Dream Gates

Dream Gates


How spiritual guides appear in dreams

posted by Robert Moss

 

Dante’s encounter with Beatrice; Venetian school, XIV century

In the passage in Dante’s Purgatorio where he encounters his radiant guide in the form of a lovely woman called Beatrice, she reproaches him for not heeding the dreams in which she sought him, over many years. The message is clear and enduring: our true spiritual teachers are looking for us, which is why they can always be found. They especially come looking for us in dreams, when we move beyond the self-limiting beliefs and consensual hallucinations of the little everyday mind.

The guides who come to us in dreams put on masks or costumes adapted to our level of understanding. There is an old Greek saying that “the gods love to travel in disguise”.

The guide may appear with a familiar face – that of an old friend, or a departed loved one. The sacred guide may appear in a form that has been shaped by our religious upbringing – or in a form that is wildly shocking to conventional beliefs. Genuine teachers often love to shock us awake.

The guide may appear in dreams as a generic figure, especially in places of transition or in border zones: as the taxi driver, or the customs official, or the train conductor, or the person at the airline check-in desk.

The sacred guide may appear in a form that has been shaped by our religious upbringing – or in a form that is wildly shocking to conventional beliefs. Genuine teachers often love to shock us awake.

When the guide drops even the edge of the mask, the initial effect can be terrifying. “Every angel is terrifying,” wrote Rilke, who knew what he was talking about.

The encounter with the guide may challenge us to brave up, to move decisively beyond the fear and clinging of the little everyday mind, in order to claim our connection with deeper sources of wisdom and true power.

This is often the case with dream experiences in which we meet a powerful animal. Faced with a bear or a tiger in a vivid dream, our first instinct may be to run for our lives. Yet the bear or the tiger may be hunting us to invite us to claim our own power and our own medicine. How do we do that? By going back into the dreamspace, through the dream reentry technique explained in my books (see Conscious Dreaming or The Three “Only” Things) to face whatever needs to be faced and to claim our connection with the dream animal (and/or the angel).

In Native American teachings, we are not fully alive – we are missing a part of our vital soul energy – if we lack a strong and vibrant connection with the animal guardians. Here, also, it is recognized that our truest and most important spiritual allies come looking for us in dreams. The Lakota have many ways of approaching the sacred. But they also recognize that the greatest gift comes when the sacred beings come looking for us. The most revered medicine lodge among the Lakota is the Bear Dreamers Society. It is composed of those who have been visited and called by the Bear in their dreams.

Dream encounters with the guide – like all powerful dreams – need to be honored. We may want to create a talisman, or personal “power object”, to hold the memory and the energy of the dream. It may sometimes be appropriate to use a stone or crystal for this purpose. In the shamanic dream practice of the Ojibwa the pawaganauk, or dream visitor, is honored in this way. After an encounter with a dream guide, the dreamer finds a stone that will be more than a souvenir; the stone can become a place of rendezvous and continued communication with the dream guide – as the dreamer learns to journey into a chamber that opens inside the stone.

 



Previous Posts

Bringing our lost children out of the glass bubble
I am out in the woods in the middle of the night, on Cortes Island. I notice other figures, animal and human and hybrid, moving among the trees, taking form then fading back into the shadows. I find three clear and reliable travel companions. Red-tailed hawk scouts ahead, gray wolf flanks me on th

posted 9:15:37am Apr. 11, 2014 | read full post »

Dream groups as models for a new community
Community, as Peter Block defines it in a provocative  book, is about the experience of belonging. To belong is to feel at home, to know you are among family or friends. When something belongs

posted 5:12:19am Apr. 09, 2014 | read full post »

Mark Twain on drilling dream memory & dreaming parallel lives
In one of his later stories, “My Platonic Sweetheart”, Mark Twain wrote, “In our dreams — I know it! — we do make the journeys we seem to make, we do see the things we seem to see.” He also described a practice for “drilling” the memory in order to catch more dreams and use them t

posted 9:27:42am Mar. 23, 2014 | read full post »

Jesus tells me he's an Ace up my sleeve
Our spiritual guides take forms adjusted to our understanding. “I saw him in the way I was able to perceive him,” runs a line on this subject in the Gnostic Acts of Thomas. In the Western Mystery tradition, the term “contact picture” is used to describe a form a being from the larger reality

posted 5:54:06am Mar. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Three coincidence games for any day
Navigating by synchronicity is the dreamer's way of operating 24/7. We all know what it feels like when the world around us gives us a sign or a symbol. Coincidence is when the universe gets personal. It can feel like a secret handshake, or a wink, or a tickle - or like an unseen hand slamming a doo

posted 5:38:54am Mar. 20, 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.