Werewolves: Notorious for Their Bad Housekeeping

Last night I had a dream like a fairytale (a modern one).  From deep within a forest, I saw two people, a young man and woman, walking up a dirt road that narrowed to a path leading uphill. Partway up the hill was a small clearing where some trees had been cut down long ago. Atop two or three large stumps were brilliant white and red tablecloths folded up, thick enough to be almost quilt like (it just occurs to me that this is what a toadstool looks like). Food in plates I could not see from my angle was set out on the tablecloths. The couple stopped and talked about the food and whether it had been left for them or not. No one was around. They ate some of the food, which I thought was not a good idea, and then noticed a small masonry building down from the path. It was about the size of a small garage and made of different types of cinder blocks, some in patterns, with a number of dusty plate-glass windows. Beyond that was an old-fashioned wooden fire tower, very high and very sturdy (which reminds me of the Tower Struck by Lightning). Inside the small building was some kind of studio. Old wooden tables were filled with glass stuff, bottles and whatnot, but everything was dusty and either long unused or simply uncared for.  Things were strewn all over the floor. In a small room beyond that was a bathroom in great disrepair. The toilet was full of muddy water, like I have seen in some parks. That room was basically carved out of the rock instead of constructed of masonry. It too looked basically abandoned.

But then the couple heard a roaring. Even though it was very sturdy, the fire tower began to shake as something enormous began to come down from the top. It was a huge werewolf who lived in the little buildimg and used the fire tower. I wasn’t sure if the werewolf guarded the forest in some way or used the tower to look for prey. It rushed down after the couple, looking a lot like the beast in Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast (a very magical movie definitely worth seeing), minus the fancy clothes. I wasn’t sure if I was in danger, but I thought I better get out of there. I woke up.

What was especially strange about this dream is that while I was dreaming it, I thought “Now I understand why Ginzburg links werewolves and witches.” I knew that the werewolf was actually a witch and that its mass and speed were reflections of the witch’s power. Ginzburg gives examples of people accused of being werewolves who said that their job was to guard their community. That would explain the fire tower. But while I was dreaming, I also thought the werewolf was myself. This in spite of the fact that I do not think of myself as a powerful witch.

When I woke up, I went over and over the dream in my mind so I would remember it later. It seemed important I do that. There was something so iconic about the dream. I went back to sleep and dreamed I was floating in a dark room made mostly of stone (continuing the sort of lodge/park building motif from the previous dream). There was a large stone fireplace, and a man was facing away from me. His shirt was marked with burned slits. He kept screaming and hurling himself around as if in great pain. I could see in the fireplace some kind of whirling mass of black rubber strips with a black gas mask for a head. In the dream, I knew this thing was a demon and that it was responsible for the burns in the man’s shirt. Just then it flicked its tendrils and two small fires broke out on the man’s back. I put them out, and another larger one broke out on his back. I shouted at the man to remove the shirt, thinking that the fires would not be able to start on bare skin. I even tried to pull the shirt off him to help him. But he couldn’t hear me and threw himself down on the floor, trying to roll the fire out. The demon began to come out of the fireplace, although it did not see me. I backed away in the air and woke up.

Strange that both dreams involve fire. I hope these dreams are not supposed to be prophetic. Recently I had a number of dreams about being in an accident when turning left in an intersection.  I was always driving a different car in a different intersection, but it was always a white car that hit me. Two weeks ago, I got hit by a white car while turning left in an intersection. The spirits protected me and I did not get hurt, just scared. If I continue to have dreams featuring fire, I will get worried. Being such a Water person, I have always had a great fear of fire. Not to mention I got a terrific burn on my hand as a toddler. Why? Well, I had to see how hot the burner was on the stove. It was pretty damn hot. I had the pattern of the element burned into my skin for a while.

Demons have been regularly featuring in my dreams lately, after a lifetime of demon-free dreaming. Usually, like this one, they are not a danger to me. Often they don’t even function but just lie there on the floor, looking furious at their helplessness. I don’t know what that means, except that I am glad for it.

10 comments to Werewolves: Notorious for Their Bad Housekeeping

  • petoskystone

    what an interesting dream! do you feel that the small building was abandoned due to the proximity of the werewolf, or was the werewolf also occupying the building? i wonder what happened to the strangers (they must be strangers to go unprepared into a werewolfs’ territory). considering that your prophetic dream series was set in this reality, & the demondreams are in different space your demons/werewolves seem to serve a different purpose.

