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Chasing the White Stag

So I had a dream last night.

The first part was sort of unpleasant but forgettable—I was trying to hide a friend from (the authorities? some kind of security group? They were being led by my old guidance counselor from high school, anyhow) which would have been easier if said authorities was not renovating the house next door.

At one point, we thought we’d gotten away with it. We turned the lights off, opened the windows, and were looking out the window over a field, into the woods. A herd of deer came down, led by a white stag.

“It’s a white stag,” I said to my friend. “Look at that! In stories you’re supposed to try to chase them.”

The White Stag walked by my window, looked up at me, and said “So, what are you waiting for, then?”

Well, never let it be said I resisted the Call to Adventure when it smacked me upside the head.

So I climbed out the window, took the Stag by the hand—the stag was now a rather anthropomorphic creature with wild patchwork clothing, apparently being voiced by Johnny Depp—and the Stag ran, dragging me along by the hand. “Don’t let go,” he said, “and I’ll try not to forget you’re there.”

The landscape we ran through was not, I am sad to say, full of mythic resonance and symbolism. Actually, I’m pretty sure we stopped at a liquor store. But at the end, we were running through this strange city that was built into cliffs? skyscrapers? on either side of an enormous canal, and the far end, where the canal went over a waterfall, we went down into crypts and tombs and the Stag pulled me into a crypt and up a hill of jumbled sarcophagi.

We sat on top of the topmost coffin, while I panted and held onto the Stag’s elbow. “Is this how Neil Gaiman gets his ideas?” I asked, rather plaintively.

The Stag grinned. “Sure. John Stewart, too.”

“…Of course.”

“Nah. They just eat regular meals of White Stag meat.”


“Just kidding.”

And then the authorities, who now rather resembled a Shadowrun corp security force, were closing in on us. The Stag gave me clothes, kissed me on the forehead, and ran at them, drawing a very complicated sort of sword.

And the rest of the dream was a chase scene, while I ran through this strange city, which turned into sand dunes which turned into a mall and people gave me rides and I fought off giants with a riding crop and wandered into the Death Metal Office Building (everyone was dressed sort of like GWAR and there was a lot of screaming as I attempted to get to my contact in Accounting.) and it was all very complicated and nonsensical. I woke up as I was running through sand dunes cut with chaparral with the authorities right behind me.

It seems like dreams like that should have a deeper symbolic meaning, but honestly I think it abandoned any hope of that at about the point where we found the liquor store.

Originally published at Tea with the Squash God. You can comment here or there.

there was a lot of screaming as I attempted to get to my contact in Accounting

There is a whole novel just in that line, I'm sure of it.

And if Ursula wrote it, we would *allllll* read it and whine for more when it was finished. :)

My husband rarely remembers his dreams so I usually get The Look when I tell him about dreams like this one. Completely normal for me.

It seems like dreams like that should have a deeper symbolic meaning, but honestly I think it abandoned any hope of that at about the point where we found the liquor store.

Mead of Poetry? Duh! =)

The liquor store actually comes nearer to selling the Mythic Import to me, but it's possible I shouldn't chase my DeLint with Bukowski... :D

So, inquiring minds want to know - what IS the White Stag's tipple of choice?

You certainly get quality dreams.

Are you gonna draw the stag? Because I really want to see him! :)

The Death Metal Office sounds like waaay more fun than my current one. I wonder if they're hiring...

What a wonderful dream!

You have the most marvelously complete dreams. This one sounds like you co-wrote it with Terry Pratchett!

Serendipity, or Synchronicity, as this was posted one entry below yours on my LJ Feed


The Universe will be forever a cold and cruel place if you do not do a painting of this.

Very, very cool dream; I too put in a vote for an illustration, because the image of y'all among the sepulcurs sepulchurs crypt thingies on the hilltop is sort of stuck in my head.

I once had a dream after watching Jumping Jack Flash (you know, with Whoopi Goldberg in it) for the umpteenth time where she was the descendant of a line of Mayan priests and some very James Bond-ish villains kidnapped her and me and a handful of other people who were working with her in some office. We ended up flying all over the world to escape Interpol and landed eventually in Mexico and she was put in a very gold-and-feathery costume and forced to summon Quetzocoatl, the Feathered Serpent. He looked and sounded, btw, EXACTLY like Jack from the movie; there was a problem, however-- in summoning a god they had apparently summoned God With A Capital G, who could appear any way he wanted and wasn't having any of their 'We've made you manifest, now do our bidding' shit. So the villains got vanished, Quetzocoatl!God was wonderfully reassuring (Johnathan Price has the most beautiful voice on the freakin' planet) and we all ended up back where we came from. Very movie-of-the-week sort of dream, but it stayed with me for days.

The neopagan in me was *very* pleased with the idea of having the Supreme Diety show up as a hot guy in the Feathered Serpent's getup and the idea of him/her/whatever wearing any shape, so the dream was probably pretty strongly colored by this. Very fun dream, though, lots better than the bizarre Power Rangers/Avengers crossover thing I had the other night. **shudders**

I would pay for a novel length version of this dream...

I don't know about "deep" but the symbolic meaning seems obvious to me.

The White Stag is "art" or at least an artist's life. You willing chose to be an artist. And that choice has dragged you all over the country to lots of interesting places. The graveyard could be Michael DeMeng or just New Orleans.

The authorities that are constantly chasing you are deadlines. The Death Metal Office Building is the publishing industry (or the con circuit, or both) and your contact in accounting is your need to make money to live.

Overall I would say the dream means that you are feeling a bit worn out by all the traveling and harried by deadlines.

Edited at 2013-07-31 08:25 pm (UTC)

I think this interpretation plays in quite well with having the high school guidance counselor as the leader of the bad guys, although I think there might also be some Catholic guilt going on because Ursula has a job that feels like it's more play than "real work". The liquor store fits in because the legal right to drink liquor is probably the closest our modern culture has to a rite of passage.

that is a serioulsly awesome dream. and the riding crop of giant slaying? yeah, i gota remember that for a d&d game. X3