Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bee Comedy/Tragedy

Mary K Swanson
When I was driving on 46 yesterday, something landed in my bra, between my breasts. Eeek! When I was able to take a peek, I found a bee.

As I gingerly turned into a side road (regretting the weight I had gained that made squashing the bee a possibility), I begged the bee not to sting me. I wasn't too afraid, because I love bees, and I know they aren't aggressive. Besides, my mother is a bee charmer. I felt protected.

I scooped the bee out carefully with a tissue and realized that the poor guy was dying. He could barely crawl onto the grass when I placed him there--I hated to leave him, but I don't think I have the skill to rehabilitate a bee.

I began to think: why was I visited by a dying bee?

A bee symbolizes the Mother Goddess, the willing sacrifice, immortality, and cooperation. In the physical world, the bee is in terrible danger from hive collapse and pesticides.

That made me think of the Hindu goddess Kali, the mother goddess of creation and destruction. Maybe my dying bee was a message from her, telling me not to be afraid, that death (my death, the death of ecosystems, the death of family and friends) is voluntary. We die to live again, but most importantly, we die to complete this part of our dream, and to leave room for others (as well as ourselves) to grow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Bad Dreams

I was just reading a forum over at Spirituality & Health called Dreamwork Interactive, in which you get weekly emails from Robert Moss, a dream worker and shaman whose books I have read and enjoyed.

At the top of the forums was a new topic, What Not to Share. I assumed there would be notes about not telling the world your personally identifiable information, about not getting X-rated, about being succinct. Well, something else was there, too. He doesn't want us to share "crappy dreams that bring people down."

I do think that some dreams may not be for public consumption, but I'm a little appalled that a shaman and dream worker would feel, as he indicates in his post: Bad dreams: when you just want to spit them out, that some dreams come from an evil place.

With Jeremy Taylor, and many other dreamers, I think that all dreams come in the service of health and wholeness, even the crappy ones. Even the ones that bring people down. While I don't know that I want everyone to go around sharing all of these dreams with me, I would never tell them that anything that came out of them was evil. Shadow material? Sure. Evil? I don't know.

I am not ruling out Moss' "evil" dreams completely. However, even if native peoples believed that evil spirits could invade the dream the same way that germs invade the body, I think that 99.9% of dreams are messages from our own mind trying to help us decipher the world around us, and help us be better and maybe even happier, in it. (I do think our minds are a lot bigger, smarter, and more well-connected to the collective unconscious and maybe even the whole universe, without reference to time, than we can see from our limited perspective.)

I'm thinking about what I do when I have a really bad dream, about war, rape, terror, misery, sadness... Well, I probably don't share it, but sometimes I do. It helps, and sometimes my loved ones don't mind helping me bear the horror. I don't always write them down, especially if they feel like mundane dreams. But I do try to take a clear look, see if I can find any meaning that would help me improve myself or the world. I believe that I have to look into my own heart, even when it's at its ugliest, to be a better person.

What do you think? Can dreams be evil? Should we spit out our "crappy" dreams, or do something else with them? What do you do?