Losing teeth dreams. Possibly my least favourite dreams of all.
I dreamt I woke up (in my childhood bedroom), fumbled around on my nightstand for several necklaces and put them on. Then I went back to sleep. When I woke up, my mouth felt funny; full. I poked around in there and found I had a necklace in my mouth! Ha ha, silly me; in my half-woken state I put a necklace in my mouth, instead of around my neck. But my mouth still felt full.
I pulled another necklace out of there. And then 3 more (all tucked in to the gum-line, between the lips and jaw). And then another, this one with a bulbous pendant on it. There was still another one and this one came out all mungy.
I was in the bathroom by this time and was washing the goop off it and saw it was my rosary (I am not Catholic, but my father was raised Catholic and this was a gift to me as a child.) When I looked up into the mirror, most of my teeth were missing. Worse still, most of my gums and jaw were missing too. I wasn’t so much horrified by the missing teeth, as by how gross and unattractive it was. The worst was the way it felt and tasted: that smooth, raw, meatiness from when you lose a tooth. And in my head I thought, “That’s what you get for shoving necklaces in your mouth and chewing on them all night.”
I woke up, for real, and pondered it for a while (particularly how different it was to the usual “teeth falling out” dreams) before falling back to sleep. I referenced the dream in further dreams I had last might. How meta of me.
This morning – while I was brushing my teeth ::brush brush scrub brush:: – I realised, “Ask the tarot! Quick, now, before you wake up completely!” Mad dash for the room, shuffle shuffle shuffle and threw down 6 cards (surface, mid- and underlying):
Initial Observations: A progression, counting down, traveling backwards. The Hermit comes to shed light on the decision affecting The Lovers. Consequences of choices and actions and a pause as things hang in the balance.
Further: The progression on the first line is interesting in and of it’s own – powers of 2: 2, 4, 8, 16, 32. 32 teeth. It looks like a process of simplification and deepening, all at the same time. The Pentacles – representing earth – deal with “simpler” issues of body, health, money, life. The Cups – water – stand for more ethereal concepts like intuition, spirituality, love, creativity.
I think the scenery here is important too: from inside a structure, to a cultivated garden, to a wide open valley. Opening up. But the numbers count down from the established strength and constructed balance of 8; to the simpler, more natural stability found in 4; to the one-on-one encounter of 2. It’s like hide-and-go-seek.
The shape of the windows in the 8 is repeated in the shape of the trees in the 4 and then the shape of the chair backs in the 2… There is a table set, ready for discourse. Ready for challenge. Ready for unity. I can’t help but think of Iocaine powder battle-of-wits scene from “The Princess Bride” :D This seems like a friendlier invitation though. Cups give and receive; they carry and transfer, almost like psychopomps.
The Man in The Lovers card faces a choice: love or desire, purity or seduction, spirituality or earth(l)y life. Cupid can’t help – he’s blindfolded. It’s up to the man to hem and haw over this one. But must a choice be made? Is there a way to combine the two, or rather, do both not exist in each other? From the expression on the man’s face, it looks like he’s just come up with a cunning plan, or realisation. The Hermit is walking right into this scene, bringing his light of inner wisdom. He looks kind and amused: “Oh, you silly young things.: ::chuckle:: Here, let me show you…”
And at the root of it all, the 6 of Swords. Blasted 6 of Swords, its meaning still eludes me somewhat. I again see 3 groupings of Swords: the fallen, the soaring and the fan. I think there’s still some fighting going on under the surface. In some areas. In other areas, there is a sullen peace. And in others, options are still being weighed. That’s possibly why this card is so confusing: it accurately depicts the inner turmoil going on. It’s not an outright battle, but there’s shit being stirred up and not all of it’s rainbows and unicorns. It’s mental shit, hence the Swords. Everything has its root in the head, even feelings and beliefs. It all boils down to thoughts. I guess the trick is to keep focusing on that Sword in the sky and stay true.
Tarot reading aside, I think the dream addressed multiple issues. When I reached out for the necklace, I was looking for the one I wear when I read (my Priestess). I think I was literally “reaching out” to my intuition, my guides, to make a connection and have a conversation. I used to wear many necklaces, all at once. Yesterday I saw some pictures of people’s altars – just personal sacred spaces – and was deeply saddened. I lost all my special things when I moved halfway around the world and I don’t know if I will ever get them back. I had an informal shrine set up on my dressing table. It evolved of its own; a collection of special jewellery, pictures, trinkets and figurines given to me over the years. My beautiful wooden teaching Buddha… my dragons… hand-painted boxes from Bali and China… the sacred binding from a dear pagan friend’s altar… Fuck. I miss the hell out of that stuff. FUCK.
The 3 necklaces I was wearing – but landed up in my mouth, were gold. I don’t wear gold. Their chains were fine and one held a black and gold openwork pendant. The bulbous pendant one was silver; the pendant was ovoid and had thousands of tiny holes all over the surface. One necklace was made of many tiny black stones. The rosary, being the last and covered in goop as it was, is the most symbolic:
I am digging around in the deepest cracks, going back to the beginning, uncovering the base for all my beliefs, most of them sacred in some way. I am cleaning off the gunk and restoring things to their proper meaning and function. The rosary speaks both to my spiritual beliefs as well as those put inside my head by my family, especially my father. I think it is important that I wasn’t choking on the necklaces, although they had filled my mouth, and even though I admonished myself for chewing on them, I wasn’t. They were safely tucked away (I am the Happy Squirrel).
On the surface, the tooth loss absolutely addresses fears of aging and becoming unattractive. Yesterday I bemoaned my rapidly-increasing proportion of grey hairs several times. I seem to have jumped straight from Maiden to Crone! Do not pass “Mother”, do not collect “Powers of Seduction & Beauty”. Sure, the Crone is awesome and all, but can’t I work that shit out in a totally hawt kind of way just as well? ::whine:: I’m 33, faaaaaar too young for this much grey real estate!
Maybe it means shedding the old to welcome in the new? Sinking new teeth into new learning. Yes, let’s go with that. And haven’t I always outright rejected the Mother aspect of anything, including in my own life? Oh, you’re funny, Life. Funny, funny, funny. I see what you did there (is that the sting of a spanking I feel on my esoteric behind?)
But the best part of this all is that I slept with Temperance under my pillow (and codeine in my liver). I wanted to sleep with The Star, but she was hiding and Temperance was insistent. From thirteen’s meaning of the card:
Continuing on his spiritual path, the Fool begins to wonder how to reconcile the opposites that he’s been facing: material and spiritual (which he hung between as the Hanged man), death and birth (the one leading into the other in the Death card). It is at this point that he comes upon a winged figure standing with one foot in a brook, the other on a rock. The radiant creature pours something from one flask into another. Drawing closer, the Fool sees that what is being poured from one flask is fire, while water flows from the other. The two are being blended together!
“How can you mix fire and water?” the Fool finally whispers. Never pausing the Angel answers, “You must have the right vessels and the right proportions.” The Fool watches with wonder. “Can this be done with all opposites?” he asks. “Indeed,” the Angel replies, “Any oppositions, fire and water, man and woman, thesis and anti-thesis, can be made to harmonize. It is only a lack of will and a disbelief in the possibility of unity that keeps opposites, opposite.” And that is when the Fool begins to understand that he is the one who is keeping his universe in twain, holding life/death, material world and spiritual world separate. In him, the two could merge, as in the vessels that the Angel uses to pour the elements, one to the other. All it takes, the Fool realizes, is the right proportions… and the right vessel.
I hear ya, little deck, I hear ya loud and clear.