Tag Archive: Dreams


Yarden mow (2)

Every front has a back and every life has a public and a private reality. In the practice of “dreamwork” we use the terms “The Conscious” and “The Unconscious” to understand the parts of us that we ordinary identify with and know about ourselves in some sort of orderly fashion and predictability vs the part of us that is more hidden behind the scenes(or underground to use a green metaphor) and often surprises us with unexpected behaviours or bursts of unplanned genius and creativity. In truth, in a balanced life, we need to allow for the activities of both territories.

Ancient writers, philosophers and poets have often used the garden as a metaphor for the soul and I find that it is so, as an expression of the way we live our lives. Thoughtful awareness, intention, focus, purpose, conscious planning and follow-through often (but not always!) produce the results we intended. The garden, tamed and contained, has a pleasing order, and is its own delight. In my world it is on the front lawn……what I can see from the open front door of my living room and what others can see as they pass by. Well tended,  watched over for the expected daily bursts of growth, what’s been consciously and deliberately planted appears (mostly) as planned.

Garden June 25

What is NOT seen from the well-planned front lawn of the Conscious mind is that back yarden that is always there and active altho un-tended with deliberate mindfulness and attention. No human “control” issues back there. That does not mean it is not FULL of life and things not ordinarily thought about. It TEEMS with wildness and creativity, this un-mowed territory, and it teems with the encoded genetic and experiential memory of weeds and herbs and vines, and roots and ferns and mosses and all manner of ancient life still blossoming all around us. Stepping around the house from the front to the back yarden there is a kind of shock entering this world of seeming chaos. Isn’t that an appropriate and understandable response or reaction when the wildness of the Unconscious bursts through into our well-ordered lives?

Yarden mow (2)

I  faux-lamented to a friend about this behind the scenes chaos, that in the  abandonment of control behind the house, my “lawn” had turned into an un-mowed field. Being an Englishman of proper language, he informed me that over there, it is called a “meadow“.

How lovely to think of this overgrown and untended area with the word “meadow”… a place to run through, investigate and play in discovering a wildness, as we should when immersed in living with “soul”. I much prefer now to think of that un-mowed part of my life as a meadow rather than a chaotic mess to tame and subdue with my imposed willfulness and intention, letting it reveal wonders and surprises to me if I just let it be.

Yarden mow   back

Later today, I will be stepping into that green chaos and see what’s out there and will report what I find in the next chapter here of  the My Garden, My Soul series…

Flower Child      Veriditas! from Christine,  the Greening Spirit

All my writing does seem to be a mix of order and wildness of thought! Check that out in my other blogs:

http://wordmagicandthelawof attraction.wordpress.com

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

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  GardenRomantic

Ah, with a sigh I admit I was not born into privilege and wealth and therefore it is not part of my daily inheritance to wander through “the gardens” in early morning going over my agenda of appearances and social commitments for the day. Perhaps if I had been, I would not actually have the time to linger and daydream in such a sanctuary being busy with a multitude royal responsibilities. As a commoner and somewhat of an artist and dreamer, I, though definitely working for a living, often have the luxury of time to wander through such preserved gardens as a total romantic… one definition of which is ” to carry on a love affair with”.

How could we not be in love with such a place, or long to be in love with a soulmate who also might be lingering behind one of those flowering shrubs waiting to pop out suddenly to bow and kiss our hand (that HAS happened to me on more than one occasion..the chivalric kissing on the hand…quite lovely I must say).

Garden Romantic 2

Thank goodness there are places like this that are well planned and lovingly tended by caretakers whose high service is to preserve beauty and to share it with those who seek moments away from the mundane!

 Until a knight…just for me..springs out in front of me with that kiss, I will linger in places like this in all seasons and never apologize for the romance of life…illusions, longings and fulfillment that CAN and often does surprise us when we least expect it!

