Where do you think a dream goes when you wake up? Does a dream travel? What do you think about recurring dreams?
In this episode we have Part I of my conversation with Tara Rin Burke of the Witches Muse & Co-Creatrix of the Dreamscapes Academy Collective.
In this episode we talk about Tara, their background, land acknowledgment, dream tending, dreams, and imagination.
Part II coming next Thursday!
Part II will continue the conversation about dreams, while connecting dreams to social justice, collective dreaming, and more.
"I dream a dream that dreams back at me." - Toni Morrison
Links from the Episode!
Poem: When I Met my Muse by William Stafford
Music: Movement of the Unknown by William Claeson
Where to Find Tara:
The Witches Muse
Check out Dreamscapes Academy:
You can find me at:
Tara: If it's a dream you don't prefer, that's even almost more of an interesting invitation to be in relationship to. I always in some ways want to give a lot of, like, validation, just witnessing and just acceptance of folks that have reoccurring dreams because that dream that you have that's recurring, that could be the dream you work with, like, your entire life.
Nicole: Hello, and welcome back to Multitudes. I'm your host, Nicole Carter, and today, we are talking about dreams. If you are interested in having a new perspective about your dreams, imagination, and how your dreams could be a more supportive force in your waking reality, I think you'll find this conversation with Tara Burke of The Witches Muse and Dreamscapes Academy, really insightful, wondrous, and beautiful. Tara is a biracial, non-binary Japanese mystic who leans deeply into the wisdom of elemental magic and metaphor to connect.
In this first part of the conversation, we introduced Tara, their background, their beautiful energy, and we also talk about land acknowledgment, honoring the unseated territories for which they have settled on, and also how they think about dreamwork or dream tending and imagination.
Tara's love languages are image, story, and metaphor. And the work that Tara does is from the lens and framework of deep imagination and playful curiosity. This conversation is filled with imagery and metaphors, and I hope you can listen with deep imagination and playful curiosity as well. You can find Tara at thewitchesmuse.com or at dreamscapesacademy.com, and also on Instagram at The Witches Muse, and also on Instagram at Dreamscapes Academy. And we will have those links in the show notes. Since this conversation, I have had a new way to think about my relationship to my dreams, my recurring dreams, thinking about dreams and their impact on me when I wake up. And I found this conversation to be truly helpful, and my hope is you will find something here for you too.
Hello. Welcome, Tara. I'm so excited to have you here today.
Tara: Thanks so much. I'm so excited to be here.
Nicole: Yes. I would love for us to hear a little bit about you and if you could tell us about your story wherever you would like.
Tara: Yeah. I love this. Again, thank you so much for just allowing the space for this and the Multitudes podcast for bringing me on, and –
Tara: Yeah. I wanna take a moment for whoever's listening. You know, folks that are out listening, if it feels safe to do so, whether you're driving, washing the dishes, typing, going on a walk, to just take a moment if it feels… if it's safe for you to stop and close the eyes, great. But just to take a moment and just honoring a few breaths to be in the space. I know for me, it's really great to just start that way and so… not needing to tell you how to breathe, but really just giving you a chance to acknowledge your breath and your body. And so I'm just gonna take a moment to do that myself here.
So my story is one that's still being told, and folks that know that, and I say know me as in like interweb, you know, friends and and community members or people that I know personally or interpersonally in this connective space always know I speak in metaphors. So you might get a lot of that from me throughout this podcast and probably some circular talking.
But yeah, my path, you know, it started in Chicago, and I'm originally from the Shai, born and raised in the city of, and then suburbanized in like the ever-growing time of the third grade. I know this because of the 1998 Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz championship, and yes, I am grateful to be in the era of Jordan.
So I started just in a way of curiosity with my imagination. I was raised as an only and in a wide net of familial family spaces and places, but ultimately, often I was the only kid. And so I grew up pretty quickly and was socialized more in adult settings, which can sometimes be challenging, I think, to navigate because I think finding community members and cousins and all of that was more out of my afterschool programs and being with friends families and aunties and uncles and kind of their cousins, as opposed to having like little ones run or neighborhood kids that I get to run around the block with. Right? That was like my form of communal relating and experience. So yeah, my story kinda starts there. I remember my story starting from watching fireflies in the Midwestern sunsets and how that always invoked, like, the possibility that magic is very real, just as real as you and I, and kind of the world of reality is kinda liminal and a betwixt in between space.
