Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Fighting in ash-mud and putting out the blazing white tree

I dreamed that I went back to my family's old home in Ohio (which in real life no longer exists, the land having been sold to Hell Hollow Wilderness Area when my parents moved to Virginia), realizing that I'd completely forgotten to visit it regularly to feed the pets.

When I arrived, I found that the house was now occupied by a married couple whom I could not see or here but of whose presence I was aware and with whom I could communicate telepathically. I thought of them as "G and his wife," with no particular idea of what the G stood for, and I didn't find their invisibility to be anything strange. I certainly didn't think of them as "ghosts" or anything. I took it for granted that they were fully physical flesh-and-blood human beings but that they existed on a wavelength that made them inaccessible to my ordinary senses.

G's wife led me down into the basement (which was enormous) and to what I guess could be described as a walk-in fireplace. It was a very large circular room with a high domed ceiling, full of smoldering logs and coals, and I understood that its purpose was to heat the house. She asked me to use a poker to break all the half-burnt logs into smaller pieces, and I said (telepathically), "To stoke the fire. I understand." I thought the purpose was to expose more unburnt wood to the oxygen and get the fire burning stronger.

In this assumption I was wrong. As I "stoked" the fire, the logs crumbled to coals, which quickly became ashes, and then the ashes became a thick gray mud. This, it turns out, was exactly what G wanted. He and another person, who I think was called Diego (at any rate it was definitely a Spanish name), appeared and announced that this was now their dojo. "Diego and I like to spend all day every day fighting here!" G announced. (All these people were still invisible and inaudible; I could "see" and "hear" them only in a metaphorical way.) G and Diego were each connected to the center of the domed ceiling with something like the silk dragline used by a falling spider. They would swing around on these lines, meet in the mud, and tussle.

At the end of a fight, what looked like some sort of corporate logo appeared in the air near the top of the ceiling. My first impression was that it was the Chupa Chups logo, but then I saw that it was actually G's wife's name. (I apprehended this fact directly, without being aware of what her name actually was.) Then the logo rotated clockwise several degrees, which had the effect of making the n at the end of the name look like a b, transforming the name to Cheb. (This implies that her name was Chen, but I had no sense of this fact during the dream and was somewhat surprised to discover it upon waking.) The logo then disappeared.

I recognized Cheb as the name of one of the ancient Spider Lords in Colin Wilson's novels, and I thought that this whole thing -- the fight on draglines and the transforming name -- was a reference to a theory G entertained that his wife was actually the reincarnation of a very important spider.

I was less concerned about the meaning of the logo than about the fact of its appearance. A logo appearing in midair at the end of a performance was something that happened on TV, not in real life. "G," I said, "how did that happen? Did you make it happen, or are we in a movie?"

"Well," he said, "let's say it's a preview  for a movie."

Later, I was out walking in the hemlock-beech woods that surrounded the house. I found a beech tree that had a little hollow at a fork in its trunk, and there was a small fire smoldering in the hollow. I thought I'd better "stoke" that fire, too, and I did this in the literal sense of adding fuel. The risk of starting a forest fire did cross my mind, but I dismissed it, figuring that G and his wife knew what they were doing keeping a fire burning there.

A few minutes later, I turned back and saw that the tree next to the one I had "stoked" was now on fire -- sort of. The flames were white in color, they didn't seem to be consuming the tree, and only that one tree was affected. The flaming tree gave the impression of a Persian cypress, which would be quite out of place in those woods, but I think it was the flames that made it appear to have that shape.

Some other invisible people were nearby, and I alerted them to the flaming tree. They expressed disappointment that no one had thought to bring a large blanket with which to beat out the flames. After a few failed attempts to beat out the flames with my jacket -- most of the blaze was too high for me to reach -- I ran back to the house to get a blanket.

