Dream, Dream, Dream

July 6th, 2008

Through a bit of synchronicity and the recommendation of Kelly, I've been entranced by a book all weekend. Kelly had a dream about a lynx which led her to my blog because of a recent post about my own dream lynx. She recommended the book, Conscious Dreaming by Robert Moss, which I found a copy of in my local library. When first hearing the title of the book, I wasn't super interested. I've held a certain dislike for books about dreams because most of what I've encountered has been like a cheap horoscope, poorly written and not helpful. Most of the reading on the subject in the past had been of your basic dream interpretation variety. And the definitions of symbols in those books never rang true for me, so I dismissed them.

I never dismissed my dreams however. I've always had vivid dreams and occasionally I have dreams that come true or clue me in on things that are going on. My specialty seems to be knowing the sex of a baby before it's born, though I've only experienced this with close friends and the children my mom had after me. I don't think I'm psychic, perhaps intuitive, but not reliably so. The best part of dreaming for me is the inspiration it provides for my art. Many of my paintings are developed from ideas I get in dreams, particularly in that hypnogogic state between sleeping and wakefulness. One of my recent ideas, of Ophelia walking into the water with a tattoo on her back that represents renewal and rebirth, came to me in a dream. It hasn't made it into a painting yet, but it will. I've been sketching it out, trying to remember the look of the tattoo that was on her back. All the pics in this post are sketches where I've been playing with the idea.

I believe what opened me up to picking up and diving into Conscious Dreaming was the fact that I recently read and enjoyed Martha Beck's Steering by Starlight which has a section devoted to interpreting your dreams. I listened to this book first in audio form (which is fabulous by the way) and when it came to the part about dreams, I think I literally groaned. I was not interested in hearing about it, but since it was playing through my headset while I did other things like take a walk or doing dishes, I just let it go. If I'd been reading instead of listening, I might have skimmed over this part. Well, wouldn't you know it, I really liked her way of looking at dreams. She looks at the objects, places, and people in your dreams as sort of message-bearers. And if you dialogue with them (out loud or in a journal), ask what they're trying to help you with, and then write the answer in their voice, as if they were speaking, you can often get to the heart of the matter. I tried this on some of my recurring dreams and it was helpful. It was helpful to see the people in my dreams as possibly being parts of myself relaying a message that has been buried in my subconscious. So having read Beck's book first, I think I was more open to reading Moss's book and I'm so glad! It was so wildly full of synchronicities for me that I kept laughing and ear-marking pages all over the place.

Some of the book felt a bit far-fetched for me. But it was still fascinating and I enjoyed reading about the dreams of others and what they meant to them. And I appreciated that Moss insists that we are the only authority on our own dreams. I was also tickled by the references to Alice in Wonderland, Women Who Run with the Wolves, and especially The Odyssey, which came up in my most recent painting of Penelope's Web. There were also many references to symbols that are important in my dreams and artwork such as birds and trees, which was very cool to read about. Do you find that dreams bring you inspiration for your creative activities? Do you follow the inspiration to fruition?

Well, I've got some prints to get ready for mailing and some painting that I've been itching to start, so I'll stop here. Hope you've had a wonderfully creative weekend!

9 Responses

Hello, dear one…I am a firm believer in the power of our dreams and their ability to shed light on the conscious daylight we experience during non-sleeping hours. I read once dreams are the road map of the soul. I also believe our art is also a map to our innerselves and can provide a definate insight into our day to day. Hope you have been well. xoxoxoxoxo

There are lots of very good books on dreaming, that one by Robert Moss is an excellent one. Just avoid the dream dictionaries!

Another excellent one is Let Your Body Interpret Your Dreams by Eugene T. Gendlin, which is all about really getting a *feel* for your dreams and also has tips on recall.

And I’ve never met a more psychic non-psychic than you…

Both books sounds interesting, as is the Women Who Run with the Wolves book, have you read that one? I love parts of it so much! I’ve never felt inspired by dreams to use them, though I sometimes write them down in my diary when I remember them vividly! :-)

Love the glimpse into your sketch book too!

I love looking at small moments in your sketch book :) They make me so happy just seeing how these images are being developed! I find so much pleasure and intrigue in my dreams and the dreams of others. To me it’s a two fold process. The first step is simply trying to remember the content of our dreams, and the second step is one’s own personal interpretation of that dream. I can’t wait to go see if I can find these books at BN. I’m writing them down right now!

I believe there’s a very, very strong part of you that is intuitive. Just looking at your art work and reading your posts I can see your intuition playing out beautifully! Unlike many who have those gifts, I feel like you listen intently… it’s wonderful!

Looking forward to Ophelia’s tattoo!


There was a woman doing her master’s work on conscious dreaming at Goddard College in Vermont when I was there. They keep all their theses in their library – if you every get up around Plainfield (outside the capital city), stop in and browse.

This is SO cool, Leah! I love what’s emerging in your sketch book and can’t wait to watch the developments!

Big hugs, Kelly

I can’t wait to see the Ophelia tattoo painting when it’s done – the sketches are absolutely divine. Seriously, they’re gorgeous. I love your art, but that just blew me away.

You know what’s funny, when I was on vacation in Scotland, I had a dream about Penelope and her suitors…Val Kilmer (don’t ask…) said it to me in my dream 3 or 4 times. And then the next day? I found out the JW Waterhouse Penelope painting was in the local art museum (in Aberdeen) and it was spectacular. When I got home and was catching up on my blogs, I saw your painting of … Penelope! I wonder what all this Penelope consciousness is about? :)

Hey, Leah. I was thinking more about this tattoo and it reminds me a lot of the phoenix bird…rising from the flames. Representing birth and death and its continuing cycle. It’s also perfectly linked to Penelope because every night she undid her weaving and began anew the night day.

It’s such a beautiful image…can’t wait to see how it is all woven together.


I seriously can not wait to see what you come up with. How brilliant so far! I am inspired to pay more attention to my dreams now!

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