Yeah. I come from stories of assimilation, being a mixed kid, being a biracial kid, you and myself saying, you so myself, really witnessing just what it is to be a both end in many places. Right? To be betwixt in many places, to be between many places.
So I'm Yonsei, which is fourth generation of great-grandchildren of Japanese immigrants, and that's particularly in North America and Latin America. And so a lot of my story start there, really rooted in kind of that idea of being a mixed kiddo, but being assimilated into constructs of whiteness growing up in a mostly white suburb. Especially once I moved, it was very much a different world that I was moving to, and had to really track some of those assimilations and associations and benefits of proximity that I had benefited from. And then beginning to deconstruct that and really reclaim and be back into right relationship, I think, with my ancestral heritage, with my ways of being, and also inherently like with both my Gaelic Slovakian kind of witchery as well as my Japanese mysticism work, which is mostly guided by Shintoism as a mostly private practice at this point. Something that I kind of keep as just my connection point, which I find really important and necessary in a time of a lot of sharing with things like the internet.
So that's a very long response to my story and it continues. You know, there's so many layers of continuation for my story and, yeah.
Nicole: I love that. Thank you for sharing your background, your story of assimilation, your memories of being a little one, and I love that your story is continuing. And I resonate with part of your story, and that I am also mixed race. I’m biracial black and white, and I can relate to that feeling of the both end and always being in between in spaces.
And so thank you for sharing that, and there's so much to unpack there as well. And you also describe yourself in a lot of beautiful ways. In addition to Yonsei, you describe yourself as a non-binary witch, a bad bitch, a Sagittarius stelium, survivor, spiritual artist, nerd, storyteller, deep listener, and divine dreamer, and also as part of The Witches Muse. And I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about these descriptions and how you came to describe yourself in these ways.
Tara: I appreciate this. Yeah. I appreciate this a lot.
Tara: So I will kind of talk about some of these ways that I describe myself, which I love because as I wanna give a lot of just gratitude to queer comrades and queer community members, queer, trans, non-binary, gender diverse folks in this space for… especially, like, within folks that are in the Gen Z category, like, not to kind of categorize and label more, but folks that are kind of emerging into the space of, like, their twenties and even younger. I didn't have the language and the vocabulary to describe my existence until very recently, especially in the ways of being non-binary.
And I love the opportunity to talk about this because I think once again, with the way we like to categorize and label and and make everything neat, it was really beautiful to even be able to describe in my own words, like, what is it to be non-binary. And the beautiful part is, is it's different for every single person.
And there's something that's so beautiful for every non-binary being to understand. I think again, the liminality of like, it's the both end. Like, I'm not a woman, I'm not a man. I'm a being. And like my gender or the ways that I identify shouldn't really be the first and foremost thing in which I'm directed.
Like, people will still misgender me even after saying they them, and the continuation will, like, keep going. And it's so interesting because it shows, I think for me, some cultural dissonance and culture of, like, I'll just use the West or where I live in so-called Eugene on the West Coast in Oregon.
I, there's a culture of dissonance. I think sometimes because we're not given the opportunity to, like, really express who we are without people just being like, oh, she's that. Oh, she's this. Oh, she's that. If I was to give the opportunity for, she, they, I think people would always divert to she.
And so that's why it's been such a strong connection for me to try to explore that, to try to know that, again, we're in a process of deeper listening, whether through our magic, whether through mystery, whether through building self-awareness and embodiment, whether through dreaming. Like, the re… we're really allowing ourselves to more deeply listen.
That's my hope. That's my prayer. That's my wish, right, for culture, for culture change, for culture work. ‘Cause I feel like often in conversations, we do a lot of kind of thinking about what we're going to say next. I've done this. Thinking about what I'm going to say next as opposed to, like, actually hearing what's being said.
And so bad bitch, you know, for me there is something about being a disruptor that I can't pretend is, like, not part of my inherent nature. I have definitely grown into the too-muchness, being told I'm too much, being anti-authoritative. I actually always worked really well with others. Like, I was very collaborative in processes, just it… it's so interesting to constantly have been reflected to me specifically by, like, male employers of just being, yeah, aggressive, intense, too much. And the Sagittarius stellium, I think, moves into that space as well talking about that. And so, again, to kinda close, stelliums are really interesting from a planetary space.
