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Addendum: the dream I mentioned

This morning I awoke from a particularly vivid dream.

My dreams are always vivid, always bright, always as real as my waking perceptions of "reality." Indeed, they are always indistinguishable from my waking consciousness. Bizarre events in dreams do not make my sleeping mind pause and recall that these things do not happen, ergo I must be dreaming. When dreaming, I'm virtually never aware that there is or ever has been some other me, the waking me, the day-to-day me that trusts contiguous reality to be more genuine than non-contiguous reality. Anyway, I'm getting a little off the subject. The subject being a dream I had this morning, not the usual state of my dreams. What I wish to say is that while my dreams are almost always extremely vivid, occasionally one comes along that seems at least twice as bright, twice as "real," and upon waking I find myself utterly disoriented for hours afterwards. And that's the sort of dream I had this morning.

Using my atheme, I was casting a circle around the trunk of one of my favorite trees, an old oak in Freedom Park which was struck by lightning last summer and apparently killed. However, in my dream the tree was alive and green. Turning counterclockwise, I completed the circle and began to prepare for some ritual which I cannot now recall. I've tried all day to remember what the ritual might have been, to no avail. I half suspect it may have had something to do with Ostara, as I was talking to Spooky about getting ready for Ostara just before I fell asleep last night. At the start, I was alone in the dream. Spooky wasn't there. The sun was setting and there were crickets and lightning bugs. The park seemed completely deserted except for me, and along the park's northern border, which is bounded by North Ave. NE, all the houses had vanished. Only, in the dream, I had no recollection of there ever having been houses there. Instead, there was the edge of a forest that seemed to go on for a long way.

Some sound came from the tree, and I looked up to see that it was filled with dozens and dozens of crows (we've had a lot of crows around lately). There was one particularly large crow and seated next to it was a creature which looked a bit like a tortoise and a bit like a very small black bear. It called down to me (I can't recall the precise wording of the dialogue from the dream, so anything here is an approximation). It said, "Come up, daughter. We've been waiting a very long time." I had no trouble climbing the huge trunk and reaching the low limb where the large crow and the tortoise/bear were waiting. I sat down between them, my legs dangling twenty feet or so off the ground, and, looking up, I saw that the stars had come out and the half moon was enormous.

"I didn't know you were waiting," I told them. "I'd not have taken so long."

"It's not your fault, grey daughter," the crow said. "You're here now."

Looking down again, I saw that the perimeter of my circle had begun to glow softly, as though some luminous liquid had been poured out on the grass.

"You've brought me something," the tortoise/bear said. "There's something I wish to hear you say, and I'm very tired of waiting for you to get around to it."

And for a while I had no idea what the creature was talking about, so I stared at the stars and I stared at the glowing circle surrounding the oak. And then, all at once, I did know. And I said something like, "The nature of magic." The crow cawed very loudly and the tortoise/bear told it (and I recall this very clearly) not to wake the dead.

"So, what is the nature of magic?" it asked me.

And, feeling suddenly very sure of myself and embarrassed that I'd not known what I was supposed to say from the start, I said (more or less), "Magic is communication. Magic is the one-way communication between any living organism and the cosmos. We speak and the cosmos doesn't listen, but we speak because there's nothing else we can do. We can speak without words. Magic is not the manipulation of the cosmos. That's technology. And magic's not an attempt to persuade the universe to do our bidding or tilt the scales in our favour. That's only wishful thinking."

I sat a moment, staring at my feet dangling above the ground, until the crow cawed again.

"Don't be so loud," I said.

"Finish what you started," the crow replied and the tortoise/bear nodded in agreement.

And I said, "The order of the universe is fixed. There's balance, which is sacred, but even when some portion of the universe is pushed out of balance, the order remains fixed. Magic is the preservation of the balance. The order is fixed and can't be swayed by any living being."

"See?" the crow said. "That wasn't so hard. Now, you climb back down and do what you came here to do." So, I began climbing back down the trunk of the oak, and that's about where I awoke.

We went to the park today, but I didn't go to the tree. I have a feeling I should have, but I'm still skittish about these things.

