Since Barack Obama is a dreamer and embodies a tremendous change in American and world history, it is not surprising that dreamers everywhere are dreaming of him. I have received many hundreds of dream reports invoving Obama, from early in the primary season onward. They come from participants in my workshops, members of my online courses, and the constant stream of email that flows in.
In a significant number of these dreams, Obama is receiving a blessing from an ancestral figure or an elder statesman who has passed on. In one of my own dreams the weekend after the election, for example, I saw Obama held like a (very capable) child in the arms of a giant seated figure of Lincoln - like the statue of the Lincoln Memorial but alive and alert. In another of my dreams, three weeks after the election, Mahatma Gandhi spoke delivered a eulogy of Obama as a peacemaker for the world at a huge rally, possibly the inauguration. I was moved to tears by Gandhi's account of what Obama means for world peace, and in the context of the black experience in America; he used the word "negritude" repeatedly.
Especially in the runup to the U.S election on November 4th, there was an "educational" quality of many of the dreams - in the sense either that the dreamers are learning about Obama, or that they are learning about what needs to be done under his administration. Thus a Midwest mother living in a quite conservative environment (who initially had some sympathy for Sarah Palin as a "working mother" and even dreamed of helping Palin manage her household) dreamed she was set three essay questions involving Obama, and when she completed the assignment, she felt very positive towards him. Another dreamer, raised Ctaholic, dreamed that a beautiful young black boy led her by the hand inside Obama's church, where she was able to observe Barack with his family and was deeply moved by the strong sense of family that pervaded the church. In the wake of the Jeremiah Wright affair, the message that came through was, "There's no problem with Obama's church."
Some of the Obama dreams seem to be prospecting what the new administration will or might do to fix the immense challenges it is inheriting. A woman married to a small business owner asked for dream guidance on how Obama could fix the economy. She dreamed she was traveling all over the map - in planes, convertibles and stretch limos - with a friend who is notorious for practicing "retail therapy", wildly shopping, buying anything they felt like. "Retail therapy" may be just what the country needs!
Other dreams seem to foreshadow the effects of printing money. The $5 had replaced the $1 in another woman's dream, and had an odd shape - the dreamer didn't mind because the bill looked "fabulous".
Two weeks after the election, Caroline dreamed she saw two political cartoons of Obama. The first cartoon, from early in his administration, showed a very small, tightly drawn Obama. The second, later cartoon depicted him as a much bigger person, and the feeling of the drawing was more expansive and loose.Obama wasn't in the second dream but its themes of sharing power and trust seem relevant. In a second dream, drawing on Obama's example, Caroline was bringing a new approach to teamwork into her workplace: "I told my boss and co-workers that the concept of management is outdated and we should work as a team and share power. "Each of us can take turns answering questions from the public for a week at a time. Everyone is shocked; it seems my suggestion is treasonous. My boss says my plan won't work because people who call want to talk to a person with power. I say we can explain that we all share the power equally. Callers who are unhappy with the arrangement are welcome to phone back the following week - the caller will get a different person but she'll still have the same power as everyone else. "
The day after the election, Christine, a clothing designer, dreamed that Michelle Obama had gone into her business, presenting a new line of clothing. "It had balanced colors, baby pinks, baby blues and a floral print of both colors. It was very pretty." The dreamer was examining the line, as a buyer, and was troubled to find a stained and damaged garment at the bottom, and was troubled - as she woke - with the thought that there was a "stain" that wouldn't come out.
Obama's Dream: The graphic is a drawing by Valerie McCarney inspired by Obama's dream of encountering a giant in the African forest. This is one of two big dreams Obama included in his memoir Dreams from My Father. The seond is a dream in which Barack met his father in a jail cell a year after his father's death. There was love and reconciliation between the son and the father who had been absent from most of his life, but when Barack offered to get his father out of jail, his dad wasn't ready to be released. The dream is an important reminder that healing of family wounds is possible across the apparent barrier of death, and it is encouraging to know that the new President of the United States is not afraid to talk openly about his personal experiences in this area.