Return to the Dream
Mysterious Totemic Creatures Traverse Realities
The dream had been so intriguing that I resolved to re-enter it once again the very next night. Although the scenery had been vaguely familiar during the astral transport, the events had occurred in a place that was difficult to pinpoint. There is always away to return to a place if you can recall a single detail of the landscape with sufficient clarity, for the universe is a hologram and all of spacetime is interlinked in a unified whole – even if that wholiness can never be entirely seamless, as all apparent reiteration is fractal in nature.
The extraordinarily large black snake was entirely jet black; it wasn’t a red- or yellow-bellied black snake, but a very different creature indeed. It was around seven feet long, thick as a slender human’s arm, thoroughly black and preternaturally aware. I’d been forewarned of the serpent’s presence by a darkly tanned woman with auburn hair who lived in the general vicinity, and hadn’t given the matter much thought until I encountered the massive snake in dappled shadows beneath a sparsely treed canopy.
As I live in a forest without fences, the sight of walled enclosures and fenced-off ‘private’ land is an unusual sight, but nowhere near as strange as the snake which darted back and forth like a playful dog engaged in a game of fetch, daring me to fear its impressive size and unusual shape each time it slithered toward me at a pace that would have been impossible to outrun even had I so wished. So I stood ‘my’ ground while it snaked hither and yon within the fenced-off enclosure, approaching to within inches of my unshod feet. The fine hairs on my arms and on the back of my neck rose like the hackles of a cornered cat, but the frisson of fear soon subsided.
I’d been seeking another route to a cleft in a mountain that had figured so prominently in many recent dreams, but all thought of that highland coign of vantage was dispelled as I watched the huge black snake slow its ongoing approaches and finally accept my presence. Unlike the sidewise stare worn by others of its ilk, this snake’s huge head regarded me front-on, staring into my eyes with both of its own.
Recalling it was springtime, I wondered if the creature was a female guarding its young with all those vociferous wardings, as such snakes are wont to do. Poisonous black snakes usually rear up to an impressive height when they do so, displaying their raging red or yellow underbelly colours to their intended victim, but this snake behaved differently; most of its underside never left the ground and its expressive features seemed to portent silent laughter and playful glee.
When it paused in its dance I continued walking through the enclosed strip of recovering forest, skirting the small clearing where it eyed me from tufts of tall grasses. Then, as I circled its position, the snake reared at last – yet it turned away from me, balancing upright on the last section of its muscular tail, and I watched a stranger scene unfold. It vibrated in place while a surprisingly large baby snake slowly dropped from its cloaca, birthed into the daylit realm of this strangely familiar new world.
Though all are reptiles, some snakes don’t lay eggs but rather give birth to live young and often protect them while they’re small; this was one such snake, and the fact that it allowed me to see the birth process seemed an honour indeed. When the youngster dropped to the ground the mother circled its baby and stared right into me without hint of threatening territorial or maternal angst.
After a time I continued onward toward the spiralling cleft in the mountain.
When I returned to the waking world, aspects of the dream lingered longer than usual in the bright sunny morning and fragments continued returning through the rest of the day – while I travelled a couple of hundred klicks to a relatively nearby village and back, updating the New Illuminati at an internet access point en route (In a particularly pleasant hippified town full of cool, diverse and tolerant people – unlike the closest village which is filled with redneck bumpkins, lowlife crims, resentful laid-off timber workers and conservative retirees; I avoid it whenever possible, preferring to donate my money to more deserving shopkeepers in the more distant township. Besides, my two youngest children live in the vicinity with their respective mothers and I’m there twice a week to fetch and return one or both boys, depending on the whims and exigencies of fate, weather and motherhood).
Every few minutes a different aspect of the intriguing dream would return to overlay the ‘real’ world. It slowly dawned on me that the poison from my last black snake bite had only recently left my body, and my leg and hip joints had only just relaxed from being tightly contracted into their sockets. * A dark line had slowly travelled outward, travelling from the quick of both big toenails after I was bitten a year ago, and these crescent ridges had only recently reached the end of the nails, quietly and neatly breaking away. The internal bleeding has finally ceased.
I’m in no rush to be bitten again soon, and took the dream to be a warning of potentially potent springtime encounters, among other, more spiritually inclined (or self-aggrandising shamanic) interpretations. Black snake bites are more potently poisonous in spring and sting like a horde of hornets for weeks, if you’re lucky enough to survive.