    • herba15

      The werewolf was actually living in the building and the tower was where he “worked.” I think the strangers got eaten. Later I recalled thinking in the dream that they had no business eating someone else’s lunch.:)

      I also wonder now if they are not the same dream. Both involve supernatural creatures (werewolf, demon), both creatures come from a place with fire in the name (fire tower, fireplace), both attack someone (the couple, the man), neither attack me.

  • It’s possible to interpret Amanita muscaria as the Tree of Life, too. The fact that it was a toadstool-y look, the tablecloths on the tree stump, the remains of a tree, makes me wonder.

    Someone chopped down the tree of life and the werewolf, the guardian of the forest/garden, recreated it?

    From that perspective the unwelcome guests were eating of the tree unbidden. The werewolf was defending the tree, or his lunch.

    There’s a lot to think on.

    In the second dream, I think you got a bird’s eye view of a demon overcoming the person who conjured it. It was cautionary, and an example of conjuration gone really bad. I think back to some of the grimoiric books I’ve read in the past year, and there’s always this air of hysteria. “If you do this wrong, you’ll go mad.” That sort of thing. It could even be an admonition to not work with demons, but I am biased towards avoiding them myself, so that colors my thinking.

  • herba15

    Wow, that’s right about the fire tower being like the tree of life. And it’s a wooden fire tower instead of metal, which is of course what they normally are made of. I keep getting these toadstool references all over. And the strangers do have a certain similarity to Adam and Eve. They are definitely people though who are not familiar with the woods–tourists. In my dream, they even look like yuppies. The woman in particular has a very expensive haircut. I get this feeling of overconfidence from them and a kind of arrogance. “We will go into the woods and meet no harm.”

    I think you are right about the fire demon punishing the arrogant magician in dream two.

    • You know, it might not even be a fire demon. I wonder if it was conjured/materialized in smoke? Hence the gas mask. It is just that it was in the fireplace. In fact, that it was made of these objects, the rubber strips and the mask… that makes me wonder if it might not be a servitor gone bad, even.

  • Actually, I do have some public comments. So feel free to delete the last one.

    It’s presently October, which means that the beasties are gearing up for the end of the month. From that moment on, it’s their time until the final revolt of Misrule. As such, you can probably expect to see a lot of weird shit in the ether right now, and it’s probably easier than usual to pick up on similar wave-lengths. It’s also one of the reasons I like including bits of memes relevant to the season. In fact, I recently did mention The Tower, so it’s possible that the idea implanted itself in your head from afar, but distorted it into the dreams.

    Likewise, there are recurrent links. The witch being given a Black Dog familiar, the belief that witches could transform themselves into animals, and the reoccurent and pervasive tones of demonology that enter into the equate (although by subtext at times), all lend themselves toward showing that witchcraft often molds religious and cultural mythology with that of folklore and provides a context in which the masses might have seen the world.

    What’s funny is the weird way they can run together, almost seamlessly and simultaneously divergent. “No, that can’t be right…”

    In any event, I found this blog entry and your dreams to be very, very interesting!

    • I am now wondering was the werewolf transformed into his form by a witch, since that is well within the parameters of fairy tales, as well. He’s waiting for him or her, in the hopes of being transformed back.

      • @Sara: I don’t know if you’ve ever read this piece, but it may interest either you or Harold. Harold mentioning that he felt like the werewolf was also himself, and the idea of it being “servitor country” made me think of it.

        • Thanks, for the link, Jack! I read it through once and had to tap my head a few times to clear out cobwebs. Going to return to it later when I need something dense to work though.

          Just off the top of my head, ‘blocks of becoming’ brings to my mind a reinterpretation of storytelling. But I am getting over a cold and feeling too fuzzy to go further with that, lest I wind up in some dark degenerate alley of a tangent. Hopefully tomorrow.

          You’re touching on it with your initial post about witchcraft molding religious and cultural mythology in terms of how the world is experienced and observed. Go back to Irish myth, for example, and we read of Oisin being invited by the fairy woman Niamh to visit Tir na nOg. Fast forward to 20th century, and folktales have replaced fairies with extraterrestrial beings that abduct humans.

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