Dreams, to include sharing them, was once a common practice. In fact, there are several references from Old European Lore where chieftains seek the advice of dream-consultants, and base further action upon their prognostication.
Old Norse (ON) literature (Elder and Younger Eddas, Prose Saga, and Skaldic Poetry) contains numerious dream references. Leaving us ample information of the import and significance of dreams among the Heathen Teutonic tribes. And though, the majority of ON literature was written down 150-200 years after Christianization, the Heathen overtones are clear. All of which then morphed into Medieval literature, and its ample references to dreams.
And, though it is easy to consider these texts as Norse or Scandinavian only, it is important to consider the history during this period. For example, the events in Landnamabok took place during the mid to late 800s, and was not just Icelanders or Scandinavians, but immigrants from the British Isles and Ireland. Notably, several Seidwomen in the Lore have Irish names.
By far, the majority of recorded dreams mention some form of adversity; more combat than frith. Some are quite graphic .. depicting bloody violence and burning homesteads. Evenso, there is a wide array of topics of interest to the Seidbearer – such as dangerous nature and Nattura, and Otherworld beings .. many in both categories are gifters of poetry, wealth, healing powers (forn threifa), and magical weaponry.
Again, in all the chaos, there are significant details regarding birth and birthing magic, contracts for happy arrangements/marriages, one’s lineage and fortune, and wunjo after death. Also notable are the dreams often brought about through a ‘dream agent’ – a being of some sort that gives a message, makes a promise, teaches a valuble skill, or demands a quest.
Further, the symbols found in dreams also contain a wealth of information. Such as fetches and animals, guardian spirits and color, trolls and tivar. Then there are the objects, like swords or scythes, arm rings and torcs, spindles and whetstones. And finally, the living and dead .. such as skinskipters and Seidfolk.
Disting/Imbolc is a dreaming tide .. as is its counterpart on the otherside of The Wheel. Learning dreams – doing ‘dreamwork’, having ‘dreamvisions’ – are part of Seidr. Which is why I have long stressed the importance of establishing a symbolic language .. one centric to Heathenry. If one has a dream overflowing with symbols and/or references from everything one studies (Voodoo, Wicca, Core Shamanism, etc), then the messages become garbled. Little wonder that so few are even able to interpret their own dreams, let alone assist others.
Would You Know More, And What?
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The Goddess Dreams by Ann Beeching