Why Should I Work with My Dreams?

dreaming sleeperFor most of my adult life, I ignored the powerful messages my Dream Source was persistently trying to send me and – like all  dreamers who don’t pay attention to their dreams – I quit remembering most of them.

Early in 2014, I was patiently led by Spirit to the world of dreams through a series of signs I could not ignore. I am now a firm believer in the process of dream work as a path to personal growth, spiritual expansion, and as a tool for healing the wounds of the collective unconscious.

There are riches, treasures of inestimable worth, to be retrieved from our dreams, and working with your dreams in a group using the method known as Projective Dream Work will quickly change your mind when it comes to ‘dream interpretation’. The first thing you will learn is that this process is not mere ‘interpretation’.

The Costs of ‘Typical’ Dreaming

When you do not pay attention to your dreams, there are some consequences and the three most important ramifications are:

  1. You lose life force energy. Your dreams can help you identify and then move beyond your limiting beliefs, concepts and visions of yourself. It takes a tremendous amount of your soul-energy to hold these limiting beliefs in place, which is what often leads to a constant feeling of physical exhaustion in your waking life. Lift yourself out of lethargy, low-level depression and aimlessness by actively working with your dreams.
  2. You lose the connection to Soul. Through dream work, you can re-establish a meaningful dialogue with your higher wisdom. Experience important initiations and healings that will take your life to the next level., and re-discover the richness of the guidance waiting for you in the dream space and say goodbye to feeling alone, indecisive, and with a lack of purpose.
  3. You lose contact with key parts of Self. Aspects of your larger Self live on more advanced levels. Seek them, find them, reunite with them and bring their wisdom and beauty back to your waking world. The Shadow (both dark and bright) contains parts of our self that we have either rejected or do not acknowledge. When we are able to see all aspects of ourself, and to accept those parts, we move towards wholeness, which is what our Dream Source wants for us. There is an aspect of our being that seeks reunification on all levels, and it is this part that sends the material through our unconscious when we are ready to assimilate it.

Do you remember your dreams or do you have problems remembering them? If you allow your dreams to slip away, you are losing a huge part of yourself and the benefit that comes from working with the messages that are brought to you from these other levels of your awareness.

Dreams provide us with tremendous intuititve guidance, and are the gateway to a true understanding of the complexity of our nature. When we work with our dreams, we come to understand that just as our conscious mind dreams at night, our superconscious mind dreams our waking reality. Life is but a dream, after all.

To become conscious in the highest sense, we not only need to become centered, alert and intentional during our waking life, we need to become more aware of the multiple layers of consciousness we occupy during our ‘unconscious’ sleep time.

When we understand that we are a conscious being that is learning and creating all the time, we will experience the limitless nature of our true self. Your soul does not get tired and need to rest, only the physical body needs to restore itself with sleep. Your soul is alive and aware all the time.

You can increase your intuition by recording and actively working with your dreams. Consider establishing a practice connecting your day time experiences with your night time dreams. Before you slip into sleep at the end of each day, make a habit of reviewing your day. When you review your day, think about the things you accomplished and ponder what you might have done differently tomorrow. What are you grateful for? When you spend a few moments in such a review, your dream time won’t be taken up sorting through the events of the day, it will focus more on creative guidance and insights especially if you set your intention for your dream time.

The other piece to the puzzle is when you wake in the morning, don’t jump straight out of bed and rush into your day. Take a few moments to answer the question: What have I just been dreaming? Whatever you recall, record in the first person, present tense. This will keep you connected to the dream. It is also a way to re-connect to the energy of the dream later.

If you don’t remember a dream when you wake up, make one up. Or write down the first thought or feelings you have upon waking. Write or draw something in your journal every morning. This will help send the message to your subconscious mind that you really do intend to connect to your dream world. Your subconscious mind will start to connect with your waking mind.

There are some things you can do to make your journaling more helpful to the process of dream work, but that will be covered in the next article on dreams and dreaming. Until then, may you remember the dreams that mean the most to your Soul.

Dreams offer themselves to all. They are oracles, always ready to serve as our silent and infallible counselors.                                                                                ~Synesius of Cyrne

All original material posted to this site (c)2016-, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

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Giving Thanks – Be Grateful for Every Day

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This gallery contains 14 photos.

I give thanks for the opportunity to serve in each moment as God would see fit to use me.   I give thanks for all those who see the Truth of Me. I give thanks for the sun that rises, for … Continue reading

Morning Coffee – Archetypal Patterns

Cafe_ViennoisTime for a warm, frothy cup. There is a chill in the air this morning, and the heat of the coffee in my cup warms my fingers.   I was speaking with someone yesterday, scheduling an appointment. In the course of the conversation, the person said: ‘But aren’t you going to be spending Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving) cooking for everyone?’

I replied that my family was on the West Coast, so no, I would not be busy at the stove that day, and then finished our conversation.

When I woke up this morning, I found myself still thinking about this exchange. Archetypal patterns are created and sustained by the mass consciousness. This one is a relatively new one, I suspect, as Thanksgiving is a ‘holiday’ that is only a couple of centuries old. Do old archetypal patterns just fade away, to be replaced with the new ones, or are they layered one on top of the other? That is the question I will be pondering today.

