Monday, November 30, 2009


My dear friend and I, the one from the train in my first post, are having an ongoing conversation about Life and Death and Healing in both realms. I'm sure I'll share more of what surfaces, but here's what I'm hot on the trail of now.

There are experiences in life that can send bits of our Soul or Psyche or Self - however you conceive of your Being, into hiding, into exile. There is a cornucopia of literature on soul recovery and/or healing psychotherapy, as I'm sure you know.

In dreams, the stories of these exiled selves pops up from time to time. Because I keep a journal, I can trace these appearances and ponder them. Tracing a character or character type through past dreams is particularly revelatory when we're ready to see and to listen, sometimes even years after the dream; (Did I mention what a good idea I think it is to keep a journal?)

I use dream characters, themes, scenarios and images as maps to life's deeper meanings. By observing the drama presented in dreams each time a particular image appears, I learn the story of this exile. In that character, I also have a dream gate I can enter to renew my relationship with the part of me I'm calling back.

These encounters and relationships are serendipitous and genuine; I can't predict how the adventure is going to go. It's a process that's full of surprises. It's a two-way street; just as challenging as any waking relationship and just as worth it.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Love LeGuin

Here's another LeGuin nugget from "The Language of the Night":
"The great fantasies , myths and tales are indeed like dreams: they speak from the unconscious to the unconscious, in the language of the unconscious--symbol and archetype. Though they use words, they work the way music does; they short-circuit verbal reasoning, and go straight to the thoughts that lie too deep to utter. They cannot be translated fully into the language of reason, but only a Logical Positivist, who also finds Beethoven's Ninth Symphony meaningless, would claim that they are therefore meaningless. They are profoundly meaningful and usable--practical--in terms of ethics; of insight; of growth."

That's fantasies, myths, tales and dreams she's talking about. Well put, eh?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One Comment to Share

Here's what a friend emailed me right after I made my first post, "Dreams Pave the Way for Life"; she gave me permission to post it.

Dear Adelita,
I took these photos the night my Mom passed and sent them to my sister, so we could share in the vigil. It was the full moon, "Mourning Moon", November 2nd (All Souls Day). I remember how bright it was...and I had the sense that my Mom was on her journey that night. So much so, that I created a ritual for her to help her find her way. I set out her photo on the table, as well as the photos of her Mom, Dad, Grandma, Grandpa, Great Grandma and Grandpa and Great Aunts and deceased friends, whose photos I could find, who were waiting for her to arrive. I thought it would help her feel welcome and safe. I lit some candles and then had a sudden urge to call her room. The hospice nurse answered and said she would call me with an update shortly. It was 8PM. Fifteen minutes later, my sister called with the news that she had passed at the exact time I had called. My brother was there with her, playing her favorite music.

The dream you wrote about in your blog was so much like what transpired that night. I really feel as though the moon was her guide that night.

When Animals Speak

I was reading an essay by Ursula Le Guin in her collection; "The Language of the Night," this morning. Le Guin is a brilliant science fiction author who dabbles heavily in Jung. She's talking about fantasy and the knee jerk reaction she's encountered with people disaproving of fantasy stories. I just started to read it, so I'm sure I'll find more gems, but this caught my attention. She quotes Von Franz's article, "The Problem of Evil in Fairytales":

"In this labyrinth where it seems one must trust to blind instinct, there, only one, consistent rule or 'ethic': Anyone who earns the gratitude of animals, or whom they help for any reason, invariably wins out. This is the only unfailing rule that I have been able to find."

That's pretty much how I feel about dream animals. I always feel blessed when a dream animal shows up, and if they talk to me, even better. Sometimes they really scare me to the core; sometimes I am totally awed by them and sometimes they awaken deep confidence and the feeling of being unconditionally loved. Often, it's all these things at once. How about for you?

I have the great honor of meeting from time to time with a group of curious dream explorers. Last meeting, we journeyed into a big dream starring one of our dreamers and a sizeable black panther who spoke to him. It was wonderful; this animal fired each of our imaginations and I think gave the dreamer something to "chew" on for a while. How's that for a dream image?

In my night dreams all this year, I've had the great honor to encounter a black German Shepherd/wolf/man guide. I'll probably come back to this sometime. I just want to share with you that I do think animal dreams are great gifts. These are among the dreams I try to preserve in my journals and ponder in my imagination for a good long time. Robert Moss says some wonderful things in our DVD series and in his books about animals in dreams.

Since my cats often speak to me in dreams, here's Sunny looking like he has something to say.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I'm contemplating going to bed now; it's late, say almost midnight.
Entering another world, another dimension; bringing back a memory. How is that less than the waking existence we deem so inherently valid? It's not either/or. As in tai chi, both opposites balance to make the whole.


If you tried to leave a comment only to find that you need to register for a google account, off-putting to say the least, my IT department (my husband, Jim) fixed that. You can post a comment without any registration, even anonymously if you so choose. Looking forward to hearing from y'all.

When There Is No Dream

For many reasons, there are times I don't remember my dreams. Sometimes it happens in short stretches, a few days, others longer. Because I pay attention, I usually don't go a month without recording a night dream.

In every group I lead in dream play, there are some who say they don't remember their dreams, or "I don't dream;" so I find the issue of increasing dream recall important to address early on.

The first reason many don't recall is lack of attention. If we're use to popping out of bed, or even slithering out, to the jar of an alarm, then immediately focusing on the day and waking life events, it's no surprise we don't remember anything from the night's dreams. We're simply not paying attention. To remedy that is easy, right? Pay attention. Soft alarms are best if one must be used; jarring yourself out of sleep tends to work against dream recall, but even this can matter less if our attention is focused on remembering.

I find it's important to use a different type of remembering; ask myself questions that have to do more with recalling an experience than remembering content. Not what did I dream, but where was I? Who was there? What happened? Then I scan my inner screen for images that linger. Sometimes it's all very vivid and I begin writing immediately. This seldom feels like a duty; more like really wanting to keep this record of events to play with later.

But, if any dream recall is slipping away, I relax my attention more and see what might float back to me. I give it time and just call it back to me by wanting to see, hear and feel that dream again.

The analytical mind is a wonderful thing, but it's only half of the brain functions we have. The right brain uses different processes, a different knowing. It's intuitive and built in, just not highly valued above the age of 6. No wonder Jesus loves the little children; spiritual thinking is also, in my eyes, not analytical.

If I don't recall a dream at all, not even the feeling of one, I've got about a zillion recorded that can be my sandbox that day. I just pick one at random and ponder or play. This is the payoff for writing them down; you've got them to play with for a long time, as long as you don't lose your journal. The random choice invites synchronicity; returning to a dream often sparks just as much for me as a fresh dream does.  Dreams are truly timeless and synchronicity is a very juicy thing to invite into the dream game.

I'll return to this topic, there's more. Would love to hear from anyone; thanks for your attention.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Language of Dreams

One thing I think I've learned about understanding dreams is that they speak a different language than any of us do in conscious/waking experience. It's often referred to as the language of symbol, but I prefer to think of it as the language of image. The reason is that when I ponder a dream, I really see the images, feel the images, relate intuitively, creatively, spontaneously and observantly to these visuals and energies. The language of dreams is not a left brain language, at any rate.

I don't like the word symbol because I think it's too easy to conceive of it intellectually; it's easier for most of us in this culture to use that rational part of our brains.

Image can't be contained within the narrow left brain paradigm because the word itself evokes something more experiential like seeing and something more primal like pictures. I'm sure those cave paintings were used to communicate. Images were our ancestors' first alphabet, perhaps.

Besides, I know that the beauty and juice of dreams are usually in the images, though I have been pretty impressed by stuff I've heard in dreams, too. Perhaps you have these same experiences with dreams?

Anyway, I do invite you to ponder those images, let them hang out or brave up to them a bit more, as Robert is fond of saying.

Thanks for listening; sweet dreams.

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Dreams Pave the Way for Life"

Just back from a wonderful trip to the Rubin Museum of Art in NYC. W. 17h St. I went with a dear friend to see the Red Book of the great dream guru, C.G. Jung. I went thinking there wouldn't be much else but a glimpse of two pages under glass, but it's a beautiful museum and the exhibit, though small, was magical and amazing. Go!

We took the train down and got in a great conversation about our ideas about death and beyond. In the conversation, my friend recounted her experience at the death bed of her sister-in-law who died recently of cancer. She had a dream a night or so before her s-i-l died. In her dream, she's sitting beneath the full moon outside the house, under the bedroom window where her sister-in-law lay in labor with death. She sees the essence of her sister-in-law flowing out the window and floating to the moon. It happens fast and she knows her sister-in-law has just died and her essence has gone to the moon, she has a beautiful image of her floating freely up. A morning or so later, she finds herself alone of all the family in her sister-in-law's room with her. Holding her hand she tells her dream. Her sister-in-law rouses and looks at her and says "yes", which my friend repeats lovingly to her over and over. Moments later, surrounded by her family, my friend's dear sister-in-law dies.

I'm stunned by the beauty of this story and about the incredible gifts of dreaming. "Dreams pave the way for life" is a quote from Jung's Red Book, and I can add this footnote; "Dreams pave the way for death, as well."

The collective unconscious, (Jung would be loving this), is at play in this story, too. Robert Moss loves to take dreamers on journeys to Luna. I participated in one journey where he invited all of us in the group to journey to Luna, either at the place for souls leaving and entering life or where they return, after death. It seems the moon is an ancient mythic way station for these two great transitions. My friend was delighted that she didn't know this consciously; yet, this was what she saw in her dream.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Under construction

Please bear with me as I get this exciting new blog built!