Faery Gateways

Faery Folk have long been known to appear in my dreams on occasion and when they do, I feel a certain importance and magic has visited me. I feel blessed by their presence which often is accompanied by mystery & shenanigans. One such dream came recently, when contemplating a trip to Ireland in the coming year. I used dream incubation and put the question to my dreams to find out if this was a good idea. Dream incubation is a core practice in Active Dreaming and can give one access to deeper levels of reality and the deeper wisdom of the soul, when dealing with life’s challenges and questions. The dream which came was an immediate response to my question. I share a couple of related dreams here following the steps of the Lightning Dream Sharing Process, which is also a handy way of recording in your dream journal and exploring your own dreams or sharing with others.

Foxglove Faery Gateway

I see two purple flowers growing in a forested glen and my awareness comes closer in the dream to see them. I become aware these two flowers form a small gateway into a faery realm, where I now hear the voices of faeries chattering away in excitement. I cannot see them, but can hear them. I am told the flower on the left is for me and the flower on the right is for my partner.

Feelings upon waking – Excitement! A confirmation of going to visit Ireland, as the land of my Ancestors and Faery Folk.

Reality Check – In response to my dream, I did look up foxgloves to see what connection they may have to Faeries or Ireland. I learned Foxglove Flowers are known to originate in the British Isles and closely associated with Faery folktales. The flowers are also known by the names, Folkgloves (The Good Folk), Faery Fingers, Faery Bells, Faery Caps, Thimbles of the Sidhe or The Plant of the Faery Woman.

What do I want to know? I want to know what is on the other side of the Faery gateway.

Action Plans – Re-Enter my dream to travel through the gateway of the Good Folk, and ask for the assistance of fox as a guide. Make travel plans to visit Ireland in the coming year.

Fox Glove Myth
Foxgloves by Kelly Louise Judd

In folk tales, the Foxglove flower is said to get it’s name from how Fox was given gloves from the flower, which were placed on his feet by faeries, so that he could quietly slip by undetected by hunters and escape.

Whale bones
Baleen Whale Skeleton Photo by Lisa Levin and Nicholas D. Pyenson.

Harp Gateway

I had a fascinating dream years ago, which apparently was hinting at me traveling to Ireland, if not in physical reality at least in dreaming. In my dream I was drawn into what appeared to be a rib cage made of whale bones. The bones were ancient and had turned to crystal, and standing inside I could see strings of sinew between the bones. I passed my fingers across the strings and an otherworldly song was emitted. The whale harp became a dream gate with entrance into a magical otherworldly realm.  I placed my Native American flute at the entrance to the gateway and then picked up a tin flute that lay at the entrance before stepping through the gateway.

Feelings – Mystery

Reality Check – In subsequent research after having this dream, I discovered a folktale of how the Harp became a symbol for Ireland. It is said that a Queen was strolling along the windy shores of the Sea one fine day, when she heard a haunting sound that reached to her very soul. She searched to find the source and came across the carcass of a Whale, whose bones had washed ashore. The rib cage bones of the Whale were the source of the magical sound, created when the wind blew through. The Queen was determined to have a musical instrument made which could create this haunting beautiful music she had heard. She could think of nothing else until once again she could hear such beautiful music whenever she pleased. She ordered the court musicians and craftsman to examine the whale bones and come up with a design for an instrument to be made. After many attempts to create an instrument capable of replicating the sounds made through the whale bones, the court craftsman finally were able to come together to complete the task. Together they created an instrument known as the Harp. The Queen was very happy to have magical music played by her court musicians whenever she pleased. This is how the Irish harp came to be and later known as the symbol of Ireland today.

What do I want to know? – The changing of the Flute upon entrance through the dream gate suggests giving up something in order to pick up a new song and follow a new path. I want to know what lies beyond the gateway.

Action – Pick up the tin flute. Play a Harp. Revisit opening the Harp gateway in dreaming.

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King Arthur and the White Hart

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Sacred Tree

In conscious twilight dreaming, I see myself down in the earth around the roots of an enormous tree. I move around from root to root to feel and connect with the wide expanse that roots this magnificent tree in the earth. I then travel up through the core of the trunk of the tree, but find it difficult to move upward, because I encounter energy blocks inside the trunk.

