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Pagan Dreamer: The Bombs of Deep Dreams

Posted on:  Feb 11, 2024 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Featured, Pagan Dreamer

The Dream

I’m in my house: a special, personal space, and my inner sanctum where I choose the rules of engagement. Messages come to me in this house, delivered by a loud, disembodied voice, and later accompanied by bombs, like the kind dropped from a World War II plane.

Be a badass Dreamer that welcomes challenge and change, understanding that big, deep dreams bring core, powerful healing and transformation.

I understand that these messages are from the Mysteries that are directing and influencing my spiritual journey. They’re pushing me, sending bombs my way in the form of life challenges, waiting for me to answer them.  I refuse to answer, and with every refusal, I enter deeper and deeper into my inner house, to rooms that are secret and special to me.

But still the messages and bombs come. The Mysteries can penetrate this secret, private space within me. And the bombs are getting bigger as I go deeper inward.

After a huge bomb lands on the floor in front of me, I wake up with a jolt and my initial reaction is fear and frustration. Aren’t I listening and responding to the Mysteries constantly?  I work my dreams. I pay attention to what’s happening in my life always. I’m willing to heal, change, grow in whatever ways are necessary. Deep spiritual work is as natural and necessary to me as breathing.  Am I missing something?  And do I really need to just keep getting bombs to do my personal work?  Bigger and bigger bombs… egads!

Then it comes to me — I’m not afraid in the dream at all.  I’m calm, fully present, even slightly amused. The messages and bombs show up.  I observe them, curious, engaged, but choose not to answer the Mysteries’ questions. Then I go to the next level, deeper inside of me, and do the same thing over again with the next message and bomb.

Dream Teaching

The message of this dream is pretty direct: big change is here, and that change is driven by challenges that work the deepest layers of the psyche. Bombs are being dropped in my inner sanctum, going deeper and deeper, and getting bigger and bigger.  Profound, core healing and transformation are required.

This is a personal message from the Mysteries, and also a collective one. My newsfeed is deluged with “big bombs” daily. There are immense, tumultuous, wrenching events going on in the public sphere on all levels: socially, politically and environmentally.  The core of our human society is being exposed and challenged.

This is translating directly into our individual lives. In my community, close friendships and my own life, I’m intimately aware of the huge challenges landing in our laps — bombs are being dropped that demand a fundamental re-evaluation and re-making of things as they are.

The most potent teaching in this dream isn’t so much in its content, but in my Waking Self and Dream Self responses. We have two choices when bombs show up in our inner landscape and outer lives: one is fear and frustration (my Waking Self) and the other is curiosity and acceptance (my Dream Self).  

Although fear is an understandable initial response, it doesn’t get us anywhere. The necessity for deep change isn’t going away. Ignore the bomb, and another shows up, bigger and deeper. The best, most effective choice is to be like my Dream Self: a badass that welcomes challenge and change, and understands the bigger and deeper the bomb, the more fundamental and profound the healing and transformation.

This isn’t to say that my Dream Self is reckless and loves messing up my life. Bombs aren’t necessarily about negative catalysts for change.  Sometimes that can be the case, especially if we resist and deny the impetus for change.  But challenges can also be positive, for example: heeding a long-denied passion; healing a deep-rooted family pattern; leaving behind an unhealthy relationship; and stepping into fresh, empowering life circumstances.

The bomb that arrives in our inner sanctum is the specific challenge that we need to heal, grow and transform our lives. No matter whether it’s positive or negative, a response of curiosity and acceptance allows us to heed the promptings of the Mysteries, and of life itself, and to walk a path of profound healing and transformation.

Lesson in Pagan Dreaming

This dream offers powerful lessons in dream images and symbolism.

Dreams speak in the language of images and symbolism. Images work on two key levels: the collective and the personal/individual. 

Collective images are sourced from our shared human consciousness, and offer a universal symbolic interpretation.  For example, in this dream I’m in my house which typically represents the inner landscape and realm of my soul. This is reinforced in my dream by my sense of sovereignty and ownership of this house.  By setting this dream in my house, I know immediately that this is an important dream that will speak to my spiritual pathwork.

Personal images are carefully selected by our Dream Self and psyche to bring specific aspects of our life story and experiences to our attention.  These images provide context and further understanding for the collective images and other dream details, and offer clarity and focus for our spiritual pathwork.

When I work with a dream, I don’t do a detailed analysis of its images and their symbolic meanings.  Instead, I look for the images that are central to the dream, and more minor images that grab my attention. I’m also interested in anything that reflects what’s going on in my life at the moment.

Once I’ve identified these images, I empty my mind and see what intuitive leaps and information come to me.  I may immediately get what the collective image means, recall a memory or situation that reveals the symbolism and purpose of the personal image, or decide I need to dig deeper. Digging deeper may involve research to learn more about a collective symbol, or open journaling to explore the roots of a personal image.

