My interactions with the dream world started as psychic experiences.
As a very small child I had two “imaginary friends”: Puff the Magic Dragon and Billy from the TV show Shazam! (which is a whole other post). I saw them all the time before my brother was born when I was four. My parents entertained my imaginary friends as guests at our dinner table, thinking it was cute.
But they didn’t encourage or help explain any of my other experiences.
For instance, one evening around the age of seven, I had an intense hypnopompic experience in which I saw the Incredible Hulk come right out of the wall and lunge at me. I screamed for my dad, who came running. I told him that the Hulk had run toward me, and that he was there as plain as the day. But since my dad couldn’t see anything, he told me it was just my imagination. I felt deflated, scared, and alone.
So I started to believe that what I saw wasn’t real. And my abilities went underground for many years.
Spiritual Crisis and Resurgence of Dreams
In my late twenties I went through a crisis that renewed my interest in spirituality, intuition, and the occult as I searched for answers. I went to holistic fairs and got readings from intuitives, astrologers, and a palm analyst. I idolized these women, believing that they knew much more than me. But they all told me I had the same gifts as they did.
It was exciting, but hard for me to believe. I didn’t know what to do with that information.
I didn’t get much clarity until my partner was in an accident. One evening he decided to drive some files to the office. I had a horrible feeling in my stomach and I didn’t want him to go. I tried to stall him, but he finally went out the door. I felt terrible after he left, but didn’t know why.
I sat down in bed to start reading a book. Then, clairaudiently, I heard an enormous crash and someone crying out. I knew immediately my partner had been in an accident. A moment later the phone rang: it was him, telling me he’d been in a car crash. He was okay and so was the other driver, but the car was totaled.
I knew without a doubt that I’d had a psychic experience. I started to read anything I could find on developing intuition, and I even tried searching for a mentor (with no luck).
Then Came My Big Dream
Later that year, I found my first mentor, and it was not what I was expecting. My dreams became my mentor.
On Samhain morning, I had a Big Dream in which my ancestors told me, through a gypsy psychic girl with a horse, that I had the gift. I knew upon waking that it meant I was psychic and that my dreams had major messages for me.
I started working in earnest with my dreams, and they became my main guides in my spiritual development. I developed a relationship with Owl and Bear as a result, and I started asking these dream animals questions to be answered in my dreams. I often got answers.
The next spring, I discovered a local psychic training center where I learned how to read the aura and chakras as well as energy patterns. I began doing readings, healings, and dreamwork for people.
Then my shamanic initiation dreams began. Dismemberment, encounters with numinous animals, and shamans bringing me messages. Although I knew something intense was happening, again I wasn’t sure what to do with the dreams.
Eventually I discovered a waking-life mentor steeped in dreams and shamanic studies. Thankfully, she helped me through two of the most challenging years of my life by helping me work with my dreams.
I was relieved to have this combination: the powerful messages sent to me in my dreams and a gentle waking-life mentor who could help me understand these messages. This work ushered me into the next phase of my intuitive development.
You’re Not Alone
I share my story with you to let you know that, if you’re having similar experiences, you’re not alone. There are many others out there like you.
I know it’s difficult being a Big Dreamer in our culture, because it can be hard to find those who understand what it means to be a Big Dreamer.
Many times these people are not in our families, our schools, or even our communities. We often have to throw a wider net and seek for guides in places we don’t think to look. But I’m here to say that they’re out there. Keep looking.
And even though you may be searching for a physical, waking-life mentor, consider that your dreams just might be the mentor you’re looking for.
If you’re a Big Dreamer, I hope that the DreamTribe is a place where you can find kindred souls, and perhaps some answers.