Denver Broncos

I had the following powerful dream in the midst of a weekend intensive given by Jeremy Taylor for a learning community in Consciousness. I was co-teaching the course last spring, shortly after the Columbine High School tragedy.

  1. I come to a school and enter the glassed-in foyer. At the back wall is a mural behind glass. In red and gold/ochre against a blue background. As Jeremy Taylor, I lean a red thermonuclear bomb against the glass. The bomb is cylindrical with rounded ends, about 2 feet long, and has rods running parallel to the cylinder attached by struts to all four sides. There is a small yellow window on the upper left side which contains the counting device.

  2. As my student Michelle, I lead the group to the top of a green, grassy hill where we can see a group of men and women in white playing polo. The figures of people and horses are vertically elongated and silhouetted against the setting sun. This reminds me of attending polo matches when I was younger. As we continue along the crest of the hill, I see the figure of an enormous white horse in the sky. This is a transcendental experience! I know that this is a blessing from the Celtic horse-goddess Epona and I tell the others so. We pass by an outdoor shrine of the goddess, who is represented as a tall wooden statue, very old, dark brown, in a corrugated robe, holding a child. There is a spring at the base of the statue. We do not stop there because we have already seen her in the sky. This might be a mistake. We return to the foyer of the school just before the bomb goes off. Now I am my student Don. The bomb shatters the glass into millions of tiny. sharp fragments which penetrate everything, including our bodies. My last thought as the entire atmosphere turns to a mixture of glass. blood, and paint is that this is a transcendent unification of all the elements.

Boy and girl riding on a bronco

First thing the following morning. I heard on the radio that John Elway was retiring from the Denver Broncos, then changed the station and heard a story about African-American jockeys, then-after picking up Jeremy at his hotel-passed by a field with a horse show. Three synchronicities convinced me to share this dream with the group that morning! Since I don't follow football, the radio announcement was an altogether unexpected synchronicity.

The dream title relates the horse images to the Denver area school bombing which had happened earlier in the week. Jeremy had had some rather radical things to say in his talk the night before about the bombing: he said that this is exactly what needs to happen to every school in America - metaphorically, not literally - because the school system encourages the ostracization of sensitive students who are perceived as different. This was certainly true of my public school experience, so it was not entirely surprising that I chose Jeremy to represent the bomb-planting figure in my psyche. Jeremy had also talked the night before about identifying with multiple perspectives in our dreams, and this dream certainly did that!

Polo is traditionally a class, race, and gender restricted sport. It used to be played using a human head as a ball. Here it is being played by a mixed group. The second radio item picked up on this idea, since it indicated that Black jockeys had been the first to excel in American racing, but later were forced out of the sport. Jeremy suggested that this scene may represent my personal ideal, since the field is at the top of the hill and I am in feminine persona. This does fit with my understanding, but I think it has a more global significance relating to the feminine divine energy returning to humanity's consciousness today. Her manifestation as the horse goddess, Epona, was very powerful and dramatic, full of vibrant celestial energy. Michelle, an extraordinarily courageous and energetic (and also very tall) student, symbolizes this goddess energy in the dream as well. Yet we pass by the goddess statue and the redundant spring. The wooden figure reminded me of some of the European goddess statues like the Black Madonna. At any rate she was very old, a Crone aspect, so it was strange that she was holding the child. Maybe she represents the older, more passive form of the goddess which we must pass by in order to grasp the rein/reign of the new, as in the dream Maureen Roberts presented in the last issue of DNJ? One of the students wanted to know what would have been different if we had stopped at the spring instead of going on; why this was a mistake. My intuitive response was that perhaps the violent explosion would then not have been necessary.

The bomb's yellow counting device reminded Jeremy of the single eye of Odin, the masculine energy which can stand for sacrifice in return for wisdom, but which also is capable of radical differentiation from the whole. I realized that the bomb image, with its four struts, closely resembles the Egyptian hieroglyph for "heart", an exploding heart, which turns the glass which had trapped the mural to dust. The mural, which reminded me of a Rya rug, had a lot of texture, as did the statue of the goddess, but it was trapped behind the glass. I later realized that its colors were exactly the same as those on the jacket of my myth book. I'd received the first copies the night of this dream. I was asked how it would feel if I were the mural when the bomb went off. My response was "liberated". The glass is like a barrier to free expression, which is why it needs to be atomized. Don is a mathematician, a very quiet, intellectual type, kind of a compliment to Michelle's wildness. He has the ability to exhibit detachment even in the most trying of situations something I've had to cultivate over the past few years: myself!

This suggests to me the need for balancing intellect and emotions, head and heart, in the face of transformative changes that will atomize the old and liberate the new in human consciousness. The only question remaining is, who or what were we searching for?

Curtiss Hoffman is the author of Seven Story Tower (reviewed in DNJ, Vol. 18 No. 3) available through