The Black Panther

My dreams are becoming more intense all the time. Every dream now seems to have guides, both male and female; long, strange journeys to places known and not; and tricksters or shape-shifters of some sort. Many of these dreams have bugs or feathers in them. There seems to be recurring themes of erotica, phallic symbols, men that are bound and gagged, pullies and weird circus equipment strewn about, some of which I’m “riding” and some not. I’ve recently had one of my thrilling flying dreams where I ride through the wind over great expanses. A couple of dreams, I’ve been taught by occultists how to move things with my mind, and in one, I was moving animals out of the freeway as I flew above them and cars came rushing at great speeds. In one, my guides outfitted me with special gear to experience an underwater environment with different sea creatures. I’ve even had a dream about Óðinn, who would shift into a wolf and back, and at one point I stuck my finger inside his magical ocular cavity! But the most frequent recurring theme is The Black Panther. I understand this entity as The Dark Mother, a triple goddess, a power of the deepest, most mysterious (and misunderstood) forces known. She usually appears at first as a triple creature where there is always a black panther, a zebra and the third aspect seems to change between a lion, a tiger or leopard, an elephant, a horse and a dog. I’ve also encountered her as a black bear. Each time I encounter her, I become less and less afraid of her. Sometimes there has been a female human figure assisting me to master my fear, and I get the impression that the human is actually her changing shape, making herself less frightening to me. The last dream I had with her, as the great black cat, I was laying down with her and cooing her. A far cry from the dream in which my terror was so great that it was all I could do to point away from me and say, “Go now”.  I was just reading in Wikipedia how the jaguar was an important creature in the Mayan culture as a spirit companion and communicator between the living and the dead. I find this very intriguing as Maximon is also a Mayan figure. And both having to do with the Underworld.

It’s interesting that in so many of these dreams I am:
1) learning to fly
2) learning to use the power of my mind in order to affect change
3) encountering different types of fantastic creatures, entities, shape-shifters
4) engaging in or witnessing sexual (aka cthonic, primal) energies
5) learning to master my fear

The presence of feathers, too, intrigues me. From what I know of feather magic, they are utilized by mortals as “antennae” to contact deities or angels, or other entities from the “higher” realms. That is why (I’ve read) in Native American tradition you see the use of feathered headdresses. They were attached with the shaft of the feather pointing toward the head and the feather pointing up and/or out in order to receive messages from Beyond. Ecstatic dance is known to be used in just about every culture the world over to induce trance states in which one is then “tuned in” to receive guidance from whatever deity they were working with. In one of my dreams, the feathers were positioned in such a way, and I had the feeling in the dream that is was meant to be used in this fashion, as if it were telling me to create a feathered headdress of sorts. I had started to make hair barrettes with feathers attached pointing out like that, but got pulled away from that one night and have not returned to it. I should spend this cold weekend getting back to this project. I do have one that I completed that I just love. Maybe I’ll put that with my other ritual jewelry to wear next I’m jammin’ about in my woo-woo.

There also seems to be a theme of searching. In many of my dreams, I’m searching for my kitty, Vesta. In a couple of recent ones, one of my childhood kitties, Kiki, is in the dream and I’m searching for her. She’s been long dead, but I find the fact that she’s been in two of my dreams of late very curious. I wonder if these themes of death and contact with the dead through spiritual means and messengers are telling to me to up the ante in my ancestral work. My mundane life and worries have taken me far away from my practice, and though I try to incorporate some practice into my daily mundane tasks, it’s a far cry from formal workings. I try to always offer energy and breath to the trees, plants, land spirits and also up to the divine and down to the lower, cold realms. In every mundane thing I do, I try to incorporate magical thought, simply because I’ve found it is one of the only ways I can keep up. I’m not really into the formal thing, so whatever I can do to fold my magical life into my mundane life, I’m trying to do that. Mundane living takes so much energy, and magical living even more so. Although, I do find that incorporating into my mundane life has given me more energy, and I know that if I spent more energy doing it, I’d receive more. It’s a tricky thing.

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