March 30, 2023

The Beautiful Thing About Dreaming with Tara Rin Burke Part II (Episode 8)

Tara:Dreams move through us. They're moving. They're lucid. They're malleable. They have texture. Right? I almost think of 'em like bubbles, which I know sounds so funny, but like the texture of a bubble, like the shininess of a bubble or a globe or an orb.


Nicole:Hello everyone, and welcome back to Multitudes where a multitude of conversations are brought to life with wide-ranging guests. I’m Nicole Carter, and today, we have part 2 of my conversation with Tara Burke of The Witches Muse and Dreamscapes Academy. Tara Rin Burke is a biracial, non-binary Japanese mystic who leans deeply into the wisdom of elemental magic and metaphor to connect.


In part 1, we talked about Tara, their background, land acknowledgment, dreamwork, and imagination. And in this episode, we continue talking with Tara about all of the beautiful ways that you can connect dreaming to a multitude of topics including social justice, tarot, psychology, the body, your ancestors, and the linearity of time. 

And you can find Tara on Instagram and online at The Witches Muse, and you can also their organization Dreamscapes Academy online and on Instagram as well. And you can find me at and on Instagram as well at multitudes.podcast.


Thank you so much for tuning in, and I hope you enjoy this episode.


Tara:The context of Dreamscapes Academy, the pedagogy that we're connected to, which again, I think has kind of an academic institutional kind of aura about it, but it's really not. It's just the ways that we're developing these kind of terms and concepts in relationship to all of our spiritual lineage, citation work, and direct experience.


And, you know, I think the really big thing about this that I find to be super important to talk about is the work that I think has helped rooted us in that is the work of EbonyJanice. And EbonyJanice is just a brilliant black womanist thinker, scholar. I mean, I could go on with just the ways in which I feel like EbonyJanice’s work has really supported the work of Dreamscapes. And so just again, giving a lot of thanks to their work.


And something that I think is really important and the ethic that EbonyJanice talks about is the idea of decolonizing authority. Now, I also wanna bring into the context that the word decolonization as a non-black and non-indigenous person is a very, like, loaded term to be using, so I'm using it in reference to the citation. ‘Cause I do think, like, for me to use decolonization, like, it's interesting, and again, being a mixed kid, you have both oppress and oppressor lenses that you're holding. And I think that's just what happens as being a mixed kid. It's like part of the nuance. So I just wanna speak to that, just the word of decolonization.


But moving from that, an ethic of decolonizing authority that EbonyJanice talks about is, and does it in order, is you have the range, and that range in which EbonyJanice talks about is your ancestors, your education, both formal and informal, this is very important, and your lived experience.


Already all of those things are going to be different for people based on their identity, based on the way that they move through this world, based the way that the world experiences them and perceives them. And so I really love, again, and I quote with EbonyJanice, the decolonizing authority is to in quote reclaiming our traditional, cultural, and spiritual history of self-authorization.


We become the authority of ourselves, you know, and again, we take autonomy, not even, I'll say ownership. I won't even use ownership and authority together, but we take that autonomy of recognizing, like, we have so much wisdom in our dreams. Dreams are free whether we want… I mean, sometimes we don't, you know, whether they come to us or not, they're free. We don't have to pay for our dreams. Right? There's not a price behind them.


So I really love to talk about that. I think one, in systems of spiritual commodification, it's really easy to get caught in these, like, magical and mythical practices that are beyond some type… like, there's a transactional support in there.

Not necessarily reciprocal. I believe in spiritual care workers making full dollar amount on what they're doing. That has nothing to do with this conversation. It's more so the idea that sometimes this idea of achievement or if you just buy this, you'll get to that, is really rampant, I think in spiritual in spiritual kind of capitalist spaces.

So with decolonizing authority, like, you have the range. Something I think is really important too, that shifts I think from the social justice perspective within dreamwork, is you always cite the source of your knowing. Like, it's so imperative for me because again, I don't…


I feel… if I feel inspired and acknowledged by that inspiration, doing my due diligence of honoring that is important, and I still mess up on that. I actually messed on up on that this week through a newsletter, and I was reminded by an amazing member of the collective of Dreamscapes of, like, just ways that I can do better.


