Dream Gates

Dream Gates


Who’s ready for a Reverse Boggart?

posted by Robert Moss
A woman in one of my workshops is resolved to confront her worst fear. She will do this in a conscious shamanic journey, aided by my drumming, with a small group of people accompanying her as her family support. I suggest that they take all the room they need in the space beyond our main circle.I realize it’s time for all of us to make this journey to overcome fear. I direct the rest of our people to form small groups of four, in which everything will center on one person – the one who is resolved to face his or her worst fear – in the next journey.

While people generally sit or lie down for journeying with the drum, a man remains standing, feeling that he needs to confront his fear on his feet. The people in his group stand with him. There are a few individuals who don’t partner up. It seems they are nervous and want to stay on the sidelines to see how this goes.

The first woman has an image of her fear. It’s come up again and again in recurring dream scenarios. Not everyone is quite so sure of what form their fear will take. I suggest to these others, “You can approach the journey as a Reverse Boggart. In third-year Defense Against the Dark Arts, Professor Lupin gives Harry’s class the assignment of confronting a boggart. This is a nasty , shapeshifting creature, well known in English folklore,  that takes on the form of your worst fear. In Harry’s class, the boggart comes out of a wardrobe. In our exercise, in contrast, we are going to step into the space in which we will encounter our very worst fear.

“Remember that the charm for dealing with a boggart is a Riddikulus spell, which transforms the fear into something funny or preposterous. The most important weapon you’ll need to take into the closet is your sense of humor.

“Now picture a huge dark wardrobe rising in front of you. When the drumming begins, you will open the door and step inside. The space within may seem very cramped, or larger than you might have dreamed possible, defying any laws of proportion. The door closes behind you. For a moment, you are in the dark. Now, obscurely, a shape is starting to form. It is assuming the shape of your worst fear. Ready?”

I woke in my bed charmed by this dream in which, yet again, I caught a glimpse of my dream self in possession of a technique my waking self had not yet invented or used. Doing a Reverse Boggart seems like an intriguing exercise to introduce in one of my workshops in the regular world – just as soon as I am sure that whoever is asked to do this has all the security and support they need. That isn’t so hard to arrange in my circles, where we grow wonderful group energy, and enlist the help of the powers that love to support soul and its healing.

In the dreams we run away from, leaving them as broken shards of nightmare, we see forms our boggarts have assumed in the past: as spider or tsunami, as the walking dead or a possessed elevator. Dream reentry – going back consciously into the dream space, with the clear intention of carrying the action forward to resolution – is the sovereign remedy here. Doing a Reverse Boggart requires us to take more of a leap into the dark. We must be prepared to encounter forms of our fears we may never have seen, because we kept our eyes shut tight or because the boggart is wily, trying on successive fright masks.

What we most fear is what we most need to do. Who’s game for a Reverse Boggart?



  • http://practicingonpurpose.com Gretchen

    Thank you Robert! I needed this today. Off to confront a fear now.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Deborah Bowers

    Reading this post takes me back to when one of my young sons was having nightmares. At the time, he used his index finger in his mouth as a security blanket, rather than a thumb. I suggested to him he use it as a magic wand in his dreams to change the scary monster into something small and funny that he could hold in his hand. He liked the idea and found it quite useful. The nightmares ended.

    The past few years, through experiences with the Earthtribe and Wisdom University, I have been learning the importance of facing and embracing my own fears. I am finding dreamwork to be a wonderful source of information on the inside, filling in the puzzle pieces of my life. I can see how adding the Reverse Bogart tool to my collection of tools, could be quite useful. Thank you for sharing.

Previous Posts

Traveling dream souls of indigenous peoples
Indigenous peoples recognize multiple aspects of soul, with different destinies after death and different degrees of mobility during life. Thus the Chiquitano believe a human has three souls, called the shadow soul, the blood soul and the breath soul. During dreams the blood soul (otor) can wande

posted 4:16:01am Sep. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Rumi-nation
A quick way of getting a message for any day is to open a book at random and see what is in front of you. The fancy name for this process is bibliomancy. The favorite book that has been used for such purposes in the West, for as long as we have had printed books, is the Bible. Abraham Lincoln used h

posted 4:58:36pm Aug. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Enter lucid dreaming like a sleeping tiger
Chen Tuan (871-989) was a celebrated Taoist sage who lived a secluded life in mountain caves in China, where he created kung fu and a method of conscious dreaming. He was an ardent student of I Ching. He reputedly wandered the country in disguise, and sometimes provided warnings of impending events

posted 12:21:15am Aug. 28, 2014 | read full post »

Smellie's school of dreams
He was the first editor of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and his racy style and talent for aphorisms made it an immediate popular success. He was a friend of the poet Robert Burns, who described him as "that old Veteran in Genius, Wit and Bawdry.” Scientist, writer, master printer, natural phil

posted 10:50:13am Aug. 20, 2014 | read full post »

Walking Your Dreams
Janice likes to walk dreams, as you or I might walk the dog. Sometimes she walks her own dreams. As a teacher of Active Dreaming who plays guide for others, she often walks other people’s dreams, like one of those professional dog-walkers you see with half a dozen canines of all sizes on a fistful

posted 11:32:50pm Aug. 17, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.