Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Talking about Dreams

It’s been a while since we’ve talked about dreams. I recently asked people to share their dreams on our Facebook group, Medicine Wheel and Indigenous Dreaming. Luckily a few people replied to the request. As a traditional dreamer I’ve learnt to understand my dreams with the help of Sacred Circle tradition. For sure if you want to interpret dreams similarly to the way that I do you absolutely need to learn about the Medicine Wheel.

When I first learnt that my mind naturally perceives pretty much every thing from a circular perspective rather than a linear one, it freed me from all kinds of social programs and expectations. It allowed me to understand myself better and to develop this ability into what I consider today a kind of “expertise”. Two decades later and I literally use circular perspective to confront any life challenge, big or small. Circular perspective is good for problem solving; for conflict resolution; for team or community building; for self-discovery and to build up self-esteem; as well as for reinforcing better communication skills etc… When it comes to wellness, wholeness and happiness there’s no better tool than the Medicine Wheel.

Every dream is a wheel in movement.

Lets look at MR’s dream:

I was walking down 102nd street in Grande Prairie, between 100th and 101st avenues, heading north. On the east side of the street was a row of “brownstone” houses, made of brick. A man I know in the waking, KC lived there with his wife. They are having an estate sale, selling their old furniture to buy new things as they are renovating the place. (In real life these buildings are brick, but they are businesses, not homes).

In this first part of the dream, MR mentions that she’s heading North. 100th, 101st and 102nd avenues bring us to the NE of the Medicine Wheel. Just like the way we tell time one o’clock is situated in the North of the Medicine Wheel heading eastward. The fact that MR mentions “the east side of the street” also confirms that there’s a clockwise motion to the circle that is playing out a story within MR’s dream space. We’ve basically stepped into a Medicine Wheel and it’s about to share a message with us.

What I like in this first part of the dream is how “this circle” is defining a Medicine Wheel. It basically says: “A Medicine Wheel is where loved ones live. It’s the house, the furniture, the renovations, the changes in decor. It’s a building for living whether it be a home where we sleep or a business where we work.”

MR’s Dream:

The scene of me passing by this place repeats several times, and each time something different happens. One time I met Ken. We chat and I continue on my journey. Another time I meet his wife, who in my dream is E.C., my friend from junior high. (E.C. often appears in my dreams. I see her as representing my Firekeeper).

In this detail of the dream – MR mentions that the scene repeats with several changes. On the Medicine Wheel there are a few areas where change occurs:

• Along the Nomad wind in the SW
• On the Moon of Metamorphosis in the NW
• And with the Butterfly Clan in the E

If you look closely at each of these stones you’ll notice that they sit on different loops of consciousness. The Nomad wind actually moves through all four loops of consciousness whereas the Moon of Metamorphosis remains near the conscious loop and the Butterfly brings us completely into the dreaming. In other words to touch each level implies that a dreamer must spiral through the whole wheel. The only way to do that is by circling the wheel a few times as MR mentions she did in this dream.

Again, this section of the dream simply shows “movement”. It tells us that even though our dreams seem to be sharing a linear story set in a limited time frame, the truth of the matter is the images or story are communicating a message, which speaks to a broader issue, which repeats through our life time.

MR’s dream continues:
She gives me a tour of the place. It has two or three levels to it and the walls are all white, but the paint is old. It is in need of renovations, almost empty of furniture as everything is on sale out front or sold. One room on the second floor has a winter looking north, and another window to the west. But the west window, which is south of the door, is blocked by an interior wall. It was like the house was built in stages, with parts being added on over time.

Again the movement continues. I love the way “repetition” is used through this dream. Where the first part of the dream showed MR moving around the Wheel with the streets and the east to north directions, the second part of the dream shows the same circular motion through the idea of “getting a tour of the house.” Notice how “the two or three levels” bring in the different loops of consciousness that I was mentioning earlier. Again, there’s a sense that MR is moving through the Wheel in a spiraling motion.

If you are curious about these different loops of consciousness, here they are:

• There’s the conscious loop at the top
• Subconscious loop
• Superconscious loop
• And the dream time loop
Each loop offers either learning, healing, resolution, integration, or simple discovery. There’s more of course but it gives you an idea of the reason why we dream.

MR’s dream:
In another scene, I walk by again, and someone is having a toke of a joint. I am getting discouraged because it seems that I will never get to where I am going, so I ask for a hit. I take a small puff and continue on my way down the street, still heading north.

Plants hallucinogenic or not always point to the east. In this case, it seems that MR wants to stop the spiraling effect “it discourages her.” There’s a sense that she’s looking for answers to deal with stress or anxiety. It’s as if she’s asking: “How can I get to where I need to get without getting discouraged, or stressed about it?” Her dream is encouraging her to “calm down,” but also seems to suggest that she work “on her visionary” (east of the wheel).

“Devote to some creativity,” the dream seems to be saying.

Then I am a block or so along and realize I forgot my white coat, so I go back. I get something white but it looks more like a blanket. I also have my orange-brown blanket. But I don’t want to carry anything, want to be unencumbered so I hide them behind a pile of lumber that are piled hap-hazardly beside the sidewalk.

It’s the first time in this dream where there’s a backward movement. The suggestion of the white coat and the blanket bring about the presence of a social program. On the Medicine Wheel the blanket would bring us to the Moon of Welcome: The way we welcome a newborn baby. Remember how the dream starts with the streets (100, 101, 102). These numbers also suggest the first 3 moons of the Wheel:

• Moon of Welcome
• Moon of Affirmation
• Moon of Drama

On the first spin, these moons refer to the first three years of childhood. Since the dream always seems to be pointing NORTH which implies the end of our wheel or the end of our life (the elder phase) this dream seems to suggest that MR is working through the reality of her mortality. She obviously speaks of discouragement in this dream. The dream seems to be saying that “MR is looking at the passing of time as repetition but she’s not seeing the point, the advantage or the direction this is leading to.” It’s almost as if she’s wishing to be a child. It was simpler, easier, so much more promising.

MR's dream:
The last scene is of me walking further north. I seem to be on my way now.

I think the last statement says it all.
There are times when the elder makes sense and there are times when it doesn’t. MR would like to get to a point where it makes sense all the time.

I like the way this dream gives an answer to this dilemma.
It basically repeats what we tell our kids when they are growing up: “Keep at it. With practice you’ll get there.


Tomorrow I’ll be back with AM’s dream.


Wheelkeeper said...

Thank you for bringing out the wisdom of this dream Lisa. Your words resonates so true for me. I do get discouraged and am looking at being more creative lately... Being an elder has to make sense because of all that I have lived and learned and can share with others.

I did a workshop this weekend to help others work their wheel and it was amazing. It was a creative endeavor, something new that I have never done before. It was so much fun!

Thank you!


Wapeyit Malsom said...

I'm always impressed with what our dreams reveal. They are the greatest tool for self-discovery; problem solving; conflict resolution; community building; and most of all circular thinking.

Keep on dreaming.
Talk to you soon.

Anonymous said...

I cannot help but wonder if any resolutions has come forth in this dream yet? I love MW dream Interpretations. I got pretty good at doing them but there's always much more to learn. Thanks to you both for sharing, we all learn so much from it, thank you!!! Loves, SW