Tag Archives: dreams

Too Little, Too Late? I Can Only Hope Not….

Well, hello. It is a cloudy, cold day here in Texas. Wait five minutes…that might change. However, it is a new calendar year. And eventually, the long cold of Winter will take hold. I hope. When I was in Ireland at the end of this past year, and the beginning of this one – it was warm there (in the 40f to 50f range) compared to the 20f range back here in Texas. Arriving back in Texas, it got into the 70f range here. ::sigh:: Winters have always been weird here in Texas.

So, with my return back to Texas, it is time to get the blog rolling again. And there is a lot to talk about. With a new President-elect stumbling into office like a drunken thug…times look to get contentious and “interesting” here in the States. But as I have posted before, we will make it through – together. Then there are the recurring dreams….well, let’s start there – shall we?


 

Dreaming is one of the strongest connections I have with my two Gods and my singular Goddess. I have many, many entries in my Dream Journal about moments with Them. I also have many other entries about odd dreams, and recurring ones. The latest recurring dream deals with something I have already posted about during my time in Ireland. The wall. Not Donnie’s idiotic dream of separating the United States from our Mexican neighbors. No, this wall separates parts of cities and towns. Where “good” citizens are protected from those not like them.

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What I am referring to is something similar to the so-called “Peace Wall” in Belfast, Northern Ireland. When I first saw the wall, I heard a very distinctive voice in my mind – Fliodhas – telling me that this a glimpse at a future that could be. Once the bus stopped along a stretch of the wall, I was able to stand across the street from it and realize the starkness in its existence. Painted up with graffiti like a prototypical streetwalker, it seemed to be a semi-sweet reminder of days gone by. After all, attacks between Catholics and Protestants have been on the decline for quite some time. Both sides seemed to be making friendly. Belfast is quiet.

But that makeup is a farce. If there were peace between the two sides, the electronic gates that close up streets that run through this saccharine emblem would no longer close at night. People would be free to travel both sides of this division at any time of the day or night. Peace? Calm? No. You can feel the Storm’s rise in the city. The issues that divide these two sides still fester. The energy from that fouls the entire atmosphere of this city. Politically, there’s a left/right divide that mirrors that of the United States. The difference between the States and Northern Ireland, is that Northern Ireland is more well schooled in the physically violent aspect.

During Donnie’s run towards the Presidency, the political rallies that he held were tinged with protesters trying to make a point of how dangerous his regime may be. And those rallies were also tainted with the often violent responses to these protesters by his followers that were in nearby seats. And all that was done with Donnie’s encouragement from the podium. Now, with Donnie getting ready to set his bum on the highest seat in the American political landscape – images of divided communities staring at walled off areas where non-conformists are kept is not difficult to discern. Those images are easily found in my dreams.

There is no cute and colorful graffiti found on those walls. No statements written by visitors who are presented this stark reminder of what divided society can look like. There is nothing but the cold, stark, gun-metal grey of walls made of steel and metal. The top is graced with razor wire, and watchtowers on the “good” side blot the linear skyline that the wall provides. This wall does not separate two populaces from one another to avoid fighting. This wall is designed to separate “wanted” populations from those that would pollute the “good” society.

We, humankind, have built walls like this before. Remnants of this can be found throughout Europe, where the Nazis walled off parts of the cities to create the Jewish ghettos. As Roger Daltrey belts out in a Who song called “Eminence Front”….

The news slows
People forget
Their shares crash, hopes are dashed
People forget

Yes, we forget. We forget what we have done to one another – in the name of ideology, in the name of religion, in the name of Big Oil, in the name of skin color….in the name of so many things. And one day, we will wake up, look around us and see what’s been done in the name of….whatever. And we will remember that was done before. And we will vow to never do it again. Until the next time.

When I heard the Gods telling me that the Storm was coming, I could not see a reason to grab my staff and utilize it for more than assisting my old ass in walking. The Storm arrived, and I was ready to fight, but still did not understand what I was fighting. I arrived in Ireland in late December, still unaware of what there was to fight. Then in Belfast, Northern Ireland…standing at the Peace Wall and seeing what a divided society looks like, I understood. I can only hope that my effort to help is not a measure of too little, too late.

