I Dream…

feather-fortress…again, of military camps.  For decades, my nights left me exhausted in the morning because all night long I worked setting up mess halls and beds in my sleep.  My muscles ached in the dawn, as if I’d been at hard real work.  My skeptic’s mind fought the idea promulgated by more “pagan place” minds that told me about astral planes and work there by night.

But for over half my adult life, several nights a week – my dreams were full of busy activity in a war “we” were certain of winning, but one that never seemed to end.  With the building of the Walk of the Fallen Memorial Labyrinth in 2003, however, those dreams slowed (but didn’t completely stop) – as if my work in the here and now on the stones in my back yard took precedence.  But a few months ago, the martial midnight images returned.

Last night, I was again at work in a vaguely military uniform.  My Minotaur was there with me for the first time ever.  And another man, younger and full of vitality – pursuing me with an odd romantic fervor.  He would rub my aching shoulders and fetch me warming blankets.  I was never one to dream of (even would-be) lovers, so this was a peculiar change.  The other change was less charming and more alarming – gone was the certainty of winning.  A bitter desperation and a grasping after any sweet solacing moment was a theme in the dream.  Thus, I suppose, the romantic against the grinding labor in which my husband and I were engaged?

Do I believe in the astral plane, that “other where” out there?  Let’s say I wonder if it is more than a mental state.  It often seems to me there is a substrate of reality we somehow miss with our ordinary every day perceptions.  I speculate that it is where ideas come from or go to – those curiously contagious ideas that suddenly manifest in four places at once around the planet – as new inventions.  I can’t know this, of course,  I can only wonder as I wander.

But it feels like it would be a sort of dishonesty and cowardice to completely discard the idea as impossible.  Because I can’t prove to myself that it does not exist either.  Perhaps that is what age is for?  Learning to live with unanswerable questions, with ambiguity?  Becoming comfortable with ambivalence?  In youth didn’t we all pursue certainty?  Wasn’t science a wonderful thing because you thought it always gave you that desired proof?

Except it didn’t always.  Sometimes scientists cooked their own books, played with data.  Some claimed they got repeat results that they did not.  Even scientists are humans with a burning desire to see their best hopes realized.  We all still play at least a mental/emotional game of alchemy, do we not?  We move the ideas, beliefs, facts around in our heads like a mental game of Tetris, trying to fill in the magic spots of  “don’t-bloody-know” to get the musical reward and sparkly answers that reassure us, comfort us, answer us.

But slowly, sometimes so very slowly, progress happens.  Science moves forward with truths from experimentation.  So, in the dark wintertime of my life?  I will experiment, since apparently I WILL dream, whether or not it is my desire.  After all, can I really risk losing a “war” because I won’t admit it exists?

After Action Report: Summing Up My Fears

Keep CalmI did the first meditation for the Magical Battle of America, as devised by HecateDemeter. Conscious “traveling” as it is called is not amongst my strong points. I struggle with it as my skeptical mind froths and fights with diversions and objections. I will repeat the exercise daily this week. Do I believe a scattered group practicing the same exercise can effect a change, create a mental meeting place?  In theory, yes.  Have I ever experienced it?  Well, sort of, just once — and it was ephemeral and difficult to maintain.

It was the night after my working that disturbed me.  I woke from a dream of trying to enter Washington D.C.  This is, after all in a sense what IS being worked for – to counter the negativity and destruction of what America stands for coming from that city.  In my dream, I was blocked at every juncture — whether by car or afoot, by towering figures in silvery knights’ armor.  They were huge and holding massive double handed swords — to stop me they would step forward holding said swords like a barrier in front of me: one hand at hilt, the other at blade’s end.

Is this the face of the enemy?  Automaton-like giants dressed in spotless silver, but acting perfidious?  Or are they merely an archetype coughed from my bitter and frightened subconscious mind?   Are they both? Can they be both?  Do I simply need a visual representation of what it is I confront?

That is what I settle on, in the calmer morning light with some sustaining food on board.  And so it goes, I will continue to attempt to “shape the invisible” — and therefore, the visible as well.