And again, I am not a professional astrologer, but I am very much an astro nerd. Somebody who loves, loves, loves astrology because it is another language, another system. Right? When I love the idea of systems thinking, the idea that there's lots of things that interconnect with the greater whole. And I'm sure there's a more complex definition of systems thinking that I can provide, but giving that space is really beautiful.
So a stellium again is when three or more planets are clustered into a single zodiac sign or house of someone's chart. And so to have a Sagittarius stellium means that I have three or more planets clustered in Sagittarius in the same house, so I have a cluster of planets in the fifth house. And so the fifth house, for folks that are excited about astrology or wanting to do more fifth house astrology work or specifically in a fifth house stellium, is it's very much a creative… it's a place of creativity. One would say it's also a place of, like, children and childhood, which is ironic as I had mentioned in my origin story, like, returning back ‘cause I didn't necessarily have a lot of like playfulness moments as a child. I was… I adulted pretty quickly.
And so it's a very creative place to have a fifth house stellium. It's very expressive, but it can it can be challenging. It's… I like to create all the time. Sometimes I like to create things that I never finish, which I know creatives can relate to. So that's a little bit about some of those, like, terms or ways that I identify, like, my identities, which I think there's something different between labels and identity.
I think identity just gives a lot more empowerment and embodiment, and I think labels are often given to us by others and can be really confining or compartmentalizing.
Nicole: I love that. Just the idea of separating the idea of how you identify with how you're labeled. I think it's just inspiring for people who might be thinking about how can I identify in a world which emphasizes how am I labeled and how am I perceived. Yeah. And I also would love to talk a little bit about, you mentioned Eugene, how you identify with where you are and your community, and you also talk about land acknowledgment. That idea of when you are deciding on a place to live, that it's important to honor the territories in which you've settled on. Where did the idea of land acknowledgment for you come from, and how does that impact how you live where you are?
Tara: Yeah. I love this, and I also think this is really important because I think as we talk about… as a settler on unseated land within the Kalapuya, which I think is really important to actually first notice, and that's the… that's like a baseline of understanding first what native land you're currently on. And there are so many places, so many websites, so many even apps at this point. I think probably the most notable one that I think people have access to is probably Native-Land.ca or native.ca.
And that I think is just, it's really remarkable ‘cause it's… I think it's Native-Land,ca. It's just very important to recognize, to learn about indigenous territories, but again, a baseline. And I think having a baseline is beautiful because what a baseline gives you is this opportunity and this invitation to know that you're willing and wanting to learn.
And for me, understanding the lands, right? First, understanding the lands of the Kalapuya first nations people, and also understanding some of the ways that Oregon has really participated and perpetuated in the concept of manifest destiny, which were folks, is a phrase that was coined in 1845, and the idea that United States is destined by God to expand its dominion and spread, quote unquote, in quotations, democracy and capitalism, right, across the continent.
That's, you know, more or less the definition of manifest destiny. And I think the conversation that I have about land acknowledgments is also the conversation I have about disrupting the notion of manifest destiny. Because learning about something and being in relationship to something is like a part of then choosing how you're going to participate.
And so for me, the ways I participate is, first of all, moving out of the way, honoring deep listening, and honoring the futures, indigenous futures. Yes. Indigenous pass is important, and again, the baseline. But the present and the futures of indigenous people, like, that's what I'm here for. I'm here to see, advocate, support, and also, again, step out of the way because indigenous people, specifically within Oregon and specifically just within the greater part of Turtle Island, i.e. what North American indigenous folks in some tribes would then refer to as the United States, like that relationship is inherently the story and the narrative of of of their stories. And I… that's not my story to tell. It's my story to support, uplift, advocate for in ways, put myself on the front lines of advocacy when I know that there's proximity to privilege, but also, like, getting out of the damn way.
I believe it… you know, I I don't specifically know the, like, staying in my own lane, and the origin of that, and I really wish I knew, like, where the origin of stay in your lane came from. I would love to give a lot of connections and maybe flowers towards black feminist theories or black women for that term.
But again, I can't really fully speak to that term, but I really choose to listen, learn, but also recognize when it's time for me to, you know, stay in my lane and not try to assume that I know somebody’s experience.
And so land acknowledgments again for me don't mean shit if there's no actual actionable steps after that. It's just like the black square, which is very cringey for folks to probably remember, the black square on Instagram. It's like that amount of performative allyship doesn't do anything for actually serving and supporting. It's like this weird hollow moment of, like, making other people feel good so that, like, you don't have to feel bad about the ways that we as a culture or society have perpetuated systems of oppression.
