Honoring the Dream

A wonderful way to deepen your connection to your dreams is to bring their energy into the physical world. To do this you could share a dream with a trusted friend, or paint, sing, draw, or act out a dream. Many times these activities foster insight into dreams and they always help create a space for dreams in your life. Honoring dreams in these ways shows you respect your dreams and are willing to listen to their messages.

One caveat: some cultures believe that speaking a dream dissipates its energy. Judge for yourself whether or not to share a dream based on how you feel about it. Of course, I encourage you to paint, draw, sing, or dance the dream in private if it is not one you wish to share publicly.

I have worked with my dreams in this way several times and I always get juicy results. My most memorable exercise involved Owl, my spirit guide. Owl first arrived in my life last July. She came in a dream disguised as a hawk with a cat's head. To honor this dream, I shared it with a class of dreamers and then wrote a paper about it (this is the paper I will present at the IASD conference; you can read it at the link above).

I worked with Owl's energy for a number of weeks after I had the dream, which led to synchronicities and further dreams featuring Owl. During this time, I read about owl behavior, myths involving owls, and goddesses connected with the owl. I also asked Owl for further dreams and she brought them to me. Through this work, I unearthed my creativity and found new strength within myself.

After the summer class ended, my intense interaction with Owl calmed down. But once I started another dream class, she came back strongly. I encountered her as a snowy owl in a shamanic journey and a dream. This time, to honor her, I created two art pieces. One was a nest made of sticks from local trees, moss, and lichen. The other was a cape sewn and beaded to look like a snowy owl's feathers. The cape allowed me to overcome fears about sewing (I broke out my sewing machine and taught myself how to thread it) and it taught me patience, for beading the cape was a painstaking and slow process.

When I donned the cape at the end of the class and held the nest in my arms, I felt transformed. I was imbued with the energy of Owl: her grace, wisdom, stealth, and cunning. This is what it means to bring the dream into waking life.

My story does not end here, however. In January Owl visited me again in a dream, this time after I had asked my ancestors for a dream. She came in the form of a great gray owl, which I later learned lives in Minnesota and Sweden, my ancestral homelands. This dream had an immense impact on me, and I knew I wanted to bring its energy into waking life.

First, I researched the great gray owl. Then, synchronistically, I ended up on the website for the Lindsay Wildlife Museum, a local wildlife hospital and museum. It turns out they are caring for a beautiful great gray owl from Minnesota. One of the programs at the Lindsay is wildlife adoption, so I immediately sent in a donation to adopt the great gray owl. I now have a picture of the owl on my altar and in May I will be able to visit the bird at the museum. It felt wonderful to honor Owl in this way.

After looking back on all the amazing ways Owl appeared in my life, I decided in February to create another art piece tying it all together. Making this piece was thrilling and it now has an honored spot at the top of my altar. It ties together the "cathawk," snowy owl, and great gray owl dreams as well as my ancestral homelands and my connection to oak trees.

These interactions with Owl changed my life and I know that my commitment to bringing my dreams into waking life enhanced them. Owl is now a constant companion and I call on her energy when I need strength. This is the power of honoring the dream.

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