Friday, February 10, 2017

    The Altar of my Resistance: 
Dreams, Spiritual Resistance, & Ceremonial Activism                                     

Lately I have felt the uncertainty of my role in this current “resistance” to the political environment we are experiencing. Thoughts and feelings arise within questioning my commitment to the movement, have I done enough, should I attend every organizations meetings, and do I march every time for every issue? And if I don’t am I contributing to the oppression? Some told me yes. In the pit of my questioning shame and guilt begin to fill mixing water and dirt to mud that cakes me in cement. Here I cannot move at all. And I ask what does it mean to resist? And in this place, as an immovable object a dream is remembered and a story told offering wisdom for my release.

“Dream: I am in a cave sitting in circle with a group of women. In the center a fire roars. One woman holds a clay bowl in her hands in which something is moving. She turns and faces me offering the bowl and tells me it is time to nourish on what is within. I take the bowl and peer inside. Pieces of a live rattle snake move around. I swallow hard and look up at the woman in confusion. She nods acknowledging what I must do. I look back at the bowl and my fingers reach down towards the center.”

In this current time of increased political, ecological, economic, and spiritual struggle the cry to take action in some form to push back against a tide that appears to be drowning out the concepts of love, community, earth, spirit, and healing we are experiencing the rising tone of the word RESIST. A word shouted out on social media, painted on stone walls and poster boards. A word inspiring chants that demand our action through boycotts, marches, petitions, and holding space in barricade such as Standing Rock calling out to those in power for change. These are powerful and potent means of resisting, actions that can and have created change. And in this outpouring of active civil resistance there also lives a way to resist, to be an activist and to create change that should also be considered.
What does it mean to resist? The dictionary tells us it means, to withstand, endure, work against, to exert force in opposition or counter in defiance that which does not serve us. Resistance is to refuse to accept or comply and/or the ability to not be affected by something. To resist is to make a choice and act in accordance. And of course there are many forms of resistance both towards and away from wholeness both often driven by present struggles, the uncertainty of the unknown, and what we believe, experience, and feel about ourselves and how the world engages us.
Through my early adult hood the constant discrimination and harassment I experienced and witnessed others endure including the death of a friend forced this introverted being to take to the streets. I found my anger, self-acceptance, and voice as I spoke out against the injustices of the world. I shouted in the faces of those who I felt did me and my people wrong. I march, spoke out on TV, and developed new organizations which would continue to do the same. I was a wild cat in my activism.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that self-acceptance and living my life with dignity and integrity despite cultural norms and hate, was a pure representation of resistance. In later years living in relationship to the earth in a loving, respectful way, and working with mine and others dreams also became a potent act of resistance and activism. And what I have now come to understand as spiritual resistance. Because in each case I am living and practicing ways of being that reflect aspects of society not accepted as mainstream and/or go against the tide of beliefs of who a person should be. And dreamwork has been just that tool for ripping the lid off the box and naming everything when I paid close attention.
Spiritual resistance refers to attempts by individuals to maintain their humanity, personal integrity, dignity, and sense of culture as was experience in Nazi attempts to dehumanize and degrade Jewish individuals/culture. Most generally, spiritual resistance may refer to the refusal to have one's spirit broken in the midst of the most horrible degradation. Cultural and educational activities, personal acceptance of self, maintenance of community documentation, and clandestine religious/spiritual observances are four examples of spiritual resistance. In ancient times when Christianity swept the European landscape Druids, Wiccans, and Goddess worshipers would use every day items such as ropes, staffs, stones, and branches as ceremonial tools. These were kept in plain sight but hidden to those in power. Ceremonies would also take place in private homes and stories were handed down using the language of the trees so no one would be able to translate. In all cases above everyday acts of resistance folded into the practice of not giving up on the essence of who they were and what they believe. Everyday moments of ritual that reflected the belief in their relationship to each other and the land became ceremonial activism in the face of possible imprisonment or death.
Today with ongoing struggles to honor the diversity of who we are and grow into wholeness individually and collectively we are face with choices about how we respond and it what ways. As many have shout we cannot stay invisible or silent, we must respond in some form if we desire a humane diverse eco center world. One that values and nurtures all including the landscape around us. What way we each choose to respond is as diverse as the people and the landscape we live within.
