Dream paraphernalia

dreamcatcherLast night I was telling my son about the dream of the house where nothing was what it seemed, everything shifting, slippery, treacherous and untenable.
We stood under the overhead lights in the kitchen, he towering above me as I said I thought it was about the job I quit on Tuesday.
“Oh, but you don’t know that”, he snapped with annoyance – one of mom’s hare-brained, hippie inclinations at work again.
He is a computer science student with a rare flare for mathematics. He is an excellent student, top of his class. I see the pages of his homework, a language of ciphers and glyphs that I will never ever in my life understand even a spec of.
Dreams, however, I know a little bit about – I’ve spent some time with them.dream shelf“It’s not like math, it’s an interpretive art”, I said to my too-cool-for-school, skeptical son. My son who insists it’s not that he doesn’t remember his dreams, it’s just that he doesn’t have them.
On a similar note, a number of the new visitors and commenters here on followyournose have mentioned they rarely remember their dreams.
So I’d like to share a few of the authors and influences I’ve come across, in case any of it might be helpful to someone.
I was telling Poshpedlar and Agniva how I keep a dream journal, THE single most important tool, I think, if you want to start remembering dreams.dream journalIt sits open beside my bed with a blank page ready in case I want to scribble in the dark in the middle of the night, and also for the blurry morning fragments, captured first thing, before turning over or getting up, any fleeting whispy images.
A good source for some of these fundamental things to try is dream-master, shaman-teacher Robert Moss – he’s got a Tools & Techniques page, very helpful.
Although the dream journal is one key tool, personally I use kind of a bunch…like kind of a lot….like I’m so heavy into the dream thing, it’s kinda way out in woo-woo land. In an exchange with jethag at Jet Lag, I allowed as how there may be “dream paraphernalia”…
For example, the dream catcher at the top of the post. Of course.
For example, this silver bowl – silver dream bowlIt sits on the bedside table with water in it – I refresh the water regularly.
This practice came from Ohki Simine Forest, a fascinating shaman-woman who lives in Chiapas, Mexico, though she’s originally Canadian (Québécoise / Mohawk). I got the silver dream bowl practice from her book, Dreaming the Council Ways, a book I loaned out to someone and along the way have forgotten the particulars of the why’s of this practice, but I still feel some magic quality, some mystery in the aquatic reflecting vessel by my bedside for facilitating, channelling dreams.
Also beside the bed is this buffalo fetish –
buffalo fetishHe reminds me of a dream I had some years ago, a dream of a buffalo in a zocalo, a town square, and of how I followed the dream to a place, traveled to try and find and understand the dream, and along the way found him in a shop just off the zocalo of a town that looked an awful lot like the dream.
He reminds me that I’m willing to travel for my dreams, to follow them to the places they show me, to think about what they are trying to tell me.dream crystalsThese crystals are quite tiny and special in a way that is so far out in the land of woo I can’t even describe it, I’ll let you explore for yourself here.
But I love putting one under my pillow each night, as a kind of promise to myself to try and pay attention to any dreams that come.
This little ritual emerged from a fellow student in an online dream workshop, Dreamwork with Toko-pa, a lovely experience. Toko-pa also has some tips for dream recall in a video on youtube – a nice way to get some ideas and introduce you to her fabulously exotic west-coast self.lion biting - brighterAnother favourite thing to do with really strong, vivid dreams when they come, is to draw them or paint them – it’s a great way to spend more time with them in a visual, visceral, sensual kind of way.
The lion above was from one striking dream I had, and the panthers below another strong onepanther collage - brighterEach of these practices is essentially about one thing – I am telling my dreams and myself that I’m listening. That I want to hear from them. That I respect and value what they have to tell me.
Some years ago I took a series of dreams I’d had to an elder, Joanne Longboat, a woman Robert Moss writes about in Dreamways of the Iroquois, referring to her as “Turtle Woman”.
She said to me, “They say the Spirits will come talking to those who listen.”
So I’m listening…

18 thoughts on “Dream paraphernalia

  1. Katalina, congrats on the Freshly Pressed, btw. Is that new? Thanks for this lovely post on how to remember our dreams… and the reminder that it is a fun, magical process- and with paraphernalia, to boot. I often feel like reading your posts is like entering the dream state… there’s a beautiful lucidity that I feel like I get to swim and stretch out in as you take me from one awareness and beautiful photograph to the next.

    1. Diahann, thank you.. Yes, the FP went up on Tuesday, so lots of new folks around this week.
      Lovely comment – a swimming analogy makes me so very happy…I love swimming… 🙂

  2. I have the most vivid dreams, in full color, with people I’d never think of in waking life. I adore my dreams. I know nothing about interpreting them, and almost don’t want to… they stand alone, as stories that are sometimes the most magical part of my day.

    I love this post. Also, I know a little something about being a hippie and saying “woo woo” about things that are actually deeply important to me. I think you handled it pretty well. 🙂

    1. Jennie, I stand transparent before you – yes, some things in the Land of Woo are deeply important to me, indeed. So glad you understand and can relate.
      I love the way you talk about your dreams, and I know what you mean about not wanting to interpret them. I get a kind of hunch about them – in this case, there is a sense that the tricky shifty house FEELS like the experience of the job, so I associate the two without picking it apart any further, without messing with its magic… It’s like a symbolic, cinematic conversation you have with yourself, or something.
      Thanks so much for your comment – happy dreaming 🙂

  3. the bowl with the water in particular grabbed me. roundness. and the paper for your recollections. all sorts of touch involved in this. really loved this post.

    1. Steven, thanks so much! Yes, the textures, the surfaces of things – silver and water and paper and stones of various denominations…the fabric underneath…
      So glad you enjoyed 🙂

    1. Well, welcome aboard! If you are a regular journaler, the dream journal should be easy for you – the tricky bits are being dedicated to doing it no matter what, in the dark and / or without moving around, which can be annoying for anyone in the bed with you. But most people adapt 🙂

  4. Your words are so alluring, the feel of dreams just lingers around…
    I used to save quick notes on my phone, of whatever I would remember of my dreams. And it often happens that similar situations take place in reality.

    1. There’s a couple of apps I want to check out – Dreams Cloud and Dream:ON – some kind of dream recording and dream sharing things.
      More to explore in the land of dreams…

  5. I loved reading about the different ways you have tied your dreams and dream-process to different cultural methods and beliefs. I have always had vivid dreams and often remember them in great detail. Since I was in high school, any time I have a dream that someone dies, a person in my life dies within a couple of months. Thankfully, I don’t have those dreams often. Other times I have very present moments within dreams that I later experience in my waking life. I’ve always found those moments comforting, like my subconscious is telling me I’m on the right track. Have you see the movie “Waking Life”? It’s visually pretty “out there” since it mixes cartoons with people and such, but the thoughts in it contemplate different aspects of dreams and has some interesting ideas that have stuck with me over the years.

    1. Kara, that is so interesting! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.
      I did try to watch Waking Life once, and couldn’t quite get into it, but you’re the second person to mention it recently, so I think it’s time for me to try again…
      Best, Kat

    1. It’s kind of a lot of stuff, hey? And that’s not even everything…
      I get the feeling the dreams are always insightful, but my waking mind can’t always hear what they’re trying to say…

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