Hatsuyume (初夢): Dreaming a New Year

Buddha Kamakura Japan hawk dream hatsuyume

Tonight, many Japanese are going to bed setting an intention for what they want to dream. For in Japan, your first dream of the new year is known as Hatsuyume (初夢), and it can set the tone for the months ahead; and even foretell the future. Traditionally, it's good luck to dream of a hawk, Mt Fuji, or eggplants; ganbatte to anyone aiming for all three in the same dream! But as dreams are personal, archetypes universal, and our imaginations endless, there'll be some interesting discussions at breakfast tables tomorrow. Hatsuyume is also very auspicious for futon sales.

The Japanese word for dream is yume, derived from the kanji for 'a sitting priestess' and 'night'. Shinto priestesses, known as Miko, were often consulted for dream interpretation. Dreams are the realm of kami, when we sleep we enter their world; Miko are the ultimate oneironauts. Like the pythia and sybil of ancient Greece, Miko would also enter trance states to convey messages from the spirit world, and coax kami from the landscape.

It's this ancient link between hatsuyume and ancient Japanese shamanism that fascinates me. The archaic kanji for Miko, 神子 and 巫子, translates as kami/god child and shaman child respectively. Sweeping the temple steps, assisting the priests, and selling souvenirs, today's Miko is "a far distant relative of her premodern shamanic sister" as Lisa Kuly puts it. However, a spark of this ancient shamanic sisterhood endures through the kagura dance. First performed by the goddess Ame-no-Uzume, the kagura dance still welcomes gods and spirits into our world at Shinto shrines all over Japan today.

Shinto and Japanese society are made of dream stuff. Akira Kurosawa, Haruki Murakami, Studio Ghibli, even the many manga artists selling their hand-made works on the street -- all come from that inbetween worlds dream stuff. In his wonderful book Shinto: A Celebration of Life, Aidan Rankin writes:

Shinto... has preserved its intimacy with the world of dreams, or the spirit world, and at the same time embraced all the characteristics of reason and modernity. It has never divided ancient and modern, faith and reason, conscious and unconscious, dream and reality into opposing camps... so that 'modernized' men and women lose contact with the archetypal images and insights that bind us together as humans, connecting us with Great Nature and the cosmos. Such loss is ultimately a loss of self, or in shamanic terms soul-loss. In Shinto, by contrast, the most ancient archetypes and primal dream images are joyfully celebrated and made relevant to an urban, technological society based on the exercise of reason.

There's no real separation of the spirit world, the realm of the gods, and our world. We co-exist, overlapping each other like a wave on a beach. Japan, to me, exists in a state of dorveille, an old French word describing a semi-conscious state, particularly that moment between sleeping and waking. It's why I'm so fascinated with Japan. As Rankin goes on to write, "to the Shinto practitioner, imagination and intuition come from the Kami power within us, which to our great detriment we have buried."

I often dream of Japan. These are "wow!" dreams, so vivid and realistic I wake up feeling as if I had actually been there. I've never been to Japan, despite desperately wanting to for years; I feel a strong pull towards Japan, in my dreams and in waking life. I've had recurring dreams of almost drowning in a car that plunged off a pier into Tokyo Bay. I've made a phone call answered by a woman named Hiyumi, so realistic I can still hear the international dial tone and her "moshi moshi" answer. Most of the time I'm visiting friends; unfortunately I become lucid, and wonder how the heck I'm going to get to work in the morning.

But tonight, don't worry about how you'll get to work in the morning. Wear some comfy pyjamas and let loose your inner kami. Dream big. I'll post what I dream (even NSFW!) -- it'll be interesting to read your hatsuyume as well. Dreams are personal myths, as Joseph Campbell so eloquently put it -- so make 2014 mythic. You never know, dreams do come true.

明けましておめでとう Akemashite omedetou! Best wishes for the year ahead.

Further reading from the Grail archives:

The terrific photo of the Buddha & a hawk is by Niels Henriksen.

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deredder's picture
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This is a fascinating article for me because my dreams in 2014 were some of the most vivid I have experienced. I dreamed of both a tsunami and later a tornado. I think I maybe will have a very eventful year. I don't think it's all bad though because I escaped both potential disasters. I see this more as me working in tandem with Gaia in this new year and maybe helping some dear friends in the process. But what do you think? Tsunami and tornado always bad?

