Now we enter the water-time, dream-time, the world of the Queen of Cups. She rules the watery realm of the emotions and dreams. We are entering the heavy, slow days, moving towards the Moon of Long Nights. The sun rises late and sets early. We eat moist, dense, heavy foods — slow-cooked stews and roots. We are tired.
In this moment of late fall turning to winter, we are just past Samhain, the time when the veils between the worlds are thinnest, and moving into the underworld and dreaming time. Let us turn towards the wisdom our dreams have to offer. Our dreams can show us what we hide from ourselves — the feelings we keep underneath, concealed even from ourselves.
There are dreams, and there are Dreams. Dreams where we wake up and they vanish, or ones we remember but see clearly that our minds were just sifting the jumble of the past days.
Then there are the Dreams we wake from, confused — what is the dreaming world and what is the waking world? Which is true? Which really happened? There are Dreams that haunt us through our day, that linger like the smell of our lover on our pillow.
There are Dreams that we do not understand, but that nudge us until we write them down, and later, when we read back through them, we see what they were trying to tell us. These Dreams, which I think of as vision Dreams, are the ones, as a poet, that I turn into poems.
Many of them are Dreams that return again and again — while sleeping, I recognize them, part of the dreaming is remembering that I have been there before, here we are again. Dreaming is also an invitation to non-linear knowing, to wisdom that seeps, permeates, unfolds. Dreams do not usually fully reveal themselves to us right away. They open slowly within us, they fill us like a slow stream.
As we enter the dreaming time, keep a journal by your bedside. Give yourself space and permission to enter this time. Your body wants to sleep more — allow it as much as you can. Hibernation is not for bears alone. Give yourself early nights, naps, quiet days off. The Queen is trying to find you — lie down and open the door for her.
This dream over and over:
Doors appearing in walls, opening
to rooms full of bread dough, ovens
you were supposed to light,
but neglected. Ruin pressing
close. You wake shouting.
You have squandered all
you have been given.
I dream that I am a cabbage.
I find an unloved piece of land
and I begin to plant:
two rows of cabbages, and then
I fill the woolen earth with more
seeds. Carrots, potatoes, squash, wheat.
They grow taller, I tend them gently, at night
I sleep in a bed of soft leaves.
When they are ready, my little cabbages gather their silk dresses
and begin to walk. They each find another
piece of earth, hidden in cities or empty fields,
they begin to plant.
This dream again:
Half-lit rooms appear — I know
them, they are unknowable --
machines or children that should have been tended
but have been abandoned
to rust, to sob, to erode.
I wake half out
of the dusky bed
already, sweat tattooed along my neck --
I should have known, I should
have known, and now
I am going to pay.
Dream in the month of long nights
I was shot
in the back of the head.
partly covered by my hair,
and when they found me
and raised me to my feet,
I was astonished --
I could still walk,
still talk, and no
no one seemed to mind
that I was mostly dead.
I dream that it is New Year’s Eve
in a strange city. My child
turns into a loaf of bread — I panic,
Are they alive? Are they breathing? How
would I even know?
I put the loaf under my shirt
and we begin walking. A woman
says she can’t help us, her mother
is dying. A man in the street
tells us the hospital is in the 11th arrondissement,
keep walking. I am trying
and trying to dial 911
but the numbers keep moving and changing,
I cannot dial the last 1. We walk
on and on,
are open to us.
We were looking for our plane,
but instead of a terminal
we stepped into a large
green field. A helicopter
came down to us
and your dead father stepped out.
No one on the helicopter would survive,
he said, and one of us
had to join him.
You wanted to go
because you said I
loved this painful life more.
You walked towards your father
and I did what you asked:
I stayed on in the field,
in the terrible green.
(This work was first published online at Rebelle Society in 2017: