Dreamwork For The Initiate’s Path by Shauna Aura Knight
nonfiction, dreams, personal magick,
release date 12/19/2013
Cover art by Shauna Aura Knight
Dreamwork is a core part of the path of seekers and initiates. Learn basic and in-depth techniques to work with your dreams in a concise, easy-to-understand way.This includes: remembering your dreams, exploring dream symbolism, unraveling nightmares, working with spiritual/personal transformation, better understanding prophetic dreams, and exploring your mythic and deeply internal programming.
Working with our dreams is a potent way to understand and explore ourselves at a deeper level. Our nightmares show us our fears, other dreams show us our power, a glimpse of the future, or bring messages from the divine.
In our dreams, we face many situations that we never would in the waking world. You might achieve the Grail or find yourself terrified, falling from an airplane into a night-dark sea. Dreams are multi-layered and difficult to unravel, but they will tell you more about yourself than you might believe.
Interpreting Your Dream
Dreamwork is a difficult but rewarding discipline; not only do I need to write down my dreams, but I have to then unravel the mess of symbolism. And, sometimes it really can be a mess; dreams are notorious for not making logical sense. In addition, our dreams often bring out huge, frightening symbols in order to call attention to something that is going on, and it can be a challenge of my own personal fortitude to deal with uncomfortable imagery and feelings.
In my personal dream practice, I am constantly exploring these dream symbols that may or may not make sense. Some dream symbols may not make sense to me for many years.
“… a dream is quite unlike a story told by the conscious mind. In everyday life one thinks out what one wants to say, selects the most telling way of saying it, and tries to make one’s remarks logically coherent. For instance, an educated person will seek to avoid a mixed metaphor because it may give a muddled impression of his point. But dreams have a different texture. Images that seem contradictory and ridiculous crowd in on the dreamer, the normal sense of time is lost, and commonplace things can assume a fascinating or threatening aspect.”
–Carl Jung, The Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious
Writing down the dreams, and truly seeking to understand them, is my way of honoring the dreams I asked for. I honor my own personal growth. I feel I owe it to my soul, to the divine, to the work that I want to do in the world and the person I want to become, to write those dreams down, to do my very best to listen to what they have to say, and to act on that knowledge.
Like any initiate’s path, it can take a long time to become proficient at. I look at the first dreams I wrote down and how it took perhaps two years to get any kind of depth and detail to my dream recall to get enough detail to really start interpreting my dreams.
“Dreams give us the answers if we attend to them, because they come from a source that is deeper and wiser than the everyday waking mind. To attend means more than to listen….To work fully with our dream source, we are required to stretch our understanding, to go beyond familiar maps.”
–Robert Moss, Conscious Dreaming
Transformation requires discipline
I find keeping to my discipline of dreamwork is the most difficult when I’m seeing things in my dreams that I don’t wish to face. These aren’t always nightmares; my dreams might be giving me the information I asked for, and yet I’m too stubborn to listen to the advice. Dedicating to dreamwork often asks me to look in the mirror in difficult ways. But, I feel that if I asked for the dreams, I should be prepared to listen to what they tell me. Asking the hard questions will give me the hard answers and ask me to face hard truths.
I find myself constantly asking myself, do I have what it takes to keep writing these dreams down, to keep working with them and facing the hard truths that emerge? Can I step beyond a place of comfort into a place of learning? Can I look at my dreams as interactions that matter? Can I breathe life into a practice of dreamwork?
And sometimes, there are days when it’s too much. Sometimes my subconscious is breaking out the big guns, and I know there’s something I need to deal with but it’s just too overwhelming. For instance, I’ve had a series of dreams about ex-lovers where there were unresolved issues, or dreams about that guy I once was in love with but nothing happened…these are pretty mundane dreams in the grand scheme, but they can be wearying. I know that I have unresolved issues popping up that I largely can’t resolve with the parties in question for various reasons. My dreams are either trying to provide a way to resolve the issue, or call attention to the fact that my deep-self desires a resolution.
I wish I could say I’ve gotten through my life without having people who are determined not to speak to me. But emotions happen. And so sometimes, we don’t always get to resolve things when we’d like to. Or in other cases, we have friends and loved ones who have passed away before we can resolve things with them.
And thusly, there come our dreams.
Our dreams work on a deep level that doesn’t let us hide. I know that I’d like to resolve these issues by having a conversation with the person in question. Maybe he needed to apologize. Maybe I need to apologize. And because life isn’t always fair, our dreams are one of the key stages where these uncomfortable issues seem to surface.
“….we are actually only beginning to learn how to fathom the depth, height, and breadth of dream awareness, and the potential it has to contribute to our inner growth. Many of us sense that dreams are a source of great insight into existence, that they are a doorway to other worlds and even to the domain of the ultimate.”
-Wayne Teasdale, The Mystic Heart
Whatever disturbing dream images occur, they are a signal that something’s up. Sometimes it’s pretty obvious. I don’t think it gets more obvious than a dream about an ex-lover. Sometimes the symbols are a little bit more opaque, and that’s where we find challenges in interpreting our dreams.