Mixing the pragmatic and the spiritual, Pagan Dreaming goes far beyond the standard dream dictionary to offer instead a range of ways for making dreaming a meaningful part of your spiritual life. Exploring symbolism, the physical implications of dreaming, dreaming as learning and problem solving it then places the spiritual dimension of dreams in a context that will help readers go beyond x=y interpretations towards something that will enrich and re-wild their lives. The book includes an array of techniques for working consciously with dreams and developing a Pagan spiritual practice around dreaming.
REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS
An excellent book on Dreamwork. You do not need to be a Pagan to find this book useful. Nimue Brown's book goes far beyond any "dream dictionary", and is also very different from the Toltec approach to dreaming so popular in the USA, being rooted in the Western Mystery tradition. Nimue takes a pragmatic approach and knows whereof she speaks, exploring a range of ways to make dreaming a meaningful element of inner life, beginning from practical conscious techniques to embrace more experimental and in-depth spiritual practice. Highly recommended, I love this book and have found it really helpful in my own practice. ~ The Inner Light Magazine, Autumn Equinox 2015 Ed. Volume 35 Number 4
When any of my student’s come to me asking what a particular dream means, I usually tell them to keep off the cheese before going to sleep at night! Dreams are peculiar things and we all try to apportion some modicum of meaning to whatever fragment we remember on waking – if we can remember anything at all. As the author herself comments: “There are few things less appealing to many people than hearing about someone’s dreams. I will go out on a limb and say that often, hearing about someone else’s unsubstantiated personal gnosis can be just as irritating, if not more so, be it dreamed or otherwise.”
This is because standard, text-book interpretations of dreams are as useful as the daily tabloid horoscope simply because even accepted (and often clichéd) archetypal images have different meanings for differing viewpoints depending on an individual’s particular ‘spiritual’ outlook. “True dreamwork is not about decoding symbolism or predicting the future. That whole approach is more akin to puzzles and games, more like solving a cryptic crossword rather than an experience that is essentially soulful,” Nimue Brown explains.
Although I personally place little store on dream interpretation, I nevertheless find that dreaming provides a large amount of visual ‘mind-pictures’ that often occur when I’ve become stuck for the next piece of action in a novel. In fact, quite a large amount of these dream sequences appear in the finished text simply because they provide an unexpected or highly dramatic passages that I wouldn’t normally have come up with during the normal day-light time of the writing process. So I agree with the author’s viewpoint that: “Dreams have the power to give us tremendous insights, but only if we meet them on their own terms and put the reductive dream dictionaries to one side. Only when we let go of the idea of dreams purely as divination or irrelevant oddities, can we begin to explore their full spiritual [or creative] potential.”
I probably subscribe to the Aboriginal train of thought that dreaming takes us to another level of alternate consciousness ‘beyond time and space in which the past, present, and future exist wholly as one’. And whilst I do not always agree with the author’s viewpoint, I nevertheless found ‘Pagan Dreaming’ to be a fascinating, thought-provoking book for anyone interested in exploring ‘Dreamtime’ on other levels of awareness.
What I also liked about the book was that Nimue Brown gives herself no expert status when it comes to dreaming: “This is a dream book like no other. It draws heavily on what I’ve learned from poking about as an enthusiastic amateur in the science of dreaming, psychology, and counselling theories alongside many years of observation and contemplation. Mixed with this are the insights that come from years of Pagan practice, which inspires me to recognise dreams as spiritual phenomenon as well as a psychological one. As a consequence, this book will not give you glib answers about “what your dreams mean” but will help you to consider your own dreams and make sense of them on your own terms. What I offer is an exploration of dreaming as an experience that can lead and inspire us spiritually.” ~ Melusine Draco
I found a lot of new information in this book, but because of Nimue’s clarity and breezy writing style, Pagan Dreaming was a joy to read and it never once felt like I was trying to cram too much knowledge into my tiny head.
Pagan Dreaming has gone straight onto my Top Ten list of Pagan Books, for sure. ~ Siobhan Waters, https://adayinthelifeofawitch.wordpress.com/2015/10/06/pagan-dreaming-nimue-brown-trigger-warning-sleep-paralysis/comment-page-1/#comment-37
This is in my opinion the only book you will ever need to read to understand dreaming as a whole. ~ Rachel Patterson, http://tansyfiredragon.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/pagan-dreaming.html
Highly recommended. Pagan Dreaming: The Magic of Altered Consciousness, to give it its full title, is an informed and thought provoking introduction to dreams and dream work. Although tailored specifically to a Pagan-oriented audience, it will be of interest to many other people as well... She ends by saying: “none of these explanations is any less miraculous than any of the others”. That sense of an open and affirmatively questioning stance towards the ‘miraculous’ is for me the defining feature of this book: a refreshing treatment of a fascinating topic. ~ James Nichol, https://contemplativeinquiry.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/book-review-pagan-dreaming/comment-page-1/#comment-237
Stunningly good! Extremely well rounded, and practical, leading very smoothly into reflections upon the spiritual aspects of dreams. As ever, your writing is brilliant. ~ Mike Stygal, Pagan Federation President