Talk To The Spidermaker

So, on the subject of creepiness, I awoke this morning to find that during the night I had written on the pad beside my bed:

Go to the Spidermaker if you have any questions.

Not quite sure who the Spidermaker is or exactly the types of questions that he or she might answer given the chance. I’m also not entirely clear on how to contact this entity since my biggest question at this point is, “who the hell is the Spidermaker?”

I suppose a bit of backstory is in order…

A couple weeks ago I went to a meeting of the Vanderbilt Meditation Group. They did a workshop on breathing methods within Hatha Yoga, and someone was talking about exploring lucid dreaming.

I’d heard about lucid dreaming before when reading Carlos Castaneda‘s Journey to Ixtlan. That book sets up dreaming as entrance into some other reality bound by a wholly other set of laws. While I thought it sounded interesting, I was looking for something a little less New Agey during my college years.

Well, I figured since I’ve been liking the Hippies more now than I did in college, that I’d take a look at it again. I did some reading on the interweb and it seems like most lucid dreamers have no concern whatsoever about the spiritual or emotional repercussions of their dream lives. They just happen to like spending their night lives flying around and having freaky dream sex with no repercussions.

I spend a good third of my life asleep. I could be spending this time doing whatever the hell I wanted? I’m sold.

There are bunches of different methods for trying to make lucid dreams happen. What is critical for all of them is recognizing that you are dreaming and then remembering to take control. To this end, many lucid dreamers keep journals beside their beds and, while waking, they write down what they can remember. The goal is to concrete your dreams in your waking mind so that when you have the same dream again, which is fairly common, you can recognize that you are dreaming.

I’ve been doing this off an on for a week or so and last night was the first time that it started to kinda come together.

The details are a bit vague, but I was outside my parent’s house in Bristol. I sorta realized I was dreaming and that there was something in the house that I was afraid of. (This is a recurring theme for me. Not sure exactly what I’m scared of, but the house seems vaguely malevolent.)

There was definitely an increased sense of control when I realized I was dreaming. I knew that whatever I was scared of was only in the dream and it was unlikely to do me serious harm. With this in mind I jumped to the roof and started exploring the outside of the house.

That bit was pretty cool. It wasn’t simply that I saw a picture from outside myself of someone jumping twenty feet up in the air, I actually felt massively strong and able to go bounding around. That bit of the allure of lucid dreaming was right on target.

I was having fun wandering and jumping around until I came to one corner of the house and it was completely enmeshed with a massive oak tree. There was that dreamworld sense of knowing that for some ineffable mythic reason, if I wanted to get to where I wanted to be in this world, I couldn’t go around the tree, but I had to traverse its branches.

I figured some climbing would be entertaining with my X-man like strength and agility until I actually stuck my head in the tree. The tree was infested with spiders.

I’m generally a live and let live sort of guy, but I am scared absolutely shitless of spiders. They’re tiny, fast and every single one of the little bastards is poisonous. After watching the scene in Arachnophobia where spiders are dropping from the ceiling onto the face of the girl washer her hair in the shower, my bathing dropped to about twice a week for nearly a month. I might stink, but at least spiders didn’t bite me in the face.

I looked in the tree and thought, “Fuck no. Dreams are all fun and games, but there are spiders in there the size of my thumb. I don’t want to play anymore.”

It was where I was supposed to go though. It was the next step and there wasn’t really anything else interesting to do. I also have a chip on my shoulder about being ruled by my fears, so after a bit of steeling myself, I headed into the spiders’ den.

There was a large branch that I could follow and if I was careful I could mostly avoid most of the webs. There was only one big one that blocked the way. Balanced delicately on the branch, I carefully found the edges of the web and pulled them free to let me pass. The spider just sat there and seemed indifferent to me.

Eventually, I cut enough of the web free to allow me to pass, but as I was going underneath, the wisps of the web I’d broken blew toward the parts I’d left attached. It started to catch on itself and ball up. As the spider moved to avoid his collapsing home, he scampered up and out of sight.

I was a bit panicked at this point since I wanted to know where the huge spider had gone. I knew that I was dreaming in some sense, but the levels of panic that I experienced when I saw the spider attempt to escape its web and come falling onto my neck were unlike anything I’ve experienced while awake.

For a timeless moment, everything was just a panicked scream to fling myself out of the tree flailing at my neck. I didn’t though. I remember an almost meditative stance as everything was engulfed in panic and I concentrated on breathing and letting the emotion pass. That disconnect between sensation and action was what I was writing about before.

It almost feels as though I am washed in emotion. It courses over and somehow out of me leaving calm behind. I’m not terribly good at doing it, but there does seem to be an actual skill to it.

I don’t really remember anything after the spider falling on me. The dream gets fuzzy. At some point I learned about the Spidermaker and wrote down the recommendation to visit this entity with my inquiries. Maybe I was babbling, maybe I learned something interesting and forgot it. I figure I’ll find out one way or another as I keep sleeping.

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