As I’ve been reading about the power of dreams to heal psychological wounds in The Wisdom of Depression (not a perfect book, but the first I’ve found to state plainly that melancholy springs from the bodymind with a healing intent), I’ve been reminded of dreams past.
One in particular, actually.
I was seventeen and in a relationship that was helping to move me from a self-destructive parade of drugs and booze and toward a spiritual quest that came to include a raft of new concepts and practices (including frequenting of an almost exclusively Anglo, Native American-tinted ashram with psychedelic interludes of “open eye” meditation).
In the dream I was walking across a bombed-out city. All was shades of grey. No life. I stopped and peered into a pile of rubble and sensed something stirring within. A dragon moved into view, it’s skin swirling in rainbow fragments. As I watched a female joined him.* Placed a claw on his back. We stared at each other for a long time. No words spoken.
It was a powerful image. Resonated. Told me I was discovering wisdom, power, protection. But before too long I had converted and a new fundamentalist Christian worldview had turned the meaning of the visitation on its head. It became a message about the allure of evil, misdirection, perversion (the rainbow, symbol of God’s promise not to obliterate humankind [again, at least, and not with water] was splintered, not whole).
As my mental energy is restored by these daily magnetic treatments (still assuming this is no placebo) I’ve been able to pursue psychological work that was simply too exhausting before. And as Jonathan Zuess suggests in Wisdom, much of it is happening in my dreams and the analysis that follows.
The dream of the kitchen, for instance. The dream of the dolphins. Dream of ex boss, ex partners. In this spirit I thought last week that I should be able to reintegrate the dragon dream from so long ago. Accept it in the spirit it was intended and use it to help justify and integrate so many seemingly oppositional beliefs (value of the satanic rebel wisdom, respect for the disobedience that brought us fire, knowledge of opposites, etc., with the reintegrating sacrifice of service, compassion, and love demonstrated by Jesus).
In the meantime, the dragon has returned.
Last night’s vision:
I’m in a bookstore with a Tibetan man who is on a speaking tour. Thinking of the spiritual leaders of a Buddhist sangha I once attended, I tell the man I have Tibetan friends. He asks who but I can’t remember names, say only that some had relocated to northern India. His partner, who I take to be the subject of the speaking tour (the book?), shows up. He’s very tall, very strong. I’m getting ready to ship my bike back to Tibet with them so a friend can use it for her travels. She and I discuss how much to insure it for and decide on $300.
Then I’m outside looking across the highway. I see a flat black tube descending from the sky, unraveling slowly from its middle in sections like a tube of tar paper. As the funnel forms I see there are different bands of bright color inside them. I get my camera phone ready and start taking video as the ever-expanding tube starts bouncing across the sky in huge rolls of black filled with luminous primary colors. I wonder if it is bringing destruction on the ground. Looking closer I see a car getting swept up on the outer edge of a roll, but the vehicle has a burning effect on the funnel and is left undisturbed.
Lastly, I’m watching two Victorian infants dressed in tons of jewels (like child actress Shirley Temple and a sidekick) being pitted against a gangster. I can’t recall what nature the conflict was going to take, only that there was to be one.
I wake. I make notes. I fall asleep again and dream something that leaves me smiling, but I don’t recall it after a voice alerts methat I have overslept. It is time to get to the train.
It seems strange to say but my dull mind didn’t recognize the dragon in that “tube of tar paper” until after I had written it all down. After I seemingly coincidentally decided to add that teenage dream of the bombed-out city. After I found the image above of a dragon snaking through space. Only then could I see it in the coils in the sky, in the fractured rainbow hidden within. I saw something familiar, then. Someone I had met before.
* I can’t shake the sense that the principal dragon was feminine. That the male yang to her yin was the one that dawdled in the black. An important point, but not one I’m able to clarify. Pretty sure I never wrote the damn thing down as I shoulda. Let this be a lesson to us both.