Sunday, December 10, 2017

Sunny Speaks to Me

My cat spoke to me in a dream a few nights ago; I love it when that happens, when animals have a dialogue with me in the dreaming.  It's always worthwhile to listen.

It was kind of funny because, as in waking life, my old gentleman is hard of hearing, so I was speaking right to his face, so he could lip read and enunciating to be as clear as possible.

He was telling me about his mother and father; I asked him to tell me more about his dad.  I don't know if he heard me correctly, but he answered "fathers are important", or something like that.

Of course it put me in mind of my own departed dad, how important he is in my life.  From there, a host of other beneficial ponderings ensued.

But how cool is it to hear an animal speak in a dream!  I laugh because in the dream I thought he sounds a lot like me but in a lower register.  Part of me is aware in the dream that it is all coming from me, for my sake.

Talking animals are the stuff of fairy tales, and dreams.  The fact that it's my beloved waking life cat conversing with me makes it even more thrilling.  Sunny is the most psychic cat I've ever lived with, from the beginning he acted like he just read your mind.  It's fun to have him show up with me in a dream, let alone talking.

There's a trickster, but deeply divine energy to the wisdom animals impart in dreams.  I collect my animal dreams in one file; I reread them often and value the energy and significance each one has gifted me from the dream lands.  Different animals gift different energies to the dreamer they visit.  I figure it's up to me to recognize the gift and honor it by paying attention and learning the lesson offered.

What animals have visited you lately in the dreaming?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Dream Spirituality: the Divine in the 21st Century

"Full Moon In Taurus" by Katrin Haiba   2017
I don't know if you've noticed, but the world is in a shit load of trouble.  My best friend and partner, Jim, has taught me to distinguish between the world's situation and the people in it.  The trouble is incontrovertibly, the people.  The world, as Jim insists, is a beautiful place.

Why are people causing so much trouble, so much suffering for themselves and every living thing around them? Could it be that the people are acting out of misguided beliefs?

For all of  recorded history, not to be confused with actual history,  history is the story as told by the conqueror.  The conqueror's rule, the conqueror's dictums, the story as the conqueror sees it.  In a patriarchal paradigm, might makes right, strength is power and daddy knows best.  Patriarchy conquered about 6 millennia ago; Homo Sapiens, our clan, have been around for about 200,000 years.  Do the math; do you really think we came into our own only 6,000 years ago and sat around twiddling our thumbs before that? Archeological records suggest periods of human history resplendent with remarkable human works, and whats more, with respect for the Feminine Divine, God as Mother.

Today, can we recognize a failed paradigm when we're living it?

On this beautiful planet, patriarchal religions constructed the paradigm of violence and domination.  For the six millennia of father rule, patriarchies have been one blood bath after another.  The more rigid the tenets of the patriarchal belief structures, the worse women in that culture fare.  Restrictions on everything female are a hall mark of these paradigms.  "And he shall lord it over her" because she is at existential fault for all things evil.  You can call her Eve, make sure she stays in her place or she will deceive and subdue you.

But there was a time when we emerged, wide-eyed from our caves and proclaimed the Divine Mother.  It was a simple deduction.  Who gives birth?  Who bleeds and does not die?  The Great Mother is not Barbie dressed as the Virgin Mary; the Great Mother is the primal creative force of the Universe.

The problem with problem paradigms is, as you think, so shall you do.  If society can get us to accept absurdity as the norm, even the goal, through the crap they teach you is true, when it isn't, then that particular consensus reality can rule.  Patriarchy is a physical earth consensus reality that I think is way past its use by date.

Men don't have to feel threatened; they just have to open their hearts to the Feminine Divine, think with their hearts more and join the revolution.  The opposite of patriarchy isn't matriarchy; the patriarchal paradigm rules by hierarchies and force.  The opposite of patriarchy is balance - harmony, dance, and chill living.  Anyone want to sign up for a new paradigm?

Thinking is dangerously arbitrary; a paradigm that dictates inane, insane beliefs, especially about women for the benefit of men, also justifies the subjugation of one race to another.  It all begins with the hubris to make rules that handicap to any degree the natural potential of a person, whatever gender, whatever race.

Isn't it time we took stock of the wineskins into which we pour the truest elixirs of our soul?  God is not male or father.  God/Goddess is All.  Light. Energy.  Way too big for those tiny, stiff foreskins, I mean wineskins.

Haven't you met the divine in your dreams?  It doesn't always take the same form. Sometimes it's surprising or humbling to recognize our initial blindness to the shape the divine does take in our dreams, but when we become aware, we know it by the awe it inspires in us.  Your divine and my divine will not manifest the same.

