My Introduction to Totems Through Lucid Dreaming

My first big experience seeing future events began with a repetitive lucid dream in 1989, concerning my father. I wrote about that experience in an earlier blog.

When that first dream appeared, it was more like a nightmare. I was scared and woke up in a panic. I felt powerless.

As the dream repeated itself, that’s when I learned about the power of lucid dreaming, first with the help of a screenwriter friend, Kelley Essoe, followed by reading books and informative, credible online articles.

Lucid dreaming occurs when you realize you’re dreaming and you allow yourself to stay in the dream. You’re not controlling the outcome, but rather, allowing yourself to be an observer of yourself in the dream. At the same time, you’re aware of your physical surrounds—movement of others or noises you can hear.

I began putting that information to work, making myself go through the dream, until finally, the dream came to its natural end. Once it did, the dream stopped. At the time, I wasn’t sure what it all meant. Was this a dream in code? Of symbolism?

It was only after my father’s heart attack that I realized the repetitive dream had been a prophecy, giving me the ability to foresee a future event, with no code or symbolism whatsoever.

A few years later, another dream began repeating itself, night after night after night.

The dream always started with me standing in the middle of a street. I would run, stick out my arms as if they were wings, and with one downward push of my arms, I would lift off, gliding forward.

So began my nightly flights.

Thankfully, I never crashed, but there were times I felt I would. Always, at the last minute, I slowed and pulled into a perfect landing on my feet, almost as if gliding, much like ducks and geese on a lake.

When flying, I would go over and under wires, over buildings and mountains. Sometimes, I would head out into space, always connected to Earth by a thin silver thread, seen anytime I looked down. The scene was both breathtaking and scary at the same time. Then in that same second of a glance down, I would be in a dive, racing toward Earth, familiar landscape looming up, all the while holding my breath waiting to crash. Instead, I would swoop into the familiar glide, coming to a safe stop.

Despite the fact that there were people around whenever I took off, no one ever saw me!

Even stranger was that when I returned, everyone was gone. No family. No friends. No strangers, animals, planes. Nothing. Just me, the road, the wires, the trees, and the sky.

eagle - canstockphoto8120543It was at this time when the bald eagle entered my life in a noticeable way.

Back in 1988, I had attended a writer’s conference in Seattle and had brought home a souvenir, a small hand-carved bald eagle made from the solidified ash of Mount St. Helen, which had erupted in 1980. I kept that souvenir by my computer.

Then, in the mid-nineties, I found this large movie-poster size picture of a bald eagle flying through trees that resembled the Northwest forests. I couldn’t stop staring at it, so I bought it, and hung it in my office. Anytime I took my gaze off my computer monitor, I was looking at that poster.

Soon after, I recognized that my second marriage was in trouble. Having gone down that road before in my previous marriage where I went to counseling all by myself, I was reluctant to travel that same solo road again. Still, I hesitated, not sure what direction to take.

That’s when the dreams began.

One afternoon, I was talking on the phone to a screenwriter friend, Mark Posey, telling him about my repeated dreams of flying. He knew nothing about my souvenir, the poster on the wall, or the fact that I was unhappy with the direction of my life, in particular my marriage. He did know about my desire to be a screenwriter—a situation that both of us chatted about from time to time, mostly in the screenwriting chatrooms we belonged to.

As I finished telling him about these dreams, he said, “Diana, you were meant to soar alone.”

Immediately, my gaze when to the poster on the wall and goosebumps broke out on my arms, a chill running up and down my spine.

In that moment, I saw another vision I’d been having for years. Me living alone. Surrounded by books.

He was right. I needed to soar and fly on my own.

I’d love to say that I made changes right away and that I became that happy screenwriter.

Unfortunately, no, it didn’t happen that way. Instead, I entered into a fifteen-year-journey, where that year I did divorce again, but it would be another year before I reinvented myself, where I went back to school and officially entered a career that blended well with my writing. I became a college professor.

During that fifteen-year period, the bald eagle remained a totem, but now the moose—telling me to go the slow and steady path—took the lead as the primary totem. During my master’s program, the dragon took the lead.

Today, while the dragon is still a strong totem for me, the raven and crow have entered my life, as messengers. (Just as I proofed this last sentence, crows outside my windows started cawing loudly.) The bald eagle and moose are still there but at the fringes of this totem landscape.

Since that time when the bald eagle first became my totem and where I represented it in my dreams with the ability to fly, I’ve learned to pay attention to all visions, whether they are delivered during waking hours or in dreams as they provide solutions to problems or are visionary of future events.

Additionally, I pay special attention to an event or conversation when one of my totems shows up.

Since those early days, I’ve learned that totems can come and go. We’re not limited to just one. We can have a number of totems. I’ve had seven so far in my lifetime. And, each one has offered me specific direction or frame of mind as I proceed forward.

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