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I will call this first part a dream, but it happened in the half world between sleep and wakefulness, after a series of other dreams which also dealt with themes of inadequacy and self hurt.

In the dream I am on my Parent’s property, an area which is a dream node for me. (A dream node is somewhere that exists stable and unchanged in my dream landscape, and which may or may not correspond to a lpace that exists in the waking world. Dream nodes have a particular feeling about them, and I have visited a number of these nodes many times over the years).

I am standing in the grassy field near the lane, and what was the strawberry patch when I was in Junior High. Near me is a pale, wan person who I think is somehow linked to me, or is a version of my past self. Pale blonde lank long hair, pale skin, eyes red as if from crying, exuding an aura of sorrow and sadness. She wears a white old fashioned nightgown, like a child or a ghost might wear.

I feel as if it would be easy for me to be pinned or trapped here by my Self who (I suppose) is an echo of the sadness in me (there is a lot, sometimes) all the sadness represented by this place and this land – my isolation, my abusive childhood. I want to leave.

I fly into the air as a little forest bird, to the North – toward the state highway and the town and the interstate and civilization, freedom; toward the direction of my current home in the waking world. It’s hard to fly over the fence that separates my parent’s property from the neighbors to the north; I have to push myself with some effort through the air over the stretch of wire. I realize that I am being pinned here, held by the past. It would be comfortable to stay, easier to stay. I could relive the sadness of the past over and over again, and bathe myself in it as I have done many times. But she frightens me, and I do not want to be trapped. I fly onward, pushing myself through the barrier of air.

Northward in leaps. Now I am at the state highway, and up over the bottomlands; past fields flooded Spring after Spring and finally left to go fallow, choked by tall close poplar saplings and multiflora rose.
Now I am around the curve, past the lone tavern; then (a mere half mile away) past the isolated middle school. Now I am flying through town, pulling myself through the air with wings like oars. The sense of what lies behind drags at me like a weight, the farther I get from my parent’s house and from the girl in white, the harder it is to keep flying forward. I turn briefly and scrape off whatever residue is holding me back. I fly onward.

Now I am to the interstate, and I jump ahead through the interceding space in fits and starts. Almost home – my town, my street, my house. I fly through the door and slam it behind me. I am in my mortal form again, safe at home.

I turn and see the girl in white at the door. Her eyes are red and she has an anguished, rictus grin. ‘Why did you do that?” she asks, sobbing. “You know I love you.”

There are threads connecting us, like spiderwebs wrapped around me, or loose pale threads from her ragged gown. I gather them up in my hands and start to hack at them with scissors.
Then I wake up.


I think it’s time to do some Shadow work, and figure out what is going on. And, time to cut those threads for good. I have never purposefully done Shadow work before, not really, but there’s no time like the present. I am tired of being sad and anxious all the time.

Maybe this girl in white is a lost soul part. Maybe I should nurture her and comfort her. But the thought of her gives me a feeling of dread, as if she is an echo of a past me, something kept alive only so it can repeat the same pattern over and over again. It seems right to cut her away; freeing me and leaving her to dissolve, no longer bound to me. Leaving me no longer burdened.

That evening I run a hot bath, and close my eyes as I lay in the water.
I imagine myself back at the scene of the dream, and once more I fly northwards as a little forest bird; and again it is hard to make progress as my wings are tangled in fine threads. I turn myself into a goose instead, strong winged for far faring flight. I make once more the journey home. At one point, once I have reached the town where I live, I land on a lamp post and let out a cry of triumph, and I realize that I am no longer a goose, but a hawk.

During this flight I believe I spoke to the girl in white, or she tried to reason with me, but I don’t remember what was said. I stood firm in my resolve to cut her loose from me.

Finally I am standing safe inside my house, and she is at the front door again. I take a strong bladed knife and cut and cut the tangled fine threads that hold us together. The threads are primarily wound around my feet and ankles, so I bend over and chop at the floor with my knife, severing the threads in bunches. Most part easily, but underneath the fine white thread is a thicker cord that bleeds red when I cut it. It hurts, but I saw through it anyway. Am I doing the right thing? I wonder. Is this supposed to hurt? But it hurts like cleaning a wound, or like throwing up when you’re sick. I think, I hope, that what I am doing is right.
‘I know that doing this might hurt me too, but I feel that it’s better for both of us.’ I say this to the girl in white. ‘I want to be free of these strings! You need to dissolve and break apart. You might come back again as something better, but being held isn’t doing either of us any good. I have to do this!’

As I cut through more and more threads, the girl in white crumples, and wails. She starts to fall apart, her wet bones falling on my porch one by one. It’s sad and awful, but I feel like I’m cutting out an infection. Finally she beats her fists on the ground and shrieks, and dissolves into water and strings and a few bones. The last of the threads that remain stretched under the door turn into spiders, which run away to dark corners of the house.

A crow lands on the porch and carries away a sodden disarticulated jaw.


I remember that in an energy healing you have to replace what you’ve cut away or removed with strong, healthy energy; otherwise the condition will likely re assert itself.

I stand inside the door and look into myself. My heart hurts. I open up my ribcage with a gesture/look inside of myself from the outside, and I see on the side of my heart a black, sunken lesion.

I carefully peel away the scab, and the flesh is red and healthy underneath, but it is as if a chunk has been carved out of my heart. I send energy into my heart, of love and acceptance and healing, and the flesh grows to smoothly fill in the wound. I am reminded of a vision/meditation I had several years previous in which I met an entity whom I believe to be Dame Holda, who strengthened my heart, ensuring that it would not turn to stone.

I also notice that there is a small dark sliver sticking out of the heart muscle. I pull it out and see that it’s a narrow piece of dark, rusted iron like old shrapnel. More wounds, I think, but with patience they will reveal themselves to be mended. I also see a crow pull a second piece of shrapnel from my heart (I think, I don’t remember clearly if this happened. If so, the crow seemed to be acting in a clean-up crew or scavenger role, carrying away lingering traces of energetic sickness or negativity).

I close up my chest and return to the waking world. I feel anxious, but accomplished. I feel like I did something unpleasant but necessary, so we’ll see what shape the near future takes.