The Message of Goddess Fortuna

I live a life of devotion. I love my Gods. Sometimes they talk to me in my dreams.  Since today is a very auspicious day, dated 12-13-14, I thought it appropriate to finally post a dream conversation I had with the Goddess Fortuna.  This is a re-post from my old Mindsay blog.  So posting this again, I hope, will bring you a great message, and us both wonderful luck.  Enjoy!

On the night of September 3rd 2009, I dreamed about the Roman Goddess Fortune (also known as Dame Fortuna).  The following is posted directly from my private handwritten dream journal.

“I am not Lady Luck,” she smiled, dressed in jewel encrusted red velvet and gold (as if she just stepped out of an Italian Renaissance painting) her hair colored amber honey, tied up in braids with ribbons of gold — real gold that shimmered like tinsel. Looking at her… she seemed ablaze with that gleam of gold, so gold it blurred my vision. When she talked to me, she was hard at work in, of all places, a modern morgue (or mortuary, it kept changing from today to ancient and back again) yet all the while, between the flickering back and forth of time, shifting of places, Fortuna’s golden aura made the room warm and comfortable. She was attending to the bodies — unzipping the body bags and decorating the dead with flowers, jewels, chains of gold, scented oil, rose petals… it was easy to breathe in the thick scent of myrrh, gardenia, roses, musk, incense…

“I am FORTUNE,” she sighed lovingly, firmly while placing daisies over the eyes of a dead man, “I am there at the end of life, but I am no nurse. I am the one with the job of making sure the lost and unknown receive a proper funeral — especially when there is no money or living people around to bid farewell to these souls. This is what you need to tell people, Valentina.”

She gave me a serious down-to-business look that sent a shiver through me.

“When a person — no matter what their significance when alive — passes from body to spirit without a funeral, it is as if they never existed. No one acknowledges that they lived. But this is not their fault. Death came to them inconveniently. It happens. However, it can be remedied. They do not have to pass into the next life without someone knowing who they were. Gods like me, we do not miss them. We grant these unknowns grace and peace — their bodies, their faces, their names, all these things stay a mystery to you, but we know them. This is perhaps the most important thing I do, providing a funeral when there was none.”

She paused while scattering more rose petals over the severely battered body of a woman. The woman is dark-skinned and Fortune’s light makes her broken corpse seem like a liquid black gold. Fortune’s eyes are moist with sad recognition. She briefly touched the dead woman’s head and the face reconstructs, glowing with Fortune’s golden aura so bright. “This one was stolen from her destiny, and enslaved by men. Her fate was entangled by money — as long as her body provided pleasure she made it with great ease, but the gold she earned never went to her. She could not own herself. In order to escape, she had to die. Her family does not know she died. She was beaten so badly, and on purpose, so no one can identify her. But I know her. See how beautiful she is? Death is kind to those who have suffered. Keep that in mind.”

I follow her as she moves on attend to other battered bodies, repairing them in death, touching and decorating each carefully.  I notice that behind her there rages a great, fiery furnace. There are two men completely clothed in black.  Completely void of any identity, they move like shadows, they are covered in a kind of opaque chiffon, wrapped up like mummies or ninjas, strips of the strange cloth cover every inch of their skin, it seems they are nothing but this fabric — without body and soul. Fortuna notices I’m disturbed by their presence.

“You see my workers?” She winks and smiles. “Pay them no mind. It is their fortune to carry the dead. They who kill cannot rise again to life until they answer for the burden of murder. Keep this also in your mind — write it down — share this — this is the killer’s burden. Murder is heavy on the soul. You cannot escape the fortune you take. Tell as many as possible. This should not occur anymore. People must know. Share what Fortune is telling you, Valentina, and your fortune will be assured.”

When I’m about to express some self-doubt, my thoughts are laid wide open for I stand before a goddess and she knows all. “Just do this, Valentina! You will see I will not forget you. You will prosper. This is not a fiction. Gold will follow these words.”

She says this as her workers, these shadow men, stir up the coals of the furnace. Quickly, they zip the dead back into their bags, some bodies into old-fashioned sacks, and one by one, the bodies’ are placed into the furnace like they are backing bread, beginning to melt into black puddles and then, without smoke, they disappear. When gone, there is no mess, no residue, no trace of them left behind. As the last body disappears, this place of death becomes cold and silver.

Funny how I associate “silver” with cold…

Dame Fortune blows me a kiss and sends me back to bed. Her voice is still in my head.

“I will reward you for following my wishes,” She said.

So let this be shared.  Let it be passed along.  May Fortune’s words of gold also be yours.

Thank you, Fortune, thank you.