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Which Wolf Will You Feed?

Last weekend, I went to the movies and watched Tomorrowland from Disney. It was an interesting film — once it got going. Its painfully slow in getting started, but there’s a message in all of it. The movie discusses how the chance to reach for the unknown – for a future that remains possible – can drive the dreamers forward. Or to put it another way, so long as we know that there is a chance for any number of outcomes, we will strive towards our dreams. There are far more statements within the movie, but I wanted to focus on this one for a bit.

Two Wolves

I have a little rubber bracelet that I got from a trip to NASA in Houston a few years back. It has the iconic statement emblazoned on it: “Failure is not an Option.” For the longest time, I applied that statement to my students. When I was in the classroom, I tried to be as upbeat and encouraging with them as much as I could. I’m quite sure that a few of them understood where I was coming from. Even more probably viewed me as some sort of Pollyanna, and dismissed me out of hand. After all, I focused very intensely on very positive outcomes. But it wasn’t because I refused to see the negative outcomes, not at all. Its because I believe intent is driven by what we consume. Or to put it in the words of Tomorrowland‘s heroine, Casey:

There are two wolves who are always fighting. One is darkness and despair. The other is light and hope. The question is… which wolf wins?

The answer is “the one you feed”. I found another aspect of this on the Nanticoke Indians website located here. Interesting, is it not? What we are talking about here is a concept very similar to magickal workings. We form our intention – to feed whichever wolf we want to – and then move forward in our actions to do just what our intentions are aimed towards. I will come back to this in a short bit.

Further in the movie, Governor Nix (played by Hugh Laurie) has a long statement about how humanity embraces the concept of the “end of the world.” At the end of this monologue, he states:

…because the wonderful thing about giving up on the future is that it doesn’t require you to do anything right now.

Which brings me back to the point of knowing the outcome, as well as branching into another point of thought I will get to in a moment. When we know the outcome, without the shadow of a doubt, human beings are more likely to give up, embrace the outcome, and find a way to adapt (if there is one). Tomorrowland points out how this kills creativity and the desire to reach for the unknown. After all, if the outcome is already known…who cares about what we don’t know about already? In the end, its a useless activity to find out more, particularly when there is no changing the outcome. But if the outcome is only 99.999% certain, there are some human beings that will strive with every fiber of their being to find that 0.001% chance of a different outcome. Where there is a hope of altering an outcome, there is always the struggle to utilize our creativity to find that/those other solution(s).

The End Times

So, we come to one of the biggest differences between Christianity and Paganism, at least in my mind. Pagans embrace an idea that we can change the outcome in our world. If we put into motion the idea that we are a part of our environment, rather than the environment being a resource that we can dominate, and use – we find that there’s no need for an “End Times” scenario. We can live within our environment forever (whatever that means), provided we see ourselves as a part of it – rather than the environment as a resource to devour. Christianity, on the other hand, points to a Dystopian future on the Earth. When the time is over, Christians will be pulled into Heaven, a Utopian environment that cannot be accessed until your death or the Rapture. The Earth will be left to Satan and his minions, and setup as a Dystopian environment of misery, pain, and suffering for those non-believers who were “left behind”. Its fairly obvious to see there’s no need to conserve resources for the future. There’s no need to be a responsible caretaker of the environment. After all, in the end, God will take us from here, to another place. A Paradise. Oddly enough, my favorite Eagle’s song “The Last Resort” addresses just this point.

Call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye.

Tomorrowland doesn’t paint a rosy picture of the future. Because the future isn’t determined yet. There’s still hope that things can be changed. There’s still a chance that we can make things better, that we can reach for our dreams. And that, is my point here. There’s always hope. There will always be room in my environment for my dreams. My dreams of a world where our environment is a treasured part of who we are, not merely something to admire or use. My dreams of a world where we choose to live together and are respectful of our differences. How do we get there? Well, I am not completely sure. But I have started walking down that Path myself. And I see things that I need to change in who I am. I need to find ways to be more understanding of the followers of the Christian faith. I see where I need to find commonalities between my Independent political leanings and those of the Right and Left in the political spectrum. That little bit of understanding, those commonalities – that’s common ground. And from fertile common ground – that is where I believe the dreams I have will be cultivated from.

