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Dreamworking with the Tarot – my process

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Shining tribeShining tribe

I thought I would try and write here an example on how I work with my dreams in combination with tarot. So I took last nights dream, which was really nothing fancy at all, rather free from any strong emotional content and the names were just two. André was my portuguese boyfriend some decades ago, we had a really good relationship and I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had stayed. Lena is the name of a distant relative that is quite out-acting and troubled but I think her she is just that side of me that throws a tempertantrum but really just want approval.

I did not draw a dream card before going to bed. I woke up inside the dream a few times (going lucid) but didn’t change in any major direction,  just made a twist to get away from an annoying dream loop (was trying to cook food but had no pans and scrambled around like forever cooking food in things like anything from hot pocket wrappers to socks) I just told myself in the dream that it’s enough with this and by an act of the Deus ex Machina I presented finished food to the starving just so I could get on with the dream, like turning the page in a book.

Shining tribeShining tribe

I woke up when my cat decided he wanted to go outside. Went back to bed just a minute, to lie down inside the dream again. Imagine dreams are like fairy dust and if we rise to fast it scatters, if we lie back down inside the little cloud it sticks to us again and you can gently lift it up into your day-conscious. I open my journal, write todays date to anchor myself in the day and then just scribbles along, filling in details as they come.

Next step is to read it through, add more notes. Give it a title (learnt that from Robert Moss but many dreams I titled since childhood too but after reading his books I now always do this) Rachel Pollacks books gave me the next lead. To condense the dream into short statements. And then pull one card for each sentence.
I then look at all the cards and often take away those I feel are not really needed. I am left with 5-7 that is then put into a new dream-story.
So this is how it looks in my journal for this morning:

17/1 -12
Dream. Was in a shop that had this massive carpet, thick, that sort of sucked your feet in and made it hard to walk. They sold clothes but also make-up and pens and notepads and calenders and all sorts of wonderful writing things. All were in white, orange and lime. By the register I bought a jar of honey and after much trouble returned a CD. André was there or rather it was not André but someone pretending to be him. (lucid) Dreamloop on cooking (lucid again) Tractor was stuck in deep snow. Lena was looking inside an attic room all in wood, she was rehabilitating from addictions (my addictions)

Not-André in the store.

1. I was in a store – Empress
2. They had a think carpet – 5 stones
3. It suck you in and made it hard to walk – 6 stones
4. They sold things for writing and creating – 5 rivers
5. I bought honey too – 4 stones
6. Dream loop about cooking and lucid break – Hermit
7. A false André was there – 7 stones
8. Tractor stuck in snow – 9 trees
9. Lena shut into the attic to recover – Knower of Trees


Shining tribeShining tribe

The Empress store is full of riches and tools for creativity
5 stones are spirits lifting up from a thick carpet
6 stones holds them down to earth
5 rivers are writing their story
9 trees are stuck in the snow
but the Knower of Trees are regenerating.

I leave the cards out over the day and often find a lot of comfort in their message.
The deck used here is of course the Shining Tribe by Rachel Pollack, my fave dream-working deck.
All of this is no news for some of my readers but I just wanted my process in print. Oh and note, when not translating everything to english the whole thing only takes 5 minutes or so each morning.



About jema

Dreamer, tarot reader and hobo librarian

One response »

  1. Thank you for describing your process! Before I read your post I could never quite wrap my head around how one would use cards to work on a dream, so I really learned something here.
    The paragraph about dreams being like fairy dust was especially nice – I much like what you said here and how you said it.

    The side note about translating things into English makes me wonder how us multi-lingual people use the languages we know in our spiritual work (used in the broadest sense of the word here). I know that I actually need to translate many of these things into German (my first language) because I first learned to talk about them in English…


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