Recently, Llewellyn Worldwide was kind enough to send me a review copy of Linda Yael Schiller’s Modern Dreamwork, and so I’m very excited to share another Spellbook Saturday reading recommendation with everyone!
It’s become something of a joke with those who know me and have to deal with me in the morning, but, oddly enough, I’ve never been particularly interested in discussing dreams. I’m certainly drawn to exploring and embracing our shadow selves, to borrow from Jung, but dreamwork had never been an area to which I was drawn. I’ve even jokingly quoted Dennis of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: “I hate listening to people’s dreams. It is like flipping through a stack of photographs. If I’m not in any of them and nobody is having sex, I just don’t care.”
And so I found myself pleasantly surprised to be proven so wrong thanks to Schiller’s writing. A psychotherapist, Schiller teaches and consults on trauma treatment and PTSD with a focus on dreamwork, and her work is deeply influenced by Jungian theory and the Kabbalah.
Schiller’s credentials inform the first chapters, delving into dream incubation and dreaming across cultures. While there were moments I felt her claims stretched credulity, bordering on the “woo-woo,” I very much appreciated PARDES and GAIA, her clear methodologies for dreamwork. (Leave it to my Capricorn moon self to love a good acronym prompt!)
With PARDES, both the Hebrew word for “orchard,” Schiller offers readers “an acronym and a Kabbalistic approach… to understand and explore the multiple layers of our dreams.” Similarly, the GAIA Method, or “Guided Active Imagination Approach,” is based on Jungian theory and is meant to support us with nightmares and trauma-work.
As someone who journals most mornings as part of my morning tarot and mindfulness practice, following Schiller’s suggestion, I began taking notes on repeating imagery and themes in my dreams, and gradually began to experience stronger dream recall. Exploring their deeper meanings has been a rewarding process, one which I now look forward to continuing… though please, don’t tell me about your dreams! 😉