In my own process I have come to understand that to be accepting of who I am as a lesbian with a fluid gender identity, to live openly, to educate, and support others in their process even in the face of physical threats and discrimination is an act of spiritual resistance. This has always required my own personal work on a very deep level. At some point in my struggle of acceptance I had to reject the norms and beliefs of the culture I live in. I had to stop hating me and believing in the fear imposed rhetoric of the society. I had to resist the hate within and without. Not always an easy task. This is also the case for my relationship to the earth, again to resist has meant for me to take on a spiritual and vocational path not accepted by many but the only one I knew as true to the authentic story of who I am. I have resisted the main stream western way of being to live the truth of what it means to be a member of and service to the earth community and not the delusional assumption of being in control of or separate from the earth.
In the middle of all of this the work of my dreams has offered the guidance and support in understanding and resisting all the voices of my own trauma as well as the voices that demanded I comply with the rules and norms of a society gone mad by consumerism, personal and environmental trauma, racism, sexism, homophobia, and on and on. They do this for me because I view dreams as the story of who I am in relationship to my past, present, and future and who I am in relationship to all beings as of the earth and universe. It is an animist view of the world that guides me. A dance that weaves all aspects of how I engage the world and the world engages me. In this perspective my dreamwork has opened me up to soul and an awareness of spirit. A glimpse of how to be relationship and in balance with all that surrounds me in these difficult times. I have experienced a profound kinship with all beings that roam the earth and have cultivated a practice that honors the sacredness of my role within the earth community through work with my dreams. Although definitely not perfect in this I have  discovered a way to live in the world through authenticity, reliance, and hope. My dreams teach me to resist.
So I march for what I believe and I do something more, I keep the dream alive and I work with others dreams, I do ceremony and ritual with the dream’s wisdom individually and collectively. I weave the work of dreams and earth based practices together. As a practitioner I explore how the dream reflects the dreamer through its associations, felt experiences, archetypal engagements, and memories invoke. How it shows us ways we open to or experience barriers to that wholeness. To work with an individual and their dream is a sacred encounter, one that requires my belief that the wisdom I seek from the dream is driven by my ability to listen to the spirit of the dream and the dreamer. When I ready myself for this work I prepare to step into ceremony with the sacred by asking for guidance and inspiration, to listening with an open mind and heart to both the dreamer and the dream. And the wisdom of the dream comes to life through a gesture, prayer, mantra, altar and more. This is spiritual resistance within a ceremonial context?
Ceremonial activism which has been practiced for centuries by many cultures and spiritual communities holds its intention in co-creating a sacred experience of opening to spirit/divine/God/energy etc. It is a way for communities to honor, ask for guidance, healing, call in energies, and celebrate all matters of life. It is a way to divine spirit with the intention of opening to energetic shifts, the true nature of who we are in relationship to everything. When we step into ceremony in times of need for the community, in times of resistance this is sacred activism.
By choosing to work with our dreams we affect change within ourselves, our communities and the earth. As we change from the wisdom of the dream, so do our dream’s change, so do we draw closer to dreaming as one with each other and the earth. And we live this change in the world.
I see our dreams as a personal, cultural, and universal story and enlisting sacred ceremony to work with our dreams is a tool for affecting change. We are creating new stories, healing old wounds and forging paths to inspiration that impact many energetically.  Our ancestors taught us that the dream is a potent Guide in remembering the essence of who we are and offering the wisdom to navigate the journey to.
When the marches are over, the posters put up on the walls and the revolution has torn the old structures down, the dream still resides within offering the guidance needed to seed a new way of being and continue to confront and transform the old not useful ways. And those of us who walk the way of the dream will offer ritual and ceremony bringing the dream’s wisdom to our communities. In the meantime may we dream the way through and perform ceremonies everywhere?
Dream “A mist of wet grayness thick and greasy fills the air. The land hangs before a wasteland of collapsed buildings and empty streets filled with the remnants of an unfit guardian. Splatters of desperate and tattered souls scourged for food and safety in alleys and burned out buildings. She searches the land for her destination. And then moves quietly and cautiously through the rubble. Her only protection tattered clothes and battered boots. Whispers call to her in the darkness, a place she is too familiar with. “Stop now, you cannot make it, there is nothing to be found, and it is too late. “Yet she tenderly steps forward avoiding the trash of this forgotten place.
She arrives at the train station, a place only known in memories which held power. She waits on the edge of the platform as time pulsates like waves of emptiness and uncertainty. She waits daring to know what has not been seen. She waits holding her destiny, waiting to be release, yearning for freedom and begging to be awake. In the distance a speck of light breaks through the darkness.

