This week, to ground the roiling of my writing thoughts, I drew a tarot card to direct my focus. Of course, the image that came forward was the Nine of Swords: the card of midnight worries and the unsettled mind.
There are moments when the cards mirror my creative state so uncannily that my first response is, “Well, tell me something I don't know!” But in this case, after a second look, I remembered that this Nine is also the card of dreams.
Dreams create a natural container for conversation with our intuition, the part of us that is the complement to our rational mind. When my logical brain is overwhelmed in the midst of writing, it is often because I’ve written myself into a corner. I’ve let the structure of the story dictate how I create rather than letting the creative process reveal the structure.
Once I’m stuck in that corner of my own making, logic alone can’t back me out. If I let my non-logical brain do its own work in the off-time, though, ideas begin to surface, ones I initially missed because I was too intent on thinking my way out instead of connecting with my more intuitive side. That off-time — when the mind can take a break from reasoning, organizing, consciously regulating — occurs nightly when we dream.
My dreams have grown loud as I’ve sifted through boxes of memory-triggering artifacts in recent weeks — loud with visually intense, sustained sequences of events I remember upon waking. This sometimes happens when I’m researching something intensively, but I don’t believe the memories themselves are precipitating the chatter this time. I haven’t felt clear on how to write about the memories — where in the narrator’s awareness and understanding of her story does she speak from? I’ve asked. I suspect my dreams have been trying to show me potential answers to this question.
When my dreams get loud, I use the tarot to dive into the images that show up in my sleep, inviting my intuition into dialogue through the language of metaphor. This is one of my favorite tools for creative discernment, which I’ll continue to blog about as my work with the book unfolds.
join me on the dream dive
I’ll be sharing my dreamwork via Instagram stories this month, and I encourage you to join me on the journey. Using tarot cards as prompts for inquiry, I’ll post questions you can work with to explore your own dreams as I explore mine. You’ll draw generative support for your writing by playing along, whether you’re simply journaling for fun or working on a major project.
I’m so excited to foster this creative space for intuitive play! Join me @draftcreativecoaching to begin dream diving with me today.