Thursday, May 31, 2012

Who’s Out There?

 The other day a dear friend, a man I’ve known for over 30 years, called to share a dream that excited him but made him wonder if he was crazy.  Having known him so long, I couldn’t guarantee he isn’t crazy, (kidding) but I know his dream is not.

In the dream he hears himself say; “Lord, what is the meaning of life?”   The answer he hears is, “To live it.”

I’d call this type of dream, A Little Big Dream, simple, spiritual and to the point.  It’s the type of dream that sets you pondering and makes you feel instinctively that you’re not alone. 

To be fair, some might ask, is this the voice of his waking conscious mind reminding him of what he already knows or is it the voice of something other than the dreamer himself? The more you pay attention to your own and other people’s dreams, the more easily you recognize that there are common threads that link us when it comes to dream experiences. 

The question of what is consciousness in waking and dreaming is the subject of much exploration in the field of lucid dreaming.  One of my favorite lucid dream authors, Robert Waggoner, writes about his awakening to the humbling realization that although lucid in his dream, he could direct the focus of his experience, but he (his dream ego) was not in control of the experience or all the characters anymore than he could be in waking life:

 “…I knew that something was “behind” the dream, even when lucid.  There was simply more than the waking self conscious in the dream state…the conscious unconscious, the creative system – something – hid behind the creations, yet could be seen in the creativity…I knew too that I did not control the unconscious and its expressions…”
Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self; p.63

Sometimes this "something" is a Voice, like the one my friend experienced hearing, (Waggoner also talks about a Voice). These dreams crack me up because of their sheer directness.  I shared my Voice revelation dream with him (the one I recently told you about in my post, “The Observer or the Observed”).  I wanted him to know that he wasn’t alone in his experience.    

We talked about his dream for a long time; I guided him through the Lightning Dreamwork process, the quick, non-intrusive dream game developed by Robert Moss as a guideline for sharing dreams and discovering their energy. After we finished, his dream shines with its message of soul purpose and soul consolation.  Despite the difficult circumstances of his life, it illuminates his heart with courage and sparks a desire for something deeper, attainable with the help of his dreams. 

What makes life worth living?  What’s it all about? What is the meaning of life?  To live it. 

But what if you don’t care to live it?  What if it’s so hard, you want to give up or if somehow the meaning has gone out of it, you’re just marking time?  This is true for an astounding number of people in western “civilized” cultures, and it has nothing to do with the tanking economy. 

Dreams offer profound revelations, spiritual truths that fill the aching void in us and give us the courage to live more fully. When we put our ear to the pillow, we create an opportunity to open our hearts to the messages of hope and inspiration that can come from dreams. Dreaming is the royal road to soul recovery; bidden or unbidden, our dreams light  our way home.

Robert Moss’ new book, Dreaming the Soul Back Home: Shamanic Dreaming for Healing and Becoming Whole, is a goddess send for anyone who wants to explore the soul healing aspect of dreaming.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Ancient Mother

I trace my awakening to the Mother archetype to my dreams, especially one Big Dream. Raised under patriarchal religious paradigms, I salute the amazing Power of the Dream Source that gave me, "Howling Mary."

Happy Mother's Day to all women, and perhaps to all men. (What are the odds, if you choose this life setting often, that you've been both sexes?)

Thanks to all women who choose to give birth, and to those who don't.

Thanks to all men, who don't just plant seed, but nurture it.

Happy Mothers and Fathers day.

Howling Mary is the Goddess pissed off about a whole lot of things.  The way the boys are running things; the wanton destruction of hearts and earth. She's the return of the Feminine to Divinity.  I don't just want equal pay, I want Her to share divinity with Him.  Mother/Father, Sister/Brother.  When She is recognized as One Who Has Always Been, the Archetype of Divine Motherhood, the Creator and Nurturer, the Earth, things will change.  Mothers are a good influence in general; She is the psychic part missing from our paradigm.

With all apologies to Mary; the Goddess is Not a Virgin. She likes sex.  She gives birth, not just once but continuously, to us and to all that is.  She also wouldn't step on a snake or anything else.  She can be Wild, She is Nature.  But Mother Virgin Mary is as much of the Goddess as the boys could take, the people wouldn't give her up and they had to give them something.

Howling Mary is Mad as Hell and She Ain't Going to Take it Anymore.  That seems to be what my dream is saying.  How many of us will join her in howling?

I love women; the women in my life, starting with my mom and continuing with the dearest of dear friends; I wish we'd get busy doing more to ensure that women aren't rendered inconsequential once again.  I shudder at the thought of being legally bound by life altering and restricting rules, just because I'm a woman, and because only men make the decisions.  I love men, for the very same reasons.  My dad is my Buddha; it just came naturally to him to be the best father possible.  My brother is a wonderful man and a loving friend, my loving husband, Jim, and so many wonderful guy friends.  I call on them to get busy, too.  Whatever happened to 50/50 here in the USA? 

Honoring the Mother is a great first step to healing the planet; can you imagine a Middle East that honors Her?  I think any religion that relegates Her to the bench, relegates women to varying degrees of jeopardy.   Extreme, rigid, dogmatic men are dominant in Christian sects today, too.  I think western women need to participate more in changing the paradigm for the sake of future generations, especially.  Dogmatic rigidity kills Spirit; just ask Jesus.
I sing a heart song for the Mother today.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Real or Not Real?