Waiting for that surprise with anticipation,

Christine, the Greening Spirit

shawl

(Long Hill and Sedgewick Gardens, Beverly, MA)

 

I think you will find surprises in my other blogs!

http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

 

Tree stark

I am teaching at the local University a course called “Dreams and the Imagination: Doorways to Creativity and the Arts”. It is my way to see things first as they are or appear to be, and secondly with the eye of the Dreamer. If you have regularly visited here on the Greening Spirit blog, you may have already guessed that…that through photography and editing, I cannot resist telling a story through the altering of images.

No apologies or uncertainties as I am dedicated to following the promptings of the Imagination and encourage others to do the same, in my teachings. I am always called to the attempt to turn the ordinary into some form of art as for me it is a way of play and pleasure.

I was recently asked by one of the students in the above class about the Imagination’s capabilities to imagine either the best or the worst in all situations which is of course, true. We must choose. I personally mostly choose the playful, the hopeful, the beautiful, the magical and the wondrous possibilities inherent in dreams and visions for the better because really, for me..it is more fun!

This tree was fine as it really is to the naked eye on our walk. But there was also imaginative magic in the “dreaming” of this tree image, playing with light and shadow, tint and color, enhancing and softening to make it available, understood and cherished in another way.

We each and all are actually dreaming, imagining all of the time, sometimes even “hallucinating” when giving into our fears of what might be or what others might be thinking of us…

Let’s choose instead to dream of and imagine beauty, the magic of possibilities, and not forgot also to be playful in the creation of meaningful lives and  self-expression….!

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

The Dreamer (Artist unknown)

The Dreamer (Artist unknown)

If you like to live life with Imagination and Play..please visit my other blogs!

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

Ship in the window (2)

There is a retreat center I often visit for a quiet afternoon away from the world. It is on an island off of the New England coast, accessible by a narrow one-lane causway and surrounded by almost 360 degrees of ocean view. I love disappearing away from my everyday life of work, tasks and schedule into this Time-Apart sanctuary of stone, wind, sea, and stillness enveloped by the soft symphony of nature which somehow has a deep silence to it.

Enders AprilWalking the grounds I find myself slipping into a kind of altered state of mind…a dream state in which all senses are sharpened and I see with the eyes of the heart as well as the eyes of my body. It is during this time many things that are “hidden in plain sight” are revealed. There are surprises everywhere! And it is for this reason that I am never without a second set of “eyes” – my camera,  to capture what is suddenly revealed during this meditative state of presence and deep-seeing.

The buildings there are made of stone, as is the whole island and I am most intrigued with the main house decorated with multicolored tiles along the edges of roof and the ceilings of porches. Last week as I wandered in search of some new spring beauty to photograph I happened to glance up along the house wall facing the gardens and sea. Up …WAY UP… in a window near one of the roofs…a flash of soft white….

A ship in the window.

Ship in the window (2)

Now I suppose it could have been built as a hobby by one who just loves ships and enjoyed crafting a project in down time. After all, this is a retreat center and there is a staff of priestly sorts who teach, counsel, bless, pray and offer hospitality to visitors, in between making jams and jellies to help  support the center’s gift store. Still this is an island and therefore there IS at least on occasion after hours,  down-time.

But maybe there’s more to that ship in the window. 

Making a commitment to a life path…whether it is a religious vocation, a marriage, parenting, being an artist or professional musician or the owner of a business… is a fine and meaningful thing and if done voluntarily with joy and love, can bring deep contentment in spite of the ups and downs of any life over the years. Sometimes  we commit to several of these paths and juggle. But we cannot do it all and fulfilling the responsibilities of any and all of them GROUNDS us and often tends to keep us in a singular place of duty, familiar environments and ROUTINE.

We cannot  do it all ..at least not simultaneously. While following our chosen paths, there are many other paths therefore that are unchosen in real time.

BUT in our imagination and in our dreams we can travel anywhere, do anything, be anything! I suspect that the ship in the window might be a reminder of that, to he or she who would find it pretty much impossible to tend to the wounds and comfort  of those who come to the monastery for refuge….AND while doing that, also be a pirate (allowing for a bit of the dark side) or an adventurer upon the high seas to far away lands and relationships beyond the monastery…(or classroom, kitchen, boardroom, office cubicle).

Perhaps the ship in the window is both an anchor to place AND a reminder of possibilities available to us when and if we come to a fork in the road, when things are finished, when we must let go of the familiar that has begun to drain us rather than feed us, when we find the necessary courage…IF and When…to set sail in a new direction and seek new horizons.

The ship in the window, whether seen from inside the room or outside from way below looking up possibly reminds us that our dreams and visions are always ready for a new journey no matter what our life’s present Path. And a ship …always a symbol for the courage of the Soul’s ability to travel upon the waters of the Unconscious towards new realms, possibilities and experiences…. allows us to set sail, at least in our dreams if not in reality.

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Photo credits:  Retreat center photos by Christine Phoenix-Green, dark ship on the waters by unknown.

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

shawl      Go ahead! Be adventurous! Check out my other blogs:

                                        http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

                                        http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

                                         http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

Creating a New Vision! What if..............?

When Georgia O’Keefe started to paint her large close-up pictures of the secret and intimate interiors of sensuous flowers, the “established” art community was somewhat taken aback at her independent daring. Breaking away from the pre-conceived norm of what was okay to create as  “art”,  she caused a bit of a stir, not to mention whispered confusion and criticism amongst the “professionals” (authorities?) and her peers in the community of painters. What WAS she doing???  Those close-ups of a kind of  intimacy, evoked strange feelings of discomfort ( mild shock?) peeking into private territories of form that should be portrayed …well… a little more subtly and discreet, if at all.

But what of art? Is it not the eventual  outpouring and manifestation of curiosity,  imagination, risk-taking, and experimentation..a glorified manifestation of PLAY that is always free, inventive, innovative and magical, though technique is necessary as well?  Is it not also the noble duty of art… and THE ARTS… to surprise us,  inspire us, reveal deeper truths, challenge the norm and invoke and evoke new visions of reality and possibilities. especially in stuck, rigid and outworn or faulty perceptions of what is and always has been (” but we ALWAYS have done it THIS way”)

It takes a radical kind of courage to DARE to express different ways of “seeing” and perceiving how “reality” reveals itself to an individual. It takes courage to speak it, paint it , photograph it, dance it, weave into story or blankets, to PLAY with it and put it out there.

Some will take issue and condemn, “oh that’s so silly! There’s no such thing as pink and blue leaves…!” (Remember being cautioned not to color outside of the lines in 2nd grade? A message that has kept many BEHIND the lines all their lives, afraid to express what has been revealed to them).  Others will say “WHOA…I always KNEW those colors were under the green in the worlds beyond this one when the light is just right! Thank YOU! I’m FREE!!!!”

But are there ACTUALLY pink and blue leaves?

In my world there are!..and so are they, or could be,  in the “worlds” of Disney, of Tolkien and  Peter Jackson (Lord of the Rings), of George Lucas (Star Wars),  James Cameron  (AVATAR),  and in the worlds and words of bards and storytellers with harps amongst us, artists, dancers, musicians, poets, mystics, theatre people,  and even the techies who design programs that play with light, shadows, colors in computer photo programs.

And guess what? We get to choose (if sane) which world to be in at any one time, moving back and forth as necessary. That is the MAGIC!  You can’t always accurately balance your checkbook in the world of pink and blue leaves.  But you can’t move through blockages in your life in a world devoid of imagination and rigid thought-form of how things should be done: the world of cultural “consensus”.

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Creating a New Vision! What if..............?There ARE two worlds and maybe more. Dare to entertain possibilities! Risk! Discern which world to see from at any one moment.. DARE to express a new Vision for yourself and to the world!

