The Dream World

EP56: Ancestral Dreams

January 18, 2024 Amina Feat. Marta Aarli Season 2 Episode 23
The Dream World
EP56: Ancestral Dreams
The Dream World
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Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers
Join us as we talk about ancestral dreaming with Marta Aarli, a licensed counselor who incorporates dreamwork into her clinical practice. Marta shares her profound expertise about how ancestors' experiences shape our dreams. She gave a wonderful presentation at the 2023 IASD conference!

Marta Aarli brings a unique perspective to the discussion, weaving together psychology and the wisdom of ancestral connections. Discover the significance of dreams that seem to carry echoes from the past, as Marta guides us through the intricate tapestry of our family histories and how they manifest in our nightly visions.

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00;00;00;00 - 00;00;32;07
Unknown
I was thinking, since you came to my presentation, you know, we could focus on ancestral teamwork and, you know, other topics are nightmares or dreams and psychotherapy. Because I've been a psychotherapist for 30 years, so I work with dreams in the context of therapy. You know, animal dreams, spiritual dreams, dreaming with the dead. You know, all of these things are on my mind because I'm writing this book and I finish the first draft like I said, it's got all of these topics in it.

00;00;32;10 - 00;00;59;24
Unknown
My name is Marta Arley, and I'm a dream guide and psychotherapist. I'm in Colorado in the U.S. For our international listeners, I really got into dreams because I dreamed a lot as a kid. And I especially had a lot of nightmares. So they got my attention. They were scary. They stayed with me through the day. You know, they impacted my development, really.

00;00;59;24 - 00;01;21;09
Unknown
And then later, starting in high school, I wanted to learn about dreams. So I started reading books and, you know, I didn't start writing my dreams until I was an older teenager and a young adult. So of course, I wish I had written more of my childhood dreams down, but I didn't know at the time to do that.

00;01;21;09 - 00;02;04;08
Unknown
But then once I started studying psychology in grad school, that was an area of interest to me. And I've been a psychotherapist now for 30 years, so I work a lot with really long term clients. And so over the years their dreams will come into how we look at their whole life. Now that I'm entering my elder years, I have hundreds of dreams that I've remembered, and I'm really interested in looking at, you know, one perspective is looking at a lifetime of dreams and how they change over time, how they how we change through different developmental stages.

00;02;04;08 - 00;02;46;01
Unknown
Our dreams reflect how we grow. They reflect our trauma and our healing. And then most recently, I've really gotten tuned into the layer of ancestral dreaming, which is how our ancestors actually coming to us in our dreams and playing characters or playing out dynamics that we didn't realize were ancestors. So now I'm going back and looking at some of my earlier dreams and and seeing them as ancestral messages and talking with some of the characters as ancestors, because I didn't realize that that's who they were before.

00;02;46;01 - 00;03;09;25
Unknown
So that's one of my newer areas of interest these last couple of years. And I'm writing a book right now starting the editing process. And so this is one of the aspects in this book that I'm writing. Yeah, I went to your presentation at the last ISDA conference and it was really, really interesting. I also love what you said about looking at dreams across a lifetime.

00;03;09;28 - 00;03;28;02
Unknown
I love how dreams change along with us. I've also remembered dreams since a young child. I just didn't write them down. I also wanted to ask you about something you said earlier. How do you incorporate dream work into your clinical practice? How does that come about? Do people just start telling you about their dreams or do you ask them?

00;03;28;04 - 00;04;05;22
Unknown
Some people who are already active dreamers, they'll just volunteer them sometimes. I also have people who come into my practice just to work on dreams, so they'll come in every session with a dream and we'll spend the whole session on that. And then, of course, they're there waking life and their childhood and their relationships, of course, come into it so we can get into therapy through the dreams or we can, you know, reversing that if someone's in therapy and if they don't share their dreams, I'll ask them about it.

00;04;05;29 - 00;04;32;26
Unknown
And as you know, as a dream worker, lots of people tell me, oh, well, I don't remember my dreams. And so as a therapist, this, you know, of course, tells me while there's some there's something blocking their relationship with this whole part of themselves, their creativity, their unconscious, the potential messages that could really guide them and help them if they were to open up.

00;04;32;26 - 00;04;58;18
Unknown
So I see dreams as an ally to therapy and to the healing process. So without them, you know, we're missing some potential benefits. So, you know, I offer them some tools to remember more. And then often again, as you know, once we start talking about dreams, sometimes they'll come in the next week and say, well, as soon as we talked about it, I started remembering dreams the next day.

00;04;58;18 - 00;05;40;19
Unknown
You know, we just forget. A lot of adults just have forgotten. And you are a childhood dreamer. I'm a childhood dreamer. It's pretty natural for kids. But if their parents shut it down or don't understand it, or if they get really scared and they don't know how to work with their nightmares, they will just block them out. Once we can start to bring them into therapy, it can take the therapy to a whole new level, because now their little childhood parts are coming in to therapy and we might start talking to that, that little child, part of them that is really scared or who really needs to be nurtured by their adult self, who wants

00;05;40;19 - 00;06;03;28
Unknown
to play more, who wants to be more emotional, who wants to be, you know, more creative or whatever they need. Maybe they need to have a trauma resolved. So dreams really enhance therapy. And some people never bring a dream in to therapy. And so we work anyway. And there are other ways that the unconscious will come through and we can work with it.

00;06;03;28 - 00;06;34;23
Unknown
But dreams sure help. That's great. I love seeing psychology and spirituality kind of bridge together. Do you feel like in the academic world in general, in terms of clinical therapy, people are like accepting of dream work? I know it's still very new, but do you feel like it's being rejected by a lot of clinical therapists? You know, I went to a school Naropa institute which incorporates spirituality, and so for my graduate education, that was no problem.

00;06;34;25 - 00;07;00;14
Unknown
There was a union and a dream work track in that program. But yes, some of academia really doesn't look at the more spiritual aspect, the magical aspect, the animistic aspect, where everything is a light, you know, and you and the lamp in the dream is is a character who speaks and feels things and, you know, the trees and that.

00;07;00;20 - 00;07;34;26
Unknown
So yeah, some realms of academia don't get that. They stick with the psychological or the neurological aspects, you know, neurobiology. And I respect that. And I think it's important. And my approach is eclectic. So I like to look at all of those things because people have different belief systems and they come from different cultures. So if someone comes from an animistic culture and belief system, of course we want to explore that in their dreams.

00;07;34;28 - 00;08;00;17
Unknown
They may come from a spiritual or a religious background. So of course we want to explore that because that's part of who they are and who they're, you know, what culture they came from. So I sort of bridge the academic realms and the more spiritual magical connection between all beings kind of realm and between the seen and unseen worlds.

00;08;00;17 - 00;08;35;05
Unknown
So I really like to bring all of it in. And, you know, your last question got to this to this aspect of spirituality in psychotherapy, because some therapists don't want to go near that in some academic places. That's a sort of a taboo, like something you don't talk about and some people don't consider themselves spiritual or religious, but then they'll have an amazing dream where really they're in the spirit realm or something or someone is speaking to them.

00;08;35;05 - 00;09;03;08
Unknown
And while Holy is that sometimes they have an actual religious experience or a spiritual dream, but they wouldn't label it that. So, you know, labels can kind of get us in trouble. It can pigeonhole us too much. But sometimes people get in touch with their spirituality through a dream because they literally are having a conversation or they're in the presence of something really holy or numinous.

00;09;03;11 - 00;09;23;19
Unknown
So it can open up that whole aspect of who they are because we are spiritual beings, even if we some people don't believe that, but it opens up a place to explore that. It makes sense. You know, dreams are such a personal thing. So even if you look at it from a science standpoint or a spiritual standpoint, you might have an experience that like you just can't explain.

00;09;23;19 - 00;09;43;16
Unknown
And it's just like, so, you know, interesting. And I just think that's really cool. I love the bridging the gap, you know, kind of on the on the same page. I'm trying to get all the perspective gives in. So let's let's talk about ancestral dreaming. What is ancestral dreaming and how did you get interested in that? I think it can look a lot of different ways for people.

00;09;43;16 - 00;10;23;06
Unknown
Their ancestors can speak in a lot of different ways, but essentially the beliefs about ancestors is that once our ancestors have died, they don't just go away. They may disappear physically, but their spirit or their essence, their life and their emotions don't go away. Sometimes their traumas don't go away. And you know, there's the whole study now of epigenetics and how our ancestors experiences literally impact our DNA because we have chemical responses to things that happen in our lives, right?

00;10;23;06 - 00;10;54;26
Unknown
We have hormonal changes and we have we pass these things down through the generations. So, you know, there's a backing for that scientific claim. But then also from my field of study, energetically, psychologically, emotionally, we can feel their traumas in our body or if we feel really disconnected, we can also feel their love and connection and connect with our heritage, even though maybe we didn't grow up with any traditions from our parents directly.

00;10;55;01 - 00;11;27;10
Unknown
We can reconnect with those because that energy is still living inside of us. So those would be our bloodline ancestors. And then there's also our collective ancestors. So as as human beings, we've been around a long, long time and we we share a connection. Young called it the collective unconscious, so we can also tap into people's experiences who aren't directly related to us through through our bloodline so we can tap into human experience in general.

00;11;27;16 - 00;12;04;03
Unknown
Then we can keep taking it out a layer and say, Well, what about all animals and beings in the world? We can feel and tap into their experiences. The natural world, plants, and then we can go out even further to the planet herself. And again, from an animistic perspective, the earth is alive. Our planet is a living, breathing, sentient thing, and we may have dreams of the earth and our planet, or of animals and plants, or of humans in general, or our own blood ancestors.

00;12;04;03 - 00;12;35;01
Unknown
So it has a really wide definition of who are ancestors. Are there was a great ISC presentation this year too, that maybe you went to that was all about spiritual ancestors and whatever our belief system is, those are our ancestors that other people who have believed or founded those spiritual practices or lineages. So there's a very wide definition of ancestors.

00;12;35;04 - 00;13;21;14
Unknown
How would you be able to identify what type of dreams are ancestral dreams? And, you know, if it's more personal or collective? Yeah, I think that a lot of the ways that we work with dreams, of course, it's a feeling that we have, it's a gut feeling or it's goosebumps or it's just a curiosity that we have. Like this person looks familiar to me and I don't know why in my dream or this person keeps showing up in my dreams, but I don't know who they are and I'm curious or I keep having dreams about these ancient places, like I'm in an ancient stone building and I go down into the lower level and I'm

00;13;21;14 - 00;13;49;06
Unknown
in this dark cavern. Those kinds of things could be clues, like, why do I keep dreaming of these ancient places? Is there an ancestral element to this? And so also just we can directly bring in the question, like if we have a dream and we're sharing it, maybe we're working with another person or maybe on our own dream, we can just ask the question, Does it feel like there's an ancestral element in this dream?

00;13;49;08 - 00;14;11;25
Unknown
Are there any ancestors coming through who have a message for me? And we can just use our intuition and see if something comes up right away and speaks to us and they can come in in a lot of different ways. So just I think opening up the awareness also can really help. Let me pull up an example. Does that sound good?

00;14;11;25 - 00;14;46;04
Unknown
And then I can sort of describe how I do it, because when I work with dreams, I should speak for myself every dream takes a different approach, right? There's not a formula for approaching a dream. So we go in with some intuition and and again, like if there's a curiosity about ancestors and there's this one particular character, for instance, and the dreamer really feels a strong connection, well then we we go in there and we might reenter that dream to see if this is an ancestor.

00;14;46;07 - 00;15;18;26
Unknown
So we would go in again. If it's our self work, it's someone else. You know, you close your eyes and you relax and you visualize this, reenter point or a portal back into the dream and you imagine this person. And now this is where Young's creative, you know, active imagination comes in and you, you visualize this character and then you start an interaction with them in your imagination, which takes the dream beyond just the original dream.

00;15;18;29 - 00;15;46;10
Unknown
And now you're living into it and you are observing who this person is. Maybe you're just taking them in, seeing what do they look like, What's around us is someone else here who I didn't notice before, how my feeling when I'm in the presence of this character. And then I might start asking them and it could be as simple as, are you an ancestor or do you have a message for me?

