Wake up to Dreaming...
I love this 12th century carving, “The Dream of the Magi.” It pictures an imaginary beginning to the Epiphany story about the wise men who left everything to follow the dazzling star. The artist himself is a wise man, for he draws us first to the hands, not the star. This beautiful image is about waking to the touch of the angel.
Look at this liminal moment: those few seconds when we’re touched awake by a powerful dream that we’ll never quite grasp with our waking minds. The messenger – the dream – we may not remember, but when a dream touches us, we’re changed. We become more capable of seeing the star that we’re to follow, finding the courage and curiosity to take the next step, whether leaping or plodding, towards a mystery which we realize only by moving towards it with our whole selves.
This sculpture also shows the layered process of collective awakening. It’s like a dream group! One person wakes with a dream, that person tells it to the others, and then we all become conscious of a luminous summons. We’re a community not only of dreamers, but of wakers who help each other see whatever it is that draws us towards the divine mystery present in the world. That mystery is embodied in each person. It radiates from the natural world. And it glows even in the broken shards and grimy corners of human experience. As we move through our lives with greater consciousness and openhearted receptiveness to that mystery, we help create a world of more hope, more compassion, more peace, more beautiful, juicy, surprising grace in every step.
Maybe the first epiphany is simply that we are not alone.
Deep dreams to each of you this year,
A note on Celebrating Dream Epiphanies
Epiphany is celebrated on January 6th as the day the three Magi finally discover the Christ Child. The word "epiphany" simply means "appearance" or "revelation." Some of the Fire by Night dreamers celebrate the day by sharing foods depicting personal epiphanies that appeared through our dreams. This year I’m making a lemon meringue pie with chocolate crumbs: it honors my dream of a yellow bird who, by exhaling ashes, lifts herself off a prison ground and flies with exhilaration through the Grand Canyon.
It’s amazing that I can forget an epiphany that pictures such healing and invites such liberation. But I can. Hence the dream journal. Keeping a dream journal truly helps me follow the star that reveals the holy mysteries of ordinary living. (More on dream journals below, in Tips and Titles) This year I invite you to wake up to your dreams, keep them, feast on them, share them, and trust them to help you follow your star.