Dream Gates

Dream Gates

The departed are dreaming with us

posted by Robert Moss

- grandma's garden

One of my driving purposes in writing The Dreamer’s Book of the Dead was to help  some of the many people in our society who are hungry for confirmation that communication with the departed is not “weird” or “unnatural”, let alone impossible, and that it is possible to extend love and forgiveness and healing across the apparent barrier of death. We encounter our departed, especially in dreams, because they are still around (sometimes because they have unfinished business or are not actually aware they are dead); or because they come visiting; or because we travel, in dreams or visions, into astral realms where the departed are entirely at home.

It’s not just that we dream of the dead; our departed are dreaming of us, and trying to reach us through dreams. Sometimes our departed return as counselors or “family angels”, as my father returned to me, many times, in the year after his death inAustraliain 1987, with loving messages and practical guidance for the family. Sometimes our departed need us to play guides, because they are confused or stuck between the worlds, clinging to old appetites and attachments – which can be extremely unhealthy for the living, who may pick up the feelings and addictions and even the past physical symptoms of the dead.

One of the cruelest things that mainstream Western culture has done is to suggest that communication with the departed is either impossible or unnatural.  There is nothing spooky or “supernatural” involved, though these experiences take us into realms beyond physical reality. It is especially easy to meet our departed in dreams for three reasons:                                                                                                                                 

Our Departed are Still With Us

Quite frequently dreams reveal that the departed are present because, quite simply, they never left. The departed may linger because they have unfinished business, or wish to act as guide and protector to the family, or are attached to people and places they loved in waking life, and this may be a perfectly happy situation for a year or two.

But there comes a time when our departed need to move on, for their own growth, and so they do not become a psychic burden to the living. After death, we continue to be driven by our ruling interests, appetites and addictions. Some of those who have died but not truly “passed on” continue to try to feed their cravings via the living.  When the departed remain earthbound, the effects are unhealthy both for those who have died and those among the living to whom they are connected. When the dead are enmeshed with the living, the result is mutual confusion, loss of energy, and the transfer of addictions, obsessions and even physical ailments from the departed to the person whose energy field he or she is sharing.

Helping the departed may involve a loving dialogue, a simple ritual of honoring and farewell, and invoking spiritual helpers. As we become active dreamers, familiar with the geography of the afterlife, we may find we are called on to provide personal escort services and help to instruct some of our departed on their options on the other side. William Butler Yeats noted, with a poet’s insight, that “the living can assist the imaginations of the dead”.

Our Departed Come Calling

Most people who remember dreams can recall one in which someone on the other side made a phone call, sent a letter, or simply turned up at the door or the bedside. Our departed return to us in dreams for all the reasons they might have called on us in physical life – including the simple desire to tell us how they are doing and see how we are coping – and for larger reasons: to bring emotional healing, to bring us helpful information, to instruct us on life beyond death and the reality of worlds beyond the physical.

Our departed may come visiting to offer or receive forgiveness. They may come to show us how they are doing on the other side.

Our deceased friends and loved ones may appear in our dreams because they are trying to understand the fuller story of the life they have left. Yeats, with poetic clarity, called this stage in the afterlife transitions the “Dreaming Back.”

Our departed can be excellent psychic advisers when they achieve clarity on the other side and are aware that they are not confined to the rules of space and time.    Our departed may come as health advisers and family counselors.   They may visit us in dreams to help us prepare for our own deaths and reassure us that we have friends on the other side. 

In dreams, we travel to realms of the departed 

In our dreams, we are released from the laws of physical reality, and travel into other dimensions, including environments where the departed may be living. Through dreams of this kind, we can begin to develop a personal geography of the afterlife, which will be vastly enriched when we learn the art of conscious dream travel.

In my workshops,  I often invite participants to focus on a dream or memory of a departed person and make it their intention to journey – with the help of shamanic drumming – to seek timely and helpful communication with that person and to learn about the environment where that person is now living.

