1989 and 1991 I was in the midst of engineering a huge shift in my consciousness,
purging and exploring my psychic and spiritual Selves with all sorts of
experiential processes, doing Grofian Breathwork sessions weekly and sampling
a smorgasbord of other new-age therapies and spiritual experiences regularly.
As a result, I began interfacing with all sorts of "new" psychic phenomena
on a regular basis. Add to this being challenged in virtually every aspect
of my waking life by a severe depression, as well as by two incredibly
stressful, serially-recurring dreamtime struggles which manifested during
this period, and you might say I had my hands full.
I dreamed of the Filipino sorceress first. Don't ask me why she was Filipino, she just was. She was a little old lady, about five feet tall, with jet black hair and a friendly (almost grandmotherly) face, but with eyes that held a look of utter evil. She was never alone: at her side at all times (unless it was sent to chase after me, of course) was a life-size puppet / robot "daughter" who carried a long ceremonial knife stashed in the old woman's ever-present "knitting" bag--the old sorceress would knit furiously, like some mad little Filipino Madame de Farge. (The best description of the "puppet daughter" I could give you would be to send you on a quest to get hold of an old sixties-vintage copy of "Nancy Drew and the Clue of The Dancing Puppet"...go figure.)
As is often the case in "psychic" situations for me, I had a moment
of "gnosis" in which I completely understood several things. I looked at
the "daughter" and understood "it" was her minion--it was not human. It
was her construction--her tool. And I knew right away they would both be
pursuing me on some sort of epic dream-chase--and I did not want to know
what they would do to me if they ever caught me.
In the initial dream, I stood there, rooted to the sidewalk in front of the old woman and her "daughter" for an instant, totally grokking the danger I was in. The old woman seemed to cackle with delight as she telepathed her evil intent to me. The "daughter" smiled a mechanical smile, showing her razor-sharp metal teeth, and flashed a long, evil-looking ceremonial knife that she yanked out of the knitting bag. The blade was about ten inches long and was inscribed with intricate symbols; it had a very sinister, jagged design--it seemed to flash with the light of evil.
I bolted and ran through the sidewalk crowd at full speed in the opposite direction, knocking people out of the way and dodging cars as I ran across the street. I remember running up some long, wide stone steps, like those of a huge public building. I knew I had outrun them--they couldn't have gotten through the crowd I'd broken my way through. As I was running up the steps, I looked up to see the two of them grinning down at me from the landing above. The old lady was knitting, and the daughter was waving the knife around crazily. The terror of the sight shocked me out of the dream.
This set the pattern for my interactions with this sorceress and her mechanical minion. The scenarios changed, but the end result would always be the same--I would think I had gotten away from them, but they would suddenly show up where it was impossible for them to be. In the next set of "episodes", we took our little show on the road.
Route 66, or so it seemed to me. As the next set of dream episodes began, I was driving a "brand new" 1957 Chevy down what appeared to be Route 66 in its heyday. I was enjoying the scenery, having the feeling that I always experience on a long, solo road-trip-type vacation--a sort of "excited relaxation"--a feeling of freedom I don't normally find in my everyday life. This was a nice dream, so far; I was having a veritable Cleaver-Era holiday, driving leisurely. I remember stopping at a souvenir junk-place that resembled Cline's Corners. After I was back on the road, I noticed a car coming up fast on my tail.
As the car started to pass me, I looked over to see the evil little Filipino woman driving a "brand new" jet-black 1959 Caddy convertible, her mechanical offspring riding shotgun. "Satan's Own Granny" was smiling sweetly, her eyes aglow with malice.
The "daughter", true to form, brandished the sacrificial blade at me, ("She" seemed to be a combination stooge and hench-wench, always making insane faces and thrashing madly about, waving that damned knife around like a drunken ninja.) They kept pace with me on the highway, not trying to pass me or run me off the road, just driving beside me, matching my speed, grinning demonically. I floored the Chevy, kicking it into "passing gear", and roared down Route 66, leaving them far behind. They didn't really try to follow, which I thought strange. I blazed down the highway for a long time, and finally slowed when I saw a diner up ahead. Knowing I had outrun them, knowing there was no other way for them to get ahead of me without me seeing them, I figured I could rest a minute. I stopped for food and coffee.
I walked into the diner and slid into a booth. A waitress plopped down a menu and some coffee, and I breathed a big sigh and took a sip. Relaxing my fear-induced tunnel-vision a bit, I glanced across the aisle to the booth opposite mine, and there they were! The evil granny was knitting furiously, looking right through me with those glassy black eyes and grinning like some malignant Cheshire Cat. The "daughter" was making growling noises, gnashing her metal teeth, and licking her lips. The waitress didn't seem to notice that "it" wasn't human, and continued to serve them, as I sat for a moment to screw up my courage and leap for the door.
