Monthly Archives: June 2019
Many of us take our dreams for granted, not realizing that the dream state is actually an expanded state of consciousness. Due to the fact that the ego lets go of a lot of the control it normally exercises during the day, we become more open to healing forces that help us to regain balance mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually as we dream.
There are many different schools of thought regarding the meaning and use of dreams – I call the dreamwork I teach the Esoteric Dream School since I believe that humans are spiritual beings, here on an evolutionary journey. I believe we have a higher self, that part of ourselves which is more enlightened and is the one constant at the core of our different lifetimes.
Our higher selves often work with us through our dreams – healing, advising, encouraging, and sometimes warning us of coming dangers. It is also possible to receive great spiritual gifts and knowledge in the form of visionary dreams. In the shamanic tradition for example, it is known that a developing healer can be initated as a shaman and given specific healing powers in the dream state. Such dreams are life transforming.
Anyone who desires to derive spiritual guidance and more conscious benefit from their dreams can achieve that goal. When I started in 1986, I could not remember much…an occasional clearer dream, otherwise just nonsensical fragments. Once I made the decision to start keeping track of them new insights about consciousness appeared from the very start. Today, I remember my dreams most nights and am able to apply the information they give me to my everyday life. I am also able to assist others, not only as a dream interpreter, but as a dream traveler, searching out and gaining information for various problems they request help with.
There are 3 basic steps to becoming a proficient dreamer if you consider yourself inexperienced.
1) REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS
Start to record your dreams. Have a journal – for that purpose only – by your bedside and write down the very first dream fragment you experience. It does not matter whether or not it seems important. By getting the journal and devoting time to this activity, you are sending a message to your consciousness that you are more interested in your dreams. This will automatically increase your ability to remember.
Write page numbers in your journal so you can make your own index of content. Don’t forget the date, make a few short notes about what you were doing that day, and whether or not there were any other influences, such as a full or new moon. As time goes by, you will observe certain patterns to your dreaming that will assist you in understanding their meaning.
If you are still having difficulty remembering your dreams, give yourself positive suggestions mentally a few times just before falling asleep. Examples of such suggestions are “When I wake up in the morning, I will remember my dreams.” or “Tonight I will take a photo of the most important part of my dreams and remember it when I wake up.” In the morning I will often use the following suggestion before arising if I am having trouble with recall: “I can and I will remember my dreams.”
Another important aspect of writing down your dreams is that often you will understand the meaning spontaneously as you write. The same effect can be achieved by sharing your dream with a friend or dreamwork partner who is willing to listen.
2) LEARN DREAM SYMBOLS
In order to be able to start interpreting the symbols your mind is using to communicate with you, you can start by using a symbol lexicon or even a dictionary. There are various dream interpretation books on the market. Some are excellent.
But a word of caution here: I have found many dream lists that are superficial and superstitious…written on a “parlor room” level if you will. Be selective. In the end, a symbol has the meaning that your consciousness applies to it and there is most certainly a cultural influence to be accounted for.
However, there are many universal themes in our dreams that are common to all humans on the planet, and these themes can be discussed and further explored during dreamwork classes. Other topics to be covered in class are the different types of dreams such as nightmares, clairvoyance, teaching, healing, mirror, etc.
3) PROGRAM YOUR DREAMTIME
As you become a more proficient dreamer, you can eventually learn to program your dreamtime to get advice on a particular question, to visit other places*, or to enter a state of lucid dreaming, which means that you are aware of the fact that you are dreaming while you are dreaming. This is achieved by giving yourself appropriate suggestions before falling asleep.
(*In the dream state the ordinary rules of physics do not apply…our spirit can actually leave the body and visit other places, other dimensions, other ages since we step out of the time/space zone in dreams. The dream state also allows us to communicate with those closest to us who have passed over.)
One of mankind’s greatest fears is that he is alone in the universe, abandoned to fateful forces of destruction. My dreams have time and time again totally and irrevocably convinced me that just the opposite is true. We are watched over, guided and supported through all of life’s trials and tribulations. Dream miracles have become a part of my daily life! I encourage and invite you to start your dream journal today and to become more acquainted with how your dream consciousness is speaking with you so that you can experience your own dream miracles!
Article by: Judith Bourque
One of the greatest gifts of dreaming is that it puts us in touch with soul. It takes us beyond the limited understanding of the everyday self and shows us who we are, what our soul’s purpose is in this life experience and what our heart truly yearns for. There is a word for this vital function of dreams in the language of the Huron, a dreaming people of North America. The word is ondinnonk, and it means a “secret wish of the soul”, especially as revealed in dreams. This expression takes us to the heart of healing.
