Tuesday, March 28, 2017

A Clairvoyant Dream of an Angel and a Celtic Fairy Tale

The night after I posted Is the Second Coming a Physical Event or Spiritual Event? I had a very unusual dream, which is not an ordinary one as any reader will see below. In that blog post I quoted the following passage: your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions (Joel 2:28). However, I certainly was not expecting anything like this.

For this blog post, I first wrote down the dream as is. The information that comes after the dream is the research I did only after I had written the dream down. I was very surprised at the end when I realized the dream gave me factual information I had not known about before. It is quite a puzzling mystery. I am sharing it, as it shows there is a parallel spiritual world that interacts with our lower material plane.


In the first part I am at my older house, on top of a mountain, and the base of the mountain is surrounded by a thick cloud. The cloud is unusually thick, and people begin to feel it is something supernatural, that God is hidden in the cloud, similar to how God's presence was surrounded with a cloud on Mount Sinai or in the Jewish temple. I drive a woman to the base of the mountain, and the road is blocked by a very thick cloud. She wants to pray to God at the edge of the cloud, so I leave her there. Several cars were parked at the edge of the cloud at the bottom of the mountain.

Skadi, wintry goddess and daughter of a giant

I drive back up to the house at the top of the mountain, and when I look out the window, I see the cloud has risen up to my level. Or at least a portion of it did. The thick cloud jutted out to the decks outside the window, and formed a large arm with a hand and fingers. This was interesting, I thought, its as if the cloud is trying to achieve a human form. I was beginning to think God was trying to manifest in human form and was reaching out to me.

Michelangelo's Creation of Adam

I then decide to touch the tip of the large finger of the cloud. The cloud suddenly vanishes, and in front of me stood a woman, a goddess, wearing armour. The thought conveyed to me was this was God in the cloud. My first reaction here was, God is a woman? This was such a foreign concept to my belief system, that I began to think that perhaps this dream was not from my subconscious but some other intelligence was communicating with me.

The woman "Saber" from Fate/Zero, similar to "Onin"

The woman was tall. She looks at me, and says, "My name is Onin."  Or she could have said "I am the goddess Onin." My first thought here, that can't be right, does she mean to say she is Odin? Odin was the primary god in Norse and Germanic mythology.

"Destiny" Fate/Stay Night wallpaper by srsng

This woman was very proud and dignified, and wanted to show me her beauty. She then starts thinking about taking off her armour, to show me her full beauty. She then starts to have doubts - she has pride about her beauty, but a certain female honor came upon her to not to do this. She keeps vacillating, thinking, should I show him my beauty? Then maybe not, that's inappropriate. She seems to be glad that she was able to show herself in human form, but wants to show me more. Just when she is about to overcome her female sensibility of shyness (that went against her pride of showing her beauty), someone comes from the left and interrupts our encounter. She stops as she thought we were alone.

They go outside to the deck and have some conversation. I am not sure who the other person is, but I had some vague perception it may have been my father. I go out on the deck and join them.

They talk, I do not hear, and then she turns to me. "My name is Onin, do you know who I am?" She is very proud. "Other people know me as Brutus."  Brutus?  I think that can't be right, that is a male name. I then try to remember, I begin thinking about a web site I remembered, about Celtic goddesses and fairies, and a woman had written about them and her encounters with these Celtic goddesses or fairies in visions or dreams. She reads my thoughts and said, "Yes, that's it, do you remember?"  She wanted me to remember these Celtic goddesses and fairies. I then say, "By Brutus, did you mean Bryddha?" She said "Close, you have the right idea."  I was trying to remember this name of a Celtic goddess.

[I would later find out I was trying to remember the name of the Celtic goddess Brigid. Brigid means "exalted one" and is associated with the spring season. Brigid has two other sisters named Brigid, indicating that she was a "triple deity."]

Returning to the dream, Onin was talking to this other person. Some idea came to me. I then called out to her, "Onin?"

She said "Yes?"

I then replied, "Onin, are you an angelic being?"

I could detect her thoughts, there was some disappointment but also some apprehension about answering. She knew I was beginning to figure out her identity, and that I was no longer thinking of her as God in female form. She wanted me to think that she was a goddess, as in old times. I knew that angels would sometimes portray themselves as such to worshipers, as that is the form of Divinity they expected to see. Swedenborg confirms that angels at times do adapt their appearance and identity to the belief system of worshipers. She seemed to be obligated to tell the truth.

