Dreams give us the power to travel across time and to visit mythical places.
Last night I dreamed of the Titanic as it crossed the Atlantic Ocean. The ship sailed heavy with the arrogance and vanity of those who lacked respect for the dangers of the ice and sea. After the ship sank, the lifeboats drifted among the waves, while the survivors huddled together and stared into the horizon with weary faces.
We all know the tragic story up this point.
But in my dream, the story changed. A woman arrived from a distant country to rescue the survivors from the freezing water. She gathered them together with great tenderness and cared for their every need; she fed them and covered them in warm clothing.
At the end, the woman sat upon a throne and smiled. When I finally saw her clearly, I noticed that she was slender and very beautiful. She wore flowers in her hair and an elegant, sleeveless gown made of flowing silk.
“Who is this woman?” I asked.
One of her attendants was a man also dressed in elegant clothing. He heard my question and pointed to the inscription above the woman’s throne. There in gold letters was written the title “Queen of Munster.”
The queen arose and said, “I have compassion on all the survivors of this great tragedy. Therefore, by my proclamation, I welcome you. All those who survived may come and dwell freely in my lands.”
The people stood as though they did not know how to respond. A few of them thanked the queen, but most simply walked away and hobbled back to their homes. I did not sense any disrespect in their actions, only the shock of those who survived an unthinkable terror. But sadness overshadowed the woman’s face as she said, “So few have returned.”
That was the end of the dream.
After I awoke this morning, I was haunted by the face of the woman. “Who was she?” I asked myself. Then I remembered the golden inscription above her throne, “Queen of Munster.”
“What a strange name,” I thought, but I decided to do a Google search and see what responses I could find. Much to my surprise, I found many references to a Queen of Munster in the mythological history of ancient Ireland. For example, one such reference stated:
Áine — (AN-yuh or AW-ne) from Old Irish aine "brilliance, wit, splendor, glory"; "joy", "brightness", "fasting", "praise", or "radiance". In legend, Aine was the daughter of Fer I (Man of the Yew) and the traditional name of the queen of fairies of south Munster, an important and varied role in Celtic mythology; was believed to dwell at the place now called Knockany (Cnoc Aine, "Aine's Hill"). Also used as an Irish form of Aina, Anne, Ann.
Quoted from: http://www.amethyst-night.com/names/irishfem.html
Other references named different individuals with similar names. One source indicates that Aeval is a Celtic goddess of sexuality. Another source states, “Cliodna is tributary queen of Munster, and rules from a sidh near Mallow in County Cork, while under her again, are Aoibhinn, queen of the fairies of North Munster, and Aine, queen of the fairies of South Munster” (From ‘Celtic Myth and Legend, Poetry and Romance’ by Charles Squire and Wilkie Collins).
In all references, the Queen of Munster is associated with the fairies of Ireland.
I am surprised that my dream mentioned such an obscure name from the mythological history of a distant country. Perhaps I encountered this name sometime before, and perhaps my dream simply retrieved the name from my subconscious during a random firing of neurons. I’ve never had any interest in fairies, and I know very little about their place in traditional folklore, but now I’m left wondering what meaning this dream holds.
Any interpretations or impressions? I welcome all comments.