Friday, August 23, 2013

My Dream Symbol for the Divine Now Lives in My House

Loki taking a break from crate training
at about 3 1/2 months, 4 days after he arrived.
It has been a while since I have written here. These last few months have brought about significant upheaval. Most of it has been good (most, I say, though not all). I bought a house and adopted a new family member. In a sense, one might say that some of my dreams have unexpectedly became manifest. By that I don't just mean my "hopes-for-the-future" kind of dreams. I mean my actual dreams.

I have vivid dreams. When I recall them, I avoid analysis, preferring to stick with "sometimes a cigar is only a cigar." Yet, there are other times I think there may something deeper going on. During those times, I consider the imagery to be possibilities or insights rolled out from my depths (as opposed to ascribing specific meanings). They can help me connect my past and my present to my sense of personal becoming.

When I was a child, Cotton--a white Pekingese-Poodle--joined our family. He arrived when I was in First Grade, and he died when I was a Senior in high school. His passing broke my heart. Through the years, though, I still feel as though he visits me in my sleep. I never want those dreams to end, those in which he lays at my side while I do nothing but gaze upon him and slowly run my fingers through the his fur. They are my most peaceful dreams. As the seasons turn, such visits become more sparse. A year has passed since I last time I dreamed of him.

Presumably because of Cotton, a white dog continues to be a symbol of the Divine when Morpheus bids me to visit his realm. About a decade ago, I had a rather vivid dream during a very trying time. In that dream, I was asleep in my bed. The room was dark. Suddenly, a bear burst the door open and growled ferociously. With the hall light on, the back-lighting transfigured it into a terrifying beast of darkness. Before the bear could enter the room, Cotton, my white Peek-a-Poo--glowing with a tight white light of divine brilliance--leapt over my bed to meet the bear in the doorway. As my shinning defender reached the shadow-shrouded belly of the beast, I awoke. Shock and awe overcame me as I sat up. But the most overwhelming emotion I felt was one of security. Apparently before I transitioned out of the dream, I acquired a distinct sense that even the smallest manifestation of Divine light could not be overcome by terrors in the dark.

Now about 5 months,
growing into his name.
And so you have a peek into my own spirituality. White dogs are natural symbols of God to me.

Now, imagine my surprise when I go to adopt a dog...and, by sheer chance, end up with a white one. I wanted a German Shepherd/Siberian Husky mix; I expected traditional Husky coloring with a Shepherd shape. However, they just so happened to have two white puppies at Free Spirit Siberian Rescue. The moment I saw "Alpine," I knew exactly which of the two he was. As our eyes met, we connected. Before I left the site, the owner commented that the puppy and I were bonding already.

All he needed was a new, more meaningful name. I have a chaos symbol tattooed on my arm, which represents to me creative possibility and potentiality. Given that a white dog is one of my symbols of the Divine, it just seemed natural to name him after the Norse trickster god: Loki.

Loki has indeed been a challenge (and if you don't believe me, try raising your own little trickster god while he goes through both puberty and teething at the same time). Yet, every day, his physical presence reminds of me my sense of connection to the numinous depths normally beyond my perception. Every household should have symbols that recall our hearts and minds to God. Loki is now one of mine. Even amidst (if not downright through) the chaos of unexpected life change, I feel as though God is with me still, and that I am exactly where I am meant to be.

Image source: Mine, yes, that puppy's all mine.

4 comments:

MaryMomentum said...

Loki is beautiful, and it's great that you have such a strong connection. I agree with you about dreams -sometimes they're just subconscious flotsom that floats to the surface, but other times... I think they can surprise us with insights.

My favorite dreams are about my father. Since he passed I've dreamed of him waking me up (only to wake up and realize my son was at the front door, home from school) and the smell of his pipe tobacco. I like to think he's just checking in.

irreverance said...

Thank you for the compliments on Loki. So far, he has been the perfect dog for me.


That sounds like a wonderful dream... unless, of course, he's checking in on you and catches you red handed doing something you're not supposed to. Then you're in for it.

Caileach said...

as some people have said dog spelled backwards means God. well i first flipped each letter around then i went to a mirror placed all three letters all around and looked, it's cryptic message said god. I have found two beautiful black dogs, (puppies/babies). my family and they are called by godlike names the female is Durga and the male is Osiris. they have made me a better human and have taught me the ways of the divine in humans.

irreverance said...

>>they have made me a better human and have taught me the ways of the divine in humans.<<


I can definitely see that. In fact, that's one of the reasons I am considering writing "A Theology of Dog" as my next book. Thank you for reading.