So that's kinda my note on land acknowledgments. So important, very baseline. So imperative to have acknowledgment. And what's the conversation about accountability, staying in our lane, and also that relationship of indigenous futures. You know, not just looking into the past, but allowing ourselves to notice what dreams our indigenous people have or having are in relationship to for their future.
Nicole: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you for sharing about your relationship to land acknowledgment, and why you acknowledge the land that you live on. And I've been thinking about it a lot recently, and I wanted to ask you about it because I know that you are thoughtful about how you identify yourself and how you identify where you live, and land acknowledgment has been something that has been around for decades.
I feel that it has become more online recently. And as it becomes more common and more mainstream, I think it's important to remember that it is the starting point, as you mentioned it. It is the baseline and part of remembering indigenous communities is also celebrating that they are here in the present tense, in the future tense, and it's not, like, remembering of a relic of the past. And the next steps are supporting the indigenous communities, the territories in which you live on, and learning a little bit more about the settler indigenous histories of the land that you are on. And I'll put links in the show notes for listeners to check out.
And I also would love to talk a little bit about The Witches Muse, if you could share with us what that means to you.
Tara: Sure. It's so cute because this… the conversations with The Witches Muse is, like, always so nuanced, and this is… I just wanna give some context. So, like, I think I started my Instagram account in 2017, and I'm just gonna say it. It's like pre-seeing witchery and target, which again, is not a bad thing. Like, I can be here for that.
Again, I can be here for the both ends and the complexities. Right? Which I think in terms of being a witch, your ability to see the both end and the liminality of time space is like such a beautiful practice. But prior to like the rise of… let's even use like TikTok as an example, of WitchTok, of the social media, of the social marketeering, which is a term that I received from JT Perry around spiritual around spiritual commodification.
For me, The Witches Muse happened in a dream. And I'll just… you know, folks that are wanting to follow on this dream with me. I am wearing a blue cloak. I have a giant blue sapphire orb, and I get to see myself. I am standing between two groves of trees, and I see this orb, and I see this... I am wearing this cloak, and all of a sudden this idea of standing between these two big trees is illuminated. It has very much like kind of a Gaelic-inspired tradition. It feels a little Druidic as well. And that dream kind of transported to me in like what this relationship is to being a muse. You know, what is a dream to being a muse in connecting?
And I also will say there is a poem, you know, and I'll… there'll be probably a few poems in the episode, but there's a poem that I also connected to this, which is a poem by William Stafford. William Stafford is kind of, probably the most well-known for, I would say kind of nature-esque American poet, you know, a pacifist, a a time within the 19th century.
And the poem is called When I Met My Muse. And so I can I can go ahead and read it and that kind of sums up again, like, this relationality to the muse, or we'll call it the other, or we'll call it the sacred third, or we'll call it mystery. Like, for me, The Witches Muse is mystery, Witches Muse is the unknown. Which is also hilarious ‘cause, like, it also means The Witches Muse isn't always consistent, and The Witches Muse isn't really a brand, and The Witches Muse doesn't really have a full brand palette, and The Witches Muse grid can be messy. It's like all these relational things that step out of this, the way that things have been or are supposed to be.
And sometimes, yeah, it can be super chaotic. It can be super non-linear, so to speak. And those things aren't inherently bad, you know? So I'll I'll read the poem and see if folks can resonate with it.
And so it goes, When I Met My Muse. I glanced at her and took my glasses off. They were singing. They buzzed like a locust on the coffee table and then ceased. Her voice belled forth, and the sunlight bent. I felt the ceiling arch and knew that nails up there took a new grip on whatever they touched. I am your own way of looking at things, she said. When you allow me to live with you, every glance at the world around you will be a sort of salvation. And I took her hand. That's the origin story of The Witches Muse.
Yeah. Thank you. It's actually been a long time since I've talked about that, and it hit me like, I'm like, oh, it's a very, like, it's it's been a it's been a while. I mean, it's been about four years. I've been reading tarot for about, probably since 2009. Is that right? That feels right. Yeah. 2000. It’s been 13, 14 years. I've been reading tarot and then kind of professionally, and and when I say professionally, just in service of for some type of financial support, probably for about three years, maybe 2019 or so. And so that journey has been really sweet. And then in terms of dreamwork, I've been, obviously, I’ve I've been a very lucid dreamer for a long time, and that work has been more influenced within my profession doing spiritual care work probably for the last, like since 2020.
