Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Dreaming in the Cave with Kelly Walden and Amamama

Sharing dreams can be wonderful fun, giving juice for the day and putting a fizz of magic into the air. I found this again in conversation with the fabulous Kelly Sullivan Walden on my radio show. Kelly is one of those who helps bring the gift of dreams to people where they live, one of the dream ambassadors who are urgently needed in our society. As soon as we started sharing dreams on the air, sparking off each other, terrific energy was generated. And very soon we were producing confirmation of something Western psychologists still struggle to understand. Dreaming is not only individual, it is social. Dreaming, we get out of the body and the brain and travel around and visit each other.
    Kelly shared a dream that led me to believe that her dream self had visited my territory in the most literal sense. She dreamed she was with a man like Robert Langdon, the iconographer of The Da Vinci Code though she thought (in the dream) that this Robert might be Robert Moss. She was a little intimidated by his superior scholarship and knowledge of arcane things, and grateful that he was sharing one of his discoveries with her.
     The scene of their encounter was a cave. One part was filled with books, tribal artifacts and sacred art. The other part contained a wine cellar. There were many African sculptures and ritual objects. A great goddess figure rose from within this scene, and people started chanting syllables that sounded like “Amamama”. A crowd gathered to attack the goddess figure, but red flames leaped around her – part of her protection – and the chanting rose higher and higher. AMAMAMA. She seemed to be invincible. Kelly awakened excited and filled with awe, knowing that she wanted and needed to claim this goddess power.
     Now: I write and work in a Cave, my name for the basement apartment in my house. It is filled with books, tribal artifacts and sacred art, including a number of African sculptures and carvings that are prominently displayed, and many goddess images. In the room behind the one where I write, visible through the open door, is my wine cellar. Though I am not a fan of The Da Vinci Code I am very interested in tracking the evolution of sacred images, and live surrounded by many of these.
    Over the years, I have made many pictures of a great goddess figure who is a kind of Mother Africa, immense, sometimes seated in state in a market full of produce, under a great tree that is sometimes a baobab. In the praise name or chant Amamama, I observed on the air, I heard the words Alma Mama, Mother Soul, another of my names for this Ancient Mother.
     Kelly and I agreed that in her dream she might have slipped into my space and had an interview with me before our interview for my show. She talked about how, at the age of 6, she learned about how people can dream together when she shared dreams with her younger sister. Sometimes her sister would tell her what was going to happen in her dream before she finished telling it, because she had dreamed the same dream.
     I noted that many ancient and indigenous peoples talk about dreams as if they are entities or spirits that come and go in the night, with subtle bodies that can slip under the door or through a keyhole like a tiny gust of wind. In classical Greek, oneiros is not only a dream we may enter, but a dream figure that may enter our space. In ancient Mesopotamia, a word for “dream” also meant “zephyr”. I joked with Kelly that perhaps her dream self sometimes flies about as a zephyr, one of those little gusts of wind that can get through the tiniest crack.


You can listen to my conversation with Kelly Sullivan Walden on my “Way of the Dreamer” radio show on Tuesday, February 12 from 9:00-10:00 a.m. Pacific, 12:00-1:00 p.m. Eastern, or download from the archive after the broadcast.
    You can find Kelly at her website. Her new book, It’s All in Your Dreams, will be published in May and I recommend it.

The drawing is one of scores I have made of an African goddess over the years. Here she is the model for the Queen of Disks in my personal tarot deck.

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