                   

Monday, February 6, 2017



Thoughts on dreams and dreaming.................


God sleeps in stone, breathes in plants, dreams in animals, and awakens in man” — Hindu Proverb


In this time of ecological and psychological struggle we can hear the whispers of an unfamiliar language calling out to be remember in all of us. Will we heed the call, listen, and take the necessary action to come home to our original self in the landscape of our earthy experience? And if we say yes are we willing to attend to and learn this language within. Our dreams expose us to this ancient interspecies language that hold's the key to our wholeness and place among all beings. By working with our dreams we begin the process of unlocking what has kept us from this beautiful ancient language of our primal self.
Dreams uncover our primal energies
When we step into the initial darkness of sleeping we cross over the borders into the landscape of the supra-consciousness. Here we are free from waking life chatter, submerging into the chemical & alchemical shifts that open us to encounters with tidal waves, wild animals, and passionate love. It is here that primal energies are liberated from the confines of ego, trauma, and cultural bindings. In this dissolution the dream evokes the feelings and knowing of this core universal force of life in all its forms such as instinctual, aggressive, creative, and sexual. The dream offers a glimpse of the original self as it is bound and unbound. And guides to your first born spirit as you were and can be in wholeness.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Dying to be Loved

Dream:
I am outside near a bunch of people. Then a man goes up to a woman and hugs her. Another woman goes to a woman and hugs her. I realize they are doing this because they are working with the individual helping them with issues of relationship. The woman comes up to me and touches me on the shoulder I am scared and feel uncertain. Another woman comes up and touches my arm. I think what are they doing I am not sure I like this. Then another woman and another woman and they circle me just touching me.

Darkness slowly absorbs the late afternoon horizon as I stand watch over my friend who has chosen to walk the death march as a ceremony of death and birth. Anxiety rises as I too ready myself for the same walk. Prior to this day months of groundwork both in body and spirit have taken place to prepare for this ceremony. I was undeterred in this endeavor, thinking it would be a cakewalk because I have participated in a death ritual before. But now this ceremony seems charged with an unusually potent type of energy. Now after standing watch over my grove members a silent panic begins to overtake me. Breathing slowly I settled back into the task at hand, guarding my friend who now lies in wait to be reborn.

Earlier that day our grove journeyed together for guidance to design the death ceremony. For me it was a surprise and honor to be given the role of watcher/guardian of each person who walked with death. I became the guardian... sitting with each person in the dying experience, in their burial experience. Feeling the weight of responsibility, the need to hold the container quietly and do right by each person. Drumming each into death and then sit, stand, hold, pray, into the threshold of the ground which opens to the sacred seed planted in each of us and welcoming, uncovering and rejoicing in the birth that was to bring new life to each. Along with the earth burial there was the sky burial, a place of waiting for spirit to come from the sky and earth to nourish on the body while letting the air decay the old so the new can find a way home. So much questioning and doubt would surface in my ability to be a guardian/watcher each time a member of my grove was laid to rest. And as the witnesses spoke their words of honor and quietly left me with the dead I reach within for the strength of presence.

Watching over each person was such an honor, I witnessed the old making way for the new, a letting go and opening, prayers enfold and senses heighten. I am sitting and standing holding watch over you as you step through. Feeling the weight and the gift of the holding. Energy released in that place of the land. The crow fly’s, the raven knows, seeing them, watching them all. And then they are done and they come for me.