But I've been kind of in relationship to a deeper study and the threshold around the relationships of dreamwork since 2018 maybe or so. So it's been a long journey of a lot of books, a lot of reading.
Tara: I love reading.
Nicole: Love that. Yeah. And thank you for sharing that poem, and I love the imagery of it. And it feels like a very fitting poem for also like the image of a dream. And I would also love to talk a little bit about dreamwork, and I mentioned Dreamscapes Academy, and you mentioned lucid dreaming.
Can you talk a little bit about how you became connected to dreamwork, and what dreamwork is for people who might not know what it means to practice dreamwork?
Tara: Yeah. Like, it's so interesting ‘cause sometimes putting the word work with something makes it feel like it's supposed to, like, acquire in a certain amount of labor. And I always am like, that's why dream tending or… Ari Felix, an amazing astrologer and just conduit of many things, the Celestial Stars being one of them, but Ari Felix talks about kind of world-building, and I really wanna give some space and context to their work. And so it's just, it's so interesting to have a conversation about that or the idea of tending or wandering with a dream. Right?
Some of the work of Dr. Stephen Aizenstat, which is some of the practices I've learned, has a practice called the dream tending, which actually originated within the aboriginal peoples of Australia. A lot of context of the depth psychology movement within modern dreamwork, i.e. things that are written by Jungian, is more within the indigenous peoples of North America, but some other practices, a lot of it actually refers to practices and concepts of the aboriginal peoples of Australia. The idea that there is a collective dream, the idea that the world dreams, that there are there are multiple different types of dreaming happening within your own dream.
And also giving autonomy to the dream. Right? We we come from a place, we being, again, I'm I'm referring to kind of the the west and just connecting to this idea around we are just the only people that have control of a dream, and in reality, it's like our dream has its own essence energy entity, and how we relate and connect to that feels so important. And how we initiate to that feels so important.
We still take full responsibility for that and the skills that come with building in that. It's not like the dream is just happening to us. You know, we are in relationship to our dreams. Unless on the ownership of dreams, then I'm I'm more into the dream being an entity.
And so the type of dreamwork that I really love tending to is witnessing a dream. Giving its space to roam. Like, I like calling it wandering and tracking because you are kind of just allowing yourself to move about in the dream and really be a witness. And then as you track whether themes, associations, links, or embodiment practices, which is sometimes what we do with kind of one-on-one dreamwork or even in a group dream field.
You know, there's so many components that come into tracking your dream. Outside of just the logical this happened and then this happened and then that happened. Like, our lives are Netflix specials. They're very much on that storyline. So it's really beautiful when we kind of look on a larger scope, in a larger scale about that and give ourself, give the dream some space to rome.
So I really wanna give credit to some folks that have helped this kind of pedagogy and practice, both from Dreamscapes and my own dreams building practice. Again, you know, giving space to Dr. Stephen Aizenstat for the work that he's done with that, and also giving a lot of space to just black feminists, like theologians and just the idea and the work of Octavia Butler who really built worlds, really giant worlds. Giving a lot of space and connection to the work of Toni Morrison, you know, who has this idea that… and I believe the quote is, I dream a dream that dreams back at me. It's a really beautiful quote from Toni Morrison. And so just allowing ourselves to just be in relationship to that and just giving a lot of credit again to black feminists for their work and kind of dream building. And then some of the sources I mentioned before. So, yeah, dreaming to me is not separate than living. They don't necessarily… I I think there's components. I think it still takes oxygen. I think it still takes sustenance. I think it still takes nourishment.
Right? Just as we choose to live and breathe on this lovely planet that we are currently living upon among many other planets. Now it takes that amount of of care and attention just as living does. So, yeah, that's my my way of dreaming, which I just feel grateful to talk about because it really is such a beautiful way of being in relationship to the more than human world, and also like indirect contact with changing and shifting your current timeline of existence literally in real-time. I feel like dreaming has the capacity in waking and in the dream time to really shift your your current lifeline and your current timeline in this world.
Nicole: Yeah. There's so much to think about. That idea that you can be a witness to a dream versus I had a dream or I I have ownership of a dream, I think that is a really cool way to think of dreams. I'm curious about, like, how you allow yourself to nourish the dreams that you have and and live with your dreams in the present tense, and your relationships to dreams, and how that's changed over time for you. How do you take a dream and live with it in the present?
Nicole: How do you think about the idea of I'm nourishing a dream after I've woken up?
Tara: I love this. So one thing that I feel is really important and something that I have witnessed in dream practices is we often put our dreams in the past tense. And this is just a very… I'm just gonna give like a few different kind of practical ways to do this.
So firsthand, so much of dreaming is a practice. And then when you get into the idea of kind of shifting and being in deeper relationships with dreams, it becomes more of a praxis. It becomes more of, like, a sense of embodiment. I kind of use the distinction of those words because they feel important.
So as a dream practice, you know, something that you can do every day, I I do think something, like a dream journal or a piece of paper or a way to write down your dreams does feel important, because what it does when we write something down, just as if we say something, I would like to think that us writing something, it feels like we are in some ways giving a tangible sense of appreciation or recognition to what it is we are writing. And I think that's really important.
And in doing so, I really wanna give some space and conversation to this in a greater context because I think it's really easy to, like, take a dream, write it down, and then that's your dreamwork for the day. And what I want to give people an opportunity to do is, you know, wake up, notice what's happening upon waking.
And then again, as I said, we keep our dreams in past tense. Try to see when writing, if you can actually put your dream in the present tense. I've noticed in visualization practices and in just kind of these connections that this is a really interesting and curious practice around that, and I find it to be really important when talking about just what it is to be in relationship to our dreams in the present tense.
When we give ourselves, and I can say this in an example, like, I walked towards the bear as opposed to I am walking towards the bear. I was in a field. I am in the field. Something about the resonance of presenting ourself in that moment here and now changes the field of how we connect, I think, more deeply or maybe more subtly to the dream space.
So that's one thing, is putting the dream in the present tense. Another thing that I think is really important, as I mentioned before upon waking, is just tracking sensation. Folks that are dreamers that may get snippets, right, which I think is really important. I never want folks to undermine the like snippets of dreams that you get.
It's so important to track this because sometimes we get snippets, and then we think because we can't write, like, a great narrative or, like, a full-on journal entry that it does… it apparently doesn't deserve place. I really want folks to kind of disrupt or think or maybe push back for the idea that it has to be this like fully formed, you know, great syntax, perfectly modeled prose, when in reality, like it could be bits of pieces, it could be words, it could be sensations, it could be drawings, it could be themes.
And that in itself once written down or put through a voice memo, can give a lot of quality and connection to your practice, slowly beginning to notice themes. Like, if I just literally had palm trees, that was the one thing that I was noticing. Okay. I have, like, the sensation around a palm tree. I have maybe the associations, not necessarily interpreting this is palm trees for that, but just from a stream of consciousness, like, I think of breeze. I think of relaxation. I think of calm. Like, those are all things for me, which might be different than those listening, when they think of palm trees. Right?
And I really wanna give people the space for some freedom of association instead of so much direct linear interpretation that we lose some of the essences and some of the imaginable possibilities and qualities of of really tending our dreams. So, yeah, that's kind of a a couple bases, hopefully a couple practical tools about dreaming that I find really important that anybody I think can start. Again, if they're willing and wanting to and wanna have a a journal or a dream journal, which again, I will admit, I have like a jillion journals that are not finished. And so just take a journal you already have. You know? Don't… you don't need something super fresh. Just take one that you wanna maybe dedicate for this moment in time, ‘cause I can relate to that, having many unfinished journals in the mix.
Nicole: I love that idea of also writing down sensations and not putting a judgment on is your dream worth writing down if you can't remember all of it or if there's only one part of it that sticks out. It makes me think of this idea of, like, well, whatever does stick out to you or whatever sensation you did feel upon waking is is what was meant for you to remember and hold. And taking that pressure off of having to remember your dreams or make a particular meaning out of it immediately.
Where do you think a dream goes when you wake up? Or do you think a dream is existing outside of, like, your awakened reality?
Tara: I love this. I love this question. Yes. My short answer is yes. I do think that really, truly believe that. I think dreams have their own homes. I think dreams have their own identities. I think dreams facilitate that.
