Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dreams about Making Our Way Through the World

Since dreams show us how we are handling different aspects of our life, it's inevitable that the issue of how we are making our way through the world will come up.  When this issue appears in our dreams, it usually involves vehicles of one sort or another.

When we dream about  cars, it indicates how we navigate through situations or stages of life.  Cars symbolize our power to make our own way through life, how focused we are on our personal goals, and how active a role we play in getting what we want.   You might dream you're in a car and discover that someone else is driving.  Since a car symbolizes how much power you feel you have in moving forward in life, having someone else in the driver's seat isn't an ideal situation.  If one of your parents is driving the car , we could say that you are not fulfilling your own purpose, but living out parental expectations.  You are taking a more passive role in your life.  So cars often indicate how independent you are and the amount of control you feel you have over your life.

Bicycles, on the other hand, symbolize an even more personal way of directing your own life.  Bicycles are powered by our legs, and so this vehicle is powered by our personal beliefs (thighs) and standpoint ( legs and feet).  A bike takes balance to move forward and so represents how we try to achieve balance in our lives and in our relationships.   Let's look at a bike dream.

I am riding a bike through traffic and I am entering a maze of cars.  I am on a ten speed bike, trying to find my way through the maze of cars.  I look behind me and see a man on a tricycle following me.  He's very relaxed and eating ice cream as he rides.  I can see that he is really enjoying his ice cream, smiling as he licks the ice cream with his tongue.

This dream speaks about the need to balance work and play.  The dreamer was very busy trying to get her business up and running.   The maze of cars could represent all the many issues she has about networking and getting her message out in the world.  It really does seem like a maze when you're doing it all on your own.  The bike seems to indicate that she is trying to create a balance between work and play, being and doing.  A ten speed bike says that she has options over how fast and how easy this ride will be.  But it's the man on the tricycle that shows how balanced she is. A tricycle has three wheels, and therefore is more easily balanced than a bicycle.  Three is the number of process, of working things out.  So the man, who represents a shadow (he's behind her) aspect of her masculine, 'doing' nature, shows that she is inclined to relax and have fun in the process.  Small children ride tricycles too, and often it's their first taste of power and movement.  Ice cream symbolize pleasure and fun, the ability to savor life in the moment (because ice cream melts so fast!)  So she's dicovering that even though she has to find her way through this maze to achieve her goals, she's going to do it in a child-like, fun and balanced way and savor every moment of it.

This is a wonderful dream because it is an example of a better way to go about business, not just for this woman, but for all of us.  Our world is getting so complex - that maze of cars - that we often end up confused and lost.  But if we go after our goals in a more balanced way, we get to enjoy ourselves and life in the process.  The old ways of being successful are so often stressful and unbalanced.  This woman is finding her own unique way to fulfill her goals.  I think she'll achieve them!

Until next time,
Sweet Dreams!

Please send in your dreams if you'd like me to work with them.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bringing Dreams into Reality: Mythic Stories to Guide Your Life

I'm posting my personal 'dream' to go along with Uranus entering Aries tomorrow.  See what you think.

Greetings from The Bard's Grove!

We'll be gathering at The Bard's Grove this Friday night at BlogtalkRadio on the Internet.  All you have to do is grab your computer and settle down for an hour of good, old-fashion adult storytelling (and I don't mean naughty stories!).  Join us there Friday night at 7pm Pacific/8pm Mountain/9pm Central/10pm Eastern time. 

There is so much going on in our world right now - who can doubt that some form of change is coming.  Everyone seems to be saying it -  Something's Coming.  Do you feel it?  Well, stories are just what we need when our world begins to change around us.  Stories give form to chaos, they channel archetypal energy and they can lead us to new life.  So, while we don't know what the 'something coming' is, stories help us remember that we have the capacity to meet it and get through it.  We are living in a time that wants us to be creative, free, committed, courageous and unique. It is a Call to Adventure!  

The Cosmic Story is asking us to go on The Hero's Journey and bring back our unique gift to our community.  With Uranus moving into Aries on Friday, the hero's journey is about to become our template for change for the next 7 years.  Uranus will move north of the equator for the first time since 1969, when it moved into Libra and the Southern hemisphere.  We all know (or remember:) how creative and disruptive those times were.  But also times alive with possibilities.  In Aries, Uranus coming North calls us to the home of the Ancestors.  The Archetypal Wisdom that the Aquarian Water-Carrier pours out onto humanity is already calling us.  We are the first.  We will be the Ancestors one day.       

