The People That Never Sleep

celtic spirituality story

In the tale of King Cormac and King Conn it is said that those who are born with a strong connection to the Ocean do not sleep well while on land. In fact, those who are magically empowered by the Ocean may never sleep at all, as was the case of King Conn. The sound of the waves filled his mind, leaving room for little else.
When we don’t dream, waking life becomes a dream. Conn’s day-dream was a dark one of deprivation, it permeated his kingdom and created suffering for all his people and the land itself. Until he made peace with his other side, the Otter in him that was deeply connected to the Ocean, he existed in a gray limbo that infused all around him with a withering sorrow.
I understand how the Ocean may be the Mother of all our dreams. When I’m submerged beneath the waves, rocked in her great body, I feel as if the world of dreams is surrounding me. If I turn just the right way, at the right moment, the veils will drop and I’ll soar into the limitless terrain of Dreamtime. Perhaps to live in the Ocean is to never need sleep – for you are a part of that which is ecstatic and essential.

The waking world can become a place of horrors for those of us who cannot sleep peacefully. A recent Rolling Stone article,  “Kill Team”, details the nightmare journey a group of US soldiers took which led them ultimately into a world where murdering children, clerics, and elders was the right thing to do.
Their waking nightmare was woven together by many people, over many years, with a few ring leaders making the final stitches necessary to turn insanity into reality. It was not the overwhelming sound of the Ocean filling their minds, but the murderous din of warfare that drove them. No human being can endure such cacophony unharmed.
Like Cormac and Conn it is a tale of life out of balance, of a need to awaken from a bizarre illusion. Balance is restored when Conn’s head is removed, and the rightful heir to the thrown ascends. Tom Cowan teaches about this theme in Celtic lore, he’s developed some sacred work called “The Beheading Game”, which I wrote about some time ago: The Beheading Game – of Suffering and Sovereignty. He’s discovered a magical way of restoring wellness by cutting off that which is ill and allowing it to be remade.
When we lose our Sovereignty we bring illness to every aspect of our lives. Sovereignty is not only our sense of empowerment/personal authority, its our connection to life. Ultimately it is the experience of moving through life in harmony with the Earth. Loss of Sovereignty leaves us vulnerable to illness and mental instability. We would not make the wars we make if we hadn’t already lost our true Sovereignty as a people.
The Kill Team’s nightmare is really our nightmare, the waking dream of a people disconnected from an authentic source of nourishment in life. We chase after oil reserves in far flung places, putting our children and the children of people we’ve never even met in harms way. We are a nation that cannot dream, cannot rest, cannot find its center of peace. We are in a gray limbo where everything can only deteriorate.
How are we to find our healing? Who will be our champion – beheading the illness and restoring Sovereignty to all? Conn first must awaken from the illusion of his Royal ancestry. He is not the son a human king, but in fact the son of the Otter King. Shaking off his illusion he can finally return to the Ocean where he sleeps for the first time. While he sleeps he’s beheaded, serving as the necessary sacrifice to return harmony to all.
What illusion is it that we must awaken from? What throne are we pretenders to? We’ll know the truth when we awaken to our other nature, the one we’ve been hiding from while decline permeates the land. It will allow us to sleep peacefully again, to dream the dreams we need to have to stay sane. It will allow abundance to return to the people again, and our sons and daughters to return from the insanity of war.

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