Dream #7: Sweet Mortician and Silver Tree

Dear Billy,

Dreamed that I was with my mother and a sweet female preacher who was also a mortician. My grandmother had died and the preacher lady was going to embalm her. But they wanted me to lie down in the table as a kind of practice. I said sure — I thought it was more about breaking in table, practicing marking where the cuts and injections would go. But it was worse than that. They gave me something that made me numb, and then they rummaged around at my crotch until they found my femoral artery to open up and tie off. Then they injected me with formalin, the embalming fluid. I felt heavy all over, like I was going to die. They told me that was normal — that I would be fine. Then they punctured me in the abdomen with a metal rod (like they do to let the decomposition gases out). I got angry. I was slurred and slow, but I still got up. I told them this wasn’t what I signed up for, and that I needed to be totally unconscious to do this. The lady preacher pulled a bottle of American honey whiskey from the fridge. I drank several large swigs, but I still wouldn’t go down. I got up off the table and railed at them — this is not okay! How could they do this to me! I was so angry. I walked off and paced around even though I was drunk and my legs were numb. 

— Dead Drunk

Billy replies:  Billy notes a feeling of partial numbness throughout this dream, which is often linked to feelings of fear in your waking life.  What fears are holding you back? The person conducting this operation, the mortician, is likely an unworthy or envious friend — this preacher, however sweet, does not have your best interests at heart. Your drunkenness speaks to feelings of discontentment with your current situation, and your anger points to dangerous enemies or treacherous friends. Billy is impressed at your knowledge of the mechanics of embalming and death; this is a very accurate dream. You were once willing to go through suffering — unto the experience of living death — if it would help those you love. You have been misled about the pain involved in this transformation. You are right to feel angry and betrayed, but take care now, as the numbness wears off: both whiskey and embalming fluid point to trouble or death. Find something else to drink. Billy knows you can.

Dear Billy,

Dreamed I was with my parents on a long lonely road. We came upon a beautiful old house with peeling paint, and a beautiful old oak tree. There was nothing around but rolling hills and grass. There was an advertisement sign that said, “I am being torn down, but apartments are coming!” The bulldozers showed up just as I was taking beautiful pictures to remember it. I cried. My dad started writing a check to try to save it, but I knew he couldn’t. I climbed through the branches of the silvery oak tree that had been torn down and splintered, trying to choose a small one to keep, to remember it by.

— Homeless


Billy replies: Roads stand in for prosperity and success; a new home is around the corner, and you will live in it for a good, long time. The age of the tree and the house are both good luck omens, and the long road and rolling hills and grasses are also good signs, pointing toward future tranquility. You are in a moment of restructuring your life; your previous "home," while beautiful, is too old to continue to sustain you. You clearly feel misgivings about this change, though; you fear that the apartments to come will be smaller, without the charms of this place, this tree. It is no small loss.  Billy thinks that your impulse is a good one: take pictures, and find a small, lovely piece of this old life you can keep in your pocket. Beware, though, as silver is the color of trouble and disappointment. If, in carrying this branch, you find that its presence harms you, set it gently down on the side of the road.