emberleo: A dark-haired woman weaving strands of light (dreaming)
I dreamt this yesterday (Monday) morning:

I had to ford a slow-moving but very cold river that was about 4 feet deep, in my car. It was the kind of river that is near the sea, because the waves would periodically flood the car, so I couldn't stay dry. Finally I had to turn my car into a little boat and get out and kick-paddle to push us to the other shore.

On the other shore was a strange house full of wanderers, where I could rest for a bit. Once I was well-rested, I found myself in a bazaar, talking to an older woman with dark hair and caramel skin. I picked up a gorgeously-illustrated picture book, and looked at a picture of a beautiful older African man. The style of the painting was a sort of splotchy watercolor. I grinned and turned the picture around to show the woman. "This reminds me of Obatala!" I said, pleased, but not expecting her to know what I meant. She replied that it was Orunla.

She started to tell me the story, which was indeed about an Orixa. I wasn't quite sure of the name.
"Wait, you mean Oxala?" I asked.
"You're not LISTENING!" she replied sharply.
I was abashed, and apologized, explaining that I WAS listening, but I knew different names for the Orixa and wanted to make sure I understood her story correctly. She grumbled and told me to read the book myself, then.

The book told the story of the first two Orixa, with Oludumare: a Man and a Woman, made to be immortal, to keep Oludumare company, and guard the world. Oludumare had created a world full of wondrous things that moved in cycles of life, creation, and death. The Man and Woman at first were occupied learning about all of the many things in Oludumare's world. They loved each other as husband and wife do.

One day, Oludumare came to the Man and said "She wants to die."

The Woman had made her case, that if she could not create, she had no reason for existence. She wanted very much to create children, as all the plants and animals do. Everything else in all of Oludumare's creation was part of the beautiful cycle, why not her?

Oludumare admonished that they had been created to be immortal and thus did not need children to carry on their traditions in their absence.
"Then let me die," she replied.

But the Man did not want her to die, and did not himself want to die. He loved the Woman and wanted her to stay with him. Oludumare was firm.

"You must help her die."
"You can't want me to kill her?!"
"Go out into the world and learn all there is to know of death."

Reluctantly, the Man did as he was told. At first he was angry with Oludumare, then resigned. Finally he began to see the beauty of the cycle that the Woman had perceived. As it moved before him and swirled around him in its mysterious glory, the Man understood the value of death in the cycle.

He returned to the hall where the Woman and Oludumare were waiting, his garments stained with blood, with mud, with salt water and sweat, with all the substances of creation and death marking his garments.

"I understand," he said.
Oludumare smiled. The Woman was relieved.
"Then I may die now?" She asked. And it was so.

That the Man would not be lonely, Oludumare made another Woman. She was able to die, and able to create, both these things built into her being from the first. The Man, too, was given the possibility to die. He, too, could create now, his journey having initiated him into the mysteries of the cycle.

They soon had children, who became part of the cycle themselves. They multiplied, and spread across the world, and each in time took up guardianship of different aspects of Oludumare's creation.

Oludumare was never lonely again.

I closed the book, and brought it back to the woman. I told her I MUST own the book, and asked its price. She was reluctant, as though she was obliged to let me have the story, but didn't believe I deserved it, and thus didn't want to sell me the book. I was in tears - it was the most beautiful story I had ever heard, and I could see myself the mysteries of the cycle moving through the artwork, the beauty of Death moving through the cycle. She relented, selling me the book for some strange fee I no longer remember. Not coins, certainly, but perhaps bites of bread, and a snippet of my hair, or somesuch.

I woke up not being sure if the story was about Obatala or Orunla, and knowing no name for the first Woman.

I thought the story was about Obatala until just now, when I looked up Orunla and saw that Orunla (Orunmila) was the first Orixa, who got to watch Oludumare create all things, and that's how He knows all fates. So I think yes, this story IS about Orunla, and I was given a gift of it, that the one sent to give it to me didn't really feel I deserved, but she was under orders of some kind.

Edit Note:
Although I must admit what I looked up after the story contradicts all the stories I knew before, where Obatala was the first Orixa under Oludumare, and Orunla was Obatala's youngest son, who spent most of his time growing up buried to the neck under the tree Iroko.... Have I got wires crossed, or is this just a place where mythology has multiple answers?

emberleo: A dark-haired woman weaving strands of light (dreaming)
The dream was convoluted.

First it was my wedding, then it was a friend's )

Then I shifted context again and realized it was actually my Sister's wedding. Everything was going horribly from my perspective, and my social anxiety was triggered as hell. I was trying to hold it together and not quite succeeding. Mom was trying to calm me down and get me to act more appropriately, which was making it worse. I was remembering to myself that my sister's actual wedding went better than this, so how was it all possible?