 "There are times when people need stories more than they need nourishment, because the stories feed something deeper than the needs of the body."  Charles DeLint,  The Onion Girl
Stories can feed us even when we can't afford that 3rd pint of Ben&Jerry's. There are many variations of the Hero's Journey, but they all concern discovering A BIGGER IDENTITY.  This is the archetype our soul resonates with - the Law Giver, the Peacemaker, the Lover, the Mother, the Artist, the Priestess, the Brother.   The mythic stories of our many cultures can help us understand and deal with the cultural quirks and personal intricacies of this Journey.  All you have to do is discover which stories speak to your heart and then learn how to understand and speak their symbolic language.

So when you join us at The Bard's Grove, you get to listen to ancient story wisdom.  Who knows what treasure you'll go away with, what vision will spark your interest; the story-feeling in your heart speaks to your own story so it can become story food for you.

This week at The Bard's Grove, Cat will finish her story of Sheherazade and her tale of The Water Stair - a story of sacrifice and love.  The Age of Pisces was an age of martyrs and victims, of uniting the collective heart despite religious sectarianism.  And all too often, women carried the burden of 'sacrifice'.   But let's not reject the idea of sacrifice out of hand, for the word sacrifice means 'to make sacred'.  Sheherazade's Water Stair story to the women in the Harem is a story of turning a sacrifice into a sacred contract. 

Lantern is going to surprise us tonight, so stayed tuned.  Who knows what delights he has in store for us!

So remember:  Meet us at The Bard's Grove Friday night at BlogtalkRadio: 7pm Pacific - 10pm Eastern

Merry Meet!
Cat and Lantern

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Creation Stories

In the Beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth.  And the Earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep.  And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  And God said, "Let there be Light: and there was Light.  And God saw the Light, that it was good: and God divided the Light from the Darkness.  And God called the Light Day, and the Darkness he called Night.  And the evening and the morning were the first day.  (1 Genesis)

And Lady Wisdom speaks of creation:

"The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.  Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the Earth.  When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.  Before the Mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth; before he had made the Earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world.

When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the Earth, then I was beside him, like a master workman; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of humanity."  Proverbs 8:22-31)

And a third creation myth - from ancient Greece:

"In the beginning, Eurynome, the Goddess of All Things, rose naked from Chaos, but found nothing substantial for her feet to rest upon, and therefore divided the sea from the sky, dancing lonely upon its waves,  She danced towards the south, and the wind set in motion behind her seemed something new and apart with which to begin a work of creation.  Wheeling about, she caught hold of this north wind, rubbed it between her hands, and behold! the great serpent Ophion.  Eurynome danced to warm herself, wildly and more wildly, until Ophion, grown lustful, coiled about those divine limbs and was moved to couple with her.  Now, the North Wind, who is also called Boreas, fertilizes; which is why mares often turn their hind-quarters to the wind and breed foals without aid of a stallion.  So Eurynome was likewise got with child.

Next she assumed the form of a dove, brooding on the waves and in due process of time, laid the Universal Egg.  At her bidding, Ophion coiled seven times about this egg, until it hatched and split in two.  Out tumbled all the things that exist, her children: Sun, Moon, planets, Stars, the Earth with its mountains and rivers, its trees, herbs and living creatures.

Eurynome and Ophion made their home upon Mount Olympus, where he vexed her by claiming to be the author of the Universe, Forthwith she bruised his head with her heel, kicked out his teeth, and banished him to the dark caves below the Earth."  (Greek Myths, Robert Graves)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The 12 Days of Christmas: Time to Create the New Year!

The 12 Days of Christmas is an ancient tradition concerning the days between Christmas (December 25) and Epiphany (January 6).  These are days outside of time, when the old year dies and the new year is yet to be born.  

Since these days mark a symbolic 'turning of the tides', these chaotic energies can be shaped into powerlines to the future.  That's why this time is especially open to divination and prophecy concerning the new year to come.

One way to connect to the prophetic energies is to keep a dream journal during this time.  The 12 days begins on Christmas night (since we begin the new day on the evening before) and the 1st day is December 26th, while the 12th day is celebrated on Epiphany, the day the Magi came with gifts for the Christ child. 

On the evening of January 5th we celebrate 12th Night (remember, this is the beginning of the 12th day) with festivities on Twelfth Night, including feasting, along with the removal of Christmas decorations. 

So, the dream journey of the 12 Days of Christmas represent the 12 months of the zodiac for the next year.  The 1st night's dream symbolizes what you might expect to experience during the astrological month of Aries (March/April2011) while the 12th night represents Pisces (Feb/March2012). You can just record your dreams, or if you have the time and desire, you can incubate the prophetic dreams by spending your 12 days this way.

