The Golden Hat
Our dreams can bring visions of horror, mystery and beauty. If we take a little time to sit with them, the meaning can emerge and enrich our lives.
On January 28, the morning after the Republican administration’s ill-conceived, discriminatory executive order on travel and immigration wreaked havoc on airports nationwide and travelers worldwide, I had three dreams. One was frightening:
A group of children has been tortured by United States soldiers. The soldiers gave them nicknames like Rat to dehumanize them and did terrible things to them. We go to the children, who are wrapped in a blanket or covering, as if they are dead. We remove it, and they are alive. I am tremendously relieved. One of them is my son or someone I am strongly connected to. We need to seek help for them. We take some of the children and leave others in the charge of one of the soldiers. This frightens me.
This dream could easily reflect the traumas suffered by refugees, either in their home countries at the hands of local soldiers or after they cross the US border in the private prisons where detainees are held.
The other two dreams were mysterious:
A large, golden, upside-down hat, like a top hat with a brim, is filled with water. We are using the water.
To open a door, we have to find the key, open it, find the key to a second door, and open that. The keys are in the water, in the golden hat.
As I often do, I traveled back into the dream while awake a few days later. Listening to a recording of a fast, regular drumbeat, lying on the floor with my eyes covered, I went into a trance state. I imagined one of my spirit allies, an eagle, accompanying and guiding me. This process is a type of shamanic journey.
Eagle and I fly high up into a realm above the earth, the upper world. We meet the goddess Brigid, the beloved goddess of fire and water, triple goddess of healing, poetry and transformation in the Celtic world. I bow to her, and she leans down and wraps her arms and long light blue gown around me to comfort me. It’s a dark time. She reminds me that spring is coming and assures me there will be an end to this darkness. I ask her about the dreams of the hat and the keys.
The golden hat appears. I need to go into the water all the way. I feel its coolness on my bare skin and remember my kinship with water. I am water. Water is our spirituality, our fluid essence. I need not be afraid to be my watery self, to speak and act out of that self.
We must come into the water to find the keys to everything. There’s a proper order in which to find and use the keys to open doors. We need to open one first and then the others.
I ask for more practical, concrete guidance. This is it, the experience of being in water, of reaching for, finding and using the right key at the right time.
I am struck by the resonance of this dream-inspired journey with the message of the Standing Rock Sioux Water Protectors: Mni Wiconi, Lakota for “Water is Life.”
I leave you with this mystery, this vision. We each know the horrors of this time in our own way. And we can each enter the water, find the keys and open the doors in the way and at the time that is right for us.
Our dreams can show us what needs healing and how to heal it – even if the guidance doesn’t immediately seem clear. Sharing dreams with a group can be a powerful way to understand them better. I invite you to participate in the monthly dream circle I am starting on April 26 at Welcome Table Christian Church in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. The circle will meet on the fourth Wednesday of each month from 7-9:30 PM. For more information, click here.