Dreams, Visions, Imagination and Ritual

I wrote in my last post about experiencing visions behind my closed eyes. I’ve come to decide that closed eyes function as the best scrying mirror one can possess. I still haven’t had time to fully investigate and practice this new skill, but already two of my visions have come true, very spontaneously.

Last night I dreamt of war waged by fighter jets in the sky — war above America, though I could see it from my home in Canada. It was a terrifying and immense fight with hundreds of planes and bombs. I never outright expect dreams to come true, though some have, so I’m not anxious about it. There’s some pretty crazy stuff going on in the world right now, but I choose not to focus on it or get upset about it, because that buys into the story of what is happening. I create the world as much as it creates me (and the same is true for everyone). So I neither have to rebel against the world or try to save it. I believe that there is some truth to the idea that we could change the world with a single thought. Certainly I change my own world that easily, moment by moment. I have had moments when I wanted to die, and moments when I was so happy I thought I’d reached enlightenment. The only difference in my circumstances was my frame of mind, my perceptions.

So I do believe that thoughts and the imagination are powerful things. I believe that the real god of the universe is story itself: the true creator of something from nothing. It might seem, then, that I would do a lot of guided meditating, purposeful visualizing and magic spells. I really haven’t done any of that. My spirit journeys always have a question behind them, but very little intent to accomplish anything other than reach some new insight.

I was never one for spells and rituals, mainly because I would have to create the entire ritual by myself, whatever it was for, and I hadn’t created my own context or theory or frame of reference from which to do that. Now I have. I understand for myself how and why ritual works. It fits into my self-created belief system. I believe in the complementary dualism of imagination and actualization, or story and fact. I believe that all enacted stories are really a kind of ritual. And I believe that everything flows from imagination to actualization and back again, and again. For me, enacting a story pushes imagination one step closer to actualization, by bringing it into physical reality.

Anyway, my point is it’s time to practice what I believe. For the first time I’m in a position to craft a truly meaningful ritual or spell that appeals entirely to my own belief system. It’s kind of exciting.

 

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2 thoughts on “Dreams, Visions, Imagination and Ritual

  1. Have you heard of Carl Jung’s “active imagination” therapy? It’s basically daydreaming without the rational mind interfering, and the experiences of the daydream are analyzed as if they were dreams, with symbols and such. I think a lot of people might brand Carl Jung’s psychology as spiritual because of the suggestion of the collective unconscious, or the collective subconscious, which can be interpreted as this sort of overlay on waking life and physical life where the “symbols” (characters, events, items) of a daydream run amok and can even influence each other as well as influence waking/physical life more directly than the interpretation would lead to action.

    As for stories, I’ve recently caught up on The Power of Myth documentary (available for free viewing on YouTube as of the time of this writing) which is a series of interviews with mythology expert Joseph Campbell. He incorporated mythology and stories as a language of a life philosophy, which could be personal, and/or cultural, and/or universal.

    Modern shamans might have remarkably similar practices with roots in more established traditions, but the two mentioned above have been my own most prominent influences. Joan Chodorow has pretty comprehensively compiled and extended active imagination practices as well.

    1. Thank you for all this! I’m always looking for new inspirations and ideas, so I’m greatly intrigued. I haven’t researched any of these avenues yet and they sound awesome 🙂

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