My Journey into Dream

Dreaming

conceptual illustration of a jaguar crouch in a dream-like star-filled space

I believe it was five years ago, while pregnant with my fifth child, Paige, that my dreaming eyes were thrown open wide. I had a dream of a jaguar in my bedroom. I was asleep in my bed, knowing I was asleep, and there was both a jaguar and my trusty lab, Lambeau, patrolling my room. They were walking laps around my bed. I rose from the bed to use the bathroom, and I saw the jaguar walk by the open door of the bathroom. 

I then actually arose from my bed, stepped around Lambeau, and went to use the bathroom. I looked to the open door for the jaguar. Tell me where the sleep and waking each ends and begins in this dream telling? As I write it down, even I have a hard time remembering at which points I was awake or asleep. Lunar consciousness blending into solar consciousness at its cleanest and muddiest.

That dream, and the powerful jaguar, catapulted me deep into curiosity about dreams. I have always been someone who recalled dreams. However, as an adult, I have not spent any time investigating or actively hearing the messages of my individual dreams. The jaguar pulled me to a podcast interview of Lori Morrison. She is the author of the book “The Shaman’s Guide to Power Animals.” This book is now probably the most referenced book on my night stand. Animals in dreams and animals in waking experience always feel powerfully supportive and guiding.  

The jaguar is a teaching animal. A powerful shapeshifter that moves between realms and worlds with ease to offer guidance and support. A teacher may wear the cloak of a jaguar in dream, or the jaguar itself may offer a place to rest your dangling hand as you walk through life. I often feel jaguar at my side as I move through my day, she offers me intention and awareness. Jaguar was, I’m sure, not my first nudge towards intentional dreaming but it was insistent and vivid. That dream in particular so eloquently blended my waking and sleeping awareness that I could not forget it…even now five years later it is still potent and powerful.  

Over the last five years, I have been actively exploring dream and dream teachers. I have worked with an Oracle and explored the use of dreams as a mediumistic space, finding that I can dream on behalf of others. The collective nature of dreams allows the interweaving of intentions of both the individual and the collective. It was shocking to find that I could ask a question on behalf of someone I had never met, and receive detailed answers and information that supported that person’s journey. 

Something about that practice did not feel authentic to me and my own journey. At the time, I wasn’t able to articulate exactly why I wasn’t feeling fulfilled from that type of dreamwork, but now I can say that it just wasn’t my stopping point. With some time, I’ve come to realize that information and awareness is much more powerful when it comes to and through the seeker, and Dream is accessible to everyone. Why should I dream for someone else when they can dream for themselves?

I have briefly delved into a Jungian-driven dream interpretation, with a focus on depth psychology, trauma, and healing through dream animation. This practice, coined Dream Tending, by Stephen Aizenstat, was taught at Pacifica University and is utilized by many psychology professionals to support their clients in healing. It utilizes a dream from the dreamer, and reawakens that image in waking reality; allowing the dream to go further, unfurl a bit more. It urges the dreamer to be an active participant in the telling of the dream. It can allow the dreamer to turn and face the nightmare, question the pursuant, look longer and closer at the animal approaching, sink deeper into the sensation of the dreamscape and much much more. Many answers and insights can be found in support of the individual and their own path to healing and purpose along this avenue of dream exploration.

I also mentored for a brief time with a local dream teacher who found her inspiration in the study of the Divine Feminine, ancient cultures, and mythology. Janis Deluca was the person who asked me to consider the work being done at Pacifica University as a knowledgeable source of guidance. She awakened in me a consideration for mythology and the ancient religions, which find their way into the authoring of all of our dreams. Look closely at your dreams and you will find symbols, artifacts, and languages of the past. Things that you in your current lifetime have never encountered or experienced. How did they arrive in your dreams?  

For the last year and a half, I have been working with a teacher named Connie Kaplan. She has authored multiple books on Dream and dream practices. Her approach to Dream is very collective, and focuses on the practice of bringing dreams into a circle for sharing and unraveling from a group mind. 

The practice of a Dream Circle is common in some indigenous cultures. Dreaming occurs in “The Void” where all potential resides, and the Dreamer is an active participant in the energetic possibilities therein. When we engage with the dream, we act to manifest these encountered energies into waking reality or solar consciousness. Everything that is was first dreamt.  

Through these teachings and teachers, I am continuing to explore and learn every day…and night. My dreams are a never-ending source of curiosity and potential. The experiences in dream vary, and continue to catch me off guard every time I feel like I am settling into some level of understanding.

Currently I have been working to collect all my dreams in written form. This has allowed me to reflect back on my own dream cycles and patterns that are hidden within the dreams themselves. For example, telepathic dreams occur more for me during times when the moon is in certain zodiac signs. Astrology is showing itself to be highly influential in energies I encounter while in a dream state. Journaling my dreams has allowed me to begin drawing some very rudimentary lines between the night sky and where I go in any given dream journey.

In addition to my devotion to recording and collecting my dreams, I am also participating in both a local and a virtual Dream Circle. A small local group of women meet as often as we are able to share in a sacred Dream Circle practice. There is always a seat available to any curious heart.  It is even deeply spiritual to come sit in the seat of the “witness” to a gathered circle. Bring an open heart and dream curiosity, and see for yourself where guidance and support may be gathered in your own daily life.

Feel free to reach out to me at kimj@renewptandwellness.com if you have any questions or curiosities about dreaming, or if you’re interested in taking a seat within the circle.

Some of my favorite books on Dreams include:

  • “Belonging” by Toko-Pa Turner
  • “Healing Dreams” by Marc Ian Barasch
  • “Dreams are letters from the sould” by Connie Kaplan
  • “The Woman’s Book of Dreams.” by Connie Kaplan

“The Shaman’s Guide to Power Animals” by Lori Morrison is a book for anyone deeply curious or connected to the Animal Realm.

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