And it was met with curiosity and suggestion. It wasn't met with like punishment and shame. So again, you always cite the source of your knowing. Another way, again, going into the ethic of decolonizing authority, is you acknowledge this work moves through you and not because of you. 


And to connect that to dreams, dreams move through us. They're moving. They're lucid. They're malleable. They have texture. Right? I almost think of 'em like bubbles, which I know sounds so funny, but like the texture of a bubble, like the shininess of a bubble or a globe or an orb. Use the spiritual knowing for good and not for evil. I think that's also really important with dreaming and social justice and the idea of the imaginal colonial complex.


Some people have used their dreams for not the forces of good. And we know this, like, we know this to be true when… and we've seen that to be true. And again, you never allow whiteness to be the dominant source of credibility in your citation or celebration. Again, whiteness as a construct, I really want people to get into that.


I am not able to fully teach on that lens of, like, the constructs of whiteness. I haven't… I've done my research and my my own self-study, but that's a deeper conversation for someone that really has gone through a lot of the study of that. But in Dreamscapes Academy, we are not centering specifically, like, Jungian and depth psychology for a reason.


There's a reason behind that, and sometimes that reason is… can be met in a really interesting way. It can be met of, like, but some of these concepts feel inherently Jungian or some of these concepts feel inherent archetypal. What I do wanna give context to is the folks, non-white folks within the Jungian space that are doing amazing work.

And I'll quote one of them here, someone who's amazing. Dr. Amber McZeal and… has a a book called Decolonizing The Psyche, and also talks about the relationship of the somatics and, and and really beautiful somatics of the soul's work. And it's just… I really… just Amber McZeal's work, I was able to witness her at a somatic summit, is really brilliant.


There's a lot of people that are doing brilliant work around the psyche and around dream time that don't necessarily identify within those spaces. And so we try to focus on some of our primary citations to not have, again, the traditional, I would say, interpretation or primers for dreamwork, which again if you look up dreams just on a Google search, a lot of that will be Jungian based for sure.


And again, I have my own theories and conversations about Jung, and I, again, I've learned a lot from Jungian teachers and so I wanna give credit to that and really talk about, again, Ebony Janice's framework around decolonizing authority, and how that's a huge ethic for us when we talk about Dreamscapes and social justice.


Nicole:I'm a huge fan of EbonyJanice's work and that idea of decolonizing authority and what it means to be in relationship to authority and rewriting that. 


I'm curious, like, if you can talk a little bit about what that Jungian line of thinking is, and how you identify differently from that.


Tara:Sure. Dreamwork is a way of, kind of one would say, and again, this is just like, one would say it's a way of exploring the unconscious through dreams.


And specificallyJungian in dreamwork is based on the work of a Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, and Jung specifically believed that dreams are a way for the unconscious mind to communicate with the conscious mind. He believes that dreams, you know, are specifically symbols, like symbol… dream symbology was really important for him, and they can have multiple meanings.


I don't necessarily disagree with any of those thoughts. Like, I definitely see the resonance, you know, I I remain kind of open to that. I also think that like Jung is not the first person to speak on these things. He might be the first person to be published, but I don't know if he's the first person to speak on those things.


And I think when we get into that, what Jung is really focusing on is the mind. Everything is focused on the mind. And for all of my tarot folks out there, like, the mind is focused in the energy of communication. I would like to say sometimes I think the mind focuses a lot on the swords. And so kind of using the metaphor of the swords, when we look at the swords as a suit within the tarot, as an elemental suit, we see conversations of of curiosity. We see openness, we see transparency, but we also see possible manipulation. We see deceit. We see deception, and then we assign all of these meanings through our mind. And all of a sudden the body is out of the game, not even in the picture, not even in the space. So for me, that's, like, why I like to distinctly change that because I do believe in the importance of the body in dreaming. What I appreciate is, like, the whole being to dream.


And again, there's like a specific analysis for Jungian psychology. And again, I am not a Jungian psychologist. So for folks out there that are deep in that study, like, I give a lot of appreciation to your work and dedication to that, and I wanna just honor that and the space. And the specific thing with Jungian analysis, our dreams are specifically for the unconscious materials and symbols of hidden meaning. Right?


It's like the dreamer is more crucial in unlocking the message, and I agree. I think we are the keys or the portals to maybe looking or being in deeper relationships, but sometimes this idea of like lock and key and like permission, like, just some of that stuff just doesn't work for me in how we talk about systems.


Like, again, I think everybody has the space to dream. I don't think there's a right way to dream or a wrong way to dream. So it's just interesting I think, and some could say there's a really specific process within dream analysis therapy that Jungian offers, which could be have similar references to Dreamscapes.


And so I'll give I'll give space and citation in that way. There there are some similarities, but our big thing is that the dream details sometimes get you lost in the sauce more than just, like, the sensations, the themes, how you're feeling upon waking, small bits or snippets. ‘Cause if you're not a writer to begin with or if that's not something that you practice, like, it already, there's a barrier to access.


Like, oh, I have to be a writer now to be a dreamer. ‘Cause it's really… again, let's mention, like, you gotta write the dreams down. Like, what if I were to sing about my dream? What if I was to draw my dream or dance my dream? And that was my way of, quote-unquote, interpreting the dream. I always have those curiosities.

So that's kind of my thoughts on Jung and, you know, I'll stand on that. ‘Cause, again, I I I do believe that it's interesting when you look at dreams, published dream psychology work, and you look at the identities of that work, and who is the one doing that writing. And then you look at the time and the historical references of that. There's a lot of information that I think is eye-opening if you're willing to make those connections. So, yeah, that's what I'll say about that.


Nicole:Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. And I think it also speaks to the idea of the importance of citations and the importance of bringing other people and other interpretations into the narrative is so important.

And I would also love to talk a little bit about like the energy of a dream and tarot and how you work with tarot and dreams.


Tara:I work with dreams and tarot in a practice. I feel a way to do dream tending or dreamwork, or to track a dream, could be allowing for a theme of a dream to emerge. And using the tarot again as just another form of association. I think it creates a different lens or a different modality or a different sacred tool or spiritual technology that you're using in order to get to the heart of the matter of what it is you're wanting to know.


I think the beautiful thing about tarot is it allows for another perspective. If you have a guiding question, which I always love in dreamwork is to create more questions than answers, then you'll put that into practice, and I find that to be important. So that's the way that I would use tarot and dreamwork together.


Nicole:For someone who is practicing tarot, like, how can they incorporate that into their dream tending?

Tara:A dream of great practice for me, and I'll try to be as, like, clear and concise about that, is when you awake from a dream and some… a Dreamscapes Academy practice is to just track sensation first, actually even before writing down the dream. We also love, and depending on your relationship to phones at the bed or phones near you, we do love voice memos and there's ways to incorporate that, but the discipline has to be there.

Like, you getting on your phone, doing a voice memo and then immediately kind of going into the interwebs can be hard and hard to navigate. It's important to talk about and be in relationship to and have a conversation about dreaming with tarot when you're really wanting to go a step further. And I don't mean further isn't better, I mean just like a deeper step.


And so I would offer that if you are just starting out and you know tarot, but you're new to dreaming, then that's a great place to be because you can then use tarot as part of your dream practice. If you're a dreamer that's newer to tarot, it seems like an additional step that, you know, maybe you wanna incorporate over a period of time.

So for folks that already know tarot and are using it to incorporate into a new dream practice, I would track the sensations within your dream upon waking. I would write down the dream in present tense. And then for me, I'm a big fan of, like, highlighters and circles and multiple-colored pens. It's a big jam of me with my journal. And I just circle or I'm in relationship to certain themes, and then those themes really appear. They jump out. They're very prominent. And then those are the those are the cards I would pull for.


So let's just say I have a dream. I'm writing things down, and bear seems to be coming up a lot. So I'll use bear, moon, and I'll use catalog ‘cause it's random and just feels necessary. Those are, let's say, those are three words that I wanna draw out of my dream excerpt.


I'm gonna pull cards on those three things on bear, on moon, and on catalog. And then from there, I now have a new layer of meaning and understanding. And one that actually is curious because it doesn't necessarily lean into others' interpretation of the of the dream, like into dream symbology. ‘Cause, again, when we talk about dream symbology, from who, from what lens, from what lineage, from what understanding. So important to recognize that, going back to the ideas of citation. 