I begin to feel the fear that I have stored there, and I consciously allow my fears to come undone. When the blockage is removed, I am aware my dreams have now also become unleashed. The fears held there were blocking my dreams from coming through. Now my dreams are free to be gathered each night and morning as I enter sleep and later awaken.  Now I can move freely up the core of the tree, into the hartwood.

White Hart

I am suddenly called to step out and into the middle realm. I am deep in a wooded forest, where a young king stands alone with his white horse to take water at the stream. He is handsome with shoulder length blonde hair, and blue eyes. He wears fine clothing and a simple gold crown. His back adorned with a silken purple cape and his hands are protected by tailor made leather riding gloves. He stares at the water with a look of peace and serenity, taking in every moment of the rare chance to be alone in the wild. Watching his horse drink from the stream, he looks up when hearing a crack in the wood. He stands face to face with the huge dark eyes of the stag staring back at him. There is something between them, something being transmitted, yet unspoken. It is a destiny, it is a sign. The White Hart then leaps across the wide stream and moves up the bluff until reaching a vantage point where he can look down upon the strange encounter he has just discovered. He will turn up again when the time is right.

Upper Realm Journey

Now I am called back to my sacred tree to move ever upward until finding the very tips of each branch as it reaches skyward. I scan the reach of this tree, it is broad and reaches high into the heavens. It holds home to many birds who lay in her branches tucked safely from harm. The trunk is strong and stable, and the roots reach wide and deep. I am now perched on the tiptop of the branches like a bird, surveying the view from uptop of the world. I am called to move ever higher in my journey and enter the upper realms. I look up and see a rope drop down, and a helping hand emerges to pull me up to the next level.

A rip in the fabric of time

I find myself dreaming in the twilight zone hoping for sleep or dreams to find me. A dream draws near me, tearing a rip in the fabric of darkness, that makes up my inner space. Upper and lower are pulled apart to reveal the brightness of the sun piercing through like the break of day.  From this space, now torn wide open, I can see the energy of another dimension spilling through into mine. I begin to see etheric beings stepping into my dreamspace, making their way toward me, moving ever closer. One moves close enough to come into view and I begin to make out the details of his person. He is a King in his prime years, experienced and fearless. He holds his hand extended out toward me. In it he holds, what looks to be the head of a man, or perhaps a skull. When I look closer, I see it is made from beeswax.

Glastonbury

Mythic Reflections

There are tales of King Arthur in connection with the white hart deer, one of which is at the wedding feast of King Arthur and Guinevere at Camelot. A White Hart Deer was seen to enter the great hall, followed by the chaos of a white dog followed by 30 hunting dogs, a fair maiden in pursuit of the white dog, and a knight in pursuit of the maiden. At the behest of Merlin, King Arthur orders they should all be brought back and chooses Sir Gawain to bring back the white hart. He is accompanied by two other knights, who gave chase to return the white hound and the fair maiden. The maiden was killed accidentally by Gawain who fought the knight for her. The White Hart and White Hound were returned to Camelot.

There is another tale that takes place at a Christmas feast at Camelot, when Sir Gawain encounters the Green Knight who challenges the knights of the round table to cut off his head and in a year and a day return to have the same fate returned. Sir Gawain is the only knight to accept the challenge and he takes the hatchet and chops of the head of the Green Knight, who then catches his own head in his hand.

Sir Gawain returns to the Green Chapel at the coming of Christmas the next year to honor his part of the bargain with the Green Knight. On New Year’s Day, he meets up at the Green Chapel to receive the returning ax blow to cut off his head, but his life is sparred after three tries by the Green Knight. He is found to have been given a green girdle talisman of a fair maiden to protect his life.

What will the coming year bring with the mythic themes of King Arthur and the White Hart spilling into my dreams? A spiritual quest maybe in the offering for the coming year. Time will tell, in a year and a day, if my head will be cut off or not.  I will be sure to make plenty of magic talismans this year.  The Green Knight is steeped in the older traditions of the Green Man. The King of the Wood, as protector and consort of the Goddess, is sacrificed in the yearly ritual. When winter comes, the Green Man becomes the old man of winter and he is sacrificed in a ritual fire to be reborn at Beltane.  The reborn sacred king and goddess are joined in a sacred marriage to fertilize the land. It is then, that his power is bestowed upon him by the goddess and held in the land that he serves.

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