My time now came to die.

Standing I wait fear tightening the body as it overcomes me. Shaking, the body sharpens to the knowing and yet begins to sink into the grayness of death…..Let go. They prepare me for the grave. Cleansing me I feel the cloth washing my face and arms with gentle strokes reassuring me in some way. An experience of being cared for I struggle to let in. Seconds later I am standing on the edge being lower into the dirt and clay of the mother. The damp soil against my back welcomes me and still fear rises up. Okay so I am not dead, will I still be able to breath? A white cloth is draped over me as requested, while someone places a snorkel tube in my mouth and pulls the rest of the sheet over my head. I begin to take deep breaths, feeling the movement of the air passing through the tube to me and out again. All my expectations, wanting to die right, be strong plunge me into a hole of despair about my life. A moment of panic, will the air come back, will someone without realizing cover the snorkel hole and suffocate me. My trust goes out the window or should I say the grave for a brief second. How do I trust, how do I let go, how do I let myself breath, in and out, in and out..the air is there for me. Relief spreads out over my body and I realize I am okay, until the dirt starts to slam against my legs, torso and head. I feel the dirt as it pushes against my body, filling the place of connection to the atmosphere. I notice how even though my guardians maybe taking care in covering me with the brown clay of her skin it definitely feels like I am being buried. The last shovel full is thrown over my head extinguishing the last bit of light from above. Always fighting aren’t you a voice whispers in the wind and then I see her face.

The blackness of death, the pressure of the earth’s soil pressing down against me begins to call me back to her. I have stepped into the in between, the threshold of still being alive and yet calling to the death for acknowledgment.

In the distance whispered words spoken flutter in the wind my desires, my eulogy.

I will surrender to what I believe is possible
A voice gesturing towards wanting
I will surrender to the wild primal essence
Hands embraced, fingers dance intertwined
I will surrender to a life wrapped in uncertainty
Head pressured against skin soften by age
I will surrender to the light ignited by the pain
Wet lips savor the taste of intimate passion
I will surrender to a love that may not be known?
Bodies in contact converging to the sound of a single note
Cradled in the caress of a beloved.

Breathe…breath. what next, my song… quiet in my song..

Twinkle Twinkle little star how I wonder what you are. Why that song, I am supposed to find my death and birth song. Twinkle Twinkle little star how I wonder what you are…what is the rest of the song. But that song already exists. Feeling the heaviness grow more and more, pressure uneven across my body pushing down on me, suffocating me, entombing me. What is left God? Hang on all you have to do is breath. Breathe, just breath feeling the dirt on top of me. Remember the dream, visualize the women each touching me; remember those who love me…hold that as I drift further away. Pushing down on me, on me on me. What is left? It seems as though all that is left is my neck and head that is all I feel. The rest entombed, dirt thrown upon. There is nowhere to go but be right here for how long, I don’t know. Breathe…. My eyes are closed but why, I open them to darkness. And then close. What is left right now but me? What is this experience? Letting go, letting go. Trancing out. Feeling heavy, dirt pushes against me.

“Remember just be with the landscape and don’t worry about anything else”. Words I hear in the distance. Twinkle, Twinkle little star how I wonder what you are up above the sky so high twinkle twinkle little star. Why that song. I feel okay being right here. I don’t want to get out. How long has it been? Just breathe. I feel so little, spacey. Just be here, feel the dirt stay here, feeling everything holding me.

Getting comfortable, wanting to slow down. Words, images, a hairy man like yeti comes into my vision on the right. I see the sunset and rise… Bear is here what else.  Breathe, just breath, biting down can’t move my arms but I don’t care. I just want to stay here, don’t need to move, feel okay in a way. The pressure holding me down, moving me down, don’t want to leave. How long have I been here, a lifetime, pushing me down, just hold me. Silence, complete silence is here. Do I want to die, is that why I don’t want to get out? I am not sure. Are they waiting for me, but who is really waiting? I remember her words from the email, is there something to come back too. Sink into nothingness and just be here without thought and wait until you are ready. Let yourself sink be still in this place of confinement. There is nothing else that matters except this moment as you breath.