But when you have tarot, you have developed kind of your own key, your own map, your own query about what certain cards may mean from, again, to speak to the decolonizing authority metric, from your own lived experience, right, from your education, your your idea of knowing tarot, and from ancestors, you know, from your work and your lineage.


So that's how I feel like you can incorporate in a really practical way, and I hope that was explanatory enough, practical way from top to bottom.


Nicole:Yeah. No. I love that. And, yeah, I love the idea of rewriting interpretations for yourself and… yeah. I would wake up from a dream and, like, Google, what does it mean to have your teeth falling out or something? And I feel like that is really giving your power away to whatever link came up first and kind of sitting with, well, what does it mean to you? Because that might be totally separate from what you find online and going down those rabbit holes. 

I would love to talk a little bit about, like, ancestral work and ancestral work on people who are connected to you that are not living.


Tara:Yeah. I just… ancestral work and connecting and communing with ancestors has been such a path and a private one of that for me. And so what I can speak to in this moment and specifically talking about ancestral work is that I feel like this changes kind of the type of dream that someone might be experiencing.


Sometimes they come as visions or premonitions or visitations, and those are like kind of three different types, I think, of dreams that we may experience. Premonitions usually are for things that haven't happened yet and people are seeing a vision or a version of a different timeline. Visions have a similar connection to premonitions, but sometimes can be in a nonsleeping context or more of like a waking dream.


And then finally, the last one and the last version is specifically within the connection to kind of a daydream, which is really similar to a vision. So the thing that I think is really important to mention between, you know, visitations, premonitions, and visions, is to really notice, you know, the connection that the ancestor maybe had with you in real-time, and then the connection of how ancestral practice is incorporated in your spiritual practice throughout time. 

Sometimes they're not known ancestors, and I think that's also really important to understand. And for folks that are listening that may have ancestors that… we'll call 'em an… call 'em unwell ancestors in their lineage. Like, it's also really important to recognize when those ancestors show up in this… in in the space, in the practice. ‘Cause not every ancestor is well, not every ancestor is healed, and not every ancestor is… has good intentions. And specifically speaking, for, like, folks that have a lot of mixed heritage, like, there could be lineages and ley lines within your ancestry that can actually be really challenging when you come up against it.

And so I think it's really important that dream practice can be supportive of an ancestral practice, and also an ancestral practice kind of holds its own space at the altar. And I wanna give a lot of space for folks that directly do ancestral work and and really support folks in their reclamation of ancestral work.


Ancestral work is such a private practice for me. It's not something that I teach other than my teachings and my wisdoms that are influenced and informed by my ancestry. I don't necessarily teach people how to be in relationship to their ancestors. I teach people how to be in relationship to their dreams.


And when ancestors come into a dream, we then go back into the conversation of, like, okay, what are the sensations? What are some of the associations with this specific ancestor, with the specific ancestry, i e, the lineage of that ancestor? Right? What are you tracking from that? And then for me, you know, do we want to be in a place of embodiment and movement with that ancestor? Do we wanna set up an altar for that ancestor that was in the dream? Is there some other theme or incorporation that the ancestor brought into the dream that's important that we want to then now include in our ritual practice or our ancestral practice?


 So I do believe that dreamwork is an… is is not essential, but it's a supportive part to an ancestral practice and development. And that you can, you also… but you also don't have to do that. Right? You can just have your ancestral practice. So I do wanna make the distinction because there are some folks in community that are doing such great work, specifically with supporting ancestors and specifically the ancestors of their own lineages and the communities of the lineages that they're a part of. And I find that to be really important and really supportive in dreaming. I think it can be a really supportive thing in dreaming individually as well as in a collective dreams dream space. 


If there's shared ancestry in a collective space, I think it really provides, again, this beautiful space of lived experience and ancestry. Right? Two of the things around decolonizing authority that feel important to kind of connect and weave into.


Nicole:Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. And also I'm also thinking about this idea of the collective space and how collectively, like, we may have shared ancestors and have shared experiences.


I'm curious, how would you think about, like, the entity of a dream and being a part of a collective?

Tara:The collective dream space. Yeah.


Nicole:Yeah. Yeah.


Tara:I think it's really beautiful. And when you dream with a group of people, and this can be done in a different way. So there's been many spaces across cultures, and I don't use pan culture pan culture as a blanket term. I use it as in, like, in many different lineages and understandings of dreamwork.


There has been an opportunity for communal dream practice for people to gather together and to share dreams, to sleep in a communal way, to maybe have similar care and visions. And this has been happening throughout space and time for millennia. And so I think it's really important when we connect on that framing that it's really beautiful to witness that we don't exist inside a vacuum.


And I… not to sound cliche, but the idea that we're not alone, which again, in moments of us living in a pandemic, like, we're still living in these periods of isolation. We're still living in a lot of these periods and… ‘cause we're still living in a pandemic, and we're still living in kind of, we're in the apocalypse. You know? We're not necessarily post-apocalyptic, but we can call it that. And we're still living in these times, right, of emergence, of transfiguration, of chaos, of disruption, of deep destruction, and of a lot of grief. All of those things feel present, the multitudes of emotions. And I love that ‘cause we con at the Multitudes podcast, so we gotta move with that!


Nicole:Yeah. Gotta move with multitude!


Tara:Yeah. And so it… that's what feels really important to talk about. When I talk about collective dreaming, I'm really talking about the multitudes of dreaming that we all experience collectively. The beautiful part for me is instead of going to a dream interpretation book that may not even be written or in connection with someone that I really connect with on a deeper level, I can be in my community, whether it's, you know, for the voice memo, whether it's through, and I can actually ask, you know, for some reflection and some feedback on my dream. 

That's my dream, I think, for the world, is that when we're creating containers of relating, instead of, like, so how are you? Like, what do you do for work?


I don't know. I'm like, I don't know. Surface level questions are so hard for me, but something like that. They'll they'll go, you know, what was the last dream that you had that, like, moved you into a place of curiosity? Like, that's the dream that I'm seeding in, is that's the type of conversations that we build in community, and honestly, even with people that we're getting to know. 

I think formalities are sometimes modes of protection and I think very necessary for people to stay safe, like having a formality. And also sometimes I recognize that formalities are placed on us because that's, quote-unquote, the way we were supposed to be and supposed to act and supposed to be whatever professional in how we relate.

And so that's why I really love collective dreaming. ‘Cause, yes, you're having an individual experience that's so valid and so excited, and to have it witnessed by other people that are also excited to validate and witness their dream and yours simultaneously, like, something happens. There's something felt that happens in that, and I think that's what makes the experience of collective dreaming so important.


 And on a meta level, I think that if we collectively dream, if we collectively dream towards building, emerging, imagining a better world, like, it's possible. You know, it's possible. Those moments of liberation and joy and radical acceptance are possible if we dream it together.


Nicole:Beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing that. And I would love to talk a little bit about linearity of time, and I think we've kind of been talking about that throughout our conversation and just how you think about the linearity of time.


Tara:The thing that I think is really beautiful to mention with the linearity of time is probably witnessed in just this podcast. So folks have been listening, people will recognize that I have gone in so many different directions, and some… in some ways, I feel, like, it can be maybe challenging, and I wanna acknowledge, like, the challenge of non-linearity. The the fact that it can be difficult to move in that way. And I… but I also wanna interrupt this idea that, like, you, us traveling, distancing, moving out and and and kind of exploring is not something to be, like, shamed, or we're not doing it right, or we're not productive enough.


And so I wanna really talk about, you know, that that connection. And again, I think linear time sometimes is really connected to productivity and output, and less to, like, rest and recalibration. And I don't think they're mutually… like, I don't think they like exist on it's this way or it's that way, but I do think that they they exist in in a conversation with one another. Linear and non-linear. Right? There's a nuance of that.

And I'll bring this in because I find it really important to bring in linear and non-linear in relationship to the chariot. And we'll just, you know, we're in a chariot year. This episode will be aired during a chariot year, which is 2023. And we think about the chariot.


The beautiful thing about the chariot is paradox. So the beautiful thing about non-linearity is also paradox. It's this idea and this connection that there can be multiplicities, multitudes, right, of meaning. I think that linear and non-linear have a deeper connection to the chariot card, which is the card that we're experiencing in 2023.

And I say that because I think the chariot, if folks have seen the card, is it shows you two sphynx, and this is in the traditional Raider-Waite Smith, two sphynx, side by side, holding in these periods of duality. And you get to see and witness, you know, these two different nuances, not one better than the other, but existing in a paradox.

And I think non-linear and linear exist in a paradox. And there's moments where they kind of coexist. You know, I think linearity, I think is sometimes associated so heavily with our version of, like, success and ambition and determination just as the chariot is. And the reverse is, like, lack of direction, lack of self-control.


And the reality is it's, like, there's nothing wrong with being a little lost. And I think non-linearity, once we're able to settle in what it is to not know, what it is to kind of maybe explore a different way or a path less traveled, something happens to us. We kind of divine in our own time. We choose to trust ourselves. We listen to our body. We notice synchronicities. Again, sometimes linearity is there because it supports our safety and our sense of care.


Right? And so I just really wanna honor the chariot ‘cause I do think there's, like, an important opportunity, like, the chariot supports the commitment and, like, the work that it takes to move in to move in this way. And I think to move from a non-linear space, like, does take work and commitment, just like there's moments where you need to be organized that again take a lot of work and commitment.


So again, I don't wanna create a binary between the two places, but I do wanna allow that non-linearity creates space, creates just the feeling of more space. And in a time where there feels like less space and less breath and less moments, it's like really interesting to engage with that and really interesting to notice that.


Nicole:Yeah. I love, like, the spaciousness of non-linear time and, like, dreams are not linear or there's no beginning and end of a dream sometimes.


Any thoughts that are coming up for you now and that you'd like to share as we as we bring our conversation to close.


Tara:Yeah. Some ways to kind of find my work is obviously through Dreamscapes Academy, which you can find at We're starting to do quarterly workshops, which happen kind of throughout the quarters of the year. And the next one will be held sometime in April and May, so just be, stay tuned to check that out through

My website, which has been down for many moons, is now seeing a revival in a spaciousness, and you'll see an uptick of that soon. And an uptick of that in a way to just kind of show and inform my work with tarot and dreamwork. I really… that is my main focus is tarot and dreamwork, and so that will be a… again, my continually main focus is tarot and dreamwork.


And you can find me there through the or on Patreon through the Witches Muse, which is more of this expansive, non-linear, mystical way of being in which I kind of put information out into the world of things that are moving me and using me in that moment around magic and modern mysticism.

So that is a way to find me, and I was really excited about connecting to this idea in a space around Emergent Strategy, the book. And so I was gonna close with this passage from spells and practices for Emergent Strategy. Emergent Strategy is a greater context of books by Adrienne Maree Brown. So it's one book called Shaping Change, Changing Worlds.


And I very much appreciate Emergent Strategy. There's a lot of other kind of… I think there's Emergent Strategy podcast, and the work, I think, is is really expanded and expansive through folks that I also really love in their work of how they've used Emergent Strategy principles, both in spiritual care work and in movement-based work.

And so I'm gonna use a passage, it's called Stop Hating, which is a spell. So a way to kind of regulate the nervous system as we close. So Stop Hating, a spell. Let me pull the weed up by the root and notice the soil that I stand on. Is this a necessary vitriol? Is this what I choose now to rant on? Is there nothing to build and nothing to grow, no more to offer up, nothing to know? Is there a way now that I could let go? Can I look in the mirror and love me more? 

And the authenticity chant is, let me not posture. Let me not front. Let me not say yes to lives I don't want. Let me not use words that don't mean a thing. Let me be fly as I am, no trying. Let me be good for my heart, not my rep. Let me be still when I can't take a step. Don't let me get too caught creating my face. Let me just love me all over the place. And I just loved that. So yeah, again, from Emergent Strategy, Adrienne Maree Brown, Shaping Change and Changing Worlds.


Nicole:Beautiful. Thank you so much for today's conversation. I will put everything in the show notes for everyone to check out, and thank you so much again.


And that is a wrap with my conversation with Tara Rin Burke of The Witches Muse and Dreamscapes Academy. And if you’re interested in learning a little bit more about Tara and their background, be sure to check out part 1 of this conversation. 


Thank you so much for tuning in, and you can follow me on Instagram at multitudes.podcast, and also check out previous episodes on And I’ll see you next time.