In order to get a blanket, I would have to find a suitable word with which to conjure one up. In the house I found a box of Kellogg's Corn Flakes, with the classic green rooster logo, and began hurriedly scanning the side of the box for a suitable word. I found a possible candidate in the word croied, which I mentally pronounced to rhyme with void. "That might work," I thought. "Haven't I heard of croied sheets before, or croied bedding?" Wanting to be sure, I took down a dictionary (shelved together with the corn flakes for some reason) and looked up croi. I found nothing, but then I remembered that the base word is spelled croix, with the silent x being removed when a suffix is added. (Croix is French for "cross," but I was still mentally pronouncing it as "kroy," not "krwah") Looking up croix, I found a long list of definitions, including one that said "the absolute penis," but couldn't find anything bedding-related.

"Wait," I thought, "did that say 'the absolute penis'? That's pretty weird." I looked back through the list of definitions to find it again, but I found that all the definitions were now written in Chinese, and that I had lost the ability to read Chinese. I was still trying to decipher these Chinese definitions -- all I could figure out was that one of the characters was likely pronounced huang, though I wasn't sure which of the many characters with that pronunciation it might be -- I woke up.

I've learned from William Wright that the point-of-view character in a dream doesn't always represent the dreamer himself, but that we sometimes dream from the point of view of another. In this case, I think it highly likely that I was represented in this dream by G, not by the character I experienced as being "me." I was actually known as G when I worked at Burger King as a teenager. For some reason, many of the employees there were known by celebrity surnames associated with their given names -- a concept roughly comparable to Cockney rhyming slang, I guess. For example, there was a guy named Jimmy who was always referred to as Page, and I, the guy named Bill, was called Gates, which was later shortened to G. This became sufficiently "official" that my name tag had nothing but the letter G on it. It is suggested in the dream that G's wife is called Chen, which is my own wife's maiden name. My wife also used to use the English name Charlotte -- inspired by, you guessed it, the arachnid heroine of Charlotte's Web.

(Unfortunately, the whole time I was known as Gates, no one once said "Groovy greets" to me.)

So who is Diego? And who is the point-of-view character? No idea so far.

The tree, burning with white flames but not consumed, suggests both the Burning Bush of Moses and the glowing white Tree of Life in the dreams of Lehi, Nephi, and Joseph Smith Sr. Given these connotations, the fact that the point-of-view wants to put the tree out by beating it with a blanket suggests that he's not a good guy.

A white cypress in particular reminded me of something, and after a while I figured out what it was: A tree of that description appears on John Opsopaus's (hand-drawn by a non-artist; cut him some slack) version of the Star card of the Tarot:

Checking his essay on that card, I find that it's yet another Tree of Life reference:

[T]he dark cypress (with its serpent) is the Tree of Knowledge and the white cypress (with its bird) is the Tree of Life.

The bird, incidentally, is the lion-headed Anzû, which has appeared on this blog once before.

The morning after the dream, I taught an adult English class. One of the students asked me out of the blue, "What's the difference between a cedar and a cypress?" I provided the Chinese translations and just said they were two different kinds of trees. "Are Christmas trees usually cypresses?" she asked. I said I'd never heard of them being used that way, and that Christmas trees are usually firs, spruces, or pines. Strange questions to ask, but they tie in with the idea of a white cypress as the Tree of Life. In my December 8 post "The White Tree of Life . . . Saver," I mention the all-white artificial Christmas tree we use at my school and connect it with the Tree of Life.

One of the other students in that class had brought a tote bag with something about the Tree of Liberty written on it. I was only able to see part of it. The first line said "THE TREE OF LIBERTY" and the second line said "FAR AWAY IN THE," with the final word not visible. I'd never heard of the Tree of Liberty outside of the Jefferson quote about watering it from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. 

Note added: I forgot to include this in the original post. After my dream but before my morning class, I saw that some secondhand English children's books had been delivered to my school. I picked up one at random, with the nondescript title People and Places, and opened it up to the table of contents, where I saw this:

The picture, apparently showing some kind of controlled burn in Australia, synched in a broad way with themes from the dream, enough to make me turn to the pages on Australia, where I found this:

I have no idea how the aborigines make that gray-white body paint, but it certainly looks like it could be made from ashes mixed with water.

Update 2 (11:00 p.m.): I checked my YouTube subscriptions and found this just-uploaded video which begins by zooming in on the words printed on the side of a box of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes. I haven’t watched the rest of it yet, but already that’s a pretty specific sync:


William Wright (WW) said...

If the name was in fact Diego that could be an important clue. Diego means 'supplanter', and is equivalent to Jacob, which means the same thing (they share the same Latin form). Jacob is the former name of Israel.

So, you have a person named G who wants to fight against Israel.

Thinking of names of individuals (or groups of individuals) starting with G that fight against Israel, I come up with two.

Gog is the first that came to my mind. He appears both in Ezekiel and then in Revelation as fighting against Israel, or God's people, bringing along his country or land of Magog.

The account of the fight in Revelation has Gog and his people being consumed by fire. This might explain why G and his wife wanted the character to take the logs, break them down, and turn them into mud. Aware of the prophecy (and also the potential that fire would have helped Diego-Israel) they would want to eliminate any chance of fire.

However, I don't think that will work. In fact, your dream might allude to this, as the unwitting dreamer goes outside and accidentally starts the 'fire' that G and his wife had hoped to prevent.

"Gentiles" is the other group of people that start with G, and specifically those who unite with the Great and Abominable Church (potentially represented by the spider Ungoliant, Mommy Fortuna, etc.) will fight against Israel, also. You said "Chen" was potentially meant to represent a spider, so this could work well. My understanding is that Chen can mean "Dawn" - dawns and sunrises happen in the East, and that idea or direction, and its tie specifically to Ungoliant and the Void, has come up before on my blog.

Anyway, one creative interpretation. I am sure you can play around with Diego and come up with several others if you want.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Unreal. I’ve been reading through the OT a few chapters a day, and today I happened to read Ezekiel 38-40, which includes all the Gog references in that book.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

The name Israel means “one who contends with God,” so perhaps the G who fights Israel could even be the big G himself?

William Wright (WW) said...

Could be a few options, I guess.

I was leaning toward Gog, or it was on my mind, because you showed up in my dream this morning and used the phrase "a gog", which could be a name (Gog or one of the 'Gogs', or I thought of Magog at the time, but I had forgotten in the Bible it is Magog and not Agog) or I guess "agog" as an adverb.

I didn't actually see you in my own dream - it was just an understanding that this was something you had said.

Anyway, then I read about your dream. Gog was already on my mind, and seemed to fit once I realized Diego could be Israel. It is only the second time one of my dreams has included you, so interesting timing.

ben said...

Aragog is the name of an intelligent (and malicious) spider in the second Harry Potter.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

William and Ben, interesting.

This site has this to say about the possible etymology of Aragog:

"Aragog comes from the words 'Ara' which comes from 'arachnid', which is the class spiders belong to. 'Gog' and 'Magog' are biblical names. Possibly derived from the Greek word 'agog', meaning 'leader', from which the modern English 'demagogue' is an iteration."

William, do you remember any of the context from your dream? Did I say anything more than just "a gog"?

William Wright (WW) said...


Not sure if you are aware, but later the same day you had your dream about going back to your home (meaning still today in the U.S.), the LDS Church announced that it has purchased the original Kirtland Temple from the Community of Christ. Your home was in Kirtland, correct?


On the additional context, not much that I can remember. You had been telling a group of people that "I" was "a gog". I put "I" in parentheses because I can never be sure whose perspective the dream is supposed to be through.

Maybe or maybe not of interest to you beyond that, though, that phrase "a gog" came up for me on November 7, 2019, and the phrase seems to both mention fire and a White Tree (Bansil):

baggu ash-ni fire-dwell a gog ifluaren bansil este repose

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Interesting. My home was in Thompson (home of D&C Section 51), which is very close to Kirtland. I was in the Kirtland Stake, and the Burger King job mentioned in the post was in Kirtland. (Lots of Utah tourists asking for “fry sauce”!)

Those 2019 words are definitely relevant. Notice that “ash-mud” is in the title of this post. The Chinese for “mud” is ni.

Behold, the Lord esteemeth all flesh as one

I was listening to an audio recording of the Book of Mormon, and when it got to the part where Nephi says they "did live upon raw meat ...