Anne Scott's book, Women, Wisdom & Dreams: The Light of the Feminine Soul, physically reflects its topic. From my first glance inside the cover, the book conveyed a sense of dreaminess. Wide margins and deep line spacing combine with generous amounts of white space to create a sense of an airy expanse transcending page boundaries. I breathed deeply and sank into my chair in anticipation of a trip into mystical territory.
Glancing down the Table of Contents, I was surprised to discover pedantic sounding chapter titles, but I quickly realized each was too short to be ponderous or prescriptive. The book has four parts, lots of chapters, and only 122 pages, so I assumed it would move fast. It did. As I began reading, I discovered that sparely written dream summaries are embedded in nearly every page. A silken thread of text illuminates them, weaving a fascinating web of illusion and mystery as Scott highlights and suggests more than telling.
She quickly made it clear that she does not espouse universal, archetypal interpretations for dream symbols. She explains that no dream component has meaning beyond its significance to the individual dreamer. That sealed her credibility for me. I quickly realized I did not want to read this particular book slowly and analytically. Both narrative and dream accounts flowed as fluidly as an actual dream and moved as softly through my mind. I did not learn specifics about understanding dreams. I did develop a deeper appreciation for them, a few new tips for pondering them, and increased determination to continue my practice of recording and exploring my own.
When I finished reading, I felt invigorated and eager to dream. I awoke the next morning from a dream that began as I watched a circle of fur-clad women milling around their sod-roofed house. I could not hear their words. A group of men appeared holding a round fur blanket several feet in diameter. They were there for a blanket toss! I tingled with excitement. The women circled around and lifted me onto the blanket. I soared so high they became pinheads on the tundra. "I can see Russia!" I called, amazed that I could see for hundreds of miles in all directions as I hung suspended in the air.
This dream was not as odd as it sounds. I was in Alaska a mere three weeks ago, and I was enchanted with pictures and descriptions of Inuits doing a blanket toss. With Scott's tips as a background, my dream seemed to merge the female focus of her book into a larger picture. Women may dream and have visions, and women placed me on the tossing blanket, but man-power was required to launch me to "see" level. All worked together.
Was this dream triggered by the book? Quite possibly. And I believe reading the book gave me an even deeper appreciation for the power of that dream than I would have had previously. I've always valued my dreams and taken them seriously, and this tiny book has further enriched that experience, in a soothing, poetically dreamy way.
Dedicated to working with women, Anne Scott lectures and leads workshops and retreats around the country on dreamwork and spirituality in everyday life. Anne was born in Hawaii, and lived in Japan, Italy, England, Hong Kong, and Panama, working as a journalist before returning to California in 1980. She is the author of Serving Fire: Food for Thought, Body and Soul, and The Laughing Baby, and lives with her family in northern California. Visit her website.
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