Monday, July 6, 2009

Further thoughts on the dreams and other things....

Having had two recent earth shaking dreams, I now want to take a moment and reflect on them. And while I am reflecting on dreams, I want to add one more - a dream from long long ago in my childhood.

This childhood dream was about spiders and has stayed with me my whole life long in vivid scary detail. (oddly enough I am not an arachnophobe though - not even when I was a child, which does indicate deeper meanings in the dream) - here's the backstory on that. When I was 6 years old...heavens, I may have actually been five now that I think about the timing and dates!) I was diagnosed with a disorder called Legg Calve Perthes - it is a hip disorder and the treatment for it in the early 60's was to prevent the child from walking or putting weight on the affected hip until the disorder slowly healed. Most kids diagnosed with it spent 6 months to a year on a leg brace or in a wheel chair until the syndrome righted itself. I spent over four years on a leg brace, in a wheel chair, body cast, extended hospital stay, traction etc etc unable to walk or run or stand. This is a long time if you are an is an eternity for a child. Looking back at the dates and timeframes - they diagnosed me in the spring of when I was the time I was into my 6th year of life, I had been over year in an iron brace and built up shoe or a wheel chair. (the picture is not me, but it's a good similarity to the one I wore for at least 4 years.)

And then when I was in that situation, part way through my 6th year came the dream:
I was in an abandoned dump full of piles of thrown away car hulks, trapped inside a twisted metal wreck of an old car, with giant spiders (think the spiders in Mirkwood that Bilbo faces, or Shelob that Frodo faces in Tolkiens Hobbit and Trillogy and you got it! Which I had not read those books back then. Interesting archetype!) and these spiders were slowly webbing me in. They had my legs wrapped up in spider silk so that I could not move them and I was trapped and immobilized. I woke up screaming and my dad came and curled up with me until I went back to sleep ( it could have just as easily been mom - they took turns. I had/have wonderful parents!).

YEARS later - like last year! - I had a big DUH! Head-desk-thud moment where I suddenly tripped over the obvious and realized that the dream was clearly connected to the hip disorder! Iron metal cars that were junked and immobilized - iron metal brace that immobilized my leg and prevented me from running and jumping and playing like other kids (I did climb trees though; gave my Mom heart attacks but she never forbade me and cheered me on! ) Legs wrapped up in spider webs and helpless - not able to walk, or run, or go to the bathroom by myself or...or...big spiders looming - big scary illness that had power over me and that I barely understood. I called my dad immediately and reminded him of the dream and that night and he suddenly saw the same thing - the symbolic expression of a child's deepest fears! It was a remarkable moment for my dad and me to talk about it!

Ironically the dream took on huge significance when I rethought it again, because I had my right hip replaced a year and a half ago due to severe arthritis damage from those 4 - 5 years so long ago...and when they did the MRI preceding the surgery, they found that it was a misdiagnosis! I NEVER HAD LEGG PERTHES! It was the shallow hip socket birth defect that many premature infants have that can be corrected without surgery in the first few months of life. And they missed it. Those years on the leg brace and all, were absolutely medically unnecessary and un-needed! The poor doctor who got to tell me the news, told me and fled the room. I can scarcely blame her - it was a gut punch I will never forget! The powerlessness's of a child in the grip of circumstances beyond her control became even more evident - small wonder the dream arose again in my thoughts until I finally figured it out. Sometimes we are most dense about things closest to us! Small aside - I have not told my dad that those four agonizing years were due to a misdiagnosis. I did tell my step mom whom I love and am very close to. (my mother died when I was 17) She and I both decided never to inflict that knowledge on my dad - it would be a cruelty beyond measure now, in his 80's to know this. Could I have told my mother...I don't know. Same horror applies there, perhaps worse. Fortunately, my stepmom knows all about it, but has the distance from it because she did not have to live through it, so I could talk to her about it. A good thing!

So...that is the childhood dream. Now, the 1st dream which in bass-ackward fashion, I posted second, with the great cathedral filled with the fruits of the harvest. It is definitely an initiatory, or call to initiation dream.

Some thoughts on that....and a few back story thoughts. As I have mentioned, I am transgender wrestling with Gender Identity Disorder - male in a female body. (will not be transitioning for a number of reasons and that is another post altogether) I was of course raised in a Conservative devoutly Christian home, Reformed Presbyterian, and educated privately in Christian schools until I went off to college. Back then, few if ANY church denominations ordained women, and the pulpit was strictly forbidden to women - still is in my childhood home denomination. And I grew up with a definite call to ministry that was pretty viciously denied to me, among a lot of other things. (I made some attempts to go to the mission field as that is open to women but those doors were closed to me - the final time by a Voice that spoke clearly to me and said this is not your road! Knowing what I now know about myself, thank God! Can you imagine figuring out you are gay and GID somewhere out on the mission field?! Whole new possibilities for your life blowing apart open up....And yes, in hindsight...looking back, it feels as though it was the same voice as in the Dreams! Is that surprising? Not really.)

When I encountered Wicca and Paganism in college there was that immediate recognition and connection that so many feel - but in my case it did not replace my Christianity. The two fit together for me beautifully. For me, Jesus and Cernunnos and Balder and Odin and on and on - the god who sacrifices himself and rises - are all one. There is no unbridgeable dichotomy. faiths may meld together perfectly - but the human church organization and I became a worse and worse fit as the years went on. Christ was the great connection to the Devine for me and the Reformed Presbyterian church was destroying me as a person every time I ventured to trust. The true dichotomy is not between pagan and Christianity but between Christ and the church! When I finally accepted that I was gay, that was the final straw - I fled the Reformed Presbyterian church that had been my home my whole life (it was a 100 year old church and I am descended from the charter members - gut wrenching moment for me. My parents still attend.) Fortunately, I found a church in the Episcopalian denomination that welcomed me gay, GID, partnered, and Pagan and ALL! So I am now no longer at odds with my church in most things!

