The Tornado Dreams sessions, including several not recorded here, formed a consistent thread throughout much of the past several years. My sense is that my resistance to explore them during that time was as much a learning about Journal writing as it was about dealing with change in my life.
I recently have received a number of questions about tornado dreams. I wonder: Is it because more people are suddenly finding this site, or is it that world turmoil has affected more people and brought these archetypal messengers forward? Here is an exerpt from an email I recently sent in response to a question about these dreams in 2003. It seems to me a summary of all I have learned about them ... so far.
"My tornado dreams have completely stopped. I haven't had one in at least 2-3 years. But I can tell you that, now, I rather miss them. As I worked with them over the years, they became much less frightening and more symbols of power -- not interpersonal or political power, but something more like expressions of inner strength and wisdom. And there was a very clear connection between the tornado and Spirit that I always sensed, but was suspicious of until I had worked with them over time.
"In these dreams, I experienced being inside buildings being torn apart, my home and family threatened – in one I believe I was "killed." In every case (when I didn't wake up), after the tornado passed, there was always a sense of relief and ultimate calm sometimes to the point of total silence. In some cases, I was seemingly transported elsewhere: to another place, another dimension more highly symbolic than substantial – like a dream within a dream – and there was shown wonderous things that Jung would identify as expressions of the Collective Unconscious and Archetypes.
"My opinion is that these "messengers" come to us in this particularly frightening form for a number of reasons. The messages they bring are very important, for one thing, but they are also lessons about fear, change and fear of change. If you think about it, every natural "disaster" is also the beginning of new growth. When the storm passes, the destruction in its wake is cleared away and rebuilt, usually better than before. Destruction is part of the cycle of rebirth; not many things can change before the old structure is torn down. People are the same.
"It is natural to be terrified by such encounters with power. Sometimes, in order to accommodate change, we need to go through the destruction and our egos – that part of our psychological structure whose job it is to protect us in and from such encounters – command us to run away, to "run for our very lives." What is necessary is to recognize that the ego is limited by its mission. It cannot see beyond the current situation; it avoids change because one of the key things that has to be dismantled in order to affect change is itself. In a sense, the ego has to give up, to surrender – in other words, ego has to die and be reborn with a new perspective. And that is very hard.
"From where I am today some 7 years after I first created this site and decades after I began following this path, I am absolutely certain that this is at the heart of most psychological problems we humans face today. As a whole, we have become rigid and inflexible, and scared to death of change because we have lost touch with a key fundamental of life: life is change. We are very connected to all our traumas and addicted to the "safety and security" that the ego structure provides for us. Our notions of safety and security are a cage, and fear is the bars of that cage.
"So here is my suggestion in working with tornado dreams. Seek out the tornado. When you find it, don't run away but find a safe place from which you can let it play itself out for you. Watch what happens and don't be (too) afraid. I have died many times in my dreams and awakened in a cold sweat, but alive. That being said, don't be foolish and throw yourself into it because you will miss what it has to show you. Then write the experience in your journal as best you can remember it, as completely as you can. Some day, you will want to revisit it.
"In one of the last of my tornado dreams, I was in a house that had a patio or courtyard around which the house wrapped so that it was essentially open in the middle. I went out into the courtyard and suddenly there was a tornado -- or a really big whirlwild: not so dark and threatening, but it clearly was powerful. It began to pull me in. I grabbed something -- a heavy table or some kind of anchor -- and it pulled mightily at my feet so that I was suspended upward into its vortex. But I was not afraid. I just didn't want to get sucked in. As I looked into it, I could see that it was not just one vortex. There were four more whirling inside it, and I was filled with a wonderous joy and amazement. It was showing me its "insides." And the number four is very important symbolically. It represents completeness, unity and has a host of other connections in many spiritual contexts. As I recognized this, its pull waned until I was set gently on the ground and the whirlwind dissipated. Then I experienced a sense of loss. The thrill was gone, but I was left with the excitement of the experience, as though I had come to the end of a journey and found something wonderful -- though I could not really say what it was.
"As I sit here, I believe that was actually the very last tornado dream I had.
"Since then, my life has led
me along many different paths. I could go on and on about my own continuing
journey and would love to do so, but
this is not the time or place. I hope that something I have shared here
is of value to you in your own journey. Trust me when I say that journal
writing, particularly the way I have shared it in this site, can have
a profound affect in your personal development. Don't get in a hurry
don't be afraid. Enjoy the journey because THAT is what it's all about."
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By Gerry Starnes All rights reserved.