Healing Pool

I walked along a rough path. On my right a small stream burbled along in a ditch with shrubs and trees beyond, on my left were fields. The day was pleasant, neither too hot or cold and just a gentle breeze. I relaxed to the sound of the stream and the song of birds going about their business.

As I walked I could see that the stream curved away into a pool. The path led me to the edge of an area with rough flat stones laid in the ground that curved part way round the side of the pool. There were a couple of rough wooden seats made from tree trunks beside the paved area, clearly placed so people could sit beside this pool and rest. The far side of the pool looked marshy and it looked like a range of wild plants grew in the marshy area. The land on the near side of the pool beyond the paved area curved into the edge of another field. Another stream ran out from the pool between the two areas of land making the pool a liminal place between wild and tamed land.

I sat on one of the benches, watched the dance of light across the water and listened to the insects and birds around me.

After a while I realised the light wasn’t reflected sunlight as the sun was behind a cloud. A quiet voice said “It’s healing energies.” I turned my head to see a woman sat on the other bench. She smiled and told me that healing energies gathered in this pool and that they could be added to and taken from but it was important not to disturb the balance. Healing energies added would gradually seep into the land at the edges of the pool and from the stream that flowed away from it. Adding energies to that flow was usually fine, taking it had to be done with care not to dry the pool out. I asked her if the pool had a name. “Many,” she said smiling, “but I know it as Eir’s Pool.” I thanked her and looked back at the pool for a moment. When I turned back to ask another question she was gone.

My painting of Eir’s Pool.

Dreams that feel significant

I woke this morning from an unusual dream which feels significant. In this dream I was at some sort of gathering somewhere rural with nice front garden and driveway. It was at the end of this gathering and Neil and I were walking down the drive on the way out. Andy and Helen Guthrie drew level with us, we hadn’t known they were there. Andy have me a hug, as he usually would, then he looked at me and said: “The salmon aren’t spawning properly.” We said something like we hadn’t known that and Neil left to check on this. Andy went on to say there were 14 areas where the salmon weren’t spawning properly. Then I woke up. 

This felt like a significant dream. I’ve never dreamt of Andy before, or Helen come to that. And what he said initially was so clear. Does it mean there are serious problems with our rivers? Possibly, the gods know we put enough shite into the world to cause all sorts of problems. But I don’t think it’s that simple. Andy, as those who knew him will know, was a teller of Celtic stories and myths, he knew these myths in his blood and bones. To those who know Celtic symbols the Salmon is a symbol of wisdom and inspiration and there are a few tales of those who sought the Salmon of wisdom only for another to receive its gift. Could this dream have something to do with the sharing or seeking of knowledge, wisdom or inspiration?

What are you seeking? What are you sharing? Have you gradually drawn in as I have or have you been reaching out? What does it mean to you that the Salmon aren’t spawning properly? And what of the 14 areas Andy spoke of, what are they?

Sometimes dreams feel bigger than just for you. Sometimes you need to share them.

A Dreaming to share

I often wake more than once in a night. Sometime I wake, like last night, having had an unusual dream. Last night’s dream was vivid in imagery but not in colour. In terms of colours the whole thing was in different shades of grey.

I was led or brought to what seemed to be a life sized relief carving of a water fall with a cave. The one who led me there seemed male but it wasn’t clear if they were or not. Once we were at the place they seemed to step or fade back from view, still there but in the background.

A sound started. Drumming, deep and from a single drum then voices wordlessly chanting, female voices, a kind of otherworldly choir.

A single louder voice spoke out:

“Without air we cannot breathe.”

The drumming and chanting sounds continued. The relief of the waterfall began to slowly change as I watched. The cave deepened. The water began to very slowly flow into the cave, across the roof of the cave and down the back of it into the darkness. A pale drinking horn, a fairly small one, faded into view floating in the air just inside the mouth of the cave. Drops of water slowly fell into it.

I reached in and took the horn, it was full although I’d only seen a couple of drops of water fall into it. I drank. The water was cold and incredibly refreshing. I put the horn back to float in the air.

The same single voice as before spoke again:

“Without water there is no life.”