Yet, from the time we're born, we're told god is Father, mighty, to be feared and to be catered to, regardless of how callous, cold and petty vengeful his actions often prove to be.  Take the principal sacrifice at the heart of patriarchal Christianity, that of the only, the good, loving son who must die to settle a debt.

How can a religion that claims god is love also insist that something so unnatural, horrible and cruel as demanding your own son's gory death to satisfy a sour tempered grudge is ultimately an act of selfless love for humanity?  But then again, how many sons have been sacrificed in any of those bloodbaths that are just the way patriarchy rolls.

Why has the Divine Mother been forgotten or relegated to the handmaid who'll do whatever the Father says?  It is no accident, as I've written, but the question for today, for the 21st century is, how much longer is an untenable spirituality going to rule us?  How much longer will people listen to religious babble and consider it the word of the one, almighty, all male, god?  Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results?

If, as I've mentioned, our spirituality is as natural and individual to us as our bellybuttons, why not tune in to the channel you frequent every night and find out more about who you really are from your own direct connection?  Does that mean that we share nothing?  No, as it turns out, we soon learn that we share everything.  We are One.

Try seeing the divine in Mother as well as Father, equally; the yin and the yang is the great balance that makes life flow.  Try keeping an ear to your own best counsel of your dreams so that you come to realize you live in more than one place at once; the dream world and the physical world are equally, if differently, real.

Our differences are based not on physiology but on beliefs.  It's our belief that separates one from another, sometimes breeding real hatred.  Look at the racial hatred in vogue now; how stupid are these beliefs?  Many people can concur that they are; then how stupid is the belief in one supreme, male deity who wants anyone who doesn't agree to die a horrible, long painful death and forever burn in putrid fires for eternity.  Nice.

Dreaming is just one avenue to the spirituality that can liberate us of old, mean and dangerous beliefs. I heard Neal Degrasse Tyson call his version, cosmic spirituality.  We all don't have to arrive at the same conclusions nor follow the same paths; but we all have to find true balance so that we don't continue to rock the boat so violently ( the planet) on which our survival depends

There is no mistaking Love.  It doesn't restrict, punish nor demand.  It flows with what is needed most for the wellbeing of the soul. Love is ineffable and best experienced directly, so why not tune in to your own connections and open your heart to greater possibilities?

I didn't need to give up Jesus to give up patriarchal christianity; Jesus is the best feminist role model for men in patriarchal history.  The divine feminine is equally important to our psychic health as the divine masculine.  A divine masculine out of control is bad for you, a fact that history bears out repeatedly.  For spiritual balance the divine feminine must exert equal influence in the human psyche and the cultures we create.  Divine Love is a Dance.  We're here to dance, or at least let our hearts do it for us.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

All That Dies Shall Be Reborn

This is an important time of year for me; I chose to marry my dear man on October 31st.  It's a sacred day to the earth religions, the pagans of the planet.  It's the day of transition between life and death, autumn and winter, into the dark, the still, the cold, the lifeless. It's also a time to give thanks for the bounty of the summer's harvest.

In pagan thought, all that dies will be reborn: Spring follows Winter; Life follows Death.  Spirit doesn't die; it transforms and transitions from matter to energy, and back again - from here to there, and back again.

Today, a friend spoke to me of her reservations about Halloween and all its hype.  Someone very dear to her died on this date and the practice of dressing as scary ghosts and ghouls repulses her. Me, too. The dead are not ghosts and ghouls; among them, are our beloved.

I shared with her the pagan understanding of Samhain, the Celtic holy day we now call Halloween, as the time in the circle of the year when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest, when we're even closer to those we love who've died to the physical, where we still reside.  I celebrate my beloved dead at this time of year.  I forgive them their trespasses and ask them to forgive mine.  I know I'll see them, in dreams and most probably, after my crossing, so I strive to keep in touch.  My relationship to both my departed parents has grown immensely through our continued interactions in the dreaming.

All Hollow's Eve is a wonderful time to tune into the energy vibe of wishing those we love who've transitioned from the physical continued blessings on their spiritual paths and the assurance of our heartfelt love.  It's also a time to let go of attachments to the dead that may cause us unnecessary grief.  The veil is the thinnest for the benefit of both sides.  I wish you healing dreams to help you connect to those you love across the divide we call death.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dream Inspirations

Last week I recorded a dream in my journal I titled, "Two Lions and Two Bears" in honor of the animals in it. I posted a challenge on my Lita Dreaming Facebook page  for anyone to write a story with that title.  While waiting for any responses, I wrote a poem from my dream.