I made a dash for it as the waitress was pouring them more coffee. They didn't seem to care that I was making a break for it; they just smiled and waved out the diner window. I got in the Chevy and sped off, passing car after car, until I suddenly came up behind a '59 Caddy convertible--there they were, in front of me. Again, the shock of them appearing where it was impossible for them to appear knocked me out of the dream. It was after this scenario with the Filipino sorceress that the other "mini-series" began. This one took place in the rather static setting of an utterly alien field of tall "dream-grass" that waved in an unfelt breeze. The whole scene was eerily lit, as if by moonlight, but the light seemed to come from no discernible source--everywhere and nowhere at once--and the colors were all wrong.
The sky was like day and night at the same time: shimmering and glowing, yet dark. It seemed to be dull red at one glance, and charcoal gray at another. The spongy, chest-high "grass" was a kind of violet-blue color, almost glowing from within.
I entered the dream standing on a small hillock in a rolling field of this bizarre not-quite-grass, and I could see for quite a distance.
I spent a long time looking around this weird landscape of gently rolling hills, scanning the horizon and generally checking things out. The grass rippled and twisted as if by some breeze or wind, but I did not feel any--I got the impression that this grass was moving by itself. There were no animals or birds to be seen. I noticed some "clouds" of shadow in one area of the field, a good distance away.
When I focused my view in that direction, I became aware of a solitary figure, showing darkly against the also-dark, yet iridescent, sky. It seemed to be a woman dressed in medieval traveler's garments--long, heavy linen-type skirts and a dark cloak that covered all, clasped at the chest. Although the figure was far across the field, the image was sharp in my mind.
Yet her face was to remain dark to me throughout the entire series of dreams--unlike the Filipino woman who used her eyes to terrify me, this woman veiled her entire face in shadow.
I immediately understood that here was a new enemy. Her purpose was clear: she came to challenge me in direct combat, As her image grew stronger in my mind, I was dismayed to find that I was suddenly psychically "exposed" to her. She perceived me totally, and "locked in" on me; it was almost as if I were standing directly in front of her. Being that "close" to her was too much for me. In near-panic, I withdrew my awareness from her part of the field, and surveyed my immediate area.
The small rise I stood on was a tiny island in a rolling sea of low hills--no real features to suggest anywhere at all to hide, other than the spongy grass. She was on another rise at a distance of what seemed to me to be at least a quarter-mile.
I tried to put as much mental distance between me and her image as I could, when I felt/saw a bolt of energy coming at me at high speed. I remember being terrified and (to my surprise) performing an automatic "anti-aircraft-missile" volley of energy that met hers in mid-air and exploded. My dream-conscious mind then instinctively understood how to use the "firing" mechanism of my energy field, and I was ready for her next blast when it came.
As this series of dreams went on, she moved closer and closer as she sent her attacking volleys of energy, yet I never saw her move. I knew I had to learn some new energetic mechanism to make her back off. When she finally got what I considered "dangerously" close to me, I felt the sensation (again, a surprisingly new one) that my entire energy field "blared" like a super-nova. This was not the same as the focused and directed volleys produced by the "firing mechanism", but rather a huge, explosive burst of undirected raw energy. The shadowy figure was pushed or knocked back several yards. Aha! I found it!
So I "blared" another big blast of juice, and the shadowy sorceress was pushed back nearly to her original position in the field.
These particular dreams never ended abruptly, the way the ones with the Filipino sorceress did. The dreams of the shadowy figure just seemed to change and fade into other dreams, often so subtly I would not notice the change. When each dream began, though, we were nearly always in our respective positions in the field as I last remembered from the previous "episode".
We "switch channels" back to the Filipino sorceress, this time for the "season finale". Again, we were in cars, but this time they were chasing me around city streets at night, in the rain.
We ended up at some sort of abandoned industrial area, at a huge, derelict warehouse. The warehouse was several stories high, with no "solid" floors on the inside, just a maze of rickety metal cat-walks and stairs, most of them falling apart.
I parked the car and ran into the warehouse. It was dark, except for the glow of streetlights shining in through the broken windows and holes in the roof. Water was dripping everywhere.
I looked around, scanning the building while my eyes tried to adjust to the darkness. As I finally gained some focus, I saw them, far across the floor, at an entrance opposite where I stood--they had been standing there the whole time, and had seen me enter. The old woman was knitting and smiling toxically, boring holes in me with those hellish eyes. The daughter pranced around like a hyena, slicing the air in wicked arcs with the ceremonial knife. I bounded up the first metal staircase I could find, and began to work my way up the levels, up into the maze of catwalks. The catwalks and stairs were all of a metal mesh, so you could see through them. There was no hiding.
