Totems, Talismans and Dreams
As the last year has brought many difficulties and crises into my little world, so it continues. My husband, who has Parkinson’s and has had several falls recently, had the bad one that put him in the hospital. He spent five days in our local medical center, even needing a blood transfusions because of a hematoma, and with a spinal compression fracture. Then he was transferred to a skilled nursing and rehab center, where he has been for the past few days. How long he’ll remain is unknown; he needs to get back his mobility and ability to care for himself.
I am blessed with several (overlapping) circles of people I care about and who care about me–my art group, our Unitarian Universalist congregation, and a dream circle I recently joined. (Our very conservative neighbors, who seem to have glommed on to our liberal views, not so much.)
In the dream circle yesterday I shared a dream about being on the edge of a canyon, with other people, short of water, needing to get to the other side. It was a very long way around. A man named “George,” (not my friend George), told me to just walk down the side and across and he would help me up the other side. So I did, and he did. The lesson I took was this: take the shortest and most direct path.
The dream group added to that, the lesson being: accept help when it’s offered. I mentioned that St. George is my patron saint (the patron saint of England), so maybe that’s who helped. When I told them he was said to have slain a dragon, our circle leader picked up a ceramic “dragon” (a lizard) and said, “Feed your fears to the dragon,” and thank St. George. I have brass rubbings of St. George, and I pulled out our own little ceramic lizard (not very dragon-like, but it will do).
One of my art friends gave me a Guatemalan worry doll. I named her “Pilar,” put her under my pillow, and had two of the best nights’ sleep I have in some time.
I read an article on Atlas Obscura about medieval pilgrims who wore badges (some of them quite bawdy) to ward off the plague and deter thieves. Thinking “how superstitious,” I found myself fingering the hematite heart that I bought in Inverness, Scotland, and have been wearing lately as a reminder of that much happier time, the day we went to Loch Ness and Urquardt castle.
I told our minister about these bits of “magic,” and he quoted Starhawk’s definition of magic: “The art of changing consciousness at will.”
I wrote the first draft of this before I went to spend a couple of hours with Gary. I managed to help him get the TV working again, took him out to the patio (but it’s so hot and dry–90F today–it was pleasant only because a family was visiting a loved one, and they were very friendly), then set him up with his dinner.
I am tired, hungry, need to do laundry, and right now I’d take magic in any form it presents itself.