As we settle into winter it is that time to go within. An important part of winter is slowing down and that slowing down gives us the opportunity to tune in; to ourselves and each other. Even if your life is just as busy during the winter, I encourage you to make more effort to relax, pay more attention to your dreams and allow your visions to come forward. Even if your life looks the same from the outside, you can make subtle shifts in your internal process that can make a big difference in your experience.
Winter is dream time, visioning time. This is a good time to make the effort to make what is in your subconscious conscious. Let your heart and imagination soar and explore what it is you desire; explore where you want to focus your energy in the coming seasons.
And don’t worry about the details of how to make this happen. As most writers will tell you, don’t edit as you write. Let it flow and then you can go back and revise. Otherwise it is really easy to get stuck and not write anything. Or in this context, get stuck and not imagine something better.
So ask yourself, what is your vision for your life? In the coming months? one year from now? five years from now? 20 years from now? What is your vision for the world? In the coming months? years?
As we become more clear, we are better equipped to make any changes that need to happen. This clarity enables us to renew our commitments and be clear about our priorities. This allows us to be more solid and stronger in ourselves, so that whatever is happening around us, we can stay on the path that we have chosen; or, at least not be blown too far off course.
Take some time to connect with yourself, in all the ways that work for you. If you aren’t sure how to connect with yourself, there are many ways to consider; talking with a trusted person, art, dance/movement, meditation, Divination tools such as tarot and the I Ching are helpful for some people to connect with their subconscious. Ritual and ceremony help us to see more clearly into ourselves and our dreams.
One way to connect with your deeper self is through dreams and visioning. I’m not a big advocate of dream books per se, as symbols can mean such different things to different people. My approach is to sit with what those images mean to you. Sometimes a dream is just a releasing of the day. Sometimes a dream is trying to get our attention and tell us something. And sometimes a dream is prophetic. In any case, our dreams allow us a window into our relaxed, subconscious.
If you don’t remember your dreams, you can work on this. Keep a pen and paper and a small light by your bed. When you wake, allow yourself to be still and quiet and see if you can remember an image or fragment of your dream. Some people say to set an alarm and you will often be woken during a dream, which can make it easier to access. I don’t recommend that for anyone with sleep issues, but as an occasional tool, that can be helpful.
If you really can’t access your dreams, you can work with your subconscious during your waking hours in some of the ways suggested above. If you have easy access to your dreams you might consider planning your dreams; having a focus/intention for something you want to envision or a problem to work out.
First, you need to relax so do what you know works for you and allow yourself some time and space this winter to relax. What follows are some medicines that can help you with your winter visions.
Tiger’s eye (Alaskan Essences) lets you release false emotions in dreams; see the different between your emotions and your true self
Scepter amethyst (Alaskan Essences) lets your energy connect with universe and spirits to receive and hear messages
Dolphin blessings (Hawaiian Essences from Jane Bell) helps those who can’t calm down enough to open up to dreaming; slows you to a natural rhythm
Whale (Hawaiian Essences from Jane Bell) lets’ you understand messages, visions, teachings that happen in our dreams; good for planning dreams around our patterns
Northern Lights (Alaskan Essences) takes you to other places on consciousness in yourself; break past limitations
Full moon reflection (Alaskan Essences) lets you open to your dreams and work things out; greater awareness in your dreams
Altar eagle (Taken Under Wing) for moving back and forth seamlessly between ordinary life/tasks and visionary, big picture activities and experiences
Preening (Taken Under Wing) for meditation, re-aligning body/mind/spirit with your nature and the universe; bestowing blessings with your presence
Powa (Taken Under Wing) for subtle realm and psychic work
Little Cerato (Flora of Asia) is useful whenever you feel alone and disconnected from your higher self or universal support; It helps you connect to guidance so higher thought can be accessed while remaining grounded
Illicium (Flora of Asia) provides clarity of mind and calm attention so that you can connect to the guidance of your spirit and strengthen the knowing of your true purpose
Japanese Alder (Flora of Asia) provides a sense of deep rootedness, a knowing of what is real and true;creates the environment for growth, so you can confidently act on possibilities that open to you; offers clarity of thought so concrete actions may be taken, especially for those who strike uncharted paths; quiets self-doubt
Queen of the Night (Desert Alchemy) can help us sink deeply into the intuitive root of our being to ground our subtle sensitivities; it helps us open to the qualities of the moon in our daily life, experiencing the blissful perspective of deeper understanding, feeling and sensuality
Rainbow Cactus (Desert Alchemy) is a searchlight to illuminate something buried; releasing petrified emotion without becoming entangled in it; excellent for meditation or regression work as it facilitates easy movement from one state of consciousness to another.
Sacred Datura (Desert Alchemy) facilitates seeing beyond our present view of reality to a more comprehensive, visionary state; when appropriate, it supports us in letting go of a known or familiar reality, such as a relationship or job, without feeling threatened
Ironwood (Essence of the Desert) weak, nervous, collapsed ego, mental fog, deep sadness, spiritual depletion; physically and emotionally strengthened; mind cleared; grounded strength as well as quiet expansion of spirit; feeling the divine within; empowered, gentle, humble, grace
Single Delight (Alaskan Essences) feeling isolated and alone, especially during depressing times; unable to sense or feel connected with one’s soul family; teaches us that feelings of separation can be healed by opening our hearts; clear our inner vision; opens heart to support and connection to life; ease the pain of separation
Bladderwort (Alaskan Essences) unable to see the truth at the core of an issue; easily deceived or taken advantage of; unable to make a decision that supports your highest good; develops inner knowing ; strengthens and supports our ability to perceive that which lies at the core of an issue or situation; clear through illusion; simple beauty of the truth
Green Fairy Orchid (Alaskan Essences) defensiveness; attachment to separation; caught up in the dualities of life; difficulty communicating from the heart; invites to open heart; venture into realm beyond the mind and ego; asks us to transcend our identification with the limited self and focus instead on the essential oneness we share with all life: balance masculine and feminine energy
Sphagnum Moss (Alaskan Essences) feelings of failure, of never getting it right; overly critical of one’s healing journey; supports our ability to turn inappropriate judgement into unconditional love and acceptance; opens heart in the moment so we can see what is truly in front of us
Sometimes a little protection helps to open up dream work as well. Consider adding a protective plant to your bedtime ritual. So many plants are protective so find what resonates for you on a scent level. Smell is a great way to engage your subconscious and limbic brain, so find a protective herb that you respond to the smell and use it in that way before sleep.
Protective plants include: St. John’s Wort, rosemary, agrimony, angelica, basil, cedar, mugwort, myrrh, lavender. Just to get you started.
So take some time to relax, soften and connect with yourself. Give yourself permission to dream, during sleep and during your waking hours. Let your heart guide you and lead the way into a better future.