Home Articles Channels Daily Retreat Inspiration Classroom Boutique Community Singles Resources Contact

SoulfulLiving.com :: Personal Growth, Spiritual Growth, Self Help and Self Improvement

Your #1 Online Resource for Personal and Spiritual Growth Since 2000.
Mandala and Chakra Pendants
New Age Gifts and Products, Buddhist and Tibetan Jewelry, Meditation and Yoga Supplies
Mandala Art Prints



Our Sponsors:

The Mandala Collection :: Buddhist and Conscious Living Gifts
Inspirational Gifts

Energy Muse Jewelry
Energy Muse Jewelry

Body of Grace
Eco-Friendly Gifts

Yoga Download
Yoga Download

The Mandala Collection
Give a Gift with Soul


Sacred Imagination
July 2001 Column & Gallery

Click Here to See
Dana's Current Column

by Dana Reynolds

Each month, Dana Reynolds shares her life-transforming thoughts, ideas, and sacred imagination based around our "theme of the month."  Dana is a visionary Spiritual Midwife, who devotes herself to helping women birth their creative gifts into the world.

Entertaining the Dream Visitor

Dreams, visions, and feelings—so entirely inner and mine—have nothing to do with soul unless they be recollected, recorded, entered into history. Inner images and feeling (so-called soul stuff) are free for grabs, nightly at the oneiric fair, simply giveaways from the tunnel of love and the chamber of horrors unless they be put through the qualifying intelligence, the history-making of the psyche, sifted and weighed in the disciplined reflection of loving, of ritual, of dialectics, of an art...
James Hillman, Healing Fiction

Recollecting and recording our dreams, creating ritual, and making art from the stuff of our nocturnal internal wanderings is sacred practice. Our dream-lives provide creative clay for our waking lives. If we can harvest the clay we create while we’re sleeping and sculpt it during our waking-lives we will craft our souls into new ways of being.

In many cultures dreams are honored as wisdom stories, as visitations by spirit teachers, and there are special shamans in the tribe to interpret the dreams. In our culture, dreams seldom receive this kind of honoring and recognition. Paying homage to your dreams through recall, exploration, and expression enriches your dream-life and brings revelations and new potential for soulful living to your waking-life.

This month I would like to offer you an invitation to creatively explore your dreams. Here are a few ways to bring your dreams into two and three-dimensional forms to anchor them into waking reality for a closer look. Think of your dreams as visitors, bringing sacred clay to your door. In order to acknowledge the gift within each dream you must entertain it, invite it to stay, and pay close attention to what it has to tell you.

Romancing your dreams. . . Creating an environment to welcome dreaming is the first step towards discovering the clay you carry in your soul. When you put your head on the pillow at night look around your bed. Do clutter and the shards of the day surround you? Your bedroom should be a place of tranquility, a place that offers peace and serenity. When you cross the threshold into your "sleep chamber" you should feel a sense of relaxation.

Before sleep it is important to empty yourself of the dust of the day. Just as you remove your make-up or step out of your clothes as you prepare to go to bed, you must also make a shift on the inside. When setting your alarm for morning, try tuning the radio to a classical music station. Awaking gently and slowly is very important when you are trying to capture your dreams. Taking a warm bath imbued with lavender oil, playing soft music, climbing into fresh linens, and releasing anything troubling into the pages of your journal before going to sleep helps to clear the path for nightly meandering in the dream world. You have prepared your home and yourself for your "dream visitor."

Dream_1_image.jpg (54562 bytes)

Inviting your dream to stay awhile...Have a blank book for recording your dreams and a pen handy for writing in the morning. If you should awaken in the night and be full with a dream, record it. Nighttime visitors have a way of leaving without saying good-bye. Chances are you won’t remember it when you awake.

As the light of day returns you to consciousness, lie quietly and be aware of any images, thoughts or feelings that are in your awareness. Next, notice the position of your body. Are you curled into a ball or stretched out like a cat basking in the afternoon sun? What can your body tell you about your dream?

Slowly reach for your dream journal. Record the date and time and then write anything you can recall about your dreams. Write in the present tense as though you are reliving the dream. You are inviting your dream to stay to become better acquainted.

Engaging the interpreter...Dreams speak in the language of symbols. Decoding your dream is really a question of discovering a way of translating the dream’s symbolic language into a tangible and recognizable form.

Engaging your creative sacred-imagination as interpreter will assist the process. Have a few simple art supplies handy as the first step towards dialoguing with your dreams.

In a basket near your dream journal keep some colored pens or pencils. Making a quick sketch of prominent dream symbols is a good starting point for creative exploration of your dreams.

Honoring your dream...Taking the time to get to know a dream is a kind of honoring of your symbolic life. Making a collage to represent your dream’s story is a powerful creative process that will yield deeper understanding through a two-dimensional representation.

Look through magazines with a soft focus for images that represent the prominent symbols you have identified in your dream. Remember you are looking for representations not the identical image you experienced in the dream, although many times these images do present themselves in the waking world.

When you have accumulated the important pieces, choose the one that is the most powerful for you. Glue it with a glue-stick to the center of a piece of poster-board. Begin to surround the central image with the other supporting images. Write your responses and insights in the margin of the collage.

