One of the common things to experience in hypnagogia is sounds: bumps, thuds, the ringing of a telephone or doorbell, low voices mumbling (sounding like a radio next door), and footsteps.
Often it’s just auditory hallucinations – and sometimes it’s not.
The short, sharp or loud sounds always jerk me completely awake, but then I just think: “right, just hearing things” and fall asleep again.
Hearing footsteps can be a bit creepy, but when I force myself awake, I realise that it sounded like footsteps that weren’t going anywhere, and that I just imagined it.
But sometimes the footsteps sounds like they are coming from somewhere distant and getting closer, and there’s a presence. That always frightens me, because I have no idea what might be approaching. I usually force myself awake, and if I start to fall asleep again and hear the footsteps again, I wake myself again. Usually the sound of footsteps stop after a few times.
One time, which I have mentioned in an earlier post, I heard what sounded like the footsteps of someone with a stiff knee, so one foot was dragged along the ground, a “step – drag/shuffle” sound. I decided to let myself slip into half sleep again, thinking that surely Loki would protect me against something bad. It turned out to be Hel coming for a visit.
Last Thursday I heard footsteps that sounded like someone walking with a peg-leg, or a staff or cane. I sensed some kind of presence, and it was quite scary. I forced myself awake, and waited a bit before letting myself fall asleep again. I didn’t hear the footsteps again.
The next night, I heard the same kind of footsteps again, and thought that it sounded like someone walking with a staff, setting it down in time with every other footstep. Step – thud – step – thud… A vague image showed up in my mind of an elderly man with a long, white beard. His face was obscured. He was straight backed and looked fit. He seemed to be wearing a dark blue cloak.
Whatever/whoever it was absolutely terrified me. I had to fight to wake myself this time, and fight to stay awake; the pull of sleep was strong. I felt like a five year old: “Waaah! Mummy! Scary! Do not want!”
I was so scared to go back to sleep and encounter whatever it was, that I turned on my sunlight lamp so it would work as a night-light, and tucked Boots the teddycat under my arm. That did the trick. No more scary that night.
In my meditation visualisation that evening, I told Loki about the experience:
“Whatever/whoever it was scared the crap out of me!”
“I had to– what?”
At this time of the year, Odin is all over the place with Åsgardsreia*. I’ve heard He likes to check out His blood-brother’s new consorts…
And now I have an image of the Devious Duo sitting and drinking mead, and Odin telling Loki about how He almost made Loki’s little wifey pee her knickers and clutch a stuffed toy like a five year old, and Loki laughing so hard He’s doubled up and can’t breathe…
Boots the teddycat – comforter and protector of children of all ages from nightmares and scary things that go bump in the night.
*Åsgardsreia – similar to “the Wild Hunt”. Possibly from the Norse ásgoðreið, which means “As gods’ race/ride”