With my bomb dream, the images and symbolic meanings came to me right away.  Without question, the bomb is the central symbol in the dream. This is a collective image that conjures up instant, massive destruction. Given that the bombs are landing in my house, it’s clear that this dream is about profound, core healing and transformation on  a personal level, as discussed above.

But what parts of my life are these bombs connected to, and where do I need to focus my spiritual pathwork?

It’s the personal images in dreams that move us from the collective to the individual level of meaning.

In my dream, the type of bomb is very specific: an old style from World War II.  Again, I don’t need to do any digging to understand the personal symbolism in this image.

My parents were children in World War II, and lived in a city in England that was bombed regularly. My mother tells stories of running for the bomb shelter with my aunt and grandmother when the sirens went off. My father was separated from his family and sent to live with strangers in the countryside. My grandfather was in the Merchant Navy and survived his ships being blown up four times.

Recently I’ve started thinking about the generational stories that underlie the dysfunctional patterns that run in my family. I’ve been dealing with some “big bombs” around these patterns that are motivating me to heal and grow in core, fundamental ways.  And this dream points me to my parents’ and grandparents’ experiences in World War II as the aspect of my family story that  I need to explore in my spiritual pathwork at this time.

This dream is the beginning of a longer journey in search of the family and generational stories that will guide my healing and transformation in the months to come. I share it with you as an invitation to embrace your deep dreams with curiosity and acceptance, even when big bombs of healing and transformation show up in your dream landscape and outer life.

Within these dreams, you’ll find the very things you need, woven into the collective and personal images, to guide and deepen your spiritual pathwork, and bring profound, fundamental change to your life.

Check out Path of She book offerings in the Path Store.

Artwork by  Eleonor Piteira (eleonorpiteira.squarespace.com)

Pagan Dreamer: A Lesson in Flying, Freedom and Fear

Posted on:  Aug 21, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Pagan Dreamer

What does it look like to live from a place of freedom, rather than fear?  How do we make this shift when fear has us in its grip?  These are big questions that are best answered through life experiences rather than words or theory.  So the Mysteries conspired to give me these experiences, using their foolproof formula for engaging me: my sleeping and waking dreams.

Choose freedom: loosen your grip on life; let go of your clenching fear; soften your body, listen from your root; it knows how to be and dance with what is.

Flying is a powerful metaphor for freedom.  For three days in a row, I had intense dreams about flying.  I don’t remember the details, and I don’t need to. Three is the magic number and the Mysteries had my attention: they were gifting me with one of their life-changing lessons, this one about flying.

At this particular time, I was flying a lot, commuting by floatplane from my island home to my City client on a weekly basis. The morning after the third dream, I found myself as the lone passenger seated in the cockpit beside my favorite pilot, a big-hearted man with a quirky sense of humor. Out of nowhere, he slid the control wheel to my side of the cockpit and said casually, “here, fly the plane.”

I was petrified. Operating mechanical vehicles isn’t one of my strengths.  I’ve forced myself, out of necessity, to master the basics of driving a car, but flying a little tin can of a floatplane above a stunning, but lethal, expanse of ocean and islands, was way, way out of my comfort zone.  My grip on the wheel gave fresh meaning to the expression white-knuckling it.

In response to my ramrod-stiff body language, my pilot friend simply said, “loosen your grip, listen from the seat of your pants, and don’t worry, I’m here.”

And I got, in the flash of that terrifying moment, that this was a waking dream of the most powerful kind. The Mysteries were speaking to me directly through my pilot friend, teaching me how to fly in my life from a place of freedom, not fear.

Loosen my grip on life, let go of my clenching, deadening fear; soften my body, listen from my root, from my flesh, it knows how to be and dance with what is; and don’t worry, I’m held by the love and presence of God, Goddess and the powers of life.

What a difficult lesson this is. Freedom is what we hunger for most, and yet seems most elusive. We’ve been conditioned to associate freedom with having more than enough money and things, which only further feeds the rigid fear and control-based state of mind that’s the antithesis of freedom.

There’s more to my waking-dream story. Within a week of my flying lesson, I was again commuting home by float plane, alone with another pilot, but this time in a winter storm of epic proportions. There was zero visibility and the plane was being tossed about in the wild winds, like a child’s toy in the hands of rough-playing giants. Though my first response should’ve been oh-my-God-I’m-going-to-die fear, it wasn’t; I knew I was still dreaming awake with the Mysteries, and that I was being put to the test on their lesson on flying, freedom and fear.

So I emptied myself of all thoughts and reactions; I entered my body, deeply, fully, and let it move and rock, soft and open, with the violent turbulence of the plane. I saw, very clearly, that this was a potential death moment, and that my fear would gain me nothing. Death didn’t care if it took me rigid and terrified, or supple and open; it was indifferent whether I was in a state of fear or freedom. But my soul did. My life did. And the Mysteries did.