1.  Day 1/Dec. 26 - Aries:  Go out exploring.  Be brave.  Try something new.

2.  Day 2/Dec. 27 - Taurus: go do something sensual, go find beauty, relax and enjoy the day, your people, your body.

3.  Day 3/Dec. 28 - Gemini: read, think, communicate, learn something, go to the opera, the ballet, the theatre. Take a short trip.

4.  Day 4/Dec. 29 - Cancer: stay home and cook.  Hang out in your pjs.

5.  Day 5/Dec. 30 - Leo: create something, play with kids, connect with a lover, have FUN!

6.  Day 6/Dec. 31 - Virgo: help someone.  Exercise.  Hang out by yourself or with your pets. Talk with your mentor.

7.  Day 7/Jan. 1 - Libra: practice balance in your relationships.  Do you give as well as take?  Be with other people.

8.  Day 8/Jan. 2 - Scorpio: let go of toxic emotions; make mad, passionate love; talk with your ancestors, those who have passed on.  

9.  Day 9/Jan. 3 - Sagittarius:  Go on a long trip; visit a church, temple, synagogue, or mosque.  Pray and meditate.

10.  Day 10/Jan. 4 - Capricorn: make your work your holy dharma; figure out how you can help change our government or financial system.  Take responsibility for something big.

11.  Day 11/Jan. 5 - Aquarius: find a group whose ideals you believe in; invent something we actually need; work on your vision of the future.

12. Day 12/Jan. 6 - Pisces: dream, pray, do art, ask for a vision.  You might want to have a drink.  Have faith and trust.

If you incubate your dreams by doing these things each day, you'll dream stronger and truer.

I hope your New Year dreams come true!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Black and White Horses: Uniting the Opposites

 Since the Sun is in the sign of the horse-man, Sagittarius, I thought I'd talk about what horses symbolize in dreams.

 This is Thor, a Gypsy Vanner breed.  He has blue eyes!

Animals in dreams usually represent our instinctive energies.  Different animals embody different instincts.  We, who live so much of our lives in our heads or lost in the collective virtual reality, really need to get back in touch with our instincts, which can help us survive and thrive in life.  Our animal dream guides let us know what instinct will help in a given situation, as well as inform us of the state of our instincts.

A woman dreamed:

There are two horses - one is white, the other black.  Two of us are there with them (both are 'me', and I am aware that one person is 'strong', whilst other is 'waiting' ...or something). The 'strong' person's horse (the black one) is laying down and 'in trouble', but somehow, that person gets the horse to get up.

I’ve been getting to know horses lately on my morning walks, and they are strong and shy and sweet.  But my heart breaks to see them shut up in small fields, separated from each other, forced into pregnancy, unable to fly with the wind, unable to be free.  All that power, subdued to the will of mankind.

We also have to go back and see what horses meant to our ancestors, because dreams speak to us from a deep place, a soulful place that gives meaning to life.

In this dream, the black horse is down and in trouble.  Black is the color of mystery, of night.  Like a black hole, it absorbs all light. It is despair and death.  It is chaos, it is the Void.  But it is also the sensual, the body. 

The white horse seems to be fine, its rider waiting for something to happen. White is the color of purity and innocence; simplicity and illumination; sacredness and love.

Horse symbolizes our urge for freedom and independence, for unrestrained movement and adventure.  Horse is also a symbol of power, pulling heaving loads, helping spread civilization.  Movement and power.  We even speak of ‘horsepower’ when we want to know how powerful a car engine is.

In this dream, the black horse is somehow injured.  This dreamer’s earthy instincts need healing.  Like the horses I pass on my walk, she might be too caged in to realize that she can fly free of her situation.   She might want to do something (the white horse and the waiting rider – the ideal she wants to live up to) but can’t figure out how to make it happen.

The two colored horses can also symbolize two types of power and consciousness: the ability to move within herself into the dark of the unconscious and explore what’s there, as well as the ability to expand her vision and travel in the outer world. The horse/men - like Sun in Sagittarius - are about combining both the physical and the spiritual realms, knowing what our instincts are saying and thinking of how we can act on them.  (Like knowing that you should run from a tsunami rather then stand there and watch it.)

So with the black horse down, perhaps there's something out of balance - the balance between dualities in her life. Perhaps there's a risk she needs to take but she’s not yet up to it.  Perhaps her physical energy is low, even though her strong ‘part’ can get it up and moving again. 

I would suggest that this dreamer become a ‘horse-whisperer’ and find out what’s wrong with the black horse in an active imagination.  Maybe it’s alright for the ‘strong’ person to make it get up, but perhaps that dark horse needs a rest!

Until next time,

Sweet Dreams! 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Time to Get Creative

With Mars and Neptune aligning in the sky, we probably need to take some time to let our imaginations inform our creativity.

