Why we will not use dream dictionaries or glossaries
By Anyes Cartry
The most rewarding and life-changing part of DREAM HARVESTING® comes after remembering and writing down our dreams, doing so without connective tissue (explanatory or logical words, such as “but”, “so”, “because”, or “consequently,”, etc.) It unfolds through the use of Active Imagination. Every image, every protagonist, every scenery, every color and every word you choose to write the recollection of your dream counts. What we are seeking is to encourage dialogue between unseen parts of our personality as they manifest in a dream… This method is commonly used by writers when they write a novel or novella. For those familiar with Family Constellation, where other people enact members of our family, think of it as applying it to every character in your dream as if they represented a part of you (Karl Jung’s approach).
While some myths and metaphors are universally understood, the symbols, messages, colors and shapes of your dreams can only be understood by YOU. It is as though the myriads of associations created in your brain, like a network of spider webs through your unique personal history, have a unique path to be retraced. You are the only one to be able to do this. Hence, we speak of Dream Harvesting®. Dream dictionaries or glossaries have compiled thousands of possible interpretations of symbols, animals, emblems, shapes and more. Yet, “they do not attend to the subtle personal associations and feelings which are key to understanding YOUR dream.“(Williams, 2019, p. 120).
Joseph Campbell saw dreams as “our own private personal myths“(1993, p. 19). They may not make sense to anybody else than you, and you are the only one who can decipher their meaning. It is true that people who are versed in mythology and universal themes, such as analysts, can guide you towards understanding their message, but even they, as I do in this workshop, act as midwives to your own birthing.
Bamber said that “Dreams are a kind of biopsy of the psyche” (2008). They reveal our psychological imbalances, strengths, aspirations and wounds. These are related to our own personal history while at the same time are part of the whole body of the human experience. As it is said that the personal is political, we can also say that the personal is universal. By understanding the message and meaning that one of your dreams has for YOU, you add to universal intelligence. No dictionary or glossary can translate the language of the psyche. Dictionaries and glossaries are useful to convey linear data; they can’t give meaning to your own layers of interconnected associations emanating for your experience. Believing dream dictionaries or glossaries will answer our questions comes from the logical, analytical masculine-oriented part of our ego. Dream Harvesting® brings you to the “felt” experiential nature of your dream, the creativity of your self.
Regarding Dream analysis, Jung saw it “less as a technique than as a dialectical process between personalities (1961b par. 492). When Dream Harvesting®, we practice conversation rather than analysis. This encompasses, among other things, the art of listening, the art of putting oneself in somebody else’s shoes, respect, patience, responding rather than reacting and knowing how to ask questions without frightening the “other” (in this case, another inner personality).
Dream Harvesting® Salon
one hour per week, LIVE online, on July 12, 19 and 26
10am to 11am Pacific
limited to 8 dreamers
Cost: $72 total, for all three salon dates
Early Registration Discount: register by July 1st for only $60
Click Here to sign up!
It is said that Asclepius, son of Apollo, practiced Dreamwork as a method of healing at his temple in Epidaurus. People seeking healing had to take a ritual bath before entering the sanctuary to cleanse body and soul.
As you prepare for our workshop, it’s important that you approach Dream Harvesting® in the same manner.
Rituals are powerful. They enable our soma, the physical dimension of our being, to capture our intention through deeds and actions enacted in the physical world that translate the direction of our mind (intention).
Approaching the dream world requires a certain amount of reverence, or respect. If you ask somebody a question you don’t turn your back to them, or hopefully you don’t swipe your phone and read something else while they are answering you. You make space by choosing a place propitious for conversation (not too noisy or crowded) and you listen, not only with your auditory sense, but with all your being (your posture, your eyes reading body language, and even your sense of smell…)
Dreams help us live our lives to the fullest extent and encompass more than the ego - the limited part of us that gives us a sense of identity as we face the external world.
Dreams connect us with our Self, which encompasses the unconscious - that is, everything outside of the direct awareness of the mind (somatic experiences, spiritual experiences, feelings and emotions, and more…) Dreams often express what can’t be expressed verbally (through words, which are only one kind of symbol.)
To prepare oneself to this symbolic expression it’s important to cleanse the doors of perception. That is, to cleanse all our senses including what has been called a “sixth sense” (intuition).
Practically, it is important to disconnect from your phone, social media, news, and all, for at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep. During these 30 minutes, feel your physical body, connect with your breathing, and allow your mind to quiet down and distance itself from the world of information, which is especially busy, demanding, and even disturbing in this time.
Ask yourself what is an important question for you in this time of your life, this week, this day. Then ask your dream world for an answer during the night. Ask as you would ask your most trusted friend for their most genuine insight. Just like that.