Dreamwork and Tarot on a Moon Pool

As part of my dreamwork, namely dream reentry, two nights ago now, after hours of practice in the wee hours, I threw some cards to see if they could elucidate the dream about my being stuck in a moon-shaped pool of quicksand (really, slowsand, since there was no threat of sinking): “Dream of the Mired Giant.” Then, as I fell asleep, I had a follow-on dream that jolted me awake. First, the spread.

What the Dream Is Really About: The Chariot

The Mary-el version of this major arcana card features some wolves and Native Americans, harkening to the shamanic themes of journeying, traveling, and visual worlds (ie, the seven visible planets we see moving in the night sky). Interestingly, in my dream, the pool I was in with the giant was a moon-shaped pool, and I’ve been listening devotedly to Radiohead’s new album, A Moon Shaped Pool. The picture on the front of the album reminds me of the pool of the dream.

The Chariot card in Mary-el points to the planets, which travel around the sun, are mythologized as gods, and guide our own navigation down on this Earth. I therefore sense in this tarot reading, as in the dream, a mirror effect. In my dream, the nighttime was moonless, but the earthen pool was white, somewhat luminous, an uplight, a topsy-turvy moon. As above, so below. 

This card indicates conveyance to me of great triumphal power. Others are waiting and watching to see what I will do with this power. For now, I have to turn inward. I have to shut out all distractions from my higher purpose. The card indicates that I will be traveling. Metaphorically, the transformational journey I’ve set out on must be completed. I’m to experience reality directly and not, at this point, turn this experience into labels and concepts. The sacred is direct. It has to be. I will not be able to speak of where I’m now going. I will increasingly withdraw; this retreat is integral to the process, and I’m not the true agent of this process.

Ever since I was banned from the Dharma Underground and had my final argument with Daniel, I’ve had many, many dreams featuring travel; however, despite this current reading indicating shamanic journeying, my recent dream was about my being stuck, immobile. I’ll need to think about this further, about the direct contradiction here, opposites mirroring. The dream was about being stuck in a stagnant earthen pit, whereas I should be traveling by ocean or under navigation by moon. 

The appeal of the Chariot’s meaning to the gods and the heavens seems to mean I’m stuck in ratna (Earth) energy and need to strike the ground, repel it, to realize that I can fly, perhaps on astral and other planes.

What the Dream Is Not About: Five of Cups

This dream is not about any merely passing relative reality emotional wound. It is not about any one specific current interpersonal disaster.

Do This: Four of Cups

This card from the Mary-el Tarot by Marie White shows ocean waves crashing against rocks; in the foreground, a still conch shell lies on the beach. We all know that if we pick up this still and silent shell and place it near our ear, we will hear the rhythmic surge and retreat of the ocean. This card has no meaning to offer me about my dream except to point to dreaming itself. It is sending me back to the dream as dream: “No dream is without cause or meaning. This is important because it is the foundation for your consciousness.” “The shell is a dream . . .  a gift from the ocean of your subconscious not to be taken lightly or repressed, but to be given reverence and just consideration.” This card advises me to peal away the layers of meaning slowly, patiently. A message will come, or has come, in the form of a dream. Look to it.

What Will Result: The Knight of Wands Reversed

Hmm. Court cards usually represent real people. This card indicates a male friend who is searching for love but who is in danger of using the shamanic power of holy flame in ways that are dark, destructive, malignant. Is this the giant who is “stuck” with me in the thick moon-shaped pool? Who is he? I’ll have to slowly, patiently, continue the dreamwork.

Dream of My Mentors

As soon as I finished this tarot reading, I fell fast asleep. Immediately, I had a dream involving my two mentors: Daniel and John. There are no pictures here except one: It is a white moon-shaped disk. It starts to spin like a vinyl record album playing in space. From some cosmic speaker, I hear my voice booming as the white disk spins: “John, Daniel contacted you, didn’t he? He responds, “Yes, he did – twice.” I bolted upright out of my bed, John’s voice still booming through my brain. Too sleepy to rise and record all this, I vowed to remember this dream in the morning. I sank back into slumber, as I’m about to do now.


I just remembered a couple of connections to moon disks: Buddhist deities are often depicted as seated on a moon disk. One of my favorite songs from A Moon Shaped Pool is titled “Desert Island Disk.” This is significant because the moon-shaped pool of my dream was a disk filled with earth. I had another recent dream of a man with a cow’s skull for a head. He was crying desert sand instead of speaking, just as the giant would not speak. Now, the cow-headed man who cried sand reminded me of Radiohead’s symbol from the album Amnesiac: A crying Minotaur. 

A Minotaur is a mythic man with a bull’s head. He is imprisoned in a Labyrinth by his nominal father King Minos for being a bastard. Minos had prayed to Poseidon for a white bull, which impregnated King Minos’s queen. The Minotaur is the resulting monster who devours all humans who come into the Labyrinth to see him or hunt him. The Minotaur has been rejected and cast out by his father because he is a monster, but the rejection is actually the source of monstrosity.

John and I spoke months ago of my work on third chakra, seat of terror and rage, as requiring that I integrate my formerly polarized “inner Minotaur.”

Desert Island Disk 

Now as I go upon my way
So let me go upon my way
Born of a light
Born of a light

The wind rushing round my open heart
An open ravine
In my spirit white
Totally alive
In my spirit light

Through an open doorway
Across a street
To another life
And catching my reflection in a window
Switching on a light
One I didn’t know
Totally alive
Totally released

Waking, waking up from shutdown
From a thousand years of sleep
Yeah you, you know what I mean
You know what I mean
You know what I mean

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