I am naked.
That's the way my dream always starts. And that's unusual for me, because I'm overweight and uncomfortable with my body image. Even when I'm alone I always wear clothes. So for me to be naked, even if it is just in a dream, is unusual. Stranger still, I feel very good, happy, and free about being naked in my dream.
I start to walk down a street. As I walk, it seems like every step carries me for a mile. Even though I am walking slowly, the houses, cars, vegetation, shops, and other scenery fly past as if I was in a car traveling at two hundred miles per hour. For a second, the sensation of this experience is unnerving, but I quickly become accustomed to it and find it amusing and even pleasant.
At the end of my walk is a chain link fence with a locked gate. The road I am on goes through the gate and seems to vanish into the distance, but I am locked out. I touch the lock with the index finger of my right hand and, with a flash of light, it opens. The gate, of its own accord and as if remotely or automatically controlled, slowly swings open.
I have had this dream at least once a month since I was six years old. Frequently, the dream came weekly or more often. When I was younger, I was terrified of going through the gate, but by the time I was twelve, I would always step through to the other side. I would watch as the gate would slowly swing shut and the lock snap into place. I knew I was trapped, but the trap was so enormous, the fence covered such a wide area, that I didn't feel claustrophobic or confined.
I continued down the road, but the passage of scenery around me slowed to normal time, then to a crawl. I walked at my normal pace, but it seemed like I would have to take ten steps to travel over what would normally only take one step. Then the road started up a hill; an impossibly steep hill. I was able to walk up it, very slowly, but it was like walking up a ladder without using my hands. With every step, it seemed like I might fall. Finally, the road became horizontal. My pace, and the passage of scenery around me, changed back to normal.
I finally saw the end of the road. There was a house there, all by itself. As I got closer, I could see that it was a big house. As I continued toward it, I could see that it was an enormous house. By the time I got to the front door, I could see that this house must have been the biggest house in the world.
There was only one door that I could see, but there were dozens of floors to the house. I would stand at the door and count the windows, discovering that each floor had 108 of them. It took me what seemed like a long time—hours—to walk around the house. There was only the front door, but each side of the house seemed larger than the other sides. It reminded me of one of the paintings by the Dutch artist and master of spatial illusions, M.C. Escher.
I tried opening the door, but it was locked. I suddenly heard a type of chanting. "Ooh-eee-ooh. Hoh, hoh, hoh." I turned and saw what I assumed was an American Indian. He was old and marked with many colors. When I was young, I thought of it as "war paint," but later I thought the colors meant something else. He had built a small fire and waved me over to it. Through hand and head gestures (or was it something else?) I knew he wanted me to chant with him. As I did so, I felt a desire to walk, and then sort of dance around the fire.
Eventually, I felt myself changing. I was now dressed as the Indian, naked to the waist and covered with colorful marks. I noticed two other things. I was no longer fat and I was growing. Soon, I dwarfed the Indian. I continued to grow until, like Alice in Wonderland, I was impossibly tall, perhaps twenty feet tall or more.
With each dancing step around the fire, I felt my enormous body become more and more infused with energy. It was flowing through me as if I was a giant electrical wire with more current than could be provided by Hoover Dam.
The Indian, smiling as if proud, took the index finger of my right hand and pointed it toward the door. Instinctively, I knew what he wanted. I took a deep breath and pointed at the door. I could feel the energy course through me, down my arm, out my finger and right at the door.
At first, nothing happened. Then the door slowly opened.
I was back at my regular size, but now I was wearing my usual jeans, tennis shoes, and a T-shirt. Putting my hand into a pocket, I found a pouch. Somehow, I knew it was filled with tobacco. I gave it to the Indian as a gift and he smiled broadly. Then I went through the open door and into the mansion.
Amazingly, the mansion appeared to be even bigger on the inside than it was on the outside, reminding me of the Tardis from the old Dr. Who television show.
