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moss-wideAn excerpt from Sidewalk Oracles: Playing with Signs, Symbols and Synchronicity in Everyday Life


We are embarking on a path of real magic. Real magic is the art of bringing gifts from another world into this world. We do this when we go dreaming and when we remember to bring something back. In dreaming, we go to other realities that may include places of guidance, initiation, challenge, adventure, healing. When we bring something back from these excursions, and take action in ordinary life to embody the guidance and energy we receive, that is a practice of real magic.

We go dreaming in the night. We do it quite spontaneously. We can do it by setting an intention for our nocturnal adventures. We can do it as lucid dreamers, awakened to the fact that we are dreaming and able to navigate the dreamlands consciously. We can do it in the way of the shaman, traveling intentionally, conscious and hyperawake, riding the drum to locales beyond the ordinary, and bringing back gifts.

We can also walk the roads of everyday life as conscious dreamers, learning to recognize how the world is speaking to us in signs and symbols, and how a deeper order of events may reveal itself through the play of synchronicity. In night dreams and conscious excursions, we get out there; we go near or far into other orders of reality where the rules of linear time and Newtonian physics do not apply. Through synchronicity, powers of the deeper reality come poking and probing through the walls of our consensual hallucinations to bring us awake. Sometimes they work to confirm or encourage us in a certain line of action; sometimes they intercede to knock us back and discourage us from persisting in the worst of our errors.

Synchronicity is when the universe gets personal. Navigating by synchronicity is the dreamer’s way of operating 24/7. Though the word synchronicity is a modern invention — Jung made it up because he noticed that people have a hard time talking about coincidence — the phenomenon has been recognized, and highly valued, from the most ancient times. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus maintained that the deepest order in our experienced universe is the effect of “a child playing with game pieces” in another reality. As the game pieces fall, we notice the reverberations, in the play of coincidence.

When we pay attention, we find that we are given signs by the world around us every day. Like a street sign, a synchronistic event may seem to say Stop or Go, Dead End or Fast Lane. Beyond these signs, we find ourselves moving in a field of symbolic resonance that not only reflects back our inner themes and preoccupations, but provides confirmation or course correction. A symbol is more than a sign: it brings together what we know with what we do not yet know.

Through the weaving of synchronicity, we are brought awake and alive to a hidden order of events, to the understory of our world and our lives. As in the scene in the movie The Matrix when the black cat crosses the room in the same way twice, riffs of coincidence (for which I have coined the term reincidence) can teach us that consensual reality may be far less solid than we supposed.

You do not need to travel far to encounter powers of the deeper world or to hear oracles speak. You are at the center of the multidimensional universe right now. The doors to the Otherworld open from wherever you are, and the traffic moves both ways.

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Robert Moss is the author of Sidewalk Oracles and numerous other books about dreaming, shamanism, and imagination. He is a novelist, poet, and independent scholar, and the creator of Active Dreaming, an original synthesis of dreamwork and shamanism. He leads creative and shamanic adventures all over the world and leads popular online courses in Active Dreaming for The Shift Network. His website is www.mossdreams.com. Printed with permission of New World Library (www.newworldlibrary.com.)

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