That caused me to "remember" in the dream that my brother-in-law had died in a tragic car accident a couple years before, and my sister had basically refused to go on more than two dates with anybody until this charming, creepy (to me) guy named Ray Finn McCool came into the picture. They haphazardly arranged a wedding in a few month's time. I was supposed to be my sister's attendant. Ray refused the idea of me officiating again, saying he wanted somebody more "neutral" and that he wasn't comfortable with a Pagan minister. Even so, Ray somehow got her to cut me out of the wedding entirely at the last minute. I was a basket-case about it, again, saying I'd have worn a better-for-me dress and skipped the makeup had I known, but actually being upset over the loss itself.

Then I spent a chunk of time with them setting up the altar space for the wedding, only to realize belatedly that they'd wanted the time alone, but my sister was strangely not telling me what she needed. Once I realized, I pointed out to her that she could have just told me. She looked slightingly at me and said I should have known - using those words specifically so it would sting more, although it wasn't clear if that was her conscious choice or not. (Most likely it was my brain's choice for maximum drama.)

At some point in there, I spent a little bit of alone time with Ray. For some reason he had both latex condoms and essential oils on the altar, and I laughed and pointed out how incompatible those two things were. He said that was the whole point - he's fixed, so he wouldn't get her pregnant, they'd be monogamously married and thus wouldn't need protection against STIs, so this was a symbolic way of declaring that they needed no protection from each other. I had a nagging feeling that it was a way of symbolically *breaking* her remaining protection against him, but I couldn't tell if he chose it purposefully or not.

All the while he talked down to me as though he liked me but considered me basically crazy and stupid, and I "remembered" that he'd always treated me like that, and over the time my sister was with him, she'd started treating me that way too. I kept telling myself "He's nice, he likes me", but couldn't shake the sense that something was deeply wrong.

After walking away from my sister and Ray, I realized that his name was Fionn mac Cumhaill, the Irish hero of legend, and that he had my sister snowed somehow.

I ran to the back room where D was watching all the kids, to ask her about Fionn mac Cumhaill, but for some reason Mom stopped me - I think saying there wasn't time for such things, as the ceremony was starting.

So I had to watch them get married, knowing that this guy wasn't who he seemed, and that he was gaslighting me to keep me as unstable as possible whenever she could see me, so she wouldn't trust my judgement, and isolating her. Obviously the beginning of an abuse pattern, but WHY? He wanted her for himself for some reason, and I realized he considered her kids with her previous husband a threat as well.

I dropped into Otherspace to go check him out, and caught him negotiating with some Power or other to get me out of the way - I was the one he found most threatening, apparently. She already wouldn't trust Mom's judgement about him, and none of the others could see his nature clearly enough to give feedback. When I heard him mention intent to get my niece and nephew out of the way, I went up to him, invisible, grabbed him by the hair, and whispered threateningly into his ear that if he laid so much as a fucking FINGER on MY KIDS (by which I meant any kids I cared about, but ESPECIALLY the children of my blood) I would have his blood.

I then came out of that space, and ran to tell my Mom and Sister what I'd learned. I looked to my sister apologetically and said, point blank, "You shouldn't have married him. I'm sorry." She wasn't happy, but I'd broken the spell. It remained to be seen what would happen next - weddings are, before the gods, binding, rule-changing events.

I then woke up feeling urgently the need to write up the last part and tell it to my sister, and to look up Fionn mac Cumhaill, although I see nothing pertinent in the stories about him... I notice his childhood includes a run with cooking the Salmon of Knowledge/Wisdom, like the bit in how Taliesin was created, but that doesn't really clarify.

Now I'm trying to figure out if the last part of the dream really mattered, and whether I need to tell my sister about it.

emberleo: A dark-haired woman weaving strands of light (dreaming)
Two dreams with many parallels:

Albino Mourning Dove )
Albino Raven )

The dreams obviously echo eachother - both birds are albinos of local native birds, both are highly symbolic. I'm not sure exactly what's going on here, but I can tell from the feel of the lucid moments that both dreams were most likely visitations, and the raven dream definitely was.

But I'm a bit stumped for interpretation beyond "I've been visited by Dove and Raven...."

emberleo: A dark-haired woman weaving strands of light (dreaming)
I dreamt I was on the road into the neighborhood I grew up in, because I had to locate a particular woman. I don't remember right now if she was dead when I got there already or if she was going to die shortly, but either way it was my job to inform her, help with the transition, and deal with any complications.

The house was maze-like. Her mother did not speak English, and did not understand why I was there or that her older daughter was now dead. The younger sister was rebellious, a bit crazy, and refused to come out of her room until I'd gotten the body removed from the building.

I kept searching for an example of something that was the right hue and brightness of lime green to show the younger sister in order to convince her that her sister really was gone, and I really had been sent to deal with the situation.

Towards the end of the dream, I got news that the dead woman had done something untoward to skip ahead through the afterlife process and had jumped into reincarnation immediately before her spirit had a chance to really forget the previous life. Oh dear! Too late now.

I awoke to certainty that my friend's daughter had indeed died while I slept. The offerings I made to Papa Ghede last night asking that she either be saved miraculously by being held only very briefly or (admittedly more likely) taken quickly and as painlessly as possible seem to have translated into word that she has indeed passed on, but will reincarnate immediately. That's... not what I meant.


emberleo: A rabbit with antlers eating blackberries (Default)
Going back over my journal entries from the past, and finding bits and treasures, messages that need to be remembered and shared.

