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Dreamstones

Dreamed 1978/8/4 by Patricia Garfield

O, to invoke the good dream and banish the bad! People of all times and all cultures have fervently yearned to shape the quality of their dreams for themselves and their sleeping children. The methods they have evolved over the centuries vary in detail, but are startlingly similar in principle. Some of the techniques for influencing dream quality have been lost over time; others survive and are actively practiced today.

One of the most intriguing to me is the use of what I call a "dreamstone." This is the name I have given to a fetish made of a stone pierced by a natural hole. The stone is strung and hung over the bed of sleepers afflicted with bad dreams. Folk in ancient Britain followed this practice and the superstitious custom has lingered on into this century (Arnold-Forster). The idea of dreamstone captivated me, since one of my most powerful dreams involved the image of a stone with a hole.

In this dream, the night of August 4, 1978:

I am in a cave lying very still at the foot of a stone staircase. Someone has told me that if I am quiet enough I can "see the secrets." I fall into a sort of trance and utter an invocation to the goddess of love,

Come Kama,
Come Love,
Come Kama, my love!

After a moment, there is a stir and creatures, in pairs, begin to enter and descend the double staircase, some to the right, others to the left. At first they are recognizable--bushy-tailed squirrels, followed by peacocks trailing their plumes on the steps. These and others form a long procession passing my entranced body.

Then there appears a strange creature, tall, on long legs yet with a rather birdlike body. Its color is bluish and it bears an elaborate golden branching headpiece. With each step of its long blue legs, the heavy, lacy headpiece bends and sways. As I watch this apparition with amazement, I think how its shape must be a function of its growth pattern.

At last, midst an air of excitement, comes Kama, whom I have evoked. I am eager to see what the goddess of love looks like. To my utter astonishment the great goddess is in the form of a hole! So simple. So perfect. She is a large white stone, roughly hewn or natural on the outside with a smooth, flawless hole in the center. She rolls slowly, her weight rumbling as she descends the righthand staircase ...

There is more to this dream, but the central image is that of the goddess in the form of a hole in a huge white stone. As with such idiosyncratic dream images, this one held a fascination for me. It evoked in me what Jung has called "numinous" (awe of the divine).

Having had this impressive dream and having encountered a casual reference to dreamstones, I wanted to find out more. Perforated stones, I discovered as I researched the topic, have been worshipped by various cultures throughout the earth (Cirlot).

SOURCE: Dreamworks: an Interdisciplinary Quarterly (v.3, no.2, summer 1983, p.120)



LISTS AND LINKS: caves & the underworld - hypnosis & trance - summoning - squirrels - a dream of Peacock Kings - three tall blue quasi-birds: Etna-Shasta, or, Groom Your Own Feathers - Girl into Heron - Blue Blammor - gods & goddesses - love - stones - writers - dreamwork - more from Dreamworks Quarterly

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