Dream gateways – how the gods get in

I was talking last week about the faceless ones in my dreams, figures who had no individual characteristics but represented the pure power of the archetype. Other words for these pure powers might be energies, or spirits.

When peoples throughout the ages have sought to engage with these spirits, they have given them faces and names. Different traditions choose different faces and names, according to their culture, to represent the same essential qualities.

So, for example, in Ancient Greece Demeter was the goddess of harvest, but in Ancient Egypt this essence of harvest/mother/nature was called Isis.

After my first encounters with the faceless ones, I began to dream about gods and goddesses. Often, their names were unfamiliar to me in waking life, so it felt as if I was dipping a deeper stream. This experience will be familiar to a lot of dreamers, of words we have no conscious knowledge of coming to us for the first time in dreams.

Thoth, in a classic writing pose

One night I dreamt that Thoth was in my study. I had a vague notion that Thoth sounded like some kind of devil, so it spooked me. But when I looked him up, I found he was, amongst other things, the Ancient Egyptian god of scribes. The universal spirit of writing, in the shape of Thoth, had taken up residence in my writing room. Sweet!

A week later, by a happy synchronicity, I found a figurine of Thoth in a seaside nick-nacks shop, amongst the beach mats and sunglasses. I brought him home and now, if I ever feel disheartened or directionless as a writer, he inspires me with the pure power of writing.

Have you ever dreamt about gods, goddesses or other religious symbols?

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10 thoughts on “Dream gateways – how the gods get in”

    1. Hi Tessa – it was indeed most affirming. It might be different if you’re deeply grounded in a spiritual tradition – maybe those spiritual energies would be expressed through more specific symbols?

  1. Awww! I love your Thoth story (I feel like something strange has happened to my teeth when I say that word… Thoth I mean!) and love that synchronicity. I could do with a Thoth to get me through the last few chapters of my novel – I am feeling the ‘coming towards the end’ resistance at the moment. Hopefully something will come along to inspire me!

  2. What a fascinating story about Thoth. I love how you came upon the figurine too. I can’t remember ever dreaming about gods as such but I do use my faith in my writing and as a source of inspiration, especially when I’m struggling!

  3. My too, Carolyn – creative work is a kind of spiritual practice for me – I ask for guidance, and give thanks, every day.

  4. Sometimes the gods appear as more numinous spirits – I’ve had mountain dreams for example which are infused with spirit.

  5. Oh yes – absolutely, Kate. I’m glad you mentioned that. You don’t need a named god to feel the unmistakable presence of spirit in dreams. Several ‘numinous’ dreams I can recall were mountain dreams, but I had one particularly powerful one several decades ago which was set in a luminous wasteland. That kind of dream never leaves you, but feels like a beacon in the journey of life.

  6. Hi Sherri – working on this level really does power the writing, doesn’t it? I’ve got a number of animal-spirits I work with… but never (yet) a shark.

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