 

photo (c) Robert Moss

Dream dates: Sir Christopher Wren dreams a cure

posted by Robert Moss

- wren 50

An intriguing account by John Aubrey of how the celebrated architect who recreated St.Paul’s after the Great Fire of London dreamed a simple cure for a kidney ailment. I’ll leave the narrative in Aubrey’s voice. Note that “reins” in late 17th century English (as in modern French) means “kidneys”.

When Sir Christopher Wren was at Paris, about 1671, he was ill and feverish, made but little water, and had a pain in his reins. He sent for a physician, who advised him to be let blood, thinking he had a plurisy: but bleeding much disagreeing with his constitution, he would defer it a day longer: that night he dreamt, that he was in a place where palm-trees grew, (suppose AEgypt) and that a woman in a romantic habit, reached him dates. The next day he sent for dates, which cured him of the pain of his reins.

Since, I have learned that dates are an admirable medicine for the stone, from old Captain Tooke of K—. Take six or ten date-stones, dry them in an oven, pulverize and searce them; take as much as will lie on a six-pence, in a quarter of a pint of white wine fasting, and at four in the afternoon: walk or ride an hour after: in a week’s time it will give ease, and in a month cure. If you are at the Bath, the Bath water is better than white wine to take it in.

 

Source: John Aubrey, Miscellanies Upon Various Subjects (1696)

Image: Sir Christopher Wren on old British banknote. You can bank on dreams!

The origin and power of the shaman’s drum

posted by Robert Moss

- RM Kernave1

The shaman’s primary tool for journeying is the single-headed frame drum, the type we use in Active Dreaming circles. I am constantly astonished, though no longer surprised, by how quickly this ancient instrument can help even the most rational, cognicentric Westerner to enter another state of being and consciousness in a matter of minutes, once we have built some circle energy and set clear intentions.

When I first introduced my core methods of Active Dreaming to an international audience before a crowd of some 250 academics and psychologists at a conference of the Association for the Study of Dreams at the University of Leiden in 1994, I invited those present to find a partner, share a dream, and then travel together through the doorway of that dream into a space beyond it with the aid of the drumming. This exercise in dream reentry and tracking was wildly successful. After my workshop a pair of shrinks from the Sigmund Freud Institute in Frankfurt pursued me through a courtyard crying, “Schamane! Schamane! Stop! You must tell us how you did that!”

“Did what?”

“You put us there,” one of them insisted. “We were really in the same place, in some other reality. I saw things from his dream he had not told me, and we both went beyond the dream, into a deeper place. How do you do that?”

“I didn’t do it,” I said mildly. “I just suggested it was possible. And of course I gave you this gee-whiz technology -” I held up my drum “- to make it so.”

The single-headed frame drum probably originates in Central Asia, from whence we get the term “shaman” (borrowed from the Tungus, a hunting and reindeer herding people of Siberia). The nearby Buryat people have a marvelous story about why the shamsn’s drum is single-headed.

Long ago, Death complained to the High God that a powerful shaman was disturbing the balance of things. This shaman was so successful at bringing the souls of the dying back into the body that Death was being cheated of his share. The High God reached down from the heavens, plucked the vital soul of a perfectly healthy man out of his body, confined it inside a bottle and sat on his high throne, waiting to see what the shaman would do.

Approached by the family of the unfortunate man who now lay lifeless, the shaman mounted his drum – which he called his “horse” – and rode it through the Lower World and the Middle World, looking for the missing soul. To fulfill his quest, he had to journey higher than he had ever gone before, into the Upper World, until at last he saw the High God on his high throne holding the soul in the bottle. Even the boldest of shamans might have given up at this point.

But this shaman refused to abandon his mission. He shapeshifted into a wasp and stung the High God on the forehead. Shocked and in pain, the High God relaxed his grip on the bottle. The shaman grabbed the captive soul and began to gallop back towards his village with it. The High God, in fury, hurled a lightning bolt after him. It split the shaman’s drum – hitherto double-headed – in two, giving us the classic form of the drum as we know it today.

From this wild, archaic story, several vital aspects of the shaman’s practice emerge. The shaman works with souls. The shaman has the ability to travel at will through a three-tiered universe – Lower World, Middle World, Upper World – that opens into a multidimensional cosmos. The shaman is a shapeshifter, on intimate terms with the animal powers.  He can go beyond death and return. He helps to put souls where they belong. And he knows a few good tricks.