But so many of us are overwhelmed with our work and family life that we barely have time for ourselves let alone creative projects.  Yet, when we've pushed off our creativity for too long, our dreams will poke and prod us - perhaps for one last time.  So don't pass up the opportunity to create, especially if you're dreams are yelling, loud and clear, "It's Time!!"

A woman who works for a newspaper, editing other people's writing, had the following dream:

I am in the parking lot of a university.  I'm watching my (male) therapist unload cases of musical instruments out of his truck - guitars, drums, horns, etc.  I walk over to him to see where they're performing. 

There's a platform next to the truck and 2 friends are on it.  One woman is writing in a journal, the other is watching everything and smiling.  My therapist teases the writer, trying to get her attention.  The writer doesn't want to be disturbed so is a bit dismissive with him.

For this woman, the University is a place of becoming - a place to learn, to grow, to explore.  To be in the parking lot means that she hasn't gone into the University yet - she's just arrived.  So the dreamer is seeing something about her own growth for the first time - she is about to embark on 'becoming'.

Her therapist, in reality, is very creative and very into music.  Here in the dream he represents the part of her that knows what needs to happen, her dream guide.  He knows the rhythms of life, and he can channel them.  The musical instruments represent something that channel's feelings.   He knows it's time to begin!

The two friends are what we call shadow figures, parts of the dreamer that she can now name and own.  The smiling friend just is comfortable in her own skin and has the self-confidence this woman is trying to develop.  The writer is engrossed in her craft, in her self-expression, so much so that she doesn't take kindly to any interruptions, even though all this is taking place in a public parking lot. 

What was the message this dreamer got from her dream?   "I'm not letting myself follow my creative dream to write."

This woman consciously knows she hasn't been writing, but this dream really brought it into her awareness.  After working with this dream, she has committed to writing every day - writing her own way.

Never doubt that we have all the information we need to live a full life right inside us.  We just have to re-learn the ancient symbolic language of dreams!

Until next time,

Sweet Dreams

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Symbolic Language and Fairy Tales

Symbols are the language of the archetypes. Symbols are how we communicate with ourselves when we sleep.  Our dream images are often symbolic of the energies of life we are engaging at the moment.

We dream in symbolic language, since it is our mother tongue.  These symbols get grouped together to form stories.

Myths and fairy tales are ancient repositories of symbolic language. So get out your old Edith Hamilton and Grimm's Brothers and start reading myths and fairy tales to practice your symbolic language skills.

I always find it synchronistic when many clients show up with similar life stories. Lately I have several wonderful women clients who have been totally rejected by their mothers. Abandoned. Marginalized. Berated. Ignored. Beaten. And yet, even when raised in countries that totally devalue women, they are survivors who have created lives for themselves. 

What's the story with that? How do un-mothered women make their way in the world? Mothers teach us how to survive by loving us. When we don't feel loved, what keeps us from giving up?

And yet, despite neglect and cruelty, or maybe because of it, many un-mothered women search within themselves and find their own inner mother who nurtures them when their biological mother can't. 

There are lessons and wisdom about how you survive such conditions hidden away in ancient fairy tales and myths.  These are the bones of the archetypes. These are stories that speak to the soul and heart of the matter.  They bring healing when we understand their message.  

There's a fairy tale called The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson. In the tale, a mother duck discovers that one of her eggs has hatched into a very strange looking bird.  Not at all like her other duck children. The poor ugly duckling is reviled by everyone, and even its mother washes her wings of it. So it ran away.  But its life only got worse, for everywhere it went, it was an outcast. But one day it saw beautiful swans flying over the lake, and its heart went out to them. They were beautiful.  Not like the ugly duckling at all. Its life was hard.

But winter came, and then spring.  And the ugly duckling, who had barely survived the winter,looked down into the water and saw its reflection.  It had changed into a swan. And the other swans came and welcomed it.

In her marvelous book, Woman Who Run With The Wolves, Clarissa Pinkola Estes talks about this fairy tale and says she believes that sometimes women who have been abandoned by their families and their mothers are really mistaken zygotes, little aliens who landed in the wrong families. Perhaps this is so, or perhaps it’s because women have been disregarded in our culture for thousands of years. Most of our families have this wound around the value of women.  So women have to suffer through the family patterns of rejection, disregard, alienation.  But sometimes a woman will remember her strength, her wild nature as Estes says, and make her way like the ugly duckling until she discovers her beauty.  She is a survivor.  But then she has to learn how to thrive in her life.  She has to learn to believe in love again. She has to acknowledge her swanlike beauty. 

Nothing makes up for the loss of a mother's love.  And yet so many of our favorite fairy tales are about just that.