Dreams inspire us to create, to live life with our full heart.

Two Lions and Two Bears
Dream Poem

I saw the man
Open his back door
And release the Black Lion.

Beautiful, beautiful

I saw the man
Cross the Street
And release the second Lion.

This Lion,
The Tan Lion
Lived across the street from him.
And he was old.

Two Lions loose.

Should we tell the people?


Two Lions
Turn into
Two Bears

Two Bears at the door.

Enter the bears,
We exit,
Through the same door,
With  curtseys.
Into the next room

Until the bears
Enter, again.

The two bears

That were once, two lions.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Waking Life/Dream Life

A participant in one of my workshops wrote down a question about whether we repeat our daily experience in the dreaming.

Yes, I think so from my dream experiences, but there always seems to be a twist. Even though the characters of my waking life, in person and from TV, may show up in a dream because they figured in my day; there's always more to it, and it's personal.

My dreams will throw me a bone sometimes in the way of wisdom for my waking life; but they aren't that interested in the physical life I'm living; they are partial to the life of the soul.

What's sad to me is that most people automatically think, oh religion.  Christian, Muslim, Judaism or Buddhism, that's where one goes to plug into the life of the soul.  No, wrong.    That's where you go to get told what to believe and how to save something that doesn't need saving.  The Soul saves, it doesn't need saving.  Dreams are the Soul's messengers.

Some people think "spirituality" is all OM and Amen.  Spirituality is whatever you do with an open heart and selflessness.  Like dreams, that come big and small, so does spirituality.  And I don't think you can enter into true spirituality without a sense of humor, which leaves most religions out.

So, our dreams are focused on spiritual growth over winning the lottery, which often means we get even more lost than we already are into the physical.  Dreams bring us the messages that help us let go of rigid, silly or unloving ways, not just towards others, but towards ourselves.

Let's face it; if you get told from day one by your culture that some Nobadaddy was pisssed with you from the minute you hit the physical because your ancestors disobeyed, therefore, you must spend a lifetime making it up to Him.  What?  This dude even insists His one and only son die for the cause.  Jesus.  Who needs a god like that?

Dreams remind us that the Divine has many faces, and sometimes it has no face at all; just Light, just Being.  Many of you dreamers know just what I mean.  After one experience I wrote about here, I came back saying, "I'll never be able to explain this to anyone, not even myself."

Isn't it better to experience spirituality than to be told what to believe?  There is no language for the Truth that Is, you've got to experience it yourself.  Luckily, not only are we born with belly buttons, we're born with the power to dream.

So, back to how dreams mirror an experience in waking life to us, day life; yes, it can seem mundane repetition, but play with it a bit anyway.  Write it down, ponder it from time to time.  Let yourself say, huh; yes, that thing happened yesterday and that person I saw or spoke to, that was the movie I watched, the fight I had, etc. but there are some very interesting other things in the dream; it's not an instant replay.  Sometimes I have to wade through the repetition of a dream before it clicks, but life's lessons are best learned both in sleep and wake.  If both sides agree; I'm in good shape, at least spiritually.

My spirituality is like my bellybutton, mine.  It doesn't need a credo, or ask allegiance of me.  It never harms my wholeness.

Look at women's situations because of patriarchal religious dogma and tell me those misogynous edicts don't harm women, sometimes body and soul.  Eve; really?  Check out my Howling Mary dream and my posts about the Great Mother.  There was a time when these crazy religions didn't rule and we, as a human race, were just not that crazy.

Dreams are still our lifeline, though many hold that line with lots of slack.  When people ask me why they don't remember their dreams, my first question is; do you want to?  Do you set an intention to dream before you go to sleep.  Do you take the time in the morning to gather whatever you can from the dreaming?

Yes, we see lots of parallels to waking life in dreaming; it's up to us to notice the differences, the new elements our dream has added, the challenge our dream is presenting.  We don't learn from being told; we learn from experience.  There's great wisdom in how dreams handle us; it's up to us to recognize it.

Each of us is going to die.  There are few things we'll carry across that transition with us, but they are the best things we can have on either side of the divide.  Who and what we truly, selflessly love, what we do for others, and how much we learn to truly, madly, deeply love ourselves.

There are huge obstacles to self love; it's ironic that we have such supreme ultimate narcissists right now on the global stage, keeping us cowering every second possible with war threats and closed hearts. I lay that obstacle square at the feet of the patriarchal paradigm of the last 6,000 years; and I propose that once we discover who we truly are as spiritual beings having a physical existence, those mind-forged manacles will fall.