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

(A repost from Sept 3, 2014)

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ps. please check out my cooking blog too: http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

(There ARE pink and blue leaves, but we don’t eat them!)

 

Mugwort

Mugwort

In the previous Herbal Love 1 essay “Finding My Plant Spirit Guide”  I spoke of MUGWORT and how it seems to have come to me many years ago, planting itself right outside my bedroom window next to the exact wall outside, where I sleep and DREAM inside. In fact, I do dream most vividly and for thirty years have led and participated in a circle of dreamers who gather regularly to share our dreams and our life stories. Combined with my herbal studies, I have learned of the ancient connections between dreams and the knowledge passed on to indigenous healers from the plants themselves through the vehicle of the dreams.

Over and over again in interviews with shamans and healers in various cultures, the “Dream” is mentioned as a source of the wisdom and knowing about certain plants to use for those needing care, healing and balance. In his wonderful book “Sacred Plant Medicine”,  Stephen Harrod Buhner writes ” While many indigenous cultures value and use empirical knowledge about medicine passed down from generation to generation, they typically attribute their most effective healing knowledge to visions or dreams of the plant spirit or other helpers. (p. 25). He continues: “..it was hard to overlook the detailed knowledge the Indians had of their plant world……As native peoples were questioned more closely about their plant medicines, the uniformly replied that the source of their knowledge came from dreams or visions or that the plant had told them its medicinal use.” (p. 27).

As I pondered these writings, I wondered what plant I should choose who might talk to me as a friend and helper as I love so many of them and have grown so many of the wonderful herbs in my garden, teaching others of them and how to use them. But then, I thought about Mugwort…so much of it under my bedroom window and that it is an herb associated with dreams and the visions and deep-seeing of the third eye of intuition and I laughed out loud ..no need to go “looking” for a plant ally…there was one in profusion right outside my dreaming space throughout all seasons! How incredibly obvious! And I never personally planted it there…it came of its own accord!

Mugwort, mugwort…the premier herb to mix with lavender for the famous Dream Pillows we all make in our herbal internships as a special fragrant project, sometimes inserting rose petals for love, or a tinysmooth crystal for deeper insight. Mugwort essential oil anointing the third-eye space of the forehead to enhance visions and intuition. Mugwort used in teas for young women to regulate menses…the moontime…as mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris) is ruled by the moon. Mugwort, made into a tea for rituals around the dark or full moon…Mugwort, made into a tea for the dreamers refreshment in our workshops or a stronger brew before sleeping to stimulate new dreams. In Pam Montgomery’s book “Plant Spirit Healing: A Guide to Working with Plant Consciousnesness”, she writes of Artemis, Goddess of the Moon and ruler of Mugwort: As the Moon Goddess she embodies the magic of the dreamtime and imparts to mugwort the ability to easily enter daydreams, night dreams and journey dreams, just as easily with insight, clarity and deep knowing” (p.183)

 

The Dreamer (Artist unknown)

The Dreamer (Artist unknown)

 

We live in times that desperately need new vision, deeper insight and sparkling clarity to face the challenges of our personal, cultural and ecological lives. For those who are natural dreamers (The Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio peoples) and those who wish to pay more attention to the wisdoms of the dreamtime that are available to those who pay attention, Mugwort can be a wonderful ally and guide.

The recipe below for Dreamer’s Tea is shared with you as I share in the sacred wisdom circles that I am part of. The recipe is not carved in stone..you may add more or less as you are inspired.

