Why is a Raven Like a . . . Blackboard?: Heeding the Messages in Our Dreams
I can’t recall exactly when it was that I began instructing clients to pay attention to their dreams. As with most of the truly important things that happen in my practice, it just suddenly seemed especially relevant. Given my background in dream-interpretation, one would think this would have been part of my work from the get-go, but with rare exceptions, I had never been a particularly vivid dreamer myself. Those dreams that I could remember were often no more than butterfly wisps, stained-glass snatches of books I’d read, TV shows I had watched, or bits and pieces of work-place stress that I had apparently enjoyed so much during the day that I could hardly wait to repeat the experience that night.
Like the three nights running during which I was forced to re-live the time I was teaching a particularly vile group of first-graders, and a little boy expressed his love for another student by urinating in her backpack. But I digress.
My grandmother, whom we called The Matriarch, had some spectacular dreams, masterfully symbolic, archetypal triumphs that would have made a green-eyed monster of Jung himself and that spoke volumes about the brilliance of the mind that had birthed them. Dreams that the family would gleefully pick apart over cup after cup of our Sunday coffee, and on which we would still be chewing by the time my stepfather began mixing pre-dinner cocktails.
I suspect that this was the reason that I scarcely dreamed. As an adolescent with confidence-issues, it wasn’t too difficult to add “not a good enough dreamer” to the already long list of “not (whatever) enoughs” about which I silently obsessed day after day. Better not to dream at all than to risk the family mocking me for my unconscious mind’s lack of creativity.
But just before my stepfather’s sudden passing, I began to dream again. And by the time my beloved grandmother followed less than a year later, I couldn’t remember the last time I had gone a week without a vivid dream. My intuitive gifts had begun to reassert themselves at this point, and I discovered that not only did the Universe have a great deal to say, but that dreams were a favorite medium. I’ve yet to dream with the same flare as The Matriarch, but I’m getting there. It’s amazing what happens when you firmly tell yourself to pay attention. For starters, your memory for what you have dreamed improves, and that is more than half the battle.
When I feel in need of guidance, I often ask the Universe to inform me through dreams. And while the response doesn’t always arrive that night, it does arrive eventually (and what a lesson in patience this has been!).
Most recently, my dreams returned me to my high-school English classroom, one of the few places during my adolescence that I felt safe and secure. The day to present our final projects had arrived, and as public speaking had always come easily to me, and as I was presenting on a tool I use in my healing practice, I was not the least bit nervous. I was so confident that all would go smoothly, in fact, that I hadn’t even felt the need to prepare.
My turn arrived. Cool and collected, I walked unhesitatingly to the front of the class and asked how many people always wanted to know more about muscle-testing (Okay, so this was not the most intriguing opener possible, but it served its purpose). Hands shot into the air, so I knew I would have a rapt audience.
But when I went to the blackboard to begin writing the words that were a part of the presentation, I discovered that there was but a fragment of chalk, and when I wrote with it, the lettering came out black. As the board was also black, my efforts could not be seen.
Light flared like a struck match in the corner of my eye, and my attention was pulled to the overhead-projector, which was now bathed in a brilliant, white glow that pulsed gently over the surface of the metal and glass like living breath. Anxiety seized me. Shot through my blood and became clenching, full-body panic as I realized that I should have planned to use that instead of something so old-fashioned—not to mention boring!—as a chalkboard. It didn’t matter in the least little bit what I had to say if my method of delivery was fatally flawed. My words, and therefore my message, would be invisible. No one would hear me. I drifted back to my desk, dejected. Empty. Why hadn’t I seen this coming?
And then I woke up. Way up, and much more cheerful than usual for that time of the morning. You see, this was the answer for which I’d been pestering my Guides for some time.
“How do I expand my healing practice?” I had asked. “Something is missing right now, and I don’t know what that is. I want to help more people. What do I do?”
Clearly, I was being informed that the time had arrived to set aside my aversion to social media, quit making excuses and put myself out there. Until this point, I have always met my clients via word-of-mouth, or through the connections with people that I make when I am traveling or out-and-about running errands (the “old-fashioned” way denoted by the blackboard). This needs to change. I do find it interesting that my Guides used a comparison between a blackboard and an overhead-projector to indicate embracing new technology, rather than, say, an iPad. They probably figure that I wouldn’t know how to use it (which at this juncture would not be totally out of the question).
And so, without further ado, welcome to my new blog, Stark Raven Mad: Wisdom and Observations from the Life of a Holistic Healer. You will soon also be able to find me at www. Ravenlightholistichealing.com, which will detail exactly what I do and how I can help you. And yes, I am finally on Facebook.
I am grateful for this marvelous new opportunity to learn and grow and experience, and to help you do the same!
Blessings and light!