the dream oracle sessions: SHIVA's GIFTS

session 7

Cead mile failte. A hundred thousand welcomes, and thank you for your Dreams.

I am in the midst of preparing for a few waking life journeys that will not involve regular internet connection. I regularly weave these journeys into my life, so that I can drop in and connect in other ways. That being said, this will be the last dream oracle session for several weeks. 

In this week’s Dream, we are visited by the devas and devis…This Dream is a gift for all of us. 

we dream of SERPENTS part 3: Shiva’s gifts

I drop my wedding rings in the moist earth on the other side of the fence. I climb over the fence to retrieve them, and as I reach into the earth, the soil gives way. My hands draw up a dead dog with white eyes and a crow from deep beneath the surface. For a moment, I try to stop this raising of the dead, but this energy cannot be resisted. Soon the whole dog is levitating above the earth. A wild knobby-kneed man approaches me. Snakes are writhing at his ears and around his neck, like jewelry. He opens up a box of jewels to show/sell/give to me and my sister. She reaches for the gold hoop with chains that connect nose to ear. I recognize them as Kali’s and make a gesture to stop her, but decide against interfering. He offers me diamond serpents. There are other beautiful precious Indian jewelry and stones. I realize that he is not a street beggar, but Shiva, Himself.

the SHIVA's GIFTS oracle...

Gaia is calling for a new level of devotion as She takes the rings into Her depths. Wedding rings are symbols of Sacred Union and vows made and kept. Our devotion is not only to the realm of physical matter, but to the Unseen-Unknown-Unmanifest Otherworldly realms.

To what or whom are you devoted? Consider the vows you have made to yourself and others, and how a commitment to these vows has led you into places you may not have gone on your own… 

The “other side” of the fence/veil is dark and fertile. The Dreamer is called over to get her/his hands dirty in this generative ground of the Feminine. It is a place where death and new life meet. Death gives energy to Life in a continuous cycle of regeneration, symbolized by the ouroboros - the snake biting its tail.

How do you participate in the circle of life? Are you open to both giving and receiving? Do you hold on too tightly in miserly fashions? Are you uncomfortable receiving?

How could the Dreamer/you/I know what the path of devotion might involve? Hands dirty, digging deep, raising the Dead - an irresistible urge that cannot be stopped. Dogs and crows are cross-cultural carriers of deep magic. Let’s uncover their gifts. Let’s bring them (and those aspects of our soul) back to life.

I encourage you to look into your spiritual lineage and personal associations with these common, yet sacred guides and allies.

Here is a taste of the symbology of dog and crow:

Dogs are loyal, faithful, protective, and playful companions. They are also domesticated wild ones, bred to serve specific human purposes, for better or for worse.  In Celtic legends, hounds are both guardians of the thresholds and guides to the Otherworld. With them by your side, you cannot be lost. 

Crows are carriers of prophecy, magic, and creation. They are watchful, intelligent, and far-seeing. Crows are the color of night, the realm of Dreams, the Abyss, the womb. In alchemy, black is the nigredo - the unformed pure potential - the empty yet full space. Many Celtic goddesses (particularly the Morrigan) are connected with the crow. They are present at death, and bring forth the energy of darkness - potent, fertile, magic, feminine.

Look to the magic and creative potential in your life, especially in the nigredo times of darkness. Gifts will come…the devas and devis are present…

The second half of this Dream reenacts a mythic encounter between Shiva and his beloved Parvati Shakti. In Indian tradition, it is customary for the groom to give jewelry to his future wife. Shiva, unaware of (or consciously disdaining) such formalities, arrives just before the wedding with an unusual assortment of gifts for his beloved Parvati…

In one myth, he adorns her with jewelry made of poisonous creatures and dirt from his thighs, chest and penis: snake armlets, scorpion earrings, hornet nose-studs, and toad bindis (Siva, The Erotic Ascetic). 

Can you imagine? Sometimes the gifts from the gods are unexpected, to say the least.

Shiva as the high god, the steadfast omnipotent Oneness gives generously to his bride (Shakti) and to us all. These precious jewels are not only refined sparkling minerals, but also bijas -  seeds of destiny. Bija mantras in the yoga tradition are tonal vibrations, holding infinite potential; bridging numinous and manifest; evoking powerful transformative energy.

Lam…Vam…Ram…Yam…Ham…Om…

Let’s examine the jewelry more closely… Jewelry is symbolic of both inner and outer adornment: inner through tapas (spiritual practice) and outer through sacred adornment (consciously chosen pieces to invoke specific energies).

The gold hoop and chain links nose to ear. It connects the senses of smell and hearing. Breathe in the essence of the divine; listen to the whispers of your dreams and the songs in all of nature. Trust your intuition and what calls to you. 

The sister (a well known feminine aspect of the Dreamer - a companion on the path) chooses this piece of Kali’s jewelry. Kali is a Hindu goddess of death, rebirth, time and revelation. She is that aspect of the goddess which is dark and bloody, ruthless and severe in her love. 

Sense how the goddess is not only refined and lovely, but also totally wild and free. This is true of the god as well. This is true of each one of us, too.

The diamond serpents are quite spectacular! Snakes carry transformative and regenerative energies. They are startling creatures that shift consciousness instantaneously. Think of how you react when you encounter a snake in waking life. Diamonds remind us that years of unrelenting pressure in the Underworld can bring forth incredible clarity, refinement and beauty.

Feel how often the periods of darkness - the dark nights of the soul - lead to precious revelations.

In the end, the Dreamer recognizes the man as Shiva. The Dreamer sees the divine in Him, the beggar, the wild, the dirty, the stranger. How often do we go through our lives without recognizing the god/dess? To truly see and be seen is a gift beyond measure.

Namaste.

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dream tip: the art of dreaming

I recommend Jill Mellick’s, The Art of Dreaming. This book is an accessible and lovely companion on the path of dream exploration. Jill Mellick is a Jungian psychoanalyst, teacher, author and artist in the Bay Area. I was able to work with her 1:1 ten years ago, and am continually inspired by her wisdom.

blessing: a radiance sutra

When sleep has not yet come,

And the sweet buzz of exhaustion 

Permeates the body,

Linger in the ahhhh of relief

As your head touches the pillow.

Everything in you is yearning to let go.

So let go, let your body fall

Into something deeper than sleep.

With your mind, enter

The soft luminous glow of the soul.

(Lorin Roche, The Radiance Sutras, Yukti 52)    

 

Blessed be.

sweet dreams…until we meet again.

JML

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