Which wolf, indeed….

My very first sight of Space Shuttle Atlantis

My very first sight of Space Shuttle Atlantis

Dreams

How does the lyrics from “Jesus Christ Superstar – the Rock Opera” go? Ah yes…

Pontius Pilate: Then you are a king.
Jesus: It’s you that say I am. I look for truth, and find that I get damned.
Pontius Pilate: And what is ‘truth’? Is truth unchanging law? We both have truths. Are mine the same as yours?

I can change this every so slightly…we all have dreams, are mine the same as yours? Seriously, we all do have dreams. Dreams of our job expectations, dreams of how our spiritual beliefs can effect the world around us in some ginormous way. Dreams of how our votes can change the political climate we found ourselves in. And then we run into that brick wall of reality. But we’ll come back to that in a moment…

Me -- 6 years old

Me at 6 years old

I had dreams when I was a kid. Wild dreams. I wanted to be a fighter jet pilot – but my five foot six inch height stopped me real quick on that. Plus, my fear of heights compounds the issue for me. I also wanted to be a dragon-slaying, ninja warrior. With all the grace of a master martial artist, the honor of a Samurai, and the babe-magnetism of a medieval knight. Yah. Thankfully – for society as a whole – my fat, short ass is not that graceful, and my ability with a sword is more than passable, but hardly at “hero” quality. And if I had any magnetism, I would be stuck so hard to my armor, that I would be begging for a can opener.

However, as I grew older and changed into a slightly responsible adult, my dreams changed with me. In high school, I had the desire to be a History teacher. That desire to teach has not disappeared, and I have realized that part of my dream – teaching Computer Science at the junior college level. I still have the desire to teach History…and continue to take steps towards that direction as well. I never would have figured that I would work for the United States Air Force. Or the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Or any of the myriad of other places I have worked. Nor would I have ever thought I would be working as a Research Analyst in my current job position. Nor would I have guessed that I would actually enjoy the job that I do.

But I still have dreams.

I always envisioned a belief system that would embrace my feelings of Nature as a mystical, spiritual place – not a resource that was placed here for my use – as if God was dropping relief packages for the stranded race of human kind. It was a dream that such a thing existed. It did, and I eventually found my way to it. I have dreams of where I can go within those bounds, and how much more I can learn about myself and the world around me through those bounds. I never would have dreamed that I would eventually have the semi-attention of one of the Gods, much less find myself working in a direction through the podcast to showcase Paganism to others.

And still I dream.

I dream of a day when a candidate comes on to the political scene and holds the same beliefs that I do. The same ideals of how government should be in a position to foster community amongst the individual states, while protecting the freedoms and rights of the individual citizens within those states. I have yet to find that candidate…but I hold out hope that one will eventually come along on the scene.

Me at the 2015 ADF Texas Imbolc Retreat (photo by John Beckett)

Me at the 2015 ADF Texas Imbolc Retreat (photo by John Beckett)

I dream of a day when anyone practicing a Pagan faith can do so openly. Without fear of reprisal, oppression, or rejection. I dream of a day when every faith can stand shoulder to shoulder — agree to disagree without angry rhetoric or statements of damnation or urges of eradication. With each passing day, I am not sure that will ever happen during this lifetime – but I hold out hope.

I dream of a day, when education is available to anyone that desires to have it. Where the costs of that education are kept at a reasonable cost – for the government to fund. Yeah, I get that this is rather socialist of me…but I can dream, ya know?

…and tonight, I continue to dream. I dream of a quiet open thicket in the middle of a forest – the tree line just a touch out of sight. In the center of that thicket stands five trees. One large oak, surrounded by four birch trees at each cardinal point of the compass. And just under the branches of the Oak – near the eastern-most Birch – sits a large rock. When standing on that rock, one can reach up and grasp the branches of the Oak with minimal effort. Sitting on this rock, I will wait. Wait for my blackbird friends – who chirp, caw, and qwork at me with greetings.

I dreamed, I dream, I continue to dream. How about you??