Exploring a dream: “Everyone was Kung-Fu Fighting”

This particular dream opened with pro-basketball players playing in the tall golden grass. Their hands and heads were all I could see, besides the basketball itself. The grass looked like it was ready for harvest. Meanwhile, the players were enjoying themselves.

Since everyone was hungry from playing basketball, I got fried chicken sandwiches from a near-by diner. The sandwiches had lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise on them. We ate on crates under leafy trees in a mown area of grass. To drink, we had tall glasses of crystals-carnelian, rhodochrosite, and sodalite (orange, red, blue). We were having our Vitamin C. (That is what the voice inside the dream told me.) Eating under a brilliant blue sky with a bright yellow sun made us happy and content.

Apparently, we were near a large government building of concrete, chrome, and glass. A group of elderly people were milling around Joe Biden, who was near the entrance. This group had white hair and drab face masks. Suddenly a group of middle-aged people, not wearing masks, showed up waving white signs. (I could not read what the signs said.) Angered, the elderly people attacked them. Yes, everyone was literally Kung-Fu fighting.

In the middle of the melee was Biden waving his arms shouting, “everyone simmer down!” No one heard him, nor did they pay him any attention. In fact, someone hit him with a sign. Even after being hit on the head, Biden kept waving his arms. Meanwhile, people kept on Kung-Fu fighting.

The dream came a couple days after I received the news that my local post office was closed. Since twenty-three mail carriers had COVID-19, the mail was quarantined. Meanwhile, in the mainstream news, people were fighting over how to combat the virus. Where I live, we are under a mask ordinance. I perceived that since everyone fears the plague, their fear makes them crazy.

The fighting reminded me of Kabuki theater, with the stylized response and dialog. Meanwhile, the Kung-Fu fighting, a Chinese martial art, indicates a ritualistic approach to the virus, instead of an ad-hoc approach. People were using the means of magic to control the plague.

Meanwhile, the basketball players were normal. (In real life, they were in their bubble.) A common motif in my dream is yellow grass, which signals exploring and adventure. When it appears, I leave the confines of where I live, and go into the wilderness. Since the players were mentally and physically healthy, I felt the need to follow their example, and leave my fearfulness behind.

PERSONAL GODS OF THE MONTH: OCTOBER

Like many Polytheists, I have personal Gods whom I offer devotions to. To that end, I have developed a personal ritual calendar based on when They came to me. Also, I also consult when They are celebrated in their respective cultures. It is a part of my personal practice to deepen devotions to various Gods during specific times of the year. My calendar follows the equinoxes – vernal and autumnal. The balancing of day and night signal a new orientation of either light or dark.

October is an important month for me since I honor many of these Gods at this time. It is the month of my brain injury when The Wall fell on me. Anubis and Hekate (Gods of the Dead) came to me during my coma, and enlisted me to help with the Dead. They aided me in adjusting to life after my traumatic brain injury. Since October is the beginning of the dark time, I feel Anubis and Hecate keenly.

Because my Anglo-Saxon Ancestors wanted an altar to their Gods, I have observances for these Gods also. The Norse Winternights (the beginning of the winter – October 29 to November 2) is a time for me to honor these Gods. Also during this time, I have special observances for those Ancestors.

October is the beginning of the Wild Hunt by Odin, the All-Father of the Norse. Since the Wild Hunt continues through the winter, Odin (Woden) is a God of the Dark Season. When I was a young adult, I had a close encounter with the Wild Hunt. I am grateful to be passed over.

In addition, I honor Nana-Suen of the Babylonians between the autumnal and vernal equinoxes. Because the night is greater than the day, the God of the Moon, Nana-Suen reigns during this time. This God has asked me to sleep under the moon, so He can speak to me. I say specific prayers for each phase of the moon during this half of the year.

Becoming a Mystic

unrecognizable tourist standing under rough cliff in mountains during vacation

Photo by Jarod Lovekamp on Pexels.com

I never started out to be a mystic or even a contemplative person. As an ordinary Polytheist, I had my morning and evening devotions. Somewhere along the way, I realized that I was being “Bothered. By. Gods.” They kept intruding in my life. After my brain injury, the “Bothering Gods” took me in hand. Now, I spend parts of each day in devotion and contemplation. My blog is the result.

When people think of mystics, they picture a wild-eyed hermit living in the desert. There are more to mystics than that. In essence, a mystic is a conduit between the Gods and the human world. All mystics live in the liminal spaces between the Gods and the ordinary. In that vein, poets are mystics since they translate the Divine into understandable terms.

The Christian (lay) mystic Carl McColman (Note 1) believes that mystics are a blessing for themselves and their communities. For him, the mystic conveys the Divine to others. In Polytheism, the mystic acts as an oracle for the community

McColman describes becoming a contemplative to be on a journey into the “heart of God.” In his book, “Answer the Contemplative Call,” he describes the steps. First recognize “the call,” (Note 2) then prepare for the journey and finally embark on the “adventure.”

