idiosyncrasies in her verse. Consequently, only
eleven of her poems were published
during her lifetime.
While this artful ascension from ambition and recognition may not make the case
that Emily was an old soul, it certainly shows a conscious choice
to extract herself from the biddings of the material world.
Accordingly, the reclusive tendencies that lured Emily away from society is
7th level old souls preparing to cycle off the planet. Perhaps she was only
responding to the gentle nudge of essence?
In conclusion, quite fittingly, Emily once described the remarkable breadth of
her work -- her "letters to the world" --with the following verse:
This is my letter to the world,
That never wrote to me,--
The simple news that Nature told,
With tender majesty.
Her message is committed
To hands I cannot see;
For love of her, sweet countrymen,
Judge tenderly of me!
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