I looked up into the fire pit letting my mind digest all of that. My fingers went to close the book, but suddenly I decided to look up my current situation. Perhaps, there were more meanings now I was here. I turned to the front of The Arcana, give a quick thought as to what to look up then started again.
What did I know so far? Moor, fire, trees – were they birch or beech and elms? Night time and possible witches. I flipped to the start of ‘M’ and hurriedly went through the pages, until;
Indicates feelings overwhelmed by negativity. Alternatively, a pun on “more”, is there something you are in need of more?
‘Negativity?’ I whispered.
Not a good start. Okay next;
Depending on the context; to see fire symbolizes destruction, passion, desire, illumination, purification, transformation, enlightenment and anger. If you are not afraid and it is under control, then it’s a symbol of your own internal fire and inner transformation. It can also represent your drive, motivation, and creative energy. Alternatively, a warning of some dangerous or risky activities.
I glanced up, my eyes going straight to the fire before me. It didn’t sound like things were getting any better. The wind shook the trees around me, drawing my attention to them. What did The Arcana say about them?
To see bare trees indicates used up energy. You have put your all into something now you are exhausted. Perhaps depressed. Alternatively, the dream signifies the cycle of life or the passage of time. Withered or dead trees indicates that your hopes and desires have been dashed. Additionally, crows symbolize the end of some cycle or behavior. It is representative of death. Beech tree; intellect, learning and wisdom. Alternatively, it represents death. Elm Tree; death, misfortune, and bad luck. Birch tree; self-punishment or guilt issues.
I gulped and uttered, ‘no.’
This wasn’t right after how far I’d come. Why was the book now giving me all these negative meaning when I now needed it the most? Perhaps the meaning of night would offer me some comfort? I skipped back the pages and looked it up. My fingers traced the words as I read;
Represents major setbacks and obstacles in achieving goals. You are faced with an issue that is not clear cut. Perhaps, you should put the issues aside, clear your head and come back later. Alternatively, death, rebirth, reflection, and new beginnings.
‘Death, again! Come on, Arcana don’t do this to me!’ I screamed and all but threw the book down.
I shut my eyes and quietened my panicked breathing. What else was there? Oh, the witches that started all of this off. I couldn’t remember what their meaning was. I turned to the back and looked it up then read aloud, ‘witches represent destruction and evil, either through seeing them physically or objects that are connected with them. Witches are also linked to negative ideas about females and the body. This could have been brought on by recent events connected with these matters. It is often centred on bad experiences with a heartless woman who is or will become a danger to you.’
I paused, breathed and read the next part, ‘Alternatively, a white or good witch has the opposite effect and they are seen as a symbol of goodness, power and enchantment. They can appear to protect you and/or offer guidance through their magic.’
It was the same as the last time I had read it.
I closed the book and put it away. Somehow the dagger was still in my hand and had been this whole time. I took in a few deep breaths and looked into the fire. The flames were getting through the logs quickly, but it was far from going out. I listened to the wind in the trees and the howling of some creature far away. What did it all mean? What did The Arcana want me to do?
A crackling laugh echoed above and I looked up, but didn’t see anything. A shiver went through me and after a quick glance around, I stepped into the safe cover of the trees. What else did I remember about this dream? I tried to recall quickly. I was child, in a white nightie, lost on the moors at night. I stumble on the witches meeting here and making a potion. They capture me and after torturing me, throw me into the caldron….
I looked down and saw no white nightie or child body. The thought that this difference could be key came to mind. I felt the Hagstone heating up and grabbed it to look up at the sky. There was a witch on a broomstick above me. I watched her circling then coming down just in front of the tree enclosed cleaning. I didn’t remember her being so detailed before.
She carried the broom in her right hand and a large caldron- surly too heavy for just herself to carry and fly with!- in her left. She had on a black hat, a short black cape and plain black dress. Her hair was bright green and face covered in warts. She looked like a traditional Halloween witch. She walked in and set the caldron on top of the fire.
I looked at the sky again and watched four more witches flying in. They are looked so different and covered the whole scale of witchy looks. Those four joined the first one and they began the preparations of the potion. Another crackling laugh raised my head again and this time I counted eight more. Those witches came into land and they all greeted each other.
My heart and breathing were loud in my ears, but I stayed frozen and watched them. Soon the potion was bubbling away and they were chanting. A few added some more things in and two were tending to the fire. I gripped the ice dagger and thought about getting The Arcana out again. What was I meant to do?
