Many years ago I lashed together four branches with beautiful designs etched into them by worms that I had gathered from a Girl Scout summer camp that I loved to work at. The place holds great significance to me and the fact that I knew how to lash was because of Girl Scouts. It was my first dreamcatcher and I wanted it to be unique, so I used embroidery floss of all different colors, creating a spectrum that spiraled towards its center. At every change of color I placed a gold bead that, when finished, made me think of dew on a spider’s web. I hung macaw feathers from the frame and wove holders for stones to hang from the dreamcatcher as well.
When it was all finished, I found myself instantly exhausted. I hung it up and took a nap in the middle of the day which was highly unusual for me unless I was sick, it just didn’t typically happen for me at that youthful age of twenty.
I had the most vivid and amazing dreams.
At that point, I wrote them all down. The dreams lead me to stones I had forgotten I had gathered. I discovered interesting correlations between my dreams and my life. I wrote them all down and the more I wrote, the more I dreamed these vivid and meaningful dreams. I discovered that different people and animals represented different things going on in my life. I did a lot of reading about symbols and meditated upon the personal significance.
I have always been a spiritual person, just not a religious sort.
We are always searching for meaning and guidance in life. Dreaming is one of those tools.
For me, specifically, the act of creating is what gives my life great meaning. I love all forms of creating, whether it is art or writing and the ability to share inspiration with others is what drives me forward in life. Some people are thrill seekers. My thrill is derived from that spark of inspiration, a deep desire to see what is in my head come into physical being and the reactions of the world in seeing what I have created.
But everyone gets off track. The enthusiastic spiritual seeker of my youth has been pounded into a struggling artist, mother, teacher, writer who spends her time worrying about whether the car will start today, if I’ll be able to afford groceries and keeping the kids and family healthy and happy. Another year has come and gone and I am just one year away from “over the hill” and feeling the creaks and pains of my recent lethargic, self indulgent laziness.
But a very strange and hard to ignore totem “animal” has arrived to smack me on the hand and tell me to get my fears under control so I can move forward in life.
Last week I had a run in with a black widow, hanging out under my loft bed. It was, quite literally, staring me in the face. It lead to me sleeping on the couch and other places for the week until I finally cleared out a great deal of junk and some cobwebs with the intention of making sure there were no others.
I have long held a great fear of black widows but I recognize and respect spiders as a symbol of writing and creativity. And don’t forget that a dreamcatcher is made of a spider’s web! Recently, I created a work of art involving dreams for the Mystery Build competition (follow the link below to see and vote for this piece before November 20th, 2014) I should have known that this new “dreamcatcher” would have a powerful effect on my dreaming!
The last two nights have brought the scary black widows dangling into my dreams.
I apologize to my husband for slapping him in my sleep. I dreamt I had encountered two black widows in the bathroom and one was coming to get me. That day, he and I tackled the daunting task of fixing the bathtub leak and the toilet leak, which was something of an ordeal, but we conquered our fears of not accomplishing the task correctly and just did it.
Last night I encountered black widows in my dream and didn’t freak out right away.
I realized they might be trying to tell me something. They were hanging in the way of me going through a doorway to a house, then they crawled onto the roof and across the receiver of what I perceived to be my radio, causing the channels to be changed. I decided to not go inside and found myself wandering a beautiful evening landscape. I started to float about and drifted over the edges of a pond and saw flock of egrets nesting and sleeping on the water’s edge amongst the tall reeds and water plants. (The egret has long since been a totem of mine in the past). Then I returned to land to find some friends, one of which was working on schoolwork, grading or homework and seemed to need my help in getting out of a grumpy state of being and given another perspective on how to attack their situation.
What does it mean?
That’s not really the point. Its the fact that I am paying attention and writing things down. Life is filled with many meaningful things. Don’t discredit something as amazing as the dreaming process. It is just as real and meaningful as the rest of life and holds so many clues to the subconscious that is screaming to be heard and understood. All I really know if that it is important to:
Follow Your Dreams.