By connecting with our dreams, and celebrating and acting on the information they gift to us, we bring the energy and magic of soul into our daily lives. As we allow our big dreams to take root in this world, we become whole and well, and start living our deeper story. As we help others to honor and celebrate their soul guidance, as revealed in dreams, we become healers and dreambringers.
Ancient dream healers understood that we are often out of touch, in our surface minds, with our deepest truths and our heart’s desires. Not knowing who we are, forgetting our soul’s purpose, we do terrible harm to ourselves and others. Dreams invite us to get back on the right track, the soul’s track. I learned about this many years ago when I asked for dream guidance in support of a narrow, ego-driven agenda. I wanted inspiration for a commercial potboiler, a thriller that would follow the formula of a successful previous novel I had published.
In my dream, I found myself in a banquet hall where a lavish feast for hundreds of people was being prepared in my honor. But there was a problem. In the dream restaurant, the master chef had walked out in disgust because he was bored with my menu. The message, on waking, was clear. If I persisted in repeating myself – in using my creative gifts for a limited purpose – my deepest creative energy (the “master chef” of the dream) would bow out; the soul and its magic would be missing. I abandoned a major book project because that dream showed me it wasn’t “major” in the ways that serve the soul.
Dreaming not only renews our understanding of the soul’s purpose; it can literally bring the soul back home. From the shaman’s perspective, soul loss is the root cause of much illness and affliction in our lives. We suffer deep grief, heartbreak or abuse or trauma – and maybe then succumb to negative habits and addictions – and a part of our vital soul energy goes away. Chronic depression, lethargy, memory gaps, low resistance to illness and emotional numbness are among the most frequent symptoms of soul loss.
Our dreams can tell us which parts of ourselves may be missing, and when it is timely to bring them home. Recurring dreams in which we go back to a scene from our earlier lives may indicate that a part of us has remained there.
Dreams in which we perceive a younger self as a separate individual may be nudging us to recognize and recover a part of ourselves we lost at that age. Sometimes we do not know who that beautiful child is – until we take a closer look. There is a marvelous story in my book Dreamgates about what happened when a woman went back into a dream of a beautiful five-year-old in a red coat, and found herself fusing at the heart, in a blaze of light, with the part of herself she had lost at age five through family trauma.
Unfortunately, a common effect of soul loss is dream loss. Indeed the absence of dream recall is often a primary symptom of soul loss – as if the part of the sufferer that knows how to dream and travel in deeper reality has gone away, out of pain or disgust. It is fascinating and deeply rewarding to observe what can happen when people who have forgotten how to dream start dreaming again. This can amount to spontaneous soul recovery.
A middle-aged woman approached me for help. She told me, “I feel I have lost the part of me that can give trust and know joy.” As preparation for our meeting, I asked her to start a dream journal, although she had told me she had not remembered her dreams for many years. When she came to see me, she had succeeded in capturing just one tiny fragment from a dream.
She remembered that she was standing over a table, looking at three large-size “post-it” notes. Each had a typed message. But the ink had faded and she could not read the messages.
Slowly and carefully, I helped her to relax and encouraged her to try to go back inside her dream. Quite quickly, she found herself inside a room in the house where she had lived with her ex-husband prior to their divorce, almost twenty years before. Now she could read the typed messages. The first read in bold capitals, “YOU CAN DO IT.” They were all about living with heart, and trusting life.
She realized that she had left her ability to love and to trust in that room for nearly twenty years. I asked her what she needed to do. She told me, “I need to bring my heart out of that room and put it back in my body.” She gathered up the messages and made the motion of bringing them into her heart. As her hands crossed over the place of her heart, we both saw a sweet and gentle light shine out from her heart center. She trembled, eyes shining, and told me, “Something just came back. Something that was missing for twenty years.”
In the most literal sense, dreaming can make us whole. It not only connects us with lost or buried aspects of ourselves. It connects us with our larger identity – our Higher Self – and our larger purpose.
Honoring the secret wishes of the soul, as involved in dreams, requires us to learn some simple and powerful strategies that are central to my dream workshops:
Opening to dream guidance
Start a dream journal, if you are not keeping one already, and resolve to catch your dreams and write up your dream reports, giving each dream a title. You’ll find it very rewarding to dream with intention.
