A couple of months ago, Monica Wilcox from FemmeTales, recently referred me to Robert Moss’s publisher. After reading his book, Monica, wrote this article: “Dreaming The Soul Back Home” How to Heal Yourself and Others While you Sleep. Mind you, I have not read the review myself YET, as I will be happily posting my thoughts on the book in the weeks to come. I am very happy I Monica thought of me, as I truly believe this book will only improve how I do my dream readings ten fold.
This Dream Friday, Robert Moss, graciously gives us a taste of his work. The following is an excerpt of Dreaming the Soul Back Home:
Horses run through our dreams. We wake, hearts pounding, still feeling the thunder of the hoofbeats.
Our dream horses are not the same, of course. Some people are oppressed by dreams of a black horse that seems like a figure of death, or a red horse foreboding war and bloodshed, or a ghostly pale horse that brings the sense of sorrow and bereavement. Such dreams — and Henry Fuseli’s famous painting of nightmare — have encouraged the belief that the “nightmare” has to do with a mare, whereas, in fact (the etymologists say), the mare part here is most likely derived from the Old Germanic mer, meaning “something that crushes and oppresses.”
In dreams, the state of a horse is often a rather exact analog for the state of our bodies and our vital energy. When you dream of a starving horse, you want to ask: What part of me needs to be nourished and fed? You dream of horses flayed and hung up under the roof beams (as did a dreamer in one of my workshops), and you need to ask: Which parts of me have been flayed and violated in the course of my life, and how do I heal and bring those parts back to life? Such a dream also evokes the ancient rituals of horse sacrifice — common to many cultures — and might also require a search back across time into primal material from the realm of the ancestors, lost to ordinary consciousness but alive in the deeps of the collective memory.
In Greek mythology, horses are the gift of Poseidon and come surging from the sea, their streaming manes visible in the whitecaps. Or they irrupt from the dark Underworld, from whence Hades charges on his black stallion to ravish Persephone with his unstoppable sexual energy and hurl her into a realm of savage initiation beneath the realm she knows. Yet in Arcadia, Persephone’s mother, Demeter, the great goddess of earth and grain and beer, was depicted with a horse’s head.
Go to the British Isles, and you find the white mare revered as the mount and form of the Goddess. She is Epona, and her prints still mark the land whichever way you ride, even if only by train or car or Shanks’ pony. In ancient Ireland, a true king was required to mate with the white mare, as the living symbol of the sacred earth. (It would take a manful king indeed to couple with a mare; I suspect a priestess was substituted.)
The white horse crosses the oceans, in contemporary dreams, as in one shared with me by a California woman of Irish descent. In her dream, she sees a beautiful white horse in the mist. A voice speaks to her from a higher level, telling her, “This horse is you in another lifetime.” She is thrilled and amazed to be told that she belonged to a certain pack of horses with an old Gaelic name. Now she can see them all running together, through the deep mist. She is told it is very important that she remember this “horse existence” and what she learned then, and that this will also help to explain and deepen her soul connection with her husband, a lover of horses.
We know the horse in certain living myths as healer and teacher, as a vehicle for travel to higher realms, and as the source of creative inspiration. It is the hooves of Pegasus, rending the rock, that open the Hippocrene spring beside the grove of the Muses, from which poets have drunk ever since. It is Chiron the centaur, the man-horse, who is the mentor of Asklepios, the man-god synonymous with healing, especially through dreams. In fairy tales (by the Grimms and others), it is often the horse that can find the way when humans are lost.
I dreamed of rounding up a great herd of wild horses, and understood, waking in excitement and delight, that this was about bringing vital energy back where it belongs and helping to shape a model of understanding and practice of soul recovery for communities and individuals. The wild horse racing through our dreams may be the windhorse of spirit, or vital essence, that needs both to run free and to be harnessed to a life path and a human purpose.
Excerpted from the book Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole – 2012 By Robert Moss. Printed with permission from New World Library.
Robert Moss is the author of Dreaming the Soul Back Home and numerous other books about dreaming, shamanism, and imagination. His fascination with the dreamworld began in his childhood in Australia, when he had three near-death experiences and first learned the ways of a traditional dreaming people through his friendship with Aborigines. Visit him online at www.mossdreams.com .