Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Mare’s Way: a horse dream carries a single mother to rebirth

Thumbnail image for mare and foal.jpgI’ve been writing a lot about women and horses recently, for example in my recent essay here on Dream Horses.

I received a beautiful account of a horse dream that carried a woman through the pain of a bruising divorce. It gave her the courage to cross a continent, as a single mother with young kids, and make a new life that included writing and publishing a first novel. Her name is Michele Lewis and I’ll let her tell her story in her own words.

“My life would have been very different without the horse dream.
“The dream occurred after my very painful divorce.  I had two small children, aged two and five, and I was torn.  I felt called to leave our home in Maine and move to Colorado. I wanted mountains, adventure, and a fresh start. But my ex and the families on both sides were in Maine.  I couldn’t be that selfish, could I?  

“After some agonizing, I asked for dream guidance.  I wrote down, Should I or should I not move to Colorado?  
“I dreamed I was with an older woman, someone I know only from dreams. We were leading two pregnant mares across the country.  The journey was long and difficult over the seemingly endless plains, and I worried that the horses would not survive the trip.  Finally, we came to the borders of a spacious and lovely farm, and led the horses through the opening or archway in a fenceline.  We walked up the driveway towards the buildings.  

“Right away, the horse I had been leading went into labor.  I didn’t know what to do.  I had never delivered a newborn horse.  The feet were coming out first, and I thought, ‘Oh no!  A breach birth!  Is that how it’s supposed to come out?’  I guided the legs out and helped the mother as best I could.  Eventually the whole body slid out into my arms.  It was warm and sticky, and didn’t seem to be breathing.  I tried to clear its airway.  

“At last, the colt took in a long, deep breath, but it was more than that… it was like I had taken my first breath of life… that the whole world had inhaled.  I felt exhilerated and yet peaceful, my whole body charged.  Then I remember saying to the mother horse, ‘Don’t get too attached to it.  The owner may not let us keep it.’  

“The older woman who had journeyed with us guided me to a horse trailer that was lavishly furnished, presumably for the new colt.  She replied, ‘ don’t think we have to worry about the owner.  He’s invested a lot in this one.’  I felt relieved, and I became aware that we had one more horse with us that could give birth any time.
“When I awoke in the morning, the answer to my question was entirely clear to me. The move to Colorado would be a challenging and painful crossing but it would result in the renewal/rebirth of my life.  The newborn colt came to have multiple possible interpretations for me… my own self, my books to come, perhaps my own children who would also be along for the ride… 

“Moving to Colorado as a single mom was the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever made and it was just as hard and just as rewarding as the dream previewed.  I even named the protagonist of my first book “Mare” in honor of the dream and because it seemed to me that Mary’s virgin birth, as Joseph Campbell suggested, was on one level the woman giving birth to herself or a new part of herself.”

Something for all of us to learn from this wonderful experience: when we are faced with a life challenge, let’s remember to ask for help from our dreams. In dreaming, we have access to a mind that is wiser and deeper than the everyday conscious ego. If Michele’s dream were mine, I might think that the older woman who is my companion in the journey across the continent is an embodiment of my older and wiser self, and would draw continuing courage and confidence from the idea that she is with me in my ongoing life odyssey, especially in dreams.

Michele Lewis’ visionary narrative Reaching Out from the Inside is available from bookstores and online booksellers.
  • Chase

    What I really like about the dream is that it allows you to see dreams as a language. The horses reflecting her drives and motivation and the pregnancies representing the development of the changes she has been considering. The dream is either intuitive, or it reflects her choice to move already having been made without her fully accepting it yet.

  • Robert Moss

    Chase – You have some good points to make here, but I would like you to learn to make them better. I never want to sound as if I am pronouncing on the meaning of someone else’s dream, because dreams belong to the dreamer, who is the final authority on what they mean. Sure, we can and should offer our associations, but we want to learn to do this in a way that empowers the dreamer. If I recast my comment to say, “If it were my dream, I might think that my dream reflects a choice I have made without fully accepting it in my waking mind” I make myself much easier to hear, and I help to empower the dreamer rather than putting her rich experience in a box. You may find it helpful to study the Lightning Dreamwork process as I explain it in my book “The Three ‘Only’ Things.”

  • Chase

    Thank you. I may actually do that at a later time. My research into dream symbolism is heavily focused on studying dreams, with little focus on actually communicating with people about them face to face. I’m more of an academic, or back room interpreter.
    I didn’t mean to impose my view, I just thought the dream beautifully illustrated symbolism that reflects universal language. Something that inspires me to continue my work.

  • Robert Moss

    Chase – there is hope for academics too (I started as one). May I say that I think you will gain mightily in your understanding of dreams, and of people, by learning to share dreams in a mutually empowering process of give-and-take, oriented always to bringing creativity, guidance and healing from the dreamworld into the body and into waking life? As for “universal language”, if I am looking only at common or archetypal themes in dreams (which are interesting) I am missing the rich specificity of the individual dream experience, which comes freshly minted and is uniquely that of the dreamer, even while often carrying themes that are universal for our species and enable us to recognize something of ourselves in the other.

  • Savannah

    What an amazing dream, and life journey Robert. I love how dreams can become road maps to guide us through the challenging spots, and when animal powers come to my own dreams it’s often reassurance of a natural intelligence at play I can trust more than my ordinary mind. Once I asked for dream guidance on whether or not to accept a job that left my waking mind in a tizzy. In the dream I was visited by a young bear nuzzling my hand who seemed to be saying – it will be fine, you can do this. I woke still in a tizzy, but also with a deeper knowing that even though I could see no evidence of it in waking reality, things would work out (which they did.)

  • Heidi

    Love this! Very inspiring, indeed, and I’m thankful for you all to share it.

  • Robert Moss

    Heidi – There really is terrific horse power in this story, isn’t there? It’s energizing and inspiring simply to read it.

  • Robert Moss

    Savannah – I like your comment about the “reassurance of a natural intelligence at play” when the dream animals come into our space. As we see in Michele’s story, when the dream animals are out, we not only find maps for our life journeys, but the horse power to help get us where we need to go, on the natural paths of our energies.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Michele Lewis

    I don’t know how I missed this when it first came out. Thanks, Robert! I like the other pictures too (Mare way). That’s how I found the original article. Hugs!

    • Robert Moss

      Michele – Thanks for sharing this moving and mobilizing story from your life odyssey. Lion purrs!

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