I had the strangest dream last night. I dreamed that me, my partner and my roommate all went in together and bought an old dilapidated victorian house. It had previously been divided into levels for apartments, but our intent was to take it back to its original state. We found out after we bought the house that it was haunted by a dastardly man who made it difficult for anyone to stay in the house for very long.
I remember, in the dream, moving from room to room with the fear of this horrible spirit in the back of my mind. The last place I went was the very top floor. The fireplace was going and this was where the spirit supposedly spent most of his time. I walked into the room and he did everything he could to make me know that I wasn’t welcome. I continued to talk as he continued to try to scare me. The flames of the fire would rage higher as he grew angrier. He moved swiftly in front of my face and screeched.
By this time, I had grown tired of the game. I calmly told him that I wasn’t afraid of him and that we were going to bring the old place back to its former glory. I quietly talked through all of plans…even our intent to leave the top floor to him alone, with an occasional visit if he wanted. I could see that he was calming down by the flames in the fireplace. They were now down to a soft comfortable glow.
We finished the remodel and all lived a peaceful coexistence with the spirit in the house. He grew to be a friend as the years moved forward. He was a source of protection for us as well as source for much historical knowledge.
I am often offered solutions to issues in life through my dreams. It is often where I deal with and face my darkest fears. I realized that the man in this dream was representative of where I am heading in my own life right now. I am slowly moving through levels of a new job. With each level there comes a new fear…I am having to refurbish old ideas and rethink old thought processes. I see, now, that the biggest hurdle is that within me that wants everything to stay comfortable…unchanging. I must embrace that that is a part of me and that it may never leave, but I also have to be willing to move forward with plans and hopes and dreams.
When I woke up this morning with my head crowded by the visions of last night’s dream, I remembered when I was a little boy living with my parents on Walkup Avenue in our old hometown. The house had belonged to my great grandparents (both of whom had died there) and it was located by a section of woods that didn’t quite have the right kind of energy for a five year old. We had also been robbed in that house.
In that house, I lived in fear….of everything. I was scared of the house, of the woods, of the ‘people’ that I could feel there…and the dark. My mom and dad tried everything they could to alleviate all of those fears, but unfortunately, in those days it meant letting me sleep alone in a pitch black room….no nightlights for me. It also meant that my bedroom was the furthest away from it if I had to go to the bathroom. It also meant that if I wandered too far in the wrong direction, our German Shepherd Rascal would hear me and begin to growl and all I could see of him were large yellow eyes. I lived my life petrified of anything that happened when the sun went down. There were many nights that I would lie in my bed with the covers to my neck horrified to move.
Once again, it was one of my grannies to the rescue. This time it was my very Scotch-Irish granny. Her face seemed to always be engraved with smiles and her hands were charged with soothing energy. I remember that she had come to stay with us one weekend and I guess it got the best of her to see this child cowered in fear and shaking the moment the sun went down. She came into my bedroom after I had been tucked in and she asked me what was wrong. I shook uncontrollably as she pulled me into her lap. I spewed out every one of the things that I was scared of the most. It was like my body was vomiting the fear on the floor in front of me…..the dark, the woods, the dog, the house…I put all of it right there in front of her.
I can still hear her soft laughter as she quietly told me that the secret to not being afraid anymore was to make friends with the things I was afraid of. I remembered thinking, “Why in the world would I want to make friends with them?! I am scared of them!!” She picked me up and carried me in her arms toward the front door. She opened the door and the screen and walked with me clinging to her in horror out toward the back steps. I remember that the moon was shining brightly that night. Quietly she made the introductions. ”Miss Moon, this is my grandson, David. David, this is Miss Moon. Stars, this is my grandson….Woods, this is my grandson….Old Man of the Dark, this is my grandson.” She went on and on, telling me how she had made friends with each of these things over her life. Finally, she called Rascal over…the German Shepherd that I was so determined was horribly mean. He softly licked my cheek and I started laughing. She explained that the reason he jumped up on me sometimes was because he wanted to play and that the reason he growled at night was because he heard noises and wanted to keep everybody safe.
So now, all of those things I was scared most of didn’t seem so scary. I made it a point to venture out in the woods more during the day to see more of what was out there. I talked to Miss Moon every time I was outside. It made it seem as though there was a family member watching over me. The stars became my watchmen….and Rascal and I were often found lying on top of each other at the edge of the woods sharing secrets. I look back on all of that now and I laugh out loud….most of the things that I was most afraid of have, indeed, become my dearest friends. Mama Moon and the stars, dogs in general, the darkness…even spirits.
I got up really early this morning (the first time) and the little blue chihuahua and I made our way to the woods around the four a.m. mark. Hopefully we didn’t scare anyone on the way. I had my cloak over me and my backpack under it so I looked a bit like Quasimodo. When we got into the belly of the woods, I settled into the dirt. Stones were placed in strategic spots all around us in a circle formation, the candles were placed and lit and the skulls were given their positions of honor. In remembrance of my old friend Rascal, I sprinkled dried wild flowers over the skulls and burned sage. I also burned an incense mixture that a friend gave me that has done wonders in gearing my mind toward success and strength.
I sat there in the midst of so many of the things that made my heart pound in fear. I thanked them all for their friendships over the years and at this point Friz leaned in to give me a lick on my nose….I thanked him for his friendship, his loyalty, his protection, and magick. As I felt the heartbeat of the Earth Mother beneath me, I was reminded of how much fear we, as humans live in. We fear what others think of us. We fear change. We fear the world around us. It is time to look those things that we fear the most in the eye and introduce ourselves. It may become your biggest ally.