**This dream was very important to me because, in the following year, my mother died, and it helped prepare me, in an unexpected way, for that life-changing event.  I began to understand more about life and death, yet also went through a series of emotional upheavals, that, I always discover, lead to breakthroughs (often our break-downs are breakthroughs in disguise).  Immediately after my mother’s death, when her body was sent away for cremation, I watched the documentary A Certain Kind of Death (about what happens to the dead with no next of kin), and not only was I reminded of this dream, that film brought me relief from my worries about what happens to bodies after they die. It’s the side of “fortune” we rarely examine — who will care for the physical parts of who we were after we’re gone, and will someone respect us when we’re dead? From what I saw in A Certain Kind of Death, even the unclaimed dead are treated with respect, a sobering prospect to ponder. One of my fears was dying alone and undiscovered like those stories you hear about in the news every now and then — no one wants to be known someday only as “that person” who died in a horrible circumstance where no one cared, or know someone who died alone undiscovered for a long while…  I truly believe the gods don’t forget us.**

The following is a list of the many aspects of this gracious goddess. Call upon any of her names below to ensure good fortune (derived from the page on Fortuna at Wikipedia:

Fortuna Annonaria brings the luck of the harvest
Fortuna Belli is the fortune of war
Fortuna Primigenia directs the fortune of a firstborn child at the moment of birth
Fortuna Virilis attends a man’s career, celebrated only by women
Fortuna Redux brings you safely home
Fortuna Respiciens — She is the fortune of the provider
Fortuna Muliebris is the luck of a woman (of note is the fortune of a woman in marriage was also Fortuna Virilis, tied to her husband’s career)
Fortuna Victrix brings victory in battle 
Fortuna Augusta is the fortune of the emperor
Fortuna Balnearis brings the fortune of the baths
Fortuna Conservatrix the fortune of the Preserver
Fortuna Equestris fortune of the Knights
Fortuna Huiusque Diei fortune of the present day
Fortuna Obsequens fortune of indulgence
Fortuna Privata fortune of the private individual
Fortuna Publica fortune of the people
Fortuna Romana fortune of Rome
Fortuna Virgo fortune of the virgin
Also something to note:
Pars Fortuna is your Lots of Fortune, or Part of Fortune; “time of birth” determining your fate that are calculated by the three degrees/angles of the major cosmic bodies that make up your Astrological natal chart — your Rising Sign (Ascendant), Moon, and Sun.

As you can see, the Goddess Fortuna, or Fortune, is incredibly involved in all aspects of life. The name Fortuna finds its root in the Latin fero, meaning “to bring, win, receive, or get”, hence why she was later associated with gambling luck. She was a very popular goddess in Ancient Rome, and today She is actively worshiped by Pagans, Witches, and many polytheists.

Awesome pages about the Goddess Fortuna and the people who worship Her:
The Obscure Goddess Online Directory: FORTUNA
Temple of the Goddess Fortuna
A Rite to Fortuna — Mirror of Isis, A Fellowship of Isis Publication

An art installment by Dawn DeDEAUX using imagery that is very close to my dream, so close it frightened me when I discovered it online: The Goddess Fortuna and Her Subjects In an Effort to Make Sense of it All — however it is a statement about

Broken Sword Nightmare

I had a nightmare last night and it has left me shaking all day long, so much so, I’ve made extra efforts to calm myself today. In it, a friend of mine, and several others, treated me not-so-friendly. Hence why I filed this dream into the nightmare category. The dream may only be a product of my paranoia and an anxiousness to hear from my friends again. I do not think they realize how much the internet is my only source of communication with them. Most of them live out of my state, I do not have long distance, so I cannot call them. This leaves me in a state of panic when long pauses of time span between us. The panic gets worse when I notice that they communicate regularly with several other friends. I’m not stupid. My comments are right there and no one’s responding to me. I just wait and wait and wait. And it eats, eats, eats, eats, and eats at me til I shake like a frightened little puppy during a thunderstorm. I immediately think the worst has happened. Then I attack myself, because it must mean I’ve done wrong.

I’ve been through this before and always fear going through it again.  Because I only get ignored when a friend is about to dump me. I get the silent treatment when they’re about to tell me they are sick of hearing from me. They are suddenly busy not because they really are busy, but because they’d rather be busy than talk to me. Plans to meet up get cancelled over and over again because I was never a priority in their lives to begin with. Just the little invitations and hints to get together were the nice, superficial ways people generally always say “let’s do lunch sometime” and “we have to go out for a coffee one of these days” and they don’t really ever mean it. It’s just the pat on the back, the shake of the hand, maybe that’s all, and the “be on your way now” sort of thing. Yet I always fall for it. Because it’s my hope and dream to visit with friends. I don’t want to keep it only online forever. Everyday it is my ambition to have enough money to travel just to drop in on friends I haven’t seen or have yet to see.

