Dreams: Preventing Nightmares

If a person simply does not want to have nightmares, I would suggest a variety of methods for preventing them, since nightmares come in different ways. First, I would tell them, my bedtime routine for having good dreams. I say prayers to the Gods of Sleep and to the Gods of the Day and Night. Then I meditate with my prayer beads. After spraying myself with lavender (Note 1.), I fluff up my pillow and go to sleep. (Note 2.)

I learned that blackthorn can be put in a bag and placed by my bed for protection. I slept for months with blackthorn on my night stand and only once did I have a dream out of the ordinary. A friend of mine had died and came to say goodbye. (I had not learned of her death until later.)

One thing that I happened upon was dream pouches. The Heaven And Earth Company, which specializes in crystals, featured different pouches for sweet dreams or well-being. Inspired, I made my own with Rose Quartz, a calming stone of divine love. Another crystal I used was Aqua Lemuria from Indonesia. Besides being a good balancer of auras, Aqua Lemuria puts forth unconditional love that surrounds me. Both fill me with love as I sleep.

Clare Johnson (Phd) in “The Art of Transforming Nightmares,” suggests doing something similar to what the Japanese do. (Note 3.) She counsels inviting a helper animal into your nightmare. Ask the animal to stop the fearful thing from occurring. For me, I have found that simply having the iguana in the bed prevents many nightmares.

Notes
Note 1. A person could use patchouli as well.

Note 2. Remember to stop watching the news at least two hours before bedtime. Be selective in media consumption, in general.

Note 3. According to the Japanese, the Baku was created by the Gods from the leftover pieces used to create animals. (A Baku looks like a cross between an elephant and a tapir.) A person experiencing a nightmare, would say three times, “Baku-san, come eat my dream.” A person has to be careful since a very hungry Baku will devour their hopes as well.

Works Used:
Bynum, Edward, “The Dreamlife of Families: The Psychospiritual Connection.” Inner Traditions: Rochester (VT). 2017.
Chamberlain, Basil, “Japanese Things.” Charles Tuttle: Tokyo. 1971.
Ellison, Robert, “Ogham: The Secret Language of the Druids.” ADF Publishing: Tucson (AZ). 2007.
Heaven and Earth LLC. Metaphysical Minerals and Jewelry. Web. 2021. https://heavenandearthjewelry.com/index.aspx, .
Johnson, Clare, “The Art of Lucid Dreaming.” Llewellyn: Woodbury (MN). 2020.
… “The Art of Transforming Nightmares.” Llewellyn: Woodbury (MN). 2021.
Larsen, Stephen and Tom Verner, “The Transformational Power of Dreaming.” Inner Traditions: Rochester (VT). 2017.
Ridall, Kathryn, “Dreaming at the Gates.” DreamGate: Ventura (CA). 2019.
Sowton, Christopher, “Dreamworking.” Llewellyn: Woodbury (MN). 2017.

Dreams: Dealing with Nightmares

Before I can discuss nightmares, I need to first distinguish them from night terrors. Dr. Edward Bynum in “Dreamlife of Families: The Psychospiritual Connection” writes that night terrors involve screaming and sleep walking. Neurological in nature, they are usually treated by medication. In contrast, Bynum states that nightmares are a reflection of a family’s (or individual’s) unconscious pattern of relationships and conflicts. Nightmares are unpleasant but they do not entail medical intervention.

Dr. Christopher Sowtan (ND) in “Dreamworking” contends that nightmares occur when people do not do their shadow work. He regards nightmares as the unacknowledged Shadow, that intrudes into people’s waking consciousness. Once the Shadow is dealt with, the nightmare will cease. (Note 1.)

My husband has night terrors. I have been advised to soothe and coax him back to sleep. To do that, I borrowed a custom from the Japanese. They would ask the Baku to eat their nightmares. (Note 2.) I have a stuffed iguana, about the size of a small child, that I keep in bed with us. I would lay the stuffed reptile on him and say, “The iguana is going for help. Let the iguana take over.” It calms him down at the moment.

For me, nightmares fill in the gaps of waking experiences. They form a part of our reality as well as reveal what is hidden. Dreams including nightmares allow people to access knowledge that lies beyond everyday reality. Therefore, I seek methods that involve transforming or containing the nightmares, instead of simply preventing them.

If someone asked me for help with a nightmare, I would advise them to treat their nightmares as honored guests. The nightmare is there to help the person. The poet Rumi writes, “The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in.” He continues, “Be grateful for whatever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.” (Note 3.) The key would be to delve into the nightmare.

To transform a nightmare, Dr. Sowton suggests sorting nightmares into types. Then work with the category that is the most prevalent. Focus on what it is, and what it is trying to tell you. I had nightmares of being stuck with needles and pins. I interpreted them to be introjects into my psyche from other people. After taking steps to reassess the people I associated with, the needles began to push out. As I broke off harmful relationships, the needles and pins expelled themselves. Then, I stopped having these sorts of nightmares.

