Dreamwork Practices

Visualise Your Dreams.

Listening to and sharing dreams encourages depth and insight; it can also help deepen social and cultural awareness. We learn through enquiry and discovery and integrate through practice.

My Bird Dream

Dream - Alexsandra White

In my dream I was in a school and there was a small bird in front of me. I felt connected to the bird and felt it needed me to care for it. The bird was sad, heavy and unwell. It was plump and grey and brown in colour. Even though it was unattractive, it was beautiful and childlike to me. It wanted to be part of me and for me to carry it everywhere; to hold it and nurture it back to strength and health. It was held in the palms of my hands, but I needed to leave and find a safe place like a cage to put it in. The first cage I came across had another bird in it. It was my pet Budgie, Peetree, who passed away the previous year. Peetree was a beautiful green and yellow-coloured bird. I felt that Peetree would not be happy to share his cage with the delicate bird. I looked for another cage and found it was filled with baby rabbits that had just been born. I began pulling them out of the cage and   putting them out a window to where I knew there was a farm. The rabbits were never-ending as I placed them out the window.

The dream was powerful and felt symbolic. I felt it was directing me towards healing. I sat with the symbolism and posed questions. What did the bird represent to me? Why was it unwell? What did the rabbits mean? I felt that the classroom indicated that it had something to ‘teach’ me. The bird felt like my creative nature which was un-nurtured. I saw that I had been setting unrealistic, high expectations of my creative nature and artwork, and not allowing for its true natural ‘childlike’ expression. My creativity required nurturing with total acceptance as I had given my little bird, Peetree. The cage represented that I needed to feel safe. At that time in my life I was surrounded with ‘critical’ people who held very high expectations of artwork. The symbology of the rabbits had me stumped. I could not yet become aware of the meaning they held for me. The feeling that the rabbits were mass producing was annoying and that I needed to let go of ‘something’.

I let it be and didn’t force the insight as I knew it would be revealed in time. I set about      creating an artwork of the dream using paint and collage using the symbology. On the  school room ‘backboard’, which I placed above the figure’s head (like the questions I was holding), I wrote my questions about the symbolism. On the artwork they are ‘hidden’ from the viewer, unless you stand at a particular angle, then they are visible. This is what it felt like to me—hidden—unless I explored it from different ‘angles’. In time, the rabbits became less of a concern to me. In creating the painting I had fulfilled some of my sense of the needed creative nurturing. As to the rabbits, well that is a mystery that I rest happily with.

I had this dream many years prior to becoming a Transpersonal Art Therapist. I can now view the artwork and continue to glean insights. The artwork 'speaks' about my interconnection with the bird symbol which to me represents my soul/creative spirit. I can see that the birds and rabbits form a map within my body. The wounded bird positioned by my heart, and the other bird at my solar plexus/stomach. The birds also surround me, like an aura. The rabbits are in the digestive tract and are being moved to the earth on the farm. They feel like they are 'being processed' out of my system. The symbolism of the farm is an unnatural environment yet the right place for them. The artwork is a daily reminder to nurture my soul/creative spirit.

Alexsandra White is a Transpersonal Art Therapist and she also teaches Transpersonal Art Therapy at Ikon Institute, in S.A. Alexsandra was led into the area of art therapy from her experiences and by personally witnessing the healing and transformative ability of art with children. She has experienced a deep and varied spiritual life journey, and has a love of all things creative and artistic which sits alongside her rich background in Transpersonal Art Therapy and Education. As a Transpersonal Art Therapist she has worked with children, adults and groups. She is honoured to witness a client’s journey and to be a resource; she enjoys teaching ‘future’ art therapists at the IKON Institute of Australia (RTO).

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