One of the most special aspects of engaging our dream life is that our dreams honor our personal, psychological, emotional, and/or spiritual milestones in such a personally meaningful and intimate way. Often these milestones are things that would never be celebrated by our external world – say overcoming an internal block/fear/etc, or gaining the realization of a very great truth about who you are, or resurrecting an aspect of yourself that you’ve lost. Sharing your stories of your inner triumphs can surely receive praise from loving people in your life, but often what praise can be given is not nearly as meaningful as the kind of reception we receive from our inner being through our dreams. Fatherhood is obviously one of those milestones that is readily celebrated in our waking lives, but the way my dreams welcomed me was personally a very meaningful psycho-emotional movement into a whole new phase of my life.
My son was born in mid October of 2016, a month earlier than expected. His arrival was a shock to us, but not so much to either of our dream lives (my fiancée having had a prophetic dream two days before her water broke that she had gone into labor and given birth to him – of which some details came to pass, while others didn’t). The whole month of September felt like a huge ending for me. Which, in hindsight, is quite revealing.
In our psycho-emotional lives, when great new beginnings open within us, they must be preceded by big endings. In September, I had quite the assortment of “ending” dreams. The most profound was a series of three dreams where my only living grandfather was on the verge of passing away and does so by the third dream. These dreams occurred over the course of a perfect month before my son was born.
I’m in my parents house, in the living room looking towards the kitchen. My grandpa Stone was there with us, standing with a walker. He looked far older than he is and very frail, basically on the verge of dying. He then tells us that he feels his time is coming to a close quickly. That he thought he was going to pass a day or two before, but is sure “it could be any day now.” He says all this very solemnly, but in full acceptance. You get the sense he’s ready for the big sleep. The DS shifts slightly and the living room area now hosts a dinner table and we are essentially having our “last supper” with him. My uncle Rick says a little toast to him before we eat. “Even now, you still exude such grace…” and I wake up.
Before we talk about this dream, it would be right to understand what my grandfather represents here. The passing of my grandfather was a very loaded symbol at the time, but we’ll focus on what it means in relation to my coming entrance into Fatherhood.
The Grandfather holds a good deal of symbolic power in relation to ancestral ideas, ideals, and the longstanding mentality surrounding masculinity within the individual’s ancestral lineage. And for a man to become his own man (equally so, to come into his own as a father, to not simply become his own father or his forefathers before him), the symbolic image of his ancestral masculinity must die to be reborn within him in a way that is true to his own soul.
I had been doing a lot of work with my dreams for several years leading up to this point of working through a lot of my psycho-emotional ancestral inheritance. This process of my grandfather passing felt like a great honor for facing and unpacking a good deal of that and finally laying to rest within me the aspects of it that don’t serve my own becoming. But, also honoring all the time tested beauty I’ve undoubtedly inherited, as well. As one of my favorite parts about this initial dream is my uncle Rick’s toast. Dreams do well to make sure we take pause to greatly honor that which has been.
I get a phone call from my Grandpa Stone, which seemed to be to all our family at once. I find myself in an office setting, almost like a legal office. He tells everyone he’s calling to say his last words to us all. He had recently stopped breathing and feels like it’s going to strike again but fears this time he won’t recover.
This dream came about three weeks later. He was in his last days, now his last breaths. Both of these dreams found me waking just dumbfounded by how stirring they were. Leaving me to grapple with the great deficit they hold psychologically and emotionally, but also a curiosity of what will awaken in its place.
Then three days later…
I am sitting at a bar with a small group of people, maybe 4 or 5 tops. One being my mother and one being Robert Moss (wizard archetype)! I am then blindfolded, as they all plan some surprise for me. I see the number 3 flash in my mind, just as my mom asks the group how many tea bags should be used. So, I speak up and that’s the number they go with. They pull off the blindfold and pour a mason jar full of a herbal-liquid-something on me! It feels incredibly healing, like I feel viscerally lighter instantly! It is divine. Then Robert stands in front of me and gives me the biggest and warmest hug ever. It is so sincere and healing and he holds on for a considerably long time, but it isn’t awkward at all. We talk while we embrace. He says he heard about my grandpa passing and gives me his condolences and talks about how his are also gone. There is more I really wish I could recall now. But he ends it by holding me square at the shoulders and looks at me and says “well, happy birthday!” This is a birthday party! A woman, not with our group, has been watching us apparently. She has tears in her eyes and makes a statement like “isn’t it just incredible to have people who love you?!” I agree as tears begin to form in my eyes seeing her emote like that and realizing just how blessed I am.
This dream is an amazing celebratory dream for the death of the old and the rebirthing of a truer me. The cleansing ceremony of pouring the herbal concoction on me is so special and powerful to me, as if a baptism of sorts, of washing away the old, psychic energy. Not to mention, my grandfather passes and we have the admission of it being my BIRTHday! Six days later my fiancée’s water breaks a month early, the birth of this new identity as “Father” was very much in motion, as was the shattering death of who I was before I became “Daddy.”
The archetype of the Wizard is one of the five big archetypes of Mature Masculinity. The Wizard represents many things within a man’s psyche, but most important within this context, is the Wizard as a spiritual guide and initiator. Here he has orchestrated a cleansing ceremony to honor this great ending/death and new beginning/birth and so is initiating me into this next phase of my life. This is such an honor by my inner life!
His hug felt like a great big welcome. It was long and deep. He really wanted me to know how loved I am and just how welcomed am I to this new chapter. There was almost a tinge of fatherly-ness to his hug, almost as if the hug was a welcome into this new order of Fatherhood. Flying home with my son for the first time when he was about 7 months old, I recall feeling a very similar feeling from all my father-relatives, as if I were welcomed into an unspoken bond, a deeper respect and acceptance as a man and as a part of the family. I saw all of them in a whole new light, as well, in a way that I had been previously oblivious to. As if the profound love that I carry in my heart for my son, now made visible the depths of a father’s love in all the fathers I know. It’s been so surreal and beautiful to “see” and feel.
Becoming a father was in and of itself the most remarkable moment of my life, but it’s made richer yet to have had this sacred process unfold within myself to honor and awaken this glorious, new capacity within me and chapter of my life!