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White Haired Guardian, Animal Ally

Recurring Dream: The White Haired Woman and her Guide

For at least fifteen years, I’ve had a recurring dream. The settings vary, but the theme is the same. In these dreams, I come upon a woman in at least her sixties. Sometimes she’s older, even into her hundreds. No matter what her age, she is always very youthful in spirit, mind, and health. Her hair is very long, and white. Not gray, white. She usually has a walking stick; not because she’s infirm and needs help walking, but just as a thing -- like you or I might use a walking stick while hiking. Until recently, she was always accompanied by a white wolf.

In these dreams, I am out in nature, usually by myself, and meet this woman along the way. It is clear I am to follow her. She’s kind, she’s of good intent, but words are not spoken. Nevertheless, we understand each other. It is clear I am to follow her. Usually we are on something high: I remember one dream (one of the first) where we were standing on top of the roof of a house I lived in as a child. Other times, cliffs, hills. And for awhile there, the dream varied a bit: same woman but her hair was short, though white, and we were in an airplane or a spaceship in a classroom setting, showing me huge tomes of material I had to learn.

The Riverbank

In the past couple of months I’ve had a few dreams where the white haired woman has returned. In two of these recent dreams, we’re not walking on top of cliffs, etc. but along a narrow riverbank. The riverbank is just barely wide enough for our feet; the river is about two hundred feet below us. This time I’m with my husband. It’s understood we are to follow the woman. Instead of a white wolf there is a brown dog; a bit like a golden retriever in size and spirit. The woman, with her tall walking stick, is very sure and able to walk on this rocky, narrow path easily. Jim and I are much more klutzy; taking our time so we don’t fall. Not that it’d be dangerous if we did; it’s not that far and the water is fine; just kind of rocky and while it wouldn’t feel good to fall down, we’d be okay, just banged up a bit.

Another dream: Jim and I are resting on the ground by a river bank. Along comes the white haired woman, with what in dream logic, is her dog, but it’s a skinny green pig. She walks by and it’s understood we are to follow; again along a narrow riverbank, she leading the way.

Baptizing the Animals

The other night elements in the dream shifted a bit. I’m on a hill and decide to shoot at a bottle on top of a tree stump that’s sticking up out of the river. I aim a rifle, shoot, and hit it right off the first time. I’m pretty surprised I hit it, and even more surprised I wanted to in the first place. I kind of wonder, what am I doing with this gun? I don’t like guns! Then I see a man enter the water and hold down what at first I think is a cat, but becomes a black panther. Beautiful animal, but silent and moving so gracefully. I worry it’s dead, or drowning, yet the man’s intent doesn’t seem to be of harm. More like he’s performing some kind of ritual. Then the black panther turns into a large black and brown dog. Again, very very beautiful, and large, and I worry about it’s safety but the man doesn’t seem to be about harm. It’s some kind of message; some sort of ritual.

The Pink Violent Mist-Smoke

I ditch the gun in one of the many outbuildings and sheds on the property in case anyone thinks I killed or hurt any of those animals. As I walk by a narrow ridge that drop down to the river, I pass by the white haired woman. she gets up: she’s old, but in fine health in every way. This time, she says something to me -- I don’t remember what, but it was positive. Sort of a “Fancy meeting you here,” kind of thing. Suddenly it’s night; pitch black. As dreams do, scenes shift abruptly. I pass by a shed that has the most beautiful, wonderful pinkish violet light or mist -- or some combination of both -- coming out from under the door. I stop and look at this light/mist, and am so curious about what’s inside. I so very badly want to go inside! Then, unfortunately, the alarm goes off.

Guardian Angel

On thinking of this dream the other day, I wondered if this white haired woman isn’t a guardian angel. It seems almost obvious but it’s the first time the idea occurred to me. Yet if felt right. Like a big metaphysical “duh!”

So it seems my white haired woman is leading the way, as far as I want to go. I haven’t arrived anywhere yet in these dreams, though the journey always seems to be pleasant. Even though so far we haven’t arrived anywhere, things have shifted from above to below, or just above below. The animals have changed as well; from white canine to different types, including a green pig that’s really a dog. And in the last dream, there wasn’t any animal at all.

Another difference: in this last dream, was the first time she had spoken to me.

I interpret these dreams as, first of all, communications from my spirit guide/guardian angel. They are always positive, even if for the most part, obscure in the exact message, yet the intent is clear. Access to still hidden awareness. As to the animals, I’m not sure what they mean -- or their morphing -- but I think the animals represent another kind of guide. My totem/clan animal is the wolf, and white animals in particular have a mythic, magical and spiritual quality about them. The fact the canine animal (wolf) has morphed into dogs, hybrid creatures (panther/water dog) and green pig/dog are symbolic of changes and discoveries in seemingly unknown worlds. At no time were these animals threatening; in fact, they were helpers.

In shamanic traditions, animals are often helpers or allies. Both Native American and Celtic traditions (I’m descended from both) tell us that animal allies choose us, we do not choose them. I am grateful to both the white haired woman and the animal allies for both protecting me as well as guiding me on these journeys.