Humans are meaning-makers. Understanding why we're in this world and how the world is has provided the motivation for some of the greatest human accomplishments. We can (and d0) make meaning out of anything; any event in one’s life from the most mundane to the most ecstatic and existential, is a fertile ground for interpretation. Each nightly adventure is the same. The possibilities of interpretation are infinite with each dream as with each waking experience.
Even my morning breakfast can have countless meanings extracted to lead in many potential directions of thought and action and emotion. But I would much rather enjoy my breakfast, encode it fondly (or warily, if need be) in my memory, in my lived experience in this human body. I don't want to make meaning from it except on special occasions. And I feel the same about my dreams. Rather than extracting a limited meaning from one miraculously complex adventure… I would like to enjoy it deeply, savor the sensation of flying or the inspiration of divine conversation, stand in awe of the dark terrors and giggle at the effervescent comedy of my nightly theater.
To explore a dream is to honor its autonomy and sacredness.
Many Westerners approach dream work as a means to control and exploit the nightly imagination for individual gain. I bristle at descriptions of “manipulating” dream “characters” or “harnessing” the “healing” potential of dreams. This feels like interfering with any other great natural force, like damning a great river for capitalist appetites. Dreams are mighty rivers, as well, vitally important to our psychic ecosystems. Sources of nourishment, refreshment, respite and calm, beauty, teaching, and even a means for travel. To assign a meaning to a dream is to narrow a river to but a portion of just one of these gifts.
As I develop the practice of dreamcasting, I’m really developing a scaffolding for dream exploration. To cast is to throw a net or line out in hopes of catching something more, to cast is to assign roles to the myriad of beings in your service, to cast is to create a magickal working that will unfold your intention like a sacred rose. To dream is to enter into alternate dimensions, to dream is to imagine infinite possibilities, to dream is to breathe life into the divine spark within.
So dreamcasting is about throwing forth from your imagination a sacred intention for life.
In this way, dreamcasting is different from traditional dream interpretation-- whereby a dream is decoded into symbols with distinct and widely agreed upon significance. It is one tributary of the practice of dream work which includes lucid dreaming, active imagination, dream analysis, soul retrieval, and mythic dreaming. In dreamcasting we explore the dream as story, as alternate dimension, as poetry, as divine message. We roam through different layers of the dream, witnessing and observing the mystical creativity of this liminal space. And we play with the dream, interact with it, create from it. Dreamcasting strengthens your connection to spirit, creativity, and the world around you by planting the most important seeds from your dreams into your waking life.
If you are eager to develop or strengthen your personal dream practice, you can find out more about dream groups, workshops, and classes on The Sacred Third Creative Well-Being's group offerings page or by signing up for the seasonal newsletter.