It began when I was in some sort of environment with what seemed to be a Palestinian sheikh. I remember sitting with him in an area that seemed to be enclosed by a small garden wall. The sense seemed to be that it was my duty to accompany him somewhere, as if to guide him through an area with which he might not be familiar or where he might not be entirely safe.
To my left I saw what appeared to be a small room in the form of a human head carved out of stone. People were entering and exiting the head, and I noticed that its "neck" was flexing as they did so, causing the head to jiggle slightly. It appeared, however, as if the neck were firmly attached to the rock to which it was joined. Someone called attention to the beautiful designs on the side of the head, which had been "discovered" and restored by some Western scholar or explorer.
The next thing I remember was that I was climbing up what appeared to be the side of a Mayan temple. The stairs extended across the length of the side I was climbing up and were rather shallow, but I climbed with effort, as if anticipating a painful or potentially fatal transformation as I approached the top of the stairs.
As I came closer to the top of the stairs I became aware that I would be required to swallow fire (!) and was not sure that I wanted to, or that I could do it safely. A fire in the center, at the top of the stairs, blazed up quickly and entered my mouth. I cried out, anticipating pain. As I cried out, I noticed that the fire had been replaced by a black stone foot, on the side of which appeared a mantric syllable. I began to cry out, using this syllable: "REEM, REEM, REEM!" Soon I noticed that the fire had settled safely into my heart area, where it cooled down quickly to form a soothing, clarifying glow.
At that point I woke up.
As I reflect on the dream, I see that there is a structure to it. First, people are entering and exiting a stone head and I am in the presence of an external spiritual guide (the sheikh), although there is a sense that I am supposed to guide him somewhere. In the next scene, fire is entering my mouth and there is no external spiritual guide present, except in the form of the temple and the stone foot with the mantra inscribed on it.
Even in the dream I did not recognize the syllable as one I had heard or spoken before, but I did notice that it resembled both HREEM and KREEM, which are both common mantric bijas (seed syllables) and are both associated somewhat ambiguously with male and female deities. REEM, of course, is a sound common to both of them.
I have heard it said that HREEM is associated with Shiva and that KREEM is associated with Kali. A brief internet search turned up an article by David Frawley in which he associates HREEM with Maya (Goddess in her capacity of covering the "Real" with a veil of delusion, and thus keeping us engaged with the phenomenal world) and with the Sun. He associates KREEM with Kali and with Indra (in the form of the Divine Lightning). This symbolism seems compatible with the images in the dream.
The image of fire settling as a soothing presence in the heart may be related to my most recent Rosen session, where we explored the sense that my back muscles are normally so tightly gripped around my spine in the center of my back that they are rarely available to work with the chest muscles in supporting and cradling my heart. Instead, it seems as if there is a felt need to seek safety by gathering a tremendous amount of energy behind the heart and solar plexus, as if trying to protect them from some kind of threat (and thereby making myself seem small and "invisible" at the same time). Consequently, the muscles on the back and on the front of my torso have difficulty letting go and being supported by gravity, and strain is placed on the back muscles that join to the pelvis (sacral area) and to the base of the skull (throat or vishuddha chakra).
Toward the end of the Rosen session there was a sense of relaxation in which the heart was able to "float" in a supported space effortlessly, and the image I had was of a full moon with wispy clouds moving in front of it. I realized almost immediately that this was a typically Shaivite image.
Om Hrim Namah Shivaya
Om Krim Kalyai Namaha