My own CD of shamanic drumming for dream travelers, “Wings for the Journey” is available from Psyche Productions

Photo: RM drumming for a circle at Kernave, Lithuania (c) Gierdre Rein

Thanksgiving and affirming

posted by Robert Moss
- dream fire Gore

I am in favor of affirmations. At a certain period in my life, I did not think much of selp-help gurus who were pushing them. I still have major reservations about affirmations that seem to be pitched from the head instead of the heart, and either project ego-driven “gimme” agendas or , alternatively, are shackled by received notions of what is spiritually correct. But I am greatly in favor of starting the day with a statement to the universe that affirms the intention to live as fully and creatively as possible, and return thanks for the gifts of life,especially when life seems hard. To affirm is literally “to make firm”, or strong. To make a conscious affirmation, on any given day, is to firm up our whole approach to life. Whether we know it or not,everything is listening, in our conscious universe.

 

In the United States, we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving, an all-American holiday I generally enjoy, though it was completely foreign in the country where I grew up. At Thanksgiving, I rarely think about the Pilgrim Fathers getting through a rough winter with the help of red people who did not yet understand what the irruption of pink people into this continent would mean for them. But I often think about how, for the First Peoples of America, prayer is often a practice of returning thanks for life, and all that supports life in our conscious, inter-connected universe, and how this is not just a part of one big turkey day, but of everyday affirmation.

 

Emerson gave us a wonderful affirmation for this, or any day:

 

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.

 

And for those who are in pain or suffering, these words from Anne Frank may shine light through the darkest circumstances:

 

I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains. Go outside into the fields, nature and the sun, go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God. Think of the beauty that again and again discharges itself within and without you and be happy. 

 

I like to come up with fresh affirmations as often as possible. But I also find it good to voice “default” affirmations on any day they feel right, including those on which “fresh words” are lacking. Here’s a simple affirmation that came to me long ago, when my dreams and visions drew me into the imaginal realm of a Native American people – the Onkwehonwe, or Iroquois – for whom returning thanks is part of what keeps the world turning:

 

I return thanks for the gifts of this lifetime
and for its challenges
I seek to walk in balance between earth and sky
affirming

 

 

Photo: By the fire on Magic Mountain (c) RM

 

Previous Posts

The departed are dreaming with us
One of my driving purposes in writing The Dreamer’s Book of the Dead was to help  some of the many people in our society who are hungry for confirmation that communication with the departed is not “weird” or “unnatural”, let alone impossible, and that it is possible to extend love and for

posted 4:39:32am Dec. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Dream dates: Sir Christopher Wren dreams a cure
An intriguing account by John Aubrey of how the celebrated architect who recreated St.Paul's after the Great Fire of London dreamed a simple cure for a kidney ailment. I'll leave the narrative in Aubrey's voice. Note that "reins" in late 17th century English (as in modern French) means "kidneys".

posted 11:27:57pm Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »

The origin and power of the shaman's drum
The shaman’s primary tool for journeying is the single-headed frame drum, the type we use in Active Dreaming circles. I am constantly astonished, though no longer surprised, by how quickly this ancient instrument can help even the most rational, cognicentric Westerner to enter another state of bei

posted 6:15:48am Dec. 10, 2014 | read full post »

Thanksgiving and affirming
I am in favor of affirmations. At a certain period in my life, I did not think much of selp-help gurus who were pushing them. I still have major reservations about affirmations that seem to be pitched from the head instead of the heart, and either project ego-driven "gimme" agendas or , alternativel

posted 1:54:18am Nov. 26, 2014 | read full post »

Jung's underworld journey
Let's be candid: Jung's Red Book is not for the faint-hearted. Yes, there are passages of incandescent beauty, perhaps beyond any other of his writings. There are also vertiginous falls into places of rank terror and screaming madness. In my own reading, there was a moment when I wanted to throw the

posted 9:49:30am Nov. 25, 2014 | read full post »


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