Another method that I use to transform a nightmare is what Stephen Larsen and Tom Verner suggests in “The Transformational Power of Dreams.” They refer to their method as “The Coffee (Sanka) Approach.” Talk to the nightmare as if you are sitting across it, drinking coffee. Look the nightmare in the eye, and tell it, “Hey! This is MY dream! Tell what you want or leave or else.” Usually that will transform the dream or at least give answers as to why the nightmare is happening. I have had good results with this method.

Notes
Note 1. I see nightmares as oracles to be pondered.

Note 2. According to the Japanese, the Baku was created by the Gods from the leftover pieces used to create animals. (A Baku looks like a cross between an elephant and a tapir.) A person experiencing a nightmare, would say three times, “Baku-san, come eat my dream.” A person has to be careful since a very hungry Baku will devour their hopes as well.

Note 3. As quoted by Kathryn Ridall, “Dreaming at the Gates.”

Works Used:
Bynum, Edward, “The Dreamlife of Families: The Psychospiritual Connection.” Inner Traditions: Rochester (VT). 2017.
Chamberlain, Basil, “Japanese Things.” Charles Tuttle: Tokyo. 1971.
Ellison, Robert, “Ogham: The Secret Language of the Druids.” ADF Publishing: Tucson (AZ). 2007.
Heaven and Earth LLC. Metaphysical Minerals and Jewelry. Web. 2021. https://heavenandearthjewelry.com/index.aspx.
Johnson, Clare, “The Art of Lucid Dreaming.” Llewellyn: Woodbury (MN). 2020.
… “The Art of Transforming Nightmares.” Llewellyn: Woodbury (MN). 2021.
Larsen, Stephen and Tom Verner, “The Transformational Power of Dreaming.” Inner Traditions: Rochester (VT). 2017.
Ridall, Kathryn, “Dreaming at the Gates.” DreamGate: Ventura (CA). 2019.
Sowton, Christopher, “Dreamworking.” Llewellyn: Woodbury (MN). 2017.

Astrology: Mercury and Me (Squirrels!)

Since Virgo is my Sun Sign, my Ruling Planet is Mercury. In my Natal Chart, Mercury is in Conjunction with the Sun in Virgo. According to Classical Astrology, Mercury is not only Virgo’s Ruler, but also Exalted in that Sign. Dr. J. Lee Lehmen in “Classical Astrology for Modern Living,” writes that a Planet in Domicile (Rulership) is “the Captain of their fate.” Meanwhile, a Planet in Exaltation is an honored guest. Because Mercury is both in Virgo, that Planet has exceptional influence on my disposition and life. I feel Mercury in Retrograde quite keenly.

Mercury governs language and communications. People of Mercury are quick-witted and glib with flexible minds. Mercury in Virgo has given me exceptional writing power. Since childhood, I have been compelled to write daily. In fact, a month after my traumatic brain injury, I started to writing essays again for my Grey School of Wizardry courses. Moreover, I continued to write for my blog on Polytheism.

In “Astrological Magic: Basic Rituals and Mediation,” the authors (Benjamin Dykes and Jayne Gibson) list the squirrel as a representative animal of Mercury. Squirrels are quick and (ahem) mercurial. They move from trees to the ground with ease like Mercury moving between worlds. On the ground they gather nuts and store them like Mercury does with knowledge.

I was surprised by this since my family’s name for me is “Squirrel.” Instead of “Mom,” I am “Squirrelly” or “The Squirrel.” I believe that my family observed my many traits that are in common with Mercury. In my personal magic, I do move between worlds carrying messages like Ratatosk of Norse myths.

From all that I have read, I do meet the description of someone whose Ruling Planet is Mercury. I may have a changeable nature, but Virgo steadies that. Even with my brain injury, I am still learning and writing. Since I cannot focus only on one thing, I am a generalist who continually finds things new to delve into. For me, Virgo allows Mercury to act in my best nature.

Works Used:
Dykes, Benjamin and Jayne Gibson, “Astrological Magic.” Cazimi Press: Minneapolis. 2012.
Forrest, Stephen, “Planetary Exaltations; Planetary Falls – Forrest Astrology,” 31 January 2021. Web. https://www.forrestastrology.com/blogs/astrology/planetary-exaltations-planetary-falls, .
Gillett, Ray, “The Secret Language of Astrology.” Watkins Publishing: London. 2011.
Hall, Judy, “The Astrology Bible.” Sterling Publishing: NY. 2005.
Lehman, J. Lee, “Classical Astrology for Modern Living.” Whitford: Atglen (PA). 1996.
Venus Signs, “Mercury and its dignities and debilities,” 2015. Web.
https://starsandplanets.wixsite.com/planetarydignities/mercury, .

Revising Myths: Beginning Thoughts

Many ancient myths are viewed through the lens of modern sensibilities. Because most people regard myths as a tool of social instruction, they consider the old myths to be outdated. Greek myths are deconstructed to show how Hera was deposed by Zeus or Proserpina by Hades. Then, these myths are rewritten with the female Gods restored to their “rightful places.” (The underlying religious philosophy of an old myth is usually ignored or misinterpreted.)

