Dream Note: The Mead of Change

Last night I went to bed with Freyr on my mind and had yet another colorful dream. In it I was attempting to facilitate a blot for Freyr for an increasingly large group of folks (first about 5 then 20 then like 60). The blot never even began. Some of those gathered were distracted and/or fairly unruly. Each time I tried to call the folk to order many would attend to the task at hand for a few precious moments and then wayward others would descend again into disarray. When I first woke up from the dream I thought that it might have been a bad omen for a future ritual in honor of Freyr but as I reflected on other parts of the dream, I realized that might not have quite been the point of the strange dream.

A large part of the dream involved explaining the process of toasting the gods, drinking from the horn, and passing the mead onto others gathered. As a prop for my explanation I had a very large, very heavy, wooden horn. The horn was not properly shaped to be a drinking vessel. It looked more like a large and awkward version of an early trumpet-style hearing aid. Despite it being a hearing horn rather than a drinking horn I had filled it with golden mead from a bottle marked Svipal. As you may know, Svipal is actually one of Odin’s heiti meaning Changeable One. I have read through Odin’s praise names in the past but I have not studied and worked with Odin in even 80% of his aspects so the name Svipal meant little to me in the dream; I had not recognized it as a byname for Odin at the time, but I knew that it was important. It was after Googling it this morning that I situated its significance.

The horn was overflowing with the Svipal-mead I had poured in. Not only was the bottom dripping but the wide end of the horn was spilling a narrow steady stream of mead as well. I quickly tried to catch the spilling liquid with my mouth. I drank some in but I ended up with mead all over me as well. I remember feeling like I had something meaningful and valuable to share and that a subset of those gathered wanted to receive that gift, but others were not their for that purpose. During the dream the Svipal-Mead pouring everywhere just seemed like a big mess, but this morning I think I understand the nature of the mess. I think the mead was a loud indication that it is time for something to change in my ritual practice in general or perhaps in my blot facilitation in particular. In the dream while my attention was on Freyr the background clamor seemed to stress that I needed to change my perspective and change my approach in some way. Some were indeed there to honor Freyr and some were there for maybe unrelated reasons. Actually I recall two major groups of distracting elements. One was a group of women talking, laughing, and reading divination, and the other was a sprinkling of men beyond the main circle whispering to others within the main circle.

Maybe the rogue ones need to be addressed and specifically asked to join or at the very least not trouble the blot and its attendees. I have participated in rituals in the past (about three or four years ago) that attend to this sort of politicking but I have not integrated such a practice into my own work. Perhaps this dream connects with my previous reflections on the Jotnar. I am reminded of a common verse from Apple Branch Protogrove ADF rituals that I attended before the protogrove disbanded some years ago:

“All you of the Primal Dark,
Outsiders, Nightmare spirits, banes –
This tithe is yours, this offering yours.
Leave us be, pass by in peace, and trouble us not in our working!”

Perhaps with some minor modification to make it a bit more congenial it could fit snugly into my blots as a way to acknowledge the Jotnar and their might, show respect for their Work, but also invite them to pass by (or join in) in peace!! Thinking of it that way the gods’ presence in the dream makes sense, with Freyr the God of Frith, and Heimdallr as he who hears and sees all stirrings in the Primal Dark and border places, and of course Odin Svipal who adapts in all ways that are needed to stay The End.

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