Judith O’Grady, a trance seer, (Note 3) describes the process from a Pagan perspective. The God Bothers the person who is disturbed by being pestered. Eventually the person recognizes what is happening. They can chose to answer the “call.” In doing so, they enter the wonder of it all. Eventually a connection between the “seer and the seen” is formed.

How the process can work is that the person makes themselves receptive to the Gods. Jane Meredith in “Aspecting the Goddess” suggest that the person gently introduce themselves to a specific God (or group of Gods). The person gives these Gods attention through prayers and devotions. By nurturing the connection, the person opens themselves up to listening. The God may or may not respond. If not, the individual starts the process with another God.

In many cases, the God Bothers the person. It is then up to the person to respond. A person can refuse, but most people choose to answer the God. Then it becomes a journey that two of you enter together. It is more of a deep communication of adoring the Divine and receiving the God’s Blessings. Mysticism requires a person to keep an openness and a continual effort to know each God.

Notes:
Note 1. Carl McColman is a Lay Cistercian. He is devoted to the practice of contemplation with the context of marriage and family.
Note 2. “Answering the Call” in the Christian sense is recognizing the yearning for God and then seeking the mystery. Polytheism regards “the call” as a God entering a person’s life and the person responds in kind.
Note 3. Judith O’Grady is a biologist and a druid as well as a trance seer.

Suggested Reading:
Lady Sable Arabia, “The Witch’s Eight Paths of Power”
Amy Hereford, CSJ, “Religious Life at the Crossroads”
Jane Meredith, “Aspecting the Goddess”
Carl McColman, “Answering the Contemplative Call”
Judith O’Grady, “Pagan Portals: God Speaking”

To Three Oaks Dying Old

brown acorn

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Recently the Condo Association cut down three dying oaks, each over 300 years old, had that surrounded my garden condo.

I sing of thee
Thou stouthearted survivors
Of ancient forests
Silent witnesses of when the world was green

I sing of thee
Thou providers of substance
Of homes and food
Ancient mothers and fathers
To birds on the wing and squirrels ever restless

I sing of thee
Formable guardians
Of house and family
Shaders from worry
Life-giving wisdom given on the songs of leaves

I sing of thee
Now lying lumps
Of dead wood
Unripen acorns for mournful squirrels to bury

I sing of thee
Old friends
Of comfort
Now shadows, thy stumps ever silent tombs

Note: This was inspired by “To An Athlete Dying Young” by A.E. Houseman

God-Bothered or Just Plain Crazy

ndvolcano

I have written that my belief in the Gods was an act of sanity on my part. I made my decision when I was at a crossroads between sanity and insanity. Since I had unexplained psychotic experiences, I was considered insane. However, I, instinctively, knew differently.

Since I was raised by Atheists, the rational, logical world was my reality. The imaginary domain was for children. Furthermore, religions were for deluded, delusional people. Belief meant having invisible friends, which was frowned upon. The supernatural was a product of an unsound mind.

Unfortunately for me, I was bothered by the Gods since my youth. Between the outside voices and visual hallucinations, it was all I could do to cope. I knew that the source of all of this was external and not internal. However, I lacked the knowledge to explain any of it.

I was caught on the horns of a dilemma. Was I crazy or sane? How could I slip through the horns or at least refute them? I first sought medical care but found no answers. Then, I read William James’ “The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study in Human Nature” (1907) (considered the classic on these matters). I found what I was looking for.

James describes “mysticism” in terms of my experiences. He said that they had four elements: 1) Ineffability: “mystical states are more like states of feeling than like states of intellect.” 2) Noetic quality: “although so similar to states of feeling, mystical states seem to those who experience them to be also states of knowledge. They are states of insight into depths of truth.” 3) Transiency: “Mystical states cannot be sustained for long.” 4) Passivity: “the mystic feels as if his own will were in abeyance, and indeed sometimes as if he were grasped and held by a superior power.” James’ writings on mysticism gave me a context to what was happening to me.

After reading James’ book, I investigated the lives of mystics, since they experienced the same things that I did. However, people regarded them to be touched by the Divine. For example, Julian of Norwich had visions of Christ, Mary, God, and Satan. Her writings are considered a masterpiece of mystical devotion. William Blake’s fiery visions in his poetry made me realize many people other than religious mystics were touched by the Gods.

My perceptual reality was of an oracle. Whenever a God was near, I would receive a prickly feeling, and the hairs of my arms would stand up. Once I was zapped with multiple bolts of electricity. If I was Christian, I would say, “I was slain in the Spirit.”

After dealing with the visions and the rest, I realized that I was “God-Bothered.” James said that “a religious experience testifies to an experience with something larger than ourselves.” The something “should be both other and larger than our conscious selves.” For me, this was freeing. My experiences had value, and were not creations of my mind.

In examining my experiences, I realized there was a variety in the types of them. I could sort them into various Gods. Each God had a different feeling and sense to Them. Neptune was a fluid but shocking feeling, meanwhile Nanna-Suen was a dreamy, soft sensation.

Now my next step was to decide who to listen to and who to ignore.