Category Archives: Personality Fragments

Dreams and DreamWork * Silk Road Journeys

Much of our dream life we hardly remember, but without these visits to the Temple of Dreams we could not survive here in the Outer World. Though experienced on a different plane of reality, dream life is as real as our waking lives. In fact, our dream life is much more creative and transformative than most of our waking life. Through dreams we embark on shamanic journeys and encounters within our own psyche and beyond.

This is Part 1 of my Dreams and DreamWork Series (Note that the featured image here is Flight Of Aquarius by the wonderful artist Josephine Wall).

Dreaming and the Higher Self: A Spontaneous Balancing Process
When we sleep we enter the Temple of Dreams, and here we become in some way different – the Dreaming Self, the Observer. We seem to play many roles, but to retain a vantage point – the “I” who reaches conclusions and makes choices in dreams.

At the same time, however, there seems to be a larger Self behind the scenes, one Who keeps track of all one’s dreams, picks up their themes in meditation, and relates them to our life through other events in the mysterious events we call synchronicity. This wonderful presence is the Higher Self, and as Carl Jung observed, its whole purpose appears to be to help keep all of our experiences – conscious and unconscious – within a Circle, and then to move them toward the Center as we become aware of their patterns of meaning.

The Higher Self is this bridge, then, to the Soul, and the Circle of Meaning is the archetypal Mandala. I think of this magical process as part of the Road in our spiritual Silk Road Journey.

Dreaming is essential to the healing and psyche-balancing process which goes on all our lives. It is not a mistake that the unconscious is unconscious. There are reasons concerning mental, spiritual, and physical health which make the unconscious accessible to our everyday conscious selves only in rare states.

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Finding the Self * Solitude, Healing and the Spiritual Life

These are difficult, even dark, times. Almost 25 years ago, I began to predict in the psychic readings of many of my clients that there were dark times visible on the distant horizon. These were visions of a future in which stark changes in the climate as well as geological and political stability of our Mother Earth were the dominant features of a dramatically darkened world.

Balsamic Moon, end of a Phase, end of an Age

I saw soldiers relocating people in what seemed to be massive floods, even large pieces of land turning into islands at sea where they had been part of a mainland.  In fact, one good thing was that the world’s armies were deployed more in saving, than in destroying, and it seemed that this was redemptive karma for those whose lives had been ones of violence.

I saw what seemed to be islands formed by rising waters, camps of orphaned children, and doctors administering vaccines or antibiotics to the children, as is done in the midst of an epidemic or to prevent the spread of something like malaria or dengue.

There were perhaps new wars but if so, these seemed less immediate than changes in our collective, social, geographical worlds.

Because above all, I sensed far-reaching dislocations in social mood, in our connections to one another, in our connections to the planet itself. Some of this is now upon us, in the form of climate changes, weather violence, and a pandemic which adds a massive layer of existential uncertainty – indeed fear – to every aspect of our lives.

Even with the war in Ukraine, and all the shock felt by a world not expecting this war, at this time, in this place, the real threats seem still lurking, not quite upon us, but vaguely sensed by so many of us.  It is this premonition of coming dark times, I think, that has caused so much psychological alienation…we feel as if the world is moving beneath our feet, that nothing will ever be the same…

Yet out of all of this,  may come for many a blessing, a light in dark times. In the midst of social disconnections, we discover the gift of solitude, the recovery of a fuller selfhood, opening to creativity and growth in ways our busy, highly socialized lives could never give us.

Though it may sound impossible to achieve, it is actually liberating to face dark times boldly, to embrace what they bring into our lives, and in a way to defy them by refusing to be unhappy. There can be something empowering in spiritual insight which tells us that this world is not the beginning nor the ending of the universe, God or Love, and it is certainly not the ending of us.

These are the times which force us to go deep within and reaffirm an identity and strength which truly can never come from the world and its goods; many of us knew that a long time ago – our heritage as Baby Boomers. Much less obvious is another truth, that as we progress on the spiritual planes, we must walk a more and more solitary Path.

We will still love, but the Circle for us is as large as the Earth and the Universe beyond,.

So it may well be a time to embrace the social solitude so many lament.  This may be the high point, the high ground, of this lifetime – the very reason you chose life at this time here on Earth.

I am not alone in suggesting that solitude brings extraordinary gifts, that these  may be the lemonade we can make with our lemons…

An article in LifeKit – How Solitude Can Help You Regulate Your Mood is a good starting place, pointing to research showing that time alone helps us even out in our mood, that we don’t have to go into full-blown monastic retreat to attain alone time, nor do we have to push our friends away from us. There can be an art to finding small spaces of solitude, though we may need to first overcome a (western) aversion to being alone in the first place…

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Active Imagination, the Higher Self, and the Spiritual Life

The Meditative Process * Not Silence, But Active Imagination, a Faculty of the Soul.