Here's one from April of 2009, from a dreamt conversation with Oxun:

"I help people learn how to love themselves, and how to feel good about what they bring to the world. I teach people about beauty, yes.

But more to the point: When you go about in the world, how you look will always affect how people treat you. What I teach people is how to use this simple reality to their own advantage as much as possible. You don't have to be beautiful all the time, but if you are not conscious of your appearance, you are not taking responsibility for, control over, how others see you and treat you.

On a basic level, almost everyone comes to realize how they are treated according to how they look by default. Most people learn at least a few tricks they can use to manipulate people for their own advantage in the most immediate sense, based on using how they appear to others. Little girls recognize that they can wrap big men around their fingers to get what they want by emphasizing just how adorable they are. Big guys recognize that they can intimidate people. People who don't stand out realize they won't be noticed and can therefore get away with certain things. This is true also for those who look particularly innocent regardless of what they have done.

These tricks are natural advantages of their appearance. But how many people use the positive advantages instead of only the negative? Well, almost everyone in society, actually. Think about it - everyone learns how to dress and keep their hair and body according to the culture surrounding them as they are growing up. Their fashion sense tends to fit somewhere within that range. They thereby identify themselves as belonging where they are. It is few who step entirely outside this range. This is far more noticeable in a tribal culture that has very specific rules about what to wear. Western culture gives a lot of wiggle room, but if you took your fashion sense out of National Geographic, do you think you wouldn't stand out as "Other"?

The real skill is not only using the tricks that come naturally to how you already look, thereby limiting yourself to only the stereotypes and roles at your disposal from the outside in, but to learn and understand the appearances behind the tricks beyond what is given to you. Anyone who knows how to dress to get a job has figured at least a little of this out. Honestly, who do you want deciding which role you fit into, how to treat you based on how you look? You? Or a bunch of strangers?

The thing to recognize is that you can't control their behavior. You can only control what you present to them. Their behavior is a natural response to that. You can let that control you, or you can recognize it for the process it is, and use it to your own advantage."

emberleo: A dark-haired woman weaving strands of light (dreaming)
Getting dressed for today, I just put on my Oya-of-the-Graveyard necklace (I wore Papa's on Saturday. As usual, I follow my instincts.)

That prompted me to suddenly remember that my dream was full of altar dolls.

A lot of anxiety in these dreams - not much reality )

Well, most of it is obvious - I'm feeling down on myself, and I guess I'm expecting my loved ones to share my sentiments. For the record, neither my Mom, nor Chien have ever treated me like this in real life, nor do I go about yelling at them all that often!

But the main thing, to me, was the images of the dolls associated with various paths - that so many were Oya, specifically, and the two strongest images of the rainbow doll for my house-sister, and the Oya Firestorm doll for me.

I think I need to start working with a Path of Oya associated with Firestorms! I'm sure I haven't learned all I need from the Paths of the Rainbow, but I guess the first major round of lessons from Rainbows is concluded. This, although the rest of the dream was pretty unhappy, leaves me feeling energized and happy today. :D

emberleo: A dark-haired woman weaving strands of light (dreaming)
I had and recorded this dream last spring, but wasn't journaling at the time. It came up again tonight and I realized I should get it into the logs...

A highwayman came riding, riding, riding... )

These are my people? )

So! This has been heard loud and clear, although what exactly it all means remains to be seen.

emberleo: A dark-haired woman weaving strands of light (dreaming)
I forgot when I posted the other dream bits from today, that the latter part of my dreams this morning involved one or more ravens flying around me, landing on me, staring at me, etc.

I was convinced that it was, specifically, the Raven of Hrafnar (who we understand may be the mother of Huginn and Munnin?)

But it might also be a pun on Raven Kaldera, since I've interacted with him lately, too.

emberleo: A rabbit with antlers eating blackberries (Default)
A short snipped of dream today:

Chien and I were sitting somewhere, and he decides to start a game. 1) We're all in heaven. 2) The conservative Christians are right about what the rules are for being good enough for heaven. 3) Turns out, God didn't bother to check, so we're all in, but now we're here we're obliged to change.

So Chien starts teasing me about this and that needing to change - only one lover, he'd better be male, I'd better marry him, etc. Oddly, in the dream, despite Chien being right in front of me, and my lover, I was still somehow a "lesbian", and this was somehow signified by my being an alto. Chien declared my obligation to become a soprano immediately.

Only one God, and we all know which one. etc.

All of his quips were met with sardonic refusals.

Finally he gave me a big-eyed, muppety-innocence look and said "I'm praying for you!"

For some reason that irritated me much more than the rest of the game, so I gave him a dark look and replied, almost menacingly, "And do your prayers get answered? Because my prayers are always acknowledged, and I'm praying for you too."

I woke up thinking "whoah, "I'm praying for you" as a threat, eh?" followed shortly by "Wait, ALL my prayers are acknowledged?! Buh?"



emberleo: A rabbit with antlers eating blackberries (Default)

September 2013

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