A Samhain Dream

A Samhain Dream October 10, 2010

A very close friend of mine once shared a beautiful dream that she had, a dream that we both felt was more than just an ordinary one. She was an immensely devout devotee of Loki.  He was her sustenance, the witness to her life, her God, her Lord, her deepest love. Throughout her life, He guided and cared for her in a way that she felt palpably all the way to the end of her life. I was recently looking over some letters that she had sent me, for we often exchanged old-fashioned correspondence, yes, actually using pen, careful script, and reams of pretty stationary! I have saved each and every one. With the coming of Samhain and Winter-nights, I was struck once again by the power of this dream that she seemingly so long ago shared with me, and so I shall share it with you now and beg her indulgence for doing so. It was written at a point shortly before her death and with the approach of this winter’s season, I have been thinking about that quite a lot, mourning the passing of all those that I have loved and celebrating the time we shared together. I have been remembering this person in particular, this witness to my life, and all the many things that I learned from her about living rightly.

I shall allow my friend, here un-named as would have been her wish, to speak with her own words:

“In my dream, I was remembering my life, or rather re-experiencing it — not the incidents, so much as the emotions: my heart’s life, as it were. And Loki came behind me, took my forearms and crossed them on my chest (like statues of Pharaohs in ancient Egyptian art) and said something. The closest it can be put into words is this: “I wrap the cloak of your life around you. It can all fall in place and be quiet now – you’ve done all the joys, all the sorrows. You’re done trying. You can rest now – I wrap the cloak of your life around you.”

It was a side of Loki I’d never seen. The closest I can come to explaining is that He was Sigyn’s husband and Hela’s Father: a huge, serene, golden presence, full of both vitality and calm.

In the dream, the cloak that Loki formed by my life was large enough to cover me. I had enough ‘memories of the heart’ that they could weave themselves, or be woven by the Norns, into a cloak that fit. I am speechless with this gift. I love Him so much. If I could sing, I’d sing the Magnificat for Him. This dream was my gift and blessing.”

It took her a long time to realize that this was her shroud; that, apparently, we work on our shroud throughout out lifetimes. Andvari said something similar to me once, that we are all craftsman: our life and wyrd is our art. It is a thing to contemplate as the dark time of winter draws closer, the time when the Wild Hunt rides, when the ancestors clamor for acknowledgement (if we haven’t already been doing this regularly). It is a time to contemplate our own progress on our “shrouds.” What are we weaving into our lives? What kind of cloak will warm and sustain us when we pass from the realm of Midgard?

Who has contributed the threads? What kind of memories of the heart do we carry within our souls?

Honoring the dead is about honoring life too, that we may learn from their mistakes, celebrate their victories, reap the benefits of their care and wisdom and in doing so make our own lives, and the lives of those we touch, better: mentally, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It’s about embracing life at its fullest and learning to live with a vibrant integrity each and every day of our lives.

I have often thought in my own devotions that I would like the totality of my life, when the time of its ending comes, to have been lived in such a way that I may hand it over to Odin as a gift and that He may find it a worthy offering. That is my goal, something I strive for each and every day. It never occurred to me that in being given the opportunity to do so, I was weaving a gift for myself as well.

We are blessed in what we do. In living and dying we are blessed. In the struggle of weaving our lives and our wyrd we are blessed. I think it’s up to us to work hard at not forgetting that.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Peter

    Beautiful, insightful, heartfelt, invokes a tear, read this.

  • Laura Patsouris

    Just absolutely beautiful….what great faith and strength is reflected here.

  • What a beautiful image…thank you for sharing your friend’s words and your own reflections on them.

    I think there’s a similar idea behind ancient Egyptian tomb inscriptions — the listing of deeds forming a cloak of words, framing one’s life. “I gave bread to the hungry, clothing to the naked; I ferried him who had no boat.” (from the tomb of Harkhuf)

  • Beautifully written and poignant. Thank you!

  • This is a beautiful teaching. Having lost a close, close friend almost a year ago, I am still realizing all she taught me, especially during the months just before her passing. May you continue to learn, grow and heal through this relationship with your friend.

  • Thank you, everyone. I’ve been going through my correspondence with this person for the past few days…one of the many ways I’ve been honoring her this samhain.

    Lael, may you also continue to grow and heal…grief is a heavy, heavy thing to carry. Yet it does bring with it certain insights and I am so grateful for the blessing of having this particular person in my life. I will live the rest of my life giving thanks.

  • Amanda Thomas

    Loki has come to me in the form of a Father or caregiver. I once had a vision of him as the hearth fire that kept the family safe. I have said in linking to this article on this page, he is a care giver that provides heat for the soul, and a light to see life by.

    I pray that I will also work to make my shroud be a thing of comfort to wrap in when the time comes. Bless you and your friend.

  • @ Amanda – I’ve had similar impressions of Loki, he has come most as a father and caregiver, and I’ve been blessed by such abundance in my life through his hands. He feels to me like a hearthfire, and I certainly don’t think that’s incongruent with what we know from the past either.

    You might find this older article I wrote an interesting read:

    http://www.patheos.com/community/paganportal/2010/06/06/wyrd-designs-loki-at-the-hearth-fire/

  • Beautiful..thank you so much for sharing it.

  • salena

    Yes- this is absolutely Loki. Caring, nurturing, sweet. If one meets him without the dregs of common thought and ‘knowledge’ of him this is how he will be seen. He is my light.