Dream Gates

Dream Gates

When you need a glow-in-the-dark zombie finger puppet

archie mcphee.jpgWhere can you find an inflatable cat-in-a-can, absinthe lip balm, zombie finger puppets and Last Supper mints in the same store? Archie McPhee’s (now in Wallingford) is a don’t-miss stop for me whenever I am in the Seattle area. I went there recently on an outing with a group of student-teachers from my training for teachers of Active Dreaming.

This just in from Marta, who was part of the expedition: “The day after I got home from our training, my sister shared a dream about zombies. We did some great work with it, and then I ran into my room and gave her a silly little zombie finger puppet that I had gotten at the magic shop. What a coincidence! The gruesome (and comical) little puppet reminds her of her dream message not to be a zombie, and to make a very important change in her work situation.”


The world around us will speak to us in the manner of a dream if we are willing to pay attention.
This doesn’t just happen when you go to a cabinet of curiosities as weird and wonderful as Archie McPhee’s. It can happen on any road, any day.

The zombie theme reminds me of a message from the world that could have saved me a bundle had I had the sense to act on it right away. Days before the collapse of the Lehman Brothers investment bank – the event that ushered in what became known as the Great Crash of 2008 – I was driving to a local dream circle that I lead once a month. I’m not an active investor, but I have a few pennies in my pension fund, so I decided to listen to the latest financial news on NPR’s “Marketplace” report.


Halfway through the show, they announced they were going to run the numbers on the day’s stock market activity, a standard feature of the show.
Instead of giving the closing prices, the narrative switched to a mock news report about an entrepreneur who had been secretly producing an army of zombies in the bayous of Louisiana in order to create a market for a new product called Zombie-Gone, that would soon be in supermarkets and convenience stores everywhere. The skit was quite funny. But it began and ended without any explanation, which was quite startling – and I never got those market numbers.

When I opened my dream circle, I reported this curious dreamlike episode and speculated, “What would the message be, if you dreamed that you were waiting for stock market information and instead got a weird report about an army of zombies?” We kicked this around for a bit. Might it indicate that Wall Street and government types were behaving – or were about to behave – like zombies? Might it be an alert that it was time to “be gone” from the market?


I very nearly resolved to call my broker the next morning, with instructions to sell all stocks in my portfolio. But in the cold light of day some residual part of my psyche kicked in – a part that still second-guesses the spontaneous productions of the world-behind-the-world that show us what the daily calculating mind doesn’t see. Are you going to risk the financial security of your family by taking radical action because you heard a radio skit about zombies? lectured Mr Conventional Wisdom. Puh-lease. Be responsible.You’re invested in safe funds on the advice of expert planners. At least take the time to check things out.
zombie finger puppet.jpg

So I stayed in the market, and got whacked by the zombies. The famous brokerage house that employed those “expert planners” is now the property of a bank. The “safe funds” they pushed me to buy are the only significant parts of my portfolio that have not recovered from the crash. The stocks that have notably outperformed the market are ones that I picked for myself – to the dismay of my then broker and Mr Conventional Wisdom – because of dreams.

Hmmm. Maybe I need to go back to Archie McPhee’s and get myself one of those glow-in-the-dark zombie finger puppets, and use it to give the finger to Mr Conventional Wisdom next time he tries to make me ignore a secret handshake from the universe.

  • Sequana

    Thank you, Robert. I often quote, in my dream circles, a wise statement made by a wise mentor (that would be you), a reminder to view our dreams more literally and our lives more metaphorically. Many times through the day I am blessed with nudges and winks from Sprit, sometimes I pay attention (and sometimes even act on it) sometimes I pretend to be too busy. Today I will surely pay better attention.

  • Sheila

    Thanks for pointing me to your post, Robert. Very inspiring for listening to your data stream from the antenna on the universe. Also, great closure around our outing!

  • Robert Moss

    Sheila – Thanks for playing dream charioteer on the day and for getting me to a really good swimming pool. It was in a gym (a foreign environment for me) so I didn’t get why all those people were running on treadmills when it was perfect weather outside until another member of our party pointed out, “If they run outside they won’t have a TV screen in front of their nose.”

  • Robert Moss

    Sequana – Don’t forget to pack your sense of humor. Sometimes the universe tickles or (like Archie McPhee’s) communicates via the equivalent of a whoopee cushion or itching powder. And if there is Spirit there are also spirits (lower case and sometimes lower habits).

  • Suzanne Whittingham

    Thanks Robert for the reminder to act upon insights that present themselves in the dream time. Hopefully, much disappointment and pain will be averted by the recognition of the power inherent in trusting that inner voice. It’s all part of reclaiming our own power and using it to shape our lives in magical ways. You jar us out of our complacency into new dimensions of possibility. It is lovely indeed.

  • Margie

    That sounds like a fun store. I’m glad you make time to play…us dreamers keep you so busy I know.
    Your story reminded me of a dream I had a couple of years back. My deceased Aunt who had been a stock broker/banker during her life appeared to me with her husband (who passed away about 10 years before her) and told me to buy stock in a bank. At the time I was just about to transfer a small amount of money from a cd to an account since cd’s weren’t doing anything, so I thought, what the heck! I’ve never bought stocks before and it is only a small amount. I did it to honor my Aunt and to learn about stocks. The stock grew right away so that I could place a loss order on it and 2 years later, it is still growing (and I keep an order on it to not lose the original amount plus some). It took me about 2 days to listen to this dream, I kept doing what you did…doubting myself and my dreams. I only had a small amount of money…but, I can understand if it was larger, I would have a larger amount of hesitation. Thank you for sharing this story…I will be on the lookout for zombies in the future…

  • Robert Moss

    Margie – I’m so glad you listened to your deceased aunt, who clearly kept her financial savvy on the Other Side. Departed loved ones who wish us well AND know what they are talking about can be an excellent source of practical counsel.

  • Robert Moss

    Suzanne – Yes, and let’s notice that “dreamtime” in my own zombie story here is not about sleep or about separate realities, but about listening to the signs and popup symbols of the world around us, which will speak to us in the manner of dreams if we will only pay attention.

  • Azima

    I love this story. So sorry for your financial losses, but it’s so instructive of just how useful and powerful these waking and sleeping dream messages can be.
    I started a new dream class for beginners last night, and I was saying that I find dreamwork to be such a powerful spiritual practice, because if we pay attention and have the faith to follow, we learn more and more about how we live in multiple dimensions. It softens the boundaries that Mr/Ms Conventional Wisdom insists upon in order to have the illusion of control and “hard-headed realism”. Ha.
    Thanks for this blog and ALL your work, Robert!

  • Robert Moss

    Azima – Thank you so much. I’ve been known to say I’ll put up with almost anything if it has story value :-) On your last, exceptionally interesting point, my friend Henry Reed (one of the founders of the American dreamwork movement) and I recently had a discussion about the proposition that “Our culture is opening to public discourse on another dimension of reality until such time as we can consensually inhabit non-material realms of experience.” You’ll find a summary of that at my OTHER blog, here –

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