A Day in a Life: Being-in-Dreaming

Back in October and November 2009 I began re-reading the works of Florinda Donner Grau and Taisha Abelar, two of the women sorcerers who learned from the same line of shamans as Carlos Castaneda. The women were taught primarily by the women shamans or sorceresses of don Juan’s lineage, while Carlos was taught primarily by the male shamans, though not exclusively. I have wanted to go back to my experiences of last fall because I had some very interesting dream channelings while in the midst of reading about these women. Today, I begin passing along some of those experiences. As I re-read my dreaming experiences I found them fascinating all over again and I hope you too will find something of significance. I also think that some of these experiences tie in with Chuck’s blog regarding becoming a warrior.

On October 14, 2009 I wrote the following in my journal: Yesterday, while reading Being-in-Dreaming by Florinda Donner Grau, I came upon a passage where her dream teacher tells her that all women must turn back into the cage that is inside them to fully discover who they are. I was struck by this mention of the inner cage because Jeanne used it as a metaphor for doing inner work in her message on Monday October 12, 2009: Why Must You Return to Your Cage. As I read this book I am also struck by how familiar what I am reading is and how much sense it makes to me at this time in my life. I have been a dreamer all my life and, as Jeanne always says and did in that Monday message, the challenge is to be a dreamer with awareness. Last night I dreamed of hiking along a crowded path and it seems related to this reading I have been doing, that I am coming out of the crowd now and going in a new direction, on my own. I am fascinated by this process. (End of journal entry.)

Later that day, in the same book, I read about don Juan telling Florinda (though she is not aware of who he is) that the crows flying overhead were a good omen, and to see them as a promise that they would meet again. He described the crows flying as like a painting in the sky (p. 65). The very next day a blue jay appears to me. At first, I assume he is admiring his own reflection in the glass sliding door, but then, as he flies up to the window a second and then a third time, as if to be sure I notice, and as he spreads his wings before me and hovers there for what seems like a long time, I am reminded of what I had recently read. I take it as an omen. In Ted Andrews book Animal Speak I read that the blue jay represents the choice of being a dabbler in the world of spirit and magic or of fully going for it and embracing it and becoming it. I am often afraid of what I will encounter when I channel, fearing that I will fail or that nothing will come, though in the end I do plunge boldly ahead, even though I may be uncertain. Fully becoming and embracing this new me has been a struggle. As I leave behind the old me I must encounter my fears. At the same time, I do not want to be a dabbler. I understood that the blue jay was challenging me to be bold and to love my spiritually evolving self.

At this point, I knew that I had to find a way into the shaman’s world. Instinctively, I knew that I had been in it for a very long time, but that it was time to be in it with greater awareness. A couple of days later I finished reading Being-in-Dreaming and decided to experiment with dreaming. That night, as I lay down to sleep, I took a small round flat dreaming bag, a heavy bean bag type leather pillow about three inches in diameter that Jeanne had gotten at a Tensegrity workshop, and placed it on my lower abdomen, over my uterus. The female shamans say that a woman’s energy is in her womb and that this is dreaming energy. The pillow/bag is an anchor and may also stimulate dreaming, as I see it. My intent was to call the women shamans to me, to have an experience of them, to learn something from them. I had a few dreams right away. I was aware that I was quickly in and out of dreams and that they were different somehow from other dreams.

The next night, I went to sleep with the same intent, to learn something from the women sorceresses and I had this dream: I am at a spa, a place of healing. Part of the healing treatment is sitting in huge hot tubs, old-fashioned concrete slab tubs. I take off my clothes to get into the tub that has been prepared for me when I look around and recognize other people, including a big heavy-set man, a very enthusiastic, good natured, happy man with a lot of energy who I do not know personally but I have seen him around. When this man comes into the room I pull a towel over me because I am naked. My dreaming self does not give a hoot, but my awake dreaming self cares very much. My daughter is also there. She is talking with this man and then I see her going off with him. In the dream I make no judgments about this, but my awake self in the dream wonders what he wants with her, a young girl. When he leaves with my daughter I get into the hot tub to soak. There are other women in the room also soaking in their own individual tubs. It is very calming. My dreaming self makes note of my daughter walking off with the large man towering over her. There is no fear on her part and my dreaming self does not attach, but my awake dreaming self conjures up scenarios and suspicions. I am of two minds. My dreaming detached self has absolutely no attachment to it, not even that it is okay; it just takes note, without opinion. My awake dreaming self immediately gets suspicious and fearful that the guy is up to no good.

When I woke up I was immediately struck by the fact that I had both aspects of mind in the same dream: the conjuring mind and the totally detached mind. They were present in my two selves: my dreaming nonjudgmental detached self and my judgmental attached fearful self. I realized that I was being given a lesson in learning the distinct difference between the knowing mind, the inner knowing self, and the rational, conjuring mind, the ego self. In the dream my inner knowing mind was utterly calm, flowing, accepting and fully acquiescing to everything that unfolded, without attachment or judgment. The conjuring mind, on the other hand, was totally attached, assessing, creating scenarios, busy, preoccupied with imagining all sorts of things. The inner knowing had absolutely no attachment; it was simply present, observant yet knowing that what is simply is.

Upon awakening, I realized that fully experiencing the difference between these two minds was the first lesson in understanding the shaman’s world. In the late afternoon that same day a swarm of wasps hung over the front yard, dancing, twirling, tiny buzzing ballerinas, their legs dangling as they calmly swirled in the sunlight beneath the pine trees. I was struck by their beauty and mass of calm energy, lightly present, barely making a stir. The next morning a flock of large blackbirds flitted about in the same place, holding together in a wave of busy movement, noisy, pecking in the leaves on the ground, chirping loudly, clumsy compared to the wasps, and as they took flight with a sharp loud motion they became a dark angle, a shadow painting whirring in one sweep across the sky, perhaps a sign of more to come as don Juan had suggested to Florinda. At the same time I wondered if perhaps those two sights represented the two minds: the calm and quietly flowing wasps as the detached knowing mind, and the loud blackbirds as the attached conjuring mind. As I write this today, I am also struck by the distinct energy of each of these, the feminine energy of the wasps and the masculine energy of the blackbirds, two energies that we each have inside us. We are encouraged to access and utilize these energies, both by the shamans and by doing deep inner work in Jungian psychotherapy.

As the blackbirds flew off, I sat and ate my breakfast feeling happy and contented, knowing that I was ready to more fully enter the shaman’s world. I had set my intent to take up the challenge of the blue jay and now I knew that, in my dreams, I would be shown what that meant. As I proceeded with this process of dreaming intent in the weeks to follow I received some interesting guidance from the women sorceresses, which I will write more about next time. In the meantime, enjoy the spring, look for signs, ask for help and do the inner work. Oh, and of course: DREAM!

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