‘Where’s the child?’ one witch shouted up.
The others grew silent.
‘She should be here by now,’ another gargled.
‘I don’t sense her,’ a very old and blind witch cut in.
‘Perhaps we should go and find her?’ a very beautiful, blonde chimed in.
‘No. She always comes to us. It’s the way,’ the first spoke again.
All the witches murmured and swayed around the caldron.
‘Who has the best eyes?’ the gargling one asked.
‘I!’ cried the blind one, ‘and I tell ye now, she’s not coming.’
I stepped from the trees, ‘I’m here!’ I shouted.
The closest witches stumbled back then froze with the others as they all looked at me.
‘I’m no longer a child!’ I cried and lashed out with the dagger at the nearest witch.
The dagger easily sliced through her and the witch screamed. Black blood squirted out and the witched turned, crumbling to the ground. The other witches cried out and rushed me at once. I felt their cold, gnarled fingers ripping into me. I sliced out with the dagger in all directions, determined that they wouldn’t take me. Fingers flew across the air, more black blood dripped down me and the witches screamed loudly in my ears till it was all I could here.
Despite everything, they grabbed me and dragged me over the fire and caldron. Screaming and kicking, slashing out with the dagger that had become unmoveable from my hand, I fought them off. Their fingers pinched through my clothes and laughter rushed through me. I screamed and screamed then I felt the kiss of the fire.
‘It can’t be like this!’ I yelled.
‘It can and is, child!’ the first witch roared back, raising above us all, ‘throw her in!’
The witches heaved together and threw me upwards. Wind and my own scream rushed around me. I flew for a second then landed over the caldron, knocking it over and sending the potion sizzling into the fire. Black smoke engulfed me and heat cracked my skin.
‘Ashes to ashes,’ the witches chanted.
I felt myself sinking and struggled to get up, but I was trapped under the caldron. I screamed and the fire burned my throat. Suddenly, I heard a cry and a panic of words. Had someone come to save me? No, the witches had suddenly realised that their potion and I had gone up in flames and smoke. I smiled and felt myself melting away. I felt the fire and ashes giving away under me and I fall through a blue haze. Landing, for the first time up right, I looked around and saw total blackness.
Had I died for real? Garson said that wasn’t possible. If I died in the dream I came back to my own bed and life. I touched myself not sure what was going on. My clothes felt the same and I still had the satchel. I fumbled around inside of it and finding nothing of valuable right now, pulled out the feather. My connection to my life, Garson had said.
A dim, growing light ahead of me caught my attention. I looked up, feather in one hand and dagger glued to the other. The light grew and grew, becoming the soft glow of a candle. What was this now? I steadied my breathing and got ready to fight again. As it drew closer, I saw it to be lantern and a familiar person was holding it up.
‘Dean!’ I shouted and ran towards him.
I threw my arms around him and pressed my face into his chest.
‘Abs! I’ve been looking for you everywhere!’ He half-shouted.
I laughed at his American accent, but didn’t release him from the hug, ‘are we back in the mine? Did you get caught?’
‘No. This is a new place. I’m not sure how I got here…Well, I think I do know. Come here and I’ll explain on the way,’ Dean stated.
He wiggled out of the hug, took my hand and walked me into the darkness. The candle lantern burned brightly around us, but it didn’t display anything.
‘I think I’m here to help you as a thanks for helping me,’ Dean picked up excitedly, ‘you see when you went through that portal, I tried to follow you and I ended up here with this light.’
‘Really? I’ve been on such a journey since then!’ I jumped in.
‘But you made it and when I saw this. I knew you’d come to fix it. Everything made sense. Look.’
Dean rose the lantern up as he stopped and I had crane my neck to look up. A massive gold web was spun out before us. A gasp escaped me. The web was so huge it was impossible for me to see it all at once. I reached out a hand and touched it lightly. The web was ice cold and seemed to shiver at my fingertips.
‘I’ve been looking for the broke part and I think I found it, but we’ll have to climb,’ Dean explained.
‘How safe is it?’ I asked.
‘Safe enough. It’s very solid and there’s only small gaps between the strands. Think of it like a ladder.’
‘We can go side by side.’
‘I’d like that,’ I answered and give him a smile.