I put “rightful places” in scare quotes since the people revising the Greek myths believe that the Patriarchy overthrew the Matriarchy. For example, the Jewish myth of Lilith, they say, is really about enforcing the Patriarchy at the expense of women. This myth supposedly shows the stages of the disempowerment of women by men. The Goddess was defeated when Lilith choose to become a demon instead of returning to Adam. The Goddess followers seek to redress those wrongs. In their retelling of this myth, Lilith reclaims her power. Now not only is the former Matriarchy reasserted, but the existing Patriarchy is overthrown.

Because Western culture is monophasic, the concept of a myth creating a new reality is alien to many. Monophasic perception regards reality to be only waking thought. Furthermore, rational thought demands that everything has to make sense. “Trust the science” is the motto of monophasic cultures.

Meanwhile in polyphasic cultures, people access new perceptions through dreams, imagination, meditation, and trance. Because these forms act as portals to other worlds and dimensions, they fill in the gaps of the waking experience. In polyphasic cultures, “Dreamtime” can be world building.

Myths can be considered world building as well, for they connect directly with the sacred. In a myth, the creation between the conscious and the unconscious takes on a new creative energy. This becomes a new cosmos. However, the temporal relationship between the mythic and human worlds is complex. Mythic time runs differently than does human time and can fracture human reality. In fact, a person can move in and out of various realities without knowing it.

Therefore, the modern revisions of myths do create new worlds. By doing so, they have changed the axis mundi of the original myths, and reordered previously held perceptions. The axes are flipped with the vertical now the human world and the horizontal the Goddess (or Gods). This reorientation of sacred space requires further consideration, since it changes the values attached to different spaces. (Such as what are mountains now in the mythic landscape?) Moreover, the relations between the macro and microcosmos has shifted.

Dreams: The meanings of “Everyone was Kung-fu Fighting:”

From the Dream “Everyone was Kung-Fu Fighting,” I decided to focus on the tall glasses of crystals – orange carnelian, pink rhodochrosite, and blue sodalite. In the dream, a narrator’s voice tells me that drinking the crystals was the same as drinking Vitamin C. Since the dream’s plot centered on COVID-19, I believed that the crystals had to do with health.

The images and various meanings of “Everyone was Kung-fu Fighting:”
Drinking glasses: partaking of a communal meal, receiving substance, religious ritual, crystal containers, purity, taking it all in, craving energy, vitality.

Vitamin C: health, both physical and mental, illness prevention, liquid sunshine.

Color orange: energy, power, friendship, warmth, fun, the rising sun, the fruit orange.

Color pink: flesh, sensual, sensuous, lively, less intense passion, pastel, faded red.

Color blue: spiritual gifts, blessings, the waters of life, sedate, clear thinking, calming.

Carnelian: action, stimulating creativity, fire, personal power, dissolving sadness. In Astrology, the crystal is related to Virgo (my Sun Sign).

Rhodochrosite: compassion, accepting self, accepting the world, love, release, inner child, muted child. In Astrology, the crystal is related to the Sun.

Sodalite: calmness, dreams, quiet heart, carries the wind, intuition, guiding. In Astrology, the crystal is related to Virgo.

Since the theme of the dream was to how to deal with the COVID-19 virus, I decided that drinking the crystals had to do with all matters of health – emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual. The dream indicated that I need liquid sunshine to keep well. Sunshine, itself, could mean play, balance of work, going outside in nature, or general feelings of wholeness.

In pondering sunshine, I thought of the fruit orange. For maintaining mental health in the winter, I eat an orange daily. The orange engages all my senses. Peeling the skin grounds me as I smell the sweet orangeness of the fruit. The bright orange is a friendly cheerful color. As I eating each section, I taste the juices and the pulp. I imagine hearing the squirt of the orange’s section as I bite into it. The dream’s images could be related to my orang eating.

Upon further reflection of the particular crystals in the dream, I realized that they have Astrological ties to me. The rhodochrosite is associated with the sun, another indicator of sunshine. That is something for me to ponder further. Perhaps I need to follow Astrology for the daily ebb and flow of my life. This can be thought of maintaining health through cosmic means.

The mind mapping has me going in different directions at once. However, the images in this particular dream seem to revolve around the spiritual aspects of health. Sunshine as a metaphor was the theme. The crystals connected the glasses to the main theme.

Works Used:
Hall, Judy, “The Astrology Bible.” Sterling: NY. 2005
Milligan, Ira, “Understanding the Dreams You Dream.” Destiny Image: Shippensburg (PA). 2010.
Moody, Raymond, Dr., “Making Sense of Nonsense.” Llewellyn: Woodbury (MN). 2020.
Ridall, Kathryn, “Dreaming at the Gates.” DreamGate: Ventura (CA). 2019.
Salerno, Toni Carmine, “Crystal Oracle.” Blue Angel: Victoria (Australia). 2009.
Segal, Inna, “The Secret Language of Color.” Astria: NY. 2011.