Posts Tagged ‘dreams’

Now Go and Do Heartwork

December 27, 2011

Work of the eyes is done, now
go and do heart work
on all the images imprisoned within you; for you
overpowered them: but even now you don’t know them.

-Rainer Maria Rilke

The morning after Christmas I awakened with the words in this title. The holiday with my daughters and their significant others had been perfect, completely delightful, just divine. I feel so fortunate. After that blessing was completed, the words “Now go and do heart work” were strongly imprinted as I awakened.

On January 1st, 2012, I leave on my journey to Kenya. It is clearly the work of the heart that moved me to commit to this trip, details of which I wrote about in my blog entitled Africa: A Promise on November 19th, 2011. Telling the story of why I need to go, the promise I need to keep, I suggested that anyone who might be interested to support the journey could help me with it by contributing donations of any amount. Conversations with my friend, Carter Via, and my daughter, Josi Ward inspired me to make this suggestion.

I had no idea whether the notion would speak to anyone or not; there were no expectations. The response has been truly overwhelming. There has been an outpouring of feeling, love, interest, care, concern and support. With this outcome, I now make the journey not as a private matter but also as a carrier of the love and intentions of many who have involved their hearts and energy in the trip as well. I feel, differently than I ever have, like an ambassador. I want to represent well each one who has entrusted me with such support.

The heart is a fierce organ; mind is weak by comparison. In a recent dream I was doing things with my tiger, an animal who in the dream is bonded to me and goes everywhere with me. I know from some of my most important life dreams that tiger for me is an image of the heart. Now it is time to do work with the tiger.

I can’t say I know yet just what this means. The dream is laying some groundwork, I suppose, readying me. With all my heart, and with the hearts of all who are now coming with me in this energetic way, here I go.

Moon Smile Dream

October 6, 2011

I had an extraordinary dream a couple of nights ago. In it, a gift comes in the mail. I open it to find two actual moons someone somehow gathered from far out in space, each a little larger than a softball, smaller than a basketball. In my waking life I love natural artifacts, collect them and am often given them. But – moons? I knew in the dream that this was an astonishing gift. As I pulled them from their wrappings, one was in a see-through container. I saw eyes – soft sweet eyes of this moon looking at me. Then a small smile appeared on its face. Then the smile changed to a big grin with thick lips -twinkling with joy, almost laughter.

Why did  this dream occur right now? I am curious about this. Earth’s moon pulls the tides, affects moods and consciousness far beyond our ability to trace or comprehend. My work is to help people identify, recognize, understand hidden forces and pulls in their lives. Is that why the moons were given to me, and one was smiling broadly at me? Is it a smile on my work maybe?

Some planets have many moons, Earth only has one. What would life be like if we had two? Why two moons in this dream? I know there is significance here. I hold an ear to the sky, want to hear what is being communicated.

Tonight at dusk as I pulled up to my home on the mountain after three days in town, an elk, much bigger than a horse, was standing in my yard, inside my fence. It was looking at me, not scared or skittish, just there.

Visitations from earth and sky. Listening. Curious. Wondering. Fascinated. Grateful.

Clusterf**k: me, you, the economy and the planet

July 31, 2011

I had a dream not too long ago in which I was witnessing a huge, gorgeous spiral galaxy, the stars twinkling like diamonds against a velvety dark sky. On one of the arms of the galaxy however I noticed a huge mass, like a glut of stars all tangled up together so that the energy could not flow. It was a galactic mess. When I woke up, the word “clusterfuck” occurred to me.  I do not know where that word comes from, but I know I’ve heard it before, probably in reference to traffic inLos Angeles.

Of course, with my Jungian training, I took the dream personally; it was to me a picture of my psyche – lovely, natural, part of the starry cosmos, but LOOK what I have going on over here – a tangled mass of psychic material that energy cannot flow through.

A week or so after having this dream, a similar one occurred. I was walking through a crowded town that seemed like the whole world, almost like an M.C. Escher drawing with layers and dimensions winding out of each other. My dream was not abstract like his drawings though, the scenes were more realistic. I wandered into an area that was literally covered with shit and diapers, too many babies had been born there, too many mothers starving and unable to handle the chaos. I was knee deep in it and could only try to slog my way out of the enormous area teeming with stink and sickness. I saw someone on the edge starting to clean up and struggled with a sense of hopelessness. Can this mess be resolved? This guy seems to think so.  The place reminded me of Kibera, the slum outside Nairobi in Kenya where I worked a year ago. But Kibera seems clean compared to this terrain.

