Lin’s intention was to meet her spiritual teacher. In her dream, as she reported it to me:
I go to the cemetery where my brother is buried. We meet and hug each other. It’s very loving. He wants to come with me but I tell him I can’t take him where I am going.
A great bear appears. Bear has been my friend, and I feel safe and protected., even when something weird happens.
Something like smoke is coming out of my solar plexus. I look at it, trying to figure out what’s going on. It takes the form of a woman, a kind of misty ghost. “Who are you?” I want to know. “Tell me your name.” She tells me her name is Athena. “Get out of here. You can’t be Athena. You can’t be my guide, anyway. My guide can’t come from inside me. You have to be separate.”
She corrects me. She says firmly, “I can come from inside you.” I’m still disbelieving until she tells me to look down. I see my brother’s tombstone. The inscription reads: To thine own self be true.
Asked how she felt afterwards, Lin said, “I was shocked awake.” True spiritual teachers like to do that: to shock us awake. Asked to describe Athena, Lin said, “She is a goddess of wisdom.” She decided that the dream message was: “I can birth wisdom from inside myself, and I don’t need to look outside myself for my guide.”
Lin’s dream encounter was fresh and personal. She also felt grounded in family and ancestral traditions, blessed to have met both her deceased brother, and an animal guardian, and a goddess with a great name who was yet no stranger, given form by her own energy and imagination.