00;15;46;12 - 00;16;15;13
Unknown
Or Who are you? And then from a more distant parts work, which is something I do a lot, where the dreamer steps into and plays us and speaks as every character in the dream, human and non-human. So then the dreamer might step in and become that character and say, and then again here you're using your imagination and your intuition and saying, I'm the old woman in your dream and this is who I am.

00;16;15;16 - 00;16;47;09
Unknown
Maybe a name comes to mind, maybe a place comes to mind. This is where I'm from or this is where I am right now. And then you just let this, this dialog open up, going between being the dreamer and being the dream character. And it can be really amazing what comes out of these conversations. So I do this work with other people, you know, with my clients, and, and I do it with myself as well to just tune into these characters.

00;16;47;11 - 00;17;10;16
Unknown
I can share a dream or yeah, I want. And this was part of my presentation that you saw in June, and it's just a short dream. So I think it's good to just to start with this one and it's it's short and powerful. So it's called Matryoshka Shows me something's missing. I have an image of a Matryoshka doll.

00;17;10;18 - 00;17;36;21
Unknown
These are the wooden dolls that twist open. And there's another little wooden doll inside. And there are often many five, usually 5 to 7. And they're colorfully painted, and they're from Russia. So I have an image of a Matryoshka doll. The smallest one is lying in the bottom of the next to the largest one. And her top, you know, they're divided in house.

00;17;36;26 - 00;18;01;19
Unknown
Her top is sitting next to her. So she's been on unscrewed and is in two pieces. The largest matryoshka is standing nearby and she's whole. And also, I stayed with the image in my head in a puppet time of waking up in the morning, I realized that the second and third dolls are missing. So that's the dream. It was very vivid.

00;18;01;26 - 00;18;25;28
Unknown
And. And I woke up feeling sad. So I also want to pay attention to the feeling when I wake up and I'm drawn to the way that they are nested inside each other. And I wonder about what's missing. Why are two of these? So there were $5 in total in my dream. Why are the second and third ones missing?

00;18;26;03 - 00;18;52;23
Unknown
And it just it feels ancestral to me because my house of my heritage is from Russia and when we were children, my sister and I each had a little matryoshka doll and they're beautiful. And I wish I still had mine. I don't, but they're just colorful, painted, and they are, you know, Russian women with babushkas on, you know, these colorful scarves and flowers on their on their dresses.

00;18;52;23 - 00;19;21;29
Unknown
And so it feels also very maternal. It feels like generations in my maternal line. It is my mother's side that's Russian. So this, of course, gets my attention. Here is something from my ancestral culture and it's it's from my mother's lineage. So these are some of my clues. And I recently was reading through some papers and birth certificates that my mother had, and she died a few years ago.

00;19;21;29 - 00;19;47;02
Unknown
So I have these things now. So I found out that it was my great grandmother, Rebecca, so she would be the second to the largest doll who's in to have. She's the one who immigrated. She left Russia. So I wondered about that sort of half of her in her motherland of Russia and half of her in America from immigration.

00;19;47;05 - 00;20;14;10
Unknown
That just felt right to me in terms of why her body is in two halves. Of course, if I'm the smallest one, if I'm the youngest generation, I'm the little doll and I'm lying inside the bottom house of my great grandmother's body. So this is me In the dream is the littlest doll in this matriarchal lineage. So she's the one who left her family.

00;20;14;10 - 00;20;39;14
Unknown
She left her mother and her mother. So that would be my great, great grandmother is the one who's standing and she's whole her body is in one piece. So that to me feels like that's my maternal lineage in their homeland, where she's still connected to the place where she was born, where, you know, I don't know how many generations are from that place.

00;20;39;19 - 00;21;08;27
Unknown
And so she's whole. It also feels really affirming because she's there for me. I never met her, of course, and I never met my great great grandmother either. The one who who immigrated. She died by the time I was born. So this to me feels like, wow, here's my connection. Five generations of us. And here she is showing up in my dream, my great great grandmother and I actually don't even know her name, Rebecca's mother.

00;21;08;27 - 00;21;31;24
Unknown
But here she is connecting me back to my roots and the land. So that's the beginning of how I worked with that dream. And then there is more. But but I'll just, you know, kind of open it up for you if you have questions, because I have more I can say about it, too. You know, when I think about it, it makes sense that that many generations would want to be there and support you.

00;21;31;28 - 00;21;53;02
Unknown
Because when I think about myself and the next five generations of, you know, my children or future children or whatever, you know, even if I don't know them, like I would still feel connected to them. What message what other messages did you find from that dream? How else did you work with it? You know, I researched Matryoshka dolls just so I could learn more about what they symbolize is culturally.

00;21;53;07 - 00;22;20;06
Unknown
And so I learned that they were carved beginning in the 18, the late 1800s. And they symbolize the feminine in Russian culture, and they're associated with family and fertility. And the name Matryoshka means little mother. So they are a chain of mothers carrying on the family legacy through their children in their womb. Right. Because they're literally inside each other's bodies.

00;22;20;12 - 00;22;59;19
Unknown
So I don't have biological children. But here's the epigenetics of of the womb that carries the next two generations, actually, because maybe you know this already. So when a woman is pregnant, she has if she's a girl child, she also has her eggs developing. And so she, in that sense carries two generations in her womb at once. So typically these dolls have sides and they symbolize the unity of body, soul, mind, heart and spirit.

00;22;59;21 - 00;23;29;08
Unknown
Those are the five sort of mega symbols of the Matryoshka doll, which is a really beautiful message of integration and wholeness. So so all of these messages come through. And when I had this dream, I was writing this book on dreams, which I'm still I'm in the editing process now. And so this to me is a birthing process where I'm giving forth what I know.

00;23;29;08 - 00;23;51;04
Unknown
I'm I'm wanting to put something out that will help people, that will synthesize all that I've learned over my life that I can pass along, which is much like a child's who goes out into the world. And I see there are all kinds of ways to express being a mother and putting our nurturing energy out into the world.

00;23;51;04 - 00;24;14;15
Unknown
And so as a psychotherapist, I feel that as a gardener, as an animal lover, a one who takes care of the natural world. And now with this book, that's how I share my mother energy. It was affirming in that way, too. That's amazing. So are there any particular ways that you continue to get to know your ancestors and work with your dreams?