I want to make it REAL! Let me be a REAL friend to you!

But let me describe to you my nightmare…

The dream started out nice enough. I found myself in the dance studio, happy as can be because I had just received the two Balady scimitars I’ve been working hard for. I pulled them out of their packaging, admiring how shiny they were. But then guy friend rudely grabbed it out of my hand! He pulled one of the blades til it was like taffy, next he tossed it in the air, and it landed on the floor. “Why did you do that?! My sword is not yours to take!” I scolded. When I retrieved the scimitar, he once again snatched it out my hands and said, “Look, I didn’t do any serious damage…” and then he tested the blade by holding it against his hand (a scimitar made only for belly dancing is dull, so he wouldn’t slice his skin) but then the steel cracked as if made of hard plastic. “Ulp!” He grabbed both parts and looked at me about to laugh, the way people do when they are nervous because they just did something really bad to upset you, “I didn’t meant to do that,” he added, and there was nothing else he could say. He handed me back the parts, unable to stop laughing.

“You shouldn’t have let me touch it,” he said, “if it was so important to you.”

Instead of getting upset, I walked immediately to the manufacturer. By way of an elevator that resembled a closet, I pushed a button that lit up white, the little door slid open, and I entered this elaborate Steampunk-esque labyrinth warehouse world. With my broken sword and the spare in hand, an electronic voice told me to sit on this rubber seat and strap myself in by these silly-looking suspenders. Suddenly I flew away high above this factory where there were hundreds of laborers and shelves of merchandise — all resembling a scene out of Brazil.

I was deposited in a dusty, gray office, my swords given a big DEFECTIVE stamp in red and instead of being given my money back, or a replacement, I was given two lions to take care of — one black, the other white. What the hell am I supposed to do with these creatures? I was never given a reason. Then I was hurriedly pushed out of the factory and into a very busy market square full of women, children and baby animals.

I managed to keep the lions from eating them, yet it was a struggle. The whole while, I was searching for my friend, thinking, “How could he do this to me? Those were my swords!” The black lion got loose, I had to chase it and calm it down while all around me people were screaming for their lives and cursing my name. Those that were not trying to escape took to attacking me, several of my guy friends’ ex-girlfriends were hitting me, calling me names, and throwing cabbage at me.

Then I saw my friend Miya come up with an axe — ! I did not know if she was going to kill me or the black lion. The black lion clawed into the ground and buried itself. Just as the women attacking me were about to take a giant rock to my head, Miya chopped off the rope I was using as a leash for the lions. The white lion turned into a tiny kitten that turned into a small white jasper pendant. “THAT’s mine!” Miya proudly proclaimed, and she grabbed it out of my hand with this angry look on her face that told me she disapproved of me, like a head mistress about to discipline an unruly student kind of thing. After that scuffle, everyone backed off from me and went about other business. “What is going on?” I asked Miya and she just sardonically smiled. “Oh,” she breathed into a low whisper, “you haven’t heard…” She was about to tell me something secret, I anxiously awaited her information, but then a train whistle blew, and the whole market place emptied!

That emptiness was there for a long while. Like being in ground zero of the end of the world after the end has happened and there’s no one left but me.

Next all I remember was running. Then I fell. I saw two mutual friends I have only met online. One extended his hand to me to help me up, the other walked away. I saw that she was talking to my buddy. The guy friend who helped me up told me to “shhhh!” They all faded away, further and further away, the harder I tried to reach for them, the more they turned insubstantial, and the more I was returning to my bed and then became fully awake and crying.

I woke a half an hour before my alarm, freezing, tearful, shaking, but I stayed in bed, my cat lying on my chest to warm me up, and I sang to myself to keep my spirits up. By the time the alarm went off, I was stable enough to move about, splash some water on my face and really start the day. I told myself this was nothing but a nightmare! I promised I would forget about getting online and just get work done…

Yet I’m in the middle of a paid illustration gig that requires me to be in constant contact with my client, so I gotta do what I gotta do. I have to keep going. Checking Facebook and my Gmail is unavoidable, and that also means facing another day of no responses from a friend I’m anxious to hear from who has yet to even say “Hello! Come visit me as soon as you get paid, Val! Everything’s fine!” I pray my anxiety is just, anxiety. I interpret the dream, symbol by symbol, as follows:

The Balady Scimitars: Balady or Baladi (بلدي) is an Arabic word meaning “native” or “local.” These scimitars were the kind that were used by peasants, a common sword found in the country.

