|Four of Swords |
from the Mountain Dream Tarot by Bea Nettles.
Welcome to the Animist Blog Carnival for March, 2014 -- The Dream edition!
I will begin by mentioning that when Heather told me she felt she was being pressed to have a Dream ABC in March (& that I was the natural host), it hadn't occurred to me that the first week of March, 2nd thru the 9th is, in the U.S. at least, National Sleep Awareness Week. I had already planned to begin using this time as a special dreamwork & devotional period, but like a good little forgetter, I forgot. But, I remembered in time... & what delightfully auspicious timing!
We have a more modest collection of writings for this month. But, being an avid dreamer, I am not at all surprised. I find more often than not, when I begin to prattle about dreams, the response is invariably, "I don't dream," or "I never/rarely remember my dreams." However, I also find that those people who are in tune with the dreamworld never disappoint in their storytelling.
Brian at Animist Jottings offered up two different essays relating to dreams.
Animist Dreaming contrasts the multi-layered relationships people in hunter-gatherer societies have with their dreams against the relative lack of relationship, or merely speculative relationship to dreams & dreaming characteristic of modern, Western cultures:
"Modernist psychologists have, nevertheless, often dismissed them as random by-products of REM sleep physiology. Even when acknowledging that dreams might be meaningful, psychologists and anthropologists have tended to treat them as objects that can be recorded and analysed without reference to their cultural or personal context.
Western psychoanalytic traditions have, of course, engaged with the meaning of dreams in various ways, but my preference is for approaches that let dreams speak for themselves, and, crucially, that acknowledge the potential reality of dream visitors."
Brian also mentions various alternative approaches to dreams, dreamwork & dream interpretation including the work of James Hillman (among my personal favorites, so will I give him this shameless promotion):
"James Hillman called for an underworld perspective, ‘an attitude of unknowing’ that ‘leaves room for the phenomenon itself to speak’. We should stay with a dream image, rather than dragging it into the day world of theoretical interpretation. Dreams arise from ancestral and imaginal depths and reflect ‘the hiding invisibilities that govern our lives’."
In A Kingfisher Dream, Brian's writing becomes very personal as he unwinds a synchronous chain of dreams & waking day events seemingly precipitated by the rescue of a Kingfisher at a local pond. He recounts this tale as only Brian can:
"Quite soon I was transfixed by a crystal clear image, in my binoculars, at unusually close range, of a female bird backlit by low winter sun. The light alternately caught her sapphire/cobalt/green, back and wings -the colour shifts as the kingfisher moves due to the microstructure of the feathers rather than pigment (the so called blaustruktur or Tyndall’s effect)- etched a phosphorescent silver-blue arc against the dark backdrop of the canal lock as she dived, and outlined her fluffed-up warm orange/ochre breast in molten gold as she turned towards me. There was a strong sense of restless tension as the bird examined the swirling waters with her dark needle sharp eye."And his bold conclusion reverberates in my mind as it rings true of my own experiences with the dreamworld:
"From a Cartesian/mechanist-materialist point of view these experiences would only seem to be connected by random co-incidence. From a divinatory/animist perspective it seems to me that they were connected by meaning, purpose, intention, action, and relationship."
Heather at Eearth Animist offered up a treatise on "dream types" & her experiences with them, Dreams: Intrapersonal and Interpersonal. This is a particularly meaty piece in which she tosses out bits of brilliance like popcorn in a parade. Instead of offering a single blurb, I will leave you with a smattering of teasers. I cannot help myself:
"By age 13 I was less than impressed with Jung. I could not see how a white European educated privileged man with access only to his cultural references could create the Collective Unconscious."
"Time exists because I often describe past dream events to current dream people. It’s a living map of where I have been, who I have known and what I have done, the last one being in the dreamscape."
"Most of my dreams are “digestion dreams.” ...There is nothing to learn from these. However they are the sort of things archeologists shift through to learn about a culture, like how looking at an animal’s scat can tell you what they ate."
"I so tired of the dream genre, I sat down and said I refused to continue. My mind was not expecting that. I tricked my own mind. The landscape wavered a bit, but nothing replaced it, because my mind was confused because I changed the rules of the dream."
"Is it a dream if it is happening in Awake Land? I was asleep, so I suppose so, but…. This touches on major new animism topics: nonduality, vast diversity, and monist interlinking. Sleep Land and Awake Land can overlap. Instead of being different worlds, they are different parts of the same MoreWorld."
"...That dream like anything… divine caused me to feel awe, awesome, awful, awestruck."
Matty at Nature is Sacred gives us an historical overview, Animism and Dreams, of dreams as understood in early human, animist & shamanic cultures followed by a treatment of various Western psychological, anthropological & sociological theories & perspectives on the various functions of dreams for the human animal. He concludes with an animist perspective & (an often overlooked!) tip of the hat to daydreams :
"Like ancient animists, I believe that dreams are important... because they can reveal to us valuable insights about our lives. I believe that we should regularly day dream to help us be more creative and deal with problems. And I believe that dreams can be part of a process of psychological healing for us when necessary."
And at Mythic Cartography... Willem, oh Willem... what do we say? How will we answer the question? His invitation is palpable as he leaves you STANDING AT THE DOOR OF THE HOOP:
“All the paths in your palm seek to return to the pulse in your wrist, just as all the rivers in the world seek the ocean. Every Spring, a door opens again. How many more times will it open? No one knows. Few more indeed for your kind... Behind this door beats the heart of the original human places. Which means the original wild places of course. The ancient invisible gardens of wasteland and wilderness, rich with food and comfort for those who have eyes to see..."How will you receive this breathtaking invitation?
Finally, here at Pray to the Moon, I have been working steadily on another devotional project (this one virtual) involving mother Nyx & her children, specifically Hypnos & the Oneiroi. I will be building upon that over the course of this "Sleep Week" as well as into the future. My plan was to unveil a portion of that along with this Carnival. But, as I was working on some images for Morpheus, I stumbled upon an older post (of epic proportions) which I simply could not ignore. Curiously, I had completely & utterly forgotten that I wrote this beast: Transforming "Spiritual Warfare": Day 33 (Ohio) [A Photo-filled Magickal DIY of Epic Proportions]
This post was one of my "Transforming 'Spiritual Warfare'" aka. Mushroom Hatred Remediation Program entries, a lengthy undertaking which involved a curious combination of dreamwork, remote land & art awareness, magick & mycophilia. It is an extensive walkthru of my technique (which, at that time was already 32 workings into the process) for using dream incubation as a platform for spellwork... animist-fueled, fungi-driven spellwork.
Of all the quotes I could take from this piece, I will just leave you with this:
"Ah, & you thought you were weird..."