Again looking at the dream as a personal message I saw it as an earthier way to view the galactic mess. Shadow work is daunting. I can see a cluster of internal things it begins to refer to, debilitating results of the tangle and  illness that results. A sense of hopelessness is a temptation. It takes effort to hang on to glimmers of hope.

Then last night I read an article in the recent More magazine about a toxic mess the size of a small continent floating in the Pacific ocean made completely of plastic and trash. A deep sea diver named Mary Crowley apparently discovered it. She relates the story of the beauty and wonders that made her fall in love with diving, then tells of the horror of what she found – plastic pieces, plastic bags, beach chairs, miles upon miles of junk clustered together. The description she tells will make you weep and feel sick. There seems to be a vortex in this location that draws the trash dumped into our oceans and water systems to itself. Hundreds of thousands of living creatures have eaten the bits of plastic and died from it. Many of the fish who eat it are eaten by larger fish, who are eaten by other fish, who end up on our dinner tables.

As I read I couldn’t help but think of the clusterfuck in my dreams.  I have taken the dream images personally, and they are personal, but they are also visions of bigger things going on. In the holographic model of the universe, each cell reflects everything that is in the whole. In this, everything that is in the universe is also in me, and everything in me is also in the universe.

The article tells of the controversy and antagonism that is coming Mary Crowley’s way because of what she discovered and because she is determined that there is something to do about it. It seems llike she now is a vortex for a lot of toxic psychological and political material. Yet she is driven by a sense of hope that the mess can be cleared.

An analogy comparing depth psychology to deep sea diving has occurred to me many times over the years for a variety of reasons. Now I see it again. I love to slip into the waters of psyche and see what resides there, beauties not visible on “land” or in daylight consciousness. But along with the investigation come encounters with deep shadowy material. There is horrifying stuff in there along with the wonders. Many people and religions want to rise above, transcend, move out of the vibration of shadow material. Such efforts easily turn into dangerous repression and phobic denial rather than mastery, which causes the mass to simply build in power and toxicity. Author Thomas Berry writes that what we need now is not transcendence, but “inscendence.” We need to know how to go in or we will never be familiar with the problems. But there are a lot of taboos around this.

Experience tells me that working with shadow will never be successful until we clear judgment from our hearts and minds. It is a terrible waste of time to judge and moralize about the problem in the ocean rather than simply get busy finding ways to resolve and prevent it. Similarly if I judge myself about the matter in my own mess, that will tend to dispirit and suck energy from what is required to simply deal with the issues. I need to be as clean and dispassionate as a surgeon as I go into the problem areas.  Judgment increases the mess, obfuscates, complicates and delays every effort.

The poet Rilke writes, “Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that wants our love.”  I believe this. I find when I think anything through to its core, there lies a reason for compassion. Nobody who bought a beach chair or a bottle of water meant to poison the planet; our collective ignorance and shortsightedness wasn’t apparent at first, then it rapidly got out of control and went beyond us. So it is with my own internal mess. One thing led to another. Compassion is a natural result of comprehension, of seeing clearly. But it takes getting through the revulsions, the taboos, instincts to condemn or to cast into otherness. Compassion is fierce and takes more courage than any other stance. Compassion is fearless.

You don’t have to look very far to see the massive  clusterfucks we have created collectively. The economy seems to be our number one reflection of it at the moment.

I know that awakening compassion will move us to a place of vision. Only from there will we be able to see, heal and resolve. No matter what problem we are facing, the demon  is, in the end, something helpless that wants our love.

The Greatest Thing You’ll Ever Learn…

April 17, 2011

My sister sent this poem to me today. I liked it enough to want to pass it along.

