Lascaux cave art

Lascaux cave art

Monday, May 22, 2017

A Dream of the Ancestors and the Mask of Odin-an Update

Last night, quite unusual for me I dreamed almost constantly, waking up, going back to sleep and dreaming again, one after the other, even dreams within dreams. Shortly before waking I had a dream which involved me talking to a dead ancestor. It was impressed upon me that this was a great grandfather. The ancestor did not reveal to me his name but I was trying to work out who he was by the process of mental deduction. The name of the person which was impressed upon me however was that of a great great grandfather so it is possible that the term 'great grandfather' in the dream was not to be taken literally. It was evident to me in the dream that he was dead but yet he appeared alive just as you and I are and his cosy cottage was situated (in the dream) just a few houses away from me so I was conscious that he was always close by. I do not recall what we talked about but he made himself known to me.

It does not surprise me that I dreamed about an ancestor as I have been engaged in researching my ancestry which I am sure will become a life long project! It is also not unusual for the dead to appear in our dreams for the ancients considered that in the dream state, especially before waking we are more receptive to the spirits of the dead and can communicate with them as we do with the living. Frequently the shades of departed relatives appear to me in dreams and I am very conscious that they are dead. On occasions I have had dreams in which people who I am not aware have passed on reveal themselves to me to tell me the news! This was the case with my half sister in Germany who passed on a few years ago.

Immediately after leaving my ancestor's cottage I encountered another dead person, this time my daughter's maternal great grandfather. I asked him to make an engraving on a piece of wood for me, just a bare outline as I knew that he had good practical skills. When he came back, to my surprise I found that he had completed the entire job for me, not just the outline and it turned out to be a carving of a mask of Odin! At this point I awoke. I am not sure what this all means and I am still processing the information but I will edit or add to this article on an ongoing basis. Any interpretations from my readers would be welcome.

UPDATE

I am grateful to Steed for his helpful comment. Since publishing this short article I was driven by a sudden and restless need to research my partner's paternal ancestry, joining it to my own published tree which is a lifetime work in progress!  Her maternal ancestry has already been researched with a line of ancestry leading back to the Volsungs and Odin Himself. I started by exploring her paternal grandmother's ancestry and over several long nights I managed to go back a few generations. The use of census returns can be very helpful in identifying families that you are related to or descended from and can help to confirm an ancestor's identity but the earliest ones available for England and Wales only reach back to the year 1841, the most recent being 1911. They do however contain an absolute wealth of detail in one single document. Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths only started in 1837. Prior to this date you have to rely upon parish records, not all of which have been digitalised. I am fortunate in that my paternal grandmother's ancestry is rooted in North Meols, Lancashire where parish records are freely available online and I am also indebted to the many Wills left by my ancestors from centuries ago as they too are very useful. After reaching a temporary brick wall with her paternal grandmother's ancestry I turned my attention to her paternal grandfather, researching both his paternal and maternal lines and I was surprised to see that his mother's maternal ancestry has already been well researched and I managed to find a line going back to Alfred of Wessex who as we know was a descendant of Woden Himself!

So here we have the crux of the matter and the reason for her grandfather appearing in the dream (alongside my own ancestor) presenting me with a mask of Odin/Woden. This can be no coincidence but demonstrates to us that human consciousness does in fact survive physical death. In the fluid dream state we can encounter the spirits of the 'dead' and other entities, even deities for our conscious critical analytical mind is put to sleep, no longer able to fulfil its 'gatekeeper' role until we are fully awake. Dreams experienced directly before waking linger in the mind longer and are rarely forgotten unlike the ones that we have but cannot recall from the middle of the night. This is what is called the hypnopompic state. Its opposite is the hypnogogic state. I am reminded here that our High Lord Woden is the great psychopomp. He is the great guide of souls between life and death but He has the ability to travel between other worlds and make Himself known even in physical human form. He is the director of dreams and the alterer of consciousness. Often I will ask Woden to guide my dreams using this short invocation formulated by Edred Thorsson:

"Into the well of sleep Oh Woden I wend my way to thee, to learn thy ways and wonders."

I believe it is to be found in The Nine Doors of Midgard but I can't be certain about this! It is a good habit to get into. As I have written before, prayers or invocations are not the preserve of the Abrahamic religions. Before retiring to bed on a night I ask for Thunor's blessing and protection on my household and again this is a good habit to adopt.

The link between the mask of Woden and the grandfather's ancestry is now clear although there are other interpretations, one of which was suggested by Steed. Now I have not yet had the opportunity to analyse this other researcher's findings-it was simply a discovery I 'stumbled' across but it is interesting that I was presented with the mask in its complete form although I only asked for an outline to be carved. This signifies to me that the work has already been done by others. My task was simply to look for and receive this discovery. Woden reveals Himself to us if we keep an open mind and seek Him.

3 comments:

Steed said...

I'd suggest that the dreams are simply a message that the ancestors are watching and willing to help. The fact that your daughter's maternal great grandfather went 'above and beyond' in carving the mask for you is perhaps affirmation of how keen they are to help, if only you/we ask. That it was Woden's Mask may mean that they approve of your spiritual/esoteric pursuits.

WyrdWalker said...

You are fortunate indeed to be gifted such dreams. All I ever dream about is killing my enemies! ;-))))

Wotans Krieger said...

Thank you for your comment and interpretation steed. There are certainly 2 interesting and connected themes with this dream-the Odinic/Wodenic aspect and the ancestors.
A few days after the dream I had an intensive and unaccountable desire to begin some research into my partner's male line. I became restless until I started the research. She has already researched her female line which leads via her American grandfather to Normandy and then to the legendary Volsungs and Odin Himself. I was already aware of this. I spent several nights for many hours starting the research into her father's paternal and maternal ancestry, checking census and other records, collecting information on her ancestor's siblings as well, the usual mundane but necessary things when I turned again to one of her grandfather's female lines to find that this has already been well researched a few years ago by what must be a distant cousin of hers (if the name of the researcher is anything to go by)to find some very interesting connections. I started examining the details and by the time I got back to the 14th century a chill went up and down my spine and I said to her, "you know who we are going to find at the end of this don't you?" Now this is not my research and I am very sceptical and will only accept it after I have thoroughly checked the information that is there but there is a line that connects to Alfred of Wessex and thus further back to Woden Himself. This is an aspect of the dream which did not occur to me until I made this discovery. If this ancestral line is genuine then it is no wonder that her grandfather appeared to me in a dream with Woden's mask-ALREADY COMPLETED and waiting for me to find.