“We can get a clearer vision of our hearts in the dreamscape, and we can also open ourselves to the transformation required to truly fill from that divine source.”
Shauna Aura Knight, Dreamwork for the Initiate’s Path (pg 56)
I’ve never really considered doing any dreamwork before, so I was eager to read Shauna Aura Knight’s newest book. Weaving together personal experiences, dream psychology, and Joseph Campell’s mythic hero’s journey, Knight creates an easy-to-read book about the power of dreaming. While I would have enjoyed more exploration of common dream symbolism, as Knight aptly points out, there are a number of resources and dream dictionaries that are already widely available. Her book seeks to take the reader a bit deeper, exploring the process of initiation through dream study.
With short, digestible sections and lovely chapter illustrations, this book traces the initiate’s path through dreamwork, beginning with suggestions for starting out with dreaming, and culminating in trance work. Knight included a section on dreaming the future, taking an interesting stance on prophetic dreams; she has learned that “often that ‘ping’ of a remembered dream…is the sensation that gets me to stop and pay attention to the moment that’s unfolding around me” (pg 61).
I enjoyed this fresh perspective, allowing the dreamer to act as witness rather than taking action based on hard to interpret dreams. As someone who’s had the sense of déjà vu often, it’s interesting to consider prophetic dreams as the psyche’s way of cultivating mindfulness.
Dreaming as part of the initiate’s journey makes a certain amount of sense, especially with the parallels Knight draws between the dreamscape and the netherworld. Much as the hero’s journey requires a descent into darkness or the Underworld, Knight attests that “working with your dreams will bring you face to face with who you are, and allow you to become something more” (pg 69).
I haven’t yet attempted any of Knight’s dreamworking suggestions, but I’m eager to explore her experiences, and this is definitely a book I’ll be revisiting in the future. Although I didn’t intentionally undertake any dreamwork while reading this book, I did notice that my dreams were particularly vivid on the nights when I read a few chapters right before sleep. As Knight is quick to point out, however, dreamworking (and any path of initiation, really) shouldn’t be undertaken lightly; I’ll be more intentional the next time I read this book, and I’ll only read it at night if I’m ready to begin the descent into deep dreamwork.
This is a great book for anyone who’s ready to be more intentional about her dreamwork, and it offers an interesting approach to spiritual initiation that I enjoyed.