This is yet another inspiring book by one of my favourite authors, Robert Moss.
Moss holds what he calls “active dreaming” workshops throughout the globe; active dreaming is a “synthesis of modern dreamwork and shamanism”.
In his dreams, he flies “on the wings of a red-tailed hawk” and contacts beings in dreamworld who speak ancient languages. One such being is an ancient Native woman who speaks Mohawk. At first, he did not understand her but later he found Mohawk speakers who were able to translate what he had taken down phonetically. He calls her “Island Woman”.
As a child, he was very ill and died several times but made contact with dream visitors with whom he had conversations in the middle of the night. Due to his illnesses, he experienced soul loss, which ís the main theme of the book.
Now he teaches soul retrieval and soul recovery. Soul retrieval is not a self-help technique and “carries risks and challenges for both the practitioner and the intended beneficiary”. Unwanted entities and energies may have to be extracted. The soul retrieval journey may require travelling to “very dark places in nonordinary reality“ including realms of the dead”.
On the other hand, soul recovery is “a practice in which we help each other to become self-healers and shamans of our own souls”. It does not require us to play shaman for others and it minimizes the risk of dependency and of taking on what does not belong to us.
Moss teaches us to go to the places where lost souls can be found and reclaimed, and how we can help each other do this. In his courses and workshops, he and his students dream together and travel together in group shamanic journeys on agreed-upon destinations. They have made group expeditions “to other cultures, other times, and other dimensions”. What could be more exciting?
In Moss’s courses, students learn how to become dream trackers and accompany friends on their journeys to reclaim soul.
We can “journey across time to understand and resolve issues involving counterpart personalities in the past or the future.” We can also journey to younger versions of ourselves and counsel a younger self at a time of pain or challenge. This can involve tremendous healing for both of us in our own times.
We are connected to the ancestors of our biological families and the ancestors of the land where we live; in order to “open and cherish soul connections to wise ancestors and departed loved ones” we must clear “unhealthy legacies and energy attachments”.
Moss writes; “Once we restore the practice of soul recovery in our society, we --- might wake up and stop having so much trouble in our lives.”
He refers to the famous psychologist Jung’s “The Red Book”, which reveals the latter’s night visions and explorations in the Underworld. Jung goes through Hell and converses with a Red Devil. Moss describes Jung’s adventures as “a frightful shamanic journey through the many cycles of the Netherworld” and is often revulsed and close to chucking the book across the room.
Moss is proficient in all sorts of both ancient and modern languages and apprises us of the words and phrases in these exotic languages describing the various sorts of dreams, spirits, etc.
We are regaled and illuminated by accounts of “dreams and adventures inside the dream world” shared by Moss’s most gifted participants in his dream courses.
If we wish to be shamans, we should start at the breakfast table and share dreams with our family and friends, “Real shamans are dreamers who know that dreams can be travelling, and that soul speaks to us through dreams,”
We can’t lose spirit, though we can lose contact with it, But when we suffer trauma or violent shock, soul may leave the body to escape. Psychologists call this “dissociation” and shamans call it “soul loss”, Soul loss is a survival mechanism.
Alcohol and drug abuse can also drive soul out of the body; also the brainwashing that occurs in cults may result in major soul loss “as the part of an individual that can think and has an independent will is driven away or taken prisoner”.
Major symptoms of soul loss are as follows:
- Low energy, chronic fatigue
- Emotional numbness
- Chronic depression
- Addictive behaviours
- Low self-esteem
- Inability to let go of past situations or people no longer in your life
- Dissociation and multiple personality disorder
- Obesity or unexplained weight gain
- Abusive behaviours
- Absence of dream recall
- Recurring dreams of locations from earlier life, or a self separate from your dream self.
Soul loss is widespread, and sexual abuse is a major cause of it.
“The appearance of animals in dreams carries power and numinosity.” (Barbara Platek)
We see the state of our own vital energy in the nature and condition of our dream animals, just as the condition of the animals reflects our own situation. Active dreamers especially when engaging in shamanic work may develop “working relations with many animal spirits”. Different animals bring different gifts, different challenges call forth different allies.
If you dream of a house with rooms you have never seen, this may be an invitation to discover more of your potential.
“The state of a dream house may reflect the state of body or soul.” It may be in need of repair, which may indicate a health problem. I myself have previously had a period where I kept dreaming of dusty rooms or with walls that needed scrubbing, and in fact began to scrub them in these dreams.
If you keep dreaming of an old home or office where you worked, perhaps you have left part of yourself behind there.
Dream re-entry (including tracking) with the aid of shamanic drumming is perhaps one of the most exciting aspects of Moss’s work/teachings, but I don’t profess to understand how this is done, far less am able to do it; I don’t understand how to reenter a dream and seem to remember Moss stating somewhere in the book that the re-entry is done consciously while awake.
This review barely touches on the possibilities referred to in the book, Moss is an amazingly gifted shaman, and I would regard it as an exceptional gift from the Universe, were I enabled to participate in one of his courses and to learn how to do even a little of the dreamwork he teaches.
I strongly recommend that you read this well-written, erudite, inspiring and enlightening book.