She responded to my question: "Yes, I am." She had been enjoying this time but now she knew the mask was beginning to fall away.

So she is an angel, appearing to me in a dream. I pause a bit. I then say to her, "Onin, then that means you were once human."

At this statement she is shocked, and very surprised. She certainly did not expect me to come to that conclusion.  I had known that all angels originate from the human race (see the post The True Origin of the Angels), but this is not common knowledge.

At this point I can't see, but I feel that I am rapidly enveloped in a cloud. I feel the cloud is transporting me somewhere, very quickly, back in time. We arrive, and I open my eyes.

Before me I see Onin, who is now a young girl. We are on a dirt pathway, in the countryside, and there is a tree next to the path. I feel like we were transported back in time, perhaps centuries, or even older. This is a memory of a time when she was once human, before she achieved her angelic form.

Onin, as a girl, is different. I see that she has a little shield, and a short sword. She swings her sword a few times, showing me what she could do with it. Onin then says gleefully, "Watch what I can do with my sword!!" She then jumps at the tree, and starts hacking away at it with her sword very fiercefully. I am looking at her, and think, boy is she different, she certainly does not act like the other girls. Most of them would be picking flowers in the field.

I then say, "Wait! Let me go and grab my sword and let's have a sword fight!" I have no idea why I am saying this, perhaps I took the place of someone she once knew?

I am about to turn to go down the path and fetch my sword. I then detect she gets worried, she begins to think, there is little time left. She runs and gets in front of me, preventing me from going down the dirt path. She does not want to play sword fighting anymore. She comes up to me, very close, where I can see her face. Her eyes were not brown, perhaps hazel or a light blue. She comes up to me, and she seems that she wants me to remember her face. She gets close, and gives me a kiss. At that moment I awake.


The dream felt as if I was talking to a real person. Onin said (or implied) she was a Celtic goddess. First I wrote down the dream, then I looked up a list of Celtic goddesses and one immediately caught my attention - Olwen. I never heard of this Celtic goddess or fairy before. And this is where it starts to get very interesting.

Olwen by Alan Lee. Literature scholars believe that this Welsh story was a major influence on JRR Tolkien’s tale of Beren and LĂșthien in The Silmarillion.

Olwen first appears in the tale Culhwch and Olwen in the Mabinogion. Olwen is the daughter of the giant Ysbaddaden, who dwells in a high and unreachable castle.  Culhwch is the cousin of King Arthur who asks for her hand in marriage. However Ysbaddaden gives him a series of difficult tasks to do, for he knows he is fated to die should his daughter ever marry. Culhwch completes these tasks and returns to marry Olwen, after which Ysbaddaden dies.

Culhwch at Ysbaddaden's court

Related to this story, Olwen appears in another folktale, Einion and Olwen. A shepherd boy named Einion travels to the Otherworld where he meets Olwen, who belongs to the fairy folk. I found two versions of this story, one at The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries and another at The Shepherd and the Fairies (A Celtic Tale). The first begins as follows:
"One day when it was cloudy and misty, a shepherd boy going to the mountains lost his way and walked about for hours."
The other begins in a similar fashion:
"One autumn day long ago a young shepherd called Einion was herding his flock toward home when a heavy mist came down and cloaked the hills. In that fog, he lost his way."
This, needless to say, took me by complete surprise. In the dream, I went down and up a mountain, surrounded by a thick cloud through which one could not see. I would later be enveloped by the cloud.

Einion being led to the fairy world

Returning to the story, while lost, Einion is led by an old man to a menhir stone.
"The old man tapped it three times, and then lifted it up. A narrow path with steps descending was revealed, and from it emerged a bluish-white light."
They then pass through this portal to the "Otherworld," a world of fairy beings that look human. Einion was not allowed to speak, and he could not speak if he tried. The story then continues:
"Soon an old lady with smiles came to him leading three beautiful maidens, and when the maidens saw the shepherd boy they smiled and spoke, but he could not reply. Then one of the girls kissed him; and all at once he began to converse freely and most wittily. In the full enjoyment of the marvellous country he lived with the maidens in the palace a day and a year, not thinking it more than a day, for there was no reckoning of time in that land."
I had first tried to identify Onin with Brigid, a Celtic goddess with two sisters. Similar to Brigid, Olwen is also one of three maidens. Also surprising, in the otherworld Olwen kisses Einion just as Onin kisses me in the "cloud world" she once lived in. Once Einion was kissed by Olwen he could finally speak. Once I was kissed by Onin I was able to awake.