Before going to sleep, write down a question or issue on which you would like some guidance. This can be specific (“Should I change my job?”) or general and open-hearted (“I open myself to the power of healing”). If you remember dreams from the night, see how they might relate back to your intention.
Learn simple steps to clarify dream messages
The all-important keys are:
- Trust your feelings
- Run a reality check and
- Go back inside your dream to get more information.
Your feelings, on first waking up, are an instant and usually impeccable guide to the general quality and urgency of the dream. Running a reality check means checking how elements in the dream relate to your waking life and – especially – checking to see whether the dream may be giving you a window into possible future events in waking reality.
We dream future events quite often, though few of us pay attention and fewer still are alive to the interesting possibility that if you can see the (possible) future you may be able to take action to change the future for the better.
Finally, the best way to understand the full meaning of a dream is to learn to go back inside it, as you might step back into a room, take a good look around (while fully alert and conscious), and maybe talk to someone in the scene or dream the dream onward to healing or resolution.
Open a safe space to share and celebrate dreams with others
When we know that dreams show the wishes of the soul, we will surely want to support each other in honoring this guidance. Start sharing dreams with a friend, by email if necessary. Never presume to tell the other person what his or her dreams mean.
Start by encouraging your partner to tell the dream as simply and clearly as possible, give it a title. Ask what the dreamer felt when she first woke up. Ask her to run a reality check to see whether there are messages about current situations in waking life, or possible future events. Then offer your own thoughts and associations in a gentle way by always saying “if it were my dream” rather than laying down the law.
Finally, ask your partner what she can now do – in a practical, positive way – to honor the dream and act on its guidance. With a little practice, you’ll find safe ways to bring dream-sharing to larger groups and start building a dream community. An office that starts the day with dream-sharing is a vastly more lively and creative space!
Always do something with your dreams!
Real dreamwork is about energy – about bringing vital energy from a deeper reality into the daylight world. In my workshops, we turn our dreams into stories, drawings and songs; we stage spontaneous dream theatre; and we agree on action plans to work with the guidance of our dreams and the powers that speak to us in dreams. Sharing a dream with another person is already a step towards action.
Writing yourself a personal motto inspired by a dream – a bumper sticker – is a further step. Buy the red shoes, make the phone call, plant those flowers, study the transformations of the Goddess or the Bear in myth and art, as your dreams may guide you, and you are taking a longer step on the road of soul, the only road to walk.
Author: Robert Moss
- Grandfather Sun
- Illumination, Enlightenment, Knowledge
Out of the Void, first came Grandfather Sun. This is the actual sun around which our planet earth revolves. It is light, illumination, enlightenment and knowledge. For example, let’s look at the word enlightenment. It means to put light into, to lighten up. It is plain to see that when Grandfather Sun shines on the planet, it definitely lightens things up. This teaching is not only literal, but translated into an internal symbolic sense, it is the great symbol of gaining knowledge.
Within us there is a “fire from within” which burns inside us. It is our spark, our sexuality. We speak of this as the “little sun”; it is our own Grandfather Sun which burns within us. When we are connected with the external Sun, we can ask it to ignite our own inner fire. Or using our awakened inner fire, we can connect to Grandfather Sun. This is the male seed for all life. The fire of the male seed explodes as the dance of active-conceptive energy.
From: Shamanic Wheels and Keys
You must learn to see. There is seeing the visible. Most people see only the physical world around them. But there is also seeing the invisible. There is emotion, spirit and mind. The whole circle of the Human Being is both these things ~ the visible and the invisible. Most people refuse to look at the whole Circle and see what is really there.
From: One is the Sun
If you come to me as a victim I will not support you.
But I will have the courage to walk with you through the pain that you are suffering.
I will put you in the fire. I will undress you, and I will sit you on the earth.
I will bathe you with herbs, I will purge you, and you will vomit the rage and the darkness inside you.
I will bang your body with good herbs, and I will put you to lay in the grass, face up to the sky.
Then I will blow your crown to clean the old memories that make you repeat the same behavior.
I will blow your forehead to scare away the thoughts that cloud your vision.
I will blow your throat to release the knot that won’t let you talk.
I will blow your heart to scare fear, so that it goes far away where it cannot find you.
I will blow your solar plexus to extinguish the fire of the hell you carry inside, and you will know peace.
I will blow with fire your belly to burn the attachments, and the love that was not.
I will blow away the lovers that left you, the children that never came.
I will blow your heart to make you warm, to rekindle your desire to feel, create and start again.
I will blow with force your vagina or your penis, to clean the sexual door to your soul.