As humans, our lives are influenced by these patterns whether we realize it or not. When we dream, we work with these patterns. We live our lives according to these patterns. Are you a hero? A goddess? A poet or mystic? A victim or a visionary? All of these are archetypal patterns, expressed in how we choose to live our lives, and manifesting in various ways in our dreams.

How can we change our world? By actively working with the archetypal patterns that form the matrix of our collective consciousness. The archetypes cannot change, but as humans, we can. The archetypes are dependent upon us to do the work to bring new patterns of awareness to the collective. If it is so easy to create a new pattern such as the one that manifested in the conversation with this person, then we can create a new world for ourselves. First step: becoming conscious that we have this ability.

Cup’s empty, so that’s the end of my random ramblings for today. Thanks for stopping by.

Jung was absolutely right. We are occupied by gods.                               ~Michael Ondaatj

All original material posted to this site (c)2015, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

“Asleep.” “Awake.” “Aware.” Descriptors of Levels of Consciousness.

Because It Bears Repeating

Amazing, when she's asleep, she's goodness per...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This was one of the most important teachings I was given when my spiritual awakening took place in 1987-89. (No, awakening usually doesn’t happen overnight. I’ve learned to never say ‘never’…)    I wrote about this concept in Part III of The Planet is Ascending and So are You Series from February 2012.  I wanted to set out some basic principles that describe my point of view, so people who wanted to, could better understand my writings here.

What I found out, looking back now, is that some really important concepts are buried in those longer articles.  So I am going to give some of them a makeover and present them to you again.

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Ancient Mother Bear Comes to Visit

One of the most profound experiences I had while on this adventure was the dream that woke me in the middle of the third night we were there.

Crow spoke to me every morning when I walked the grounds at first light. The constant appearance of crow was a gentle reminder that, no matter what I ‘thought’ was happening here, I needed to remember there was magic happening on some other level.

I fell into bed exhaused after yet another day of confusing, bizarre events that seemed to be in direct opposition to what was ‘supposed’ to be happening. Almost every journey took me to Egypt, but that was not the theme of this week – at least not for everyone else. But I had come for a dream adventure, and in retrospect that is EXACTLY what I got.

Ancient Mother Bear

Ancient Mother Bear

It happened on that third night. I received a gift from Spirit that is beyond any reckoning, and I treasure it still as it continues to resonate in my life, this new connection with an Ancient Spirit Companion. She was patiently waiting for me to answer her call, and when I look back over the past two and a half decades, I can see clearly she has been summoning me almost since the beginning of my spiritual journey.

When I still lived on the West Coast, I purchased a drum because I was drawn to it, not because I had any idea what to do with it. The drum had bear fur and claws on it. The name of the drum was ‘Speaks the Bear’. I sat in a few circles with this drum, and it traveled with me all the way to the Black Hills of South Dakota before it broke from the dry air. I didn’t know how to repair it, so I dismantled it.

I suspect she was tired of waiting for me to come to her, or perhaps it was the re-opening of my dream world connection that precipitated the experience. No matter. I awoke with a start from the most vivid dream I’ve ever had before or since, feeling energy in my back where her claws had ripped me open. Here is my dream:

BEAR HUG

I am in conversation with someone when I look down at my feet. My right foot looks like a bear’s foot, and I am curious.

I am standing at the entrance of a cave-like space facing a giant, ancient female bear. She is a golden-brown color, and is bigger than a grizzly bear. She is standing on her hind legs in this dark cave with a soft golden light emanating from her, and is about 16′ tall. I hear the words ‘Ancient Medicine’ as I stand there, watching.

She is ROARING as she holds her front paws open wide, yet I am not afraid. I can remember feeling surprised that I am not fearful. I walk to her because I just feel she wants to give me a hug.

I walk into her arms and she wraps her front legs around me. My arms reach around her just above her knees. She digs her claws deep into my mid-back at heart chakra level and rakes her claws upwards and outwards along my rib cage.

I am startled awake by this, and feel a buzzy tingle all over my body as I lay in the darkness realizing I am not in an ancient, dark cave but am safe in my bed in a dark cabin in upstate New York.

I have the thought: ‘Oh, that was just a dream’, but in the same moment that my mind flashes back on the claws raking my back, I feel a rush of goose flesh that makes me think it wasn’t ‘just a dream’…I fall back to sleep, but when I awaken in the morning, I can still feel the heat of the scratches from my encounter with this Ancient Bear.

As I quickly write the dream down, and the title comes to mind, I feel tears well up and am again surprised at my reaction. I receive a healing song from this Spirit Bear, and write it down as well. I don’t know what I am supposed to do about this encounter. Perhaps when we gather in circle today, I will have the opportunity to ask about it.

There was no time. Bear haunted me all day, in the background of my awareness as we moved through some more journeys.The morning is taken up with a Dream Theater production of a dream that required the participation of all the people in the workshop. I had an interesting response to that scenario, and though I still don’t have clarity on it, I know that if I am supposed to understand it, I will. Someday, but not yet.

