Dreaming, The Sacred Art (Turner Publishing)
by Lori Joan Swick, Miami, Florida
Tell us about your book.
Sacred dreams—those in which the dreamer experiences the immediate presence of or communication with the Divine——have shaped the spiritual history of humankind. Jacob’s ladder dream, Joseph’s dream verifying Mary’s virgin pregnancy and Herod’s plans to destroy the child, Siddhartha Gautama Buddha’s auspicious dreams on his journey to enlightenment, Muhammad’s night journey dream—the pervasive power of the sacred dream is part of the scripture and lore of virtually all the world’s religions. For this book I studied and compared sacred dreaming techniques and experiences from the world’s religious scriptures with contemporary dream and sleep studies to explore the ways in which sacred dreaming informs and enriches our waking lives.
This introduction to sacred dreaming celebrates the dream experience as a way to deepen spiritual awareness and as a source of self-healing for people of all faith traditions—or none. It includes practical, step-by-step exercises in every chapter.
What inspired you to write this book?
I was originally writing a book on Women’s sacred dreaming, because during my PhD coursework on dreaming and women in world religions, I was finding some significant differences between male and female dream experiences and roles throughout the history of the world’s sacred scriptures. When I was approached by the editor to write a generic book on sacred dreaming, I agreed, but asked to include a chapter on the interesting characteristics of women’s traditional sacred dream experiences.
What is next for you as an author?
I also specialize in historical fiction that explores the lives of women whose roles in religion have been grossly undervalued and misunderstood. I just finished a book about St. Cecilia, Patron Saint of Music, and am currently writing a book about the Snake Priestess of Crete.
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