Friday, July 24, 2015

Heard by fairies, followed by Freud, transported to Van Diemen's Land

Mosswood Hollow is my favorite place to lead retreats in North America. Think a cross between Hogwarts and Wind in the Willows. I knew the name was propitious when a friend first brought me here ten years ago. Before that, the owners had never heard of me, nor I of them. Yet my surname is in the name they invented for their retreat center, inspired by the mossy woods all around us, in the foothills of the Cascade mountains of Washington State.
    I have been at Mosswood for two weeks, leading trainings. I am not surprised that i have new evidence that (as the Chinese say) "there are things that like to happen together", though I was amazed with delight by the incidents I will now report:

1. Fairy dust gets around

We had fairy voices in my Level One training for teachers of Active Dreaming at Mosswood last week. They included the achingly beautiful voice of inspired singer-songwriter Kai Altair. During our graduation ceremony on Friday, she sang "The Calling", a song of the heart's yearning that stirred every heart in our circle. Later she gave us a song that was born in a workshop I led on "Making Death Your Ally". Both songs are on her marvelous dream-charged album Dreamwalker.
    Faerie magic continued into Friday evening, when we gathered round a fire in the field between the lodge and the beaver pond. Joined by two other wonderful singers, a flute player and drummers, Kai sang again, improvising, riffing, playing with the spirits of the land and with visitors from the world-behind-the-world.
    When I went up to the porch, I found the owner of the lodge relaxing with a glass of wine and the glow of Faerie fire. I remarked, "We don't need a conference on fairies with so much fairy magic going on in my programs."
    He told me there is actually a conference on fairies that meets in Washington State, not at Mosswood Hollow but at another wildly beautiful location. He named some of our mutual friends, including prominent Celtic scholars, who have been presenters there.
    When I opened my email in the morning, I was amazed and delighted to find an invitation to lead keynote workshops at the 18th Congress on Human and Fairy Relations in June 2016. The invitation was charming, and since it came over the transom edged with Fairie fire, it did not take me long to clarify the details and say Yes.

2. Freud is following me

At the breakfast table yesterday, I share a brief report of a dream in which I am teaching a group to recognize the signs that gods and fairies are at play among humans. The discussion that follows leads me to recall that Sigmund Freud amassed a huge collection of statuettes of gods from the ancient world. He hated to be separated and seemed to commune with them. He jokingly referred to them as his "old and grubby gods". I was able to view 2,000 (of the original 3,000) when I visited Freud's last home in London. Later, while leading a writing retreat here at Mosswood Hollow, I wrote 4,000 words of a story about Freud's relationship with his gods, which were regarded by their makers as living vessels for the powers that had been called into their forms.
    Dreams require action. I announced that my action plan, after discussion of my dream, would be to pull out my Freud story, edit it, and see if it wants to become part of a new book.
    When I opened my laptop upstairs, I saw a message that read:

Sigmund Freud is Following You on Twitter!

     I checked and found that my new follower on Twitter is sigmund freud@freudfreaks, a site that posts daily quotes from Freud. I rushed downstairs to tell my group that Sigmund Freud is now following me. "It's about time," I quipped.
     I stepped out onto the porch to spread the word to dreamers sipping coffee in the morning sun. When I opened the door, the first phrase I heard - from a man sharing his own dream at an outdoor table was "an erect penis."
     I am not sure whether this is confirmation that Freud is following me, or Freud's revenge.

3. The she-oak lizard of Van Diemen's Land

One of the great delights of the residential retreats I lead at Mosswood Hollow is the chance to sit out on the porch under the stars in the evening and share stories, poems and songs.
    Yesterday evening, we were graced by the flute playing of a Huron/Wendat dreamer who has come to me - as she announced - t learn how to bring back the dreamways of her ancestors. Were thrilled by the soaring voice of a singer who once formed a band called The Sidhe. Then an Irishman in the group was persuaded to give us a favorite Irish ballad from another time, "The Black Velvet Band", in which a Belfast man laments that he was deceived by a lovely woman and transported as a convict to Van Diemen's Land, known today as Tasmania.
    I sat down today to write this note on synchronicity, with the tickling feeling that the two cases above needed to be  joined by a third, since three times makes the charm and is also in the title of my book The Three "Only" Things, which explains how we may notice a hidden hand in the play of synchronicity, which thins the veils between the worlds as forces of the deeper world probe and push through the curtains of our consensual hallucinations about reality.
    I paused to check email, and found this message from a man in northern England who was previously unknown to me:

"I dreamed last night I was standing in a shallow part of the sea. Out of a small hole in the shale on the sea floor, a very long black lizard popped its head out and swam towards a group of others. When I woke up I thought this was just some strange dream creature, but then decided to Goggle it, and came across an image that was very similar, which described the animal as a She-oak skink (Cyclodomorphus casuarinae) which is found only in Tasmania.
     "A few hours later, while having lunch, I looked for a book to read and my eyes fell on Conscious Dreaming by Robert Moss on my bookshelf, which a friend lent me a couple of years ago, and which I must confess I’d never previously got round to reading. Just four pages in, my jaw dropped a little when I read; 'They were as real as the thrilling walk I once took through the Queensland bush, under a sunshower, when I heard the she-oaks sing.'
     "I had to drop you a line about this because I’d never seen any type of long lizard before this dream, and didn’t even know such things existed. I’ll have to wait and see now if there is a deeper meaning to this synchronicity!"

Fairy wings are beating, and playful spirits work are in the wires, and the wireless.

Coming soon: Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols and Synchronicity inEveryday Life by Robert Moss. Published by New World Library. Pub date: October 3. Available now for pre-order.

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