I know I need to get out, but I don’t want too. It is time and in my resistance no, yes, no, yes, I start to reach up, feeling the pull back as my arm reaches up, I can’t move, push harder, I am weak, I can’t get up. I can’t breathe. I panic, the sheet won’t move because it is too heavy. Oh shit I can breath as the snorkel leaves my mouth, need air. The weight of the dirt on the sheet, on the body shuffles around but not off. And then I heard his voice, he is there, yanking, pushing, and reaching for me. And then the breath, the cool air, okay, now I am okay, tugging the rest away, and hauling myself up I can do this. He reaches me and draws me up with the help of others. I rise to a celebration of my awakening, to another day. I speak the words of the journey, sip the nectar of the earth and share the seeds of my birth that I planted within.

It is time to begin again as the cycle turns.

What is in a death, the simple act of saying yes to a birth? What is in the acknowledgment of the darkness the simple act of saying yes to awakening? What is it to recognize the dream’s wisdom, the simple act of beholding the love? What is in the dirt and stones, what is in the water and air, what comes from the fire? The simple knowing that, I have been held by the mother. The simple teaching that I had to die in her embrace to know the ancient pure love that is offer. It is to remember this first love that with awaken me to all love.

And the journey here started with a dream.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


Remembering


Dream:

I am out in a vast ocean, no land to be seen. From the depths of the water a large monster appears. A giant whale like creature that is not a whale but instead some combination of whale, reptile, and dragon. It has sharp pointy scales and looks old. This monster feels old, ancient from another realm or time. A dolphin is near watches. The being begins swimming towards me, terrified I stay right where I am waiting.




In our nightly musings we are gifted with chance encounters that are foreign to us, moments, feelings, relationships with beings that our bodies and minds have never known in waking life.



We discover the sensuality of passionate love, swim with whales; climb an umbrella thorn tree in the savannah; touch the scaly skin of a rattler and play the electric guitar with Prince.



These dream story’s, their sensations, feelings, and interactions although alien awaken in us a long lost friend remembered.



An ancient remembered aspect of who we are beyond our egoic perspective and within the universal unconsciousness of all life itself.



We encounter the divine spirit that holds all memory and existence weaving us within other such as whale, stone, mountain, rose, bee and human.



Our dreams even without our observation provide substance for evoking our ancestral and primordial knowing, the true felt experience of our bodies and minds as one with all.

 


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Dreams as the Magical Elixir---NWYFRE’

Dream
“I have signed up for a road race and walk up to the starting line. I am wondering if I will even be able to race I am so slow. The race begins and I realize I have forgotten my running shoes and I am bare feet. There is no time to go back and I start to run. As I run I begin to feel lightness in my body, I am not weighted down as I most often feel. Then I am running without any need to win I am just running.“

In Celtic and Druid traditions there is a term often used to identify the existence of a life force or energy that flows though out the universe. The term is Nwyfre. In the east it is known as ‘chi’, yoga ‘prana’ and Japan ‘ki’. Nwyfre in its historical origin might be known by the Irish word ‘Naomh’ which means heavens or firmament.

No matter where the language takes us the concept of some type of life force that sustains and flows through us has been studied for centuries. And this life force in some cultures is directly linked to the energies of the stars and heavenly bodies as well as a divine essence or soul spoken in spiritual traditions.

What is this energy? It mysteries have caused many a human explorer of spirit to practice a diversity of techniques from meditation, yoga, healing touch, and Reiki etc. for healing and to awaken enlightenment. I am sure kundalini energy has a direct link to this life force.

In my dream when I decide to run without the worry of having my running shoes on I tap into a feeling of freedom, lightness. I run without a desire to win, keep up with others or prove anything to anyone. Does my dream offer a glimpse into this feeling of life force? That when I let go of the constraints of what I believe I need in order to be okay or good enough I discover the force in me that wants to be experienced. I believe the answer is yes. The dream offers the opportunity to remember this energy in me. It was a awesome experience running without a sense of heaviness that I often feel in my waking life. I am always trying to do the right thing, prove myself to others, keep up and even be better then others. I am often exhausted, weighed down, fearful, and worried most of the time.

