Mission accomplished!… at the International Association for the Study of Dreams (IASD)-Southern Dreaming Conference.
On April 29th, while the People’s Climate March in Washington, DC was taking place, I was down in Greenville, South Carolina where I was invited to deliver both a Symposium & Workshop. This beautiful town was the chosen location for the inaugural IASD Southern Dreaming Conference! I feel honored to have been invited to this important event with a full line up of workshops, world-class speakers, therapists, pastors, artists, writers, musicians, and medical practitioners.
Dreams, Prophecy & Native American Cultural Reawakening-My Journey as a Dream Guided Artist:
A major theme in my artwork has been the reawakening of southeastern indigenous culture, and dreams have always been an integral part of this journey and narrative. During my IASD symposium (offered for C.E.U. credit), I focused on the role dreams and visions have played in the development of this theme over the past 20 years.
Images, Gifted To Me In Dreams:
In my presentation, I used examples of visual and conceptual progressions in my art over time. My intention was to demonstrate how symbolic images, gifted to me in dreams and waking visions, and illustrated in my art, have literally brought me face to face with the lost history and culture of my Native American ancestors.
The 7th Generation Philosophy:
I managed to come up with quite the bundle of information all connected to my dream inspired work: historical, spiritual, political, personal and transformational. I also discussed the traditional concept of artist as shaman and the role of dreams and dreamers in Native American culture in general.
Near the end of the presentation I zeroed in on the 7th Generation philosophy, which has greatly influenced my art. The 7th Generation philosophy is like a strategic plan founded upon earth consciousness. It says we should always project 7 generations forward in decision making when it comes to things like water, air and earth. We should ask ourselves what will be available 7 generations from now?
Black Elk (holy man) and Crazy Horse (warrior), both Oglala Lakota, had similar visions, along with many other indigenous leaders across North America. The visions showed a period of great darkness and suffering (Crazy Horse even saw cars, planes and both world wars before these things came into existence).
These visions led to the Prophecy of the 7th Generation, which foretells of a cleansing time 7 generations after contact, where Indians and people of all races would dance together under the Sacred Tree.
In fact, people of all colors have recently come together at Standing Rock to protect the water from the Dakota Access Pipeline. The young leaders of this movement, in their role as Water Protectors, consider themselves to be the “7th Generation” and are stepping up to fulfill this prophecy.
“Drawing on the Dreamtime- A Transformative Experience” Workshop:
Earlier on this day I conducted a workshop (offered for C.E.U. credit), where I shared examples of my dream-conceived art and, yes, discussed how the work progressed thematically. We also discussed basic concepts relating to dreams and to “perceived reality”, comparing events in our dream world to experiences in our waking hours.
With full inspiration, these very creative and energetic participants pulled from the well of their own dreams to delve into the symbolism and metaphors through drawing. We illustrated our dream experiences with plenty of detail in full color, making use of the free association of ideas that dreams open up to us, in much the same way I use dreams in my studio practice.
Special Thanks to DreamsCloud!