You might want to purchase a large sketchbook for your dream collages or work on paper/poster-board that is no larger than 11" x 17". When your collages are complete you can take them to your local copy center and have them color copied and reduced in size to paste into your dream journal.

Keep the finished collage nearby where it is visible to glean deeper revelations and understandings of the symbology. You may want to create an altar to honor your dreams. Use the collage as an altarpiece and add touchstones and objects to support the dream’s story. Light a candle and pray for guidance and deepening revelations as you sculpt the clay from each dream.

Dream_2_image.jpg (1110598 bytes)

Dreams as Inspiration. . .Keeping a dream collage journal will provide you with steppingstones for additional creative processes such as; poetry and short-story writing, clay creations, and drawings or paintings. After you have completed a dream collage have a color copy made to size to fit in a large sketchbook. Glue the collage on the left page so that the right page is free for drawings or writings that emerge as a result of the collage’s inspiration. Using clay or play-doh, create a three-dimensional representation of a dream image that is particularly powerful for you. When the clay has dried, paint it with the colors of your dream and place it on your dream altar.

Some closing thoughts. . .Honoring your dreams in the ways I have described can become a form of meditation. The process of writing your dreams first thing in the morning, gathering a few images, and placing them together to create a visual sketch of your dream is a three-step process that will center you and take you to a deeper level of internal/spiritual understanding.

Spend time with your dreams. The more you engage with your "stories of the night" the more wisdom you will cultivate from your nocturnal garden. As you create from the clay of your dreams you will begin to discover that you are blessed with a wellspring of nourishment for your sacred imagination.

Sylvia Brinton Perera in the book Dream Design shares this, "Both dreams and the ritual arts manifest and mediate transpersonal energies. Both are forms of enactment, expressing the depths of existence and the energies flowing from the source through life. . .To use processes suggested by one to illuminate the other may permit us to relate to the dream in terms that do not lurch it from its matrix, yet facilitate and develop participant witnessing in the dreamer."

May your dreams bless you with endless illumination and new highways to your soul.

You are invited to submit your story and accompanying photos to be considered as a feature for the Sacred Imagination column. E-mail me at dana@sacredimagination.com for details.

Copyright© 2001 Dana Reynolds. 


Read Dana's Past "Sacred Imagination" Columns:

May 2001 - Embracing the Whole: Choices for Conscious Living

April 2001 "Nourishing the Souls of the Children"

March 2001 "Opening the Senses to Beauty"

February 2001 "The Eyes of Love"

January 2001 "Patterns of Authenticity"

December 2000 "Finding Peace in the Fields of Time"

November 2000 "Cultivating Gratitude: Heart-Hugs and Prayer Leaves"

October 2000 "Journey to the Center - The Sacred Mystery of the Labyrinth"

September 2000 "The Heart and Craft of Healing"

August 2000 "Transforming Life’s Challenges into Beauty and Story"

July 2000 "Sacred Spaces Invite the Muses of the Soul"

Read Dana's Soulful Living Feature Articles:

Visual Prayers

Intuition and the Sacred Imagination: The Dance of Co-creation


For ten years, Dana Reynolds has been facilitating women’s spiritual presentations and retreats nationwide. Her work as a Spiritual Midwife, one who assists women as they birth their creative gifts into the world, is the foundation of all her endeavors. Her background as a visual artist and writer enriches her Spiritual Midwifery: Birthing the Feminine Soul workshops.

As the creator of an art making process known as visual prayer, Dana teaches women how to combine ritual with sacred intention to create altars, collages, spirit dolls, and other touchstones. The creation of sacred spaces is also paramount to the Spiritual Midwifery experience. Her web-site http://www.sacredimagination.com offers samplings of her visual prayer collages, poetry, and a workshop catalogue.

Dana is the author of the whimsical and colorfully illustrated book, Be An Angel, a co-creation with illustrator and graphic designer, Karen Blessen, (Simon & Schuster). Her essay, Visual Prayers is included in the anthology, Our Turn, Our Time: Women Coming of Age, edited by Cynthia Black, (Beyond Words Publishing).

A trained labyrinth facilitator, Dana incorporates the labyrinth and other spiritual wisdom into her retreats and workshops. She recently traveled to Chartres and Vezelay Cathedrals in France to gather information pertaining to ancient sacred mystical traditions. She currently lectures on such topics as spiritual midwifery, sacred journal keeping, feminine spiritual wisdom, and the early Christian women saints and mystics.

Dana’s life follows the spiral path from rim to center and back again. She looks for the sacred in forgotten places and openly embraces the great Mystery of life. Guiding women to the discovery of their creative inner gifts is the passion that fuels her soul.


Visit Dana at:



Daily Soul Retreat at SoulfulLiving.com
Soul Retreat Goodies!

Support SoulfulLiving.com
Show Us Your Love ♥


Energy Muse Jewelry
Energy Muse Jewelry

Wild Divine Meditation Software featuring Deepak Chopra
Meditation Software

Energy Muse - Sacred Yoga Jewelry

Copyright © 1999-2014 Soulful Living®.

Soulful Website Design by The Creative Soul®.