A Dream Remembered

Lately I’ve been haunted by a dream that I had almost exactly fifteen years ago. I was working as a resident volunteer social worker at a youth and drug project in London, and had just begun taking classes in Aikido. I was still new enough to it that I was quite sore, and I remember having odd dreams as a result. My instructor told me that I had a lot of negative emotions and that the discipline would bring that out. It brought something else out (or perhaps on) as well.

The dream was fairly simple. A friend of mine from High School wanted to introduce me to some friends of his and I believe he worked with them as well. He was very excited, telling me that they were … different, special. I don’t actually remember exactly how, but he was very eager in my dream to introduce us.

When he introduced us though, they were more than special. There were three of them. There was a large African man in some kind of traditional gown, a woman whose clothes I have forgotten, and a third figure who I remember only as a presence in the background. They were very kind and seemed genuinely glad to meet me, and when they heard that I was taking Aikido they were … not so much impressed as satisfied or more pleased. The woman immediately offered to spar with me. I felt that it would be rude to refuse, so we took up our stances.

It was then that the dream gets interesting. The woman performed some kind of movement which instantly threw me to the floor. She then stood over me and made a gesture that I can only describe as a movement of power.

Dancing Shiva
The Dancing Shiva (as I understand it) is an image associated with change and divine reconstitution.

Her entire aspect changed as she entered the same stance as images of Shiva Nataraja: one foot lifted, her hands poised and four more arms sprouting from her sides. As I lay in abject shock, she touched me with her raised foot, and a wave of intense, vivifying energy shot through my entire body.

This is all that I remember of this dream, but it has stayed with me ever since. For some reason it has resurfaced in my conscious thought since the new moon, and I can only guess what it might mean. I have always wanted somehow to dream of them again,  just to see them, though there are questions I would ask. (Why did the woman have six arms rather than Shiva’s four?) When things like this happen, it is hard to avoid trying to read some larger significance into the event.

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