I had never seen stairs, an elevator, or any kind of way to get to the other floors of the house. Instead, there is a long passageway, a mile-long tunnel, which was very dark. There were no doors on either side of the hall. Eventually, I came to the end of the hall. It opened into a magnificent, circular room with high ceilings and numerous chandeliers. The room was so large I could not see the opposite side. Along the walls of the room were identical doors, hundreds or thousands of them, separated from each other by a few feet of space covered in vertically striped antique wallpaper. I knew that each door was beckoning, and I needed to discover what was on the other side.
It was here that my dream would change from night to night. Each door led to a different environment. Some were jungles, some deserts, some cities. Some had lakes, some had oceans, some were rainforests.
In some of the rooms, I was a hero, saving the world for humanity. Often I didn't know what or how I was doing it, but I knew I was saving people even if I was doing the most mundane things: watering the lawn, driving a car, going to school, getting married. Other times I was oppressing people, turning them into slaves to my will. When I was younger I thought that was "kinda cool," but as I got older it terrified me. What would happen if I really had that much power?
The end of the dream was always the same. A mist would come over whatever room I was in and would either fade to darkness as I continued sleeping, or fade to light as I awoke.
For a long time, I simply enjoyed these nighttime adventures. They were just dreams. But by the time I was twenty, I realized I needed more information.
ADVENTURES IN PSYCHOLOGY AND PARAPSYCHOLOGY<
I was going to the university and my medical care was covered, so I made an appointment to see a psychologist. I didn't know anything about psychology at the time, but I learned quickly.
Each therapist I visited had his or her own paradigms, and they tried to make my dreams fit into them. The Jungian said it was my subconscious trying to integrate all the aspects of my being into a whole, what he called "individuation." The Freudian also said that the house was my subconscious and that the long walk was like a battle between my conscious and subconscious, trying to keep me away from learning too soon that each room was an aspect of my subconscious that I was trying to repress. I could spend years with him in therapy to find out what it was I was suppressing. They gave me the depressing news that my being naked meant that I was insecure and felt that I was over my head and eventually people would see that I didn't have the skills, abilities, and talents I claimed to possess.
But no matter what these experts told me, no matter how long I stayed with them, none of their insights "rang true." Oh, they did give me valuable information about how the mind works, but I just didn't feel like their analyses applied to my specific case.
I graduated with a degree in graphic arts and quickly moved to the trendy, ultra-hip neighborhood in town. There were some people who called themselves psychics and who had offices there. I made a good living, so I was able to visit them and get their ideas about the meaning of my dreams.
>Some of them were obvious frauds. Each time their interpretations ended with something to the effect of, "Someone has put a curse on you, but I can get rid of it by doing a spell for only one-hundred dollars."
Others did give me some ideas to consider. I was naked because it made me feel free. The locked gate represented my fear of commitment. I was an American Indian in a past life. But no matter what they said, I couldn't see it. It got to a point where I simply wanted the dreams to stop. I didn't care about the meaning of the dreams any more. I just wanted to get on with my life.
A SURPRISING DISCOVERY
I'm lucky enough to live in a city where I really don't need a car. Everything is within walking distance from my apartment. Even where I worked was close by. For longer distances, the bus service was excellent.
So it was that I found myself on a bus to visit a friend. I got on, crossing paths with some people who were animatedly talking about the movie they were going to see. I walked to the back of the bus and plunked myself down on the long seat. Nobody was near me, but something was there, a bright, green rectangle with a few other colors. I picked it up and discovered it was a book called Making Talismans by Nick Farrell. It was face down on the seat and opened as if somebody were marking a page. I asked if anybody had left a book there, but the few people near the front of the bus didn't even respond. I picked it up and was going to turn it in to bus driver so he could put it into the lost and found.
The book was almost new. It was opened to page 56 and 57. Somebody had used a bright yellow marker on the bottom of the right-hand page, and as I closed the book, my eyes caught the words, "To understand the secrets of dreams and the unconscious."
