Wellsprings of the Psyche ~ dreaming of Healing Waters

Wellsprings of the psyche ~ dreaming of healing waters.

Springs of healing waters are something of a personal obsession; I’ve been a seeker of these most of my life and this concept has become central to my core self. A healing spring is at the heart of my novel, Strangers and Pilgrims,

 but the yearning for such places has been a constant in my life long before I wrote that novel.

I dream about them, and as I am trying to work with my dreams, I’d like to share a few of the more recent dreams that concern wellsprings.

Frozen wellspring dream 21st April 13

I am underground. I have been giving a tour, though who for I don’t know. The cave next to the one I am in seems to have a faint light emanating from it so I go through the passage way between the caves.

There is a natural stone structure that I know to have been a wellspring, it rises up to a conical shape. But water does not flow. Ice coats the sides of the rock and the pool below is frozen too. I scramble to the top and I try to break the ice and scoop out great chunks of it. But though I remove the ice the water does not bubble up and flow again.

I leave the cave, but above ground odd things are happening. As I surface to my shock the sky is lit up by what seem to be the Northern Lights, aqua-green and blues, shimmering and flashing.

Analysing the dream it feels as if my source of inspiration is not working because it has frozen solid. Is this because of the long cold winter or is this something deeper?

August 28th dreams.

I had a terrible night, hardly sleeping because of nerve pain, anxiety and hot flushes, but when I did sleep I dreamed. I also managed to continue the themes of the dream after waking and going back to sleep.

1st dream.

I dream I am going down a lot of steps to a basement where a healing spring is located, and when I get down there it is in partial darkness, lit by a few unseen spotlights. The spring is encased in a kind of bath affair, rather like that of the cold plunge bath at Bath, a round pool encased in smooth off-white stone, but with a square exterior walls. There are steps down into the water and I want to bathe my feet, which in waking life have been causing me vast amounts of pain and discomfort due to the hypermobility issues. I stop to take off my shoes and socks but as I am doing so an old woman passes me and goes into the water completely. She is wearing a bathing costume and I see that other old people are in the pool, immersed up to their necks in the water. I put my bare feet in and the water is very cold, and I know I am not going all the way in. I have no bathing costume. The people tell me that this is the Catholic spring and I could become a Catholic. Then someone mentions that might be difficult as my husband is an Anglican priest. The water is very still and calm and there’s a sense that they’re waiting for the water to stir or a tide to rise and fill the bath area much higher but nothing happens.

2nd dream.

I have woken, gone for a drink and to the loo and gone back to bed, expressing a desire to find the spring again but this time go in if I can. I think the same experience of descending stairs takes place but this time I find myself in a very different wellspring. It’s much larger and warmly lit by diffused lighters, that are not visible. The air is warm and I can see steam coming off the water. There are also what look like flaming torches that have appeared and sitting near one, with his feet dangling in the water is a man who is wearing a sort of toga. The whole bath area is like a small indoor swimming pool. The stone is the same creamy sort but because of the warmer lights it looks pinkish red rather than blueish. To my left, there seems to be a sort of corridor or inlet, and I have a sense of anticipation. The man in the toga tells me this is the Quaker spring. As I look around, the sense of anticipation grows and where the inlet corridor is I hear angelic music and see gossamer figures like winged beings, and a surge of water rushes into the pool raising the level of the water and then there are other people who have rushed to get into the water. I touch my feet to the water and find it is warm but I cannot go in, though I don’t know why, beyond feeling I missed the moment.

When I wake from this second dream the word that comes to me in my hazy state is Bethesda. I remember the pool at Bethesda and the angel that stirs the water and the first person into it is healed. I did indeed miss the moment but it did feel as if I were there to observe rather than be healed. I wasn’t sure enough of what I wanted healing to venture into the water.

Now there are several features that all these dreams share. They are all set underground and in each I know without being told that these are springs. In none of the dreams is it visible that these structures house natural springs, and yet I know that this is so. In a linear manner, the first dream has the water so cold it has frozen solid and the water does not flow; in the second dream, the water is liquid, but it’s cold and uninviting and while it is free flowing, there is no movement, no refreshment of the water by an influx or a bubbling. In the last of the three dreams, the water and the generally surroundings are much warmer, much more inviting, and there is motion, a rising of a sort of tide, accompanied by divine or angelic attendants, and on waking, the word Bethesda is given to me. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pool_of_Bethesda .

In the two recent dreams, dreamed the same night when I was in continual distress of both mind and body, there are denominations mentioned. In the first it is suggested that the pool of healing waters belong to the Catholic faith, and in the second to the Quakers. I am an occasional attender at Quaker worship and find that the Meeting for Worship, which is mostly in silence, refreshes me more than any more traditional church services. Yet while I find myself more at home there, I have never taken the step of becoming a member. I am content to visit. I do not feel 100% at home there. But it comes closest to what is my rightful spiritual home than any other I’ve found.