The daughter had started up the set of stairs nearest to where they stood. She was racing up and down the dilapidated steps like it was nothing, like she knew the lay-out of the maze and was using that knowledge to reach me faster. The old woman stayed down on the ground floor, moving to be directly under wherever I was at the time and looking up, obviously enjoying the show, her evil smile never leaving her face, knitting like a fiend the whole time. (I must say that the loony "Madame de Farge" imagery made it all the more terrifying--was she, indeed, knitting me a grisly fate, just as Madame de Farge did for the "guilty" whose names she silently knitted into her vengeful cloth? Or was her knitting the means with which the sorceress animated the mechanical daughter?)
I felt like a fish in a barrel; the daughter was gaining on me, and I had nowhere to run. My sense of direction was totally screwed, and I came to a place where the catwalk I was on gave way into nothing--there was nowhere else to go. I turned around to retreat the way I came and there was the daughter, the evil knife clamped between her metal teeth, starting up the flight of steps leading to the catwalk I was on. One of the few times in my life that I actually have awakened screaming, drenched in cold sweat.
When I stood once again in the field of writhing grass, things were different. The sky was "stormy", and the grass was flailing around wildly. The shadowy sorceress was there, across the field. For a long time, we stood in our respective corners in a weird sort of stand-off--she sent no attacking volleys of energy, and neither did I, but the tension in the air was unbearable. What seemed like an eternity passed, and then, without warning, I saw the dark figure rise rapidly into the air and fly straight for me.
I screamed and dived headlong into the wriggling grass, hoping it would hide me. I felt an involuntary shudder run through me, and felt a protective "cocoon" of energy form around me--I had evidently learned to shield myself, but I didn't have time to think much about it--I froze in terror when I heard a hideous, screeching, wail as she flew directly overhead and off into the sky. There was an almost unspeakable combination of emotion in that scream. Hatred was there, to be sure, and warning; but there was also agony, pain, and the cold feeling of death.
It was her farewell cry--this was the final time I met the shadowy sorceress on the dream-battlefield.
At the time these dreams were going on, I was so inundated by new information and new perspectives (literally too much to think about) that I thought then only of the considerable stress the dreams were causing in my already stressful life, not what they actually may have been, or what they might have really meant to my psychic/magickal development. Only recently, as my magickal endeavors and investigations have reached a new level, have I felt compelled to remember, document and analyze these dream battles in a serious manner, In the years since these dreams occurred, I have been thrown up against several real-life "adversaries", some of whom were intent on doing me true psychic and spiritual (if not bodily) harm. Some of these situations involved energies being bandied about as weapons and projectiles, similar to the battles with the shadowy sorceress. Some of the situations involved people who had "sweet" facades, but who were of evil intent, like the Filipino woman.
As I re-examine these dreams with the distance of time and the addition of nearly a decade of experience, learning and magickal training (mostly self-taught), I am forced to view them from a different, "non-victim" angle. In my magickal life, I have been guided and aided at various times by entities or forces that have presented their gifts wrapped in riddle and seeming contradiction. I have begun to "learn how to learn" from these riddles. It was inevitable that it began to occur to me that these dream duels may not necessarily have been specifically "attacks" against me, but "magickal training exercises" instead.
One clue that led me to this conclusion was the fact that the Filipino woman and her daughter never did actually attempt to harm me. They scared the livin' bejeezus out of me, but they never did try to harm me. The terror induced in me by the Knitting Satanic Granny with eyes of black fire and her twisted mechanical minion was a catalyst for quickening and honing my responses, both mental and physical. The dreams of the shadowy sorceress in the field felt more like real combat, but in the end (in my waking, magickal life, that is), they, too, have had the effect of a training exercise.
Just who was behind these "training exercises", I still cannot say. Perhaps they were another gift from those spirits and entities who have seen fit to guide and shape me with their riddles along this path of the Shaman / Warlock / Wizard that I tread. Perhaps it was whatever "god" that rules the sacred grove I inhabit, warning me of the evil intent of a pair of seemingly "sweet" dark witches who moved in briefly after the dreams ended. Perhaps it was my own internal teacher--the grizzled old Merlin of my soul, knowing my weaknesses and preparing me against future battles only he has foreseen.
Perhaps it was simply my sense of self-preservation, teaching me to spot a "wolf in sheep's clothing" and how to handle my energy field in an "attack" situation.
Whatever the source of these dreams, their true impact was virtually lost on me at the time they happened. It is only with hindsight that I have come to appreciate them as gifts.
In the end, it doesn't matter if the dream sorceresses came from within my own psyche, or from some mysterious, alien source "without": I gained some invaluable energetic skills as the result of these dreams, because the "energetic mechanisms" shown to me eventually became second nature--I did learn how to "throw" my energy when neessary. I did learn how to defend myself in a psychic attack. I did learn to discern real "sweetness" from the sick "sweetness" that some wear as a cloak to cover their evil. I did learn how to assess a situation quickly, and act swiftly. For that, I give thanks to who-ever or what-ever the source of my dreamtime training. And I give thanks to my Self, for being brave enough to learn.