Drawing from dreams is a fabulous way to get their energy moving. Giving spontaneous expression to our visions in this way brings out the child and the artist inside us. It also provides a fun record of our inner life, and sometimes much more, producing images of talismanic quality that keep us in touch with the deeper powers we encounter in dreaming.
At a recent five-day training I led in the foothills of the Cascades in Washington State, we had so much fun making drawing with crayons from both our night dreams and our shamanic journeys that we agreed to grab paper and colors after every drumming session. Some of our dream artists unfolded a whole picture narrative of their adventures in nonordinary reality at the end of the week.
My own first drawing here is titled “Seeing with Hawk”. When I first started living in North America, the red-tailed hawk became a very special friend in nature and in dreaming and sometimes lends me her wings and her keen vision. When I am not paying attention, I will sometimes sense the beating of wings, quite close to me. Half the skull cavity of the red-tailed hawk is reserved for the eyeballs, which suggests the importance of vision for this bird and those who are connected with her.
In the middle of our week at Mosswood, we agreed to a group dream date: we would all try to meet up at a certain beach in Hawaii. I had many adventures that night, and met the fiercest guardian animal of the islands – the wild boar – on a rise above a sacred waterfall. By this time, I had changed my usual clothes for a robe of white feathers. In hopes of ensuring that the boar would see me as something other than adversary or supper, my dream self put on a boar-crested helmet like those of my European ancestors, for whom the boar was a symbol of warrior strength. So I titled this drawing “Dressed for Big Pig.”
My third drawing in this sampling came from a group experiment in soul recovery healing. When we have located a part of our vital essence that may have gone away because the world seemed too cruel, or too drab, it can be a tough assignment to persuade that part of soul to stay with us. Basically, we need to persuade our younger selves – the ones that were hurt or shamed – that we are safe and we are fun to be around.
This is easier to accomplish when we are working with a power animal. While the little girl or boy who parted company with us may not trust our adult selves, it may trust the bear or the tiger, both of whom have proved (for me) to be impeccable allies in soul retrieval. In the new experiment, which grew from my past practice, I had members of the group picture themselves hugging a child self that had been recovered, while both child and adult were held in the embrace of Great Mother Bear.
We felt ourselves safe within her arms until child and adult had fused and become one. The experience brought tears of joy, and terrific renewal of energy. My drawing is titled, “Safe in the Arms of Great Mother Bear”.