How many of you have had what you’d call a Big Dream, one that you can recall in vivid detail and that you’ll never forget? How many have had puzzling dreams that you’re still trying to understand? And what about waking dreams? In some shamanic cultures, a dream is a dream, whether you’re asleep or awake when it happens.
However we relate to our dreams, they’re a source of fascination to us as humans. In western culture, we’ve developed countless theories of dreams and their interpretations. Would you be surprised to learn that in shamanic cultures, sophisticated practices for interacting with and learning from dreams have been handed down for thousands of years? In fact, in some cultures, dreaming is the primary way for people to interact with spirits, to receive wisdom and healing and power.
For some Amazonian cultures, everything that happens that is not in this present moment, whether you’re asleep or awake, is a dream. There is deep wisdom there for all of us, as we struggle to come to terms with events we can not understand - even more so, as we work to prevent ourselves from extrapolating into the future. Not only the best things we imagine for our country and our world, but also the worst things we fear, are only dreams. Nothing is set in stone. Nothing is inexorable.
Since dreaming is an integral part of all of our lives, it can be a wonderful thing to learn from the wisdom of shamanic cultures about ways to interact with and understand our dreams, and turn them into sources of power and healing for our lives. Michael Harner, Ph.D., anthropologist and expert in cross-cultural shamanism, has developed a core shamanic theory of dreams, which he shares in his article by that name: “A Core Shamanic Theory of Dreams”. You can read it here.
I love to offer the FSS workshop, Shamanic Dreamwork, in December, as we move into the sacred holidays. Please check the schedule here, to find out more. I’d love to have you join us.
The most powerful message I’m drawing from a shamanic, spirit-centered perspective on dreams, is that, while some dreams may have been shattered, others can still come true. And the fears I have for our future, like my sleeping nightmares, have no more power than I give them myself. There is more power in my positive, waking dreams, for helping me create the beautiful outcomes that I envision for the world, than there is in any of my fears.
If you can, please join me in December for FSS Shamanic Dreamwork, and whether I see you there or not, please DREAM ON!