I put the feather and finally the dagger into my bag. Dean put his foot on the first strand and his free hand four up then began climbing. I joined him and together we worked our way up the Dream Web. When Dean began moving to the side, I did the same. The climb was easy and I didn’t feel nervous at all. However, I began to tire and slow down. I pressed my hand to the golden strand and breathed deeply. I yawed and went to rub my eyes before remembering I needed to hold on.
‘Come on, Abs!’ Dean called down to me, ‘we’re almost there.’
‘I’m so sleepy!’ I called back.
‘Don’t give in! Talk to me.’
‘I don’t know, anything. Just focus on that and climbing.’
‘I’ve not got a clue what I’m doing really,’ I started off with, ‘I just battled a coven of witches and defeated their plan. Whatever it was.’
‘Witches?’ Dean spoke.
I nodded and began climbing again to join him. The web still felt cold and shivery under me.
‘It’s a dream I’ve had often. Like the mine one and the plum travel and the triangle forest. Different stuff sometimes happens, but they are all the same really,’ I explained, ‘Garson, the-not-angel, the person who told me about all of this said they’d been replaying dreams to find someone to fix the web.’
‘And what happens when we fix it?’ Dean asked.
‘I don’t know…maybe it’ll make the dreams better? And safer?’
‘He didn’t tell you?’
‘If he did I don’t remember.’
‘Look, there it is. The broken strand.’
I looked and saw that a few meters above us was a snapped off golden strand which had created a small whole in the web. I sighed deeply, annoyed it was still so far away. I climbed up a few more strands, Dean now following me. My mind fell to thinking how to fix it, but until I got there I couldn’t vision it.
Finally, I reached up for the strand next to it and hooked my hand through. I looked at the snapped strand and waited for Dean to shine the light on it. Once that was done, I picked up the smooth golden rod and tried to slot it back into place. There seemed to be no way to reattach it.
Frowning, I left the strand hanging again and dug around in my bag.
‘You got any glue?’ Dean asked.
‘No, just this multi-tool,’ I said pulling it out.
Dean frowned, but didn’t say anything as I tried to pick up the strand again and work out how to fix it with anything on the tool. Nothing seemed to stand out and looking closer, I saw there were no screws or anything else, just a hole were the end of the rod slotted in. I tried again, but it wouldn’t hold.
‘It’s no good, why didn’t you tell me this before?’ I sighed.
‘I didn’t think…I thought you knew how to fix this thing,’ Dean shot back.
I put my other arm through the good strand and lend forward, puffing out each breath and sulking.
‘Don’t you have anything else you could use?’
‘I got a feather, a prayer book, an ice dagger, this tool, a Hagstone, The Arcana…maybe there’ll be something in there!’
I put the tool away and grabbed the book, slotting my hand through the strand again and putting all my weight into leaning forward, I flipped through the book. I could just make at the words.
‘What is there? The web, gold, the lantern….candle,’ I listed off then flipped to candle.
‘Seeing a burning candle signifies that good luck and hope is coming. You are at a comfortable life stage, but seek spiritual enlightenment. Candles represent intellect, awareness and a search for the truth. To carry a lantern represents the feelings and wisdom coming from you that will guide you in the life’s journey. I’ve read that before, in your dream.’
‘What else?’ Dean asked.
‘Web, represents desire to control everything. Alternatively, suggests you are being held back from fully expressing yourself. Feel trapped and do not know what to do or where to go. That feels so true right now…but not helpful. Okay, next.’
I flipped to the ‘G’s and read aloud once again, ‘gold reflects a spiritual reward, richness, refinement and enhancement of surroundings. Also, your determination and unyielding nature.’
‘Useless still,’ Dean put in.
My mind reeled and an idea, maybe suggested by the book itself or something else made me turn the pages back and looked up dreams.
To dream that you are dreaming or daydreaming shows your emotional state. You are excessively worried, fearful about a situation. Dreaming also serves as a layer of protection from what you are feeling, allowing the experience of certain difficult feelings that may otherwise be too painful to confront.
Dreamcatcher, Indicates that you are putting up a wall or barrier against the negativity. Perhaps there is something subconsciously that you are trying to prevent from emerging.
‘That wasn’t any good either. Oh, Dean what are we going to do?’
‘Climb back down and figure it out,’ he suggested.
I shook my head, ‘I don’t think I could make the climb again and anyway, if I haven’t got it right now, why should I get it right if we go back down. No. There must be a way.’
