Is Shamanism Real: And What About Dreaming?

Denise GuerringueQuestions About Shamanism, Shamanic Dreaming, Shamanism, Working Your Shamanic Process

Thanks to the sponsorship of the amazing Rubin Museum I discovered the fascinating documentary film Edge of Dreaming. In this film Amy Hardie documents, very intimately, a year in which she transforms from a “rational” scientific documentary film maker, into a dreaming, shamanic-journeying film maker. In the course of that transition, she experiences a convincing dream-based prediction of her own death and the healing that was needed to make that death an ego-death, rather than a physical one.

I was initially drawn to the film because Amy declares early on that she is a person who doesn’t dream. My Beloved is also one who rarely remembers his dreams, and I often wonder about the meaning of that. One night, Amy dreams that a loved pet horse has died. She awakens from this unusual dream to discover that her horse has, indeed, died, and in precisely the way portrayed in the dream. Some few months later, Amy dreams that she is to die in her 48th year, which is about to commence. Amy’s life begins to focus on what this possibility might mean to her, to ponder what this dream might mean, until she becomes ill in her 48th year with a lung illness that threatens her life. Amy then embarks on an exploration both intimate and scientific, within her own life and in interviews with various scientific experts in dreaming and neurology, eventually deciding that there might be some kind of “knowing” in her dreams. It is then that Amy consults with a shaman, Claudia Goncalves, who helps her to journey to the source of the problem. In this journey to non-ordinary reality Amy encounters helping spirits who show her how her life is connected to that of the Earth, and how her illness is a reflection of the Earth’s illness. And then they show her the way back to life and healing.

Amy has since begun work with Sandra Ingerman, who is leading explorations in the understanding of how human well-being is intimately woven with the well-being of our planet. And Amy has experienced healing as a result. She describes on a POV web page her recovery from her illness. From a lung capacity of approximately 48% of normal, due to an illness that stumped her doctors, she has regained a lung capacity of 94% of normal. Her film now draws people all over the world to an exploration of their own dreaming, and she conducts workshops to help with this process.

In this documentary, Amy Hardie has explored one of the many edges of shamanism: Dreaming. As we approach and extend our shamanic explorations and practice, Dreaming is one important component of our shamanic toolkit. I find that as my daily work with Spirit deepens, my Dreaming deepens. I have come to find that my Dream time is an important learning time in which Spirit fills me with wisdom, experience and knowing that I don’t have time or attention for in the my waking time.

Here’s an exercise to consider: Ask God, the Universe, your Helping Spirits, to send a dream to you tonight answering this plea: Heal in me what also needs healing in this world. Ask for this healing dream three times before  you sleep. Then see what changes in you and in the world.