Dreaming in Dangerous Times
I often have dreams about events before they happen. This ability first came to my awareness in a dramatic way almost 40 years ago. For a couple of decades after that, I had no idea what to do with those dreams, how to hold them, when to share them. Now I have training, experience, and community to support me. And it can still be challenging.
Four years ago, on October 27, the day before James Comey made his devastating announcement about investigating Hillary Clinton’s emails, I had a terrifying dream. In the dream, men threaten sexual assault. I manage to escape, only to fall into deep water. In the last scene, I and two others are swimming in a sea of garbage, as if we are floating pieces of garbage. We are all at risk of drowning or being killed by garbage dropped from above. One of the others, a woman, is darkly humorous, cackling, glorying in our predicament.
No one knows or cares that we are here, and no one is likely to save us. But I hold onto some hope that I’ll survive and get home.
At the time, I was just as naïve about the outcome of the looming election as most white progressive people. After Trump won, the metaphorical meaning of the dream became clear in shocking detail.
This fall, I have been tracking my dreams for signs of what is to come. Finally, I asked directly: “Please show me what the ultimate outcome of the election will be after the new President is inaugurated.”
I am trying to move my vehicle into a parking lot from the dirt road I am on. I need to turn left into the lot. Someone has left a pile of wrapped presents in the road. I need to move them to proceed. I turn the car off and get out to do so.
Two days later, I dreamed:
I am riding a bicycle in the right lane of a busy, multi-lane road, heading to a university. I come to a large intersection. The drivers behind me yell at me to go faster. I lose my temper and yell back, ‘I’m going as fast as I can!’ I forget to get in the left lane to turn left, so I have to turn right for a short distance. I stop my bike, walk it across four lanes of traffic at a crosswalk, and go left toward my destination.
Each of these dreams shows me turning left. I find this metaphor encouraging; perhaps it foretells our country going in a more progressive direction. In each, I need to overcome a challenge. The wrapped presents in the road may be a timing marker: the shift to the left will happen after Christmas. The initial right turn in the second dream could mean any number of things, including the recent confirmation of an arch-conservative woman to Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Supreme Court seat.
Still, rampant anxiety persists as Election Day approaches. Recently I asked a similar question. I dreamed:
A tall woman with long hair needs to make a crossing. She needs to walk toward me across a narrow wooden bridge with no railings over a deep chasm or crevasse. She is able to do so. The message comes to me: we can make this easier collectively. We have the power. As I think this, the chasm gets less deep and dangerous, the crossing easier.
This dream has many potential meanings, especially now at Samhain, when the veil between the world of the living and the world of our beloved dead is thin. I take heart from the message that reminds us of our power. Working together, we can make the path easier and less dangerous, especially for women and femmes.
These dreams comfort me and help settle my activated nervous system in a difficult time. I offer them in the hope that they may give you heart. We have the power.
If you want to know more about how to receive and understand your dreams and how to ask questions and get interesting answers in dreams, sign up for Dream Wisdom in Dangerous Times, second Wednesdays in November and December (Nov. 11 and Dec. 9).