As I continued to watch roots began to grow on the floor of the cave, pale white threads weaving into a loose mat like mycelium.

Again the voice spoke out:

“Without roots we cannot grow”.

Then I woke up. The background drumming and chanting had continued throughout the dream.

Sometimes dreams are meant only for the one dreaming, this one I felt was to be shared. For me it feels like a healing dream.

Keeper of Secrets

Image of badger hand carved from driftwood

New life I have been given
Carved and shaded
Shaped with delicate detail
Spirit reborn from dreams

I grew tall in a forest
Whispered with my siblings
Felt the rain and sun
Breathed deep

I fell into a river
Tumbled and bounced along
An otter played with me
Then left me to the sea

I soaked in the waters
Felt the sun’s warmth
Was swept into currents
Travelled with the tides

Washed up on a shore
I waited…

Found and taken
I waited…

I dreamed and waited
Mysteries of the land
Secrets of the sea
Wonders of the star lit sky

I dreamed of a cub
Grey in the night sky
Snuffling at the roots
Buried beneath me

I dreamed of a badger
Walking the land
She felt my dream
And I took form

I whisper to another
Of mysteries and wonders
For I am reborn
As Keeper of Secrets

Second image of badger hand carved from driftwood

Badger beautifully hand carved by Of half imagnined things

Words by me.

Eponalia dreaming


I have had a wonderful Eponalia. I’d been nudged to set up a Facebook event for Eponalia to encourage others to join in the celebrations and share what they did.  When I first looked at posts yesterday I was having my breakfast and it was a beautiful experience to read what others far from me had been doing to honour Epona.  There were photos of horse companions being given extra treats and words that had been said while giving offerings shared. Looking at these things helped me focus my day more strongly on Epona right from the start.

As the day went on I enjoyed reading and sharing further posts when I checked Facebook and some of these gave me food for thoughts through the day as I did other things.

I sang (with croaky cold filled voice) and prayed during the afternoon. In the evening I made my offering of Berry Christmas wine from the Cairn o Mhor winery and lit a scented beeswax candle that was an Eponalia gift from my partner with him standing with me.

I made a last post on the Facebook event page before going to bed thanking others for sharing what they had that day.  It was such a privilege being able to share the day with others far and wide. I’m still glowing inside from it all.

And then there were the dreams…

For the first time in my memory last night I dreamt of horses and as yesterday was Eponalia I am a bit bemused by what little I can remember. I’ve been musing on what I dreamt on and off during the day.

During the first snippet I was looking after a rather unusual horse with a fluffy pale blue mane and tail and a woolly looking white or cream coat. It looked a bit like long sheep or angora goat wool. For some reason this horse had come sort of dark blue saddle on it but I wasn’t to ride it. I was looking after it for someone else but for some unknown reason I ended up in a car with the horse at my side and my parents driving. When we stopped the person I was looking after the horse for told me off for leaving, all I was supposed to do was watch the horse for her not go off.

In the second snippet I was in a cart driven by someone else. There were two horses pulling the cart, one chestnut and one a darker brown. The driver was going to fast and I asked him to slow down, I told him we couldn’t go that way as it was dangerous but he didn’t listen. We ended up with the cart almost going into the river and the horses had fallen in and gone under. I was scared they were dead but the heads rose up from the deep like the Kelpie sculptures rising up from the water first one and the other visible beneath the water swelling above his head. I remember being incredibly relived the horses hadn’t drowned and then I woke.

I’ve posted in a couple of groups on Facebook seeking opinions on these dreams. Opinions here would also be welcome and if nothing else posting about this here will record this for me.

I still can’t quite get my head around the idea of a woolly coated horse with fluffy pale blue mane and tail!

Countryfile, cows and caves!

Advisory notice: Random streams of consciousness follow!

Weird dreams last night following a draining day.  The main difficult part of the day was an absence review meeting at work with a representative of Human Resources (HR) and a  union representative accompanying me.  This took place late morning.  I’ve been off work now for almost six months officially with stress and anxiety and it has been during this time that I have come to fully realise that I am almost certainly on the autistic spectrum.  The meeting was an example of my changing awareness of my ability to cope with certain types of situation.  I knew it was going to be difficult and had taken what steps I could to prepare in advance but ultimately I didn’t really know exactly what might be brought up at the meeting so there was a limit to what I could prepare.

