Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Here’s to the Sun of God

posted by Robert Moss

- Christmas HebeIn my neighborhood, Hebe, cupbearer to the Olympian gods, is now decked out in Christmas trimmings. Though she would probably prefer to be wearing vine leaves, she may be relaxed because she will remember that Christmas decorations – especially anything involving a tree – were borrowed from the followers of the old gods. Even the date of Christmas, which is almost certainly not the literal birthday of Jesus, is taken from the old religions

Nobody knows for sure when Jesus was born, but it is rather unlikely that it was on December 25th. The famous early bishop, Clement of Alexandria, who died in 215, wrote that many Christians in his day believed that Jesus was born in April. December 25 was only recognized as the birthday of Jesus by the Church in Rome in the mid-fourth century, and it took centuries for the date to be adopted by Christian congregations elsewhere. The church in Jerusalem only adopted the date in the 7th century. It took England a century longer.

On the other hand, the significance of December 25 in the pagan calendar had long been established. Under The Julian calendar, instituted by command of Julius Caesar in 45 BCE, December 25 was made the date of Bruma, the “shortest” day, meaning the winter solstice. Early European peoples honored the winter solstice as the day of the re-birth of the sun, personified as a god by some, a goddess by others.

In 274, the soldier-emperor Aurelian proclaimed that December 25 was the birthday of Sol Invictus, the Unconquered Sun. This was a composite deity he hoped would be acceptable to believers of all persuasions, including the old worshippers of Helios-Apollo and the Roman legionaries who had adopted the cult of Mithras, a god from the East whose birth from a cave was already celebrated on December 25. So the day we now celebrate as Christmas became Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, the Day of the Unconquered Son.

Against this backdrop, it seems more likely than not that intelligent leaders of the early Church were inspired to move Jesus’ birthday to December 25 to claim the glamor of the old winter solstice festivals and to match the religious calendar to the celestial calendar in the way that early peoples had always done, making the coming of the Christos coincide with the re-birth of the sun. This, at any rate, was the opinion of a learned Syriac scholiast, Jacob Bar-Salibi,  who wrote in the 12th century:

It was a custom of the pagans to celebrate on the same 25 December the birthday of the sun, at which they kindled lights in token of festivity. In these solemnities and revelries the Christians also took part. Accordingly when the doctors of the Church perceived that the Christians had a leaning to this festival, they took counsel and resolved that the true Nativity should be solemnized on that day.

Syncretism – the bringing together of different strands of belief and custom – was characteristic of the old Roman religions; in the mid-4th century, when the Christian leaders chose to make December 25 the birthday of Jesus, it became an act of Church policy. In a ceiling mosaic in the tomb of the Julii, in the necropolis under St Peter’s, we have an arresting visual image of the convergence of the old solar cult with the new religion. It shows the figure of Sol-Helios, the sun god, riding his chariot. Around 250, his image was touched up, to make the rays around his head resemble a cross.

When we look at the customs and symbols of Christmas that are most loved in our families today, we find that many of them are of pagan origin: the Christmas tree, for starters, but also the holy and the ivy, the mistletoe, the yule log, the giving of gifts, the reindeer that fly through the sky. An early Christian grinch in Britain, Polydor Virgil, thundered that “dancing, masques, mummeries, stageplays, and other such Christmas disorders now in use with Christians, were derived from these Roman Saturnalian and Bacchanalian festivals; which should cause all pious Christians eternally to abominate them.”

The happy news is that the grinches will never win (though I’m not so sure about the retailers). The sun returns, and at Christmas all peoples of good heart will share gifts of light and love.

 

Photo of Christmas Hebe (c) Robert Moss

Advice from a dead movie star created the star of “I Love Lucy”

posted by Robert Moss

- Lucille Ball and Desi
On the day the Obama administration announced that it intended to seek to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, a friend reported dreaming of Lucille Ball, the star of “I Love Lucy.” She wanted to know why she was dreaming of the star of “I Love Lucy”. I commented that the dream seemed to me to be timely in view of the detente with Cuba, since Lucille’s husband and co-star, Desi Arnaz, was a Cuban bandleader.

