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  Columnist: Kathleen Meadows

Image credit: Marcus Stone

Dreaming yourself a shaman

Posted on Saturday, 22 March, 2014 | 2 comments
Columnist: Kathleen Meadows

In a longitudinal study, 7000 students were interviewed about their dreams (across cultures). Surprisingly, the data revealed that there are more differences in dream content between males and females than between cultures. Furthermore, there are approximately 34 recurrent themes that show up in dreams.

Sexual dreams, varying degrees of nudity or exposure, unpreparedness, falling or teetering on the edge of a precipice, flying, fighting, fleeing, imprisonment, hair or teeth falling out are a few of the most common dream plots. Pleasant, joyful dreams are much fewer than upsetting ones because we tend to suppress the negative in our lives to cope day to day with its challenges. According to psychiatry we have pleasant dreams when we are depressed in our waking lives and possibly at serious risk of suicide. It’s often helpful to ask yourself, “What is the opposite to this dream?” And that might lead to an insight into what in your waking life is bothering you and what you might do to heal it.

Consider This: The dreamer creates an entirely real world, in minute detail. Each dream arouses within us the conviction that we are actually awake. A recent Italian study has determined that in an 80 year life span, we spend 20 years of that dreaming! Twenty years of human existence is spent in pure creativity. We breathe, we eat and we dream.

Dreams are a path to enlightenment that will cost you nothing and bring you everything. You dream of the future, of loved ones passed and you dream of how to heal yourself and others of disease. Working with your dreams channels shamanic power.

When recording your dreams remember to:
  • give your dream a title, and date it,
  • have a recording device handy by your bedside in which to record your dreams initially because we say more about a dream upon awakening than we can or may be willing to write,
  • write it in the present tense, for example, "I am walking in an old house and as I look out the window I see a black dog peering in at me."
  • note how you felt immediately upon awakening and how you felt throughout the dream action,
  • organize a dream binder,
(a) dreams in one section along with short notes about the day before or following the dream,
(b) your own dream symbol dictionary in another section. As you enter new symbols in your dictionary and write out your interpretations of that symbol you are opening a communication channel between your varying levels of conscious; between heaven and earth, between spirit and psyche. You will witness that symbol transforming from dream to dream as you carry it through to the light of consciousness. Kittens become cats, saw horses become real horses, being in a plane transforms to becoming a bird in flight etc.
(c) pictures depicting images you saw in your dreams can be in another section,
(d) notes and quotes from other dream interpreters another section.

This is why a dream binder is a better format than using one of those fancy, bound and often expensive journals sold on the market. The flexibility of a binder lends itself more effectively to working more fluidly with your dream material. You might be sitting in a café doodling when suddenly you notice you are drawing a dream image! This should be put into your journal for later contemplation.

Express Your Dream Artistically

Do a major art project related to a big dream or dream series. This will involve making a dream character, activity, setting, or action manifest. Collage, three dimensional, painting, whatever materials feels right for you. I did a multi-media wall hanging years ago on a dream series involving a woman hanging from a Ferris Wheel while I watched from a castle turret. The result was powerful and hung on my wall for years. It took me more than a decade to interpret this dream’s meaning! But having it hanging in my office gave me ample opportunity to ponder its message.

Dream Study Group

The most transformative methodology for working with your dreams is to form a dream study group. People share their dreams and dreamwork and help each other unpack their meaning through a series of questions, play acting and suggestions. If you go forward with this idea however, research the best ways to listen to other’s dreams in order to protect everyone’s privacy, dignity and self-agency.

Kathleen Meadows, M.A.

Kathleen Meadows, M.A. in Religion & Culture has been facilitating dream groups for more than 20 years. Visit her dream web site at where she has a full 8 week dream study group outline.

Article Copyright© Kathleen Meadows - reproduced with permission.

If you are interested in the esoteric sciences and psychic ability development you will find the articles on my web site an interesting read. Visit my web site Exploring the Psychic Experience.

  Other articles by Kathleen Meadows

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We sometimes forget that when we're using words, we are passing symbols back and forth. This means we must make assumptions like for example, that we agree upon...

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I met with a woman last week here in Victoria who is just about to launch a Tarot reading practice in northern Ontario. It was such a pleasure to meet with som...

In Review: Tarot as a Way of Life
Columnist: Kathleen Meadows | Posted on 5-8-2017 | 1 comment
Despite having been published twenty years ago, I continue to have Tarot as a Way of Life on my recommended reading list. 307409If you resonate with Jungian ps...

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