God Says Yes To Me

I asked God if it was okay to be melodramatic
and she said yes
I asked her if it was okay to be short
and she said it sure is
I asked her if I could wear nail polish
or not wear nail polish
and she said honey
she calls me that sometimes
she said you can do just exactly
what you want to
Thanks God I said
And is it even okay if I don’t paragraph
my letters
Sweetcakes God said
who knows where she picked that up
what I’m telling you is
Yes Yes Yes

I did a dream and card reading for a friend a couple of nights ago after which she said she felt so good because the information was all so supportive and positive. I said YES. That is the nature of the universe, how it speaks! It always wants to tell you what will be the most healing, encouraging and supportive information – never, ever discouraging or admonishing. That is what I find in reading dreams and in reading what the oracular voices say through methods for divining their intelligences. As Carl Jung said, “The dream is always on your side.” And that, I believe, sums up what I would say about the universe; it is always on your side. It may give warnings, or information that stops you in your tracks about something, but it does so like your most loving best friend would do, believing completely in you, loving you with all of itself. That is how I read the dreams and that is how I read the cards, because that is how the universe channels itself through me in those situations. It teaches me every day.

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return.” This is a line my daughters and I sing often which we learned in the delightful movie Moulin Rouge. I think it holds the deepest, purest truth.

Yes. She says Yes.

The still point of the turning world

March 5, 2011

Listening to dreams in a dream group this week, awareness suddenly arrived regarding something I have been doing instinctively for years but hadn’t really made conscious yet. Listening into a dream I need to go to the dreamtime, meet the dreamer there and listen to all of his or her stories with a different ear than normally used. In order to do that I have to hold my body very still, almost like one would do in a trance; movement brings me back to this world and I can lose the vision.

The next day I had a period when anxieties were buzzing around me like bees around a hive, so I did what I instinctively do on those occasions; I got very, very still. I take a position and just stay in the still place. Movement causes me to be stung all over by the bees, painful; but stillness is the cure.

I reflected on what I had made conscious the night before, needing to sit so still to work the dreams and wait for the discovery of revelations the dream points to. The stillness necessary in these anxiety episodes must be related I suddenly think. In them I’m listening to life as a dream, going to that still place, and when I am through something is assimilated.

Though I do imagine the episodes at one level are a problem to be solved, I begin to see now that maybe they are also enormously productive and in some way allowing me to bring in the dream of the world. Psyche is a realm that works with instinct more than rational thought. Dreams are what I am passionate about, so it might be that I need these periods to do the work that I do. Possibly this method is powerfully instinctual, irrational but also very precise. Maybe I need to relax and show more respect and trust for such processes.

I thought of T.S. Eliot’s words in Burnt Norton that I have long loved:

At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.

Later in this quartet he includes these words which I also find descriptive of what I am thinking:

Descend lower, descend only
Into the world of perpetual solitude,
World not world, but that which is not world,
Internal darkness, deprivation
And destitution of all property,
Desiccation of the world of sense,
Evacuation of the world of fancy,
Inoperancy of the world of spirit;
This is the one way, and the other
Is the same, not in movement
But abstention from movement; while the world moves
In appetency, on its metalled ways
Of time past and time future.

The still point. Where the dance into other realms can be danced. I begin to think this is shamanic work. Let the body be still so the spirit go to that other realm. The only pain I feel during such occasions is if I move, and then later in rational reflection trying to figure out wtf. (That isn’t a typo.) In the stillness there is only peace.

Psyche is very demanding. When I ask to become her student, vessel, apprentice and voice should I think she will address and teach me in ways that will be clear and comprehensible to rational thought? Probably not.

I don’t always love it, but at this moment I am loving the journey. What a privilege and challenge.


Dreams as Continuing Revelation

March 3, 2011

Today as I was listening to some dreams I thought, as I often do, of the nature of that which comes to us through the dreamtime as constant, continual revelation from Source, God, Spirit, whatever we call it. Sacred scriptures of the many religions have eternal wisdom in them, but in terms of new revelation from Source providing what you need to realize coming straight out of the eternal and into your life right now, new wisdom for this moment, dreams are a constant source.

A physicist I listened to recently mentioned the fact that our solar system is moving through space at an unimaginably high velocity, so that no moment is ever repeated, we are NEVER in the same place twice. I’m thinking we need new information constantly to be on this time/space journey.

If Steve Jobs and his company make an iPad  history already, what might that also reflect about the need for constant updating our inner technology? I am sure dreams come from a place way beyond Apple’s abilities. And I know they cost a lot less.

Buried Treasure

February 9, 2011

A sweet client who does regular dream work with me gave me permission yesterday to share a line from her dream. In it someone she respects directly advised her “Search your dreams for buried wisdom.” The dreams that came in a stream right after that were like an archaeological dig, lots of clues to buried treasure for her to unearth. I love that before the dreams presented, the line was given to her. I love that line! I love that dreams are nightly treasure troves of wisdom. I love what I do as a dream worker. I love dreams and the dreamtime.

