Years ago I went to bed concerned about the environmental destruction of the biosphere and wondering how I could help reverse some of the damage. I had a brief dream in which a decaying manatee sent a one-word thought into my mind: "Hurry."
Hi Craig, I had one of those: This was when we became aware of acid rain. One day, flying into Frankfurt, Gernany, I had seen the state the trees were in and decided to stop flying and to sell my car. And I did.
A couple of years later I had this dream: All the trees on Ramblas were wearing a poster that either showed me boarding an airplane or read: We need you to fly!
So I did. I understood I would be more useful to the environment, trees and all, taking airplanes. I never bought a car again, though.
Tomorrow, I am teaching "Awakening the Dream - Unveiling the language of the soul" in the evening in Santa Cruz and so this is a very timely discussion.
I am daily amazed by dreams and their hidden messages. Both my own and those of people who bring me their dreams to help unravel the meanings in them. What never ceases to amaze me is how the dream messenger is pointing to the path that the soul secretly yearns to take especially when the conscious mind can not yet see it. And, so in looking back on my dreams, they are brightly coloured with images that have served as a hook to hang my secret yearnings and my deepest dread onto. Eventually, the dream messages come to fruition, although they speak in image and symbol and metaphor leaving the message opaque until we work with it and/or much time has passed.
I learned to work with dreams from our dear Marion Woodman, and so, work with every detail that presents itself. I never know where it will lead or foretell but the images themselves work on the psyche, on waking and again on returning to the land of dreams. An alternate universe that so yearns to communicate with us. Hermes led to the dream and the dream leads back to Hermes; messenger of the gods.
One dream - a dear old friend calls me on my "cell" phone and we agree that in spirte of all life's hardships, we have been so lucky to have found soulful people in our lives. Perhaps, writing this here now, is the place where this dream comes true.
I have attended several of Marion's workshop and can attest to her wisdom. However, I am in process of completing a book of collected lectures that I have given over the years and have been struggling with naming it. This dream gave it to me: I was on a train, coming from a conference. As we came to a stop, the woman next to me stood up to get off. As she left, she said, "The pixies will soon come out to play." I immediately knew the title had arrived - When Pixies Come Out to Play: A Jungian Play Therapy Primer."
There is this subject that keeps coming into my thoughts: I wonder about the effect of making a living in the arms industry on people's health, both in body and psyche, the same as other ways of making a living by creating something that is harmful to others. The effect not only on the health of the one making a living this way, but on the health of their family members over the generations. In the last few years it comes to mind more frequently and I have been phantasizing about doing a study, but with apprehension, as to the amount of work it would entail, the uncomfortableness it would create for many people, to name just a couple of things I feel apprehensive about.
I am from a little town in northern Germany where Alfred Nobel first started to manufacture dynamite and shortly afterwards they started to produce gun powder and other explosives the other side of our town. They did from 1876 through 1945 with the exception of a few years after the first world war. So I thought at least I could read this book I had brought back from my home town after my parents died. It is about the part of town that grew around the gun powder factory with memories of people who had worked there or of their children or grandchildren. Nobody of the people whose voices were recreated in that book had any concerns about their livelihood creating death and destruction for others. They were just happy they were making a living and they were grateful for the social housing, healtcare and school programs that were offered by the company. I guess it will bemore or less like that the world over.
Here's the dream: I am riding my bicylce (the one I have and use here in Barcelona) in my hometown in Germany towards that part of town that grew around the gun powder factory. I want to go to the Hans Ebert Sieldung (settlement), but all of a sudden I get the feeling that I am not going in the right direction. I would have to go up a very steep incline to get there and if I went the other way, it might be longer in terms of distance, but the incline would be a lot more manageable with my bike (a Brompton with wheels that are not very recommendable for going up steep hills). There are some people who I ask if they could think of any other way, but they don't.
When I wake up I find out there is no such place in my home-town. There is a Hans-Mayer Siedlung, named after the director of the gun powder factory. The direction I was going was exactly right to get me there without any incline in the territoy. And the Ebert sounds like to the first president of the Weimer Republic who supported Germany's involvement in World War One, but who claimed that violence is always reactionary, no matter who uses it. So maybe there is something to that, but mainly what I take from the dream is that there is no such place in my hometown.
The next day I research the effects of mercury intoxication on line and find out that they match the symptoms a friend has described he had along the different phases of his life. His grandfather had been exploiting a mercury mine, destined to the manufacture of explosives. My friend had never been exposed to the mercury, the mine had been shut down years before he was born. People in his village had been happy that they had work. The years when the mine was open had been the good years of the village. Nobody had any concerns about their own health nor the destination of the work.
