Notes of talk written for Witchfest International 2012. Thanks to those that came and those that spoke to me after. Sorry we had so little time for the one to one chats but we can do that on facebook or by email. Please see info at the end of this talk….
Hi, for those of you who haven’t already met me. I’m Shodie and I’m Complementary Therapist and Dream Mystic. Dream Mysticism uses guided meditation, yet it is more than that in that it is an approach to healing and understanding of self and the messages of the beings that choose to work with us. Shaman is another label that can be applied to what I do but it is only a part of the Shamanic Journey to be a Shamanic Healer. As my personal path is Druidry with a large portion of Hedgewitchery, Dream Mystic is the title I feel most comfortable with and it is in that role that I want to share with you some of the things I have learned about images in dreams and meditations.
Meditations are a form of dreaming, in that we seek to contact that which comes from within, not that which is in the physical world. By within I do not only mean what comes of self but the information perceived by gut instinct and third eye that is also processed by our minds in sleep.
Whether we sleep to dream, enter our own meditation or are guided on a seeking journey, what we encounter can have meaning. Not every meaning is a message and we do need to sift out the influences of media or fiction. So if the intention is to encounter higher self or spiritual messages in sleep, then a cleansing bath (as you might before ritual) and a relaxing bedtime routine are going to be more helpful to us than watching the latest sci-fi, action or horror movie or reading the latest Dan Brown novel in bed.
Some of us may choose waking moments in which to dream, whether guided or by methods we have learned or developed to take ourselves into the right space. Others may just be convinced there was meaning in a dream despite having no intention of seeking any message. However such messages come, images having meaning and that is what we will be looking at today.
If some of you don’t see images when meditating please don’t feel this is not for you, as there are other ways of getting a meaningful impression of something, such as how it sounds, smells, tastes or feels. All of the senses are important, and it is the awareness of something or someone that you carry away with you that can be looked at for meaning.
I will now ask you to look at some pictures (those at the talk were asked to get into groups of four or five and look at the picture they had been given and to pick what stood out most for them). What stands out most for you? Choose maybe two or three things. Think about what they mean (those at the talk were asked, does what they mean to you mean the same for the people sharing the picture.)
This is an sample of the pictures used:
More are on this page
You can use books such as The Ultimate Illustrated Encyclopedia of Signs, Symbols and Dream Interpretation or The Book of Symbols published by Tashen, or websites to look up what things mean. But two books can say two different things depending on the authors research, experiences and interpretations. If your first instinct is something totally other than that, go with instinct, do not forget that you know yourself best, as does your higher self and the beings that choose to work with your higher self to teach you about yourself and your path.
Come with me now on a journey if you will, I want you to explore images, sounds, textures and smells within your imagination. First be aware of this room, think of it as a safe space in which you are surrounded by friends, know that you can come back by opening your eyes at any time you choose. It is You who choose to walk on the road I suggest and you are free to leave that road in an instant if you have seen, heard or touched enough or if what you encounter becomes too much for now. It is however a very gentle road and I hope some of you will journey with me to the end.
See before you a bubble of water…. let it expand in front of you reflecting pure white light.
Slowly as it grows let it lay horizontally before you until it becomes a body of water, a lake, a river, the sea. Feel on you skin the heat of the sun, the chill of the breeze or the coolness of being under a night sky in autumn. What sounds are around you? What do you smell? Try to be aware only of the water in your sight until you have taken note of all those other senses.
Then begin to look around for a way to cross or walk beside or around the water. Feel your chosen path under your feet. A bridge may have wooden planks, do they creak? Are you on stony ground or mud or sand? What sound does walking make?
See, hear or touch the first signs of life. Do you see grass, hear bird song or feel the rough bark of a tree? What senses are you using and which sense will you use now to examine further your surroundings?
Switching senses as you travel until you know that all or any can be left with a lasting impression of a dream realm, come now into a grove of trees. What kind of trees are they? In which season?
Which elements are present? The cold wind of air; the sunny warmth of fire; rain dampness of water; earthiness of fallen rotting leaves? Do you feel, see, smell or hear the season of the cycle of the tree’s lives.
Now count the trees, you can use sight or touch to do this. Either sight or touch requires that we use the sense of recall to know when we have returned to the place we have started, but we can also use our third eye to just know when we have reached this place. Number may have meaning, so take not of it. You may later want to look at the numerology of that number if that is something that stands out for you.
Now, still in the grove, choose one tree. It may be one of a circle of trees that stands taller, looks greener, smells nicer or has curious feeling bark. Maybe that one tree is in the center, maybe you didn’t see it before. What kind of tree is it? What attracts you to it?
If you feel ready, call forth the spirit of that tree and notice the shades of his or her clothing? If he or she is willing, speak with that spirit.
(Some time is taken for the personal experience of meditation)
We are now ready to leave. If you have been speaking with a tree spirit, give him or her your thanks and await their departure into the tree from which they came. If just spending time with the one tree or in the grove, thank the trees and the elements there.
Then slowly walk out of the grove and along your path back to this room.
When you are ready open your eyes, take some deep breaths, feel the ground under your feet and push your energy downwards as if you have roots until you feel grounded and totally in this room.
(We spent some time grounding).
Now let us look at the meaning of what some of you have experienced.
We began with looking at who had which kind of water, a lake; a river; a sea.
We looked at possible meanings as below:
Lake: Calm, still, unmoving, secure.
River: Flowing, changes.
Sea: Distance, turmoil, subject to change. Tides ruled by the moon. A calm see with a full moon indicating things being right and blessed at this time.
We looked at colours in tree spirits and whether they might indicate Moods, Emotions or Charkras in need of balance. A good way to tell if a colour is a message is to look for movement, flutuation, changing shades, these can indicate emotions in need of healing eg red anger, green jealousy, blue sadness. Clear shades indicate a need of charkra balancing, the colour appropriate to the chakra being the clue as to which. Dark patches or clashing colour patches with in main colour are clear signs of imbalance. What we see is a reflection of what we are as seen by the helping spirit. It is possible to come away feeling healing in that area from the spirit.
If anyone would like to discuss their own experiences of the images or the meditation we can have an open discussion on my facebook page : http://www.facebook.com/ValleyHealingHands or please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Some of you picked up information about Reiki after the talk. There is free information for those who wish to learn about Dr Usui and self healing in A Beginners Guide To Reiki.
Thank you for reading. Many blessings for the coming year and I hope to see some of you again in 2013.