A Tale of Two Dreams, Horror and Warning….(trigger warning)

2016-11-19-0001I dream vividly, in great detail and full color. Thus, when I have the very rare nightmare; these, too, are not sparing in detail. I’ve been sick for over three weeks and that makes my dreams even more wild it seems. I had a real doozy last night, the kind of thing you wake from, in a sickening sweat and shaking.

A President sits in the White House – a proven liar, a sexist, a sexual predator, a misogynist, a con man, a cheat, and possibly a traitor in debt to Russians.  This and being sick is not a great combination.  No wonder I had a horrid dream, I told myself, arms around my own knees at 0400 this morning.  But the revulsion still has me feeling nausea – I regret my breakfast attempts.

So, I must put it down on paper, I must pull it out of my head and see it on black and white.  If you are reading it, I found the courage to hit “publish”!  If you are a sexual abuse victim, I warn you not to read further. I am NOT being silly or politically correct — this dream shook ME.

In my dream, I had company – a friend I almost never see as she lives far away.  She had come to visit and brought a woman friend of hers to meet me.  We were having coffee when the doorbell rang.  At the door was an incredible sight, which was rolled into my family room.  The man pushing this wheeled contraption unfurled a paper scroll like some prop from an old “tyrant king” flick — something John of England would have read aloud by minions just before peasants got abused.  He read this absurd looking scroll to us.

It announced that the government had a new crime prevention strategy, since public executions had not drawn the crowds expected.  They wanted ordinary citizens – men and women – to SEE the punishments of crime, so as to properly understand deterrence.  Now, I must describe the horrible thing he rolled into my home.

It had a flat bed atop six or eight wheels.  On it was a nude woman, on her hands and knees – as if she was getting ready to do a yoga pose like “the cat”.  But her knees were strapped in place in a very wide stance, as were her ankles.  Around her waist was another large band tying her to a horizontal cross bar above her back. She could drop her elbows and sag forward, for instance, but her body was more or less locked in the sexual position called “doggy style”.  Behind her was a kneeling pad, as if she was the most obscene prie-dieu ever devised.

The man, rolling up his scroll, announced that he wanted to park this somewhere where all three of us could sit in a row where we could see him and he could see us.  This monstrous thing was too large to turn into my living room, he pushed it through into the den, where a platform bed is a nook in the wall and ordered us to sit on the bed.  He was armed, so we obeyed – dead silent and utterly shocked.

This woman, he told us, was arrested for prostitution.  She needed to be taught better ways and the government was merciful once she had learned, he said.  After all, he said in a confiding, oily sort of voice – he himself had done time for rape, but now was forgiven and given a place in “law enforcement.”  He locked a break on the wheeled hellish “prie-dieu” made of a bound woman’s body and stepped onto it.  “If she wants to fuck outside of proper marriage, she will now BE fucked!” he announced, suddenly undoing his belt and zipper and dropping his pants.  (And his gun belt, as it happens.)  He dropped to his knees and began raping the woman in front of us.  She sagged in her bindings, weeping.

I felt a terrible paralysis.  My friend put her arm around her younger friend, who was whimpering.  I tried to reach for her hand and found I could not move.  I could feel tears on my face, my teeth were clenched and I could taste blood and then my fingers suddenly unfroze and I clenched my friend’s hand briefly.  I couldn’t bear this.   I drew my knees up to my chest, which made the law enforcement rapist turn his head sharply to look at me.  I put my arms round my knees and put my head atop them — this expression of proper fear pacified the rapist and he looked back to his work, grabbed the woman’s hips and pounded on.

Another five seconds passed.  He didn’t look at me again, as I released my clenched fingers and brought both my booted feet forward hard, directly into his hip joint.  He flew off his prie-dieu and bounced off the large heavy brewing table on the other side of the room.  I leapt to my feet, as did my friends.  Before another thing happened, however, I woke – upright and shaking in my bed.  There was blood in my mouth, tears on my face.

DO I expect something so horrific from the Trump Administration?  Is that even sane?  I could never have even envisioned such a thing in my waking life!  It is enough that such a horrible vision could even be suggested; such fear unbound, unleashed, and loose in my head.  My dream, for me, is recognition of the threat embodied by the type of mentalities behind Trump.  My dream warns me not to think there is a low this new President would not sink to, to achieve his own idea of winning.

