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Posted on:  Aug 27, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Pagan Dreamer, Pathwork
Dreaming has been diminished in our modern Western society, relegated to a flat, limited version of its true, vast potential. We have been taught that dreaming is an activity reserved for the dark of night and the oblivion of sleep. Sometimes we remember snippets of our dreams, but even these we barely pay attention to in the rush of our demanding lives.
Half of our humanity — the part that connects us to our soul and the spiritual mysteries that underlie everyday reality — is lost in this truncated conception of dreaming.
Yet dreaming is what it is, no matter how we conceive or engage it. What is lost can be refound. It is as simple, and as difficult, as replacing one way of understanding dreaming with another.
You dream at night where the laws of physical reality slip away and open you to the unbound adventures of the realm of spirit.
You dream when you meditate, work magic or engage in other practices that shift you into an altered state of consciousness.
You dream when you go about the business of your daily life, drawing events and situations to you, especially those that are unusual, significant or emotionally charged.
This wider, wilder conception of dreaming invites you to broaden your awareness to include the workings of your soul and the spiritual mysteries that infuse and inform your life.
Dreaming is literally second nature. We have a physical body for engaging the material world and a dreambody for the wide, wild world of dreaming.
In our sleep-time dreams, where our mind and the laws of physical reality are turned off, our dreambody reigns supreme. In our daytime dreams, our dreambody is a guiding presence that helps us engage the soul-based energies and spiritual mysteries that direct our outer life.
These powerful dreaming capacities reside within us all, but for many they have atrophied through lack of attention and use.
At the beginning of my spiritual journey, I didn’t remember my sleep-time dreams nor understand the importance of dreaming in my waking life. Now my dreambody connection is as natural and ever present to me as breathing. How did I make this profound shift? First, and most essential, I fell in love with my dreambody.
Here is an exercise for reaching out to your dreambody with the intention of starting or deepening your relationship.
1. Set aside time to connect with your dreambody.
Your dreambody is most present and accessible in those initial moments between sleeping and waking when the tendrils of your dream still hover in your conscious awareness. So set your alarm a bit earlier to give yourself time to be with your dream energy and images before you need to get out of bed to start your day.
2. Work with your dream upon waking.
When you wake up, don’t let your thinking mind kick into gear. Stay with the movements and sensations of your breath, and open to the images and energy of your dream.
Imagine breathing the dream into your body and letting it fill and infuse you.
Say yes to the dream, yes to its guidance.
Don’t worry about intellectually understanding or analyzing the dream. Your intention is to connect and commune with your dreambody and its gifts of dream images and energy. Understanding will come.
If you don’t wake up with dream images, still stay soft and open in the hazy, delicious space between waking and dreaming, and know that your dreambody is present in this space. Keep practicing this exercise and dreams will come.
3. Record your dream.
When you get out of bed, write down a few key images and insights from your dream, and your emotional responses. Note any themes or issues that are present in the dream that speak to your healing and personal growth.
If you have time, record the whole dream because often it’s the subtle, background aspects of a dream that hold the treasures of insights and inspiration.
4. Bring your awareness of your dream into the rest of your day.
Whatever you were dreaming when you woke this morning is also present as you go about your daily activities. Remember that there is no separation between sleeping and waking; it is all one dream.
Pay close attention to the events and situations of your waking life, and see if they reflect and further inform the images, energies and insights that came to you from your dream.
Look for unusual, significant or emotionally charged situations. Think of these things as offerings from your dreambody that can further your understanding of the soul-based energies and spiritual mysteries that are directing your outer life at this time.
Set aside time to journal these events and situations, noting the details of what happened, the insights and emotional reactions that come to you, and the links to your dream.
5. Be changed by the dream.
Your dreams are not random. Your dreambody wants you to learn, heal and grow. The dream that came to you in this exercise, both from your sleep-time and the events of your day, is a gift from your dreambody.
Take in the images, energies and insights that have come to you from this dream. Let them change you, and commit to continue to follow where they lead.
But don’t take my word for it. The dreaming is unfolding at this very moment, just waiting for you to wake up within the dream that is your life.
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Photo Credit: Andalucía Andaluía
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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Artwork by Athina Saloniti (deviantart.com/chrysalis)
Posted on:  May 28, 2023 @ 10:10 Posted in:  Pagan Dreamer
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.
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.
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.
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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 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
Posted on:  Mar 26, 2023 @ 10:00 Posted in:  Pagan Dreamer, Pathwork
Our primal, natural place in the great weaving of life on this planet is not dominion, but sacred communion and protection. Of all of the Earth’s life forms, we have been given the gift of creative expression to give voice to the beauty and wonders of this world.
Artist: Lucy Campbell
This is what my deep dreaming tells me.
I wake up in the early hours of the morning, still half in my dreamscape. In my dream, I am writing about the country walk I had taken with my partner the night before.
I record the sensual minutia of the natural world: the slow track of a jet-black snail, with a thin band of shiny, silver slime marking its passage; the nuanced scents of the surrounding forest and farmland with hints of resin, flowers, and sun-warmed earth; the gun-smoke gray of the twilight sky juxtaposed against the rich chestnut of a horse’s coat; and a weighty silence that marks the fading of day into night.
As I slowly emerge from this dreaming, I bring with me a fierce, full-body love and awe that speak to my primal communion with the living landscape, and inspire the writing flowing from my heart onto the blank page.
I invite you into my dream world to experience this fierce, full-body truth for yourself.
Go for a walk or spend a quiet hour in a favorite natural setting close to your home. This can be a park, trail, or green space in an urban setting — anywhere you feel a strong heart connection to Nature.
Bring a journal or sketchbook with you, whichever is your preferred form of creative expression.
Anchor yourself in your body with a few deep, full breathes. Quiet your mind and be fully present to the landscape around you. Take in the sensual details of the wild world: the sights, sounds, smells, and sensations of Nature. See what draws your attention and speaks to your wonder. Give this communion your complete attention.
Widen your awareness, open your heart and your body, and then write, draw, or record, in whatever way is free-flowing for you, the beauty before you.
Keep your mind and interpretations out of this. This moment is not about you, but about your capacity to storytell, in words or images, the beauty and wonders of this living, breathing Earth.
When this communion feels complete, put down your journal or sketchbook. Let go of words and images. Sink into your energetic connection to the natural world, your living body to its living body. Take in the sensations and emotions that arise in you, the raw love, joy, and awe that infuse your primal communion with the beauty and wonders of this world.
Breathe this connection into your body; imprint it in your memories; let it change you.
You are the storyteller and steward of Her beauty, the Earth, our home.
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