Lera: On DreamWork
Forever curious about my nighttime dreams, I read Freud's The Interpretation of Dreams in high school. It only fed my desire to know more, mainly because I knew, even then, that so much was missing. When our twin sons were 6 years old and having nightmares of monsters, I began reading with a purpose. A book by Patricia Garfield told about the dream practices of the Senoi, an easygoing and nonviolent aboriginal people who live in the jungle highlands of West Malaysia. The description of their use of dreams gave me the idea to suggest to my sons that they could invite a superhero to join them in their dreams to battle against the monsters. Each morning they recounted their dreams and I wrote them down. We discussed them and brain stormed for creative dreams responses should that happen again. Their dreams began to morph immediately and the nightmares ended within 2 or 3 weeks. I begin journaling my dreams in earnest in 1997, mining them, as well as I could, for intuitive guidance. To improve my skills, I went for analysis with a local dream analyst for 6 months. I had many transformative dreams during those years, but my dreamwork really became productive when I learned about the North of Eden organization for Archetypal Dreamwork in January 2009. I first worked with dream analyst, Ellen Keene. In July 2010 she suggested I work with founder Marc Bregman. Marc has a gift for hearing the intention behind the dream as it guides us step by step toward uncovering our essence from under all the ways we play out our pathology (the place of ego.) He has successfully trained other analysts in his unique conversation with the archetypal intention of the dream.
North of Eden Archetypal Dreamwork analysts draw upon Marc's 40 years of experience working with the archetype's intention for the dream and they never assume any symbol is absolute. It is always in the context of the dream and the dreamer and is open to clarification in the next dream. The archetypes show up as many different characters, most are surprising to our outer mind's way of being in the world. While I used to do my own work with my dreams, I now see how I was floating on the surface because I could never see through the blind spots created by my pathology. In this work I dive deep into the unknown with the archetypes by my side.
North of Eden analysts also offer leadership and provide a safe container for group work, called string work, at workshops
and retreats. In a space of love and support, group members enact elements of each other's dreams.
When I make the choice to go to a retreat, dreams come to prepare me to explore the next lie to be seen through. At retreats, I play parts in other participant's dreams, growing from experiencing our common dilemmas and our universal feelings. I step into my own dreams in a powerful, kinetic way, feeling whatever arises, always moving toward greater love.
The word archetype means First Type. The Animus represents the Divine masculine and the Anima represents the Divine feminine. When I am lost in ego, they demonstrate my own particular flavor of pathological lie, how I am trapped. The archetypes may even frighten me to get my attention. As I gain awareness, they give me dreams to support my next step to alchemy. My process is unique as the archetypes help me reclaim my essential self, one dream at a time. Their guidance is particular to me. Children represent my essential self in dreams; the boy represents libido and the girl represents relationship.
During my analysis with Ellen and Marc, I learned, among other things, that all my life I had been projecting the dark mother onto women in my dreams.
(The dreams suggest trauma, probably as a toddler, or from a past life.) I would respond to dream women by being afraid and avoiding them or
caretaking them to placate them. When women tried to show love to me, I suspected their intentions and withdrew. Naturally, this played out in my waking life as well, mostly as lack of intimacy.
Analysis and retreat work combine to bring the feelings and intention of the dreams together in a way that produces alchemy, an energetic shift in the psyche and in the body where I viscerally feel the loving support of the Anima. I can trust that her support is durable, unwavering and no matter how I behave she will not abandon me; she will not judge me or blame me.
Contact: Lera Chacon