But the odds that I could ever manage to be ordained in even the liberal Episcopal church are passing small...GLBT issues are rocking the denomination today (though not the individual church I attend) , there are more candidates now then there are churches for priests, and I am middle aged and time and distance factors are working against me. However in the Pagan community, where I have served now for years as priest in all but name..."ordination" is more than a possibility - it is a necessity! I have run into some bumps on the road there too. Some pagans I have encountered are as binary gendered in their mindset as the next organization, and me as a woman being called to be a Priest of the God upsets some people just like anywhere else.

So the old conflict followed me even or circle, pagan or christian, my outward form dictates in many people minds that I must be constrained to the roles of women. Hence, the call of the first dream...that yes, your call to ordination is acceptable to Me, as what you are - male/androgynous in a woman's body. It is note worthy to me, that while the church was transformed to a pagan temple, I did not have to LEAVE the church to answer the call...and that in accepting the call, I went up to the very altar of the church and took the sword there, still in the upright form of a cross with crosses on the hilt. (by the way that sword is more than image - it's real. I have had it in my hand and it bonded there as though forged for me. I am acquiring that sword, one way or another!) So, I do not see a call to leave the Christian faith, but rather that they do meld together for me seamlessly. Christianity has pagan DNA as the bumper sticker says. I take as much joy in Jesus in church as I do in the Horned God in circle and for me they are one and the same. To serve as a priest of Cernunnos, is to serve as a priest of Christ.

And now the second dream (that I posted first!) - the beginning of the great journey into the dark. There is a sense, with this connected to the first dream of the Cathedral, that I am looking at initiation given by Deity himself, which feels a little mind blowing, and perhaps even presumptuous. I know that many would question that interpretation, and perhaps rightfully so.

Fortunately for my sanity, my friend and mentor, The BackPorch Priestess sees it the same way! She nearly had a fit when she read the dreams! She and I, with Dreamweaver in on the discussions had been considering working me through my initiations. She still intends on initiation ceremonies - and I agree - but she feels that any ceremony or ceremonies to come will simply honor what has already been given! Wise woman! She thinks, and so does my partner Dreamweaver, and so do I, that there is at least one more dream to come - perhaps more. Which is a little - not scary exactly, but rather soul shaking. These dreams are INTENSE - they are not dreams in the strictest sense of the word , but almost visions. I am honoring the conflict of feelings and leaving myself open to the timing of the Devine to bring vision and clarity in the right moment. The next one will come when it is time...tonight - next week- next month - a year from now? Don't know. But I don't think it will be a year! There is a sense of the Other world walking with me, a hands breath from me, closer than my very skin. I think it will be soon.

In the this dream of going down into the dark on the path of the Abyss, as deeply pagan as it seemed, there was still the duality of faith, though it was subtle. First, the blood pouring down from the Horned God's wrist down his hand...that is the precise wound of the Crucifixion that Christ bore - stigmata if you will! Hello! I could scarcely miss that one! And the other point, his words to me...."But even the darkness is light to me – by my blood I am with you.” Straight from Psalm 139...that darkness is as light to God, that when we walk in darkness it is not dark, for even the Darkness is as Light. That the great Lord of the Forest and the Dark would use the great words of Hebrew scripture to speak to me tells me that I stood before my Deity in dual incarnation, despite the overtly Pagan imagery. And it is interesting that there is a hint of the Goddess Innana's descent into the depths where all that she is is stripped away to gain what she seeks and then is returned to her. I do find it interesting that the torque is left...guess what. That's real too. I have one...and I wear it.

Interestingly enough, Dreamweaver has walked the path too, in the exact same form - the wall, the forest, the mist, the gaps for descent. We have both gotten there while awake, on the astral, at separate times and together. We did not take the image from one another but have experienced it separately in the same form. Back Porch Priestess says that it is amazing that two separate individuals have the same archetype and vision of this Place, that while it is real, it appears in different forms to different people. Clueless here had never thought of that....I did assume that it was an archetype, but I never thought about it being different for different people. Dr. Carl Jung would have a field day with this!

I feel as though if I were to close my eyes and let myself descend, I would be there in the waking light of day, right now, and that my soul has already gone further down those steps. And yet, I feel the constraint to wait, until the vision is given - that there is a purpose specific to the visions that I am to see in the time I am called to see. We belong to eternity, stranded in time, but the veil can be very thin. When I close my eyes one image arises now, that I feel will be there in the next part of the dream - a labyrinth, though no distinct details.
It is strange to yearn with all my soul for the journey and yet to feel fear as world and soul is being shaken. Awe, in the sense of being overwhelmed by that which is greater than our selves and yet that raises us up higher than we have ever thought to be.

1 comment:

  1. Beloved Cameron,

    Wicca 101 includes lucid dreaming for a reason. You can wait for a dream to find you in your sleep, if you like. Or you can prepare yourself appropriately, create a sacred circle, and descend the path laid before you.

    As we spoke earlier in the day, you've already been called. Step upon that path, go to the opening in the wall. If lucid dreaming will meet The Lord of the Forest's purpose, He will be waiting or he will leave you a sign.

    Remember that Wicca is not a passive religion. It is incredibly active. Indeed, will is part of the heart and soul of Wicca. So set your will, and foot upon the path, and answer your calling.

    We once had a priestess who claimed that their no Wiccan mysteries. She was wrong. You are about to embark upon them.

    Blessed be, my love.