Dear Dream Tending and Deep Imagination Community,

As a queer dreamer, I have often noticed the way dreams can expand categories and bend rules of gravity, bust us out of internalized captivity, and support us in cultivating curiosity for the different and strange. In my rainbow family, we call this queering, to use queer as a verb: to flex, to expand.  How can dreaming and dream tending queer and expand our perceptive capacities and compassionate alliances?

In Dream Tending, we celebrate curiosity as a key approach for engaging with the wide and wild worlds of dream and imagination. In the spirit of Pride Month, I offer some questions to bring greater life to our imaginal reflection and expression. Maybe one or more of these in-queeries (inquiries) can help open up a stuck place, illuminate healing, or create connection as we celebrate Pride:

  1.  Where is an area I am experiencing unfreedom?
  2.  How might I cultivate imaginal freedom of movement?
  3.  What is the unfolding edge of the place and grace of me, wanting to open up into vitalizing creative spaciousness?
  4.  Is there an area where I am holding myself back from a greater truth or insight?
  5.  Is there a dimension of my own being that could be a source of pride for myself or the collective that I am not yet fully contacting, embracing, expressing, or sharing in celebration?
  6.  Is there a dimension of internalization or introjection of shame-holding where I have been complicit with cultural norms that keep me small or criticized or vulnerable to small-minded violence or coercion?
  7.  Is there a place in me where I have been sitting in judgment or withholding another’s joy or difference?
  8. Where might acceptance, love and even celebration of an image that once felt intolerable open me up to greater dimension and wholeness?
  9.  With the mentoring of transmuted dream figures, what is calling me from the inside out to reclaim and celebrate amongst my hidden talents and gifts?
  10. What might be sources of celebration, upliftment, or expansion in myself? How might I share these with beloveds and the larger circles of becoming?
  11.  How might embracing and engaging with the wild imagination of dreams open up celebration in me?
  12.  What dream figures might accompany me in an experience of expansion?
  13.  What dream settings could be contexts for imagining into expanded states of celebration and embrace of self/Self and others as expressive beloveds?
  14. Are there mavericks, protectors, and/or status quo upenders on my Dream Council I can attend to or dance with, in renewed curiosity, compassion, upliftment, and transformation?
  15.   Which autonomous images of dream are visiting to uplift a previously unwelcomed part of my wholeness? And how does embracing this upsurging expansion support my well-being?
  16. What do my joyful dream figures open up through their wild delight? How might I embody that much wild delight?
  17.  How might cultural celebrations of difference open up alliance, coalition, and mutual regard in me?
  18.  What protector, defender, or expressive Dream Council figures want to animate and illuminate in this season of celebration?
  19.  How might I model embrace of queer dream figures or strange alchemical mixtures or chimerical assemblages as pathways of queering my own inner strictures?
  20.  What is weirding in my dream underworld that I can open towards with a sense of curiosity and welcome?
  21. What is the world inviting me to show up for as a vibrant ally? How am I actively called by imagination to support the expression of the suppressed vitalities of the world?
  22.  Which vibrant colors of the rainbow offer themselves through dream for me to “put on the eyes” as part of a more deeply illuminating world?
  23.  What other curiosity might open me up to fresh pathways of imaginal insight?

I hope one or more of these questions stirs an expansion in your imaginal worldspaces and gives you something fresh to uplift as we celebrate a month of Pride! Whether swathed in a Progress Pride flag or sporting a PFLAG support button, let’s look forward to seeing each other, and our dream figure allies, in all the places where creative affirmation, expansion, and celebrating difference and every color of the rainbow help make our world more vibrant and whole.

Marna Hauk, Ph.D.
Dream Tending Mentor of the Academy

Inside The Curious Mind

A quote that resonated with me this week…


“…Even so, the spirit voices are singing,

their thoughts are dancing in the dirty air.

Their feet touch the cement, the asphalt

delighting, still they weave dreams upon our

shadowed skulls, if we could listen.

If we could hear.

Let’s go then. Let’s find them. Let’s

Listen for the water, the careful gleaming drops

that glisten on the leaves, the flowers. Let’s

ride the midnight, the early dawn. Feel the wind

striding through our hair. Let’s dance

the dance of feathers, the dance of birds.”

– Paula Gunn Allen

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Stephen Aizenstat

Stephen Aizenstat, Ph.D., is the founder of Dream Tending, Pacifica Graduate Institute, and the Academy of Imaginal Arts and Sciences. He is a world-renowned professor of depth psychology, an imagination specialist, and an innovator. He has served as an organizational consultant to major companies and institutions, and as a depth psychological content advisor to Hollywood film makers. He has lectured extensively in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. He is affiliated with the Earth Charter International project through the United Nations, where he has spoken. Professor Aizenstat is the Chancellor Emeritus and Founding President of Pacifica Graduate Institute. He has collaborated with many notable masters in the field including Joseph Campbell, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, and Robert Johnson.