When I lie down for an evening nap, I become aware of the full-formed energy presence of a maned lion on the bed with me. He settles down, nose to nose, like a friendly dog. He is all lion, except that his breath seems sweet; I am fully aware of his strength and killing power. But he is my very dear friend. I drift off into a delicious nap. And dream:
I give an impromptu speech to a large audience. It's all about how to get to the Place of the Lion. This requires you to speak and act, always, from the heart. I talk about Aslan, how "he is terrible but he is good". My voice rises to a roar, then drops to a far-carrying purr when I remind my audience, "When the lion speaks, everyone listens."
This sweet encounter got me thinking about the many ways in which energy doubles and visitors have turned up in my field of perception in animal form. I started to make a mental inventory of bedroom encounters in that drifty hypnagogic zone prior to sleep, or to hyper-awakeness.
While I can see the lion in my bed as my own energy double, the jaguar who turned up in the night many years before in my bedroom was definitely something else. He startled me, though he did not scare me. When he made me understand that he was a messenger, I agreed to travel with him, and sped through the astral to come down among lush tropical vegetation at the home of a Maya shaman in Belize, who proceeded to instruct me in songs of healing and rituals of divination.
Then there was the white wolf who showed up in my bedroom another night. Though I knew him and loved him, he was not a part of myself. I let him lead me out the window and across the night sky, to the far North, to an encounter with a radiant being who seemed to be entirely covered with glowing white shells. Deeply moved, I felt I had been blessed to encounter a form of the Peacemaker.
This is an unedited excerpt from my journals from January 24, 2011. I write about the
Graphic: I took the photo of the lion in the Egyptian rooms at the Louvre in December 2013. He is an appropriate presence here, since he once guarded a doorway to the Serapeion in Memphis. Dreaming and dream incubation were highly encouraged in the cult of Serapis, a composite god whose first image was a statue carried to Alexandria from the Black Sea because of a dream of one of the Ptolemies.