Flipping the pages.

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Dreams and dreaming are super important parts of vodou. Dreams and how/what we dream is a big way that the spirits teach us and communicate with us. It’s not the only way, and dreaming is a spectrum–some people dream a lot, some people don’t dream at all. Neither end is more desirable or right/wrong than others, and not dreaming or dreaming a lot is not an indication of issues or problems, necessarily.

I fall into the dreaming a lot category. I have always dreamed vividly, and since getting involved in vodou, that has gone through the roof. It came up int he very first leson/reading I had–my manmi looked at the cards and said that she didn’t need to teach me how to dream, since I already knew, but that I needed to listen to my dreams. And so I do.

I dream in ways that feel excessive. I have a lot of ‘small’ dreams–snippets of encounters or narratives with spirits probably five nights a week, and, at minimum, every other week is a longer, way more involved narrative that stretches out over something bigger. Sometimes I have dreams that are clearly for me, sometimes I have dreams for people I know or for clients, and sometimes I have dreams that are really me just ‘overhearing’ things that are really not for me or are not my business. I often dream in cycles where I’ll have a week of continuous dreaming, and then I get a break for maybe a week since dreaming is not super restful for me–I wake up tired, because my spirit is off doing all the things and learning all the things. Sometimes I dream in half-sleep, sometimes it’s deep dreams that seem to last all night. Before ceremonies, I often dream big, and I usually have a night of big dreams directly after. Sometimes I ask my spirits for dreams to explain something that is going on or to clarify information or other dreams that I have had.

I spend a lot of time talking about my dreams with my mother. Almost every time I see her, there is some rundown of what my dreaming has been like, and I always walk away with new insight. She teaches me through stories and relating her own experiences, and I go home and chew on them and pull out the threads of knowledge weaved into them.

Unsurprisingly, a non-secret part of kanzo that can be really important is dreaming. It’s one of the ways you meet the spirits who are close to you and learn more about what your purpose and work will be. The same sort of ‘rules’ apply–if you don’t dream, it’s not a bad thing and if you dream a lot, it is not indicative of issues. I was told by my mother before kanzo that I should write down my dreams while I was inside and so I armed myself with pen and paper. Since I am prone to dreaming, I knew that it would likely be busy for me, and I was not wrong–I had powerful, evocative, and at times scary dreams. Every time I closed my eyes, something would pop up and, upon waking, I would scribble it down. My manmi would come by and see us all every day to hear our dreams and read our notebooks.

I pulled out all of my old journals today in preparation for a piece of art I want to create, and I pulled out my dream journal from Haiti. I haven’t opened it since I left Haiti, and I am surprisingly having a lot of feelings about it. I am sure there are dreams that I wrote down and don’t remember the details of, just as there are dreams I had that stick in my mind and that I think about almost daily.

In a lot of ways, this journal is like a guidebook to me–it contains dreams that speak to the very root of my spirits, and so speak to the very root of me. It is one of very few things that went into the djevo with me and then was also carried out–a rosary is the only other non-medication tangible that I brought in. It contains big blessings and big tears, as kanzo was very, very hard for me. It is something I held onto as MINE and as a life raft of sorts when the oceans of Ginen seemed like they were going to drown me and I wasn’t sure if I would exit the djevo in one relative piece. It is a record of how much my spirits love me–all of my spirits, even the ones outside vodou–and how I can find the language to love them back.

And that shit TERRIFIES me. It’s been about nine months since I came out of the djevo and life has not been the same since. I have gestated this experience and, while I still haven’t fully processed it, the information therein is important to me as I sort things out now. It is sitting next to me on my desk, waiting for the inevitable cracking of the pages, and is alive in it’s own right. It’s definitely a sacred object, but I don’t know what lives there right now, and it’s a daunting task to dive in and find out.

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~ by Alex on April 3, 2017.

One Response to “Flipping the pages.”

  1. Oh my gosh. I thought I was the only one! I have powerful dreams like you although my patterns are slightly different, I usually get 3-5 hours of blackout sleep and then the rest are dreams, in the same variety you described (snippets, conversations, longer dreams, etc). The only time I go a night without dreams is if I am completely exhausted or if I’m on heavy meds. I dream even when I nap briefly in a car or on public transit.

    It’s a huge part of my spiritual life.
    I’m a heathen which doesn’t have a lot (that I know of) in the way of a dreaming tradition. Buddhism, a religion I’m still diving into, probably has more but I haven’t found a lot of practical advice on dream yoga.

    Thank you for sharing this. I feel less alone now.

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