THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1979
I’m tingling all over. This is amazing! I’ve followed that alluring voice to this room and I find not a beautiful woman, but an enigmatic mirror. When I view myself in its singular surface, the image changed. It dissolved and revealed a view of a dark stone staircase leading down. Moist gray-green lichen covers the stonewalls and steps. Where this place is, I’ve no idea. The sensation of encountering the Unknown causes my mind and body, to tremble in mild ecstasy.
I reach out my hand to touch the mirror, to try and get a grasp onto something solid. I’m feeling a bit of vertigo from all of these encounters with the unexpected and the unknown. The silver and black jade of the frame is warm to my touch. My fingers drift onto the surface of the mirror. To my surprise, my fingertips go beyond the mirror’s surface, like slipping into a pool of cool water; my fingers cause the image to ripple. I pull back, startled at my discovery. My curiosity takes over. I reach out and watch as my whole arm goes beyond the mirror’s surface. I feel the emptiness of warm air of some place beyond the mirror’s strange singular surface.
Tingling with trepidation and wonder, I imprudently step through the mirror, making my way downward, surrounded completely by ebony and silence. Since I can’t see, the only method by which I can discern the way ahead with safety is by feeling for the staircase’s stone steps with the soles of my shoes. My shoes sink into a moist softness, which covers the stone’s surface. My feet are the only sensory reference point in my interminable black descent. Somewhere after midnight, an odd tingling sensation occurs simultaneously over every pore of my body.
“Not again! What in Heaven’s name is going on now? Damn it! Why can’t they leave my dreams alone?”
My own voice echoes off into the unresponsive blackness. Well Lamont, what now? Go back or...? Oh hell. I’ve come this far. Besides, I won’t be able to sleep not knowing where this is leading. Therefore, ever onward.
Time slips by on unseen wings. From beyond the stairs end, a chlorotic green light pushes back the darkness. With the aid of this light source, I realize that from my neck down to my toes I am clothed in some kind of mousy gray, seamless leotard, which feels like it’s made of nylon, only tougher. Odd. I stride downwards into the light, and soon stand in wonderment within a cavern lit by a strange pillar of fire.
In the cavern’s center, green marble blocks encircle a pool of scarlet sand. A ten-foot tall pillar of putrid green colored flames flickers in the pool’s center. Beside the pool and the pillar, stands an austere and frightening figure. The woman is Hispanic with a feathered headdress made from a dazzling white skull with jade green gemstones for eyes. She wears a jaguar cape and a skirt of human skin. A mane of long white hair flows down her back; her large breasts hang down on her bare chest exhausted from their battle with gravity. The style of her attire evokes a time of an ancient empire in either Mexico or Central America. Her posture and demeanor evoke an image of a parent who had been up all night waiting for an explanation of a teenager’s night exploits. She fixes her vision upon my soul.
"Corazon we are Mictlantecuhtli. We are the Lord of Mictlan, the realm of the Underworld.”
My mouth must have dropped to my knees from astonishment.
“We are the Master and the Guardian of the realm upon whose threshold you now stand.” Her sonorous tone resonates in the air around me. “We have served here since mortal humans first came to this realm, when first they learned to form dreams, in the time of the first long winter which did not end.”
Her obvious solemnity and self-importance gets to me. I can’t help but try to deflate her pontifical tone of voice.
“That’s interesting.” I flippantly remark, “Can you tell me what it is you’re guarding?”
“This realm was named by its human visitors as Dreamland. Beyond this brief statement, we will not say more at this time. We confront all Dreamers who manage to find the Stairs of Dreams and arrive at this Cavern of Flames. We guard this gateway leading to Dreamland.”
“Do I pass inspection?”
“If you had not, you would not find yourself here at all.”
“Is that so?”
“Lamont Corazon, you have successfully come to the threshold of the Realm of Dreams. Here in this plane of existence, everything that you experience will be a result of directed thought, desire, and the effort of one’s will. In venturing forth, you must learn to practice this art of focusing and channeling your thoughts.”
“Crowley.” I mutter.
“Was that comment addressed to me?”
“No, I was muttering about what you said. It’s very similar to how Aleister Crowley defined ‘Magick’, spelt with a ‘k’, to distinguish it from the magic, ending with a ‘c’, the sleight of hand tricks that stage magicians do. Magick, Crowley says, is the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.
Though, others have attributed the saying to Ms. Dion Fortune.” I say with genuine enthusiasm, as I’m caught up in the flow of ideas. “Who will teach me this skill that you describe?”
“You must find someone to teach you in the lands beyond. Once you have been to this cavern and gone beyond, you can return to this plane of existence whenever you so choose. In this realm, you will encounter Dreamers such as yourself and - others. Beyond this cavern are the Steps of Deeper Dreams, which lead you to the Primordial Forest. This is the sum of what we will now instruct.”
“That’s what you said just a moment ago. Is there anything else that you’re not going to tell me before you tell me one more time that you have finished telling me all that you will?”
“You may venture on, if you so desire.”
“Wow. Great speech. Very impressive. What an amazing imagination I have. This is the best lucid dream I ever had.”
“Mortal human you speak with the tone of doubt. Dare you imply that we do not exist? Dare you imply that we have not spoken the truth?”
“Of course you have. You’re reading from my unconscious mind’s dream script.”
“You dare to suggest we are shadows of your small mind?”
“What else could you be? This is my dream isn’t it?”
“You are trapped within your own small sensory world. We are products of no human’s imaginings.”
“This is what a well behaved dream being should say.”
“The truth is all around you Lamont Corazon. You need only to accept it. You have left your tiny mind of dreams and have ventured into a new and larger world. Whether you accept this fact or not, you must now depart, unbeliever.”
“Okay, I’ll leave, but before I do, has anyone recently passed through here? Say a white young man, about 18, maybe, wearing a denim jacket, denim pants, sneakers, black hoodie? I don’t think he came here intentionally. I think he was abducted. Have you seen him?”
“No other young being has passed through to here of late. What mean you by not intentionally?”
“There was a strange light and he fell through it and then was gone. It would be nice if he ended up here?”
“Gates such as you are describing can open up to many worlds. Only great beings of power and might can do such a thing. Their affairs should be of no concern of yours. This is as much as we can tell you. You must venture on.” She motions to an opening behind the pool of scarlet sands and the pillar of strange green fire. Dream or not, I mind my manners and bow to the stuffy old priestess-guardian, deciding to politely take my leave of her. I descend the polished wooden step, which curves around and goes ever downward. Time passes with an odd quickness and subjectively speaking, within a few minutes; I step onto the floor of the Primordial Forest.
. From Aleister Crowley’s book Magix in Theory and Practice, published in 1929. [Drury’s Dictionary of Mysticism and The Occult gives this citation as the source, no page number is provided. This phrase has also been attributed to Dion Fortune by Starhawk in her book The Spiral Dance, pg. 7 of the 1989 edition. She does not provide any bibliographic citation as the source of this attribution.
KEYWORDS: Lovecraft, Lovecraft Dreamland, Lovecraft Dream Cycle, Through the Gate of Dreams