(Please see note at the end of this article on the possible negative effects of various kinds of meditation.)

There is a unique meditative state which for lack of a better term, many have called Active Imagination. It is not imagination in the sense of conjuring up something fanciful, or unreal.

Active Imagination has been known to humanity as a distinct and rather esoteric state for a very long time.  The Shaman almost certainly lives within it at times continuously, and Carl Jung experienced it as a lively personal inner world of events, debates and conversations.  It is a state of being in which we enter a realm between conscious and unconscious, between waking and dreaming.

In ancient Arab and Iranian philosophy the term Imaginal Realm was coined to describe a space which bridged the worlds of matter and spirit – a place referred to in most world cultures, and associated often with being a causal plane, one in which changes made in the imaginal dimension of mind could effect changes in the material plane.

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Healing Tears In Meditation

I suddenly remembered my mother’s trance work at Hillshore in the early Sixties, along the Bay of Quinte…and her guide saying matter-of-factly – “You see, only when the tears actually flow, are there deep changes in the cells themselves…”

The alchemists of old marvelled at the dissolving of salt in water which happens with our tears. Research shows that their appearance – when not for show or petulant “on cue” dramatics – marks a turning point deep within the psyche. Without these tears, many “journeys of healing” may be only imaginative explorations of one’s inner and other worlds, falling short, however, of actual healing. What we are looking for is a deep, permanent transformation within the body’s cells and those of the still-physical, but much less dense body – the personality or psyche.

The meditation process described here, leading to the release of old trauma, seems to be authored by one’s Higher Self and to center on guided, spontaneous, and transformational imagery. It is a unique form of meditation filled with practical, spiritual teaching and above all, deep, personal healing. This is an alchemical, and thus Shamanic, form of meditation.

The state of mind is very close to what Carl Jung called active imagination. This is very similar to the hypnagogic state just as you drift off to sleep and just as you are first vaguely awakening, when you have flashes of images and thoughts which seem almost like waking dreams. These are very receptive states and thus present an opening into the Unconscious and other realms of the Psyche. Here, at any point on the Circle, you are connecting with the Higher Self, the Shaman within who will take you on your journeys Within and teach you the gift of self-transformation.

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Karma Dreaming * Advanced Shamanic Astrology

I have studied Astrology from many perspectives – history, new psychics, the language of DNA, symbol and psyche, pychology, prediction, past lives, and so on. Underlying all of these is the theme of Shamanism, and the way it brings the birth chart alive.

A shaman in indigenous cultures means one who is a “bridge between worlds”.  Shamans travel across time and space, linking minds, bodies, souls, and animals in a healing, transformative way.  In Astrology, the shamanic element lies in connecting spiritually with the karmic patterns shown in the birth chart, thus connecting with the client’s Akashic Records. It is very likely that we carry our Akashic Record is encoded – as a spiritual DNA – within our physical DNA – but more on that in another post!

In perceiving and describing Karmic patterns in the birth chart, the Shamanic astrologer initiates the client into what I call Karma Dreaming for it is through the power of naming that we bring the karma of the client within transformative range of his or her Higher Mind.

I’ll talk more about Karma Dreaming below…

In Shamanic astrology, we assume that the Circle of the birth chart is a field of energy which, among other things, contains the field of experience which has opened up for this lifetime.  The birth bhart also reveals how this field of experience is emerging from a deeper field of experience in other lifetimes.

So the birth chart is recognized as that great symbol, the Mandala, for its power as an organizing and transforming “limit” which keeps expanding – from a sacred Center – as we grow.

In reading the birth chart, the Astrologer pushes the buttons of its symbols to swing open the great doors of a Library – the Akashic Records. Here, the key stories of the Soul’s many lifetimes rest, coiled in Memory. These stories are highly personal, but often are poured into the mould or template of an Archetype – one could have a strong Cinderella theme in one’s life, or be caught up in roles like that of Lady MacBeth.

As we awaken spiritually, we begin to sense and to see how these powerful symbolic stories match up to patterns across our lifetimes, and especially in this, the current lifetime.  As part of that awakening, we become aware of the Higher Self, always within us, always watching, always offering the intuitions, alerting us to synchronicities, inspiring us to something better, out of the blue.

When we engage with our birth charts, we are opening to an Initiation begun by the Shamanic Astrologer.  We are becoming our own Shaman, which is another way of saying that we are becoming consciously connected to, and able to participate in directing, the knowledge, grace and power of our Higher Self. We can create symbols, and interact with them to alter Reality.

Continue reading Karma Dreaming * Advanced Shamanic Astrology