Dreamer’s Tea (dried herbs)

2 parts mugwort

1 part rose petals

1 part spearmint leaves or to taste (mugwort is a little bitter)

1/2 or less lavender for relaxation and spiritual uplift (optional)    OR  1/2 or less dried rosemary for dream recall (optional)

 

When I make my infusions (tea) I do not have a specific amount of dried tea per cup of water as it depends on taste and purpose. As a “social tea” in working wisdom circles like our “Dreams/Peer Mentoring Retreats” I make a lighter brew for the spirit of the day (perhaps a well rounded teaspoon of dried tea per cup, and a short steeping time). For a before bedtime infusion to stimulate dreams and dream recall, I brew it stronger…perhaps a tablespoon dried herb mix per cup and steep it longer, adjusting or adding more water to taste I love my teas with organic locally harvested HONEY to taste as well.

May you be blessed by Mugwort and your Dreams and Visions tonight!

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

shawl  To inspire your dreams and visions for a creative life, good food and beautiful music, please visit my other blogs!

For delicious comfort food and kitchen memoirs: http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.com (generous use of culinary herbs!)

For beautiful music inspiration, piano and music memoirs: http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

For the power of manifestation and good words: http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Portal

 

As photographers, we are always looking “deeply” into the world around us…horizons wide or far, vast skies or scenarios, closeups of the inner realms of flowers or the true stories behind the faces of people, colors that enchant, shapes and angles that tease the eye, shadows and the play of light that alternatively cloak and reveal mysteries hidden in plain sight.

I have a call to capturing and photographing “windows and doorways” leading to hidden realms and territories that may be home to otherworldly treasures, or at least to deeper meanings of life beyond superficiality and speed. Therefore, I am always “cropping” to get closer to my subjects or to frame a portal in order to accept the invitation to step out of ordinary consciousness and into the territory of “Dream”.

When one of my daughters saw this picture, she asked what is that shape in the center of the picture in the woods beyond the portal.  Is it a tombstone? Or maybe a small boulder? Or better yet…ANOTHER doorway to a yet even deeper more mysterious territory? I could not answer her really, because although I took the photo, I don’t actually remember seeing that in the larger uncropped picture until I worked with the image of the circular bent tree branch forming a doorway. Shall we call whatever it is a “mystery” for you to name with your own imagination? What would you like it to be? What story of it would you like to tell?

It is said that we, moving so fast and pre-occupied in our overly busy daily lives, often hear but don’t really “listen”, and look but don’t really “see”. That, perhaps, is because although our ears and eyes are such powerful and amazing sensing organs gathering the information,  it is the Heart  that truly interprets the input..  The Heart therefore is the real organ of Deep Listening and Deep Seeing, in which, if we take the time to crop and focus in our interpersonal interactions, gifts us with a depth for understanding the mysterious territories…the “interiority”  of those places, experiences and people with whom we are in relationship.

Whether in photography, nature, the arts, relationships or Dream, there is ALWAYS more beyond the portal.

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

portal 5Life is multi-faceted…please visit my other blogs at your leisure..!

For love of music and music teaching memoirs:

http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

For delicious comfort food recipes and cooking memoirs: http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

For the magic of words and positive attitudes:  http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

 

 

 

Bubbles 2

Do you have a dream? A tender longing in your heart for something not yet experienced, or fulfilled? A secret love for life’s sweet potential or creative expression that wants to pour out of you, framing your world in circular Beauty?

Our dreams for a better more fulfilling way of life are often tender and fragile like bubbles in the air. I do believe as they are breathed through us by the Divine Artist and out into the world that they hold within their radiantly colored boundaries, everything we need for them to be fulfilled, sustained by the breath of God.

When they burst of their own accord, they shower everything with colorful droplets of the dream to seed the air all around with the creative vision, manifesting in its own timely fashion.

Yet when intercepted prematurely with a finger and negative words by naysayers, the Bubble Bursts and its secrets fall to the ground in heavy wetness, the integrity and potential of its inner surprises pierced and deflated.

Bubbles 3

Please don’t burst my Bubble when I share my dream with you but kindly add your  own breath and gently blow it forward to see how far it will travel before exploding with finesse into the winds of creation! In that we will both be surprised and delighted….. together.

