I was given an ancient site to take care of and protect. It was in a mountainous region (but not very tall mountains). I climbed up to see the sights that the ancients before me had seen. I saw up there several masks that marked the ancients placed on the ground like headstones. While on the mountain, I became overcome with panic. I couldn't do this. Although what "this" was I couldn't fathom. I stopped at one of the masks and asked the ancients for help to do what must be done.
The different meanings which have been attached to the symbolism of the mountain stem not so much from any inherent multiplicity as from the
various implications of each of its component elements: its height, verticality,
mass and shape. Deriving from the first idea (height) are interpretations such as
that of Teillard, who equates the mountain with inner ‘loftiness’ of spirit (56),
that is, transposing the notion of ascent to the realm of the spirit. In alchemy, on
the other hand, the reference is nearly always to the hollow mountain, the hollow
being a cavern which is the ‘philosophers’ oven’. The vertical axis of the mountain drawn from its peak down to its base links it with the world-axis, and,
anatomically, with the spinal column. Because of its grandiose proportions, the
mountain came to symbolize, for the Chinese, the greatness and generosity of the
Emperor; it is the fourth of the twelve imperial emblems (5). But the profoundest
symbolism is one that imparts a sacred character by uniting the concept of mass,
as an expression of being, with the idea of verticality. As in the case of the cross
or the Cosmic Tree, the location of this mountain is at the ‘Centre’ of the world.
This same profound significance is common to almost all traditions: suffice it to
recall mount Meru of the Hindus, the Haraberezaiti of the Iranians, Tabor of the
Israelites, Himingbjör of the Germanic peoples, to mention only a few. Furthermore, the temple-mountains such as Borobudur, the Mesopotamian ziggurats or
the pre-Columbian teocallis are all built after the pattern of this symbol. Seen
from above, the mountain grows gradually wider, and in this respect it corresponds to the inverted tree whose roots grow up towards heaven while its foliage
points downwards, thereby expressing multiplicity, the universe in expansion,
involution and materialization. This is why Eliade says that ‘the peak of the
cosmic mountain is not only the highest point on earth, it is also the earth’s navel,
the point where creation had its beginning’—the root (18). The mystic sense of
the peak also comes from the fact that it is the point of contact between heaven
and earth, or the centre through which the world-axis passes, binding the three
levels together. It is, incidentally, also the focal point of Inversion—the point of
intersection of the immense St. Andrew’s cross, which expresses the relationship
between the different worlds. Other sacred mountains are Sumeru of the UralAltaic peoples (17) and Caf in Moslem mythology—a huge mountain the base of which is formed by a single emerald called Sakhrat (8). Mount Meru is said to be
of gold and located at the North Pole (8), thus underlining the idea of the Centre
and, in particular, linking it with the Pole Star—the ‘hole’ through which all things
temporal and spatial must pass in order to divest themselves of their worldly
characteristics. This polar mountain is also to be found in other symbolic traditions, always bearing the same symbolism of the world-axis (25); its mythic
characteristics were, in all probability, based upon the fixed position of the Pole
Star. It is also called the ‘white mountain’, in which case it embraces both the
basic mountain-symbolism with all the implications outlined above and that of
the colour white (intelligence and purity). This was the predominating characteristic of Mount Olympus (49), the supreme, celestial mountain which Schneider
sees as corresponding to Jupiter and equivalent to the principle of the number
one. There is another mountain, relevant to the symbolism of the number two,
and that is the mountain of Mars and Janus—that is, as the Gemini; basically,
they represent two different aspects of the same mountain, but blending together
the symbolism of the ‘two worlds’ of Atma and Buddhi, or the two essential,
rhythmic aspects of manifest creation—light and darkness, life and death, immortality and mortality. This mountain has two peaks, in order to give visual expression to its dual or ambivalent meaning. It occurs constantly in traditional, megalithic culture, particularly in the form of a landscape, illustrating yet again the
Protean myth of the Gemini, which bursts out in so many different forms in
primitive thought and art. This mountain is also a form of mandorla consisting of
the intersection of the circle of the heavens with that of the earth, and this
mandorla is, as it were, the crucible of life, containing the opposite poles of life
(good and bad, love and hate, fidelity and treachery, affirmation and negation, the
numbers 2 and 11—both equal to one plus one—and finally construction and
destruction). Incidentally, the animals which correspond to this all-embracing
significance of the mandorla are the whale and the shark (51). In Hindu legend, the
castle of Indra was built on this mountain; whereas in Roman legend it was the
castle of Mars, and the home of the thunderbolt, the two-headed eagle and the
Gemini. It has been called the ‘mountain of stone’ and is at once the abode of the
living (the exterior of the mountain) and of the dead (the hollow interior) (50).
Krappe has borne this out with the observation that ‘The interior of a mountain
has frequently been taken as the location of the Land of the Dead: the derivation
of the Celtic and Irish fairy-hills, and of the legend, widespread in Asia and
Europe, of a demiurge or hero asleep inside a mountain, one day to emerge and
renew all things sublunar’ (35). This myth has obvious connexions with the myth
of Entanglement—of the castle inextricably entangled in a wood and also with the story of the ‘Sleeping Beauty’. All such myths are concerned with the mystery of
a disappearance between appearance and reappearance. Schneider lists the following trades and professions as being associated with Mars: those of the king,
physician, warrior and miner, as well as the martyr (51). In Western tradition, the
mountain-symbol appears in the legend of the Grail, as Montsalvat (the ‘mountain of salvation’ or ‘of health’)—just as much a ‘polar mountain’ as it is a ‘sacred
island’, according to Guénon; but always it is inaccessible or difficult to find (like
the ‘centre’ of the labyrinth) (28). In general, the mountain, the hill and the
mountain-top are all associated with the idea of meditation, spiritual elevation
and the communion of the blessed. In mediaeval emblems, the symbolism of the
‘mountain of salvation’ is further defined by a complementary figure surmounting it, such as the fleur-de-lis, the star, the lunar crescent, the cross, steps, the
crown, the circle, the triangle, or the number three. The letter Z sometimes occurs,
standing for Zion; similarly, an R is short for Regeneratio (4). Some of these
symbols have lent themselves to a poetic treatment that is well worth examination. From the moment when the mountain, so to speak, divests itself of its
terrestrial and material character and becomes the image of an idea, the more
numerous the component elements pertaining to this idea, the greater will be its
clarity and force. Hence, mount Meru of India is considered to have the shape of
a pure, seven-sided pyramid (corresponding to the seven planetary spheres, the
seven essential virtues and the seven Directions of space) and each face has one of
the colours of the rainbow. Seen as a whole, the mountain is a shining white, by
which token it may be equated with the ‘polar mountain’ and the all-embracing
image of totality (also symbolized by the pyramid-symbol), tending towards
Oneness (symbolized by the peak)—to avail ourselves of the concepts of Nicholas of Cusa.
For a young woman to dream of crossing a mountain in company with her cousin and dead brother, who was smiling, denotes she will have a distinctive change in her life for the better, but there are warnings against allurements and deceitfulness of friends. If she becomes exhausted and refuses to go further, she will be slightly disappointed in not gaining quite so exalted a position as was hoped for by her.
If you ascend a mountain in your dreams, and the way is pleasant and verdant, you will rise swiftly to wealth and prominence. If the mountain is rugged, and you fail to reach the top, you may expect reverses in your life, and should strive to overcome all weakness in your nature. To awaken when you are at a dangerous point in ascending, denotes that you will find affairs taking a flattering turn when they appear gloomy.
Seeing mountains in your dream means many major obstacles and challenges that you have to overcome. If you are on top of the mountain, then it means that you have achieved and realized your goals. Alternatively, mountains indicates a higher realm of consciousness, knowledge, and spiritual truth. Dreaming that you are climbing a mountain means your determination and ambition. Dreaming that you fall off a mountain, suggests that you are in a hurry to succeed without thoroughly thinking about your path to success. It also means that you have a tendency to give up or escape from demanding situations.
Climbing a real mountain is not always fun but it usually challenging and rewarding. Some say that the mountain may represent spirituality while others suggest mental development and self-awareness. The most literal interpretation of climbing a mountain is that it represents attainment of goals. If you are ascending a mountain you may be are working hard and trying to accomplish your goals, whether they are spiritual, emotional, or material.
To dream that you are on the ground, represents your foundation and support system. It is also the boundary between your conscious and unconscious. You may be getting closer in confronting and acknowledging your unconscious thoughts. The dream may be a pun on being well-grounded and down to earth or that you have been grounded. Perhaps you are feeling restricted in some aspects of your life.
Dreaming that you are on the ground, represents your foundation and support system. It is also the boundary between your conscious and unconscious. You may be getting closer in confronting and acknowledging your unconscious thoughts. The dream may be a pun on being well-grounded and down to earth. It may also be a pun on being grounded. Perhaps you are feeling restricted in some aspects of your life.
To see mountains in your dream, signify many major obstacles and challenges that you have to overcome. If you are on top of the mountain, then it indicates that you have achieved and realized your goals. You have recognized your full potential. Alternatively, mountains denote a higher realm of consciousness, knowledge, and spiritual truth.
To dream that you are climbing a mountain, signifies your determination and ambition.
To dream that you fall off a mountain, refers to your rush to succeed without thoroughly thinking about your path to success. Perhaps you are being pushed upward into a direction that you do not want to go or that you are not ready for. Falling off a mountain also means that you have a tendency to give up too easily or escape from demanding situations. You take the easy way out.
To dream that you are taller than someone, indicates that you may be looking down on that person. You feel that you are above him or her. Alternatively, the dream represents authority and pride.
To dream that others are taller than you, suggests that you have a tendency to overlook things. Perhaps you feel that a higher power is always looking over you and judging your actions. Alternatively, the dream denotes low self-esteem issues. You are looking down on yourself.
Dreaming that you are taller than someone indicates that you may be looking down on that person. You may feel that you are now above him or her. Alternatively, it represents authority and pride. Dreaming that others are taller than you, suggests that you may have a tendency to overlook things. Perhaps you feel that a higher power is always looking over you and judging your actions.