Then I remembered that Lucille was a world-class dreamer and that it was dream guidance from a deceased friend that convinced her that she was making the right decision by “going for broke” in the then new and untested medium of television.

In her own words, “Everyone warned Desi and me that we were committing career suicide, by giving up highly paid movie and band commitments to go for broke on TV. But it was either working together or good-bye marriage!  Ever try being married seven years out of ten by long-distance call and wire? Then I dreamed about Carole Lombard.  She was wearing a very smart suit Carole always dressed very beautifully–and she said, `Take a chance, honey.  Give it a whirl!’   After that, I knew for certain that we were doing the right thing.”

Lucille Ball had been devastated when her good friend Carole Lombard died in a plane crash in January 1942. But their friendship continued after Carole’s death and – as Lucille explains in the quote – Carole gave her friend the confidence to take the risk and shine as TV’s “Lucy.”

Carole was not the only dead celebrity who showed up in Lucille’s dreams to offer advice. At  a party, she told Clark Gable that his long-deceased wife kept turning up in her dreams to offer very helpful advice.  Lucille recalled that the actor “stared, gulped, and plowed off in a daze.”

Source: Warren G. Harris, Lucy and Desi, the Legendary Love Story of Television’s Most Famous Couple.  (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991)

Photo: Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz in 1957. Public domain

The departed are dreaming with us

posted by Robert Moss

- grandma's garden

One of my driving purposes in writing The Dreamer’s Book of the Dead was to help  some of the many people in our society who are hungry for confirmation that communication with the departed is not “weird” or “unnatural”, let alone impossible, and that it is possible to extend love and forgiveness and healing across the apparent barrier of death. We encounter our departed, especially in dreams, because they are still around (sometimes because they have unfinished business or are not actually aware they are dead); or because they come visiting; or because we travel, in dreams or visions, into astral realms where the departed are entirely at home.

It’s not just that we dream of the dead; our departed are dreaming of us, and trying to reach us through dreams. Sometimes our departed return as counselors or “family angels”, as my father returned to me, many times, in the year after his death inAustraliain 1987, with loving messages and practical guidance for the family. Sometimes our departed need us to play guides, because they are confused or stuck between the worlds, clinging to old appetites and attachments – which can be extremely unhealthy for the living, who may pick up the feelings and addictions and even the past physical symptoms of the dead.

One of the cruelest things that mainstream Western culture has done is to suggest that communication with the departed is either impossible or unnatural.  There is nothing spooky or “supernatural” involved, though these experiences take us into realms beyond physical reality. It is especially easy to meet our departed in dreams for three reasons:                                                                                                                                 

Our Departed are Still With Us

Quite frequently dreams reveal that the departed are present because, quite simply, they never left. The departed may linger because they have unfinished business, or wish to act as guide and protector to the family, or are attached to people and places they loved in waking life, and this may be a perfectly happy situation for a year or two.

But there comes a time when our departed need to move on, for their own growth, and so they do not become a psychic burden to the living. After death, we continue to be driven by our ruling interests, appetites and addictions. Some of those who have died but not truly “passed on” continue to try to feed their cravings via the living.  When the departed remain earthbound, the effects are unhealthy both for those who have died and those among the living to whom they are connected. When the dead are enmeshed with the living, the result is mutual confusion, loss of energy, and the transfer of addictions, obsessions and even physical ailments from the departed to the person whose energy field he or she is sharing.

Helping the departed may involve a loving dialogue, a simple ritual of honoring and farewell, and invoking spiritual helpers. As we become active dreamers, familiar with the geography of the afterlife, we may find we are called on to provide personal escort services and help to instruct some of our departed on their options on the other side. William Butler Yeats noted, with a poet’s insight, that “the living can assist the imaginations of the dead”.

Our Departed Come Calling

Most people who remember dreams can recall one in which someone on the other side made a phone call, sent a letter, or simply turned up at the door or the bedside. Our departed return to us in dreams for all the reasons they might have called on us in physical life – including the simple desire to tell us how they are doing and see how we are coping – and for larger reasons: to bring emotional healing, to bring us helpful information, to instruct us on life beyond death and the reality of worlds beyond the physical.