I will blow away the garbage that you collected trying to love what did not want to be loved.
I will use the broom, and the sponge, and the rag, and safely clean all the bitterness inside you.
I will blow your hands to destroy the ties that prevent you from creating.
I will blow your feet to dust and erase the footprints memories, so you can never return to that bad place.
I will turn your body, so your face will kiss the earth.
I will blow your spine from the root to the neck to increase your strength and help you walk upright.
And I will let you rest.
After this you will cry, and after crying you will sleep.
And you will dream beautiful and meaningful dreams.
And when you wake up I will be waiting for you.
I will smile at you, and you will smile back.
I will offer you food that you will eat with pleasure, tasting life, and I will thank you.
Because what I am offering today, was offered to me before when darkness lived within me.
And after I was healed, I felt the darkness leaving, and I cried.
Then we will walk together, and I will show you my garden, and my plants, and I will take you to the fire again.
And we will talk together in a single voice with the blessing of the earth.
And we will shout to the forest the desires of your heart.
And the fire will listen and whisper the echo, and we will create hope together.
And the mountains will listen and whisper the echo, and we will create hope together.
And the wind will listen and whisper the echo, and we will create hope together.
And then we will bow before the fire, and we will call upon all the visible and invisible guardians.
And you will say thank you to all of them.
And you will say thank you to yourself.
And you will say thank you to yourself.
And you will say thank you to yourself.
The taking of life brings serious thoughts.
We have come thus far, my brothers. We have already laid our plans. With magic power the trail is made easy, bordered with flowers, grass, and trees.
The enemy saw the apparent bounty of nature and assembled, laughing, to gather the seeds and plants. It was the power of the distant magician which made the enemy enjoy his fancied prosperity.
In the center of our council ground the fire burned and, lighting a cigarette, I puffed smoke toward the east. Slowly a vision arose before me …
On the mountain tops was a yellow-spider magician, upon where I called for help. He went to the enemy, darkened their hearts, tied their hands and their bows, and made them grow weak as women.
Then he pushed us on to destroy the enemy. We rushed upon the Apaches and killed them without difficulty.
With gladness in my heart I gathered the evidences of my victory and turned toward home.
You may think this over, my relatives. The taking of life brings serious thoughts of the waste; the celebration of victory may become riotous.
~A Pima Poem
The act of Counting Coup signifies a victory over an enemy or an accepted challenge. The Warrior Clans of Native America used many methods of stealth, guile, surprise, planning, and physical strength to claim prizes from their opponents. The Traditional prizes taken on raids were Horses, Eagle feathers, Medicine Bundles, Medicine Shields, tomahawks, bows, and other weapons. Scalps were not honorable prizes of Counting Coup before the Boat People came to Turtle Island.
Trappers and traders sold scalps to European curiosity seekers saying that the “savages” in the new world cut each other’s scalp off, when, in fact the practice of scalping was started by those who sought money from the wealthy in Europe. As the scalping horror spread and Native women and children were being killed and scalped or scalped alive, the Warrior Clans began to retaliate.
The men of any race or Tribe were of the Warrior Clan in the eyes of Native Americans and were charged with the honor of protecting women and children. It was the highest form of shame for a Warrior to have the women and children under his protection hurt in any way.
Anger and hatred began to grow on all sides, Tribe against Tribe and Indian against white. The act of Counting Coup had been soiled and the honor normally between Warriors and soldiers had been cast aside. In the original meaning, Counting Coup had been an act of victory. A Warrior would steal something from the Brave he had bested to show how strong his Medicine was against his rivals.
This practice varied among Tribes. Members of the Warrior Clan among the Plains Indians often had a Coup Staff or Stick, much like a shepherd’s crook that was placed inside his lodge and carried the reminders of his personal victories. The Coup Staff had various prizes tied to it. These objects could include Horse hair (if he had stolen the mount of another Warrior), Eagle feathers, a piece of material, beads, or a Medicine Pouch, which had been tied to the mane of an opponents Horse. Later with the practice of scalping, a scalp could also be seen hanging from a Coup Stick.
In marking a victory, there were certain things that a Brave was then allowed to do that would tell others of his Counting Coup. He could use the designs in his face paint which added honor to his status and told those who knew how to read its meaning that he had one or more acts of bravery added to his name. These symbols could also be added to his Horse’s warpaint when he rode into battle again. The more Coups Counted, the stronger the Medicine of that Warrior.
