In the desert

We were walking along, my son and I – it felt like that trip to Arizona when he was 10 or 11 and wore his city kid shades on the horse ride out into the desert and Bill, who led us out on our little horse-riding expedition called him “cowboy” over and over and told him to watch for rattlers in amongst the stones.
But we were walking this time, and as we turned into a small dry gorge, in amongst the boulders and caves and stones there were all kinds of snakes, multi-coloured snakes, beautiful in all their patterns and brilliant colour combinations.
Probably not very safe though, I thought, so I suggested we’d best leave this small canyon, turning us both back towards the entrance.
But there, crouched and waiting, silent and watching from the rocks, were dozens and dozens and dozens of black panthers.
Tails flicked in the sun. Whiskers twitched slightly in the air.
panther collage
There was no easy way out of this little room amongst the stones we’d stepped into – snakes on one side and panthers on the other.
I hoisted my son onto my back, began to flap my arms, and lifted us off the ground into the sky.

4th, maybe 5th black panther dream in the last couple of months.
Been reading up on ’em.
From Ted Andrews –

In China there were five mythic cats, sometimes painted like tigers or leopards. The black reigns in the north with winter as its season of power, and water its most effective element. This is the element of the feminine. This is the totem of greater assertion of the feminine in all her aspects: child, virgin, seductress, mother, warrioress, seeress, old wise woman…
To the Indians of North and South America, the jaguar especially in the form of the black panther, was endowed with great magic and power… the black panther was the god of darkness and could cause eclipses by swallowing the sun. This reflects the tremendous power inherent within the feminine forces.

Gosh. I realize now it was probably one of those dreams where I should have faced the threat, the fear, asked it what it wanted, and made it an ally.
As Robert Moss suggests –

Trying to escape dream challenges by fleeing back into ordinary reality is a poor life choice. The issues we confront, or fail to confront, in dreams are issues we need to deal with now. In an even larger sense the dream state is an arena in which we are trained and tested in choice and courage and our ability to grow.

Time to try mastering lucid dreaming or at least some kind of re-entering the dream.
On the other hand Jamie Sams says –

If the black panther has appeared today, it may be telling you not to worry about the future… Let go of fears that appear as obstacles or barriers. Embrace the unknown and flow with the mystery that is unfolding in your life. The next step may be leaping empty-handed into the void with implicit trust.

At any rate, it’s definitely getting a little bizarre the repeated dreams of large cats.
Most of my friends say they dream about things like their boss at work and maybe strange scenes in elevators and subways – regular daily stuff repurposed for the dream world.
Imagery so far outside what I see every day (like, um, snow just lately) seems to want some attention…

What strange creatures appear in your dreams, gentle reader?

20 thoughts on “In the desert”

    1. Lucid dreams can be so so exhilarating, hey? I love that feeling of total freedom – within the dream you suddenly realize you can do anything, make anything happen… There is one I had after a conversation with a friend that I’ve been meaning to write up, cause it was so cool the way the dream seemed a clear response to a story she told of resisting oppression. She’d been intimidated by a very powerful television broadcaster, and had pushed back. And she likened it to when she was a teenager and her sister pushed back against their father who was physically abusive, how they had lived in terror of him all the time, and one day her sister stood up to him. And she said, at that moment, it was like all the air gut sucked out of the room, and her fear was even BIGGER. He did back down, but the fear didn’t go away, because now there was new space created – the unknown.

      1. Not at all! Of course, I live in a wild place, so perhaps you are the only “downtown person!” 😉 However, there are frequently creatures in my dreams! I had such a vivid dream about a stag, nearly 15 years ago now, that I still see it.

  1. Lucid dreaming is cool when you can pull it off, but it has to be at special time in the morning when you’re dancing between consciousness and sleep. Great dream, though.

    1. I’ve gotten a couple of books on lucid dreaming, but I find it a rather dull read. And I have some audio things you listen to as you’re falling asleep kind of thing – I’m hoping to have better luck with those, but so far, for me, lucid dreams just seem to happen after an unusual day. GREAT feeling though!

  2. I remember dreaming of a lion wanting to eat me just before my move to Kenya, that was a wildlife filled dream period for me for some reason lol. Loved your post and got me thinking

    1. Aha! Maybe I’m supposed to move to Kenya?? Lol…
      You know, I can imagine with such a big life change the fear must have been enormous – as big as a lion, in fact.
      Maybe my life is changing more than I realize? 🙂
      So lovely to hear from you, my dear. So glad you found an exciting new job!

  3. I came across your website as I was looking up information on dreaming of turtles and tigers. turtle was part of a young child’s magic show and turtle comes to me and begins to lick my head like a cat. And Tiger was in another stage of my dream and there was many of them walking by me and giving me the once over. I was scared at first then realized they were not going to hurt me but they also were unsure of me. I always have such detailed dreams and typically I dream of animals, granted this is my first turtle dream and the first time tiger hasn’t scared or attacked me. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one with such vivid dreams of animals. Thank you for your page, I’m enjoying your writing so much!

    1. Lynda! So glad to see your comment and read about your dreams.
      I love the animal dreams I have, even when they are scary – they always feel kind of Big, Real, Elemental or something.
      Lately I’ve been dreaming of work colleagues – not quite as dramatic. 🙂
      Often after an animal dream I’ll have a look at Ted Andrews’ Animal Speak book, and there’s other ones out there too, that can get you thinking about the meaning or message of the animal appearing in your dream. But if you can find a way to re-enter the dream – through meditation or shamanic journey – then you can also try asking the animals what they want to tell you… Or so I hear. Always meaning to try that, and yet haven’t made the time….

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