Several weeks ago, I had a highly vivid and lucid dream. I was in a second-hand occult store (used spell books, tarot decks, etc.), and I found a tarot deck that caught my eye. I was flipping through the cards, and various cards started to come out of the deck and fall onto the table. A man walked by, saw the cards on the table, and said, “That’s not good!” I looked at the cards, and back up at him, and asked, “What’s not good?”
“What you’re doing.”
“I’m not doing anything. I’m just looking at the deck. The cards happened to fall out.”
“That’s a bad omen!”
Naturally, that grabbed my attention.
“What does it mean?” I asked.
“It means the cards formed a reading, and you’d better figure it out!” he replied, as he walked away.
I ran around the store, grabbing various textbooks and resources on the topic of Tarot, anything to find a possible meaning. I returned to the table and discovered that the cards were no longer on the table but were back in the deck! I began to panic and struggled to remember how they were laid out and what cards were on the table.
Three men walked over and asked what I was doing. I explained what had happened and how I couldn’t remember what cards were on the table, but I had to figure it out. (Side note: has anyone else experienced attempting to recall something in a dream? Am I the only person that finds it near impossible?)
The three men looked at one another, nodded, and suggested that I pick up the deck and feel which cards were in the initial reading. I went through the deck, one by one, and placed cards on the table as I felt they were right. I had initially placed five cards on the table but felt a sixth was needed – one above the Obstacles position. Once I had laid out all the cards, the first guy (“bad omen”) appeared and said, “Close! But you’re missing a card. You need one left of the Past position. That card will be memories tied to the past.” Seven cards were on the table now.
In real life, I’m far from an expert on the Tarot. I don’t own a Tarot deck. I use a Rune Deck. I am unfamiliar with traditional Tarot layouts, but the layout in my dream resembled the Five Rune Cross Layout I use with my Rune Deck (see image below). So, why Seven Cards? To the best of my knowledge, this layout doesn’t exist (until now!).
The First card in The Five Rune Cross is in the center. The second is the left card. The third is the top card. The fourth is the bottom card. The fifth is the right card.
The Seven Rune Layout has the sixth card to the left of the second position (West), and the seventh card is above the third position (North). I hesitate to note that seven has significance in several religions, myths, and folklore; seven heavens, seven hells, seven virtues and vices, seven light bodies, seven chakras, various references to seven in the Book of Revelation, etc.
The Dream, Pt. 2
I looked at the cards, and nothing stood out.
Note: pay attention to how things appear in your dreams, especially texts or images. You’ll notice that if you’re able to read in your dream, and you look away from the text when you look back, it will be different. The same can occur with images, or in my case, the Tarot cards.
I felt the need to pick up the books and start searching for meanings. The three men suggested that rather than search for the meaning in books that I meditate on the possible meaning of the cards. I closed my eyes and began to focus my awareness on the cards and observe any thoughts or emotions that came into consciousness. I had the sense that the three men were also meditating. After a moment, I began to experience being aware of the dream world as a whole! Then, I began to experience the sensation of being aware of my body (asleep in the real world) and the space between. As I was experiencing all of these and marveling at what was happening, there came into awareness a single bright light that grew in brightness and intensity until awareness merged with the Light.
I awoke with a sense of euphoria and wonder. What just happened?
I closed my eyes and fell back asleep. I immediately began dreaming again, and when I came back to my dream body, two men laughed. One of them said, “Did you catch the part where he thinks his Buddhist practice will save him?” Another responded, “And he doesn’t even know Japanese, Sumerian, or other Galactic languages!”
Interesting, unrelated note: I reached out to an acquaintance who has a Doctorate in Egyptology and shared the part about the languages. We both agreed that we didn’t know what Japanese had to do with it, but he, jokingly, said that Sumerian might as well be an alien language.
Recreating The Reading – The Seeking
Today, I felt prompted to pull out my Rune Deck to recreate the reading in my dream. The Five Rune Cross is easy enough, but what do I do with the two additional cards? I know their position, visually, from the dream, but I didn’t receive instructions for what meaning is tied to their position. Trust the process is what came to mind.
The question: What was the reading in my dream?
I pulled out my Rune Cloth, shuffled my deck, and laid out the cards, and followed the instructions from the three men: feel which cards are right.
First position (Center – meaning Present): Uruz
Second position (West – meaning Past): Laguz reversed
Third position (North – meaning Obstacles): Eihwaz
Fourth position (South – meaning Your Power): Isa
Fifth position (East – meaning Outcome): Algiz
Sixth position (Westmost – meaning Memories): Mannaz reversed
Seventh position (Northmost – meaning The Path): Kenaz reversed
Each card goes in a specific place because each position has a particular meaning. Below is a guide to each position’s meaning.
The Center position represents you, the inquirer, in your current situation and state of awareness.
The West position represents everything related to the question you have asked, which is linked to the immediate past and the way you arrived to where you are. These are the recent events, choices, influences, and, if you believe in such, the recent Astrological events that have occurred.
The North position represents the obstacles in your way. These, like ice or icebergs in the frozen north, can have hidden, secret, or overlooked aspects with regards to the question you have in mind.
The South position represents the beneficial forces, allies (seen and unseen), inner strength, and influences involved in the question that you have asked.
The East represents the possible outcome regarding your question/situation.
The Westmost position represents the memories, karma, habits, or ethereal cords tied to your question, beyond the immediate past; potentially, the sum of the previous moments leading to this question.
The Northmost position represents the path that awaits you. This is what your Being, Soul, Higher Self, Awakened Self, Consciousness, etc., is preparing you for, or warning you about, concerning this question.
The Center position, Uruz, is a message of remaining determined, engaged, and the opportunity for new beginnings after terminating a previous way of life. There might be a message surrounding the New Year since the dream occurred the night before the Winter Solstice.
*December 20 @ 3:07 pm PT* Mercury crosses the threshold into Capricorn, taking on a more serious and grounded attitude, forging plans and laying intellectual foundations on which thought castles can solidly be constructed.Transits of the Sagittarius–Capricorn Lunation
(Symbolism: Physical health, endurance, manifestation, freedom, stamina, determination, survival)
The West position, Laguz Reversed, indicates that I have been impatient and fighting against the current of life. The message regarding my recent past is that I have not heeded the need to let go, trust in Truth, and seek to uncover what is hidden. It is a message to open up and to no longer remain in silence. Speak truthfully!
(Symbolism: Storm, sinking, destructive forces of water, Depression, confusion, lack of harmony and perspective)
The North Position, Eihwaz, is a rune of change. In this position, it suggests that the primary obstacle that stands in my way is the desire for immediate change, quick progress, and completely letting go of prior beliefs, the past, and embracing a new life, dreams, beliefs, and beginnings.
(Symbolism: Encoding, the timeless, deflection, mysteries of death and new beginnings, transformation)
The South Position, Isa, indicates that meditation and seeking after knowledge before moving to more significant actions will assist me on the path. It is a message of inner reflection and stillness. Beneath the ice that covers the land, in the stillness, awaits new life and fertile ground! It is also a reminder to not allow the ego to take control, not to seek out superficial desire and self-glorification. In opposition to The North Position, the message is to be still, rest, seek to make slow and steady progress.
(Symbolism: Ice, Stillness, rest before action, self-awareness)
The East Position, Algiz, is encouraging and seems aligned with the dream’s message overall. Algiz is a representation of the Norse God Heimdall, the god of crossroads & guardian of entrances. It signifies a connection with our higher spiritual self where we find peace and are Awakened to our truest Self. It is a sign of reaching out to the heavens, communicating with gods and other entities. Here awaits a blessing and protection from the Self and higher entities. It is a message of hope, but not of ignorance! The path still holds dangers, threats, and causes for the raising of shields. But, balance, wisdom, and banishing fears of death will lead to stable progress.
(Symbols: Power within, higher self, defense, spirituality, divine plan, awakening, divinity, divine communication)
The Westmost Position, Mannaz reversed, has substantial, personal implications. It indicates that my life has been filled with selfishness and focusing on being right, justifying my actions by my standards of righteousness and justice (distinctly wrong ones). It also has ties to an individual of the opposite sex who strongly influenced my life. The message from the distant past is to claim responsibility for my previous actions and make peace with myself. It is a message to heal and move forward. It might also be a call to break free from a generational curse of sorts.
(Symbols: Dissatisfaction, selfishness, distant relationships, lack of sensibility)
The Northmost Position, Kenaz reversed, the path that is laid ahead is not rainbows and sunshine. It is a path that will highlight my weaknesses, hidden vices, and unpleasant truths. A direction that has seemed true may be false. Beware of arrogance! Beware of overconfidence! Kenaz represents a torch. Because it is reversed, the suggested path is dark, and it may feel that the source of inspiration has faded out. The path will require judgment and care, or else risk the loss of spirit, knowledge, creativity. There will be mockery, especially moments of insight, to try to extinguish the light! (“Did you catch the part where he thinks his Buddhist practice will save him?” “And he doesn’t even know Japanese, Sumerian, or other Galactic languages!”) Hold on to your current determination!
(Symbolism, Darkness, cold, lack of knowledge, lack of creativity, ignorance, arrogance)
I’ve had the privilege of working with two therapists that lean towards Jungian Dream Analysis as the mode of therapy. When I told my therapist about the dream, he said that it was of a spiritual nature, that I am seeking a balance to my spiritual life, and that my Being is on a quest for Truth.
The dream’s location is in a second-hand occult store. It contains items discarded by others or that intentionally had been given away for the benefit of others.
In the dream, it is a mystery man who remarks on the bad omen that sends me on a quest for knowledge. He is, in a sense, a Satan, a member of The Divine Court: “the messenger,” “the advisor,” or “the accuser.” The bad omen wasn’t the reading but the ignorance. It was being unaware that a message was being delivered to me. To me, the cards falling on the table was nothing more than my clumsy handling of the deck. That is what it is like to be unaware, asleep, stuck in Saṃsāra, dukkha, and avidya: you’re oblivious to the messages all around you! Calling for you to look! Wake up!
The three men in the dream acted as guides. The number three is considered a good, or even holy, number. It can signify harmony, new life, and completeness. They didn’t act as saviors, or prophets, claiming to know the way (Follow the prophet!) but instead offered guidance and direction to trust in myself and something beyond them and me.
I believe the mystical, euphoric, Enlightening experience that I had during meditation was, in addition to being a literal experience, a symbol of Wholeness. It was an at-oneing of the various aspects of myself (and perhaps more?).
The two men who mocked me upon re-entering the dream realm puzzled me for a while. At first, I thought it was two of the three men mocking me (i.e., there were still three of them there, but only two were mocking). Upon further reflection, I don’t recall there being three men. That suggests that I viewed them as being equal to the guides, despite their mockery. How often do we place others in positions of power, to the level of guide, guru, teacher, or prophet when they haven’t shown us that they merit such reverence or respect?
Rule of thumb: any teaching or figure that requires dependence upon them rather than depending on the Self or the Divine should be questioned.
Dreams have the power to deliver key insights and messages to us. Often, I hear people tell me that they don’t remember their dreams. I used to be in that situation. Here are a few things I have tried that have helped me.
- Use a dream journal. Write down anything and everything you can remember. I have a dream that the only thing I recall is that it ended with a wooden music box in a hamsa shape. Even if the only thing you remember is how you felt during the dream. Be honest in capturing the details of your dreams. Do not edit them out of fear or embarrassment.
- Look into dreaming techniques such as Liminal Dreaming, Dream Yoga, and Lucid Dreaming.
- Explore using supplements an hour before bedtime. Huperzine A (400 mg), Alpha GPC (recommended dose), and Galatramine (4-8 mg) have all been extremely useful in helping me with dream recall, lucid dreaming, and the vividness of the dream. (Note: I do not recommend using these supplements on a nightly basis. I’ve used them individually and combined all three, with no side effects. As always, consult with your physician when considering taking a new supplement, especially if you’re on any medications).
- If applicable, stop using anything that contains THC.
- Avoid Alcohol four-hours before bedtime (this will also help with sleep quality).
2 responses to “Seeking a Dream”
Interesting! I recently had a tarot-themed dream myself. I just looked it up – December 18th! Even more strangely, it was the latest “episode” in a series of dreams that have occurred over the last 10-12 years. They began with a dream about being in Hungary with my wife and meeting a baby girl over whom we had some kind of responsibility, but had to keep that responsibility secret. Over the years, I’ve “checked in” on the same dream, with the girl’s age increasing about twice as fast as “real world” time. In this last dream, she was a young mother with a small baby herself.
I was in an apartment with her and her daughter, as well as her mother and grandmother. The older ladies were laying out tarot cards while the girl looked on. They seemed to be doing a reading for her. The cards were all yellow and green-themed and the images were “zoomed in” bits of what would normally be very small pieces of traditional tarot images. As the ladies read, I had to restrain myself from telling them that their reading wasn’t accurate – in keeping with the ongoing dream theme that I can’t interfere. But I could see the “bigger” or “more compete” picture and it was one of ill portent. It pained me to have to hold my tongue. I then escorted the girl and her baby to her car and helped put the baby in it’s car seat. The straps and buckles in the car seat were thin and inadequate. I feared for their safety as they drove off.
On your rule of thumb… do you not think that characters in dreams often (always?) represent elements of the Self?
That is a fascinating dream! Have you explored the possible interpretation?
I should have been more specific with my rule of thumb. I was thinking specifically of the waking world, though I think it could apply to the dream world, too. While it is true that Jungian analysis states that all facets of a dream are parts of you if they point to themselves, I believe they ought to be dismissed since they’re only elements of the Self, not the whole Self.