It was my choice, in this moment, and in every moment for the rest of my life, whether to fly from a place of fear or freedom. I chose freedom. Then the pilot said to me, “do you trust me?” And I said, “yes.” And he turned the plane around, taking us back and safely landing at our point of departure.

Believe it or not, I got in a float plane the very next day and the exact same thing happened, and I made the exact same choices. Test and re-test taken. Test and re-test passed.

Life is going to give us what it’s going to give us: flights through easy, sunlit skies and turbulent, rock-us-to-our core storms. I don’t need to tell this to you. You know this yourself — that life is a tricky, bumpy business jostling you between very, very good and very, very bad experiences. And yet freedom is there, in every experience, to choose to fly free with whatever life throws your way.

In those times when a rocky moment has you in its grip, and fear suffocates your freedom, remember these words from God, Goddess, Spirit, Love, Self, or however you name the Mysteries that guide you: “loosen your grip, listen from the seat of your pants, and don’t worry, I’m here.”

Check out Path of She book offerings in the Path Store

Artwork by Athina Saloniti (deviantart.com/chrysalis)

Pagan Dreamer: The Foxglove and Your Healing Heart

Posted on:  May 28, 2023 @ 10:10 Posted in:  Pagan Dreamer

The Dream 

I wake, still immersed in that liquid, open state between dreaming and waking, while last night’s dream replays in my mind. It’s a complicated dream about white candle magic and negative energy. One image stands out and demands my attention — a black vase with a single, long stem covered with small, hot pink flowers. I don’t recognize what kind of a flower it is, but I sense that it’s dangerous and really shouldn’t be in my house.

Open to the dream teaching of the foxglove, with its stunning beauty and potent powers: love heals, but only with a strong heart that honors light and shadow.

Photo by Slawek K

I don’t know why the flower is important or how it fits with the rest of my dream, and that’s okay. My mind has learned to be quiet in the presence of mystery, knowing that if it can reign in its compulsion to order and understand things, great jewels of learning will come.

Later in the day, I set out on my afternoon walk. As I step off the trail and onto the road, a single foxglove, with its long stem of small, hot pink flowers is waiting for me. This is unquestionably the flower from my dream — a thing of both beauty and danger, with stunning bell-shaped flowers that entice humans and wild things alike, and with an extreme poison that can be transformed into the potent heart medicine, digitalis.

I stop in my tracks and smile. This is pagan dreaming at its finest and I see that the foxglove has shown up to teach me something important.

As a pagan dreamer, I call this a between-the-worlds moment where the edges have blurred between physical and dreaming realities. The foxglove has crossed over the energetic realm of the dreaming and taken form on the physical plane. How this happened doesn’t matter. It may have arrived by synchronicity or appeared out of thin air. Regardless, the mystery of dream reality is at work and has my full attention.

Dream Teaching

As a seasoned student of the mysteries, I do what I always do when a powerful teacher reaches out from the dreaming and shows up on my path: I open my journal book, take a few deep, grounding breaths, and write an open question on the top of my blank page, in this case: what is the gift of your appearance in my life? Then I empty my mind and let my foxglove teacher speak.

This is what the foxglove has to say:

“I’m a powerful, dangerous medicine that can strengthen your heart. Your dream is about the limitations of the idea so prevalent today that love and beauty heal all.

Beauty does heal. Love does heal.  But only when you honor that the heart can differentiate healing from poison. There are negative forces in this world. Everything has a dual nature that can heal or harm. A strong heart has a love that recognizes shadow. This is what can heal the world.

Summer is a season of light and life, and a time to share your beauty and love with the world. Be a thing of beauty, but acknowledge shadow and toxicity. To walk the path of beauty and love, your strong heart must be big and wise enough to hold it all.

This is the gift and teaching of my presence in your dream.”

Lesson in Pagan Dreaming: Dream Etiquette 

As I share this dream with you, it comes to me that the foxglove is a perfect teacher in dream etiquette.

Where I live, foxgloves grow wild. They’re tall, imposing beauties, reaching heights of over six feet. Given their potent medicinal properties, the wise don’t touch them or cut stems for flower arrangements. These are power plants that can either harm or heal, not pretty, whimsical flowers. Long associated with the faerie realm and magic, the foxglove demands respect, whether encountered in physical reality or the realm of dreaming.

Your dreams are like foxgloves: beautiful, powerful gifts from the wild, undomesticated places in your psyche and the vast mysteries of this world. Dreams aren’t meant to be trivialized and ignored. They’re not the whimsical, nonsensical creations of your sleeping mind. They’re full of powerful medicine that can mend your heart and soul, if you consciously engage them with respect.