The meeting was an hour long and covered several areas. We talked about how I was now feeling, how I had been recently, whether the counselling I had received had been helpful and that they recommended I see the work based psychological services for further support (I’m ok with that, I don’t think it will hurt and it might be useful).  From there HR asked me what sort of strategies I had now developed to help me and I tried to explain that while some of the strategies were helpful in dealing with anxiety others were less so as I could be affected by environmental conditions and I gave them examples of that.  The discussions then moved onto whether I felt I was fit to return to work and what the options were.  They are not in favour or redeploying me at the current time in spite of the occupational health recommendations but the individual I have developed the biggest anxiety triggers over is currently off work herself and expected to be for some time.  They asked if I’d thought about how I’d like to return – phased returns are the normal for someone who has been off for a long period.

Towards the end of this meeting I started to get upset and felt overwhelmed.  I couldn’t think straight anymore and was not capable of making any decisions about how to progress returning to work or even what to do.  There was so much information and it was a meeting that took place with two people I don’t really know very well which has its own challenges. The meeting finished and my partner picked me up and took me home.  I began to feel better after a mug of tea, some lunch and some time with a good book.

I have now come to the conclusion that my very reactions to the amount of information in that meeting and having to deal with two people I don’t know are part of my autism.  I’ve seen my kids struggle in similar ways when they are in situations that are overloading them.  I’m now recognising that this has drained me more than I had expected.  I’ve often had similar reactions to stressful meetings with school staff over situations involving the kids (not hostile meetings just emotionally laden ones).  It’s another thread in the pattern for me that I am now recognising and this process of identifying patterns is in itself draining.

My evening was not a particularly restful one. It wasn’t dreadful either but my daughter often gts hyper as soon as she walks in the door from school.  She’d not had a great day anyway but as soon as she gets in she’s rushing about one second and launching herself at me for wriggly hugs and sensory impacts the next second.  And later in the evening there was the battle of the homework – spelling work is always the worst.  The issue there is actually writing rather than learning the spelling of the words and even though it can be a bit of a battle to get her to do the work I persevere as I feel she will benefit long term from writing practice. Also if she wins one battle I’m going to have more trouble with the next as she’s wonderfully stubborn.

The rest of our family evening routines continued and eventually all went quiet.  The last thing we usually do before going up to bed ourselves is watch the news and weather.  By that time I’m often struggling to keep my eyes open.  I fell asleep pretty quickly but woke up following some odd dreams that have stayed with me.  And this is where the title of this post comes in.

I was dreaming that I was co-presenting Countryfile (we often watch bits of it on a Sunday evening but we hadn’t watched any of it last weekend).  This particular episode was related to cattle and I was helping move some cows and calves.  For some reason I was then lying down in a field I think with a half grown calf lying across me.  I think the calf had taken a liking to me and for some reason decided to lie on me.  I was feeling rather squashed and trying to get this calf to move off me. I think it was a male calf and for some reason he shifted so he was now lying a bit more on my rib cage and I began to feel as if the breath was being squeezed out of me.  I started to thump the side of this calf and yelled in the dream at it to get off me. I also yelled physically and woke myself up a bit.

I almost immediately drifted off again for a few moments and I was not longer with the cows.  This time I was involved in the aspect of the programme at the end that shows snippets of what’s going to be shown next week. I was both watching these and involved in them and these snippets were of caves. One was like a hole though part of a mountain, it was no wider than maybe a king size bed and open at both ends like a great archway.  The other snippet was of a cave by some coastline.  This one was deeper and darker, it reminds me of King’s Cave on Arran come to think of it. Then I came to again and realised that I had yelled out a few moments before because of bit of dream about the calf lying on me.

Really odd stuff!

Anyway, I’ve now had a chance to properly digest what was discussed at the meeting yesterday and have now emailed work about starting back for the middle of next week.  I’m a bit nervous about it but I think it’s the right thing to do.