Our departed may come visiting to offer or receive forgiveness. They may come to show us how they are doing on the other side.

Our deceased friends and loved ones may appear in our dreams because they are trying to understand the fuller story of the life they have left. Yeats, with poetic clarity, called this stage in the afterlife transitions the “Dreaming Back.”

Our departed can be excellent psychic advisers when they achieve clarity on the other side and are aware that they are not confined to the rules of space and time.    Our departed may come as health advisers and family counselors.   They may visit us in dreams to help us prepare for our own deaths and reassure us that we have friends on the other side. 

In dreams, we travel to realms of the departed 

In our dreams, we are released from the laws of physical reality, and travel into other dimensions, including environments where the departed may be living. Through dreams of this kind, we can begin to develop a personal geography of the afterlife, which will be vastly enriched when we learn the art of conscious dream travel.

In my workshops,  I often invite participants to focus on a dream or memory of a departed person and make it their intention to journey – with the help of shamanic drumming – to seek timely and helpful communication with that person and to learn about the environment where that person is now living.

 

photo (c) Robert Moss

Dream dates: Sir Christopher Wren dreams a cure

posted by Robert Moss

- wren 50

An intriguing account by John Aubrey of how the celebrated architect who recreated St.Paul’s after the Great Fire of London dreamed a simple cure for a kidney ailment. I’ll leave the narrative in Aubrey’s voice. Note that “reins” in late 17th century English (as in modern French) means “kidneys”.

When Sir Christopher Wren was at Paris, about 1671, he was ill and feverish, made but little water, and had a pain in his reins. He sent for a physician, who advised him to be let blood, thinking he had a plurisy: but bleeding much disagreeing with his constitution, he would defer it a day longer: that night he dreamt, that he was in a place where palm-trees grew, (suppose AEgypt) and that a woman in a romantic habit, reached him dates. The next day he sent for dates, which cured him of the pain of his reins.

Since, I have learned that dates are an admirable medicine for the stone, from old Captain Tooke of K—. Take six or ten date-stones, dry them in an oven, pulverize and searce them; take as much as will lie on a six-pence, in a quarter of a pint of white wine fasting, and at four in the afternoon: walk or ride an hour after: in a week’s time it will give ease, and in a month cure. If you are at the Bath, the Bath water is better than white wine to take it in.

 

Source: John Aubrey, Miscellanies Upon Various Subjects (1696)

Image: Sir Christopher Wren on old British banknote. You can bank on dreams!

Previous Posts

Here's to the Sun of God
In my neighborhood, Hebe, cupbearer to the Olympian gods, is now decked out in Christmas trimmings. Though she would probably prefer to be wearing vine leaves, she may be relaxed because she will remember that Christmas decorations - especially anything involving a tree - were borrowed from the foll

posted 11:20:28am Dec. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Advice from a dead movie star created the star of "I Love Lucy"
On the day the Obama administration announced that it intended to seek to reopen diplomatic relations with Cuba, a friend reported dreaming of Lucille Ball, the star of "I Love Lucy." She wanted to know why she was dreaming of the star of "I Love Lucy". I commented that the dream seemed to me to be

posted 5:18:13am Dec. 20, 2014 | read full post »

The departed are dreaming with us
One of my driving purposes in writing The Dreamer’s Book of the Dead was to help  some of the many people in our society who are hungry for confirmation that communication with the departed is not “weird” or “unnatural”, let alone impossible, and that it is possible to extend love and for

posted 4:39:32am Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Dream dates: Sir Christopher Wren dreams a cure
An intriguing account by John Aubrey of how the celebrated architect who recreated St.Paul's after the Great Fire of London dreamed a simple cure for a kidney ailment. I'll leave the narrative in Aubrey's voice. Note that "reins" in late 17th century English (as in modern French) means "kidneys".

posted 11:27:57pm Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »

The origin and power of the shaman's drum
The shaman’s primary tool for journeying is the single-headed frame drum, the type we use in Active Dreaming circles. I am constantly astonished, though no longer surprised, by how quickly this ancient instrument can help even the most rational, cognicentric Westerner to enter another state of bei

posted 6:15:48am Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.