Returning to the story, Einion then asks the old man if he could return home, he gives permission, but Olwen who had kissed him was unwilling to let him go. He then promises her to return, and then she consents and sends him off loaded with riches. Einion returns to the upper world, but no one knew him as they believed he had been killed by another shepherd. After a while Einion returns to the Otherworld and Einion and Olwen agree to marry, but had to do so secretly and quietly as the fairy folk did not like noise. They then return to the upper world, and as the Welsh always wanted to know about people's family Einion was having trouble giving an answer for Olwen. She was so beautiful and fair, that they eventually figured out she was of the fairy folk. The two lived out their lives on a handsome estate and eventually had a son.


The dream, with minor variations, is almost completely parallel with the fairy tale of Einion and Olwen. The name "Onin" is not only similar to "Olwen," but is almost exactly the same as "Einion" (pronounced as "ahN-IY-aaN" - see How To Pronounce Einion). In the dream, "Onin" thus gave two names of herself to identify herself in each fairy story.

Now, here is the other interesting point. In older times, women used to introduce themselves using their husband's name.  Thus in the dream, the angelic being first names herself as "Onin" which is almost exactly the same as "Einion" the shepherd whom she marries. As for the other story of Olwen, according to legend, King Arthur is a descendant of Brutus, the founder of London, from which Britain gets its name. Once Olwen married Culhwch, the cousin of King Arthur, Olwen in this story intermarries with the family of Brutus. Recall that in the dream, Onin said her other name was BrutusThis is totally foreign to modern women of our time. For a discussion on this older custom, see Women introduce themselves using husband's name and surname. In more ancient times they did not have surnames.

In the dream, where we were transported back in time, Onin starts to hack away at a tree which I thought was so utterly strange. I later found this gem of information from Medieval Knights - Sword Training:

Description of Sword Training called Pell Training
The weapons practice during the Medieval times included Pell Training specifically used for sword training. The description of Pell Training provides basic facts and information about the device as follows:
  • The Pell - used as a target weapon by a knight when practicing with the sword
  • Description - The Pell consisted of a wooden post which was planted firmly in the ground
  • The origins of the pell was a simple tree trunk
  • The knight would practise striking his sword against the pell target...
  • Effective Pell training required knights and other men-at-arms to take sword practice and sword training extremely seriously. The Pell was attacked as if it were a real opponent. Sword training demanded hours of practice to increase skills, strength and agility
  • Rigorous and regular sword training on the Pell resulted in precision, focus, and force
So there you have it. Knights would practice their sword fighting skills against a "pell" which was a wooden post, but this wooden post in more ancient times was originally a simple tree trunk. In the dream I was rather surprised at how Onin quickly moved to attack a tree; she was very serious and eagerly showing me her skills with the sword. 


The correlation between the dream and the tale of Einion and Olwen is striking, to say the least. Most dreams come from our own subconscious, where we play out our fears or worries, but others have a spiritual origin. In this dream, an angel appears who has a name very similar to a name in a Celtic fairy tale which is parallel to the contents of the dream. I had never heard of these fairy stories regarding Olwen until now. Swedenborg does confirm that some dreams do originate from angels or spirits, who draw out of the person's mind things of interest in order to communicate (see Heavenly Arcana, n. 1976). In this they find much enjoyment:
"They enter upon this duty with the greatest delight, so that there is rivalry among them as to who shall attend, and they love to affect the man with the enjoyable and delightful things which they see in his affection and genius." (Heavenly Arcana, n. 1977.2)
The dream may be based in part to the post Is the Second Coming a Physical Event or Spiritual Event? where I had discussed visions and dreams as a means of revelation, as well as the meaning of mountains and clouds. However the dream seems to be more related to the Celtic fairy tale of Olwen, and it includes new and different information that certainly was not in my thoughts. 

According to the fairy tale, I am now in the "upper world" of humans but at some point I am supposed to return to the "otherworld" and meet Onin.  Then again, perhaps the fairy tale of Olwen is another "mask" to hide her identity. It is quite a mystery.

I tried to find images similar to the one of the woman in the dream, best I could find was that of "Saber" from the anime series Fate/Zero. Saber was summoned as an angelic warrior from the past, who has a similar personality to Onin, and also has a background related to Olwen.

Fate Zero wallpaper by Martin Driver, from Wallpaper Safari

1 comment:

  1. For further clarification of this dream (which I did not completely understand when I wrote it), see the follow up post An Angelic Visitation at Death and a Funeral


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