Dreaming of Eros: god of Passion

Dreaming of Eros: god of PASSION, October 2020 ( This article originally appeared at SoulfulLiving.com)

Amid a serious pandemic and 2020 political election, it is not surprising that many people are dreaming about catching the virus, natural disasters, even Armageddon. But at the other end of the spectrum, I am also witnessing people dreaming about Eros, the god of Inner Love. Eros literally means “desire for that which is missing.” Eros is passion, beauty and often manifests in dreamtime as the lover archetype. And so, it makes perfect sense, that during this time of social distancing, anxiety, and uncertainty, many of us hunger for the beloved, for that which brings fulfillment and authentic connection.

Here is a recent dream a female client had about Eros:

It’s dark outside but the moonlight is casting light onto the road I’m walking on. There is a dark-haired man coming toward me and I find him extremely attractive. As he gets closer, I see he has a sword inside a sheave, hanging from his belt down and it’s dangling down the side of his right leg. Despite the sword, I am unafraid yet curious. He seems familiar but I do not know for sure if I know this man. He’s looking right at me and recognizes me. He seems glad to see me. There is a pavilion close to where we are standing and I notice a white bird perched on the roof of the pavilion, watching me. I notice the moonlight highlights the bird’s wings. I want to embrace the man but am worried he may not want me to. For some reason, I feel the need to apologize for not having seen him for so long, for neglecting him. He looks at me but says nothing. I reach out to touch his arm and as I do, the white bird screeches and takes off into the night sky. My yearning to hug this man is getting stronger but I fear he will reject me. When I wake up, I am missing this man and still longing for him.

Permission by Craig Magnum

If we delve into this dream, we notice the dream occurs at nighttime, revealing the dreamer’s lack of awareness about her need for passion in waking life. Moonlight is streaming down, symbolizing “Luna,” the embodiment of the divine feminine. Eros appearing as an attractive man, is the dreamer’s Animus (male aspect) while the sword depicts the aliveness, strength and sensual delight Eros brings to our life. There is a sense of familiarity about him and the dreamer feels guilty for having neglected him for so many years, signifying her ignoring her own needs and desires. The bird’s wings, highlighted by moonlight, are a universal symbol of Eros. It waits and watches to see if she will open her heart to this man, flying away once she finally reaches out to him. The dreamer desires to rekindle the connection, not sexually, but heart-to-heart. In her waking life, we discussed the emptiness she was feeling from isolating during the pandemic and being overly focused on the political arena. There was no joy, no passion, she felt barren. Thus, Eros began flooding her dreams. She said she always awoke wanting more.

When Eros appears all our senses are aroused. We are filled with the same aliveness that we feel in the beginning of an intimate relationship; colors appear brighter, aromas smell intoxicating, and every-day oozes with the nectar of life. In dreamtime, Eros gives us vital life force energy. In our relationships, Eros provides the embers which feed our connection; without it, we feel barren, disconnected, and wondering, “Where did the passion go?” I’ve counseled numerous couples who still love one another but are deeply missing the beginning arc of passion that brought them together. Sometimes this leads to projecting our inner Eros onto a human being which leads to problems. “If we mistake a human lover for our Inner Lover,” writes Stephen Aizenstat, “we can experience even the slightest of criticisms as rejection by Eros.”

If Eros shows up in your nighttime dreams, or even waking dreams or fantasies, ask yourself: What brings me passion? Eros appears to remind us of the desire we long for in our lives. Whether we feel passionate about a project, a new role, or an exciting relationship, Eros’s presence beckons us to live life as fully as we possibly can—even amidst a pandemic. In ancient Greek times, the Greeks did not focus on writing obituaries when someone died. They only asked the question: Did he or she have passion?

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Namaste.

Viewing Our Current Situation through the Lens of WAKING DREAMING™

Viewing Our Current Situation through the Lens of WAKING DREAMING™ (This article originally appeared at SoulfulLiving.com)

We can do a lot of practice in our sleep! We are also doing deep practice when we learn to navigate by synchronicity and look at the everyday world around us as a set of dreamlike symbols. Robert Moss

What if you viewed the current election and/or pandemic through the lens of a “waking dream?” What meaning might they give to your life? Your nighttime dreams and daytime experiences are completely interconnected. They appear to exist at opposite ends of the continuum which is why we tend to discount or ignore them. But indigenous people like the Aboriginal Australians embody The Dreaming or Dreamtime which describes the web of life between the numinous and natural worlds. In essence, there is no difference between being asleep versus being awake; it’s all one big dream. Similarly, Shamans believe the dream world and the spirit world are the same and that we are dreaming the world into being. This is why for thousands of years indigenous people knew they could count on receiving wisdom from their ancestors, guidance from spiritual realms and valuable answers to mystifying questions. Solutions can arise from the liminal phase of “hypnagogia” which has its roots in Greek etymology meaning “guide.”  There are two distinct periods: “hypnagogic” signifying the period of being led into slumber and “hypnopompic” meaning “away from sleep.” Both interludes last mere minutes as your mind floats between “waking” and “sleeping.”

