I've Moved!

I finally got around to integrating my blog and my web site and now I've got a new, gorgeous home at www.katrinadreamer.com. You'll be able to find me there!


Katrina Dreamer Interviews Maria Owl Gutierrez

I first met Maria Owl Gutierrez when she spoke at the inaugural Earth Medicine Alliance conference. I remember clearly how she described a special relationship she had with a spider that lived just outside her front door. As she came and went, she greeted and acknowledged the spider, and the spider became a friend. One night, she dreamed of the spider. It bit her and she she awoke, Maria knew the spider had transferred wisdom and medicine to her. A few days later the spider passed. I was moved by the story. It demonstrates the kind of relationship we can have with plants, animals, and the elements if we will open ourselves to it. I am honored to interview her this week for Katrina Dreamer Interviews.

1. What is the importance of nature?
All life on Earth depends on the complexity of relationships in the biosphere and atmosphere and human beings are just another biological creature participating in these complex relationships. If you can perceive this truth, then nature is everything. Nature is existence on Earth. To really perceive this truth should really bring us into deep reverence and humility, as we are so inter-dependent on all the other forms of life. 

Nature has the power to remind us of our beginnings – the first unicellular organism, the first breath, the first plant, fish, four-legged, bi-ped, the first reflexive consciousness. And nature has the power to end our mortal lives. Nature has the power to inspire us and to open us to our pure beings. I hold nature as a pure reflection of that Great Mystery, The Source, The Creator, and if I can slow down and listen and witness deeply, I can behold this divine beauty. If I’m lucky, I’ll become aware of myself as harmonic nature. I’ll feel the divine beauty within me, an alive teacher always breathing inside of me.

2. How do you connect with nature?
I spend one to three hours in nature every day. When I can’t make this pilgrimage for many days on end, I start to feel disconnected from the larger picture. 

I don’t perceive nature as a separate consciousness from myself. When I walk through the forest and pray for the continuance of health for the habitat, I’m praying for myself. I am the forest. When I sit and discuss my heart longings with the squirrel or hawk or lizard, I am sitting with another form of myself. We are relatives. Family. As I am a part of my Mother and she is a part of  me. We are all energy, particles of the larger consciousness that dreamed this whole dance up. I connect to nature through deep respect and reverence in this recognition.

3. How does your work invite others to reconnect with or interact with nature? I lead wilderness fasting rites annually out to Mono Lake Basin in California’s Eastern Sierras. These are nine-day pilgrimages into nature where participants are invited to slow down their urban minds and open into their nature-minds. 

Part of the Vision Quest work includes a three-day solo with only water. The act of fasting from food and comforts is foreign to most westerners, as we’ve become so reliant on our luxuries and privileges. We, at Ancient Path Vision Quests, hold the fasting rites in a sacred and intentional way, knowing that questers will be fed by Spirit while they are on their solo journeys, a nourishment that is beyond food. 

During the Vision Quest work, we engage in community ritual, dreamwork and council – all while sitting under the lodgepole pine forest canopy with hummingbirds, butterflies and honeybees zooming in and out, offering their two cents. They are part of our community while we’re out there. By the time we depart the land, leaving it as if we were never there, we are so embedded into the natural rhythms and cycles of Earth and cosmos, that our very perception of ourselves has shifted. When we make space in ourselves to be moved and touched deeply by nature, we will be absolutely transformed by her.

4. What wisdom can you share that can help people establish a relationship with nature? Humble yourself. When you look at a tree, recognize this other is not an “other," but an “I AM.” Recognize that this “I AM” is a particle of The Source, Great Mystery, and holds a consciousness and wisdom that has the power to change your life, if you let it. This will happen when we revere anything in nature. 

Take the time to sit with a non-human being – rocks, plants, water, animals, and rather than defining what you perceive, just let yourself become empty and listen. Be open to the thousand ways this being may communicate with you – through symbols, energy, resonance, temperature. Introduce yourself to this being and tell it what is most important to you in your heart of hearts. Ask this being for assistance. Ask this being what you can do for it. Reciprocity is always present in healthy, thriving friendships.

5. Anything else you'd like to add?
Reclaim the wonder and awe for nature you had as a child. The loss of this way of perceiving has caused incredible harm to the planet. Remember that, though our spirits are of an infinite nature, this one, precious mortal life on Earth right now is finite. Let’s not take this beautiful life for granted. May each of us return home to the Sacred Web of Life, with tears of joy streaming down our cheeks.
Maria Owl Gutierrez  Twice a year Maria’s organization Ancient Path Vision Quests takes small groups into the wilds of California for ceremonial fasting and prayer. She also serves on the board of directors of Earth Medicine Alliance. Maria currently  sees individuals and couples at her private healing practice in Sebastopol, Sonoma County. For more information go to: www.mariaowl.com.


Inspiring Family

This woman, Bea, inspires me a great deal. It is one of my goals to live a zero waste life, or as close as you can get in our society. I dream of having a worm bin. I love her idea of taking jars to the store...I did that in a limited way once and it would feel so good to do it again. Watch and feel inspired by what we can do to live more lightly.

Other places to get inspired:
Voluntary Simplicity
Your Money or Your Life
Choosing Simplicity
In Praise of Slowness


Nature Dreaming; Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami

 On Tuesday, March 8, I had a dream I called "Wave."

I'm sitting on the beach with Sarah B. It's a vacation spot--lots of people are there with us. We're chatting. Something strange is happening in the water. I see a plume of smoke rising up and there is also a wave curling in an unusual way. Sarah asks which one I'm watching and I say the smoke. But then the wave collapses and sends its energy to the left, wiping out the smoke. We watch a huge surge come in 1/4 to 1/2 mile to our left. Then I watch the water. It's rising and rising. Now a big wall of water is coming. I sense it and I get up and grab our towel. We start walking in but we need to move faster. I remind Sarah to just hold her breath when it hits. We just reach the bus when it hits and I jump on top of it as the water hits me. It pulls me up but not far. Next I see myself writing a blog title about how I survived it. 

While I wrote this dream down that morning, I felt intense emotion and my eyes welled up with tears. At the time, I felt it might be related to the emotions I'm feeling around my trip and the sadness that comes from leaving a familiar place.

But I'm certain this dream was also precognitive in some way, predicting the events that happened in Japan yesterday. I've had dreams like this before that predicted or echoed earth events. I call the phenomenon nature dreaming. Others apparently experienced this as well. When I checked the dream sharing site remcloud.com, it had results showing that tsunami and earthquake dreams were trending yesterday. The Dream Tribe put out a call on Facebook to see who'd had quake or wave dreams and several users shared their tsunami dreams. My fellow Dream Tribe member Ryan had a dream about a tsunami hitting Inverness, Calif. where he used to live and woke to his wife telling him about the Japan quake. Linda, also a Dream Tribe cohort, reported that she and her husband both had dreams about tsunami dreams earlier in the week.

What does it all mean? At the very least, to me this is a powerful demonstration of how connected we are to the Earth and each other, and it serves as proof that we are all nature dreamers.


Biggest Leap Yet...Ancestral Journey

You know those dreams you carry with you, the big life dreams that are often spoken with the word "someday"? I've decided to bring someday to the present. And that means I've taken the biggest leap of my life.

On Monday I quit my job so that I can take a pilgrimage to the lands of my ancestors in Europe. I plan to visit Scotland, England, Norway, Sweden, and Germany. Just imagine...the moors, the lochs, the fjords, the forests...the fairies and gnomes and elves...the schnitzel, haggis, and lutefisk...okay, maybe not those last bits.

The purpose of the trip is fourfold:

* to experience and deeply connect with my ancestral lands and observe the affect these lands have on my dreams, my psyche, and my body (in other words, mind, body, spirit, and soul).

* to learn about how people living in my ancestral lands connect with their dreams and the spirits of place.