Deredder a sea captain blessed by the goddess Isis

Rick MG's picture
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deredder wrote:

Tsunami and tornado always bad?

A dream dictionary would say yes, these dreams are bad mojo -- but pay no attention to them! As you said, you escaped both disasters so it could be very positive. I like your interpretation -- if it makes sense to you, and feels right, then it is right. For example, I find storms to be very energising and positive, so if I dreamed of a tornado, I'd view it similar to the Tower card in Tarot.

I've dreamed of a tsunami too. I was standing with a group of people in a carpark at a beach in Japan, watching the ocean. An enormous tsunami was rushing towards us. I urged everyone to flee, wondering if I'd have time to reach a car and drive to safety. As I turned to flee, the tsunami shrunk into a tiny wave and the danger passed. I'm still not sure what it means, if anything.

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

deredder's picture
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8 weeks 4 days

Double post for some reason. Sorry guys - I blame these storma in the UK right now...

Deredder a sea captain blessed by the goddess Isis

Rick MG's picture
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My hatsuyume for 2014 is slightly disturbing:

As I walked from one room to another, I suddenly gave birth in the doorway. I was still standing and felt the baby come out and fall to the floor. I was shocked (I'm a man, afterall!), but I quickly checked to see if the baby was ok. She was a girl, but her head was abnormally large. I felt slightly embarrassed about the size of her head, thinking "my god, I've had an ugly baby." Instead of being a newborn baby, she was a toddler when I picked her up. Her head no longer seemed an issue either, she was a very attractive child. She was also able to talk, like an adult but in that childish tone, and seemed a lot older (and wiser) than her age. She told me about who she had been in a past life.

Yeah, not exactly what I was expecting for my first dream of the year either! I don't remember much else from this dream, other than walking through parks with big northern hemisphere trees. From a quick search online, I've gathered that dreaming of giving birth/having a child is positive, and can signify creative processes, beginning projects and starting anew. Considering the surprise of the birth, and her rapid maturity, I take this to mean a creative process will explode onto the scene and move very quickly. Considering I want to get stuck into writing a novel, and take art classes, this makes sense. What's interesting is that I gave birth in a doorway, when moving from one room to another.

I also dreamed of something else:

I'm with, or watching, actors Paul Walker (who died in a car crash recently) and Vin Diesel in a sci-fi action adventure. There are a lot of guns and explosions.

Birth, death, resurrection, rebirth, past lives, doorways, moving from one room to another... is my hatsuyume hinting that 2014 will be a year of creativity and rebirth, a positive transition from an old life to a new one?

I hope so. I'm certainly not ready to have a baby! Although if I ever have a daughter, I'll (nick)name her Miko.

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

deredder's picture
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I'll be honest, I am fascinated and captivated by dreams but I still, despite reading much material on the subject, have absolutely no idea what they are. I'm not fully convinced by anything I have read on the subject but I continue to enquire.

I will say that I think they may have an importance, valid, to each of us in our lives. I keep an open mind as I do with all things.

Having said that I often dream of a baby who becomes a toddler and sometimes a grown woman and then can become a baby again. I have a deep love for this iindividual because, no matter what form she presents herself as, I always 'know' she is the same 'person' and always female. My current bs is she is my aenima and this rings true. But what do I know?

Deredder a sea captain blessed by the goddess Isis

deredder's picture
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Just as a followup I'm beginning to "get" my earlier dreams now. I can't say what they mean but I think I can better say what this means to me. Some turmoil in my family developed subsequently to my dream. I was never in danger in my dream and I departed safely from the storms. However some family members are going through a lot of heartache and I am unable to help them. The helplessness of meeting the forces of Madre Nature. I'm amazed how quickly this has all transpired according to my reality tunnel.

One thing I have learned: I need to write my dreams in a journal whilst fresh. I will do this.

Deredder a sea captain blessed by the goddess Isis

Rick MG's picture
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I hope things get better for your family soon, Deredder.

I should have added in my post that often, our dreams aren't intended for us personally - they can be about family, friends, even people we've never met. You might meet someone who relates a story, and - voilà! - it's a dream you had last week or even last year. That's where a diary comes in handy.