I picked up Beamish Boy and took him back home to the forest for the weekend. On the way back a kangaroo paced the van, eyeing us off as it hopped parallel to our course. When we arrived I insisted we pick (and eat) crisp fresh apples from the trees we planted years ago, and we tasted the sweet wild raspberries, strawberries, kumquats and mouthwatering mulberries. We explored rivulets plashing though the recovering rainforest, enjoying the planet while the world remained perfectly still and the sky deep and clear; as deep a shade of blue as the vault of heaven displayed when I was a child in the Emerald City, seemingly a long time ago – and, on the other hand, no time at all. The sky is usually a far more pallid and unimpressive shade in most other places these days, like a watercolour left out in the Sun; filled with the bright blinding glare and noxious hot air smog spewed on us all by industrious blowhard busynestmen and self-serving politicians.
It’s hard to realise how much has been lost in humankind’s mad rush toward self-impoverishment in the name of progress, but unlike younger (or more forgetful) people I at least know what the sky ought to look like – and out here in paradise it’s still often a deep vasty blue.
When recurrently recalling aspects of the portentous dream, I assumed (at first) that the scene must have been located on the other side of the world; after all, it had taken place in full daylight and half the world is awake while the other, sleeping half oft lives through the lives of their waking cousins in the far-flung lands of antipodean Earth. Yet the locale didn’t seem to have been North or South America, and certainly wasn’t in Europe. Much of Asia is shrouded in darkness at the same time as Oz, where we live; maybe it was in Africa, I ruminated. Then I recalled the particular species of plants in the dream, and realised the place of the snake must have been far more local than that.
When the day was done I decided to return to the same dream.
It isn’t that hard to return to a place if you can recall it with enough clarity. This is as true of successive incarnations as it is of each night or day in the microcosm of the present life time. Each night we disappear, go away, dissolve and drift into nether realms in a true representation of death – and each morn we return, whole and complete, no matter how far we’ve travelled; a true petit mort that provides a perpetual clue to the nature of our immortality.
Loosing the bonds to body and ego I fixed on the scenery I recalled most clearly, and unerringly returned to the world of the black snake.
The totemic creature seemed to be awaiting my return. When I looked around to get my bearings it soon became obvious its home was on the outskirts of a slowly expanding coastal settlement of dreamy sea changers, all awaiting a soporific death in colourful new little boxes, lulled into somnolence by the hypnotic anaesthesia of the endless rolling waves. The Pacific can sometimes be peaceful. The black snake, on the other hand, was utterly alert and responded to my return with a renewed flurry of darting motions, repeatedly dashing toward my bare feet, only to retreat before racing back again like the nearby salty waves.
I stood motionless, smiling and talking to the wondrous beastie and the mother snake soon tired of her funny little game. She rose and spoke into my mind, and while we communed I realised her head was far too spatulate, diamond-shaped and wide for a normal black snake of any description; far more like a pythonic constrictor than a poisonous adder. Both black eyes – bulging but not beady – remained focused on the centre of my mind.
The dream continued, but I shan’t bore you with further details.
A couple of days later, when Beamish had been delivered to the new old stilt-walking house his mother had decided to rent (with a friend of mine who’d been lately her lover and is now her cohabitant), perched on its high poles smack dab in the middle of the flood zone, I visited the Diamond Miner. The perceptive reprobate lives in the same salubrious little town, just across the recently rebuilt bridge that has flooded an unprecedented six times this year, having been rebuilt no higher than the stupid old bridge that had finally succumbed to endless assaults by the raging river. Today’s idiots build all the river crossings no higher than before, even when their level has proven inadequate to cope with the floods of yesteryear – let alone those to arrive in the oncoming greenhouse era.
One of the first things the Diamond Miner mentioned when I arrived at his home was the unusually huge black snake he’d seen at the land of a mutual acquaintance (hi, Brewster!). It had been big, jet black, and surprisingly unperturbed by human beings. “Was its head far too large for a black snake?” I asked. “How did you know that?” he replied. “Shaped like the head of a python?” I inquired. “Funny you should mention that,” he confirmed. “All black?” I asked. His suspicious stare was adequate confirmation.
When I arrived back home in the forest I was greeted by the shack’s resident python (which politely moved away from the cupboard door when I asked it to, only to return to the same guardian position when I finished stocking the small larder). I was particularly pleased to see that the peahen had returned from a long sojourn next door. A monstrous Wedge-tailed eagle was catching pink eyed mullet in the eternal pool out in front of the cabin and a family of surprisingly large skinks – communal land mullets – had moved into a gap beneath the small veranda.
It’s gratifying to find a place you’ve seen in your dreams. But then, as Omar Khayyam insisted – “All that we can see or seem is but a dream within a dream.”
You don’t think I’d bother to make this stuff up, do you? Time appears to flow onward…
Images – author’s
“I always wondered whether god really existed and if he did is he everything or did he create everything?”
- Wonder Boy at the Age of 8
For further enlightenment see –
The Her(m)etic Hermit – http://hermetic.blog.com
(These sites have been locked by Today.com and this author no longer has access to his own blogs – Enlightenment Today
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