Welcome to Dreamwork Online Course
Dreams deal with the night, the dark, the underworld, the moon and the feminine. Dreams offer a different way of seeing from the solar consciousness of the logical, rational and masculine ideals represented by an Apollonian way of living.
*Scroll down to skip intro and go directly to Module One
Work with dreams is a matter of heart (courage) and freedom. Existentialists, as well as Freud through the concept of repetition compulsion, have shown that rather than seeking fluidity and freedom, most humans are actually terrified of real freedom, to the point that when it is offered, there is often a strong impulse to shut oneself back into contained systems of familiarity and limitations. Dreams are constantly leading individuals towards deeper “seeing” that can break through limiting and destructive behavioural patterns and false identities built on false securities. Dreams that are worked open the dreamer to vaster psychic landscapes of possibility and freedom.
In this course, some classic Freudian and Jungian theories (such as repetition compulsion, fate, destiny, individuation, complexes and the archetype of the Self) and dreamwork techniques (such as free association, amplification, active imagination and ritual) are explored, with the intention of helping individuals loosen inner complexes and become open to a richer, more complex life experience. The course also explores and extrapolates from the more contemporary dream theories of Marion Woodman and James Hillman.
Each module presents new material while building and deepening the practices and techniques learned in earlier modules. Modules eight and nine delve into shamanic dreamwork practices such as bridging, power and the Ally.
Throughout the course, Dr. Mozol combines knowledge from her own dreamwork practice of over 30 years with personal stories, theoretical reflections, historical analysis, and 20 years of clinical experience specializing in and teaching dreamwork. Each of the ten modules contains audio lectures (podcasts), readings and exercises to help participants deepen their understanding of and individual practice with dreams. The modules build on each other and continue to deepen previously learned techniques.
This course is designed both for clinicians interested in working with dreams in their practice and for all individuals with an interest in studying their own dreams. It will benefit people just beginning to work with dreams, as well as more advanced practitioners. Some of the later modules touch on extremely advanced dreamwork theory and technique. For individuals just starting dreamwork, exposure to these advanced levels can plant important seeds that allow for a deeper understanding of what is happening when these levels of dreaming are encountered, which can happen at any point in the process. Dreamwork is deeply unique to each individual.
I recommend completing the course in three to six months. This leaves time between the modules for integration of the previous module and dreaming with the material.
Dream recall and the use of waking dreams
If you are new to exploring your dreams or are having a hard time getting started with dream recall, you can try some of the following suggestions:
Recall Enhancement Practice (included with course).
It is also possible to use moments from day-to-day life as dream material. These are referred to as “waking dreams” and are usually set apart from the “normal” flow of life — for example, moments that feel numinous, extraordinary in some way, deeply peaceful and distinctive. Record the memory as you would a dream, then use the waking dream as you go through the exercise.
Suggested Text and Supplemental Readings
I have assigned Robert Johnson’s book Inner Work for the course. I believe that you will get the most out of the course by reading this text while listening to the course audio lectures and doing the exercises. A recommended reading schedule is outlined in the modules. I have also created PDFs of the most salient material from Inner Work, so it is possible to take the course without purchasing the book, although this would not be optimal. For example, to comply with copyright restrictions, the PDF for Module Two is only part of the section on associations. I leave it for you to decide whether you wish to purchase the book. You will still get a great deal out of the course if you choose not to.
I have also included scanned PDFs of book chapters and articles related to dreaming that connect (sometimes loosely) with the main themes from each individual module. Some of these chapters are again provided only partially, to comply with copyright restrictions.
I recommend following your interest and intuition with the readings. Some are strongly theoretical (such as the Carl Jung article on the transcendent function, the Marie-Louise von Franz article on active imagination, and part of the final chapter on mandalas from Jung’s (1974) book Dreams in Module Ten) and may not interest everyone. That said, I would still encourage you to expand the territory you are comfortable with, even in the readings.
This module is an introduction to the course. It focuses on how Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, James Hillman and Marion Woodman viewed dreamwork in relation to soul.
All believed that dreamwork was soulwork. The modules explore these depth psychologists’ individual definitions of “soul” and what soulwork entails. It then goes further into Hillman’s discussion of soul versus spirit and how the underworld of the unconscious and dreams connects to what Marion Woodman and James Hillman considered the deep feminine. The language of dreams and how dreams speak in metaphor and symbol is emphasized. The fairy tale of the third son is used as an example of the best way to approach the world of dreams.
Dr. Mozol shares briefly about her own call to the world of dreams from an early age.
Homework and Exercises
Your exercise for this module is simply to go out and find yourself a dream journal and to begin recording your dreams. Find a journal that speaks to you; listen to your intuition about what you are drawn to.
Record a minimum of three dreams before moving on to the next module.
If you are having trouble remembering your dreams, you can use a moment from life that stands out as significant or dreamlike — a type of waking dream.
If you are already recording your dreams, continue doing what you are doing, but wait for three new dreams before starting the next module.
Inner Work, Johnson R., pages 1-50
Summaries for Modules Two to Ten
Module Two: Associations and the Underworld
“Associations”, the most powerful and simplest of dreamwork techniques, is discussed in this module. The myth of Inanna and how she “turned her ear towards the underworld” is used as a starting point for inviting the wisdom of the unconscious to begin to speak through dreams. Carl Jung referred to dreams as the other half of life. Marie-Louise von Franz and Jung believed dreams to be the “water of life” — in other words, they’re what bring meaning to life. The origin of dream associations is connected to the Freudian technique of free association. This module provides some guidance on how to make associations with certain dream images, landscapes, moods and characters. The importance of negative capability in dreamwork is explored. Then some examples of common collective dream associations, such as the family home, sex, teeth falling out, strangers in the home and tidal waves are highlighted.
Module Three: Fate and Repetition Compulsion
In Module Three, the main themes of fate, repetition compulsion and complexes are defined and considered in relation to dreamwork. Through Freud’s theory of repetition compulsion, we see how destructive and limiting the behavioural patterns learned in childhood can be if carried into the future and endlessly repeated with little or no consciousness. Dreams offer important insights into where someone might be caught up in reliving the past; they also can hint at what is necessary to begin to break free of these complexes that limit life force, potential and possibilities.
The module exposes parental complexes and how they constellate as internal imagoes (or internal representations, “objects” in psychoanalytic terms); these have the capacity to overtake ego functioning and restrict the evolution of consciousness, which in Jungian terms is referred to as the “individuation process” or the movement towards wholeness. This is the work we do to grapple with the inner shadows and demons of the past.
Examples that highlight these complexes are shown through clinical materials and collective culture to elucidate how they can work to keep an individual locked in a “false self” and alienated from their deeper authentic nature.
The module ends with a section on trauma and dreams.
Module Four: Amplification
In this module, the Jungian dreamwork technique of “amplification” is defined, explored and demonstrated. Suggestions are offered throughout for how to use this technique of amplifying dream images and objects to the mythic or archetypal level. Dr. Mozol provides an example of dream amplification using the image of a cobra that came to her when she was beginning her graduate studies in depth psychology. Her research on amplification as well as the use of personal associations are discussed in depth. Themes of the archetypal feminine and prophetic dreaming are discovered through the amplification process.
Module Five: The Destiny Line
Unlike Freud, Jung felt there was a way out of endlessly repeating the patterns of the past. Jung found that dreams not only take you into the past to “see” the dramas of the soul playing out, but they also have a teleological function — meaning they also pull forward to the future. This pull is referred to as the “destiny line.” Jung used the term “individuation” to describe how dreams are always trying to move the dreamer towards wholeness. Being on the path of individuation means being on one’s destiny line.
The destiny line is considered the original blueprint of one’s soul, revealing the life one is meant to live. Moving towards the destiny line and staying strongly aligned with it are seen as the most difficult tasks or initiations.
When enough shadow work and loosening of the inner complexes has happened, the dreams will start supporting an individual in finding and moving towards their own destiny line.
Dr. Mozol uses her own personal examples of such dreams and how they eventually led her to her work with Jungian analyst Marion Woodman.
Module Six: Active Imagination
This module focuses on the first three phases of the Jungian dreamwork technique of active imagination: the invitation, the dialogue and the values. Jung’s original conceptualization of active imagination is shared, followed by a discussion of the ethics that need to be considered when using this technique. Dr. Mozol then shows how active imagination can be applied when making a large life decision; she also addresses the pitfalls to avoid when doing such important work. This is followed by an example of how active imagination can be used to give voice and expression to marginalized aspects of the psyche.
A client’s use of active imagination in a session with the dream figure of a clown is shared to demonstrate how it allowed her to embody the characteristics of play, innocence and joy that had been repressed and unavailable to her in everyday life.
Active imagination is also shown to be of particular use in the personification of moods, feelings and physical symptoms.
Module Seven: Ritual
This module focuses solely on the fourth stage of active imagination: ritual.
The ritual stage of this technique is a physical gesture the dreamer makes to communicate with the unconscious and thus increase the bridge between the two worlds. Creative expressions that demonstrate this stage of active imaginal work almost always lead to deeper embodiment of the insights already gleaned from the dreams, as well as generating new ones during the ritual itself. In this way, ritual dreams the dream forward.
Dr. Mozol shares a very personal experience of this ritual stage of active imagination based on a powerful dream she had while traveling in Romania in 2011. The complex synchronicities surrounding the dream that eventually led her to play the character Salomé, in an adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s play by the same name, are explored. The year-long rehearsals, preparation for and eventual performance of the role consisted of an ambitious ritual stage of active imagination based on the original Romanian dream.
Module Eight: Shamanism: Places of Power
In this module, shamanic dreamwork practices are explored.
The concept of “power” in relationship to shamanism is defined and discussed as the ability to see things as they are and to know things such as the important connections between the visible and invisible worlds. This kind of power can be used for personal healing, to gain insight into one’s life direction as well as for protection, deep seeing, well-being and restoration, and for bringing the heart and mind into a state of cohesion. This is not the kind of power associated with success, dominance or ego strivings. It is a power connected to community and the environment and thus is built on a profound relationship with the world, nature and the imaginal. While there are several techniques in shamanism to gain power, the three explored in this module connect to both the dreaming world and the waking world. The first is the shamanic technique of bridging, and the other two are power animals and power places.
Dr. Mozol shares her own introduction into shamanism and some of her personal experiences with this concept of power.
Module Nine: The Ally
This module focuses on an unique relationship that may develop between an individual and a particular imaginal figure that shamans have termed the Ally. Jungian analyst Jeff Raff has written extensively about the relationship to the Ally. Raff’s own personal experience of meeting his Ally is shared, as well as some general thoughts about the Ally from the shamanic tradition. Jung’s relationship to the imaginal figure of Philemon is considered in this context. The Ally comes to the individual to impart wisdom, seeing, ecstatic travel and the ability to enter the psychoidal realm of dreaming. The psychoidal realm is discussed in connection with the shamanic concept of “real dreaming.” Dr. Mozol shares her initial experience of entering this territory through dreaming, where she met her own Ally.
Module Ten: The Mandala & Conclusion
In this concluding module, the Jungian archetype of the Self is discussed in relationship to alchemy and mysticism. Far-reaching visionary dreams are possible when the connection between the ego and this larger Self is firmly established. The middle section of this module explores in depth the importance of protecting and containing dreams in general and visionary experiences in particular. Jung believed that images of mandalas (circles) often represent the Self in dreams. Mandalas also have a containing and protecting function. Jung made many art pieces of mandalas in his life, and many religions also honour the importance of the mandala in ritual practices, such as the Tibetan sand mandalas.
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