Dreams are your teachers on your journey of healing and personal growth. When an honored teacher shows up in your dreams, dream etiquette calls you to become the respectful student: humble, empty, curious and grateful.

But you don’t have to give your power away to your dreams, nor surrender your ability to discern positive versus negative energies that may come to you in the dreamtime. Remember the foxglove’s teaching about the strong heart, and meet your dreamwork with a love that recognizes shadow and is big and wise enough to hold it all.

Check out Path of She book offerings in the Path Store.

Mastering Dreamwork: Four Telltale Markers of Daytime Dreams

Posted on:  Apr 10, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Pagan Dreamer

We don’t typically think of our everyday life as the stuff of dreams, yet the same mysteries, inner and outer, infuse and inform our waking and sleeping hours. Think of your unfolding life as one, overarching, soul-sourced dream that makes itself visible in your nighttime and daytime dreams.

Nighttime dreams are unbounded from the laws of the physical world. Daytime dreams are grounded in the concrete events and exchanges of your daily existence.

Nighttime dreams are fantastical and unbounded from the laws of the physical world. Daytime dreams are grounded in the concrete events, situations and exchanges that fill your day-to-day existence.

Daytime dreams can be just as potent and useful as nighttime dreams in revealing the soul-sourced roots and transformative potential of your life experiences. The trick to working with your daytime dreams is figuring out which parts of your busy life hold the treasures of insights, inspirations and experiences that can guide your pathwork of personal growth and evolution.

Here are four telltale markers of daytime dreams that can help you with this potent task.

Four Telltale Markers of Daytime Dreams

1. Impactful Life Situations

The dream of your life is already unfolding. The things that are happening to you and around you are not random. They are the stuff of your personal growth and evolution.

To be a proficient daytime dreamer, you need to develop self-awareness of the impactful situations in your life.

What personal challenges and opportunities for growth are up for you right now? Is anything new or unusual happening in your outer life and interpersonal relationships? What are you excited or worried about?  Where are you feeling strong emotional reactions, positive or negative?

Bring this self-awareness to your daily existence. It will help you discern which life situations have the makings of a daytime dream that can inform and guide your pathwork

2. Related Nighttime Dreams

Your nighttime dreaming can offer a direct portal into the soul-sourced roots of your healing and personal growth.

The challenge with nighttime dreams is that they speak in the language of images and energy, and it may not be obvious what they are trying to tell you about your waking-world existence.

Yet if you open to your nighttime dreams, taking in their images and energies, and journaling their details, you are priming yourself to pick up on the daytime reflection of these dreams.

3. Unusual or Synchronistic Events

There is mystery afoot with daytime dreams. When an unusual or synchronistic event grabs your attention, be assured that you are in the presence of a powerful daytime dream.

We’ve all had these kinds of experiences, when we know something beyond the ordinary has crossed our path. Books fall open and deliver a message. Plans are waylaid, only to be replaced by the exact, right experience. Out-of-place objects appear before us. Strangers say something out of the blue. The variations are endless.

4. Reoccurring Themes or Messages

The soul-sourced dream of your unfolding life reveals itself in these multiple ways: the impactful situations in your everyday life, your nighttime dreams, and unusual and synchronistic events.

These are all clues that are trying to teach and guide you on a common theme or message. When you grasp this message, you have truly mined the treasure of your daytime dream.

A Personal Example of the Four Telltale Markers

Here is a personal example of how these four telltale markers work together.

There was a time, early in my spiritual journey, when information started to come to me about human spiritual anatomy. I attended a lecture on this subject, and the presenter only focused on mind and spirit. Halfway through the talk, another source of knowledge rose up from inside of me, and it said, “no, no, she is missing something. What about sacred matter? What about your body and the body of the Earth?”

My nighttime dreams spoke of the spiritual importance of the number three, and that humanity was the third thing that arose out of the sacred union of spirit and matter.

To make sure I totally got the point, while I was taking the elevator to my office one morning shortly after the lecture, a business man turned to another and said, seemingly out of nowhere, “Three is the magic number you know.”

All of these things spoke to one message: humanity is woven of the sacred trinity of mind, body and spirit.  Three is indeed the magic number.

This is how daytime dreaming works, sometimes delivering powerful spiritual lessons, as in the example above, and other times revealing the parts of your healing and personal growth that need your attention.

No matter the content, these four telltale markers can help you discern and engage your daytime dreams. Curiosity combined with practice and dedication beget increased self-awareness and dreamwork skill. Day by day, dream by dream, you can become a master of working with your daytime dreams.

Photo Credit: Steven Wei on Unsplash

Tale of the Lost Daughter: Dreambody Reality

Posted on:  Apr 21, 2016 @ 10:29 Posted in:  From the Tale