In the dream I feel an expansiveness and opening as I ran, while my thoughts focused on each and every moment of the run. Nothing else. I was in my body and mind at the same time noticing and being, gazing and letting go all at once. My body could sense the wind generated by my movement and my mind noticed the exhilaration of the movement without exertion. I felt no need to push myself. I felt no need to question what was happening.

I identified this experience as the awareness of Nwyfre flowing through me. Is this my relationship to the universe? Is this the experience of love in its purest form? All I know is that I felt awake and alive and connected to everything. 

As I dip further into this felt experience within the dream I also notice that there is a sensual feeling to this energy. Not in the sexual way but in the wakefulness of the sensations of my body kind of way. A knowing of my body and the possible love that comes from the Gods and Goddesses, the anima and animus or the direct sensual experience of the divine love that I believe is of the earth. It makes sense that earth energy is sensual, engaging, physical, and constantly creative. There is a tactile awareness happening every moment as we move about our day with every being. And all beings from stones, to plants, water, animals, and trees etc. interacts with each other to create. How can that not be sensual if we allow ourselves to feel it?

What a powerful life force that exists within and around us.

The dream offers me a practice of mirroring this life force through the dream story into my waking life. I do this by bringing the dream’s feeling of the run to life by visualizing, creating a gesture of the run, opening to remembering the feeling of the run in me and offering a ritual to Nwyfre.

I do this practice because I have been unable to feel this life force in my waking life. I know that Nwyfre is blocked in me because I have felt physically heavy, have experienced several illnesses and lived with a certain level of depression most of my life.

The dream offers a practice that can assist in releasing these blocks. As the heaviness peels away my true essence, my life force flows more freely. To evoke the flow is to wake up and to awaken the flow in me is to remember the flow that weaves me through the landscape of all things. And here I am held in the embrace of the earth mother, Gaia. Here I find home again.




Monday, October 12, 2015

The Ancestors

The Ancestors

Dream: I am in a glass tank and it begins to fill up with water. I am terrified I don’t want to drown. I water keeps coming I am struggling trying to break the glass, trying to get out. I can get out and the water rising over me. I start sinking to the bottom of the tank experiencing the water filling my lungs and I can’t stop it.

As we enter the month of October in New England the crisp fall air reminds me it is time for the dying. Not in the literal sense for me but in a more spiritual and seasonal understanding. The trees turn color with their last moment of brilliance before they turn brown and drop from the safety of their limbs dying so they can nourish the soil as fertilizer. The last harvest of the year is taken in and stored and the land prepares in this hemisphere for the blankets of winter. All beings do what they must to prepare for death or hibernation. Some beings going into that time of silence, rest, reflection, preparing, and waiting for the new sun to rise in January. Looking to build the energy so a new seed can be planted in the spring as another cycle begins again.


For me I love the cool crisp air and the settling in that comes with this season and preparing for the cold months ahead. And what I am also coming to honor and respect is the traditions and meaning of the Celtic holiday of Samhain. 

There are various aspects to the meaning around Samhain and the one that has been standing out deeply for me is the tradition of acknowledging our ancestors. And not just the ancestors of our blood line but all beings. The beings that offer their lives so I may be nurtured through food and warmth such as the plants and animals and the gas and wood used to heat the home I live in. The beings that give so I may be dressed warmly. The human ancestors that learned to plant seeds and complete the harvest that gave us food and found fire that gives us warmth. All those who have come before us who have offered guidance through their goodwill and the hurts towards others or us. And yes it is often very hard to acknowledge those who have caused hurt. Yet some of my deepest knowing and openings has come from those experiences. To acknowledge this in a ceremony of ancestors around Samhain assists me in letting the hurt die away. This leaves an opening for the wisdom to be embodied and the love for myself returned. It assists me in claiming my power back and in result opening to the essence of my soul, which is calling me back.

