13 Dec 2012

What does it mean?




Dream oracles and dream dictionaries can be helpful to get ideas flowing about what your dream might mean, but it is not a good idea to go too overboard on them. In actual fact you, and you alone, are the expert on your own dreams. Supposing you check out an entry in a dream dictionary, or talk to somebody else about one of your dreams and they offer an explanation that does not feel quite right to you? Remember that you don’t necessarily have to take these ideas on board. That nagging doubt might actually be putting you in touch with your own `gut feeling’ about a dream, and so bring you closer to a true understanding.

Dream symbols may have many meanings. There are common meanings that most people would understand; archetypal meanings that are common to all human beings; plus personal meanings, that are known only to yourself. For example - supposing you dream about a horse. Many people might recognise the horse as a symbol of travel, progress, a powerful animal that moves swiftly and carries us to new horizons.

But maybe for you that is linked with a memory of a particular animal that you knew. That animal might be a loved pet, in which case your dream might link up with happy memories. Or it might be a horse that galloped off with you and terrified you out of your wits. In this case the dream might be hinting that you feel out of control, scared in some way. See how different the interpretation then becomes!

This is why dream dictionaries and oracles should only be used as helpful aids rather than being seen as giving you truth that is cast in stone. Don't be afraid to look deeper and find your own meanings. And you can find a lot more ideas to help you in my book Exploring Your Dreams.

7 Dec 2012

Frost Flowers



There are tiny, beautiful things everywhere, even in the depths of winter. The trick is to notice them and appreciate them. When I was a child I thought that Jack Frost made the exquisite frost flowers that adorned our windows on winter mornings. You could certainly easily think that these patterns had been wrought by a fairy craftsman.

12 Nov 2012

Dark Moon, November


Dark moon. Damp. Mist. A sense of waiting, time suspended. A time for inner reflection, solitary walks. Noticing the astounding beauty in the most ordinary, overlooked things. Marsh grass in the sodden field at the back of my house. The colours and forms are amazing if you stop to look properly, sink down into the earth of your being, centre your energy.

8 Nov 2012

Redwing




 I'm glad I was a child before all that health and safety stuff was invented. We took tadpoles to school, and sticky buds and dead adders. We learned about the real stuff, that was sometimes messy and dangerous, but then so is life. This poem is about a profound truth that I learned when I was eight. Nowadays it would not be allowed, but then, how do children learn about death if we no longer welcome it to our hearth? Would today's children even know it was a redwing that they had found?

Redwing
  
When hedges dripped blood
and frost crept thin over summer’s last breath,
we found a redwing in the schoolyard,
eyes sharp with fear,
shattered wing trailing.

All afternoon we whispered spells,
above a cradle of leaves;
stroked the bark brown feathers,
the flash of red beneath the wing, until,

just before home time,
the fire went suddenly
from the wild sloe eye, and we

stared curiously at death;
seeing it was weird and beautiful,
coming upon us like a drift of snow.

27 Oct 2012

Dream Anchor

Security
Staying put, or being stuck
Safe harbour
Weighing anchor - setting off on a new journey
Roots

28 Sep 2012

Hawthorn


In my garden the birds are gorging on the ripe hawthorn berries and the first fallen leaves are beginning to blow into my kitchen. Hawthorn is common in England, often planted in hedgerows and spread by the birds.When I was a child we used to eat the new green leaves - we called them `bread and cheese. There is much magical lore about this small tree and it has many other names including thorn, may, quick thorn, hagthorn and haw (the ripe berries are called haws). Its Celtic name is huathe. 

May relates to the white blossoms that were gathered at Beltane to decorate the maypole. The blossoms were hung up outside the house to ward off malign spirits and protect it from lightning, but strangely it was considered unlucky to bring them into the house. This might be because the tree is associated with witches and fairies - an echo of long ago goddess rituals and lore. Hagthorn also points to memories of its use in ritual magic.

Hawthorn is a special tree to the fairies. Many a wizened old hawthorn tree marks their ancient pathways and it is very dangerous to damage these trees. The fairy triad of trees is the oak, ash and thorn. Where all three grow together you are likely to see fairies.

Hawthorn is associated with fertility (the ancient goddess religion again) and it was often used in spells for this purpose and also at weddings for the same reason. Curiously though, placing the leaves under your bed is supposed to help chastity but I have never tried this! Hawthorn seems to have many contradictory aspects - the Romans would place it a baby's cradle to protect the child, and presumably that would have been indoors. I think the general message is handle with care. If you are cutting or using hawthorn in any way, then ask permission from the tree first because its magic is very strong and the thorns are very sharp!