The “twilight zone”—the hypnopompic zone when we are stirring from our slumber but not fully awake—is an exciting interval. This marvelous cycle opens the portal for experiencing innovative breakthroughs and discoveries and is a time when we make connections that escape the ordinary conscious mind. Thomas Edison, Salvador Dali, Albert Einstein, and countless others have found this in-between state to be the perfect space to unearth resolutions to problems and foresee visions about the universe.

However, answers, ideas and insights are not limited to nighttime dreams or the liminal states. A potent practice I created called Waking Dreaming leads to heightened wakefulness and enhances your nighttime dream recall and understanding. “Those who have compared our life to a dream were right,” Michel de Montaigne once affirmed, “We sleeping wake, and waking sleep.” I have used Waking Dreamingand taught the process to my students for more than twenty years. It is highly effective and embodies the power of synchronicity. Waking Dreaming is aimed to liberate us from the misconception that our waking life experiences are merely random and passive.

  Synchronicities: Bridging Your Inner and Outer Worlds

            Pause now to ask yourself the following question: “Am I dreaming or awake, right now?” Be serious, really try to answer the question to the best of your ability and be ready to justify your answer. Stephen LaBerge

The term synchronicity was coined by Jung to express the idea of a causal relationship between “two or more psychic and physical phenomena”. Jung witnessed the birth of this conception while supporting a patient whose animus (inner male) was rigid and fearful and blocking her from accessing her deeper self. During therapy, she told Jung how she had dreamt of a golden scarab. The very next day, a live scarab hit against Jung’s window. He was surprised to see that it was a golden scarab which was unheard of for that particular environment and climate zone. Connecting the patient’s scarab dream with the waking experience, he recognized how the scarab symbolized the concept of death and rebirth; the same phenomena needed for his patient to break free from her rigid ego and belief system in order to delve deeper into her inner self. This seeming coincidence paved the way for what we now recognize as the power of “synchronicity.”

            While traveling through your daily waking life you possess the capacity to witness experiences from a heightened level of awareness. Most of us are asleep; emotional setbacks and trauma can disconnect us from our deeper selves causing us to sleepwalk through life. Working with your nighttime dreams engages your soul and brings to life what I call “soul spark.” Soul sparks inspire new perspectives and directions and lead to significant positive changes. Often when I’m working with dream participants in my programs, I see a student’s eyes light up when they begin sharing their dreams. They may have entered the room with a flat look in their eyes, but as soon as they talk about a dream that calls to them their eyes reveal a soul spark that has been buried. This makes perfect sense when you remember that dreams emanate from the unconscious and are the language of the soul.

But as I mentioned, nighttime dreams are not the only pathway to awakening. “Awake” is a term we often hear in Buddhism because Buddha stems from the root budh which means “awake.” Buddhism recognizes that in the dream state, the mental body is more fluid and flexible and a time when the imagination is on fire. This raw creative power is greatest in dreamtime. H.F. Hedge once wrote, “Dreaming is an act of pure imagination, attesting in all men a creative power, which if it were available in waking, would make every man a Dante or Shakespeare.” However, your waking life also holds infinite opportunity for seeing beyond what cannot be seen. Here is a personal example of Waking Dreaming:

            A few weeks ago, I scheduled a session with a friend who is also a soul-coach to discuss some concerns about starting a new venture. She thoughtfully set up two beach chairs and an umbrella along the Pacific shoreline right in front of the rolling waves. The sun began to lower across the sea as I shared how I wanted to integrate some pivotal transformational experiences into my new project. Two large gulls slowly walked across the sand to where we sat and stood quietly, not asking for food just silently watching us.

            Near the end of our meeting, I took a deep breath and exhaled with gratitude then spotted a whale directly in front of us spouting water. The connection between my grateful exhale and the stream of warm air being blown from the magnificent mammal’s lungs, (aka the whale’s breath) was not lost on us. My heart-centered friend exclaimed, “Look at this amazing synchronicity, the birds and whale are here for you, cheering you on!” Our soulful sharing and peaceful union created the environment that attracted the bird’s and whale’s validating presence. My inner world and outer worlds were synthesizing, affirming my desire and ability to anchor the transformed aspects of self into my current project. 

 We need not look far to see highly personal messages being communicated to us each and every day. The natural world is a prime environment for witnessing seemingly coincidental connections between our inner and outer worlds. Yet, it reaches far beyond nature; any environment and circumstance will do—from driving down the highway, to conversing with a neighbor, to listening to a podcast. The billboard on the highway, the words your neighbor speaks and the lyrics in a song are all channels for hearing your soul speak when you are ready to receive it.

Returning to my original probe, what do you see when you look at COVID-19 as a dream? You may see it, as global evolutionary Anodea Judith states, as “nature’s intervention.” She explains how the virus stems from the fact that “modern civilization has an addiction problem” to “consumption” which has led to serious consequences for future life on our planet. Or perhaps you might see the pandemic as a “wake-up” call to slow down, to remember how precious your life is as are the people in it. By taking a situation that calls to you, and viewing it through the eyes of a night-time dream, you will see it from a higher, richer perspective, one that gives it meaning, provides growth, and accelerates your awakening.   

Namaste,

Laura V. Grace, PhD