Reviving Dreamtime: In Search of Balance, by Hilary Buckwalter Kesti

Since time began, human beings have relied on their relationship with the natural world to make meaning out of an uncertain existence. Nature and human society once operated as a living system. This reciprocal, self-regulating way of living in the world, this way of being, lasted for millennia. Somewhere along the way humanity got lost. Humanity has come to believe that nature is to be used and conquered, and separate from that which they depend on for life. The head has been split off from the body, and in so doing, the heart as well. We have lost our wildness, and our connection to the symbolic nature of the unconscious through dreaming.

Dreams are like a creative, artistic expression of the unconscious, and are difficult to rationalize into solid concepts. Upon waking, dreams are sometimes foggy, and we are unable to grasp their meaning, even though they may leave us riddled with emotion that follows us throughout our day. And yet, dreams can point to something larger, something beyond our small concept of who we are in waking life.  

Every evening while we sleep, the unconscious communicates with us through symbols in the dreamscape. Myths collide with personal stories, events, and the shadow, to reveal that which we don’t know about ourselves. It is here in this rich inner landscape that we can begin the work of remembering, of reconnecting to the source, to Self.

Carl Jung devised the word individuation to describe this process of awakening to our higher Self. Individuation is the pathway of integration and wholeness, of recollection. And individuation is what is needed to bring health and healing to ourselves and to our world.

Reviving dreamtime requires that we begin to pay attention to our dreams. Perhaps we keep a dream journal by our bedside, waking at night to write them down. Perhaps we start a dream circle, or attend one; creating a sacred space in which the dreamtime can be shared in community with others. Our dreams can also be turned into art, paintings, collages, movement, dance, song, and other creative pursuits as ways of dreaming the dream onward.

By elevating the dreamtime to its rightful place in our lives, we can come into contact with the unconscious and the Self directly, thereby spiriting onward the process of individuation, or movement towards wholeness. Our world needs all of this and more. The dreamtime is a place where we can be grounded, rooted, and find our footing. It is here that we remember that we all belong to the world. It is here that we can find balance.

Want to know more? We have a Monthly Dream Group starting in December of this year, learn more and register here


Home Practice:  Keep a dream journal by your bedside. Upon waking jot down what you can remember, including sensations, feelings, and emotions. Look for characters, patterns, or motifs. What resonates? What stands out? What part of the dream carried the most impact?