6 Sep 2012

The Old Ones


Ancient places such as stone circles, temples, burial grounds, old churches and so forth are always good places to visit in order to wake up your Wise Woman senses. They have interesting memory traces - traces of our ancestors and the Old Ones, who have gone before. Very often they are built upon energy lines, sometimes called Ley Lines here in Britain, so odd and unusual things sometimes happen round about them and there are frequently strange myths and stories connected with them.

This is an ancient stone near where I live, one of two, called The Portals of Eden. I had fun with some art work, creating images of the unseen presences that we felt when we visited. The stones feel very powerful and wise, as if they know things that we have forgotten.

Why not visit an ancient site near you? And don't forget to take along a sketch book, or a journal to write about what you encounter.


2 Sep 2012

Walking in the rain


An autumn activity for Wise Woman - Put on your waterproofs and go for a walk in the rain. It really brings out the scents and the glorious colours of the autumn leaves. And another bonus - there won't be many other people about!


31 Aug 2012

Dream Gardens

Dreaming that you are in a garden is often a healing and spiritual experience, because gardens are peaceful places, close to nature. Your dream may give you some clues as to how you are really feeling. So have a good look at your dream garden and see what sort of place it is.
  • Is your garden well kept? Or does it need some attention? Maybe you need to do some psychic weeding, letting go of things that no longer energise you.
  • Are there flowers? If so pay attention to the colours. If they are all one colour then you might need to balance your energy - look up chakra colours on the internet and see which ones might need attention.
  • What season is it? Spring is to do with new beginnings; summer is when things are at their height of energy; autumn is about harvesting and taking stock; winter is time for rest and renewal.
  • Do you feel at home in your garden, or are you uneasy - if so, then why? Maybe there is a monster lurking that you need to evict, or maybe you need to plant some news things.
  • Are you growing vegetables in your garden - spiritual food?
You might like to revisit your dream garden in a meditation, and make any changes that you want. Maybe you could plant a herb garden, or make a rose arbour where you can go to rest peacefully. Let your own imagination guide you.

22 Aug 2012

Willow Herb

There is lots of willowherb around at the moment, and it comes in various different kinds. This one is great willowherb, a plant of damp and boggy places. Great willowherb was often called codlins and cream by country people, maybe because of the rosy petals that reminded them of ripe apples (codlins). The elephant hawk moth caterpillar likes to feed on the foliage, so it would be worth cultivating some in a damp patch in your garden.

The similar rosebay willowherb is a plant that will be familiar to city dwellers - it loves to grow anywhere associated with fires, such as old bomb sites. This has earned it another name - fireweed.

The sepals (the small petally looking bits at the back of the flower) are dark purple, unlike the ones on great willowherb which are more greenish. Rosebay willowherb also spreads rapidly along railway tracks because its feathery seeds are wafted along by passing trains. Willowherb is also related to evening primrose, fuchsia and enchanter's nightshade.


Apparently the fluffy seeds of rosebay willowherb and other fluffy little parachute seeds are known as sugar stealers in some parts of Britain, which sounds very strange and slightly sinister. Maybe like the thistledown fairies of my childhood they have a mysterious, hidden aspect that we know little about! We certainly half believed as children that the `fairies' we chased and trapped in our cupped hands were sentient beings.

14 Aug 2012

Lizard Guide

There is something very strange about lizards, something deeply ancient and mysterious. Creatures of earth and fire, they bask in the sun unmoving, golden-eyed, watchful. I have an odd ability to summon them. The first occasion was at a chateau in Northern France, sitting on a sun-baked wall. I remarked that it was the kind of place a lizard ought to be, and there, suddenly, was one clinging casually to the vertical stone below me. I did it again on the sandy cliffs near where I live, walking along the path on a summer's day. And again yesterday, a dull heavy, hot day with the odd spot of rain. As soon as I complained that the usual lizards were absent, there they were, six of them, tiny babies in a kind of creche at the edge of the path.

Lizards have sharp senses and will flick away at the slightest movement, so if Lizard appears as your guide he will teach you to be watchful and alert. In dire circumstances they will break off their tail and escape, so they are good for times when you need to escape from negative conditions and leave the past behind. Tiny dragons, they are part of the world of myth and dreams, so pay attention to your intuition, your dreams and fantasies and be alert for odd coincidences and synchronicities appearing in your life.

