Tuesday 6 December 2011

Bluebirds, dreams and spirit animals

I dreamt about bluebirds - about words that turned into bluebirds. It was a odd dream. In it, I met a shaman who showed me an old book. He opened it and pointed to text on a page.

He said: "Look at the words." The words were in a language I couldn't understand - even the letters were an unfamiliar alphabet.

"I can't read it," I said, feeling confused. The shaman shook his head, as though I simply wasn't understanding what he was saying.

"Look at the words," he said again. I looked and, as I did, the strange script began to change, the lines of writing moved and shifted. The written words became birds - just simple black-and-white line drawings at first, but then they plumped out and gained a tint of cyan, before turning into living bluebirds and flying off the page and up into the sky.

I woke up with a feeling of wonderment and a sense that the dream meant something, although I didn't know what. I had a few ideas, but I wasn't sure.

Then, a few days later, I read a description of a new book, Spirit & Dream Animalsby Richard Webster, on publisher Llewellyn's website. It said: "Have you ever dreamt about a bird, wolf, lion, or some other creature and wondered what it meant? From the cheerful bluebird to the courageous tiger, the animals in our dreams often have specific messages that can guide us on our life paths."

"Yes, I have," I thought - and I asked for a copy to read.

Richard Webster's book turned out to be an excellent choice. It provides a good introduction to beliefs about the importance of dreams all over the world, from ancient times to modern day, but with particular emphasis on dreams about animals.

One reasonably common idea in various spiritual paths is that animals in dreams can be guides to help us overcome problems in life or teachers to help us learn important lessons. If we frequently dream of the same creature, that could be an indication that it is our own specific totem or spirit animal.

In Spirit & Dream Animals, Richard Webster explains various simple techniques to identify and connect with spirit animals in our dreams, including lucid dreaming. He also describes other methods of discovering our spirit animal, such as astrology, numerology, pendulum divination and meditation techniques.

The book also has an alphabetical dream-animal dictionary, so you can look up the symbolic meanings of 150 creatures including pets and domestic, wild and legendary animals.

Bluebirds symbolise happiness and a positive attitude towards life, according to Richard Webster. The book says: "To dream of them is a sign you're achieving your goals and creating the life you desire ... they can also indicate the need to develop a positive approach to life if you are currently unhappy or unwell."

However, at the start of the dream animal dictionary, Richard Webster explains that although the descriptions are based on experience and research, the exact interpretation of any dream animal can vary from person to person. He adds: "Spirit animals share their knowledge and guidance with us in different ways, also, and this can create different shades of meanings."

I certainly felt my dream of words that turned into bluebirds meant more than just the need to take a positive approach to life. I mulled it over for a little while, before realisation dawned. The bluebird is the logo for Twitter, the social networking site. Maybe my dream was urging me to Tweet more often to connect with the world and also help A Bad Witch's Blog reach a wider audience. And that is exactly what I'm going to do.

1 comment:

Rev Wes Isley said...

Love the conclusion you came to regarding your bluebird dream! Alas, I'm not on Twitter--but good luck!

Recently, I dreamed about bats. I looked it up in "Animal Speak" by Ted Andrews. Although he doesn't talk specifically about dreams, I'm inclined to think animal totems can appear anywhere, in any form. And those bats, according to Andrews, have left me with lots to ponder!