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A Dream of Inclusion – or not.

December 1, 2011

I recently had a dream, one of those that start with little fanfare but gradually become almost more real than waking life. In it, I was witness to a mystery play based on the Eddas presented by the members of a close-knit Heathen spiritual working group. It was very engaging and well-done. Afterward, most of the audience dispersed, but a handful or so of others remained in the hall as the strike of the production space got underway. There was no indication from the group that they wanted people to leave, but no encouragement to stay, either. I’d enjoyed and been very engaged by the show; I’m not sure what I was waiting for, but I wasn’t ready for the experience to be over, so I stayed with the others, among whom there was something of a mood of anticipation.

Eventually, it seemed that a few people broke off from the cleaning efforts and started doing some kind of divination to decide the group’s responses towards those of us who had remained. More of the group members stopped what they were doing and got involved as some audience members were called forth and welcomed as new members of the group.

It didn’t seem that I’d come there with such a purpose particularly in mind; I didn’t have a sense of anxiety or expectation, but I was very interested in watching all that happened.

At some point in the middle of all this – there were a number more audience members still waiting and watching – I heard a declaration like “Skadhi speaks for that one,” and someone pointing at me. Well, okay, dream-self hadn’t been expecting that but it was certainly plausible. There was a lull in ambient conversation, and people turned to look. “We’re very sorry,” I was told, “but you can never fully be part of the frith (this word literally means “peace”, but in context seemed to be an advanced level of group membership) . You can be an honored ambassador, though.” They did seem genuinely regretful to have to exclude me, and rather fascinated. I was something of an exotic exception, apparently. There was a sudden murmur, somewhat of surprise, somewhat of titillated gossip, somewhat of admiration. Someone started to sketch me.

It all seemed kind of an over-reaction to me. On some level I was disappointed – aware of it or not, I’d had some desire to be included. One another it made perfect sense; they’d never explained the parameters of the group membership, but if it was an Aesir and/or Vanir oriented group, someone spoken for by even a peacefully allied Jotun could very reasonably be considered outside the usual membership ranks. If Skadhi speaking for me meant my exclusion, I’d rather be excluded than NOT have Skadhi speak for me. It all left me very unsure, though, of what to do next.

It seems worth noting that this dream occurred a few weeks after my return from a week in Iceland. Before, during and after I had been deeply immersed in the study of Icelandic history, literature and culture.

It’s also worth noting that this dream occurred shortly before a trip to the East Coast. This is where I grew up, where most of my family is (with ancestors in the area over almost four centuries), and from which I moved away a decade ago.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2011 7:02 PM

    Sorry I didn’t comment on this before now…This is very interesting, from all sorts of perspectives. I don’t know what I might have to offer in terms of suggestions or interpretations, but I’m seeing a “theme” of sorts developing in several things you’ve discussed with me, and I’d be interested in speaking further with you about it privately, perhaps–whether in e-mail (or even in person!) in the near future, or at PantheaCon.

    Also, as I was doing some (Romano-) Gaulish stuff today, and because of your upcoming PantheaCon presentation, I wanted to draw your attention to my latest blog post on Epona, further to my previous post on Eponalia (as/and the second night of Saturnalia).

  2. December 19, 2011 11:33 AM

    Interesting stuff, thanks for the recommendation! I pondered doing something for Eponalia this month, but ultimately felt I didn’t have the wherewithal to do it in a fitting manner this time ’round the sun. I’ve been going through something of a dark night recently, but then, this is the time for that. . . .

    Curiosity being a driving component of my personality, I’d be quite happy to get your insights via e-mail, with the opportunity to expand upon the discussion the next we see each other in person. ;)

    • December 19, 2011 7:00 PM

      Cool! Let me know when would be a good time to have an e-mail chat–just go ahead and send me one and I’ll respond to it as quickly as I can. (The only reason I’m not doing that this very moment is because I’m in the middle of something else…but, I’ll have ample time over the next few days!)

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