On a friend's recommendation, Jim picked up The Hunger Games for his train commute the other day, finished it in a flash and suggested I give it a try.  Now, we've both finished all three books in the series and really liked them, mostly.

(Spoiler alert: I’ll be careful to divulge as little of the plot as possible, in case you haven’t read the books and want to, but there will be a wee bit of revealing commentary I can’t help.)

Riding in the car with Jim yesterday, we started talking about the ending in the third book, Mockingjay, how it feels rushed and truncated to both of us.  In Jim’s words, it lacks a real denouement.

We suppose the author could have been under pressure to deliver the copy or in a hurry to wrap up the story, but I want to know how hope, trust and love were reborn from the ashes of Katniss and Peeta’s shattered lives. How did they get from trauma, horror and loss to a life together in what’s left of district 12?

For me, Peeta is the most spiritual character in the story; he reminds me of the Fool in the Tarot deck, loving, trusting and joyful.  He’s capable of complete self-sacrifice in the name of love; yet, in the end, after going through hell and back, his story is summarized in a matter of a few paragraphs spoken by Katniss in her closing narrative. 

The same goes for Katniss; so many wounds and so much fire in her soul, and her journey back to relative sanity is hardly described at all. Yes, she relays how she grieved for one person she lost, but did Peeta’s love once again restore her?  Isn’t this worth some of the descriptive artistry the author devotes to earlier parts of their relationship, like say, in book one?

True there was nothing left to blow up or kill by the time Katniss is narrating the end of the story, but how did they arrive at the point where they could have a life together?  It’s a story of healing and restoration; was it love that gave them back a life? Did one rescue the other from the brink, only to be rescued as well in the process?  This part of the story is worth many more pages, not just a short paragraph or two.  I don’t know why it ends so abruptly, but I’m sure Suzanne Collins could do a great job of fleshing it out.  Well, there’s still the movie script to the third book…

I admit I have a problem with “the future is bleak” story lines like this one.  Big Brother always watches; there’s always lots of cruelty, violence and loss.  I know there are many examples of this scenario in history and in some parts of the contemporary world, but is this the only future we can imagine winning out, becoming the outcome of our present age?  While we can dream, is this the best we can do?

If these are the fictions that entertain us, I think at some level it sets us up to anticipate this future; our sights/sites are set, both our vision and its scope, on the joyless, the dismal, the dire, the horror and the tragic in life.  It pumps us full of survival adrenalin, but it gives us nothing to hope for.  I remember leaving the theater after seeing Clockwork Orange many years ago, and asking; Where’s the Love? Who in this story embodied that human potential?
I don’t see Suzanne Collin’s trilogy as devoid of human caring; in fact, I think love is constantly displayed between various characters.  The power of Love to transcend incredible odds is often woven into the story, but in the end, that’s exactly what’s left out, zip, zap, done.

In the last book, Peeta, who suffers severe PTS and paranoia as a result of being tortured, devises a way to test for trustworthiness in those around him. He recounts a memory and asks, “Real or Not Real?”  His question elicits wonderful heartfelt responses from those trying to help him.  I think it’s a good question to ask.

The Hunger Games Trilogy: Real or Not Real?

The love between the characters: Real or Not Real?

Love heals: Real or Not Real?

Love is the answer: Real or Not Real?

We can dream a future story that doesn’t involve total catastrophe, loss and destruction: Real or Not Real?

Dreams are Real: Real or Not Real?  You know my answer to that one.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Size Really Doesn't Matter

Okay, I'm talking about the size of a dream here.

I often hear people say;   "... all I could remember was just an image, or a word, or just like one quick scene.  I can't remember my dreams."

In my experience, dream fragments like these are rich playgrounds for further exploration and never to be underestimated.  Here's a fun example I discovered today while playing Bibliomancy with my dream journals; a snippet of a dream from 27 years ago, dated on my birthday, so technically it was my birthday dream for that year.

My Old Woman

My old woman is coming to get me, to guide me.  She tells me two things...

That's it.  That's the dream memory.  Of course, I'd like to know what she said in the dream, but I didn't bring that back. All I've got is this enigmatic fragment.  What a goldmine!

The Old Woman archetype, the Crone of the Tarot Deck, is not the worthless or ugly or unnecessary cultural archetype that exists today.  As in ancient times, the Crone is the Wise Woman and the Healer.  She is also the Midwife of Death, as in the Yoruban/Lucumi goddess Oya or the Hindu Kali. She is the High Priestess of the Great Mother.

I know this wise woman from other dream visits.  I know her by the name she gave me to call her.  I've heard her speak to me before.   Having her on my side is a big blessing.  This picture is one I drew of her after another dream visit about 3 years prior to the fragment I recorded.  

What two things did she say?  How about...

You're not going to remember much of this visit.
I'm with you always.

How's that for a possibility? I just used my imagination.

As a dream practitioner, I wrote a dream fragment down to honor a visit with the Wise Woman and say thank you to my dream source. I didn't return to this dream fragment until now, 27 years later, and I rediscover a powerful dream ally I hadn't remembered in a while.  And coincidentally, my birthday was this past weekend.

All dream time is NOW; I'll definitely re-enter this dream and talk to her soon. 

My point is that, if there are times in life when size does matter, the size of a dream never does.  Dream power comes in the most insignificant of packages.  All we have to do is pay attention.  Pay attention and keep a record for future perusal.  That's the fun of dream play.