“I believe in everything until it's disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it's in your mind. Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?"-John Lennon
Now then, I am generally private about my dreaming and relationship to it, but these are changing times and so, I am reaching out. I have been actively dreaming and recording dreams starting with recording using drawn crayon pictures as a very young child. I have also been in waking dreams where I can direct the course, such as ending a dream by will by running to a cliff and jumping off or blinking eyes rapidly. Sometimes I was able to direct things such as levitating, but this generally only happened in a recurring dream where I stood with two other people in a triangle form. (This was similar to astral projecting, which came on very strong for me at the age of fifteen, where I could travel places then verify persons clothing or surroundings later~often this was accompanied by a sort of rash or wound on my third eye. Once in the astral dimension I was in a two dimensional reality and interestingly found my astral body trying to conform, until I realized within this, the "light body" was different. I fought a bit with my psyche and then was able to mediate by "becoming" everything in the two dimension, like becoming everything within a picture frame, rather than having to define myself as three dimensions.) I did not often share these experiences other than with a few close friends, some of whom I am sure did not know what to think. As time went on and experiences increased I shared even less, nor did I feel I needed to, though at times I felt very alone with this, and thinking a "thought without words, but only the pre word intention of the words meaning" was a difficult one to articulate when asked questions like, "How?"
At the age of ten I made a story from a dream and have since found dreams to be one of the most exciting tools for creativity, often drawing from imagery and sequences in dreams. At eighteen years of age I began dreaming addresses, dates and places.
I found one of Ann Faraday's books about dreaming and recording dreams and began writing down dreams. Soon after I had a dream that intertwined evolution, divine creation and other creation theory to crystal clear logic and an almost kabalistic understanding of the divine...alas I awoke and only saw the words I had placed on paper before returning to sleep, that read "Light beauty burning bush" followed by the delicate scrawl of my pencil trailing off the page. I began at this time to use a tape recorder, and have a great many tapes dating especially from 88-97. It was interesting to me to see through this the seasons in dreams, define the different kinds of dreams I believe I was having which fall into three categories for me, and to hear the distinct differences in my voice in waking and remembering states.
One culminating event of profundity occurred while in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. For an entire week following my move there I had many dreams about Native American ritual and rites. I had not been connected to this culture much on my own, (though I am part Cherokee and had a mother who enjoyed taking us to Pow Wow's throughout my childhood.) I had a very significant dream where I visited a Native American Encampment. In the dream a Chief of the tribe, which seemed to be intertribal, handed me a flyer and said "We get enough people gawking and poking around here. But come to us on this date." The flyer was for an event to take place on June 6th.
When I awoke I called the Intertribal council and asked if any Native American events were happening on that date. The woman and I proceeded to have a lot of dialogue. She let me know that there was a Pow Wow open to the public in Ethete, Wyoming. She also was a daughter of an elder of the Shoshone and asked if I might like to be her guest at the Shoshone Sundance. I gratefully accepted her contact information and jotted down addresses and dates. She gave me implicit directions in order to respect the rites.
A lot happened between that moment and the next week. (I could illuminate more if anyone is interested). I did go to the Pow Wow in Ethete. Other things of interest occurred there, and of the many I will share now that an elder who was drumming told me, "Go get your recorder and you can record our songs." I did and still have an amazing taped field recording of this event.
From there I traveled to the Sundance and at this point had left my job and was pursuing life through this dream. This experience was also very, very profound. I knew it was an honor to experience this, and have later heard almost unheard of in the way it came about...
From Fort Washakie I kept traveling, stopping in Chicago and Denver and landed up in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina en route to Raleigh to let a room in an old friends home. When I arrived in the Smoky Mountains I went to the visitor's center, and while in the gift shop overheard a woman talking about a celebration. I felt something in my gut and turned to her and asked if this was a Native American celebration. She introduced herself as Sky and said that in fact it was, and a sweat ceremony of the Cherokee. After a long gaze and silent pause she invited me to attend.
I went to a lecture about reintroducing wolves and when she was off work I followed her past waterfalls and gorgeous hillsides up, up a winding road to the top of a hill. There I attended a sweat ceremony with the Cherokee. When it was my time to offer my prayer I said, "I have trusted in the universe and my prayer is answered in being here. I will offer my prayer to my brother, who is stuck in Tacoma and often in trouble. I want him to see beauty and nature again, and get out of the city."
Other amazing things commenced, and I was again offered to make a field recording of a local medicine man singing creation songs, which I still have.
When I reached Raleigh I spoke with my sister, who informed me that the day following my stay with the Cherokee my brother had received an offer to drive a car to someone in Arizona. He had spoken with her earlier and been agog with the beauty of his surroundings and the dance of stars.
All...starting with a dream.
Thank you for this week's topic! I loved reading about others experiences.
Thank you for sharing your dream-inspired journeys, Jennifer. They are deeply inspiring!