Michael Belcher
Discernment, Healing, Power, Compassion, Peace

Two new therapeutic tools entered my life in 2020 — the Shamanic Journey and Dream Yoga. Both were taught to me by Isa Gucciardi PhD and her trained practitioners. Dream yoga, as I’ve learned it, involves a series of techniques for setting intentions and then navigating, annotating, and interpreting dreams.

The journey practice occurs during waking hours and entails using a repetitive sonic driver (usually a drum or rattle) to support the altering of consciousness, and then a focusing of inward attention.

As Isa describes, “The journey reveals an inner cosmography that is quite similar to the external cosmography the Earth demonstrates to us each day. In this cosmography, there is an upper world (the sky), middle world (the surface of the Earth), and lower world (the realms under the Earth). The quest of the journeyer takes place within these realms, as it has for millennia.” 

What is striking about dreams and journeys is that I experience them as being quite similar. 

The characters or guides that show up in my journeys also show up in my dreams. And the information that is transmitted within the journey and the dream is communicated in almost the same way. Additionally, there can be a continuation of themes between dreams and journeys, a kind of handing off from one to the other. What I am presenting here is a visual composite of my inner cosmography, as I have gradually discovered it in my journey and dream work. It continues to expand, but these are the various settings and entities I encounter most regularly, as of mid 2021. 

And I have designed and arranged the image within the visual format of the mandala and thangka traditions, although my image is not meant to be interpreted in the same way.

In 2020, when I was “sleepwalking” in the altered states of the Dream and the Journey, these are the characters and settings that emerged.
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