13 Aug 2012

Hidden World



I am working in the garden today, sitting under the willow tree in the shade. As I write a dry willow leaf falls off the tree and lands on my arm. A leaf with a strange hole in it, shaped like an eye. Willow speaks to me of the deep feminine, water, the unconscious. She has given me an eye to look through, an inner eye to see her hidden world.

Trees are powerful spiritual teachers. In Native American lore they are sometimes called the Standing People. I love this - the idea that they are deeply rooted, conscious beings, who don’t feel the need to tear around being busy like the rest of us. They simply exist and breathe in stillness, drawing in all that they need from their immediate environment. There are mysterious presences living around trees too. Beings all around us when we walk through woodland, particularly ancient woods. They stay hidden in woody hollows, wrinkled up under the bark or crannied down under roots, in the dark knotted archways that lead to the underworld. These are the elementals, the ancient inhabitants of the earth.


27 May 2012

Dream Ghost

Fears and blocks
Something to do with the past
Something to do with someone who is dead
The unconscious/ collective unconscious
The shadow self
Something you can only glimpse
Ancestral wisdom
Festival of Samhain

26 May 2012

Libraries



Libraries are places where we can find all sorts of things - knowledge, enlightenment, entertainment, relaxation, peace, information, networking...If you dream about visiting a library it may very well offer some important pointers on your path to self awareness.Write about your library in your journal.

Describe the building. Is it modern or ancient? The age and type of building might help you to think about the kind of knowledge your unconscious is pointing you towards.
Is your library in a good state, or is it crumbling or inaccessible in some way?
What sort of books do you notice in your library? Describe them. Do they inspire you, or give you some important information? Or are they about subjects that you feel wary of?
Are there other people there? If so do you talk to them? Do they say anything?
How do you feel in your library?

If you are trying to make a decision, or struggling with a problem of some kind, it might be helpful to visit an inner library in meditation. Simply go somewhere quiet, get really  relaxed and then imagine you are entering your library. Visualise it in as much detail as possible and explore it at your leisure. Then journal about it.

Of course you could always visit a real library as well. Who knows, you might come across some useful books by me, such as the two books on Freud and Jung above, or my my dream book Exploring Your Dreams! For more details, explore the sidebar to the right and the tab Books by Me, above.





24 May 2012

Gravestones


If you dream about a gravestone it might be because you are thinking about a person who has died, or someone you are worried about. Or it might be related to something in your life, or an aspect of your psyche, that you have let go of, or perhaps something long buried. Or something that needs to die or be let go.

Describe your gravestone in your journal.
How big is it?
What is it made of?
Is there writing on it?
Whose grave is it marking?
What about dates? Is there one visible? If so, what does this date mean to you?
How do you feel in the dream?
Scared? Then it might be a warning dream.
Curious? Do you want to know more?

You might want to take this dream further by visiting a local cemetery and journalling about what you find and how it makes you feel.This can be an interesting thing to do even if you have not had a gravestone dream.

23 May 2012

Dream Fish

Exploring the water element
Dream world
Emotions
`Cold fish'
`Fish out of water'
`Fishing' for something
Piscean person

22 May 2012

Mazes

Dreaming about a maze might suggest that you are searching for something, or looking for the right direction to take. It could be about your work, your love life, or perhaps your spiritual path.

If you dream about a maze you might like to consider some of these points:
Is anyone else in the maze?
If so are they exploring with you, or do you encounter them along the way?
Do they say anything to you? How do you react to their words?
How do you feel about them? Do they resemble anyone you know, or aspire to be like?
Do you encounter any objects? If so what? Write about the objects in your journal. What do they mean to you?
Do you come to any special places, or rooms within the maze? If so then write about them too.
Maybe you encounter an animal, a bird or a monster. If so then write about your associations and feelings.
Do you get to middle of the maze? Is so, how does this feel? Does it give you a sense of achievement? Or is it scary in some way, or disappointing perhaps?


Even if you have not had a maze dream, you can do this as a visualisation. Simply sit or lie down in a relaxed position, and then imagine that you are entering the maze and see what you find in there!

Sum up your maze exploration by writing about it in your journal.