Recently I have begun to explore a deeper meaning for the ancestors and that is the acknowledgment of the ancestors of my own being. The selves that I have let die in me so I may become whole again. The dying of the old story so the new one can be seeded and grow anew in the spring. We can forget the details of the old stories but I believe the wisdom harvested from those stories will live on me. This time of year I am reminded to acknowledge the journey and the death that needed to happen in order for all that has transformed in me to be blossomed.

The dreams convey to me many stories about who I am and very often they will show me the ways I have engaged the world that are what I call dysfunctional. Some of these ways have left me, isolated, afraid, sad, distrustful and self denigrating. This has caused me to act in ways that keep me hidden from the world and my soul. And what is beautiful here is that my dreams show me all of this and the path through.  As in cultures and traditions the act of dying to the old self is critical to healing. The dream story is the same, it gives us that same opportunity to die if we are willing to work the story and feel into it.

My dream story and practice has offered this opportunity many times within my dreams.  And the kinship I cultivate with the natural assist in the process of dying as a midwife. Recently in reflecting on past practices with my dream stories I have noticed that air, earth, water and fire have played an important role in assisting me in dying.

Dream: I am in a plane several thousand feet in the air. I am standing by the open door without a parachute on. There is a man behind me and I can tell he is smiling. I jump out the open door and fall. At some point I realize what I have done and panic but there is no going back. I am going to die.

My practice is to let myself fall, to feel the letting go and when I go to the panic to feel what I am afraid to let go off. Letting go of the safety of isolation for me is a big one. The old story of you have to do it alone because no one will be there for you has carry me through my adulthood. In the dream the man is standing at the door not pushing me out but supporting me in my decision to jump. And the air takes me holds me in her embrace as I go down. She also doesn’t let me stop. Gravity is there and the deed is done. Death is not always without the struggle or pain just like birth can be painful.

And in the practice of feeling the death of that old story I begin if slowly to see the energy change in me and at the same time a new seed of a story begins to arise.


This time of year as we acknowledge those who have died I am reminded of my own dying to self. How the ancestors of my old story no matter how difficult to be with have given me wisdom in their living and dying so that I may grow whole again. How my dreams cradle the stories in a way I can handle, a way of living and dying myself awake again. I honor that deeply.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Dreaming Back to Earth


Dreaming Back to the Earth
Thoughts on how our dreams can awaken our earth soul


“Stepping into the room I am enveloped in darkness. As my eyes strain to adjust to this new environment I notice the floor seems to be moving. I reach for the light switch and tap it on. To my surprise and horror the surface below me is covered with rattlesnakes slithering and undulating, pushing off one another like a moving blanket. They seem uninhibited by the announcement of my presence. Terrified I search the room for some escape. Finding none I stand there paralyzed, rigid in form waiting for help. And then a snake begins to spiral up my leg.”

Our dreams are a gateway to the story of who we are; where we travel; how we engage the world, and what keeps us from embodying our true selves. They assist us in facing our traumas and offer a remedy for the pain. Dreams show us our greatest gifts and our deepest fears. They are the primordial juice of our universal knowing unencumbered by the ego and therefore rich in personal and universal mythology. And through these stories we are offered guidance that if taken will begin to shift our consciousness and open us up to the healing and wholeness we yearn for.

And if we observe the dream with a wide-angle lens, we discover the dream also speaks to the collective experience that is the earth’s dream, dreaming us awake to her.

Journalist & environmental designer David Tracey, talks about how we cannot solve the environmental crisis from the same ego based trauma driven approach that we have been using that created this crisis in the first place. To understand this we must come to terms with the reality that the human species has contributed to the ecological crisis we are facing in this century. This impact has been driven by a trauma based in fear and manifested through a consumer driven survivalist at all cost mentality. What we don’t realize is that this universal trauma coupled with the impact of our own trauma has separated us from not only our deeper soul self but has also created a profound separation from the more than human world.