Four to six major types of Coups were Counted among the Sioux, the Crow, the Blackfoot, the Apache, the Cherokee, the Cheyenne, the Kiowa, the Flathead, the Ute, the Arapahoe, the Pawnee, the Shoshone, and others.
- The first in importance was to strike an enemy with bow and arrow, tomahawk, or later a rifle’s bullet.
- Another important Coup was “riding the enemy down.” To ride an enemy down was to knock the Warrior off his Horse and finish him off with hand-to-hand combat.
- To steal an enemy’s Horse was another important Coup. Stealing Horses was to steal the means of retaliation, and therefore, steal Warrior-power, or strength.
- The fifth was to steal some of the enemy’s Medicine, which could be his Shield, his Eagle feathers, his Medicine pouch, a beaded medallion, a Buffalo-bone chestplate, or scalplock.
A scalplock is one tiny piece of hair that is braided with some kind of Medicine representing that person’s Allies, connections, or strengths. A scalplock can have a strip of hide, a feather, a tooth, beads, and/or other small objects tied to it. To cut the braided scalplock from a Warrior’s hair was to strip him of his war medicine.
- The final recognized form of Counting Coup was to destroy a Warrior’s Lodge or Tipi, take his woman, or personal possessions. This form of Counting Coup was not as honorable and was used only as a last resort, to humiliate rather than to conquer another Warrior’s Medicine.
Among the Plains Indians, if a death occurred, the raiding party would smear black paint on their faces when returning to camp. The women would start their mourning trills and cries at the first sight of the Black Faces. The grieving family would be relieved from the duties of daily life and work for four days.
The four days of mourning honored the Winds of the Four Directions, which would take the loved one to the Sky Lodge after having “dropped his robe” (dying). If the raid was not victorious, the entire Tribe observed the death with mourning. If the Warriors had Counted Coup, the grieving family was taken care of and waited upon, but the Coup celebration would continue for the other Tribal members.
At the Coup feast, the leader of the war party or raiding band would give those who had witnessed the individual victories of their friends the honor of telling the events. A Warrior was honored by his friends and was not allowed to tell the story himself.
This practice added another dimension to the celebration since a friend’s pride in another Brother’s accomplishments came into play. This insured the participation of those who had not accomplished an act of Coup personally and made them part of the celebration as well. It also ruled out any embellishments on the part of those actually involved.
To speak in an exaggerated manner was considered prideful and to lie was to lose face. A true witness was bound by honor to speak honestly of a Brother’s courage or lack of it.
If someone had shamed the Warrior Clan, it was spoken of in the Council of that Clan and never in front of the entire Tribe. A loss of courage was a blemish on all of the Brothers of the Warrior Clan and since they acted as an elite group or unit, “shame-faces” were not allowed to continue as members.
“To add a Coup Feather to one’s Bonnet” is an expression that comes from the idea of personal achievement or accomplishment that will aid or assist the whole. In the concept of Counting Coup, jealousy and envy have no place. There is no victory when anyone is belittled through the boasting of another. There is no honor in self-importance.
Actions speak louder than words when victory is sought. A Coup Feather is never awarded to someone who intended to do something but did not follow through. Walking One’s Talk is the essence of true victory. As reflected by our Ancestors, the victory of the Coup Feather is based upon the high ideals of Eagle. Those ideals are followed by action. Just as Eagle marks and kills its prey, so must we mark and attack the weaknesses that keep us from fulfilling our words.
As Counting Coup is a personal victory that affects the whole, so is the war we wage on the old patterns that keep us from knowing world peace. These enemies can be ignorance, inner conflict, envy, jealousy, willful pride, laziness, fear, bitterness, hatred, greed, bigotry, gossip, resentment, and broken promises.
Our modern Medicine Shields are made from truth, our weapons are living that truth, and our prize is our future, bringing the healing of Earth Mother’s children. Every Two-legged has been asked to accomplish these Coups through the discovery and healing of the Self.
In my Morning Meditation today, my teacher was a Crow warrior.
When I looked into his eyes, I saw a battlefield, I smelled the blood and the shit. He was holding up a decapitated head. Holding it by it’s hair. It was dripping blood. Other younger warriors were trilling and “counting coup”. It was a dreadful scene.
He looked at me and said:
“Be who you are.
It is very important.”
And when he said that, I realized:
Don’t be who they are, don’t be who others want you to be, don’t be someone else, don’t be who you think you should be. Be you, totally and completely you. No excuses. No regrets. And if you don’t know who you are… well, OK… you can just be “you not knowing you”.
- Khetani Machangana: Learn To See