Monday, March 15, 2010

Dream fliers of Stockholm

Stockholm and Nacka Strand
On our way to my lecture in the thriving modern part of Stockholm called City, we follow a car whose vanity plate reads EAGLE1. One of the first dreams shared by the audience that night is titled "Eagle Man and Me". In it, a Swedish woman watches a moving speck in front of a full moon that becomes a great eagle that swoops down in front of her, in the deep woods, and becomes a man.

It seems fitting that on my first night in Sweden, I encountered Karlsson on the Roof, because the dreams I am hearing in Stockholm are full of flight. A man in my weekend workshop reports, with vigorous body movement as well as words, a night of twisting pain and discomfort in his back - until his shoulders burst open and he sprouts wings that bear him aloft. I felt I was listening to a muscular version of that passage in Phaedrus in which Plato describes what it feels like when a human soul (that gave up its wings when it descended into a body) begins to sprout wingfeathers again.
A woman who feels oppressed in a dream that featured a dead boyfriend and lizard-like alien intruders discovers - during a dream reentry journey supported by drumming - that two ravens are available to support her and show her what needs to be done. She routs her adversaries and acquires great white wings and golden body armor, and goes soaring aloft, eyes flashing with joy.
Dreaming is all about soul, and we are privileged to share many experiences of soul recovery. A young woman is troubled by the way three little sisters were being handled in a childcare situation in her dream. I suggest that we should turn this dream into theatre, and she readily agrees, picking members of the workshop to play all the characters, including the three little girls, who seem to be aged around 5, 7 and 9. I encourage the dreamer to dialogue with the children, and she soon realizes that they are childhood selves that separated from her at times of sadness and challenge. She is eager to bring them back into her life. She soon learns that this will not only involve promising them safety, but offering them things they would really enjoy, things that would induce them to bring their vital energy and imagination into an adult life.
The dreamer is now engaged in deal-making with her childhood selves, and she has to go deep to find the right offers."Dress-up," she proposes to her 5-year-old self. The actor playing the youngest sister responds by wrapping bright scarves around her head and shoulders, and the dreamer claps her hands in delight. "Drawing!" she invited her 7-year-old. Out come the crayons and scrap paper. "Theatre!" she promises her 9-year-old. No problem; we are in the thick of it. It's time for the hugs. When the dreamer embraces the players who embodied her childhood selves, everyone in the room is warmed by the glow of returning soul. This is a glorious thing, and it is wonderful how easily it comes when instead of diminishing dreams to a set of analytical terms, we play actively with the energy we can release from the dreamspace.
The continuing play of sychronicity within and around the workshop gives us the happily shiverish sensation that we are receiving secret handshakes from the universe. Before spinning the drumstick to select the first person to tell a dream to the group, I recount an episode in which a Mohawk grandmother was chosen in just this way to share a dream at a workshop I was leading years ago in upstate New York. She introduced herself as a member of the Turtle Clan, and the story centered on the use of a turtle rattle to bring through a healing song from the dreamtime. At our first break in the Swedish program, a woman in the group introduces me to a frend she has smuggled into our space: a box turtle named Ludde. This is the first time a live turtle has showed up in one of my workshops. That's the kind of coincidence you can't dismiss as "only" coincidence.


wsxwhx702 said...
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Nancy said...

I love the turtle magic here, which makes me think of the World Turtle who holds the earth and all of us on her back.

Seashore said...

Wonderful Robert!
Last night I flew with Patty from your forum on sprouted feathers...
Best wishes in Sweden,

Alla said...

Dear Robert,
Wow, it seems I had a little turtle coincidence too - I read about that Indian woman from the Turtle clan just yesterday in your "Dreamways of the Iroquois". :-)

Jeni Hogenson said...

I'm loving your travelogue and stories from the journey in Sweden. Home to some of my ancestors. I am particularly touched by Ludde the box turtle since I had one myself for many years, I never thought of bringing him to a dream class. I'm sure he would have enjoyed it and felt quite at home. I was also a big fan Of Pippi Longstocking, but did not know about her other books. I think I will have to investigate them soon. Thanks again!