This separation expresses itself in depression, isolation, unfulfilled desires, spiritual numbness, and reckless behaviors to name a few. And on a universal level it is manifested through a fear of the natural world, a deep denial of the ecological crisis, or an overwhelming grief for our role in this crisis. At the core a deep longing can arise along with a primal panic over the powerlessness of the earth’s current condition.

All of this intensifies our own separation from self and impacts our ability to experience wholeness and walk a path in conscious relationship with the earth. In response, we spend a lifetime searching for guidance and healing. It is clear that we cannot heal the earth or ourselves in isolation. In order to transform the earth we must transform ourselves and this involves a journey to re-remembering our ecological self, one forgotten centuries ago.

Dreamwork modalities such as Integrative and Archetypal have shown that our nightly dreams hold an approach to awakening to the soul self that brings wholeness. Could it also be possible to engage our dreams as a path to re-remembering our connection to the earth community? How the dreams sketch a picture of our relationship with the earth showing us the places where we are separate or connected. And in so doing open to a deeper of healing ecologically that bestows us a gift of knowing that we have an integral role in the survival of the earth.

It is in recognizing the fullness of the dream’s offerings that we can take the journey back to our soul self and the earth. We can acknowledge the kinships waiting to be healed and experienced within these stories.

If we work our dreams as the embodiment of our own life story without interpretations and generalized symbols, but instead from an integrative and archetypal perspective we will tap into a profound wisdom. To embark on this path the focus of working the dream centers on the associations and feelings that arise from the dreamer’s unique story. And each dream when worked guides us deeper and deeper into a meaningful awareness of our life’s story. The dream challenges us to face the blocks that keep us separate/hidden and the openings that will release us to incredible longings that have laid dormant waiting to be felt into. As a result we discover a way to embody a new story of awareness to self and the earth.

The snake comes in the dream as a reflection of our waking journey. How we relate to snake is a mirror to our perception of self and the earth. Snake comes as a mythological and archetypal creature engaging us in an alchemical experience. Snake comes as a living-breathing reptile offering the experience of relationship with us on a very personal level.  Snake comes as a mirrored reflection of us struggling to gain access to our wholeness. We come as snake opening to the consciousness and vitality of this incredible creature. Snake may come as teacher, initiator or guide. Snake invites us to know ourselves just as tree, tornado, ocean, mountain, bear, or human, etc. does in our dreams. 

In working the dream we feel into the experience of being with snake by opening to the associations that snake represents in our waking lives and archetypally. We dive into the feelings that snake elicits and weave the dream story encounters within. We work the dream as a combination of the individual and collective story of ourselves and snake. This provides the substance to creating a daily practice, which incorporates feeling into a unique relationship and new story with the snake.

Done daily this practice triggers an alchemical reaction on a conscious and unconscious level that opens us up to experiencing the awareness (connection/love) of other on a profound level and heals the fear and grief that fuels our separation from life. We discover that in this opening our fear of the snake may also be the fear of knowing our wild primal self. This awakens us in a way that we cannot ignore and changes the choices we make about our responsibility to our own and the earth’s healing.

If we are receptive to the guidance of the dream, risking the pain of trauma or the joy of desire we can re-remember and awaken to deep healing on a personal, spiritual and ecological level. We can heal the split in our relationship with nature and re-remember our place in the more than human world.

There is an interlacing braid here that weaves an opening to all the love the universe has to give. Our dreams activate the spiral motion between awakening to our soul and the soul of the earth No matter where we are in life’s journey if we are receptive to stepping into the dream, risking the pain of our lost ecological self, we can awaken to and heal that self. If we let ourselves feel the grief and pain of our impact on the earth as Joanna Macy speaks to, our relationship with the earth will evolved. We will once again feel her love and take a path to reclaiming our role in acting on her behalf.

If the dreamer stands in the feelings that the story of the snake offers they can reimagine a more profound relationship with snake and our primal wild self. In doing this we have begun our journey back home to self and the earth.

I stand in the presence of a room full of snakes, one spiraling up my leg. I am terrified I will be bitten, I will feel pain, I will die, I will be transformed. I will discover who I really am.