00;24;14;17 - 00;24;46;18
Unknown
This dream also feels like it wants to be worked with so magically because it's a dream about the bodies of my matriarchal lineage. So I did work with this dream somatic living with my body and so I became the moxie. Yoshiko Doll Right. Like this parts reentry where I became her and I immediately felt this sense in my body of this big round, you know, they're shaped kind of like a barrel.

00;24;46;23 - 00;25;13;13
Unknown
In fact, I have a little one here somewhere. Oh, it's not right here on my desk. I'll go get it later, Maybe, but they're shaped like a barrel and they're round everything about them is this round curvy shape. And so I felt that inside me. And immediately when I embodied the Matryoshka, I felt my posture change and my body felt, Wow and and big and colorful.

00;25;13;18 - 00;25;42;07
Unknown
And so I can feel her in my body. So I moved around the room as I felt her in me. And it felt really good. And it sort of made me laugh and smile. And I just moved like the Matsu Yoshida for a while, and it made me want to put my hands kind of here on my belly and just feel my, my roundness as a woman in that that fullness of feminine energy.

00;25;42;11 - 00;26;01;26
Unknown
So it felt really good. And then I asked her to speak if she has a message for me and she says, this is what she says. And this just came through me. This just sort of came out of my mouth. You know, I was doing this in my living room. And she says, I am the mother, the matriarch.

00;26;02;02 - 00;26;43;03
Unknown
I'm full in my belly, eternally pregnant with seeds for the future and seeds of creativity. I am all the generations from baby to great, great grandmother. Don't be afraid to birth yourself into the world. The time is now. We are here with you. Wow, that's so beautiful. That's what the Matryoshka said to me. So this, of course, is beautiful guidance for me, especially when my doubts and my fears come up and I feel insecure and my I want to sort of collapse, then I can bring her back into my body and feel that big round fullness again.

00;26;43;05 - 00;27;14;24
Unknown
Have you had any other dreams since then that you think are related? That's a good question because I think dreams often are connected to one another. I don't think nothing is coming up to mind right away that's connected. Although I had a dream before this one that was connected because it was, again, these women wearing the bright colored headscarves and, you know, the babushkas, these big head scarves.

00;27;14;24 - 00;27;38;09
Unknown
And so that one happened a couple years before this one. So I feel like I've been in that sort of community of Russian women or Slavic women before. So, yes, it does connect to other dreams. But one this one was from the past. Sometimes I make my dreams a little more concise, especially when I'm writing them up. It's too much information sometimes, you know, they.

00;27;38;09 - 00;27;56;16
Unknown
They can be so detailed. Yeah, I do that, too. And I share dreams. Yeah, Because sometimes it's just. I want to get a message of the dream across. I have to take out all the little things, but for my own personal records, I like to have all the details, so. That's right. Yeah. I often have, you know, two versions also.

00;27;56;18 - 00;28;24;15
Unknown
So this dream is connected to the dream, but it happened a few years before. So I really like your question about dreams that connect with one another, because absolutely they, they do they want to, like continue the story or a character develops. And so they come back and they they've grown or they've changed. So this dream is called choosing the truncated pepper tree.

00;28;24;18 - 00;28;49;29
Unknown
I'm in a room with many women from around the world where if have been put out around tables for us to choose from. I come in and I'm first in line, but I don't feel entitled to go first. So I wait and they're letting one group go at a time to go around and pick something. Every woman can pick one thing, but I don't know which group I belong to.

00;28;50;05 - 00;29;18;07
Unknown
There are beautiful scarves which all get chosen quickly. One woman in a white patterned babushka chooses a black patterned babushka, picking it up slowly and smiling. It's perfect for her. When it's time for me to choose. I wonder around, unable to make a decision. And I'm drawn to a rolled up sash with gold and flowers on it that matches what I'm wearing.

00;29;18;07 - 00;29;46;01
Unknown
But I think well, but I don't really need it. I don't need this. Then I see that there are three potted pepper tree plants and a woman takes one of them breaking off a big branch and she's very happy and smiles and she's hugging this little 12 inch tree. So a little tree in a pot and she's hugging it against her belly and her chest like this is what she's chosen from this giveaway.

00;29;46;01 - 00;30;10;15
Unknown
And she's taking that. So there are two more of these little trees, but they've fallen over. The roots have grown all wonky, and they have no trunk or branches. They're just sort of in a bad state. And I take one of them off the shelf and I wonder how I can regrow it. The roots are bouncy and curly and they're going in all different directions.

00;30;10;22 - 00;30;44;19
Unknown
And now I'm walking on a path and four women are sitting and lying down on some large, smooth gray rocks on a hill. They're a collective of artists who meet a few times a year to co-create and inspire one another. And they're a mixture of of all colored women from all different cultures. And there some are large and voluptuous, and they're lounging very comfortably together in this kind of intimate circle, and I'm going to join them.

00;30;44;21 - 00;31;17;02
Unknown
So that's the dream. And what comes to mind here is again, this immigration and separation from culture, which many people have experienced. And it has that Slavic feeling again with the babushkas and the colorful scarves that are out on the table and me not knowing which group I belong to because, you know, our family has lost contact with relatives.

00;31;17;09 - 00;31;43;07
Unknown
And so I don't know much about that culture and I don't know anyone in this country. So that uprooted ness and not belonging is something that I feel in my life on a regular basis. So I so I ask myself again, what are these women here to tell me? What is this place, this dream here to tell me?

00;31;43;07 - 00;32;06;28
Unknown
And I feels like my maternal ancestors have reached out to me to bring a sense of belonging and to let me know that I can take something from this culture that I'm entitled. It's okay for me to to join them in picking out something, even though I don't feel like I can or like if I don't really need something, should I take it?

00;32;07;05 - 00;32;30;05
Unknown
So there's that whole insecurity that I feel a lot in my life. It feels kind of like a ritual, like this is something they do, you know, the tables are round and we're standing around in a circle and then one group goes at a time. So there's this sense of taking turns and receiving gifts, but not taking more than you need.

