Dreaming, the Future, and the Indigenous Image

Dream Tending expert Barbara Bain writes about the wisdom and power of our dreams. Look to the bottom of the page for more information about Barbara, her training, her work with the indigenous and the Dream Work sessions she offers here at Temple.

“The eventual discovery -or actually, rediscovery- of dreams, which has only just begun, will be as monumental for our fate as the discovery of fire was in the early days of our becoming human.” 

What ARE Dreams?

Lockhart describes dream, with its rich images and landscapes, bizarre story lines, and infinitely complex symbols, as “self representations of the unconscious psyche.” Dream images, as symbolic representations of our unconscious life, illuminate the foundation of our consciousness with profound creative intelligence. Dreams show us what is at work below the surface of conscious awareness, and what is on its way to becoming conscious. If, as Lockhart states, dreams are the landscape of the future and our means to reconnect with a fully alive human consciousness, then the more presence we bring to our relationship with the dream life the more prepared we will be for what is to come. 

What is dream work?

Dream Work is a conscious process that empowers an active and alive relationship with dreams. When we sleep, we are immersed in a psychic womb that connects us with the creative force of the universe, our personal psyche, the dreaming psyche of the earth, and the collective unconscious of all humanity. In dream we psychically live the themes moving through our lives, and gestate what is to unfold. The intention in Dream Work is make what has been unconscious, conscious, and to build a relationship with the dream figures that visit us each night. As ambassadors of the unconscious, dream figures amplify our psychic processes and the unseen forces moving through us. In dream work we establish a clearer connection with what is in play in these realms, illuminate the Soul’s work, and identify the unique gifts and talents we bring to the human experience. 

Why Dream work?

Our task, then, becomes one of identifying images, both in waking and dream life, that are natural to our psychic relationship with the Anima Mundi, or Soul of the World. Gaining clearer insight into this involves familiarizing ourselves with the Indigenous Image. This Archetypal image is what dream master Stephen Aizenstat refers to as the Organic Image. Most people today are familiar with the term Archetype. An archetype is a psychic form, or energetic potential, that has been created through repetitive acts of consciousness since primordial time. Archetypes appear in dreams as tree, river, bear, wolf, and a vast array of images that are core to human consciousness. Indigenous Images, as core archetypal images, often take on additionally odd or out of the ordinary characteristics from the archetypal image to gain our attention, such as a bear whose head is on the bottom and whose legs are on the top. They may deliver a specific message or take an odd action that points to the deep psychic work presently at hand. While the core of the Indigenous Image will largely remain constant, the Indigenous Image will also consistently appear over and over again in slightly changed form. Getting to know these changes helps us know our own changing consciousness.   


Indigenous Images have a natural power and presence that non-indigenous images cannot hold for long. Non-indigenous images originate in the landscape of modern culture and show up in our dreams as characters or themes from sources such as that crazy television show we watched before bed. In contrast, the Indigenous Image points us to the core of who we are, the authentic nature of our Being in union with the Soul of the World, and the personal Soul’s greater work within the human experience. 

The Quest

Our quest, then, as Lockhart frames it, is to meet “the coming guest.” This guest is our collective future with Dream, and it begins by developing an active relationship with the dream figures that move through our lives. I invite you to explore this, and the other themes presented on our journey, at Temple Of Santa Barbara. Together we will prepare a place for The Coming Guest, its many visitors along the way, and explore the unique gifts and talents you offer that great future.

>>>Dream Work at Temple<<<

Dream work at Temple seeks to assist all members of our local and world community in forming a conscious relationship with dream, reweaving the human relationship with the Soul of the World, and bringing forth each person’s full potential, gifts, and talents to the future that is now upon us. For personal Dream Work consultations and Indigenous-based Community Psychology contact Barbara Bain through Temple at 805.699.8770.

Barbara Bain

Barbara Bain is an enrolled member of the Shasta Indian Nation of Northern California.  She holds a Master of Arts in Depth Psychology with emphasis in Community Psychology, Liberation Psychology, and Ecopsychology.  She also holds a Master of Science in Cultural and Natural Resource Management and specializes in indigenous land and resources. Presently she is a Ph.D. Candidate in Depth Psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute and recently completed her Certification in Dream Tending with Master dream worker Stephen Aizenstat.  She does both individual and community dream work at Temple and in her private consulting practice, Indigenous Awakening. 

Barbara is devoted to assisting dream, vision and humanity with reconnecting to the creative force of the personal psyche, the dreaming psyche, and the Anima Mundi, or Soul of the World.  As a local Dream Ambassador for Dream Tending and the World-wide Dream Initiative, she works with dream, image, and active imagination to empower individuals and communities with a clearer relationship to the images from the collective unconscious and the creative forces in dream and vision.