Monthly Archives: March 2014

Dream Analysis

Every so often I see posts on Pagan groups asking someone what their dreams mean.

First of all, not all dreams have meaning — some are merely “housekeeping” dreams, in which your subconscious clears away the debris of the day. (Mine tend to be really amusing and silly.)

Others are your subconscious’s (or Higher Self’s, whatever you want to call it) way of getting a message to you, and in that case, you are (usually) the best analyzer of your own dreams.

There are a lot of books out there on dream symbols, all of which are interesting but none of which is entirely accurate.

If you want a book on dream interpretation I would like to recommend Sacred Sleep: Dreams and the Divine by Scott Cunningham. Among other things, it teaches you how to construct your own dictionary of symbols that have personal meaning to you. After all, just as one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, one person’s dream of cats may be reassuring while another would find it terrifying.

(I have a feeling that most of the following ideas came from that book, but it’s been so long since I read it that I’m not 100% sure.)

Start keeping a dream diary. If you have a dream that you remember write it down as soon as you wake up.

Write down everything that you remember about it — inside/outside, weather, lighting, colors, other people/animals, what sort of place, as well as what happened and what was said.

And the setting. I will sometimes have a series of dreams set in the same location and just that setting clues me in that it’s a dream that I need to spend some time thinking about.

(That said, I find that the “important” dreams tend to stick with me: I still remember a setting for dreams when I was in high school — a dusty road through a town, but the buildings were just facades, like a movie set.)

Once you’ve written down everything you can remember, start to free associate the images in it. Record those results under the dream entry, then try to piece together an overall theme or meaning.

Don’t worry if nothing comes to you. Sometimes it takes a while, so be patient. If it’s important, the message will get through to you one way or another.

And, yes, sometimes it’s hard to pin down a meaning by yourself. Sometimes you are just too close to the situation and are either resisting the meaning or simply unable to see it from where you are. (This applies to Tarot readings and other forms of divination as well.) In that case, it’s helpful if you have others that you can present the dream to, just to see what they say.

Especially people who know you well.

After all it’s not for nothing that the words above Apollo’s oracle at Delphi were “Know thyself.”

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Ostara 2014

Finally!

I was beginning to think it would never come.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I love the changing of the seasons, and I think that winter has a special beauty that you don’t see in other seasons, but this one’s “special beauty” passed its prime long ago.  We had over 20 inches of snow more than normal, and long streaks of abnormally cold (sub-zero) temperatures, unusual for Western Pennsylvania.

I am ready for spring.

Well, okay – spring started at Imbolc, according to the way that I see the Wheel, but it sure hasn’t been looking much like it around here.

We could still get some snow, even up into April isn’t unusual, but now the hours of daylight are going to outlast the hours of darkness.  The earth is awakening and soon there will be flowers.  And green!

But on the equinox itself, for a moment, day and night, lightness and darkness, will be equal, will hover briefly in balance.

That is, in part, what the equinox is about: balance, about finding it within ourselves so that we can live in and celebrate each moment, even as we remember and acknowledge that the wheel continues to turn, and that the only constant is change.

Meh… Enough with the philosophical stuff.

Celebrate!

My plans are to maybe go out to the state park and walk along one of the trails, looking for signs of spring. (Depends on the weather and my knee.)

I’m also planning to cook ham and make deviled eggs.  (Any excuse for deviled eggs!)

And I will spend some time meditating on balance, as I always do on equinoxes.

And this year I am feeling called to be more active, although I am not yet sure in what way.

Ya Gotta Do What Ya Gotta Do

(Oops!  I thought I scheduled this, and found it still sitting here in “edit post” mode.)

 

Before I start, let’s talk about the Rede.

“Harm None.”

Nice sentiment.

What is frequently not considered is that “harm none” includes yourself.

Taking it a step further, it also means not permitting harm to come to yourself. (And I include harm to loved ones in that.)

Keep in mind, also, that the Rede applies to Wicca and its offshoots.  Not all Witches are Wiccan and not all follow the Rede.

That’s not to say that they are unethical or that they go around cursing people at will. It just means that they aren’t afraid of the dark.

Nor are they afraid to be proactive, or to take matters into their own hands.

Sometimes a situation arises where you need to not be a doormat.

The other night there was an incident with a new neighbor that set off some caution flags.  He didn’t do anything, or even make any threats, but… let’s just say that his application for asshole has been pre-approved.

So, what to do?

He hasn’t done anything, but the potential for trouble is there.

Do I ignore my instincts or take action?

I believe in being proactive.

No, I’m not going to do a spell to get him to move.  (Although people tend to not stay in that rental for long and I am going to hope that the trend continues.)

I will, however, be putting some extra protections on my home and my car.  And I may extend them to the neighbors on either side of me.

Proactive defensive magic.

This can take many different forms.

Probably the most common is to place some sort of wards on your home, especially doors and windows. to keep out negative energy.  I’ll admit, I’ve become a little lax about that lately, as the neighbors on either side of us are good people.

A friend of mine suggested some prickly plants on the porch, so maybe I’ll start a dish garden for cacti.  Once it’s warmer (on a consistent basis!) I think I’m going to do just that.

And I was thinking about growing some rue in a pot on the porch as well.

You can also charge an object to act as a protective device:  a rock, a statue, etc.  I’m going to be on the lookout for a statue (or maybe a wind chime) of a cat to do that with.  (Why a cat?  Because for some reason, “Cat” is a protective totem for me.)

And, of course, there is always the standby of a line of salt.

And binding magic.   I don’t use knot magic a lot but I have used it quite effectively to bind negative energy.

So many options…

I love being a  witch!

Familiars

It’s been a pretty busy week.  I’ve been working, writing, editing, and trying to create space for new members of the household…

Rats.

I was supposed to be getting some last month, taking the last four males from a litter.  The deal fell through, but she offered me first choice of a litter due in mid-March.

Meanwhile, however, I found another offer and called and I will be picking up three little boys this afternoon.

I am so excited!

I love critters of all types, and I’ve missed having a pet.  (The semi-feral cat doesn’t quite count.)

The cage for the rats will be right next to my computer (yeah, that’s gonna be good for productivity…) so we’ll get to know each other pretty well.

But that doesn’t mean that they are going to be acting as my familiars.

A witch’s familiar isn’t just a pet.

It’s not even a pet that you have a close relationship with, although that helps.

A witch’s familiar is a working partner.  It lends energy to rituals and it acts as a defender.

Depending on your belief system, a familiar can be one of many things.

It can be a pet with which you have an especially close bond.

It can be a spirit that has assumed an animal form and comes to assist a witch in his or her workings.

In a more shamanic tradition, it can be a spirit animal, perhaps not even a physical animal at all, and in addition to protecting the worker and aiding in rituals, it can retrieve information and relay it to its partner.

There are also totem animals, power spirits, etc.

Hmm… maybe I’ll do a series on animals in magic.

But, anyhow…

You don’t find a familiar – a familiar finds you.  They come to you when they are needed and they may choose to stay with you or they may leave when they have served their purpose and return if needed again, either in the same form or a different one.

I’ve never worked with a physical familiar, but I have had spirit animals show up, primarily big cats in a protective role.  I didn’t summon them or ask for them, they just showed up – and I was grateful.

Would I like to work with a familiar in a physical form?  I’m not certain. I think I would worry about it too much.

Not that the choice seems to be up to the witch…