Dream: The Linden Maid
Dream 20031203, 12:55 AM:
There is something vague and half-remembered at the front of this dream, about scraping a letter M and an S through the skin of my hand with a fingernail. The sensation of carving the S is very distinct; I can feel a slight pain, and see the way the flesh changes texture. The S goes all the way through, which makes the area of skin very floppy and unstable; I have to hold it together. Later, it seems not to be my skin at all, but this sheet of tofu-like gel stuff. I’m standing out on a driveway where it goes over a drainage ditch. Dad is here, and talking to me, but I don’t remember what about. It seems that there is an Oriental girl here as well, and I don’t remember how she figures in.
Then, I’m looking at a tiny building, and it seems like a computer image; I have to click on a little window set into the door, and it opens up. There’s someone explaining, like a voice-over, that this museum (which is just the one tiny room, the size of a small potting shed) displays a work by Georgia O’Keefe. I look around, and there is an elaborately painted cabinet. It has daturas and other images on it, although definitely not an O’Keefe style. I look at the cabinet, which is opened up so that the insides of the doors show. They are painted as well; the images seem almost to tell a story, which centers around an elaborate ceramic vessel. There are people in the pictures, discovering the vessel and holding up parts of it as if worshipping it. There are several other people in the tiny room with me; we look around at one another as well as studying the artwork.
Then, I’m outside the tiny museum, with a group of people. There are probably a dozen or so people. There’s not anyone that stands out in my memory, but in the dream I know them all somewhat. We are walking down a driveway toward a gate; it seems to be out in the country, the gate is the kind that you could drive or walk through, and it leads to a road. I decide that I want to fly, and I sort of sit down mid-air and begin to hum a tune, which makes me fly along. It pulls on my head somehow; I’m following someone up ahead, or going to some destination, that seems to draw me strongly. It feels pleasant, and kind of magnetic.
Then, there are several of us flying along a stretch of country road. It seems like I have passed up the people in the group who were walking, and I keep bumping into another person who is right in front of me. She and another woman are flying the same way I am, but are two abreast in the road, talking as they fly. The two women ahead of me remind me of a couple of my real-life coven sisters, N. and A. My method of flight at this point in the dream involves sitting mid-air as if I was sitting on a chair, with my legs down, and stirring as if I were stirring a cauldron. I’m chanting something as well, which goes from a series of nonsense words to a series of numbers, then the same number again and again. The women with me are flying in the same method; I decide to rise up slightly higher so that I can pass them without bumping them any more, and do that.
Then, we’re all sitting beside the road. It’s an old, dirt road with hedge-rows of tall grass on either side. The scene is very pastoral and pleasant. The women are telling me about an older woman who lives in the village and sells herbs and such. As we are talking, a woman of middle age comes riding down the road in a horse-drawn open carriage. She emanates a presence which seems to press down the grass on either side of the road as she comes near, and changes the color of the air. I say something to the effect that there’s one old woman selling herbs… and her. One of the women with me says that the woman in the carriage is the mother of the Linden Child; another says, yes, she’s the Linden Maid.
In the village, which reminds me some of a Renaissance faire, I walk down a lane and find the Linden Maid. She has set up a small cart, or maybe she is just hanging out at someone else’s cart. She is middle-aged, kind of plain-looking but in a self-assured and powerful way, and has her very long gray-brown hair piled up in a bun. Someone explains that she uses hair magic, and that when she takes down her hair the storms and wind will come. We’re not talking to her, more talking quietly as we watch her, and she reaches up and adjusts her bun, taking down a part of the length of hair. A powerful wind rises, and the clouds have strange swirling shapes in them, and then she puts the hair back, adjusting her comb, and the wind stops. I go up and talk to her at some length. I remember some of the things we talk about, but it seems that we talked about more than what I can recall. I remember talking about my cat trying to get pregnant, but he is very old; someone as I talk is masturbating a cat and catching his seed in a handkerchief (?!) and says, “Every day.” The Linden Maid asks when we celebrate the thinning of the Veil, and someone explains that it’s late in the month, October or November. It seems like she’s going to use the cat-sperm for some kind of magic spell. She tells me about how I can use my hair for magic like she does, and demonstrates how I should wrap it to put it up. [note: I used to have waist-length hair in real life, and often twisted it up to get it out of my way.] We go through several different permutations of the bun. She hands me her comb, which doesn’t look like a comb at all, but almost more like a bronze coxcomb flower, one of the ones that have the wiggly edge and remind me of a brain. I run my finger along the edge, wondering how it goes into the hair, but when I put my hair up with it, it seems to work just like a regular comb. I remember putting my hair up some way that involved two separate twists, and it seems that I could view it from the back. I think Sine G. is here as well, or someone who reminds me of her, blond and Nordic-looking. The Linden Maid explains something about how you have to start trimming around the edges, and demonstrates by lifting up her hair so that I can see the short fringe around the edges where she keeps it trimmed.
Then, I’m in a house, all alone, holding Circle. The house is neat and reminds me of some of the houses in Lakewood from the twenties, with old wood floors and curved arches leading from room to room. The space I’m in is sort of the living room and part of the dining room, with a wide arch that goes above my head. I go through the whole ritual by myself, but imagining the rest of my coven all there. I distinctly remember going through Cakes and Ale, and taking an imaginary plate of cakes around to one imaginary person after another, offering each a bite. I have a long view of myself, and then I pull out a comb and shake down my hair. I remark to myself that it’s as long as it ever got to be (long enough to tuck into my jeans, although I’m wearing a robe now in the dream) and much thicker. I say aloud something to the effect that I’m letting it down just for its own sake now, not to raise the winds – it seems that this needed to be said to avoid calling the storm by accident.
Then, cars drive past the house, shining their lights through the window. There is one on either side. People call out to me, and I quickly hide myself out of the beams of light, pressing against the wall; it seems like I’m not really scared of them exactly, but embarrassed to be caught prancing around pretending that all my coven mates are there. I wonder if they’ve seen me.
A young blond woman in one of the cars calls out to either me, or to someone in the other car. She mentions something about the cat being born, or giving birth, or something like that. She says other things that I can’t recall now. In the context of the dream, they were startling, and I woke up sharply. [I tried to get back to sleep and re-enter the dream, but to no avail.]
I grew up in one of those 20’s era Lakewood homes. High ceilings, wood floors, arched doorways, huge trees, stone fireplaces, raccoons in the chimney… oh yes. I’ll always miss it.
How very Witchly of you to dream of all that! 😉 Does the “Linden Maid” mean anything to you, or did she just spring into the dream?
It was definitely one of my more interesting nocturnal adventures! I thought that the imaginary ritual was particularly odd. I think that I know where it came from, though – we had a “learning experience” ritual where everyone drew pieces of paper with the names of different ritual duties, and I got “Priestess,” so I performed all the Priestess duties, and carried around the goblet of wine. The sense of imagining my way through it was almost comical, like a child having imaginary tea with the teddy bear.
I’m pretty sure that the Linden Maid comes from a blend of a couple of people, one of them named Linda who wears her hair in a bun. She’s got a lot of Goddess in her (although I have no idea what her religious affiliation is). One of those women that I’d love to visit and get to know, she seems like such a neat and powerful presence.
I’m still looking forward to a good long lucid visit with one of the Yarn Grannies – but a hair-magic lesson from a Warrior Mother was certainly a treat.
Here is some cool information on linden trees. I thought it was very interesting: