Dreamwork and Stalking the Uncanny

Pathfinding. Photography © Raena Wilson, sunrae-artworks.com

I’m an unruly mystic. I have always stalked the uncanny since young, even unintentionally in following nature. Curiosity opens me. I notice what the conventional eye misses. I discover treasure where others find nothing unusual. I came into this life wired with shamanic consciousness active—the part of awareness that is driven to expand and evolve wisdom ecstatically, even if that means walking through the wild and weedy, to deconstruct rigid structures, societally, or even within the self that is identifying one into stagnancy. Does this sound like you? Are you called by a compelling guiding force on your Being to walk through the wild and weedy? The more I have developed in shamanic consciousness—and in the Indigenous Pinoy lineage I descend from, this would be called babaylan or katalonan consciousness, I have come to learn that this noticing is an opening to the “second attention.” This is a term I see a lot in writings from Toltec lineages, but the concept is not limited to this culture.

When I facilitate shamanic dreamwork, I am sharing a process of developing over time shamanic consciousness and attuning one’s second attention—that part of us that notices and finds meaning or inspiration from that which happens beyond the mundane, beyond the typical senses, leading us beyond the conventional or conditioned. In developing and expanding your consciousness this way, you begin to stalk the uncanny. The more you notice, the more you see. It stokes curiosity, that which can open compassion and consciousness, awareness. You become a hunter in a sense, until at some point, what you see calls you and drives you to more deeply understand that which you see, the uncanny, which can sometimes present as a challenge. You start then to become a warrior, to make friends with the challenge, the “demon,” and to turn it into opportunity, a “guardian” that will guide your wisdom. There is no “good” vs “evil,” just a process of empowerment through curiosity, radical kindness, compassion, sometimes ruthless compassion. Here then, the process is broadening and sharpening your skills—not just in awareness and compassion, kindness to self and thus others, but also in your nervous system, widening your capacity to tolerate and be in challenge—you become a deep well of intuitive resources from which you draw, given any challenge or opportunity presenting in the moment. Whatever may have entered your space in the past as a tsunami, now will enter as gentler ripples. Your warriorship has transformed you then to magician or medicinal guide, healer, for self or other. One who can enter the wild and weedy, walk with the mystery—and it comes from your increasing ability to command your attention with intention and see the opportunity in befriending challenges, not bypass them. Your second attention can lead you to more deeply satisfying experience of yourself and relationships with other, community, nature, the divine, with a feeling sense of groundedness that is also flexible and adaptable at the same time, with curiosity. And your capacity to drop into the mystery and allow knowing to arise in novel ways, is where transformation will find room to breathe in your life, wherever you are meant to grow. It may be therapeutic, but the “therapy” is not to tame those demons and make them go away, but to allow the wisdom of life force energy to flow, to be in the risk of life, the unknown, and only knowing that wisdom arises from within you naturally. Meditative and ecstatic states are more easily accessible through developing the second attention, because meditative attention is a natural portal that is already a part of your embodied being—not an experience of “peace” that is “out there” outside of your experience right now that you must work at to “achieve.” This shamanic dreamwork process, in the way I guide it, goes beyond dream interpretation—it is for those whose attention is being piqued by synchronicity, or who are more strongly being called by the wild and compelled to stalk the uncanny that is appearing to their awareness in the dreamtime—and not just while you sleep, but also in the fields around you in waking life.

What is piquing your attention these days? What might be calling you through the uncanny? Come join me in Shamanic Dreamwork Circle sometime, to explore and ground it in practice.

I look forward to being with you! ☀️