There is a clear progression within these three dreams and a sense of getting closer to a healing moment, a progression too from deep under the ground in caves, to being below ground but in carefully crafted buildings. There’s a progression from the very faintest of lights, to the dim lights of the first of the healing pools to the warm, pinkish light of the final dream. There’s a progression of temperature and movement too.

Perhaps when the angel does stir the healing waters, I may be ready to enter the waters and be healed. Or perhaps I am only here to help others into the water. I do not know. But looking at these three dream accounts, I have a sense of hopeful anticipation.

“I am on a quest…” ~ dreams of the Grail

I am on a quest…” ~ dreams of the Grail

Jung referred to dreams as being “the royal road to the unconscious,” and any seeker of their inner truth does well to pay attention to their dreams. My good friend Jean Raffa has written extensively in all three of her books (all highly recommended here) of the value of dreams and dream analysis. I keep an intermittent dream journal and have done for many years, though I sabotage myself quite often by choosing not to record dreams because I sometimes let myself believe the view held by many that dreams are just valueless doodlings the mind does when left to run idly by, and that they have no deep inner message. This is completely at variance to my core belief and experience that in dreaming we come closer at times to the true nature of reality than we do when awake. I’ve had precognitive dreams galore that make me certain that time is not linear; I’ve had powerful lucid dreams that help me believe that consciousness is not random or purposeless. Yet still I tend to think, “No, that’s just silly. How can dreams be THAT important?” Every time I read someone commenting that dreams are only of interest to the dreamer and suggesting that the sharing of dreams is foolish, this only goes to back up this internal struggle I have with the value of my own dreaming.

The other problem with dreams is that you need to be able to sleep to have them and here, due to several issues having a catastrophic effect on my sleep patterns, I’m fighting to sleep more than two consecutive hours. I probably tot up six or so hours but all broken up and it’s been relatively rare for me to have anything more than fragmentary, jumbled dreams that come in evanescent snatches.

The other morning I slept in a few extra hours after morning wakening and I dreamed. Yet when I woke, I was at first too dismissive of the dream to want to write it all down. I felt both the content and the imagery was embarrassingly childish and immature. Yet after a few minutes I realised that that was probably a clue in itself to its value. Often the deepest messages are couched in terms and language that hark back to early childhood.

The dream had a long preamble, which I’m not going to share here, because while it has a message, it’s not essential to the whole thing. Within the dream-scape scenario I was at once seeking something and being pursued at the same time. I descended a wide, modern spiral stair case that was littered with debris like old clothes and cardboard boxes that were empty and battered, as if I were going to a basement. I was looking for a way out and I felt as if I should not be there; I would be in serious trouble if found. There was another person with me but I was unable to see who he was, but I knew it was a he. We found a door, that led into the exterior world but when we looked out, it led into a graveyard, overgrown and seemingly abandoned to weeds and tall grasses. It was also guarded at the perimeter wall by a witch with a broomstick. This was not our way out, so we crept back inside. We were now in a corridor which seemed to be mostly filled with stored items in boxes and in piles. My companion wanted us to hide under blankets so we would not be seen, and we did so. But as this occurred, a group of people came up behind us in the corridor.

Now the witch with the broomstick was the first player in this dream that had me recoiling as being childish, but the new arrivals were even more so. Straight out of a fairy tale picture book, wearing old fashioned clothes, these ladies resembled Flora, Fauna and Merryweather of the Disney version of Sleeping Beauty. I had the impression there were ten of them, all wearing similar clothes completed with fine white aprons and bonnets, and for all their comical appearance, they carried an air of power, because I could not hide from them and stood up.

I was interrogated, kindly but firmly, by these beings. They seemed ridiculous and yet I was in awe of them and unable to just dismiss them and walk away.

What was I doing there, they asked.

I thought, frantically, to find an explanation that might satisfy them, and one that would somehow raise me to being their equal in power.

I am a royal princess and I am seeking to escape,” I said.

The one closest to me, who seemed their leader, shook her head.

Oh no dear,” she said. “That won’t do at all. You seem like a commoner to us.”

I thought again and realised that I had to tell the truth, though I did not know till I spoke what it was.

I am on a quest,” I said. “I am seeking to become royal.”

Then we CAN help you,” said the leader, beaming at me, and before the dream faded I had a dim impression that they all carried gift boxes of some sort.

Now, I woke feeling initially that this carried messages of great power for me, yet within moments I was keen to dismiss it as being silly. Though I wanted to avoid writing it down, I resisted that and wrote up a brief account of it before it faded entirely. Bits and pieces came back to me later too. And the last few days I have spent considering the dream and what it might mean.

Those of you who have read Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code will know that he used the words San Graal (Holy Grail) and put them together to make Sangraal,(royal blood) and the concept of the quest for the Holy Grail became that for the blood line of Christ. I’ve long said that I am on a quest, a Grail quest, and yet I do not know what I am really looking for. Not a cup, nor yet a descendent of the bloodline of Christ, but rather certain eternal truths that these things can stand as metaphors for.

I wanted to reject this dream for its childish components and yet I can see that this has its origins in my earliest consciousness, and my seeking after this “grail” is almost as old as I am.