The thing most likely to bring people awake to the importance of dreams is a visitation from the deceased. The number one reason why people of every background have chosen to share dreams with me, over the years, is that they have dreamed of a dead relative or friend. They want confirmation that the encounter is real, they would like guidance on what to do about it, or simply need to share something that has moved them at the core.
For men in particular, such dream visitations can be life-changing. Hard heads who previously dismissed dreams and prided themselves on having no connection with the inner life crack open when dad or granddad turns up in a dream. Take the case of Bull.
That was the nickname his buddies had given him. He is a huge man, a linebacker, and a police officer for a big city department, the kind of guy for whom touchy-feely doesn’t come easy. Then came the night when he would have died but for the intervention of a dead man.
As he tells the story, he came home hammered that night and fell into bed alone. His girlfriend was working late. As he slept, his grandfather appeared to him in a dream. He had loved his granddad and they had been very close when Bull was a boy. But this was not a gentle visitation. Bull’s grandfather slapped him and shook him, shouting “Wake up!”
Bull woke with a start and sat up. The bedside clock told him it was 5:00 a.m. He felt wet. He looked down and saw that the whole bed was filled with blood. He had a varicose vein that had popped .He called 911 and the ambulance came right away He lost 5 pints of blood and was in intensive care for two days. They told him that if he had not woken up when he did, he would have died.
Bull says, “I never thought much about my dreams but after this I am a believer.” The dream visitation saved his life and shook his world.
For much more on dreaming with the departed see chapter 7 of Conscious Dreaming and The Dreamer's Book of the Dead.
Cave art: Aurochs at Lascaux