Crow next makes an appearance the following day when we journey to the Underworld. Most of this journey is not for sharing, but I can say a person I meet there gives me 3 raven feathers, and tells me I can come back to learn how to use them. Then she tells me to skedaddle, so I do.

Other challenges and tests were given and met, and I left my first dance with my Dream Source in a state of complete overwhelm. It was as if I was playing catch-up, and I had a lot of catching up to do.

I returned to my home city on fire about the power of this dream working thing. It resonated with me because it combined an element of shamanic journeying with the actual dream working part. I gathered some other intrepid dreamers that were willing to allow me to try group dreamwork on for size. This beginning circle continued for some months, and I enjoyed the work, but there was an undercurrent of energy that whispered of ‘more…’

At the most appropriate time, in the perfectly appropriate way, the ‘more’ was revealed, and my dream working, my dream walk, began in earnest.

All original material posted to this site is (c)2015, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

Dreams never come to tell you just what you already know. ~Jeremy Taylor

Morning Coffee – It’s Story Time

I am in a story telling mood today, and perhaps that’s because I spent a week in the presence of someone who loves a good story. As an aside, I learned much about how to tell a better story. I have a lot of work to do. Hopefully, one cup of coffee will take you through this tale from my early days.

A Crow Funeral

I was reminded of this experience last week when crow and raven were so prevalent in the room during the workshop, so I thought I’d tell you about the first time I ever heard words from an animal. Add to this the sad fact the animal’s body was no longer breathing.

When I was first awakened, the things I experienced freaked me out some times. This was definitely one of those times, because I didn’t have the consciousness to perceive the wonder and beauty of what I encountered. That came later.

CrowbywaterI walked the same route to the Post Office every day. It gave me exercise, and some time outdoors to breathe fresh air, to feel the sun on my face, to smell the scents on the wind (although most times, that was car exhaust). This day, I noticed a crow lying dead by the curb in the gutter. I glanced over, and was startled when I clearly heard the words : “Pick me up.”

“EEEwwwwwww!” was my immediate response, then the thought came that I had just responded to a dead crow. I kept on walking, and ignored the pleas I heard on the return trip.

The next day, the crow was still there. I thought that by now, a cat or some other scavenger would have carried it off. No such luck. I now understand that it was for purpose that the crow’s body was still there, that something greater than ordinary consciousness was in play here. Again, I heard the crow (still dead, mind you) beseeching me to pick it up from the gutter. I heard additional reasons why I needed to take action: “I do not want to continue to lie here in the gutter. Please don’t leave me here in disgrace like a piece of refuse. I deserve a proper burial.”

I was all in at this point. What the heck, I was hearing a dead crow speak. Might as well answer. I mentally told the crow (still dead) that if it was still there in the morning (which would be the morning of the third day), I would do something about its plight.

The morning of the third day came. I walked to the Post Office. The crow was still there, and I swear I could feel a strong sense of “waiting” energy. Silence. No words in my head as I walked by. But I had made a promise, despite the fact that I’d made it to a dead crow. I do my best to keep my word.

I went back to the house after I picked up the mail and fetched some plastic bags and rubber gloves. I also located my collapsible shovel because there was no way I was just going to throw the crow in the trash. I now have the overwhelming impulse to give this crow a proper burial, and that would require digging a hole in my back yard somewhere.

crowsonabranchI gently placed the remains of the crow into the bag, and carried the body to my back yard. I figured at this point I might as well ask where it would like to be buried. I was totally surprised when it immediately responded by pointing my attention to a specific spot that would get both sun and shade throughout the day.

I dug the hole there, and rolled the body from the plastic bag into the waiting earth. I declare, I heard a sigh from this deceased crow as the body made contact with the dirt. And then I heard the most extraordinary thing. This crow told me I could take any part of its body as a gift for this act of kindness.

My immediate response was: “EEEwwwww! No, you keep it all.”

I didn’t know what an honor this was. I refused the gift.  No, you keep all your parts,  I thought. As I covered the bird up, blanketing the body with the earth I’d removed to make room for the crow, I suddenly became aware of a rustling, and some soft cawing from above and behind me. There were trees in my back yard. With the awareness came the sensation of a rush of goose bumps. (I didn’t recognize it as “Truth bumps” at the time, but now understand that is what they were.)

crowsinthetreesSlowly, I turned. Another wave of intense energy rolled through me as I gazed upon hundreds of crows gathered in the trees, like blue-black baubles amidst the verdant green of the leaves. It took my breath away, and I knew in that moment I was participating in a crow funeral. Literally. All these Crow Relations had come to say good-bye to their brother, their friend.

Weird, but I could feel their collective appreciation for the simple act I’d performed. I also had the sense I carried crow medicine now, despite my refusal to take any physical parts from the bird I’d buried.

It was many years later, and in a different state entirely, before I finally accepted the gift of Crow Medicine from the Crow Nation. But that is a story for another day.

Time to get busy. Now go out and have a wonder-filled day. I know I will.

All original material posted to this site is (c)2014, Julie Marie. All rights reserved.