Says I, who doesn't keep a dream diary.

PS Deredder is a terrific username, especially for discussing dreams!

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

deredder's picture
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for your kind words. I think that I intuited that this dream related to my family. I find it difficult to remember dreams that I "know" are directed at "me" upon awakening however dreams that I intuite relate to family or friends, I tend to remember. I have absolutely no idea why this would be the case. Very difficult to take a step back from these things.

I love TDG and I intend to contribute more both financially and less pragmaticly with nonsense and stuff in the near future. Thanks Rick and to all contributors for this site, especially Greg. For the record, I am a Gregg too however I am 3Gmensional as opposed to 2G ;)

*being facetious* I would like to say that I really enjoy and feel liberated in a sense by the "tone" of this site. It remains a breathe of fresh air to me. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. G

Deredder a sea captain blessed by the goddess Isis

deredder's picture
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Oh one last thing Rick - would you tell me why the name "Deredder" has significance for you and your understanding of dreaming? I am genuinely interested because the name means much to me. Thanks for indulging me brother. Peace

Deredder a sea captain blessed by the goddess Isis

Rick MG's picture
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deredder wrote:

Oh one last thing Rick - would you tell me why the name "Deredder" has significance for you and your understanding of dreaming? I am genuinely interested because the name means much to me. Thanks for indulging me brother. Peace

I misread your name as Djedder, and thought there was an historical ancient Egyptian source behind your name. I feverishly used my Google Fu to scour the internet for tales of Egyptian goddesses blessing humble ancient Egyptian sailors, but I couldn't fine a darn thing. When I finally put my glasses on, I was too embarrassed to correct my post.

I'm researching the name De Redder now, hoping I can dig up something interesting to redeem myself!

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

deredder's picture
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I love the name "djedder" because it sounds nice. DeRedder is an ancestor of mine that I feel I have an affinity to. DeRedder was the captain of a merchant sea vessel and seemed to be just a good guy. When I learned about him I had developed a relationship with the Egypt Goddess Isis whom I later discovered to have blessed sailors amongst other things. In other words, synchronicity. I will try to explain all if you are interested...

Deredder a sea captain blessed by the goddess Isis

red pill junkie's picture
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Are you kidding? Of course we're interested! :D

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

deredder's picture
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Shirley. However if you are interested I would be happy to divulge. It's just that I am a model-agnostic with a scientific scepticism (or so I think) but I am no "skeptic". By trade I am an actor, filmmaker and artist and student of the occult. So how would you like me to present my story to you? What voice would be most acceptable? Scientific or mystical or both and a bit in between?

Deredder a sea captain blessed by the goddess Isis

deredder's picture
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Would you be so kind as to ask Greg if he would consider accepting an image from an oil painting of mine for future works he may be publishing? I don't mind being turned down but I feel I would like to contribute something more than mere coinage... that I don't really have at the moment. However I wish to give something. Well anyway...

Deredder a sea captain blessed by the goddess Isis

red pill junkie's picture
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See video

Actually it's much simpler than that. You can contact any of us by clicking here ;)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

red pill junkie's picture
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Funny how you put it, because I've often perceived how the way many of the most radical & vanguard-thinking scientists talk nowadays, is not that dissimilar to the age-old teachings of Eastern mystics.

However it's more comfortable to you, friend. You can post it on your personal blog if you like :)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

deredder's picture
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I'll be sure to contact you guys, thanks RPJ! Hee hee - I ruddy well love this site. I think, for me, the "tone" of this is the best I have encountered.

About how to elucidate some of my experiences, I have only done this once or twice maybe even thrice in the past, but I have communicated the same experiences with either/or/and a scientific, meta-physical, supernatural, slant. Perhaps I should do the same here and convey my story in three voices. I don't know...

Deredder a sea captain blessed by the goddess Isis

deredder's picture
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I've been undergoing some hospital treatment. I'm on the mend though. I would love to contribute more to the site in the coming months. Thank you to all for orchestrating this fine site. We (I think I speak for many) appreciate your hard work and passion - keep it up, if you are able. I promise a healthy pledge this summer. Much respect. Gregg

Deredder a sea captain blessed by the goddess Isis

red pill junkie's picture
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I hope you're fully recovered by now :)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie