trance stories: gathering materials

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I’ve read ahead in Paxson, and it turns out, we need stuff. What kind of stuff?

For one, a drum. Or a recording of drums. Also, some kind of scent, like an essential oil. Also, something tactile/visual, such as a cloak and a pendant. She hasn’t mentioned the purchase of a knife, which I thought was a given, but there is something to do with having a wand, staff or a finger. Presumably your own finger, still attached to your own hand.

So I went ahead and considered this, and made my way to my spot thinking about writing this post and recounting all of the petty shit that my mind perseverates on instead of writing about the actual ritual, which is, in fact, the important part. I find the same tree I found yesterday, chased out of practically every other park by paladins, which sounds weird when I read it out loud, but that is actually what happened.

Unlike yesterday, no vehicles approached the park. Truly, this tells me nothing about the state of the world or the progress of my nightly tree meditation, but it might tell me that it’s damned cold outside and even paladins are smart enough to stay indoors. I wore gloves this time, though. Yay me. I might survive after all.

After the ward, positioning, grounding, and connecting with the tree, I gave gratitude and some nice popcorn that at least the birds can feed on. I headed to my residence and played my same game of relaxing and losing consciousness. I awoke to find a dream in my notebook:

I sit with a woman “behind the scenes” and we direct the traffic of dreams. Certain dreams need to be stopped from happening. Others are sent to their destinations, no questions asked. We comment on the dreams but nothing else, nothing personal. I can’t really tell what the identity of the woman is, but it seems we are both in aposition of authority and familiarity with the content of everybody’s nighttime visions.

I wonder what we must have seen while we judged peoples’ dreams. Now, what does this have to do with my life?

Well, first off, I comment on the difference in power. In the first “behind the scenes” dream, the man is aggressive and protective: a common trope in masculinity studies. In this one, I take responsibility for an equal level of authority in what seems to be an incredibly powerful game. If anything, claiming to be fellow to Queen Mab is utter heresy in the faerie world. I wonder where this is leading?

Recall Mercutio’s speech:

O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate stone
On the forefinger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Over men’s noses as they lie asleep;
Her wagon spokes made of long spinners’ legs,
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;
Her traces, of the smallest spider web;
Her collars, of the moonshine’s wat’ry beams;
Her whip, of cricket’s bone; the lash, of film;
Her wagoner, a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm
Pricked from the lazy finger of a maid;
Her chariot is an empty hazelnut,
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o’ mind the fairies’ coachmakers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers’ brains, and then they dream of love;
O’er courtiers’ knees, that dream on curtsies straight;
O’er lawyers’ fingers, who straight dream on fees;
O’er ladies’ lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are.
Sometimes she gallops o’er a courtier’s nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometimes comes she with a tithe-pig’s tail
Tickling a parson’s nose as ‘a lies asleep,
Then dreams he of another benefice.
Sometimes she driveth o’er a soldier’s neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night
And bakes the elflocks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled much misfortune bodes.
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage.
This is she!
(Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet)

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