Dreams matter whether they're mundane or mind-blowing, whether we know we left our body and are in the dreaming or we don't.  Wether we have one dream a year, or a dozen a day.  They matter to each dreamer.  That's the bridge, the cord, the secret door to our souls, as Jung insisted.

So dream strong and pay attention.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Dream Whispering

So many times, someone at a party or in a chance encounter will tell me a dream; they know I love to hear them.

So many times, doors of perception open to the dreamer when I respond from my practice of Active Dreaming. Those awesome Oprah aha moments happen all the time in response to the simplest of observations on my part.  I'm not, the listener, playing Madam Medium who knows the meaning of your dream; as an Active Dream practitioner, I am trying the dream on for size without presuming to know what it means for the dreamer, only what, if this were my dream, it would mean for me.

Not only does this help the listener escape the ego laden path of answer person, it frees the imagination of the listener and the dreamer to dance with a dream and allow serendipity to offer its gifts as she sees fit.

A dream, even another's dream, with her or his permission, is a very viable, as in full of life, place to explore the extra-sensory resources available to each of us for daily living.  Dreams have existential energy and good luck.  I love being in that zone.

So, today was a two dream story Labor Day party with friends day. It only proves to me that everyone gets turned on, to some degree by their dreams.  I revel in the pleasure of opening even the tiniest of portals into someone's inner dream resources, and I am always grateful for the opportunity.

I truly get turned on by using the tools of Active Dreaming to take dream "work" out of the intellectual, cognitive realms and into the experiential realities we each inhabit.  It's a light hearted, respectful way to offer something in return for the confidence the person's had sharing the dream with me.  More, it's a primer for how to just go with your dream flow and think creatively in your waking life, using dreams for inspiration.

For any of my friends in CT, I'll be teaching an Active Dreaming workshop on October 4 for Milford Adult Ed. (pg. 14); if you want to play Active Dreaming with me, sign up.

Bright dreams to you.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Stretch to Contain: A Dream Motto

A big dream is a life plan; it's a map for the journey.  Over the years I've written about my Howling Mary dream. I know why Mary was howling; she was calling to me to see and to do.  In my dream, I ran to her and offered to help.  She inspired me to grab the chalice from the priest and offer something better than the worms they were serving communicants. The worms had turned to rubber bands.

Rubber bands stretch to contain.  This dream is decades old, but right now, I think that's an excellent motto. A game in Active Dreaming is to come up with a bumper sticker derived from a dream.  "Stretch to contain."

I was recently invited as a past board member to a wonderful organization , run for and mostly by women, addressing critical issues women face in patriarchal culture, domestic violence and sexual assault.  In patriarchy, males are sanctioned to commit both, especially if women step outside the behavior code prescribed for them.  There are, of course, always patriarchal not libel clauses for  moments when "men will be men."

CBS 60 Minutes correspondent, Lara Logan, is the keynote speaker at CFJ's event.  She was covering the Egyptian "Arab Spring" In Feb. of 2011 when minor technical difficulties for her and her all male crew created a moment off camera when the reveling warriors became obsessed with attacking her.

She impresses me in her account with her unbelievable courage and clarity.  I cannot imagine in any cell of my body having to endure what she endured.  I'm very grateful to her for sharing her story and hope you will take the little bit of time to hear it if you haven't already; I'm attaching it at the end.

I've already mentioned how we're living in a ramped up pussy grabbing world, until we decide to call a spade a shovel and confront the explicit and malignant male view of women, how it's perpetuated in various religious cultures and what we can do to reverse this poisonous tide, we miss the point of what needs to happen.  A point that Howling Mary in my dream made very clear.

What happened to Lara Logan happened because she went into a supremely patriarchal bacchanalia thinking her international journalist status would protect her, as would her team of men.  But you look at that crowd and you see it's all men, maybe one grandma in full dark burrito wrap, but all men.  Then you look at Lara and she is the epitome of beautiful Euro/Anglo woman.  I have to ask myself; what's going on here  that isn't being reported? This is a hate crime, not a sexual assault.

Sexual assault is a loaded term in patriarchy; the "she asked for it" defense has served attackers well over the years.  But the violence that erupted from the celebratory victory parade Lara was covering, in my opinion, erupted as a cultural, uber-male patriarchal hate crime that has mixed into it, the hatred of the controlling male faction of patriarchy, the white race, the West.  But Lara was in the bullseye. She was the epitome of the Western woman, smart, beautiful, independent and unrestrained; definitely not burrito wrapped.

What responsibility does CBS have for their naive approach to covering the news of that testorone charged day?  A lot, I think.  But that aside, in the 60 minutes report, there is no mention of the obvious.  This is a fanatically anti-woman religious group attacking a beautiful, independently successful white woman, perhaps because she personifies what they fear the most, the freedom and equality of women.

I'm sorry, any culture that insists women be burrito wrapped in desert heat because of what her beauty and seductive powers might do to undermine the excellent job the guys are doing currently, is a culture to be called out and watched closely.  Uber-macho patriarchy is at the heart of God the Father, men in charge religions.

As a feminist since the 70's, I'm so tired of the bra-burning, man hating media Medusa projected onto our movement on the yap-tube, which is at least 90% male owned and run.  Yes, there was a great feminist awakening of consciousness for women and men in the 70s and 80s, but any feminist who doesn't know how the movement was co-opted; think super hero women in stilettos and bustiers, faking ingenue for Mr. Right.

At the heart of all human renewal is the challenge of balancing the female and the male in the human psyche, (psyche in Greek means soul, as well as butterfly).  It's clear to me that women don drag every day to take on the world.  They pluck and tuck and tweeze and squeeze into Barbie archetypes to follow the drill of feminine existence in patriarchal cultures.  I marvel at the smart news women on all stations in their Barbie dresses and stiletto heels.  Really?  I'd love to see drag day, where all the anchor men go into hair and make-up for the same effect.  We'd hardly know the difference.

We are souls first, manifested bodies second; yet, we're living in a culture that just focuses on the physical, and even worse, stereotypes the physical so excruciatingly narrowly it has all of us jumping for no good reason.  What if we thought more about the lessons we're here in the physical to learn, in order to continue an infinite journey?

What if, as renowned OBE pioneer, William Buhlman teaches, we need to claim spiritual independence?  How?  By trusting that we're born into the physical equipped with several safety lines to home. I consider all of dream studies a portal to organic spirituality, that includes spontaneous night dreams, lucid dreams and OBEs.

This spontaneous big dream that came to me in college preceded so many unforeseen turns in my spiritual road.  I went from culturally indoctrinated religion to paradigm bending women's spirituality to  exploration of inner space without the blinders of preconceived beliefs.

Why is Mary Howling?  The huge imbalance, injustice and under championed status of women in patriarchies all over this current world, the one that is imploding of its own greed and wrong-heartedness, is causing more and more suffering.  She's mad as hell and won't take it any more.

I'm so grateful that Lara Logan, warrior woman that she is, was able to reclaim her spirit after that horrendous waking horror.   However, this is a hate crime that shrieks of how brutal patriarchal religions are towards women.  Why weren't there women celebrating with the men? Allah wants women behind the scenes; Yahweh's often right there with him.  When will we call a spade a shovel and ban all religions that have only a male divinity?  It's not good for anybody, female or male.  The TAO teaches the yin/yang of existence and the need to achieve balance; it works.  As we exist now, the planet is threatened by the uber-patriarchal stances of warring male egomaniacs.  The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over, expecting different results.

In the end, it was a group of Egyptian women on the sidelines, themselves burritoed, who saved Lara when CBS official protection failed. Her story is breathtaking.  They intervened and folded her into their circle, throwing water at the attackers, mobs of men.  The mob stopped at attacking their own women in a public setting, also, some men sided with the women.  From there, Lara was delivered from her attackers with the aid of soldier intervention, though it was touch and go the whole way.  Her story is remarkable; I hope to hear it personally at the fundraiser.

In my dream, Mary is howling for what happened to her and for what happens to women subjected to patriarchal religious and legal cultural restrictions.  Egypt in 2011 might have been one extreme of the great octopatriarchalpus, but pussy grabbing is our own western manifestation; that and legislation that subjects women to unfair biological demands because it's written into male favoring, women bullying patriarchal pseudo-god dictated codes of social behavior.  As Gloria Steinem once said, "If men could have babies, abortion would be a sacrament."

My Howling Mary tells me that we must stretch our imaginations and our hearts to contain all the damage that force based, rapist ideologies have inflicted over the last 6 millennia on our world cultures.  We need to think outside of what has been considered conventional, not with our heads, as the patriarchy endorses, but with our hearts.  Beware of anyone who doesn't use the heart as a touchstone.

Let's stretch our imaginations to redirect how our waking dream on this planet plays out.  Let's think in spirit form first and recognize how arbitrary rules about female existence subject to male dominance are destroying our planet.  We're in this together.  God is not Father, is not male.  God/dess is Love.

Here is Lara's story: