Winter Dreaming

The dreaming or the dreamtime indicates a psychic state in which or during which contact is made with ancestral spirits or the Law, or that special period of the beginning.
Mudrooroo

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While on a short break at the beach this week a friend commented that I seemed to be in my element. She was right. I was. There are two places in Australia I feel most at home; the beach and the bush. I feel a strong connection to spirit, to nature and to my own inner being when in these places.

While it’s winter here in Australia it is my favourite time to be at the beach. Okay, it’s not so great for swimming but it is a joy to walk the stretch of sandy shore without the crowds that summer brings. There is a calmness associated with watching the few keen surfers, zipped into their wetsuits, paddle out into the vast blue depths to catch frothy white waves into the shallows. I enjoy peering into the buckets of wadder-clad fisherfolk who line the shore morning and evening, lines held aloft, in eager anticipation of the catch of the day.  I love seeing families, rugged up against the cold, come down to play a ball game or to build sand castles as reminders of their time in the warm winter sun.

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Images of bronzed bodies on gorgeous Australian beaches abound in summertime though Winter, for me, is the best time to visit.  I love the way the sun warms and thaws my cold core. I love the sound of the squeaky white sand beneath my feet.  The cacophony of crashing waves and the daring and courage it takes to wade into their icy maws are all part of the winter beach experience. What really makes my heart sing is the seasonal beauty and atmosphere of the seaside. The light is different, it’s gentler, milder somehow. It’s hard to explain, it’s just different in so many ways.

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There is magic and healing energy in this landscape. The boundless sea takes my breath away yet also brings balance and renewal while the wildlife are messengers of great wisdom.

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Relaxing on the deck of our beach shack I was visited by a plethora of birds, among which was a gorgeous, curious Willie Wagtail that lifted my spirits and reminded me to seek things that brighten my mood and bring cheer into my life. Twice, a flock of Black Cockatoos screeched overhead heralding a time of liberation and freedom to come. Black Cockatoo is also, for me, a strong symbol of inner strength and spirit.

Image by Alfred Schultie

Image by Alfred Schultie

An Osprey, circling overhead, was a powerful reminder of trusting my own wisdom and freeing my spirit to enjoy life more.

Of course the boundless ocean brought gifts as well. Of not only gorgeous tokens to treasure and patterns in the sand but also whale and dolphin.

imageimage Every day I was witness to the majesty of dolphins at play and whales migrating for the winter. At times the whales were breaching, at others simply rolling around or squirting water through their blowholes. One windy afternoon I watched in awe as a whale made a great show of slapping its flukes. These encounters were at times at a distance and at others, quite close to shore. It is a great honour and privilege to witness whales and for me there is great emotional healing involved. Whales encourage me to seek a deeper awareness and consciousness, they remind me to keep evolving and not to stagnate.

Source if image unknown

Source of  image unknown

Our dolphin friends with their playful ways always lead me to focus on my breath and remind me that, while introspection and self development are good, bonding with others is also a meaningful part of life.

I don’t know about you but the beach is my place to recharge and to get back into balance by listening to the whispers of nature. It’s my dreaming.

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Snakes, spiders, wallabies and chimpanzees.

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Since the new year began many friends and acquaintances have had either dreams of or incidents involving animals. A friend had been seeing spiders on a regular basis, then one jumped onto her dinner plate (you can just imagine the hysteria that created at a dinner party), she also had a fox cross her path that same night while driving home. Another friend saw a white python in a dream, an acquaintance retold her dream which featured four wallabies and a chimpanzee and another has dreamt of dragons and seen dragon images, ornaments etc as she goes about her days.

A lot of people, and not even particularly spiritual people, are noticing the animals that present themselves and are asking questions about their meaning.  Sometimes there are messages for us in these moments. You can do searches on the internet to find out spiritual meanings of particular animals and that’s a great place to start. Read what you find from several sources and notice what really resonates or stands out for you in what is written. Take that information and see what aspect of your life it pertains to.

Another method of working out what message may be contained in your interactions with the animal kingdom is to ask yourself what that animal signifies to you. For example, I’ve had several close encounters with birds lately. Five huge pelicans flew very close overhead while I was on the beach, later that day I was able to get very close to a pelican – when others tried he flew away. While in the bush one day I happened upon a chorus of currawongs, high in the trees. I stopped to listen as the song was magnificent and I slowly started to see there were up to twenty birds sitting low on branches, not singing but also not shying away from my presence. Instead, they seemed to follow me as I moved on my way. I have birds that wake me in the morning and birds that have flown directly across my path, so close I could  feel the breeze from their wings. In these instances I ask myself what is the message here? To me birds represent flight, freedom and unconscious self-expression. So my message was to stop holding back and run with the project I had in mind. It was also about knowing it was safe to speak openly about my project and ideas.

Signs and messages come to us in many forms. You don’t have to be a cheesecloth wearing, incense waving hippy or a gypsy fortune teller (no disrespect intended to either hippies or gypsies) to believe or to benefit.  Be on the look out, be aware – what is that song that’s playing over and over in your head trying to tell you? Did a headline in the paper hold the key to a question you’ve long held? Did you turn the television on to hear a story, see a program about a problem you’ve been trying to solve? Life can be fun and if we are open and aware we can see signs and recieve guidance from the most unlikely sources.