"As dreams are the healing songs from the wilderness of our unconscious -- so wild animals, wild plants, wild landscapes are the healing dreams from the deep singing mind of the Earth." - Dale Pendell
Pressed next to my hip, stretched out lengthwise with her silky fur and lean body sandwiched into the purple arm rest of my chair, my aptly named underworld feline, Beelzebub, sleeps. She lets out soft little meows, and her paws expand and contract, extending and retracting her finely sharpened claws. She’s dreaming. Wandering through the subterranean world of a collective unconsciousness. What she is dreaming about is as much a mystery to me as what I am dreaming about is to my partner. She is tuned into the larger psyche of the earth just as I am. Her dreams, whatever they may be, rise from and inform the unique shape she lives into this world.
She strides along the earth with four paws touching down, and I stride along the earth with my two feet. She runs with fierce precision, and steadies herself in unmatched patience. I walk slowly from my own verticality, and root myself willingly beneath towering cottonwoods. She lounges in solitude mapping out the movements of other earthly beings, and I rest the breath of my soul along the grass where horses graze. She and I are each ensouled, imaginative, and curious beings that are both dreaming and being dreamed.
Rising from the vast, expansive “singing mind” of the Earth, all beings, from each blade of grass to every roaming buffalo, are dreaming their lives into existence and simultaneously being dreamed forth by the Earth. Psyche, often defined as the human mind, soul or spirit, is anything but strictly of human origin. Rising from a collective and teeming web of life, psyche could be seen as a dynamic and pulsing matrix where the souls of all beings gather to dance and play. Invoking limitless possibilities of form and expression.
Perhaps Gaia, herself, is but one swirling whirlpool of dreams within the larger river of Mystery. Imagine a deep and dark cosmic underworld waterway where every star and planet spins itself into a colorful vortex of descent. Streams of red and yellow, blue and silver, orange and gold, ribboning out from a center of amorphous individuation.
There are countless opinions on the significance and origin of dreams. Some believe them to be nothing more than electrical firings of our neural circuitry. An amalgamation of experiences and encounters from the daily proceedings of one’s every day life. Others believe dreams to be messages sent to each individual from a divine and omniscient source. Tailored and specialized images, symbols, characters and settings sent with a particular intention. And some yet still believe dreams to be prophetic, revealing possible future currents, as well as a passageways into the liminal spaces that bridge this world with other worlds.
No matter which camp you might find yourself, the mysterious and extraordinary nature of dreams is undeniable. Whole worlds, new and familiar, can be explored. Felt just as strongly by the body, and moving us just as deeply if not more toward terror and delight. Revelatory and insightful, dreams have played a crucial role in the development of human culture for thousands of years. Influencing humanity’s mythological and cosmological pursuits, dreams expose us to the potential of our own limitlessness. Reverberating the eternal and infinite, our finite and temporal form takes flight through an exquisite realm of imagination.
Within this realm of imagination, we might find ourselves speaking in lunar tongues, swimming through a sea of kaleidoscopic stars, running surefooted upon ten tentacled legs, devouring purple mushrooms grown from the soil of Jupiter, riding atop the back of a mangled and hairy beast, walking beneath crystalized waves of a silver ocean, playing cards with a cackling goddess, or running from a howling banshee that has not left us alone since the age of five.
You could look to your dreams as strange and inconsequential plays that you may or may not remember in your waking hours. Meaningless configurations of happenstance. At best entertaining, and at worst terrifying. Scenes acted out from poorly written scripts attempting to dramatize what can clearly be demystified and made sense of through logic and reason, and thus requires no further exploration or investigation.
Or, you could extend your emptied hand, palm raised to the sky, as a gesture of courtship. You could spin the hem and coattails of your attention toward each dreamworld excursion, initiating a most magnificent and complex dance between yourself and Mystery. In your willingness, you could be standing at the threshold to your own belonging, journeying to places that expose the raw, bubbling, dark, tempestuous matter that gives rise to your unique, and individuated form. You could be a conduit for magic, a portal for the reemergence of a world that lives, breathes and moves from Soul.
You could stand at the great cosmic divide, and lean your entirety into the wondrous, illumined, darkened, undulating, boundless, immeasurable void where that great cosmic waterway flows. You could, if you dare imagine it, jump feet first into your own sweet and achy longing for a life birthed from and guided by dreams.
My own Native American ancestors called upon the medicine of Bear, the symbol for dreams with its deep, dark cave holding secret truths waiting to be brought back to one's people. This cave of inner knowing was known as the Dream Lodge. It was a place of introspection, where one could be in conversation with the their own microcosmic existence. An existence teaming with riches meant to contribute to the larger existence of everything - medicine for the earth.
The question remains, full and embodied, what would your life be like if it were guided by your dreams? What would it look like? What might it feel like? What great earthly and cosmological shift would occur if each human being sought the wisdom of their dreams? What great earthly shift would take place if humanity re-invoked the traditions of dream lodges - a sacred space where those in a community could come share the gems they received from the night before?
Ask yourself, how would my life be different if I lived from my dreams?
This article was previously published on The Urban Howl.
© 2016 All Rights Reserved, Wild Earth Medicine