The treasure of a hidden Dreaming Space
Have you ever heard about Smoky Nights? It is a very old Celtic tradition. People believed that after the Winter Solstice, the days between the 25th of Dec and 6th of January were part of a very special season. The veils to the ‚otherworld‘ were thin and one could easily connect to the dreaming (some aborigines’ cultures would call it). There are a lot of playful rituals around, like writing down 13 wishes and burning one every eve. This is fun I do it every year, but what really matters to me, is … to land in this deeply inspiring dreaming space. I use the time to clean up with the past year, set my intentions, visualize my vision, chart my upcoming path into the New.
15 years ago, I joined my first Medicine Wheel with one of my most important teachers in systemic work Gilla Haeckel (a very smart and wise woman). She invited every December to this ‘end of year ritual’. I felt home the very first time. My dreamer qualities could flourish, got a space - the sky directions invited my imaginative abilities -I had forgotten about- and I connected to myself and life in a very new (or old) way. Soon after I got aware of the smoky nights and loved how they also opened a dreaming space for me.
Over many years, I practiced this on my very own, learned to burn different herbs, which day stands for what, how to capture the energy of the day, and to contemplate and dream into the new. I felt shy to share (even with my boys), as if I was doing something forbidden, something witchy, or an esoteric/new age thing, I did not want to officially identify with. I mean, I studied mathematics, I am smart and intellectual and somehow I did also not believe those features going well together.
Studying Arnold Mindell (e.g. The Quantum Mind), as a quantum physician who bridges the world of mathematics/physics, psychology and spirituality, gave me relief and a lot of inspiration. He refers to the dreaming as a reality many aborigines have had easy access to, whereas our / my society does tend to marginalize it. We focus on Consensus Reality, facts and figures and rituals (out of Church tradition) especially here in Germany often evoke skepticism.
In a way, one could say ‘smoky nights’ to be an ‘aboriginal’ tradition in Northern Europe. For me it is a doorway to discover Hidden Treasures, entering a more sensing reality and into deep self-connection. The last years, people got became more curious about it, more Smoky Nights offers occurred. Last year I started to invite friends to a vision collage beginning of the year, this year, I wanted to step further and offer a virtual Smoky Night Journey, but traveling to Montevideo invites me to do a different kind of withdrawal. The smoky night journey is designed and will then probably be launched next year. In the meantime, we will invite to a vision crafting the 8th of Jan at 6pm (CET), if you are interested, check here on Eventbrite Vision-ize your 2023.
But here on substack, I would love to open a dialogue:
How about you? Have you heard about Smoky Nights, or do you have similar rituals around this time? What do you think about Intellect and Dreaming working more together? I would love to hear and broaden my horizon around it.
The other day, after a long hot day at work, I went out into the backyard just before sunset and lay on my back to rest a little. I was chatting to my partner about my day and not really taking notice of my surroundings. Then as I gazed up at the sky, I suddenly became aware of the exquisite beauty of the cloud formations above me. Multiple balls of small fluffy white clouds were arranging and rearranging themselves across the arc of the sky, yet I couldn’t see them actually moving. As the sky filled up my senses I felt myself come into relationship with it, as if the sky too was aware of my awareness of it. In this dreaming space I experienced the veil of separation drop between ‘me’ and ‘it’. It seems to me that this experience of interconnectedness is always available if I allow myself to be open to it.
So I’ve been thinking about the veil between everyday life and the otherworld. Is this separation between worlds a human construct or something unrelated to humanness? How much do our social paradigms shape our understanding and experience of reality, so that even our neurobiology, let alone our beliefs and values, serves to block, or grant access to a more expansive interconnected way of being, to dreaming reality…
If separation is a social construct, do we therefore have the power to reconnect? Is the dreaming something we have access to all the time? But even pagan and traditional Indigenous cultures that live/d with more interconnectedness between worlds and ways of being seem/ed to favour retreat from the everyday world in order to go deeply into the otherworld…
Perhaps the veil serves an important role to keep us humans alert in a world of sabre-toothed tigers, in the flesh and blood world of consensus reality? In which case, ritual offer us a safe place and time to enter deeply into the dreaming. A time to stop, loosen up our hold on everyday life, become the tiger…. And in so doing, maybe we change consensus reality…
Whatever the reason (and I could let go of trying so hard to understand and explain this all to myself haha :-) -- I love that I can move between worlds. It is a practice I come back to often, but also stray from, forget about! Life becomes dreary and I feel trapped until I remember again. It only needs to be a few minutes sometimes. But the practice of it needs nurturing. So I’m looking forward to Steph’s Smokey Nights, to make space and time to set some intentions and open to the dreaming of 2023!