28 Mar 2012

Shoes and Feet

Shoes in dreams often reflect aspects of your self image and/or sexuality. Here are some points to consider:
  • Are they nice comfortable shoes?
  • Too tight or too loose?
  • Odd or unusual in some way?
  • What colour are they? For example red shoes could be very sexy!
  • Do you keep them on? Take them off?
  • Are they easy to put on/wear?
  • Are they yours, or do they belong to someone else?
  • Consider phrases such as `standing in someone else's shoes'
  • Think about folklore stories eg seven league boots
Your feet are your contact with the ground, with the earth, and they also take you to new places. If you are barefoot in your dream it might indicate you are taking, or wanting to take a more natural approach to life in some way. Maybe this could be about natural medicine, being more in touch with the earth, taking up gardening, going for walks or adopting a more natural diet?
Dreams about shoes sometimes relate to childhood - for example perhaps you can remember the feeling of triumph when your feet went up a size!

26 Mar 2012

Eggs and Nests

Dreams about eggs and nests are often to do with schemes and ideas that you are incubating and/or hatching. What new energy are you drawing into your life? What direction would you like your life to take?

Sometimes the colour of the eggs is important - like these beautiful sky blue song thrush eggs carefully hidden amongst the old dead branches on the woodland floor. What would they mean as a metaphor, if they appeared in your dream? Old dead branches might be something that you have shed and discarded because you no longer need it. And sky blue is the colour of throat chakra energy, so it might be something to do with speaking or expressing yourself clearly.

If you dream about nests and/or eggs, then take especial note of the context of the dream as well. Where is it set? Who else is in your dream if anybody? And how do you feel - excited? cosy? worried? angry?

8 Mar 2012

Cupboards and Boxes

Dreams involving cupboards and boxes are often about issues that you have hidden away, stored, or forgotten. Here are some questions you can ask in your journal after wrting down your dream:
How big is the cupboard or box?
It it is an odd size eg huge or tiny, then this might be significant.
Is a real one that you know, or knew in the past?
If so then think about issues, past or present, that might relate to it. eg it is the wardrobe my clothes were kept in when I was a child. So think about issues around clothes that you wore then.
Is it open/shut/locked?
If it's open, then maybe hidden stuff is coming to light. If shut then maybe you need to open it. If locked - can you find the key, if there is one?
Can you open it?
If not then try to re-enter your dream (by relaxing and visualising the scene) and find a way, unless it feels too scary to do this. If it feels scary then journal about why. If you do get it open, then take note of whether it opens easily or not.
What is inside?
Describe the contents. Do any of them have special significance? eg it contains a necklace my mother wore.
Is it big enough for you to get to get inside?
If so then it could be related to childhood - most of us liked hiding in cupboards as children! Or does this feel scary?

29 Feb 2012

Bitten by an animal

If you dream that you are bitten by an animal what does it mean? Well, a lot depends upon what kind of animal it is, and what you personally feel about that kind of animal. It might well mean that your unconscious is trying to get your attention about something in quite a forceful way.

Everyone feels differently about different kinds of animals, but here are a few suggestions that might resonate with you in some way. If not, make your own list!

Cat - secrecy, cunning, deep feminine, night, hidden things, self-sufficiency, lazing by the fire
Dog - faithful companion, barking, following, obedience
Horse - travel, moving on, new horizons
Snake - deep feminine power, betrayal, cunning, healing, rebirth
Cow - domesticity, nurturing, simplicity
Mouse - small, hidden things, fear, secrecy, timidity
Crab - `crabbiness', watery issues (ie emotions), hiding, protecting oneself

If you do have a dream where you are bitten by an animal then write in your journal what your feelings are about that kind of animal. Do they make you feel afraid? Empowered? Do you know any members of this species personally? Research stories and myths about your animal as well, and see if they crop up in your `real' world too.

25 Feb 2012

Falling

Dreams about falling are quite common and can take many different forms, such as falling off a cliff, down a hole, out of a tree and so on. Sometimes they are associated with the actual process of falling asleep, when our muscles relax and we sometimes twitch and jerk. Some people believe they are associated with entering the astral body - a non-physical, spiritual aspect of the self.

Falling dreams may occur at times of transition, life crisis or accelerated personal growth, often when you feel out of your depth in some way. If you have a falling dream write it down and then look at some of the main aspects such as:

where is the dream set?
who are you in your dream?
what do you fall down?
do you feel afraid, or liberated in some way?
are there other characters on your dream?

For more about falling dreams, plus other common dream themes such as flying, being watched etc., you may like to refer to my new book Exploring Your Dreams - see sidebar.