The Dream Gate

May 3, 2024

The Dream Gate Dream

A couple of weeks ago, I had a lucid dream about a high ancient-looking stone wall. The wall was covered with vines and there was a recessed rustic plank gate or doorway. The overall effect was medieval and charming. 

It might have been dusk or overcast in the dream but I could see everything clearly. Just above the doorway, I saw a symbol that looked like a triquetra. I even exclaimed (in the dream) "that's a triquetra," except I actually said "trifecta," as in horse racing, because things get garbled for me in dreams. Either way, I was excited because I love all things Celtic, so I woke up in the middle of the night and recorded the dream (and drew the symbol) in my dream journal.

Earlier that month, I’d been told that ancient dreamers were always on the lookout for gateways in their dreams. Since my impression in the dream was that I was seeing a wall, not a building, I felt that what looked like a door to modern eyes was technically a gate.  

So I made myself go back to sleep and back into the dream. I found the door again easily and everything was the same—except that instead of the symbol above the door, there was a long narrow sign with lettering. 

Annoyingly, I find it hard to read in dreams and I couldn’t read the sign. I woke up again and wrote down the second dream and went back to sleep, but I didn't go back to the door, that night, or go through it. 

When I woke up the next morning I was thinking how nice it was that I dreamt about the triquetra which I remembered as representing the Trinity and the Welsh triads and other pleasant things. Then I looked at my dream journal and saw that the symbol I had drawn had three interlocking triangles instead of three loops. 

I was pretty sure I remembered the triangle symbol from a past obsession with mythology. I thought that it was probably Scandinavian and when I googled it, there it was. 

It was not a triquetra. It was a valknot.

No one is absolutely sure what the valknot symbolizes. Due to its presence on Old Norse funerary items, however, it has been associated with the dead. My thoughts on the dream in light of this particular symbol were that this door is closed and maybe it should stay closed. Or maybe not. 

One Gate, Two Perspectives?

And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. —Matthew 18:18

Then Holy Week came and I noticed another gate / doorway in the Icon of the Resurrection which is traditionally displayed in Eastern Christian churches at Easter.

The Icon of the Resurrection shows Jesus standing on the broken down gates of the netherworld as He pulls Adam and Eve from their tombs to freedom. You can also see King David, Moses, John the Baptist and others. On the left below Jesus and the fallen gates are broken locks and the devil, bound. This is what Jesus did after the crucifixion when he defeated death.

Dreams are many things to me—a vehicle through which my guardian angel shares information, a template for my creative work, a font of mystical experience (rarely) and more. I have had some unusual spiritual experiences in dreams and I don't always fully understand them.

Some of my most interesting spiritual dreams seem to be about various afterlife locations. And I can't help wondering if the gate I dreamt about symbolized (or opened into) one of them. I also feel like the Icon of the Resurrection may have portrayed a similar or even the same gate, from a Christian perspective.

What Does This All Mean?

When it comes to dreams, the question is always the same. What does it mean?

And the truth is, I'm not sure. I'd had a tough week. Historically, several close family members have died in April including my mother (April 15). Then there is the Passion which is less brutal than it is hopeful but still pretty darned brutal overall. 

This year a family member was hospitalized on Holy Saturday with a serious illness and stayed in the hospital through Easter and into this week. Various small and not so small things went wrong. Some people were kind and others were not. I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep.

So I don't actually know if I'm ready to figure out this particular dreams. But I have considered some of the questions it brought up for me. Please note, I'm not asking the dream these questions, but I have been praying and reflecting.

Should I go through that particular dream doorway?

Given the connection with the valknot and the icon and the fact that the gate was closed, I think not or at least not yet. 

Should I keep working with my dreams?

I think so. The key for me is to be open to dream experience while staying within the broad parameters of my Catholic Faith.

Am I divining by dreams?

To me, when the Bible talks about divining, its warning against listening to the (probable) fallen angels worshipped by non-Jewish people at that particular time. I'll have more to say about this in a future post (and in the dream book) but the short answer  is, no, or not in a bad way.

Should I keep trying to wrap my head around the mysteries of the Catholic Faith?

How can I not?

Dreams can be tricky. Like many other life experiences, they can take us in the right direction or in the wrong one. But I believe they're given to us for a reason and that—as the Icon of the Resurrection clearly shows—God is always there for us.

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