 

 

Note:  I captured these happy bubbles when my very grown-up son-in-law was on the deck with the children of our family during a summer visit, keeping themselves and HIMSELF amused. Squeals and claps of merriment from all!

Bubbles 1

With love from Christine, The Greening Spirit

Me Turqoise  My other blogs are the result of my “dreams and visions”

For Love of Music and the Performing Arts:  http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

For delicious recipes and kitchen memoirs: http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

For Art of Allowing/Law of Attraction: http://wordmagicandtheartofallowing.wordpress.com

 

Down time

Any creative person worth their salt knows that without seemingly aimless “time out”, there IS no authentic originality in whatever their medium of expression is.  Original writing, painting, composing does not manifest sole-y (soul-y?) by will, though that is necessary later on to produce what came through during the drifting dream time.

Rushing about, meeting all of the world’s demands, forcing yourself to be “on task” without breaking away to be momentarily “irresponsible” from our culturally-assigned roles  is a sure way to block the creative flow or originality that wants to come through you, and you only!

I captured this image at a retreat center on an island in the Northeast. This fellow “on retreat”  even set up his two fishing poles to randomly “catch” whatever the vast universe of the sea would offer… releasing the need to work it or to be in control of it all, open to new fish..new ideas..which might come of their own accord to offer fresh inspiration. Total openness and trust..a willingness to cast a line, let it do its own fishing and see what turns up. I imagined that as he gazed out to the horizon in a sort of dream state, both mindless and mindful, that  there was silent communication going on between himself and the Universe that he would only realize was happening later on, on the way home in the car or even days later when a new and brilliant idea or prompting popped up in his mind when problem-solving or creating in whatever is his way.

Down time is fertile time and so necessary for all of us and especially for artists, poets, writers, crafters, storytellers, and even creative business people so that  the best of what we have to offer can be be reeled in from the vast sea of the Unconscious through our spirit and back out into the world.

Never apologize for the time spent in reverie or daydreaming. That may be the only way something new can manifest when the old forms and structures no longer work and no longer sustain life.

From Christine, The Greening Spirit

red    My other blogs are good too!

For Law of Attraction: http://wordmagicandthelawofattraction.wordpress.com

For recipes and cooking memoirs: http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com

For music/piano: http://pianomistress.wordpress.com

 

 

Sunflowers on blue

In the movie AVATAR, the planet of Pandora boggled the imagination with its rich lush forests and flowers of exquisite complexity, color and design. Secret tropical island hide-aways hanging without visible support high up in the sky amazed us,  a magical Sacred Tree of the World who held all wisdom for the people had us longing to be under her trailing tendrils to give us Sanctuary, Comfort and Guidance if we could only find her in this world. Also a race of blue people who caretaked and drew their lifeblood from that environment.

We celebrate the amazing powers of imagination that won James Cameron acclaim for following his dream that took ten years to manifest, literally, for the storyline and vision of Pandora actually was received one night IN a dream while he slept,  many years before.

I myself had a “Pandora Vision” while in a friend’s garden last year, and so here we are with the art of photo editing, is the “blue” garden usually hidden between the worlds or somewhere deep within our Imagination and the land of Dreams.  I was intrigued that although in the actual outside moment the ordinary garden around me shifted into soft focus blue (funny,  as I was totally awake , but looking with half-closed eyes), , that the sunflowers laughingly refused to give up their bright cheerful happy yellow as they danced in the sun…

This garden is now only a memory, so I am so happy that as always, my camera was with me to capture this magic momentary opening into Pandora, which apparently is always here through the doorway of Imagination.

Yes, Pandora is ALWAYS around us. Here’s the proof right there in the picture!

( Hint: Don’t forget to take your camera with you when you go out. You just might….find…an…opening when you least suspect it.

**Also don’t forget to check my other site: http://sensuoussoupsandsuppers.wordpress.com  Recipes for delicious eating while here in THIS world.

From Christine, the Greening Spirit

Selfie

 

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