Dreamtime Journey

Image of an encaustic painting by Janet Fox titled "Dreamtime Journey to Somewhere."
Dreamtime Journey to Somewhere | encaustic | Honorable Mention Award,  Montgomery Art Association’s “Paint the Town 2015”

Where do I journey while dreaming?

In waking life, I often think about where I am going. I seek immediate and longer term answers. I equally think about sleep-time journeys. Dream settings, characters and actions can be so fantastical. While dreaming, I’ve been in structures and vehicles, on land and over mountains. I’ve flown above and through the treetops, leaped off cliffs and visited under water. I recognize some places, while others are unfamiliar. Sometimes I know who I’m with; other times I don’t.

Do I choose these travels?

Dreams take me on travels magical, heavenly, spiritual, mysterious, fantastic and scary. Sometimes the feeling is very calm; other times action-packed. Before falling asleep, I like to focus on a question or something that I need guidance about. If I remember a dream upon waking, I enjoy reflecting on both the dream story and the question.

I started this practice years ago because I was curious about these dreamtime journeys. At that time, I happened upon a flyer announcing a dream exploration group, hanging on the bulletin board of a book store. I decided to sign up. Of all places where the group could have met, this one met one evening a week in a meeting room at – I kid you not – a local cemetery!

The group was utterly fascinating! We learned of important dreams throughout history, those in epics and religious texts, and songs and inventions inspired by dreams. We learned about Carl Jung’s ideas of psychology – the psyche, ego, self, Self, archetypes, shadow, anima, animus, the collective unconscious, individuation, and more. We learned how Jung worked with his own dreams and helped his clients through theirs.

We also incorporated dream exploration techniques pioneered by Jeremy Taylor, where we considered the dream presented “as if it were our own dream.” In this way, each group member could find something meaningful to themselves. Both dreamer and group members often expressed “ah-haaa!” moments, when something resonated within.

But mostly, we enjoyed sharing our dreamtime journeys with each other. The experience enlivened and helped me grow, and I’ve been hooked ever since!

To continue these travels when I’m awake, one way that I “honor my dreams” is through art making. Over the years, I’ve learned my unique internal language. Sometimes dream characters will appear in a series of dreams, and I find it fascinating to see how they’ve changed over time. I continue to be intrigued and full of wonder by these night-time wanderings!

Others’ ideas about dream journeys

Curious about your dream journeys and want to learn more?

  • Local Jung Societies and groups are a great way to connect with others interested in dreamwork. For example, the Jung Society of Washington has a wide range of programs, workshops, events, newsletters, videos – perhaps something to pique your interest.
  • This Jungian Life podcast is another fascinating – and entertaining – way to learn more about these concepts. Three Jungian analysts discuss important topics of the day, and then close each episode exploring a dream that a listener has submitted.
  • The lifetime work of Jeremy Taylor focused on dreams, myth, and social change. He also wrote many excellent books to check out.
  • The International Association for the Study of Dreams is another great resource offering conferences on many topics, dream art exhibitions and more.
  • And here’s some beautiful music from NiGHTS – Journey of Dreams.

About Dreamtime Journey to Somewhere

For this encaustic painting, I used some of my favorite colors… copper and aqua-marine or turquoise. I wanted to capture the idea that dreams are mini-journeys in the dark, guided by the reflected light of the moon, and often with a surprise on the other side. Somehow the saying, “All who wander are not lost,” seems to fit. Wishing you wonder-ful dream journeys!

 For information about purchasing this artwork, contact Janet Fox.

Last Updated August 15, 2019

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

If you enjoyed this post...

Breathing Meditation

Image of an encaustic painting by Janet Fox titled "Breathing Meditation - Revised."
Breathing Meditation (revised) | encaustic

Focus on breathing

We all must do it to live. Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.

From the moment we are born until the moment of death, we repeat this continuous cycle taking in air with the essential oxygen needed to break down food into energy. After, we exhale carbon dioxide and water as waste.

With breathing as a metaphor for life, we continuously take in new things, deciding which to integrate within us and letting go of the rest. What do you keep? What do you let go of?

Focusing on the breath

In many meditation practices, an important way to quiet the mind is to focus on breathing.

Focusing on my breath has helped me calm down and work through pain and difficulties. While belly breathing, I mentally focus on the points between the breaths, too. At the end of the inhale, I gently contract a painful muscle or hold a difficulty in my mind. I then focus on releasing it with the exhale. At the end of the exhale, I envision ratcheting down the original stimulus. After a few minutes, I usually feel better.

About Breathing Meditation

I chose a four-color scheme in this encaustic painting to represent the inhale, exhale and the points in-between. The red represents the inhale, focused on energized and raw pain or difficulty. The violet is the point of maximum inhalation and can be a point of remembering, contracting or holding. The green represents exhalation, letting out waste air and also releasing pain and difficulty. Finally, the white transitions back to the beginning of the breath, a bridge between the ending and a new beginning. The bottom section shows how the strength of each step can change over time.

How does it feel when you focus on your breath?

 For information about purchasing this artwork, contact Janet Fox.

Save

Save

Save

Save

If you enjoyed this post...