00;32;30;07 - 00;32;55;08
Unknown
You know, the women don't rush in and take a bunch of things. They each take one. And so there's something in that too, about a communal sharing and not overconsuming, which our culture here in our country, it's so much about taking as much as we can. And so it feels like a teaching about about sharing and not taking things that we don't need.

00;32;55;11 - 00;33;22;20
Unknown
And then the plant, you know, when I go, what I choose is this tree. So it feels to me like what I really need and want is to connect with these roots, even though the roots are kind of wonky and then going in all directions, I feel this sense of hope that I can bring this tree home and I can nurture it and take care of it, even though it's been damaged and broken off because the roots are still there.

00;33;22;23 - 00;33;57;28
Unknown
There's there's a deep message about that. And so from a human perspective, how can I grow my roots and nurture this this tree to grow again? And it's also, for me, a connection with the plant world and nature and seeing the plants need our help and the planet needs our help. We need to also nurture the suffering of nature and all of the uprooting and ways that we damaged our forests and damaged what needs to now be nurtured and repaired.

00;33;58;01 - 00;34;20;15
Unknown
Wow, that dream is incredible. It has a lot of layers. Very deep. I love all the symbolism and it seems like you've really understood a lot of the different meanings there. So that's really cool. Yeah, I love looking at multiple layers of dreams. Like, here's the human perspective, here's the plant perspective, you know, here's the spiritual perspective and the hope, right?

00;34;20;15 - 00;34;46;03
Unknown
We really need hope in our world. And yeah, so those are examples. But you can see, like I work with each dream really differently because they're each a unique being and, and a unique expression in themselves. So you really have to just kind of get in there and say, How does this dream want to be worked with? And who wants to come forward and how do I get more intimate with this particular dream?

00;34;46;06 - 00;35;05;18
Unknown
Yeah, for sure. That's why keeping a dream journal is so important, as you know. Yes. How long have you been writing down your dream? Well, you know, my earliest one, as I've been looking through, you know, was written on a little piece of paper printed in my handwriting as a I think it's 13 year old or 14 year old.

00;35;05;20 - 00;35;35;29
Unknown
And I was so happy to find that little piece of paper, you know, in a box somewhere recently. But my journal, I started journaling when I was 18. So then that's when I started to write dreams more regularly. So from 18 on, what are ways to like, protect yourself when you're doing this? Because, you know, a lot of people might have reservations or feel vulnerable when they sleep, especially with the belief that, like, you know, you can contact ancestors and other energies and being.

00;35;35;29 - 00;36;15;25
Unknown
So what are ways to kind of protect yourself and differentiate between like who's here to help me and who's not? Yes, that's a really important question. And just the way you said that just now is a great way to start to say, you know, like as you're going to sleep, if you have a dream intention and you're inviting your dreams to come, and maybe specifically ancestors to come, you could say just that I'm calling out to my well, my, my healthy ancestors, those who are loving and want to come to be of benefit to me and all their descendants.

00;36;16;02 - 00;37;05;04
Unknown
And I ask my protectors to also be here with me to keep out any ancestors who are not here to help or any who are so traumatized that it's it would overwhelm. So you invite in the healthy ancestors, you invite in the protectors to keep away anyone else. And it's not that we can't help our wounded ancestor years, but we want to do that very intentionally and with protectors and probably also with another person or other people to just because sometimes we need a lot of protection for that, for for the emotions that come up or, or the the bad intentions right there could be actually harmful intentions on the part of some ancestors.

00;37;05;04 - 00;37;30;05
Unknown
So yes, you speak that, you bring in your protectors. So who are your protectors? You know, do you have again in your imagination, maybe you have current spirit guides, animal guides or, other gene characters who've been protectors in the past. Maybe it's someone you imagine. Maybe it's a warrior who you imagine. Maybe it's a shield that's around you.

00;37;30;05 - 00;38;05;11
Unknown
Maybe it's a wise ancestor who who sits with you. Or maybe it's a council of ancestors and guides who you just you imagine them around you or maybe sitting next to your bed. So again, it's a creative and individual process, but you you invite in who you want and you invite out who you don't want. And so that actually then kind of segways a little bit into nightmares because of course we do have scary dreams and we do have trauma in our dreams, right?

00;38;05;11 - 00;38;39;04
Unknown
I've had many dreams of, you know, gory or bloody or violent situations. And so those do get in. And so how do we work with them once they're here? And so to do the work with those, we also want to bring in protectors and allies. We want to look for allies, too, in the dream, because sometimes in a nightmare, we're so overwhelmed that we just focus on the one who's terrifying or the one who's maybe dying or or something.

00;38;39;06 - 00;39;04;16
Unknown
But then when we reenter it, we want to look around and see, Oh, you know what? Standing over there is another person or, Oh, there's a group of people behind me. I'm going to bring them in and I'm going to find out who they are and ask them to stand all around me, to stand with me. So sometimes our ancestors even show up in a real quiet way like that, like they're just standing with us.

00;39;04;18 - 00;39;28;11
Unknown
So if I'm facing something scary in a dream, I'm just going to see them and know that they are here with me and all around me while I face or challenge or transform this terrifying thing that's happening. Maybe I start a conversation with what I'm afraid of and they're all here with me. So I'm not so alone. Right?

00;39;28;11 - 00;39;50;18
Unknown
One of the things that's so terrifying is being alone so we can look in the dream for allies. And if we really don't find any, then we bring them in with our imagination to stand with us while we work with that. That nightmare. Yeah, that's great. You know, because I know a lot of people that are hesitant to start dream work because they're scared of having nightmares.

00;39;50;25 - 00;40;31;00
Unknown
So that's great advice. Do you ever have lucid dreams at all? I love asking people that. I do occasionally. I haven't really cultivated that practice and I know you're really into that as one of your special interests. I have had just naturally lucid dreams. Those are often either flying or sometimes they're swimming and breathing underwater. So yes, I have had some just in the course of my dreaming or times where I just go, Wait a minute, I must be dreaming because and something in the dream excuse me into realizing that I'm lucid.

00;40;31;03 - 00;40;53;23
Unknown
So what do you have to share with people Like I know you've been working on a book and you also do your own dream therapy and that kind of stuff. Like where can people find you? I have a website and I'm on Facebook and Instagram and I'm increasing my presence on social media to talk about dreams more. But I haven't done that a whole lot yet.

00;40;53;25 - 00;41;20;17
Unknown
I'm in that process, but I do have a website so people can find me at in spiral dash psychotherapy dot com and then on Facebook and Instagram I'm under my own name Marta arly so it's m r t e r l i some so hopefully my book will be out in June. Well, I'm hoping within the year, but we'll see.

00;41;20;24 - 00;41;43;10
Unknown
It's my first book, so I don't know what that whole publishing process will be, but I'll be at the conference next year. The SD conference? Oh, in the Netherlands? Mm hmm. So exciting. Hopefully I'll see you there. I'm going to try to come if I can make it work. I'm working on it. I just encourage people. My book is really it's geared towards a range of people.

00;41;43;10 - 00;42;10;26
Unknown
Anyone who wants to remember their dreams, even if they don't currently, and people who do remember their dreams, who want really some concrete technique and practices, and also a lot of examples like the dreams I shared with you. Right now I have over 100 of my own dreams in the book, so there is a memoir aspect of it because I figured I can share my client's dreams.

00;42;10;26 - 00;42;37;02
Unknown
But you know, you have to be really careful about confidentiality so I can go as deep as I want into my own dreams and reveal all of this personal information like I did with you just now, and take it really deeply. And I can string five or ten dreams together and then look at how it shows a theme that's developed over maybe a few decades, you know, maybe 20 years.

00;42;37;02 - 00;43;07;16
Unknown
These dreams have been evolving. So it's really practical. And then lots of examples and then if you're a psychotherapist or a dream worker, I also share how to work with another person's dreams. If you work with yourself or, other people, or maybe you want to have a dream group. So it's kind of that whole range of people who I'm I'm talking to, I'm hoping that people can pick it up and just find something in it that speaks to them, even if it's also the dreams.

00;43;07;16 - 00;43;36;16
Unknown
Because the dreams are like stories. They're storytelling and cultures from all over the world tell stories, and if you go back far enough, you find rich, rich storytelling cultures which are often for teaching and for creating connection and community. And so I love the storytelling aspect of all of these dreams and how they will come in these kind of installments and continuing stories throughout the book.

00;43;36;16 - 00;43;59;10
Unknown
So there's that memoir aspect in the book, and I hope that inspires people to start connecting their dreams to each other and asking themselves questions. I have a lot of questions in the book to kind of prompt different ways in, and maybe a certain question doesn't really resonate. That's fine. Go on to the next question. Does that one suddenly spark something?

00;43;59;18 - 00;44;33;08
Unknown
They'll be lots of practices for people to try and see. Oh, okay. This this is what really resonates for this dream in particular, you know, keep writing them down, even if they seem really weird or cryptic or scary because our dreams are important, even if we don't know what they mean right away. And even if we don't really want to, you know, if it brings up something that's really uncomfortable, that's probably a sign that it's a part of us that we need to look at.

00;44;33;10 - 00;44;59;23
Unknown
It's something that we've blocked out and it's uncomfortable for us. So, you know, as a therapist, I like to look that because if I can look at these parts of myself that I don't like or that I judge or that I'm really critical of, I can really open up to these parts of myself through dream work and say, okay, well, maybe if I have a conversation with this part, even though I don't like it, I can understand it.

00;44;59;23 - 00;45;24;12
Unknown
I can maybe have more compassion. I can see where it came from and why it got formed the way it did. And it's part of the healing process. So I guess I could end on that note about how dreams help us heal, because most of us, all of us, I think, really have parts of us that we don't like, that we're really cruel to ourselves.

00;45;24;18 - 00;45;52;12
Unknown
You know, how many of us have self-criticism and self doubt and we hold ourselves back from doing things or being a certain way. We berate ourselves or, you know, say really mean things to ourselves a lot. So so these are sometimes the characters that the ugly characters that come out in dreams or, you know, sometimes I have dreams where I'm the one killing someone or I'm doing something awful in a dream.

00;45;52;17 - 00;46;20;11
Unknown
Well, I might not want to look at that, but when I do, it shows some part of me that's really wounded and misunderstood and angry or resentful. And so that's going to help me to look at it and see because the dreams I shared today were very beautiful and optimistic. And, you know, maybe another time we can talk about the dreams where we really don't like the characters.

00;46;20;11 - 00;46;39;16
Unknown
And those are super important to look at because we can heal something. Yes, that's true. You know what? I'm going to make a note for that because I think that would be a good topic for another episode. So I get that all the time from people. You know, I'm always encouraging framework and people are like, Oh, I don't like my dreams, I hate them.

00;46;39;16 - 00;47;07;03
Unknown
I try not to dream. They're so bad. I they're scared to go to sleep, you know, And that's it's sad. But, you know, I also want people to know that they can work with that. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we can have another conversation about, you know, nightmares and dreams where where the dreamer is doing awful things, you know, which is one the reasons like back to your original question, why do people not remember their dreams or, you know, Well, sometimes it's because we do awful things.

00;47;07;06 - 00;47;28;05
Unknown
So we go, Oh, I don't want to I don't want to see myself doing those things. But that killer who's inside of us or that one who's raging and harming other people or being violent, shooting people, you know, I do. I do all those things in my dreams. Yeah, those are really important. So that's the nightmare in the shadow work.

00;47;28;07 - 00;47;51;23
Unknown
I again, I write a whole section on on inner parts work and, and all the different ones and then particularly shadow parts and how they show up in nightmares. So are you going to be giving a presentation at the next conference? I am. You know, I want to expand the presentation I did last year. So it will be on ancestral dreaming again.

00;47;51;26 - 00;48;17;08
Unknown
I'll do a talk and I'll share a few examples, like different examples, and then they'll be a workshop, an experiential element. So it'll be probably an hour and a half or 2 hours. It'll be a workshop and then I'll talk people through a process of of reentering their own ancestral dream and talking to an ancestor or going to an ancestral land.

00;48;17;11 - 00;48;52;10
Unknown
So everyone will be working with their own dream or a dream character, a dream place and having an experience and then and doing some journaling. And then we'll come back and people will share about what they discovered or what they connected with ancestrally. So it'll be a workshop version of the Talk that I gave. Well, and actually, you know, I'm curious if you've had ancestral dreams or if there's one that you want to share that you know, where you felt something come up or anything in this territory.

