Not surprisingly, I had a dream earlier in which at least one deity was involved in a major way, and it was in a totally strange and unexpected manner. As one of the deities involved hasn’t shown up in my dreams in a while, this was not only unexpected in terms of his presence, but also just completely unexpected in general.
It’s also rather interesting, because I haven’t been sleeping well lately, and I had the major dream, then forgot it after getting up finally, but I knew I had a dream with a god in it…and then a little while later, I just suddenly remembered the whole thing, and was actually able to analyze it further and figure out parts of it that I didn’t even quite get while the dream was occurring.
In other dreams I had during the time I was trying to sleep, I could feel Palaimon sort of lurking around the edges, though he hasn’t yet made an appearance (not unlike Loki at the beginning of last month). However, some figures that might be associated with him in various ways did seem to make their appearances in the dream, in a roundabout sort of manner.
[Note: I'm using images from the internet that I found when I entered certain search terms into Google's image search that somewhat approximate what a few of the characters in the dream seemed to look like. The details of the actual images themselves are entirely incidental, though in some cases they're somewhat amusing in themselves.]
Initially (though I can’t remember the very beginning of the dream), I was with a woman who represented the office of the President of the United States (implied to be Obama), and she was on a strange sort of assignment to be representing the President while handing out some things and selling other things on the street to passers-by; it was sometime around Christmas that this was happening, and–with a few differences–it seemed to be Pine Street in Seattle, perhaps not far from where Travelers used to be, but on the other side of the street. To one person who was the “lucky winner,” she gave a small packet of what looked like lamb chops on a black styrofoam tray and wrapped in plastic, with something like “Lucky Winner!” on a label on the outside of the plastic. The person to whom she tried to give this on the street was a little bit confused as to why they were receiving such a thing from a woman representing the President of the United States…and, to be honest, so was I (and I remain so now!).
She was also selling these little ornate chocolates, and these “Christmas bells” that were like little ornaments, about the same size as the chocolates, for $2 each. She was considering giving me one of them for a discounted price for helping her…
[Is this a deity? I'm not sure...and the jury would be out on who it might be...]
Then we were in the front of a large supermarket, on the same street (even though there isn’t one), and were in the front area where the shopping carts are kept. There was also this little area where apparently a number of parents had left strollers, baby carriers, and various other such conveyances and seats…with their children still in them! There were two infants right in the middle who appeared to be twins, but they were in separate grey carriers, right in front of a floor-to-ceiling window.
[The Dioskouroi, perhaps? Though they're not usually portrayed as infants...]
Then a homeless man, and his companion, knocked on the window by the infants, and got their attention. He was standing there, looking rather scraggly (with somewhat wild hair, but otherwise fairly close to the individual here–his beard wasn’t quite as well-kept as this guy’s, though), and then he started singing, beautifully. It took me a while to figure out what the song was (on which more in a moment), but as he got to the rather climactic chorus of the song, and a crowd was gathering both inside and outside the store to listen to him (and the infants, needless to say, were quite happy and well-entertained by him), and he started into the big part of the song, I just started weeping uncontrollably because it was so unbelievably beautiful a scene.
As I was sitting there crying my guts out, I was watching him, and as he finished the song, suddenly his companion (I wasn’t sure of the gender of the person, but they were smaller than him) pulls out this rather strange and ornate crown and places it on the homeless singer’s head–and then I knew that this wasn’t just a random homeless guy who sings well, this was Dionysos. And, as soon as that hit me, and there was a kind of halo of light that appeared around him as I made this realization, he and his companion disappeared.
Immediately, in the crowd inside the store nearby (where I was located the entire time), there were some people I knew, including several pagans, who were basically saying that it couldn’t have been Dionysos and there was no way to verify that it was. I went to the chief moaner among them, and asked whether he had seen him or not, and was told that he didn’t, and he hadn’t even heard the song. I then said something that felt like it was a prayer, or some sort of set-text, which I can’t entirely remember at the moment, but it was along the lines of “If you did not see him, it is a tragedy for you; if you were not there, it is a great sadness indeed; but if you had been, you would not doubt that he was the god.” And not long after, the dream ended.
In the aftermath, I was trying to remember what the song was–the soundtrack to my dreams is always awesome, and I’ve had some songs appear in my dreams that I have either forgotten or have not been able to entirely remember or reproduce, and it’s always a great tragedy to me. But, I knew I had heard this song before. I was a bit confused, though, because the song was very cool, but part of it at least sounded like “O Danny Boy” to me, which is a song that I really can’t stand, so how could that ever be cool? It also felt sort of hymnic, and perhaps even Christian in origin–hey, just because I don’t agree with their theologies remotely doesn’t mean that some of them don’t have a useful spiritual technology or two, including the airs to some of their hymnody. And finally, I was able to figure out what the song was…it may have even been a version that sounded like Josh Groban’s below.
I don’t think that song is explicitly Christian, and it certainly does have “O Danny Boy”-esque runs in it. And, note the words of the chorus (which is really the majority of the song):
You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up… To more than I can be.
And, what do the gods do–including in little moments like this, when they simply appear to renew our faith in the beauty of the world–but exactly what the words in the chorus there reflect?
So, that was my little dream. I’m sort of playing with the idea of it being Christmas (near the time when the Ekklesía Antínoou celebrates a syncretism festival for Antinous and Dionysos Epiphanes–and the latter epithet certainly applies to the present case in spades!), and having Dionysos, instead of being the “destined child” to appear and make things better, rather appearing to entertain two other (possibly divine?) children like the Dioskouroi…I don’t recall him ever having interactions with them in myth to my knowledge. But, bringing in Palaimon again, he’s Dionysos’ cousin, he was an infant when he died, he was carried by a dolphin to Corinth, and was later revered as a god who helped sailors at sea; Dionysos was kidnapped at one point, and changed the pirates who did this to him into dolphins; and, the Dioskouroi also helped sailors at sea. So, there’s a thread of connection here on a symbolic level, at very least, in terms of the intersections of the myth and cultus of these three sets of deities (all of whom were mortals or demi-gods who became heroes/divinities). Hmm!
In any case, praise to all of the gods, and especially to Dionysos, Palaimon, the Dioskouroi, and (as ever!) Antinous, for having “raised me up” in every respect!