Solstice Slumber

Ug wishes us all a Merry Yule.

Peaco wishes us all a Sacred Solstice.

On the years that I remember to consider a Word of the Year, this week is generally when I start to think about it. On the years I don’t remember this is generally when I’m thinking about anything and everything else. I have obviously remembered this year (for the coming year) but so far all I am getting is No. It might be not yet. Or it might be black bull. Hindquarter horn. Underground elevator. Or fearless deer. Or masculine embrace. I’ll explain.


I set the stage for strong solstice dreams last night. I honored winter things with my photography during the day and made a special effort to witness the setting sun of the shortest day. I sang to the white-throated sparrows which spend the winter in my bamboo.


In the evening I lit the candles and made a scent offering. I ate winter cabbage and drank clear spirits. I washed my hair. I placed carnelian near my bed.


In my first dream I was a man trying to thwart an impending reprisal while working in a hospital. I knew they were looking for me and I was in trouble. I knew I could exonerate myself and prevent consequences. I can’t say for sure if I was successful or not because my second dream eclipsed most everything I can remember — except that elevators were prominently featured in both dreams.


In my second dream I was a woman again, really Me. I worked in a small building in the middle of a rolling green field. Felt like some kind of clerk’s office; a small place designed for transactions. Tiny office, big window, with a porch. I was standing on the porch looking out across the field. Other than another small building nearby there was nothing but nature. Deer came down the path to my building. They were not afraid of me; just looked at me, sniffed, and went on about their business.

Then two young black bulls appeared in the field, running, circling my building, trotting up and down the hills and doubling back to my location. Short horns. Didn’t appear mad or threatening but I was wary. In my one real-life interaction with bulls I was afraid of them. One bull came over to me, looked and sniffed like the deer, but then stepped onto the porch where I stood. If my fear was a scale from 1 to 10, I was afraid 4.

I reached behind me and braced my hands on a window ledge and put my feet on the metal porch railing, hoisting my body up so the bull could pass underneath me (think Reverse Tabletop Pose). Instead the bull bit the back of my thighs. Several times, bite, bite, bite, not hard enough to injure me but hard enough to concern me. (Animals gently biting me is a recurring theme in my dreams). I lifted my body higher but he kept nibbling at me until I lifted out of his reach. He passed under me. I reached out to touch his back just in time to discover he had a small third horn on his back just above his tail.

I came down from my perch. The bulls continued circling. I noticed the other bull also had a small third horn. I felt they were coming back for a bigger bite so I darted across the field to the other nearby building. The entrance to the building consisted only of silver elevator doors and a button. I pushed it, the elevator doors opened, I went down a level, escaping the bulls.

It was one of those elevators with two sets of doors opposite each other, so I didn’t turn around after stepping in as we do on a conventional elevator. I stayed facing the same direction as when I’d entered. When the doors opened again it was the set I was faced. I was in an underground lobby. Through glass doors across the lobby I could see a crowded holiday party going on. It felt like a private affair; members only kind of vibe. I was an intruder. A man saw me through the glass and came out to the lobby to greet me. I told him I was not snooping or trespassing. I had come for refuge. I told him about the bulls.

Light hair. Light eyes. Average middle-aged white man in khakis and a button-down. Nothing really distinctive about him other than a small flower and vine pattern on his shirt, navy blue on white, like Laura Ashley sheets. Though we were strangers he immediately embraced me. We looked out a window facing the field and at my workplace nearby, which seemed impossible since I thought I’d gone underground. We could see the bulls still milling around, looking for me. I could see a woman I know in real life approaching and then entering my abandoned post. She also seemed to be looking for me.

The man kept holding me close to him, keeping his arm around me in a protective way, not using words but making soft murmurs, trying very hard with his body language to make me feel safe, which made me feel slightly spooked because in real life I don’t ever feel completely safe with men.

The woman I recognized is a former coworker in real life. A friend. When we worked together I used to dream about her departed relatives. I would never be afraid of her. I did feel concerned she would think I hadn’t shown up for work that day so I resolved to go tell her. The gentle man said I could stay but I felt strongly she needed to know what happened. When I left the underground-but-not-really bunker I woke up.

So what the hell does it mean?

Animals nibbling on my body has been happening for years now. They never hurt me. I think it’s meant to get my attention. In this case, strong male energy, which I don’t understand quite yet but chewing on me is a signal to pay attention.

Lots of big glass windows, both interior and exterior, feels symbolic of perspective.

Elevators move between levels of a structure. Levels of consciousness/awareness, maybe? Emotional layers, maybe?

Contrasting male energies: young bulls making assertive contact versus gentle man in a floral shirt offering a softer aspect of male protection. Not warrior or defender, so maybe protection isn’t the right word. Comforting male energy, maybe?

My friend Connie is a symbol of connection, that comes through loud and clear.

The underground bunker wasn’t really underground, it was an illusion, as was the elevator ride down. Elevator doors set expectations that I’m going to move up or down, but I could plainly see when I got “down” that down wasn’t really down. I was still on the same level as the bulls and my little clerk shack and the field and my friend Connie looking for me. “Down” was just the other side of a pane of glass, so in truth it was really inner and outer experiences of the same place/space. The elevator doors actually ushered me deeper in instead of down.

What did I find deeper in?

1) I feel like an outsider/intruder even when made welcome,

2) I am suspicious of efforts to make me feel safe; as if they are deceptive,

3) Connections in the spirit world are looking for me,

4) I’m worried people think I’m not showing up or I’m worried that when I don’t show up people will think it is negligence, ergo I feel I must rush to justify.


So today I will contemplate these impressions. Why did I create an archway with my body so the bull could pass under rather than simply stepping aside? Why did I not face the bull or block his path? Why didn’t I bite him back? Why three horns and why was the third horn stationed so far away from the other two? The bull wasn’t hurting me so why did I think I needed to get away? Why would I run toward the unknown? Why didn’t I go back inside my own office building?

Why was my first word with the man in the bunker an explanation for my intrusion? Why did he use soft murmurs to calm me rather than spoken words? Why did he touch me as if he recognized me? If it wasn’t recognition, why was he compelled to act as if he should take care of me? Why did I assume it was just an act? Why did he only speak when I moved to leave? Is “you can stay” significant? Why did the dream end when I went to justify my absence from my workplace?

What would have happened had I stayed? I never stay anywhere. Why are gentle men scarier to me than harsh men? Because I know how to deal with harsh men. Furious men. Combative men. But gentle men? I assume they must be harsh men in disguise. I don’t want to be deceived into danger. Feels like a line from a novel I haven’t written yet. The Devil appeared flushed from the party in recessive gene highlights, wearing percale sleeves, his mellow elbows whispering a blurry round language only my spine could understand. 

I’m writing all of this out so you will feel permission to do the same. Words are energy. If you confront them (by speaking them) you can catalyze them. Sometimes I get it figured out easily, sometimes it takes patience, but thus far I have never dreamed a lie.

Trust issues. Issues with belonging. Issues with safety. Contorting ourselves to clear a path; get out of the way or make things easier. Issues with isolation. Issues with accountability. Issues with how alternative spirituality is perceived and what those perceptions imply about me. About you. Plenty to chew on here, which is one of the many reasons I love winter so much. Make the most of the dark now that it is full.  Slowly, slowly. Deeper in. 

Be well, friends.

— Mercy


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