Postscript: I do hope this isn't TMI. I'm going with the results of the poll on this one...

Comments

( 12 comments — Have your say! )
thingunderthest
Mar. 8th, 2006 10:34 pm (UTC)
Excellent.
cucumberseed
Mar. 8th, 2006 10:57 pm (UTC)
That does command some consideration and thought.

But then, the point of magic is the magician changing themselves, not the things around them. It's something I've been forgetting.

Thanks.
drewsilla
Mar. 8th, 2006 11:56 pm (UTC)
I think you should certainly go to the tree. You might find something that you did not know you were looking for.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 9th, 2006 03:33 pm (UTC)
I think you should certainly go to the tree.

Oh, I will. It's a very meaningful tree to me. I will, in fact, post a photo of it here soon. The skittishness will pass.
mockingbirdgrrl
Mar. 9th, 2006 02:12 am (UTC)
that is perfectly beautiful.
two thoughts.
1. re: visiting the tree. i can sympathize. i often have very vivid, cryptic dreams. one in particular comes to mind in which my grandmother became very spacey, looking at a sky coverd in twinkling, copper web, and she kept repeating the phrase, "they've hidden things behind the sky." i woke up at 2 A.M. convinced that my grandmother was dead. didn't call her until the next day (thankfully, she is still in this realm), but i couldn't bring myself to ask/tell her anything past, "is everything okay?" (and for what its worth, that phrase is still haunting me, over a year and a half later.)

2. your statement, "Magic is communication. Magic is the one-way communication between any living organism and the cosmos. We speak and the cosmos doesn't listen, but we speak because there's nothing else we can do." resonates soundly. i kept rereading it, thinking i'd heard that somewhere before. here it is, from simon black's "the book of frank": "Because in reality, there is no response to our howling, not here. But that fact is intolerable. The mind invents a response."

not as elegant as yours, and out of context, but still. great book, btw. nice study in self-loathing, performance art and martyrdom.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 9th, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC)
here it is, from simon black's "the book of frank": "Because in reality, there is no response to our howling, not here. But that fact is intolerable. The mind invents a response."

I'd never heard of Simon Black or The Book of Frank, which somehow makes this quote even more meaningful to me. Co-incidence. Isolated minds arriving at similar destinations. Independant confirmation and all that. It's a beautiful quote. Perhaps I'll read the book!

"they've hidden things behind the sky."

This is wonderful and gave me the chills. Thank you for sharing it here.
tactileson
Mar. 9th, 2006 04:21 am (UTC)
You're not alone in your skittish nature of things such as these. I've had similar situations in dreams and then shied away from places I somehow knew I should've gone. I can't say whether or not it has had beneficial or adverse affects on my life, but when I haven't done something I thought I should have it's stuck around my head too long for my liking, which is why I tend to just follow my gut instincts these days.
greygirlbeast
Mar. 9th, 2006 03:31 pm (UTC)
You're not alone in your skittish nature of things such as these.

I know, but these days I greatly desire to rid myself of this skittishness.
morganxpage
Mar. 9th, 2006 06:44 am (UTC)
Very interesting. If I were you, I'd so perform a ritual at that tree. Or, at least, meditate under it. But then, I'm the sort of person who goes out of her way to push her luck with things which make her skittish. ;)

~Morgan
greygirlbeast
Mar. 9th, 2006 03:26 pm (UTC)
If I were you, I'd so perform a ritual at that tree. Or, at least, meditate under it.

I'm presently working this over is my head.
akaten
Mar. 9th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
Speaking of two-way communication:
I thought you might find this interesting, especially from a transhumanistic perspective.
reverendcrofoot
Mar. 13th, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
A most vivid dream, the description of the tortoise bear in particular gave me the chills but then again we always seem to put a personal spin on stories. Well at least I do.

I must agree it's good to see crows more numerous again. Especially when I thought West Nile had killed them all. (or a goodly portion) I certainly appreciate them more now.

This dream has all the potential for a interesting story but then again I thought that about the last dream that I read of yours, which, when I can get my claws into it, I will filch. Though it occurs to me I should ask permission first.
( 12 comments — Have your say! )