Closing the book, I slipped it back into my bag and turned to look fully at him. Dean’s expression was one of saddens and pain. I looked at the lantern and saw the candle flickering away and the wax pooling at the bottom. Glancing at the rod then the candle an idea began to form.
‘Wait. I think I know what to do. Dean hand me the candle,’ I requested.
‘The candle. The melted wax! It’ll glue the rod back in place when it dries,’ I explained quickly.
‘But how will we see to get down?’
‘That doesn’t matter, right now! The candle! Please, Dean, please,’ I begged.
He dropped his head and I thought I saw him bit his bottom lip, ‘all right. I’m going to trust you, Abs. You give me my freedom and I’ll always owe you for that.’
He held up the lantern to me. I undid the latch and with a shaking hand took the candle out. Slowly, I brought it up to the rod and drippled some of the wax into the hole. Turning quickly, I tried to get the wax on to the end of the rod, but couldn’t do it.
‘Grab it,’ I gasped.
‘I’ll have to drop the lantern,’ Dean growled back.
‘Do it!’ I said.
Dean flung the lantern away and grabbed the rod, as wax begin dripping onto my fingers. Ignoring the pain, I tilted the candle and the wax dripped on to the rod.
‘Swap,’ Dean shouted.
I handed the candle to him with gritted teeth and grabbed the rod. I slotted into place and held it there. The wax started drying on my hand and I heard Dean’s small gasps of pain. I held my breath, praying it would hold. Suddenly there was blinding flash of golden light and we were both thrown off the Dream Web.
I screamed and reached for Dean, but felt nothing other than air against my fingers. Wind rushed around me, drying my throat and silencing my scream. I spun around and felt tears being torn from my eyes. I wanted to yell for Dean, but there was bubble in my mouth. I flipped back over and looked up at the Dream Web, it was lit up and shining brightly.
I noticed that the light was sweeping across the wall behind it and even the ceiling. I saw a wonderful collection of paintings that made little sense, but looked like Bible scenes, only they had an Egyptian style to them. There were no words, but the pictures told so much, if only my mind could stop and figure it out.
Something soft hit me in the back and I bounced up, grunting loudly. I flopped back down again and lay spread eagle on what felt like a trampoline. I felt Dean land beside me and rolled over to him once he’d finished bouncing.
‘I think we did it!’ I shouted.
‘Yeah,’ he forced out through his heavy breathing.
I sat up and now with light filling the room took stock of where we were. A door was forming and opening far to our left and I scuttled over the soft trampoline and climbed down the side. Dean called after me, but I ignored him as I saw Garson stepping through the door.
‘I did it!’ I yelled over and waved.
He waved back and turned to say something to someone behind him.
‘Abs! Wait up!’ Dean called.
I stopped and waited for him to catch up, we both walked over together and Garson greeted us warmly.
‘Hello, Abigail. Thank you, Thank you,’ he said and taking my hand shook it.
‘Hi, Garson and your welcome. Dean helped me,’ I replied.
‘Thank you, Dean,’ Garson added.
Dean gave a little bow.
‘So, the dreams are safe again now,’ I stated and looked up at the glowing Dream Web.
‘Yes, Abigail and you can now return home,’ Garson declared and looked behind him, ‘you can go through that door and wake up safe in your bed.’
‘I’d like that very much, thank you.’
‘But what about me? How do I get out of here?’ Dean broke in.
Garson and I eyed him.
‘I’ll help you return to the dream world,’ Garson said ‘and if Abigail gives you permission, you may roam freely there.’
‘I do,’ the words bust out of my mouth, ‘give my permission,’ I tacked on.
Dean hugged me tightly, snatching the breath out of me, ‘thanks,’ he whispered into my hair, ‘I’m going to miss you and I’ll never forget this, Abs.’
‘It’s okay. I’ll still see you again, right?’ I asked having created a gap between us.
‘Of course! I’ll always appear in your dreams when you need me. Maybe we could fight those witches together sometime?’
I nodded then reached up and kissed him. His lips were warm and soft against mine. Garson coughed loudly and I let go.
‘Bye, Dean. See you soon,’ I whispered, pressing my forehead against his and focusing on his lips.
‘You too, Abs. Good luck,’ he added and kissed my head.
Letting go, I allowed Garson to push me through the door whilst not breaking eye contact with Dean. I was shoved through and it closed behind me. Darkness surround me then there as a gap of light and I opened my eyes back in the real world.