It took a second for me to realize what I had read. And then the impact of those words struck me and I turned back to that page. There it was, along with other ideas for things like healing, improving the memory, aid in writing, protection, success, profiting in business, and having a happy home.
I didn't understand all of this and I wasn't interested in talismans or magic, but I felt that I should try anything to learn the real secret of my dreams. I gave the book to the bus driver and determined that tomorrow I would buy a copy.
The next afternoon I had a revelation. It is not a good idea to go out and get rip-roaring drunk with a friend if you want to remember something from the night before! I went into a bookstore and couldn't remember the name of the book! I remembered only that it was green and had stuff about dreams in it.
One of the clerks showed me several books about dreams. The book I wanted wasn't among them. But I did buy a couple of them to see what these writers had to say. Of course, I was still disappointed. The interpretation of the dream symbols consisted of rather obvious things.
My walk home from work is a mere five blocks. A few days after going through those dream dictionary books I thought that maybe, just maybe, by pondering over my dreams I had learned enough from the psychics, psychologists, and books to come up with my own meanings. All I needed was some time to think about things.
So instead of walking home the usual way, I took a longer, more circuitous way home. Along the way, I happened to pass a small bookstore. I almost walked past it, but a flash of green in the window caught my attention. There it was! Making Talismans. I rushed inside and looked at page 57. Sure enough, there was the passage, "To understand the secrets of dreams and the unconscious." I purchased the book. It was mine.
PREPARING FOR MAGIC
I thought I would just be able to write down something or say a few words and, if this were real, it would work. After all, that's how they show it in all of the movies and on TV. It was even the way it worked in the comic books I used to read when I was a kid.
So I was very excited to read at the beginning of the chapter that had the desired passage, "In this chapter we are going to look at how to tap into the unlimited energy of the universe to empower your talismans." (p. 45) I was ready to go.
As I expected, there was some sort of ritual to be done. But contrary to everything I had seen in those other "sources," there was a great deal of work that had to be done in order to be successful. As I think about it, that should have been obvious. Movies, TV, and comic books are all fictions. How could I have been gullible enough to believe that the way they presented magic would have been authentic?
In this chapter, I learned about the innate power of writing and divine names and the Tree of Life of the Cabbalah. It is a unique system where everything gets associated with other things, and here was the kicker: "To be effective, the magician has to make a contact with that divine force and hold a concept of it." (p.52) Hmmm. I could see that this was going to take work.
The first thing I learned was the Cabbalistic Cross. This "balances energy and seals the electromagnetic shell around your body, which is known as the aura. It places you under the protection of divine forces and, with regular use, strengthens the aura. It is performed before and after a ritual..." Okay, then, here was the beginning of the work.
I should add that the instructions call for the spheres to be spinning.
Now, at first, I thought this was rather silly, but I practiced it. I thought that it was all just fantasy; imagination. But after about two weeks, I felt that I could really sense the energy. The spheres of light were really there, really spinning, really glowing. I felt stronger and surer of myself. I didn't know if this was going to work, but I knew it was good.
Next, the book gave the secret of "vibrating" divine names. "When you vibrate a divine name, you take a deep breath; push the sound to the roof of your mouth while contracting your throat. When the sound vibrates, you will feel it deep within your throat and nose...As you vibrate each divine name, you will have a different feeling with each one...You will recognize if a talisman is vibrating to a particular energy and will know if a ritual dedicated to that name is working correctly." (p.53)
The book then gives a long exercise where you vibrate one of the divine names for each of the power centers, or Sephiroth, on the Tree of Life, which you created in your aura in the Cabbalistic Cross. This took me some time to get right, because I had to learn all of the names. When I had it right, I could really tell the difference. I was just filled with the influx of this energy, and other people started to notice that "something" about me was different. Several people asked me if I had lost weight even though I hadn't. Two people asked if I was wearing new clothes. Not only weren't the clothes new, but they had seen me wear them many times. Something was definitely going on.
Next, author Nick Farrell shares how to get the energy moving. "Begin on your left side at about the same distance as your outstretched arm. Let it [the light] flow over your head to your right side, then under your feet to your left side. Continue to do this for about a minute.
"When the light reaches the top of your head, change its direction to flow down your front to your feet, then under your feet to your back, then up your back to the top of your head. Continue to do this for a while.
"When the light reaches your feet, breathe out and then, as you breathe in, draw the light up your spine to the sphere of life above your head. Breathe out and let this center explode with white light that showers through your aura, cleaning and purifying it. Allow the light to gather at your feet. Repeat the process at least ten times." (p. 55-56)
This technique is completed by repeating the Cabbalistic Cross.
With all the work I had done over the past few weeks, I could really feel the energy move. Now, how do I get that energy into a talisman for the purpose I needed?
MAKING THE TALISMAN
The book suggests that certain verses of the Bible can be used for various purposes. "To understand the secrets of dreams and the unconscious" uses Deuteronomy 29:29. You're supposed to use a Hebrew version of the Bible, take the first letters of the words of the verse, and put them backwards. This creates a divine name. Unfortunately, I didn't have a Hebrew Bible, and even if I did, I didn't know Hebrew. So I decided to take a chance and do it in English. The divine name I created, then, is: LTOWTADMWTEFCOTAUUBRAWTTBGOLTUBTST
What a mouthful! So I decided to split it up. It became "L'tow-tad mw[a]t-ef-co tau-u-brawtt b'gol-tub-t[e]st." Surprisingly, with a little practice, this became easy to say, and I could certainly write the letters down on a talisman.
The book gives all sorts of ways to draw a talisman in chapter eight, including lots of examples. But since I'd already changed the instructions from using Hebrew to English, I figured just a piece of cardboard with the letters of the divine name on it would be fine. I took a lot of time and made the letters ornate but clear. Luckily, with my graphic arts background, this was easy for me to do.
I thought I was through, but then, although there was nothing about it where I had looked in the book, something told me I shouldn't leave the back of the talisman blank. So I simply repeated the divine name I had created.
CONSECRATING THE TALISMAN
On page 169, Making Talismans says, "Like Dr. Frankenstein, you have created an object that has all the potential to be alive. What is needed is a lightning bolt of divine energy that can jolt every cell into life."
There are several ways to do this given in the book. But in what I can only call a flash of insight, I knew exactly what I needed to do.
I stood next to the small table where my talisman was resting. I did the Cabbalistic Cross, then vibrated the divine names as I energized my aura. Then I started the light moving as I had practiced. I kept this up until the light was at a peak. Then I visualized the light shooting down my arms and into the talisman as I shouted out the divine name I had created.
Since I had sent the light into the talisman, I needed to build it up again for another shot. I repeated the movement of the light until I could shoot it down my arms, vibrating the name. I repeated this ten times, knowing that what I was doing was the "lightning bolt of divine energy" and that it was jolting every cell of the talisman into life. I finished by repeating the Cabalistic Cross.
Now, this certainly doesn't seem like a lot of work, but frankly, I was exhausted. I had put all of my energy into this ritual. I sat in a chair and rested for a few minutes, my head bowed. When I finally looked up, I could see the talisman on top of the table. It was glowing! I blinked my eyes a couple of time to make sure it was not a trick of the light (pun intended). When I focused on the talisman it was still glowing. I laughed out loud! This ritual had worked.
But what had it done?
THE DREAM RETURNS AND CHANGES
That night, I had the dream again. This time, when I went through a door off the enormous main room at the end of the long hallway, I entered a small room. It was dark, but in the very center was a man sitting at a table. He was slightly hunched over the table, doing something. Several candles on the table illuminated his workspace.
As I drew near, I could hear him muttering to himself. When I was quite close I could hear that he was saying things like "Must write. Write it down. When I wake, I must write. Write it all." He was repeating phrases like this over and over. When I was close enough to talk to him, I asked him what he was writing. He turned in his chair with his head down and said. "I must write everything and anything as soon as I wake." Then he looked up so I could see his face.
It was me.
I was in shock. This was the first time I had ever talked to and met myself in the dream. Sure, I had watched myself act from a distance, but never this. I turned to run out of the room, but before I could, the room filled with a mist. Then light of the morning roused me from dreaming and sleep. At first I was in that sort of semi-conscious, semi-asleep state that you have when waking. But in a few seconds I was wide awake and alert. And I had just one thing on my mind: "I must write everything and anything as soon as I wake." I ran to my computer, started my word processor, and began to type.
I typed page after page. Words just flowed onto the screen. I have no idea how I came up with them. Ideas and concepts simply kept pouring out of me. Sometimes I felt as if somebody else was actually dictating the words and I was just typing what was being said. I didn't look at the clock to see the time when I started, but when I finished, I instinctively knew I had been working for hours. The print out was over seventy pages!
Much of what I wrote was personal—very personal—and I wouldn't feel comfortable sharing it here. What I will say is that what I wrote revealed the meaning of every aspect of my repetitive dream, including some sequences that I had forgotten about (they had been dreamt years ago). But it would be unfair to have presented this much without giving you some idea of what the content was about. So I'm going to share some of what I learned from this experience.
Being Naked: This was my so-called "inner child." Repressed in my daily life, it was begging to be released, to get through the gate behind which I had put it. In my youth I really hadn't played games and didn't have any friends. It is naked because that is the way all children start. My writing advised that to help integrate this child into my life I should play and have more fun. I had been very formal and business-like over the years. This is going to be hard for me to accomplish, but it was the message I think I needed to hear and understand.
The Indian: The conscious mind has a filter. It interprets everything that we see, think, feel, experience. In reality, everything we experience is neutral. This filter or critical factor defines everything that comes into the mind as good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable, positive or negative, possible or impossible, real or hallucinatory, etc. The Indian was that critical factor. It filtered out things which my conscious mind, for some reason, determined I was not ready to deal with. I became an Indian and grew in size, indicating that I was taking control of my critical factor. This control manifests by an ability to accept all potential input and experience and not say it is good or bad, real or unreal, until after I have fully examined it.
The House: The large building with numberless rooms was my life. Each room was like a single frame in the movie that is my life, catching permanently a picture of my experience, both real and otherwise. A memory of playing with invisible friends was a room. Going to the beach with my parents was a room. Some of the rooms captured mere instants of my life while others captured days. The windows I saw from the outside only indicated what my conscious mind would allow me to see of the much greater world that encompassed both the conscious and subconscious minds. The rooms were infinite in number (although I could not tell that from the outside) because the rooms indicated past, present and future. Since the future has not yet been determined, there are infinite possibilities. However, each time I do something in waking life the future becomes the present and the present becomes the past. The shape and contents of the rooms, especially those indicating a potential future, shifts. No wonder I was reminded of Escher's work!
The result of all of this is that my life has changed and continues to change. I have actively pursued having more experiences—more fun. I've gone camping and bungee jumping. I've gone horseback riding and am learning to use in-line skates. I'm actively going out with friends and dating. And I think I'm happier than I've ever been.
I don't know if there is a direct relationship between making the talisman and finding out the meaning of my reoccurring dream. Perhaps it was just the time for my subconscious to give my conscious the needed information. Perhaps it was just a coincidence that this didn't happen until after I had made the talisman. Perhaps.
But I can tell you this—I've been through Making Talismans three times since the meaning of my dreams was revealed to me. I no longer think of talismans as something weird or unusual. Rather, I see this book as exactly what it says on the cover: "A Complete Magical System to Bring About Inner & Outer Change."