Dreams and Tarot

October 5, 2010

Many years ago, once upon a time, I had a dream of a person I had never heard of named Angeles Arrien. I wrote her name in my dream journal and thought it must be a metaphor or story about angels. I kept playing with the words in my head. Then within a week I was in a bookstore and saw, to my amazement, a book called Tarot Handbook, by Angeles Arrien! I felt chills all through my body. I bought the book of course. She is a cultural anthropolgist, a brilliant teacher and author, and quite studied in Jungian thought. I had heard of tarot before, but that is the extent of it. I knew nothing about it, nor did I ever have any interest in it nor bias against it, or any other thought of it before this event. I started using Angeles’ book along with a tarot deck on a daily basis. At first I was fascinated, then helped, then healed, then it became my most powerful ally and blessed guide during shifting times of divorce and breakdown. I used it for nearly 10 years alone before I ever started reading for anyone else.

The first day of the first retreat I ever had at my new retreat center in February 2005 I was heading in toward the group to do morning dreamwork when a very insistent thought occurred. I didn’t even begin to question, even though it was brand new. I would bring the tarot deck out and have each person draw a card, and would use the messages from these along with the dreamwork.

With the success of that first experiment I never looked back. I have been using the two in combination regularly ever since. I had never heard of work done like this before, but it has been so powerful and inspirational, undeniably insightful and healing, precise, practical, intuitive, dead-on, prescient, and resonant with others that – even though an academic and conservative voice in myself and the world says not to speak of it too openly – I can’t not speak of the strength of the work. When I hesitated to use the word “tarot” in my new brochure, my daughter Arlene, who bravely came out as gay when she was only 17 years old in front of a whole high school not familiar with such announcements, said to me, “Mom. You’ve got to come out.” My hero had spoken.

Imagine my delight when I read these words last night in a book I am reading called Dreamways of the Iroquois, by Robert Moss: “Today, it is popular on the Iroquois reservation for people to supplement their dreams with readings of tarot cards, tea leaves, or shreds of native tobacco bobbing in a simmering saucepan.” (p.42) Wow, thank you! I feel affirmed and not so alone in the world! I also am interested in this statement, “The early Iroquois regarded someone who was not in touch with their dreams as the victim of serious soul-loss.” (p.38)

Native people on every continent have regarded dreams as messages from the divine, and honored them sacredly. Now reading that today certain of these native people are using some more modern and Western oracular methods along with the old ones, thrills and shivers my bones. Especially when we feel out there on the margins of everything, an affirmation from the wisdom of the past is grounding. Thank you.

The Dreaming

September 23, 2010

I just started the book Dreamways of the Iroquois by Robert Moss. I want to quote some of his words because he says very well and succinctly what I feel, think and have committed my life to. It is always gratifying to find someone who is saying what is essential to us so eloquently.

“The Iroquois understand that dreams may be both experiences of the soul, and revelations of the soul’s wishes and of our life’s sacred purpose. … Our dreams reveal… the secret wish of the soul. It is important to recognize what the soul wants, what the heart yearns for, as opposed to the petty agendas of our daily trivial mind, or the expectations we internalize from other people who constantly tell us who we are and what we can and cannot do. The Iroquois teach that it is the responsibility of caring people in a caring society to gather around dreamers and help them unfold their dreams and search them to identify the wishes of the soul and the soul’s purpose — and then to take action to honor the soul’s intent. This goes to the heart of healing, because if we are not living from our souls, our lives lose magic and vitality. Part of our soul may even go away, leaving a hole in our being.

“The Iroquois believe that dreaming is one of the most important ways to acquire and accumulate authentic power… [and that] beings from the spirit world are constantly seeking to communicate with us in the dreamspace which offers an open frontier for contact between humans and the more than human. …

“In our dreaming culture, dream groups will be a vital part of every clinic, hospital and treatment center, and doctors will begin their patient interviews by asking about dreams as well as physical symptoms.” (pp.8-11)

AH, YES!!!  YES!!!  Thank you, Robert, for saying it.

A favorite quote

August 31, 2010

Those who have compared our life to a dream were right…. We sleeping wake, and waking sleep.

-Michel de Montaigne, Essays, 1580

I believe this is true. I really believe this is true.

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream.