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What is life like when you have direct experience with the Goddess? How does your life change when you are contacted by Isis or Freyja or Artemis? Goddess Encounters explores the world through a mystic's eyes.

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I Dreamed a Dream

In a Wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
Dreaming as the summers die:

Ever drifting down the stream—
Lingering in the golden gleam—
Life, what is it but a dream?
—from “A Boat, Beneath a Sunny Sky” by Lewis Carroll

When I was a child, I had dreams. Lots of them. Run of the mill dreams, fantastical dreams, spy dreams (one of my favorites), and day dreams. There were the flying dreams, dreams where I soared over Egyptian pyramids and thick, darkly lit forests. A few times I had fun zooming around with Peter Pan. And there was one dream where I realized I was dreaming and decided to attempt things that are somewhat more difficult in waking life, such as levitating myself and various objects. While lucidly dreaming, I also decided it would be a cool idea to walk through my wall. It was cool. The grass outside was black-green and barely visible, but the night sky glittered with a few starry jewels, illuminating the tree and slope of the hill in our front yard, where my bedroom faced. I still remember some of these quite clearly and look back with fondness and sometimes yearning, particularly for the flying dreams. A certain few of my dreams, however, have left indelible marks on my life. A certain few have led me to the Goddess.

When I was a little girl, I was what you might call a "natural Pagan." Whether spending my days playing outside or reading inside, I did things a little differently. I gathered various flowers and plants and mashed them up in a self-constructed mortar to see what textures they held and what colors were birthed from their combinations. I reenacted fairy tales, alone and with friends, being especially fascinated by those stories with creatures of legend—mermaids, unicorns, faeries, and elves. Some of the first books I read at an adult level, when my reading quickly surpassed picture books, were about psychism, reincarnation, and astrology. From about the age of 8 or 9, I started devouring information on astrology (and numerology) and began to seriously study the stars. I was also lucky enough to have access to a computer early in life and cherished my time on our Commodore 64. One of the first computer programs I ever owned was astrology software. It let you construct and store charts and contemplate its limited interpretations to your heart’s delight.

I'm not exactly sure how or why I became interested in such esoteric topics so young; I hardly remember a time when I wasn't. They say Neptune and Pisces are the natural rulers of dreaming, mysticism, and fantasy, so in this way, I’m completely within type. (Yes, I’m a Fish, and Neptune falls in my first house.) It all felt so natural to me, and I have never been one prone to doubt when it comes to the validity of my inner knowing and vision. So when I started dreaming of Isis and other Gods, I knew there had to be something there waiting for me.

I first remember being aware of Her when I dreamt of what I now believe to be a previous lifetime in the Temple of Isis at Pompeii. (How did I know where I was? How do you know you’re in your own backyard or childhood home? Visual markers and familiarity… and I just “knew.”) I was resting on a couch, somewhere in the non-public areas of the temple, when I felt the walls shake slightly. The air had become thick, and I jolted up with a start. “It’s another earthquake!” I thought, and proceeded to grab as many sistra and other sacred items as I could carry. I was running, panicking, and I remember feeling that these religious objects were of extreme importance and must be saved. I reached the entrance way and halted between the columns; what I saw horrified me. I took a step out to continue fleeing, but the dream stops there.

Years later, in 9th grade Latin class, I would read about the priests and priestesses of Pompeii who died trying to save their Isian sacred objects during the eruption of Vesuvius. I would be haunted by the photographs in our text of the ash-preserved husks on the temple steps and lining the streets —even their corpses were ghosts. Was one of those long-deserted shells in the pictures me? Of course, there’s no way to know for certain, but looking at the photos always felt like looking into my own, occupied grave.

Despite this somewhat disastrous end to a previous life, threads from it continue to weave themselves around and through my current one. The feelings I have for Isis as my matron Goddess, as my conception of The Goddess, emanate from far back into childhood, farther back perhaps than even this dream. I remember being entranced by hieroglyphics and pictures of ancient Egyptian temples and pyramids during elementary school, when I found a huge coffee table-type book in the school library. I remember reading the dictionary for pleasure and collecting baby name books—not because I wanted to be a “mommy,” but because I was obsessed with word origins, particularly those with Latin and Greek roots. Etymology is still a favorite pastime. I studied Latin and French in middle and high school and became a Classics major in college. My aim was to become an archaeologist and study, in depth and in person, the world I’d experienced in previous lives and in dreams.

Life took some unexpected turns, and I am neither an archaeologist nor have I (yet) made the pilgrimage back to Pompeii. But Isis is a divine and sacred constant, and my devotion to and relationship with Her has only grown throughout the years. I hope to share with you some more of my experiences of Isis as well as other Goddesses, more dreams and visions, ruminations, and divinations here on PaganSquare.

Blessings of the Goddess upon you!

Have you ever experienced a deity in a dream? What about a recollection of a previous life?

Photo of Kalyca for blog by Tolley Photo.

Last modified on
Kalyca Schultz is a mystic witch, astrology aficionado, Anglophile, and librarian. She has previously studied both mediumship in a spiritualist church and the Old Religion with a daughter coven of Foxwood TOR. Her main pantheon is Graeco-Egyptian, although she was honored recently to be contacted by Freyja, for whom she has much reverence. She is a longtime member of the Fellowship of Isis.


  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Saturday, 14 September 2013

    Kalyca, Interesting. Over the years, many (many!) pagans have told me their personal story as a pagan mystic—e.g., they saw Faeries when a child, explored complex Mysteries in adolescence, found a patron deity when studying anthropology...and so on, with a tale similar to yours, not in its details but in its general picture. Most of these wonderful people told me their story nervously, because they felt they might be bizarre. Or they felt they were the only one who'd had such experiences and, therefore, feared ridicule. Many of them had already been made to feel bad about it.

    Some of their hurt was caused by mainstream influences that denied the existence of another world. And, sadly enough, some of the hurt was caused by fundie pagans who, for misguided reasons, told them the perceptions they'd gathered over a lifetime were not "correct." They turned to me bc i am a teacher, and i am glad i was able to help them honor, trust, and build on their history.

    After hearing this sort of tale over and over for decades, there is no question in my mind that your post will help many (many!) readers, because they will see they are not alone. That is so important!

    PS, I am FOI, and a longtime initiate of Olivia and Robert.

  • Kalyca Schultz
    Kalyca Schultz Monday, 16 September 2013

    Francesca, merry meet! And thank you! I would love it if anything I share here helps someone to know they are not alone, they are not weird (in a bad way--weird can be good!), and that their experiences are valid. Trusting yourself and your personal experiences, while maintaining a certain level of critical thought, discernment, and integrity, can be one of the most difficult things to balance for those of us on the mystic's pathway. Thankfully, my own Sag. ascendant kept me happily forging ahead my own way, sometimes idealistically, sometimes clumsily, but always honestly and enthusiastically!

    A huge goal of mine is to delve deeper into the mysteries and become more actively involved with the FOI. I joined when I was 18 and have read and followed Olivia's work since, but have recently begun feeling pulled towards priestesshood more and more...

  • Francesca De Grandis
    Francesca De Grandis Monday, 16 September 2013

    Rock on!

  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham Tuesday, 17 September 2013

    Lovely - thank you. I was lucky growing up as a mystic child to have folk around who affirmed, rather than disparaged, my reality. May we all continue to help the next generations. Blessings on your wonderful writing and sharing.

  • Kalyca Schultz
    Kalyca Schultz Wednesday, 13 November 2013

    Thank you, Lizann! I just saw that I missed your post ostensibly about feet (?)! As a typical Pisces, I will ramble on over now to read it. :) Blessings to you and yours.

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