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.

The Archetypal Woman Giving Birth Instructions

Dream 18.12.13 - Elaine Kennis

I wrote down...

“This is the most incredible dream!!!

I am with a really supportive group of friends. The main impression is sitting in a small room, may have been a cave, around a raised platform.

We are sitting on the ground, in shallow rows, at the foot of the platform. About 20 people watching.

Onto the platform comes a very large naked woman, she is old and powerful. Her long hair is tied roughly back in a ponytail. I can see her face, strong, lined, an earth woman who has endured a great deal.

She stands up and makes a dramatic almost defiant movement to the sky with a powerful arm and clenched fist. A sweeping movement up……from ground to sky. This is like a ritual movement or posture. Like an energy movement out and up. A driving motion up and being drawn out.

It is full of intention, like setting an intention, a conscious alignment.

The next posture or movement is also very powerful and positive.

The Archetypal Woman Giving Birth Instructions

The Great Female is lying on the platform demonstrating another act. She places her hands behind her head as she lies down, her legs rest apart on the ground. She strongly pivots her head forward toward her knees. A rocking, cradling motion emerges; it is strengthening her back and leg muscles. ((I think her feet are strapped in?) The woman demonstrates this over and over; her face remains strong and powerful”

On Waking……

When I woke up, I felt much supported and a lot of wonder! I have a sense of the grit, determination and extraordinary intention behind the birthing process. I tried to do the movements in the morning when I woke up. It felt good to do them.

The Archetypal Woman Giving Birth Instructions

The Context…….

A month before this dream I was invited by my daughter G to assist and support her husband P at the birth of their first child. What an honour I felt!! However, privately, it raised great ambivalence. My own birthing experience had been traumatic. It had involved emergency caesarean section and G being resuscitated at birth. So my feelings were mixed; would I be able to remain balanced enough to support them all? Would I be triggered into a state of fear and trepidation?

Working With A Dream……….

I decided to work with this dream by using a therapeutic method I am trained in called Dialoguing. It seemed to me that the female figure was a teacher, so I felt there was much more for me to learn.

The next evening I created a quiet and uninterrupted space for myself. With my candle burning; I simply relax, breathe and draw stillness around myself. It takes a little while to clear the mind and settle the emotions. Gradually a deep state of meditation occurs for me.

Only then do I re-enter the dream, step by step until I meet the figure or object I wish to talk to. I find it best to approach the dream figure with respect and an open mind.
If readers are interested in this method, I strongly recommend practising this with a trained therapist or dream-group first.


Elaine Kennis—I work as a bereavement counsellor at a large private hospital located in the northern suburbs of Sydney. As well as face-to-face counselling I facilitate bereavement groups, guides end of life discussions and supports families and clients with cancer.

I have found working with dreams to be an inspiring and life-changing practise. I was fortunate to be a member of a long running dreamgroup facilitated by Sally Gillespie.  This group is still running (independently) after 12 years.

My approach to dreams is a mixture of traditions. I try to approach a dream in an intuitive way by using the tools of stillness and breath to support the dreamer and their process.  I love to use creative methods to help incubate and amplify dreams, e.g. hand movements, drawing, dialogue, collage, monoprints, mandalas and soft environmental sculptures using found natural objects.

I believe the collective energy of a dreamgroup is a very powerful aspect of dream work. A special magic can occur which is both humbling and transformative. It is this space that can be so therapeutic and helpful to understanding our dreams.


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