00;48;52;12 - 00;49;14;00
Unknown
Yeah, I've had some interesting experience is actually a lot with like my grandpa parents, you know, which I knew and was pretty close with in my life. I've also had some where I've had just like interesting spiritual experiences. I could share one in particular actually, but this one was one where I felt like it was more ancestral rather than just my grandparents.

00;49;14;02 - 00;49;29;04
Unknown
So I was in a huge building with a lot of people and I see this girl that I follow online and she has like farms and ducks, and I go to say hi to her. She's like, No, I don't want anybody to see me. I just kind of lay low. I'm like, Oh, sorry, I got excited. I wanted to say hi.

00;49;29;10 - 00;49;46;21
Unknown
And then I go to this area and I see this other spiritual creator that I follow online and she looks like she needs a hug. And so I give her a hug and then she gives me some advice. And she says that my ancestors have been asking a lot about me. And she says how strongly they're backing me up.

00;49;46;21 - 00;50;04;28
Unknown
And she says, Let me show you. He sits me in like this chair, and she start explaining to me like this picture that she's seeing. And there's like this big cloud of smoke swirling around behind me, and there's three horses and three people riding horses and a huge lion like made of fire and like this vision that she's describing.

00;50;04;28 - 00;50;23;00
Unknown
But it's like coming to life behind me in the dream. And it's not like negative. It's very powerful. And I'm kind of lucid at this point. And she starts to ask me where my family's from, and I start to tell her, like from Brazil and my family, you know, the generations, like I know this about them. They were farmers.

00;50;23;00 - 00;50;43;28
Unknown
Like, I just start telling her things that I know and she says, yes, like they care about you, they're supporting your path and so on. Things that I really needed to hear at the time. And then we take a lunch break in the dream and I get in the car and I start driving. There's a lot of like police blocking the roads and I try to get back to where I just was for more information because I want to talk to them more.

00;50;44;00 - 00;51;00;18
Unknown
But the starts driving and taking me where it wants me to go and so I'm not able to drive. And then I feel like there's something stuck in my throat, like I just swallowed a pill and I can't get it out. So I'm trying to like, you know, pass it down. And then that's what I remember from the dream.

00;51;00;20 - 00;51;21;20
Unknown
Do you want to talk about this a little bit? Yeah. Yeah, it's it's a really interesting dream, and I'm I'm really curious about, like, if it were my dream and I'm seeing both of these other young women as parts of me, there's the part that doesn't want to be seen, right? That first one says, No, no, no, don't you know, I don't want don't look at me.

00;51;21;24 - 00;51;38;16
Unknown
And then the other part, who really wants a hug and wants to connect? That's the first thing that struck me is that sort of So I wonder, like, do I relate to do I have those different parts of me, the part that doesn't want to be seen and then the part that really does end? Who wants a hug and wants to connect?

00;51;38;19 - 00;51;54;05
Unknown
Yeah, that's true. Yeah. I never even thought about it like that. Yeah, definitely. And I struggle with those parts of me all the time, especially with things like this and things that I'm working on, like, you know, putting myself out there online and all that kind of stuff. So that's like a big thing for me for sure. Yeah.

00;51;54;08 - 00;52;20;27
Unknown
So I'd be curious about how might I get those two talking to each other? What would they say to each other? You know, those two women if they were both parts of me? Yeah. I think that the part that wants to be seen and wants to hug would, like, empathize with like, I know how hard and painful it can be, but it's worth it and, you know, necessary and it's rewarding, you know, which is what I try to do with myself.

00;52;20;27 - 00;52;54;15
Unknown
Just motivate myself and remind myself that like, you know, there's a reason. And, you know, for my own passions, like to, you know, pursue dreams and podcasting and that kind of stuff. So, yeah, just, just give myself that motivation. I think I'd also be curious if my ancestors ever had an experience where they needed to hide or or weren't safe, and so did they not want to be seen for really like in life and death kind of reasons?

00;52;54;17 - 00;53;14;11
Unknown
Interesting. Yeah. You know, now I think about it. I do have other dreams that might connect with that kind of theme, and I'm still learning a lot about like my ancestors and my family tree. My brother actually was like taking on a personal project to, like, learn some things. A couple generations ago about our family, and we're still filling in a lot of the gaps.

00;53;14;11 - 00;53;29;12
Unknown
But we did discover that, like, you know, there were some one of my, like great, great uncles on my dad's side. They were in like some political drama and somebody got murdered. And I don't know what like, I'm still figuring out some details, but I know there's something there that I want to know about. Like, what were they fighting for?

00;53;29;12 - 00;53;58;13
Unknown
What was the drama like? You know, I'm still trying to figure it out, but definitely I'm sure there's things there that I don't know about that, like make their way into my dreams. I want to know more about that. Yeah, I've had some nightmares where I'm hiding and soldiers are coming after me and I'm terrified. And I connect that back to ancestral experiences of being hunted down and, you know, murdered or at least captured and, you know, put into prison camps.

00;53;58;17 - 00;54;29;03
Unknown
I can have a tendency to hide now, like in my waking life. So then I wonder what's the ancestral connection to me wanting to hide and not be seen sometimes and not feeling safe out in the world. How does that connect to my ancestors experience maybe three or four generations ago? So I think that kind of thing is also really interesting, both the positive and the negative being, you know, like I think a lot of the dreams and inspirations of my ancestors also are part of me as well.

00;54;29;03 - 00;54;48;02
Unknown
Like, you know, I come from like a family of, like farmers and that's something that I want to do is have my own land and do dream retreats and, you know, heal and grow things. So I think that definitely comes from there too. And like, I'm just excited to continue on the journey. It's so hard to learn about your ancestors when they're not alive anymore, Huh?

00;54;48;04 - 00;55;09;08
Unknown
Well, I mean, that makes me curious about the, oh, three horses and then the lion, right. Who are behind you. And what do you make of that in the dream that seem like built so powerful to me And like, I still think about it from time to time? I'm not sure, Like the three horses, like, obviously gives me like Horsemen of the Apocalypse type of energy.