Especially, you know, I will say some folks get premonitions, which is a specific type of dreams, sometimes connected to kind of ancestral work and the practice of that. So there's some folks that get premonitions. There's some folks that get visions. There's some folks that have very beautiful daydreams, and by beautiful I mean very vivid and very much dreams happening.
So I'd like to say yes. I think that, again, because I believe dreams are entities, and we're in relationship to that in how we conduct and orchestrate that within our ways of life, I think dreams are there ultimately to give us multiple different mode of reality and of existence. And without getting too kind of meta and and and beyond in that idea of kind of quantum futures and the idea of kind of timelines around existence, and how there's might maybe multiple timelines happening at once.
You know, time travel, I believe is real. I think dreaming really gives a conduit and a space for us to look at. You know, there are multiple versions of reality, which in some ways coming back to the beginning of the conversation, is why when we think of deep listening, it becomes such a primary practice for me in in magic and and and kind of making magic manifest.
Which is different than just manifestation needing to like yearn or desire the will of something to be, which I do love. I do appreciate that work. And also, again, witnessing, like, what my ability and my responsibility and my autonomy to my dreams is and to the dream.
And again, not only the dream of the individual. Right? ‘Cause I think, as I mentioned, like, the world's dream, like, the dream or the plant's dream, like, the plant has a dream. And it gets you out of this, like, human-centric understanding of reality and gets you into what I would say is more of an animist worldview. The idea that everything has sentience. And I think when we give ourselves the space to think about that, we really begin to notice, like, where we are in relationship to, again, the more than human world to mystery, to the unknown, to liminal space time. So I believe a dream travels. I believe it takes time to travel. I think some people travel in their dreams, which is a little different than that, but I do believe a dream travels, and then it returns back home. And then, like, you call upon a dream, whether in waking time for a dream practice or you call upon a dream as a memory or a a moment of embodiment, and all of a sudden, again, that kind of world is opened. You kind of… you get again to to to bridge something. There's a portal that happens, and you get to experience that.
And I think that's what's really important, is how we're in relationship to our portals, you know, which really ultimately is like how we relate to transition, how we relate to change, how that all helps… how dreams I think helps shape that for us.
Nicole: Yeah. I love that idea, a dream being a portal. And I am curious about this idea of a portal to dreams that are recurring, like you keep entering a portal or just thinking about a dream that maybe keeps traveling to you. And if you have any thoughts about like recurring dreams, how do you think about them?
Tara: Reoccurring dreams. It's interesting. I think dreams are seasonal, so I'll say that more. And I do think that dreams are recurring. I I guess what I'd like to say when you mention recurring dreams is there's some moments where we have the same dream that we've maybe had since childhood or there's the same essence of that.
And what I like to mention to that is, like, if that is the case and someone hasn't kind of moved into a relationship to a dream practice, it's the dream world. It's the worlds of dreams that I think are continually trying to give and kind of ask for your attention on something. I think we're recurring dreams in some way are the imaginations like omens, flags, whether green or red, does it matter? Right? But just like giving attention to something. ‘Cause just like a pattern or something that I'm continuously focusing on or something that continuously happens. It's like the pattern or the, you know, the the interaction or however will keep happening unless I address it, unless I'm actually in relationship to that.
And so I always like to give people that have reoccurring dreams, in some ways, I love I love to offer the framing of it feels like a beautiful invitation, and if the dream is something you don't prefer, which is what Sanyu Estelle, the co-founder, other co-founder of Dreamscapes Academy, talks about as a nightmare. If it's a dream you don't prefer, that's even almost more of an interesting invitation to be in relationship to.
So I always in some ways wanna give a lot of, like, validation, just witnessing and just acceptance of folks that have reoccurring dreams because that dream that you have that's reoccurring, that could be the dream you work with like your entire life because you're kind of given this opportunity to be in a space and time that is the same in this kind of recurrence or the seasonality. Right? And so I really wanna give, you know, folks out there that have reoccurring dreams that are listening to this, like, I would love to just honor, you know, what themes are present in those reoccurring dreams, what sensations are present in the reoccurring dreams, and then where are those sensations resonating within waking time. Or are they… do they change from from from that time? Right? Does the does the framing of the dream or the story, one would say, or the narrative of the dream stay the same, but do the sensations change? Right?
Like, so I'm I'm always so curious about that. So, yeah, that's kind of my thoughts on reoccurring dreams.