* to make connections with other Earth- and dream-honoring people in the hopes of building a world-wide network of like-minded souls.

* to create a body of research I can turn into a book or art project that will tell the story of this ancestral pilgrimage.

This journey marks an important turning point in my lifework. I know for certain I will look back on this moment as one time in my life when I said a gigantic YES to myself and the possibility that my life holds. I am excited and nervous and giddy with anticipation.

To help me embark on this journey, I've set up a fund at gofundme.com. Whether you wish to live vicariously through my adventures or you believe in the work I'm doing, I would deeply appreciate any help can give.

Raise Money Online

And if you're feeling especially generous, please share my story with your network. And allow me to thank you in advance for supporting me and my work and for reading this blog. I plan to write here while I'm abroad, sharing my journeys. It all begins April 28...


Katrina Dreamer Interviews Amanda eloesh

Amanda eloesh walks many paths. She is, among other things, an integrative medicine specialist, an expressive and meditative arts healer, and an urbindigenous priestess. When you meet her, her bright soul shines right through. I mean, look at that smile! I'm pleased to introduce her through this installment of Katrina Dreamer Interviews.

1. What is the importance of nature?
Well, it is the source of life, and it holds the patterns and laws by which all living things are sustained in balance, so it is also a great teacher for us.

2. How do you connect with nature?
On an almost daily level, I like to walk and touch the trees and mosses, smell the flowers, nibble the herbs, hold crystals, appreciate the weather in all of its forms, and I try to be more and more aware of all that I interact with that sustains me: air, water, fire, food....

3. How does your work invite others to reconnect with or interact with nature?
I start by helping people reconnect to their relationship with themselves, and from that foundation, that point of origin, I help my clients to see the world around them as a network of energies that we can have access to if we stay connected to ourselves. At the level that my clients are comfortable with, I introduce the concepts of relationship (with self, with the Divine, and with all the sacred elements that are here that serve us and give us life). I feel that recognizing these nurturing relationships in our lives, rather than taking them for granted with a sense of entitlement, helps us to open our hearts and to feel gratitude, which is restorative and nurturing to the self and all other living things.

4. What wisdom can you share that can help people establish a relationship with nature?
Start each day asking to have help in opening up the mind, body, spirit, heart...so that awareness about what we are truly receiving from nature becomes apparent. Ask, as well, to be able to receive these gifts with respect and to know how to use them to serve the highest good, and to deepen into a respectful relationship with all that supports us on our path. I am doing this and I have continually found it to be profoundly nurturing, healing, and so well received by the spirit realms. I feel so many beings who are excited that I have opened my psychic doors to honor them.

5. Anything else you'd like to add?
I love my Mother!

Amanda eloesh is an integrative medicine specialist, an expressive and meditative arts healer, and an urbindigenous priestess. She hold a master's degree from California Institute of Integral Studies in counseling psychology/expressive arts therapy, is fully ordained as a 13 Moon Priestess, has been initiated into the Mayan shamanic path, as well as Tibetan Buddha Dakini Tantra and Hindu mudra, mantra, and yoga. Amanda creates a solid and safe container for others to safely explore, and heal at their own pace and honors the unique path that we all walk as we navigate change. She helps to turn the chaos of transformation into a graceful dance with the Divine.


Divine Dreaming Workshop in April

Dreams. Art. Tarot. Put them all together and you get an abundantly creative and juicy workshop! Each night the juicy details of your unconscious emerge in your dreams, illuminating your soul. On the eve of a New Moon, Leila Jo of  Crafting the Sacred and I invite you to explore a dream of your choosing through divination, collage-making, and dreaming the dream forward. Materials will be provided; all you need to bring is a dream.

You can contact me to register at katrina{at}katrinadreamer{dot}com or by visiting Jo's site: http://www.craftingthesacred.com/divine-dreaming/.

Divine Dreaming
When: Saturday, April 2
Time: 2:30-5 p.m.
Fee: $40
East Bay Healing Collective
1840 Alcatraz Ave.
Berkeley, CA