00;55;09;08 - 00;55;29;14
Unknown
And that's what I have thought of since I saw that imagery. But it didn't feel like negative. It felt like supportive and positive, like I wasn't scared of it. And it was like this black and white swirling cloud, you know, it makes me think of like balance and kind of like opposing sides. So there was like a apocalyptic aspect to it, but it was more so like evolution.

00;55;29;16 - 00;55;53;27
Unknown
And then like the it was a lion on fire. So, yeah, I don't know. It's so interesting. I am a Leo So there's that. I have a connection with lions Fiery energy. So that's a big thing for me. Did your ancestors use horses or have horses on their farm? Oh yeah. I mean, even my direct family, like a lot of my family in Brazil and I'm also Colombian.

00;55;53;27 - 00;56;14;26
Unknown
They have farms still now and horses and stuff. So I've always loved horses and it's always been like connected to me personally. So horses are kind of like very spiritually close to me as well. Yeah, me too. Me too. I've always loved horses and I, I used to ride, you know, when I was a kid. And I've had horse dreams.

00;56;14;29 - 00;56;42;02
Unknown
Yeah. For me, they also mean like power and freedom and possibly riding them, right? Like when you ride a horse, there's this close relationship and we can feel that sense of freedom through the intimacy with the horse and and riding and running together. And there's a lot of powerful symbolism with horses. Yeah, horses are incredible. They're such like breed animals.

00;56;42;02 - 00;57;00;20
Unknown
But it's interesting how, like, you know, we use them as like, Yeah, as a vehicle. Right. And as a as a work a work tool. Yeah, exactly. And a lot of my dreams, my like, I feel like my ancestors are just supporting me and doing whatever work I'm working on and my path, even when I don't fully know, like, what direction I'm going in.

00;57;00;22 - 00;57;18;25
Unknown
So, you know, a lot of my dreams kind of helped me with that. AS Yeah, I do get like insecure about everything and I don't know, I overthink things so well. And then of course there's that last piece of the pill that got stuck, right? It kind of feels like something's in your throat. Yeah. What do you make of that?

00;57;18;25 - 00;57;37;00
Unknown
I'm curious. That part was so interesting, too. I think there's layers to it. I think definitely like opening up, like, my throat and like, you know, being able to speak might be myself. Speak what I want to speak, you know, and and just be truthful in that way and, you know, kind of continue doing this, which is speaking and that kind of stuff.

00;57;37;02 - 00;57;53;24
Unknown
And also the concept of like a hard pill to swallow, which I've had other dreams related to that as well, where I was literally struggling to swallow this pill. And I was like, why so was kind of like that feeling so of like, you know, just information that I needed to take in. And even if it's hard. Yeah.

00;57;53;24 - 00;58;16;09
Unknown
And I'd be so curious, like, is this, you know, there's the hard pill to swallow or a bitter pill. But I also have the association of like pills can be medicine. So is there is this a bad thing that I don't want to swallow or is there some medicine that could help me or. Yeah. What is the the pill itself?

00;58;16;09 - 00;58;37;06
Unknown
And maybe could I even step in and become the pill? If if I am the pill, what would what would I say if I'm the pill stuck here. Yeah. In this dream, you know, it felt like something that I needed, like medicinal healing that I needed, even if it's nasty or hard to take in which I do. Taking pills in general, that checks out.

00;58;37;06 - 00;58;53;09
Unknown
But yeah, I think it's positive. And like, the feeling of just that I was in the car and it was like, No, you got what you needed. Now go about your day will guide you. You don't get to to control the car. You know, that part felt very much like just do what you got to do. Take your medicine, you know, get on your shit.

00;58;53;09 - 00;59;12;11
Unknown
I mean, like, that's what they're telling me. Yeah. Interesting. And we've got this will will drive will take you. Interesting. Wow. Cool dream. Yeah. Yeah. I really like that one. Yeah. And there's been so many connected to it. Like my dreams always just give me what I need to hear at the right time. You know, I've had dreams that have, like, healed me.

00;59;12;11 - 00;59;36;08
Unknown
Like in times where I was like, really going through it or depressed or healing from something. And like, my dreams just gave me, like, the energy that I needed or a message that I needed to, like, keep going. And it's always like perfect timing. So I've always been famous for that. Yeah. And I like taking a question from a dream, something that's kind of unresolved and then taking that into my intention for future dreams.

00;59;36;08 - 00;59;56;25
Unknown
Like. Like with this one of yours, please show me my medicine. What's the medicine that I need to take? That's. That might be kind of hard to swallow, you know? Oh, please keep showing me my medicine, and then my dreams can come in and we realize they're connected to say, Oh, here's another vision. Or image of that medicine.

00;59;56;27 - 01;00;14;27
Unknown
Yeah, it's awesome. And the dream that I had that was kind of related was like the opposite spectrum of the message was kind of like, you know, don't just take what anybody tells you, you know, and, you know, kind of like, know what you're taking. Don't just take your medicine that you're given. Because in that dream, it was more so like these pills that I didn't know what they were for.

01;00;14;27 - 01;00;27;25
Unknown
And it was kind of a weird environment and I was trying to swallow them until I became lucid. And I was like, Why am I doing this? And I like, spit it out. So I was like, I don't even know what this one's for. You know? Yeah, I'm not just going to swallow anything. Like I'm going to choose.

01;00;27;25 - 01;00;52;25
Unknown
I want to know what it is and, and just the person giving it to me or, you know. Yeah, trust the source. That's so important. Thank you, everybody, for listening. If you love this podcast, please check out all the links in the description. Leave a review, whatever you can do to support you know the drill. And hey, if anybody wants to come on here and tell me about their dream experiences, you don't have to be a dream expert.

01;00;52;25 - 01;01;10;23
Unknown
If you had a cool dream and you want to talk about it, come on the podcast. This is like an open call for everybody. This is an interactive podcast. It's not just about me, so I love you guys. Thanks for listening and sweet dreams.


Dreamwork in clinical practice
Dreamwork in academia
What is ancestral dreaming
How to identify an ancestral dream
Marta's ancestral dream
How to protect your energy in dreams
Amina's ancestral dreams