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The COVR Awards have been announced and The Dream Gate has won Gold!

I am so grateful that the Dream Gate won gold in the CVR category of : BOOKS: Dream Books which contribute to recognizing and interpreting the significance and symbolism of dreams and their messages, learning to remember dreams, and practice lucid dreaming. While The Dream Gate cover is beautiful it was not entered into the category for cover jacket design. Many thanks for all the support of dreamers everywhere. Abundant blessings

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A Traveler’s Guide to Other Ways of Knowing

A Review of The Dream Gate: Understand Your Dreams, Empower Your Life by Dr. Janet Piedilato

Laurie Rae Dietrich

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During my special Friday night Dream Chats session  I was happy to read from The Dream Gate, my new book just released by Schiffer Publishing Ltd.  I thank all who worked so hard at Schiffer to manifest this beautiful presentation, something deeply meaningful to me.  As with any dream I begin at the beginning and thus with The Dream Gate I read from its introduction hoping to share my love and appreciation of dreams with you.  May each of you find joy and meaning in your dream journeys taking you to magical places all the days of your lives. 

 

The Dream Gate is available on Amazon.com

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review

A Traveler’s Guide to Other Ways of Knowing

A Review of The Dream Gate: Understand Your Dreams, Empower Your Life by Dr. Janet Piedilato

Laurie Rae Dietrich

The first thing I noticed about this book is how beautiful it is. Held in the hands, this hardcover has a heft that promises riches within, depth and density. The dust jacket has a cut-out to show a portion of the evocative cover art of the front board, and that dimensionality invites you in, invites you deeper. Evokes the Dream Gate itself. 

 

Opening the book does not shatter the illusion. The pages feel sensuously thick, serious. And they are crammed with words. The margins are narrow and the profusion of text, to the glancing eye, feels like bounty. It could also feel overwhelming. While the white space in this book is decorated with graphic motifs and the chapters themselves are often short, there is a great deal of information packed into these pages. I suggest you let that overwhelm, if you feel it, flow through and past you. Let yourself slip, a little, into the liminal consciousness of dream, as you move leisurely, timelessly, through all that is offered here. 

Those offerings are substantial, and the work they suggest is the work of a lifetime. The gates that open, here, open into practices and relationships that can unfold in an ongoing way. Dr. Piedilato’s Dream Gate is nothing less than an invitation into other ways of knowing. That invitation is vast and has the capacity to be life-altering. Don’t be in a hurry.

The author holds two doctorates and in time-honored academic fashion begins with context: some stage-setting of the understanding and interpretation of dreams in history, and in her own personal history, as a child in a family that took such things seriously. There is some discussion of the benefits to be gained by working with the dream experience, which she explicitly jailbreaks out of the realm of sleep to include all altered-state experiences such as visions, trance states, hypnotic and/or shamanic journeying, meditation, and even Jungian active imagination. She offers information on these and other waking dream states, as well as practical suggestions for how to experiment with each type, and to remember and record what you experience there.

As someone who has long eschewed the mass-produced dream symbolism “dictionaries” that tell us what our dreams mean, I was drawn to this book by the author’s explication of her process for creating our own, individual, and idiosyncratic dream dictionaries. Like all credible practitioners of dreamwork, she acknowledges no shortcuts, claiming we must learn our personal dream language from our dreams themselves. I was impressed by the thoughtfulness and thoroughness of her process which includes journaling and successive rounds of deepening analysis of the elements in the dream, the mythic or cultural amplifications of those elements, and attention to one’s own evolving personal interpretations.

As an artist and ritualist myself, I was particularly excited by the author’s suggestions on ways to use art and ritual to interact with and empower the dream images.

And that’s just Part I.

While there have certainly been books that treat the topic of dream-wisdom seriously (although I have not myself read any that approach the rigor and scope of what is offered here), what may most truly set The Dream Gate apart is found in Part 2, where we learn ways to invoke, incubate, and enter into intentional relationship with all of the mechanisms of dreaming. The author generously demonstrates how to access that wisdom with specificity and on purpose. She provides the reader with instructions for ritual pilgrimage, including checklists and guided meditation scripts. Part 2 of the book is a map and helpful travel guide to and through the Dream Gate, and destinations beyond.

Destinations beyond, you might ask? How intriguing do these sound: the Dream Incubation Cave called the Charonium; the Temple of Telesphorus, a place of personal healing; the False Door of afterlife communication; the Hidden Forest of Possibilities; and the Mansion of Many Rooms on the Isle of Remembrance. 

Each of these offerings is a ritual, an endlessly repeatable working of enormous significance. This section is a sort of Book of Shadows for the dreamworker, the dreamwalker, the one who would journey in the lands beyond the Dream Gate and make wise friends and magical allies there.

This is a dense book, physically, visually, and in terms of the richness of the information it shares. Do not be put off by that density. The subject itself is dense – the enfolded knowledge of all the parts of yourself that are not conscious— and so the heft of this work, literally and metaphorically, is appropriate. Like that vast expanse of the iceberg of your own knowing that lies below the waterline, this book and the understandings and practices within it can be a lifelong companion as you navigate the ocean of existence. It is a key that can unlock a gate behind which you keep treasure. Keep it by you. Do this work.

Don’t be in a hurry.

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