More than eight years ago, while Bush the Simply Stupid was President, I had a similarly scary dream.  In retrospect, it was so prettily framed compared to my latest nightmare.

I was one of many peasants, harvesting a golden field of grain, by hand.  In the distance there was a golden dais, complete with billowing golden draperies moving in the summer wind.  The huge thing was empty, which in the dream felt reassuring for some odd reason.  Then a sound began, a terrible bellowing, trumpeting with the attendant sounds of screams and crashings.  People dropped their sickles, scythes and other tools and began to run.  I was frozen in place, and into my most distant field of view came a giant elephant, magnificently caparisoned in gold cloth and jewels.  The tusks were ringed with shining brass.  It was rogue and maddened – swinging the massive head and tossing humans, animals, and furnishings before it.  I looked once more and ran, and running, woke.

I thought my imagination had finally just gone nuts; what the fuck does that kind of thing even mean?  The GOP rampant and mad?  Well, hell, they had been there for a while – then calling what was once called “the loyal opposition” treacherous and disloyal for even disagreeing with them.  Now, looking back — I have to wonder with a superstitious chill of the spine, if I saw the Donald; he of gold curtains and an unmitigated ego?

I don’t want to believe in dreams.  But then, I didn’t want to believe Donald Trump would ever inhabit the White House either, did I?

Downton Abbey Meets the Elder Gods Beings?

I worked outdoors over the weekend, doing some quite heavy lifting. So I was tired on Sunday morning after a restless night (after watching too much Downton Abbey with my Brit television adoring husband), and went for a cat nap before the weekend grocery run.  I do so love a good hypnagogic hallucination state. I fell at once into that shallow stupor wherein one can simultaneously dream and hear normal waking world sounds in the room.

HatchlingI could hear the thrumming of the hummingbird wings outside the closed window and the clink of dishes in the kitchen.  But behind my closed eyes I was seeing myself walking in very Edwardian dress — long slim skirt, long jacket, cloche hat.  Before me was an impressive building with a sculptured frieze wending its way round the walls at eye level.  With the wonder of dreams, my vision zoomed like a camera to a very Hellenic-influenced Buddha figure that rose above the surround.  I opened one eye to stare at the soft gray-green shade of my pillowcase, and then sank back into the dream of my gloved hand reaching to touch the carved figure.

As I did so, my dreaming eye zoomed again, to the tiny details on the base of the Buddha statue.  Here was some great saurian beast — a cross betwixt dinosaur and dragon!  It lay prone in a sculpted wreckage of dead vegetation and debris, eyes shut.  I leaned closer, until the one to two inch figure was my entire field of view. With a shocking sudden motion, the stone eye popped OPEN revealing a wildly blue eye, neon bright, utterly focused on me!

In my hallway, I heard the dogs toenails clicking as they hopped out of bed in the adjoining room and made for the family room.  I moved, in my  dream state, sideways.  The eye darkened and then rolled, following my motion.  A sense of mournfulness filled me.  I tried to lift my eyes to the peaceful Buddha image, but the melancholy blue eye held me.  And then, only slightly more slowly, it closed and the field of my dream went black.

I sat up in bed.  I felt like I had looked into the eyes of dead ages, dressed in the clothing of an age where modern war (WWI) was yet a savage shock so repellent that generation was sure there could simply be no more war.  But that eye of an elder being, long extinct so carefully taking me in — still and small to it’s regard?  The mental sigh was that of a life that, like us, thought itself the top of the food chain and had been brought low to death and extinction.

Is that where we humans are?  Are we at the edge, still telling ourselves our technology will save us?  The planet spins on unceasingly; but would spin as well without us hubristic humans.  Global climate change is changing the weather — vast storms undo the best laid plans (and planes) of men; populations starve and thirst will soon be more than a craving for a favorite coffee beverage.  China chokes on stagnant smog, forests die of acid rain.  Bees, wild and domestic – the pollinators of our food – are dying.  And yet, we go on as before; using poisons as if we are not also the poisoned.

An ancient myth-worthy eye opened to look at me in a dream and woke a question in my waking mind:  We tell ourselves stories of dragons; what stories might some other newer beings tell themselves of us?