You may wonder: Regarding the Four Pathways work, how do the Unconscious Mind and the Land intersect? Here is part of it:
The Land is sometimes trying to be in relationship with us. We are often, though we may not know it consciously, longing to be in relationship with the Land. How could we not be? We’ve evolved together from the very start. And we’ve had, culturally, almost all of use who’d be reading this, a traumatic separation from the Land in our ancestral lineage, or even in our own lives. It’s the artificial separation imposed by colonization, the switch to seeing the Land as “available for resource extraction” rather than living entity/part of us/our relative. This separation came with the loss of our indigenous lifeways and spirituality and orientation (even if we’re “white people” we have ancestors who had such ways — European, Scandinavian, and the Isles pre-Christian ways, ways that we’re indigenous in that they grew up out of the Land our people were living on) that has caused us to forget this foundational relationship.
Part of decolonizing the psyche is learning to listen to the Land. To really be curious about how seeing ourselves as separate from them is an artificial construct that has removed us from a deep belonging together with our kin, the Land. The trees, the birds, the mammals, the reptiles, the water, the air, the fire, the micro-organisms, the sky, the clouds, the sun, the rain, all of them and more are the Land and all of them are our relations. As Robin Wall Kimmerer calls them, our kin.
So how do we get back in relationship with the Land? First, we listen. Like all relationships, we listen. One way we listen is to pay attention to, and take seriously, our dreams. We can dream with the Land. Both are aspects of the Unconscious. Our Personal Unconscious can interact with the Collective Unconscious through dreams and dreaming. One way we respect our dreams is by listening to them through their own logic, rather than our waking, ego-driven, purely executive-function-prioritizing bias. We let the dream speak in its own language. We feel it. We learn to re-enter it without pre-conceptions. This is part of how we learn to do dreamwork in therapy. This is one way we begin to listen to the Land. #thefourpathways #landconnection #depthpsychology #dreams
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Margaret Howard, MFA, LCSW
Psychotherapist, gardener, writer, mother, grandmother, explorer.