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When I was six years old, I had nightmares. Lots of nightmares. I woke screaming and terrified regularly, according to my mother. One night, she told me to just change the dream.

“If a bad guy is chasing you, then dream a gun into your hand and shoot him,” she said.

I hadn’t realized I had that power. Her words were profound and empowering for me. I began to change my dreams that very night.

Dreamwork has become for me a practice that gives me greater insight into the layers of existence. With that greater insight I’ve gained the power to better navigate the Dream of my daily life, to shape my experiences with greater confidence, and to help others find light when they need it.

Most of the dreamwork tools and techniques I use I’ve learned from the Folk or developed on my own. They don’t have names. Since I rarely spoke with friends or family about my dream experiences when I was younger, I never needed to describe the tools or techniques I used much less name them. In more recent years, I’ve found others who teach tools, like re-dreaming, dream weaving, dream interpretation, lucid dreaming and active dreaming, that are similar to some of those I’ve used.

In the dream, I’m being followed by snakes. I’m at my home, at times inside and at times outside. Ten snakes or so keep following me. No sooner do I get away to another part of the house or yard when they pop up again. They frighten me. Finally, I take off my shoe and crush thesnakesign head of the biggest snake. I crush the second largest, then the third. The others scatter. I begin searching the house for them, looking high and low. One drops from the ceiling and startles me awake.greensnake

I realized upon waking that these snakes represent fears. In the past couple of months, I’ve faced a few big fears centered around getting older. The panic attacks have eased, but the anxiety still rears its head periodically. Clearly, I have a few fears yet to conquer.

Before I slept again, I visualized myself back in the house of the dream. I called to Mongoose to help me find and vanquish the rest of the snakes. Together, we begin searching. I slip back to sleep knowing I will find the remaining fears, drive them into the open, and clear them from my home.

If you’d like more information on Dreamwork, I recommend Robert Moss’s Moss Dreams as a good starting place. David Lang’s Urban Shamanism is another good resource.

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