environment

Dreaming with Nature

This post kicks off a month of dreamy fun with my friends from the DreamTribe. Each week we’ll look at dreaming from a different perspective. This week I will talk about nature dreaming; next week will feature an interview with herbalist Atava Garcia Swiecicki on plant dreaming. 

What does it mean to dream with nature?

There are lots of ways to look at this, but the one I’d like to talk about today is dreaming with a particular place.

That might be the land directly under your feet. It might be the lands where your ancestors came from. Or, it might be land you have never visited.

Somtimes, the land comes to us in our dreams unbidden. For instance, my colleage Craig Chalquist, PhD had a period of his life when San Diego visited him in his dreams in the form of a woman. She had many things to tell him about the state of the land there. He was living there at the time.

Or take another colleague of mine, Jodine Grundy, who I just presented with at the IASD conference. She had recurring dreams of Australia and ended up having a life-changing experience when she followed the dreams’ guidance and traveled there.

At other times, a particular place calls us because we have a connection. I often dream of Boulder, Fort Collins, and the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, where I grew up. In this case, the land might be asking us to return. Or it may want to tell us about a part of ourselves that is reflected in its landscape.

And sometimes, the land right under our feet has something to say: maybe it wants to tell you about a polluted river  or contaminated soil.

So how do you know if you are dreaming of place? And how can you decipher a place’s messages?

First, start to notice to the places you commonly dream about. These places are trying to get your attention. Consider the action in these dreams; is there a common theme you can piece together? What might this theme tell you about the place? Is there a message coming through?

Second, look for puns and metaphors that might be hinting at a certain place. Our dreams often give us clues in slightly hidden forms.

Third, think about common dream characters. Perhaps that woman you often see in your dreams is a particular place coming to you in human form. Or maybe the deer you see in your dreams is sending you a message from the local deer population.

Your own investigations into these questions will yield some interesting results. Once you feel like you’ve found some place dreams, see if you can figure out what the land is trying to say. Sometimes it helps to recruit a friend to give a fresh eye to the dreams; they may pick up on a key clue you’re overlooking.

When you feel like you have figured out the message, take action on it. Perhaps you need to do a beach clean-up with friends or tell others about a contaminated plot of land nearby.

Taking action based on the dream honors its message and honors the spirit of the land that contacted you.

If you want a more psychological way of looking at this, I encourage you to read Stephen Aizenstat’s excellent article on nature dreaming. He looks at nature dreaming from a depth psychology perspective, and he believes each place has its own Spirit (as I do).

Nature dreaming can be a powerful practice. What dreams of place have you had lately?

contact Katrina

katrina @ katrinadreamer (dot) com

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