Dagaz came through, per usual, at exactly the right time. I have not only been struggling with sleep and fitfulness recently, I have also been beginning to practice more in the real of Lucid Dreaming, and my sleeping life has been on my mind quite a lot. Typically, it's not something I feel called to post about publically, but considering that it came up, I see it as an indicator that perhaps someone could find something useful in my writing about these reflections.
I caution the reader: I am very tired. Sleep has been fleeting, unresting, and disrupted. On the nights when I sleep well, my dreams are massive events that often taken energy. This has been true for a number of months. If my writing is not as polished as it usually is, it is due to a particularly bad night.
Dagaz talks to us of the stories of the sun, day, night, dreams, and sleeping. For me, sleep has always had a mix of blessings and challenges. I struggled with sleep as a child - I can recall sitting in my bed when I was 11, staring out the window at the street below. The cool lamplight stayed on until 10 and there were weeks on end where I would watch it go out. I always imagined the spirits that came out at night, particularly when the lights all went out.
As a teenager, I struggled with sleep paralysis and what some, including myself, may call "astral projection." It was never something I wished to have happen - suddenly to feel entirely out of my body, scattered and wandering through the house. I recall seeing shapes and shadows, and hoping I could wake my parents. It's hard to wake someone when you're just a spirit, I quickly learned.
These incidents happened so often, I took to sleeping facedown. For whatever reason, laying on my back, there seemed a much higher likelihood of getting caught in this place between sleeping and waking. To this day, I can't remember why I didn't tell anyone about it. Or if I did, why there was no further inquiry. By college it subsided to a less regular occurrence.
Over the last year it's begun in earnest again, after about a decade of rare happenings. The worst and most intense being in Sweden, early in the year before the pandemic had ramped up. I was staying at a small bed and breakfast with friends, in my own little sleeper cottage. One had to walk across the yard to get to the part of the grounds that had a bathroom. We had spent the entire day visiting grave mounds and spiritual places, some specific to my family.
I am not particularly afraid of the dark, but that night it was as if I was a child once again, seeing spirits in every shadow outside the pools of light cast by the big lamp in the yard. It did not help that the wind howled and whipped the flag just outside my little cabin, or that the temperature dropped sharply. When I got up to use the bathroom, I found myself sprinting across the yard. I know of course, now my wits are about me, that the act of fear in itself would have drawn spirit attention, if nothing else. I ran all the way back to my little cottage as well.
I tried to go to sleep, and the rest of the night I felt plagued with the same sleep experiences I had as a teenager. It seemed as though every time I closed my eyes, I was suddenly outside my body. Unlike my teenage years, where I might see one or two disconcerting shadows that followed me around the house, my little cabin seemed to be full of people, all staring at me. So, of course I ran. And they followed me, in this experience that some may call vivid dream and some may call an astral event.
In retrospect, what followed was comical. In the moment it was terrifying. I somehow got outside my cabin, into the late night out on the lawn of the bed and breakfast camp. The colors were so odd to me - pink and purple, and deep blue, and the flag whipped and cracked. I ran across the lawn to my friends cabin. But, despite being able to stumble out of mine in this dream-spirit body, I couldn't manage to do anything about theirs. Just the way it was when I was fifteen, there was no means of shouting or opening doors that did not want to be open. And so I ran circles around the yard until dawn, a slow procession of spirits tailing me.
Now that I've had some space from the incident, I realize - I had no reason to assume these spirit meant me any ill. Nor did I when I was a child, looking out windows. It was the strangeness that scared me, not any certainty of pain or suffering. Nor did they ever hurt me. In fact, it's entirely possible they were there to greet me, in the way I had been greeting them all day travelling from grave mound to grave mound. It was my fear of dark things that got the better of me, not any spirit.
They say that in dreams when you're being chased, the best thing to do is stop and address who is chasing you.
So, all that to say, it is interesting to pull dagaz this morning. Yesterday I committed myself to focusing growth around this particular experience that has plagued me during my life. To master the concept of Astral Travel.
I want to call it in, face it head on, and master the experience. 2021 is just beginning, and it has already been quite a year. If I have taken any personal lessons from the emotional turmoil of 2020, it is that I am not interested in resigning myself to running from what scares me, anymore. That is what Dagaz affirms to me today.