Nicole: Yeah. Thank you for for sharing that. And I love that you mentioned the idea of imagination omens, and I also wanted to bring in imagination here. Like, how do you think about the connection between your imagination and your dreams?
The idea of a dream, like, existing as its own entity, and is it outside of your imagination, or is it a part of your imagination?
Tara: It's beautiful because I love that we're talking about this in relationship to Dreamscapes Academy and the work that we do, and some of our mission is to support learning around the living landscapes within the imaginal realms as coexisting. And so for me, it's the idea that dreaming and the imagination have a direct connection. And that I feel like people have been given a very specific way of, like, what their imagination is and what it isn't, and I wanna give the imagination as a place that can be adaptive, that it can shift, that it can be seasonal, just like how I said dreaming is seasonal. That it can really give us that opportunity, and that it can have multiple vantage points. Right? It can have multiple modes of expression of being in relationship.
And going back to this idea of, like, praxis, which again for me is more of this, like, lifestyle or like a way of being, I feel like the imagination when you move into imaginal capacity is it's a way of being. You don't have to kind of be super, super direct on how you describe it.
It doesn't need a specific kind of title, but it's, I think a sensation. I think it's a moment of creative practice. I think it's the ability to expand beyond the rational. I believe that in some ways, to disrupt the current narrative of imagination that you've been told, like, I think it's really important for us to notice that we, and so, again, not the… I'll say the greater we, but I'll just say a lot of societal ways of being specifically within modes and systems have like been given the imaginal capacity of capitalism, and that idea and that framework and that dream of the American dream. Right? But the American dream is only supportive of a select few that are currently living out this dream, and it kind of like takes a hold of the greater collective dream. And so I really wanna give some space for this because I just feel like we have this concept and dreamworks called the imaginal colonial complex, and we… in the imaginal colonial complex, we've just described it as a social conditioning that we've all received, which implies that there's only one correct or legitimate way of gathering information, of observing, of gaining wisdom, and of knowing things about our individual collective and essential lived experience.
And we interrupt that I think through non-linear dream frameworks, i.e. not necessarily only leaning on interpretation in exploring land-based expressions in dreaming i e instead of focusing on the narrative, recognizing the environment in which you're placed in and allowing the land to connect back to you, which I think is a really beautiful practice.
We have kind of tending to these residual or resident images within our dreams, which is a wider framework to explain kind of in Dreamscapes Academy. And then to understand that we're communally dreaming. Right? It's not just the individual's dream. So again, to go back to your question, I think I think you can dream without having, quote-unquote, a vivid imagination ‘cause we all dream. Whether or not there's memories of dreams, we all are dreaming ’cause we're all going through that cycle of sleep. Also, we… I don't wanna say all of us, but I think most, many, or some of us have had moments to daydream, to wish for future possibilities that aren't currently in our fixed reality, i.e. a reality that we can tangibly touch.
That's why I think it's so important to understand. Like, I don't know if you you… it's not that you don't… can't have one without the other. I actually think they both can be interdependent, and I think that's the thing that I wanna talk about is like there's such an interdependence between the imagination and the dream world. And giving people their own permission to know that they can have a vivid imagination or that they can imagine a world that's possible even though they've never seen it pop be possible, is dreaming futures. And I feel like that's witnessed across so many places in space or in time. You know, I wanna give a lot of space and credit to black folks within the diaspora, especially, specifically within Turtle Island and in North America, and the quote of like, I am my ancestor's wildest dreams.
Again, and understanding why that -- important connotation of, like, the imagination in the dream world. Right. And again, wanting to know who said that is hard to say. It's, you know, I've heard Brandon Odums as one of them, which is an activist and filmmaker from New Orleans, but I believe it specifically, giving connotation and connection to black folks and and really that that connection there.
So I wanted to just make sure that that citation is included as well. It feels really important to talk about where it's come from and the origin of that.
Nicole: Thank you so much for listening to part one of my conversation with Tara Burke, and we will have part two for you next week where we talk a bit more about Dreamscapes Academy, connecting, dreaming to social justice, to Roe, and we also talk about Jungian psychology, and thinking beyond the linearity of time, especially in how it relates to your dreams.
Check out Tara on Instagram at The Witches Muse and also on Instagram at Dreamscapes Academy, and you can find me on Instagram as well at Multitudes dot podcast, and we will have all of these links in the show notes for you to check out for more details. Thank you so much for listening, and I will see you next time.