These scimitars I have been working toward for months to buy so I can use them for belly dancing. They are valuable to me because I have never bought a sword for myself. I have given away swords as gifts, once I gave one to my guy friend even, but now I regret I have no swords of my own. I love swords.

Swords represent to me uncommon beauty and power that I can only compare with the feeling of confidence. Whenever I handle a real sword, I feel that power.

My friend breaking the sword: When he pulls and breaks what I have been longing to have, I think he really breaks my confidence.

The Manufacturer and the Factory: I believe that these two places represent the Creator and the act of Creation — I am plugging into my source of consciousness and being. They act as my mind telling me there is something not working right in my thoughts. I am judged “defective” and not given back my confidence. I am sent back into the world at the mercy of two driving forces, the two lions.

The Two Lions: The symbolism of this is almost too easy to break down! I have bi-polar disorder, so the two lions must represent the two emotional polar opposites within struggling for control that I must referee. The black lion is my wild and hungry anger. The white lion is my wild passion and exuberant love. Both have to be leashed or they will lash out and hurt whoever gets in my way.

The Market Square: This place was filled with innocents, children and baby animals, things I want to protect and not let “my lions” harm. The women there weren’t even selling anything, they were just hanging out. Getting around them without letting the lions go crazy was a struggle, so I believe the market was an obstacle course to see how well-behaved I can be. Most of my anxiety now is social, dealing with being overly self conscious about accidentally offending someone, saying the wrong thing, or never knowing who is silently disapproving of me.

This developed from a situation I was in last year when I lost a very important friend who influenced a group of her friends, people I liked very much, to think I was “on the attack” and not worth knowing anymore. I lost so much confidence after that, it’s been an up-hill battle, one I’ve gained strength from since, yet since it’s taking me a long while to heal, I’m still sensitive about. My old girl friend hurt me enough to give me a complex over how I treat my friends — I’m paranoid of losing them and paranoid that, just like she did, they’re going to gang up on me and suddenly refuse to talk and then, good-bye! *shivers*

The Attack: This symbolizes what has happened to me in the past and what I fear most happening again and again and again; the fighting, hurt, rejection, and shunning by women I wish I could be friends with — they attack me for no reason, or for some reason I am not told why — and there’s no reasoning with them. I’m the enemy automatically, like being their scapegoat.

Miya with the Axe: My friend Miya has long been a confidant, someone I have a lot in common with, yet different enough from me so it’s not weird. For many years she’s been on my side, and I’ve been on her’s, and even when we don’t see eye-to-eye, there is always common ground for us to stand on. I believe she represents trustworthy friendship, yet a friendship that has changed. The Axe she carries frees me from attachment.

The Black Lion Buries Itself and the White Lion Becomes a Pendant: Both symbolize the taming down of my emotions — anger lies buried, passion shrinks. Miya takes my passion for herself, claiming it belongs to her. Maybe there is something I forgot to return to her?

The Emptiness: Just loneliness, nothing more.

Running and Falling: Typical chase symbolism found in most dreams — there is a goal I’m working toward and I seem to not quite make it work. I believe this represents my project. I get close to finishing, then something trips me up, a distraction, interruptions, something stresses me out, and sometimes I fall asleep in the middle of drawing! It’s my concentration that I seem to be chasing after.

The Friend Who Helped Me Up: He has cheered me up, it’s true, and I thank him for his support. Because that’s all anyone needs. Just someone who says, “Hang in there!”

The Fading Friends: My interpretation of this is they are physically far away and I have not spoken to them. In reality, that’s the truth. On the internet, that makes them seem like they are making me invisible, especially when they are a vivid presence on their social networks.

After writing out my dream, and reviewing my personal symbolism, I feel much better because I know what my mind is telling me now and I have something to work with to make things better for myself. I may still be dealing with residue from a past relationship that went wrong and anxieties over the possibility I may not get to visit my guy friend any time soon, but that doesn’t mean I should let this nightmare keep me in a state of panic.

The shaking stopped right in the middle of me writing this blog post. I love how that happens. How my words all fall into place like this. One of these days soon I should tell you about how I recall my dreams so well. The easiest answer I can give you immediately is that I do not know how I do it so well because I’ve always been able to! From toddler age to adult, my dream life is a vivid playground. Sometimes its all silly, at other times spiritual and visionary, and then down right theatrical! I do not always write my dreams down. I used to, but then it takes a long while to record the details because as I write more memories rise up to the surface. It seems the more I focus on the dream, especially when I first wake up, the more I remember. Perhaps that’s the key to developing better dream recall: write while the dream is still fresh in your mind.