Dreams, Kami, Shinto

A Reminder From Inari-Okami

Hey everyone, it’s been a while! I’m sorry for the lack of posts here and I hope everyone had a great holiday period and Lunar New Year! Today I am going to share a dream I had a week ago that has constantly been in my mind.

I was travelling to Fushimi Inari Taisha with Olivia and some other people. I was wearing a red Inuyasha-like hitatare. I met Olivia at a local airport at night, and we had agreed to go to the shrine around sunrise. Although I know what the area surrounding Fushimi Inari looks like in real life, the dream version was quite different; we walked through a few small rural villages on the way.

The villages were full of youkai of all sizes, I remember looking up at a tall radish-like individual as I stepped carefully past them – then didn’t seem to notice our small party and let us pass whilst they carried on their activities. All around the villages were large horse statues, some adorned with votive red bibs.

A horse statue at Fushimi Inari Taisha (Credit: GreenShinto)

We approached a small, compact house which was in front of a large and steep mountain. A line of torii could be seen following a path up over the mountain and into the clouds. Knowing where to go, I went into the house below. A mother and son were rushing around the one-room house, seemingly trying to cook and clean. The mother appeared angry and was shouting at the boy, trying to get him to work faster; our presence had only seemed to further annoy her.

There was a small door in the back of the house, which had a very steep slope up onto the path where the torii were. There was also a huge torii directly above the rear door of the house. One by one, our party slowly climbed the steep slope onto the path, but when it came to my turn, I wasn’t able. My legs buckled with pain and gave in, no matter how hard I tried I could not get out of the house and onto that path.

Defeated, I sat on the floor and started to cry. I couldn’t believe I had come all this way for nothing. I was here in Japan, and I wasn’t able to visit the place I had wanted to all these years. The woman came over to me and was suddenly very compassionate and motherly. Her energy was pure, white and she had an overwhelmingly strong feeling of love about her. She placed her pale hand on mine and handed me some images and papers related to the shrine. She also handed me a small wooden fox doll. Her words still stay with me:

“You do not have to climb the mountain to be close to Inari-san. Inari-san appreciates your effort and your devotion.”

The woman looked at me with a knowing look in her eyes, before going back to her duties. I had instantly calmed down, clutched the fox doll in my hand and made my way outside. From here, I tended to some of the small shrines and statues before awakening.

I am certain that the woman in the dream was Inari Okami themselves. This is not the first time they have come to me in a dream to remind me of things. As I have been very busy lately, I haven’t had much time to focus on my spirituality and I felt I was losing touch a little. This dream re-enforced the fact that Inari Okami is still looking after me and supporting me through my life.

The horse statues that popped up are heavily associated with Inari Okami and Shinto in general. They are thought to be the intermediaries between this world and the world of the kami. In many occult beliefs, horses are also heavily associated with forward movement and positive change.

As for me being unable to get up to the shrine; I have fibromyalgia, a condition which gives me constant aches and pains in nearly all my joints. On some days I feel very low and that I will never be able to make the pilgrimage to Fushimi Inari or any of the other shrines I wish to visit in Japan. I feel a lot more confident in my belief that I will manage to get there now, even if I cannot explore every single path.

It’s not every day I have a dream like this, but when I do I feel blessed and in awe for weeks after. So I thank Inari Okami for this very prominent reminder that no matter my physical limits, they are always close to me.

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