Working with images is a great way to strengthen visualization and imagination. Images are a great entry point, just like guided meditations, into dreaming. I realized this from a young age. I write about it here. We can use images to enter during our sleep dreams, in our imagination and ‘middle world’ dreams using the drum. Working with images and dreams in this way brings great benefits. Just minutes of the practice can be as beneficial as hours of sleep!
Today, it’s Norway’s national day, and boy do they honour and celebrate it in style! I took the incredible photo below last year using my iPhone. No filter! Forgive that it’s so big, but hopefully you’ll understand why. The aim is for you to use this photo to ‘visit’ the place for relaxation and healing.
Norway’s a country that’s very close to my heart. I’ve always loved Norse mythology. I’ve been working on projects in Norway, on and off, for 21 years. I have many friends in Norway. My partner is Norwegian. People from Liverpool (where I’m from) are known as Scousers. This is because of the Norwegian dish lobscouse, which is called scouse in Liverpool, that Norwegian sailors took there. There was a large Scandinavian population, large enough for Liverpool to have a Norwegian church completed in 1870. Liverpool and Norway still enjoy a close relationship today, mostly because of football!
Today, I’m not in Norway to celebrate 17 May. Instead, I want to share with you some ways in which I’ll still be there, one way or another, by working with this photo. I shared it on Facebook earlier as a greeting to my friends in Norway earlier, and thought, “I know what else I’m going to do with this photo today!”
Making sure that I won’t be disturbed in anyway, I sit and look at the photo. I start by feeling into the happy memories from the day I took it and the beauty of the landscape. I give thanks for knowing such a place. I look at the image closely for a minute or 2, and then I look away. I close my eyes and re-create the image in my imagination. I repeat this exercise as many times as I need to until I feel I’m imagining enough of the detail. Then, I set an intention for entering the image. It can be just to simply enjoy the landscape, or it can be to connect with the energy of the place for healing.
There are different ways I can approach this. One way, is to do it as a middle world shamanic lucid dream. This requires special preparations and experience of the practice. If you don’t currently practice this technique you can still enjoy and benefit from entering the scene simply by closing your eyes and just imagining you’re there. Or, working with the image before bed and holding the intention to dream you’re there during your sleep. With practice and strong visualization, these experiences are extremely beautiful, powerful and healing.
Imagine you’re in the scene. You might start at the top of the snow-capped mountain and work your way down, fly down or ride down. You might start at the stream, and drink its pure healing waters, and feeling purified and revivified, you then work your way up to the top. You might walk, ride or fly around before settling somewhere. You might stay a while in the lush grass feeling the energies and filling yourself with them, leaving you feeling strong. Do it all!
Before starting, I recommend you call out and give thanks to the place for sharing its magic with you. Leave an offering as a token of your appreciation. Using your imagination, your offering can be a song, a poem, a strand of hair, a small shell, a crystal, a flower, herbs, seeds, nuts…..As you leave the place, give thanks again for whatever healing you receive.
Literally anyone can benefit from such exercises. Doesn’t matter your age, dreaming experience, condition. It’s free and it doesn’t take long. You can use any image you’re drawn to. Your mind, body and soul will be nourished. Your mind and body will be relaxed and refreshed. Minutes of doing these exercises can be the equivalent of hours’ worth of sleep, in terms of the benefits. The effect of the exercise lasts long afterwards. Your energy will be boosted. The possibilities are endless! Using just this photo alone, you can reenter and have a different experience every time.
Give it a try and be sure to jot down your experience afterwards!