Nov 172014
Owen Gent

Artwork by Owen Gent

In fairy tales, there is often a character whose sole purpose is to introduce doubt into your mission. Like a strong tide their influence can pull you away from the shores of your truth,  tempting you to renounce your secret vow altogether.

These characters are not always unsympathetic – they may even be folks you admire – but when you are subtly attuned to your nature, you’ll notice yourself wilting in their presence, taking on their diminishing view of your abilities.

Like eating something that doesn’t agree with you, this will give you a sour feeling in your belly, which sometimes grows into a rejection of life itself. In the worst of times, it may seem to stretch into an ocean of lostness in every direction.

When you find yourself in such an untethered place, there is a secret  which can anchor you back into intimacy with your vow: The recognition that you are only susceptible to the invalidation which matches a companion vulnerability in your own standpoint.

Now, this isn’t to say that the other is not being an empirical jerk, but that in their jerkness, they’ve brought to light a place within that requires fortification. It is the thing that keeps us in relationship with those who don’t see us, or which holds us back from fully emerging with our gifts. You may even recognise it as an almost comfortable self-abandonment, where your losses outnumber your triumphs and “that’s how it will always be”.

But in the Dreaming Way, these periods of detachment are invitations to deepen your vow. To make boundaries against those sour-belly influences, tightening your circle of intimacy, taking symbolic steps towards that which knows your true name. This can be as simple as keeping a daily list of those beautiful things which conspire in your favour, recognising the tiny triumphs that are keeping you from downspiraling, or exalting in some physically symbolic way the life you are calling towards you.

Destiny is not to be mistaken with fate, where one has no influence upon its outcome. It requires us to take steps towards it, to parent its growth especially in times of doubt and weakness. And if we find the courage to move in its direction despite the absence of grand signs, we are often graced by the small miracles of confirmation and synchronicity that we’d been hoping for all along.

Nov 112014
maia flore

Artwork by Maia Flore

To have one’s trust betrayed is one of the worst human heartbreaks. Under the pain of the dishonesty revealed in your immediate environment, one’s very belief in goodness may be compromised.

The seduction in the wake of betrayal is to take up a thicker armour, to practice at expecting less of others, or to punish one’s own naïveté. But these are the same refusals from which our world is dying. Never should a judgement be made against one’s willingness to open the heart.

Trust is one of the great acts of kinship and naïveté is not, as some believe, a foolish disposition that needs to be prepared for the worst. At its root the word is from the 1670s French ‘naif’, meaning “natural, simple, artless.” It is the authentic, genuine, and literally “native disposition” of the human heart.

This is not to say that we shouldn’t practice discernment in our dealings with others, but  if our trust is broken we must remember that it says more about the other, who doesn’t yet know how to be loved, than it does about the heart who offers of itself.

Let us remount our commitment to sincerity, reassuring our native inclination to trust, and remember that even in the rubble of loss and betrayal, trust is what we all deserve.

Sep 292014

Dearest Dreamers,

After a boat ride, three airplanes and a long drive through the Mojave Desert, I finally arrived in Joshua Tree in the black of night. When I awoke at dawn, I stumbled out of my cabin into what felt like another planet.

Austere, hot and bracingly still, the next few days in our temporary temenos called the Synchronicity Symposium would prove to be one of the most magical weekends of my life.

joshua-tree-collageI am so grateful to Gary Bobroff, the visionary behind this astounding gathering of scientists, psychologists, death doulas, dreamworkers, beekeepers and artists, all of whom came together on this holy ground to weave a living bridge back to the invisible world behind this one.

My own offering on what I call the Competencies of Belonging was so generously received that for days, every few steps I would take was blessedly interrupted by an intimate encounter with a stranger who would openly share their gratitude and grief with me.

My own greatest longing, to touch the sleeping hearts of others, was so tremendously realised that I continue to feel buoyed in this writing, and this work.

For those of you that weren’t able to make it this year, here some of my great highlights:

Love and lucidity,

Sep 172014
Victo Ngai

Artwork by Victo Ngai

In these times of devastating ecological and social collapse, there are those of us who feel an urgency to attend to the world ‘before it’s too late.’ But the great paradox is that this very tendency to rush anxiously ahead is what got us into trouble in the first place.

In the Aboriginal way of dreaming, the past and future are embedded in the present. One’s embodiment is the ground into which all continuity flows, so the past can be just as influenced as the future by one’s way of going in the here and now.

Let the way that you walk be slow. Let us listen to the pleas of our surrounding thirsts. Let us acknowledge the forgetting which drifted us onto this terrifying precipice. Let the grief of it all make its encounter through your remembering. And may beauty come alive then, under your feet.

Excerpted from the upcoming book “On Belonging” © Toko-pa Turner 2014. To read more, sign up for Toko-pa’s free newsletter here:

Artwork by Victo Ngai

Sep 042014
Painting by Ohara Koson

Painting by Ohara Koson

We’ve begun again
in the direction of home
as the first sharp winds
sweep changed leaves
onto the lake – they’re taken.

This is the first time
this has happened again.

We’ve done as we came to do,
by not a wish of our own,
but a marrowdeep migration
we’ve always made
on weakening wings.

The coming together, the falling
out of formation, dizzying rests
for breath and grazing.

As we came to do,
we’ve come and done
for the first time once more,
chasing the skirts
of summer gone and back again.

Toward home in the cycle at home
in the turn in the cycle home
in rotation of ponds and puddles
creeks and lakes
seas and streams
we’ve always never seen.

We land swimming and fly singing,
as we came to do.

© Toko-pa Turner

Aug 282014
Sedna by Antony Galbraith

Sedna by Antony Galbraith

Call upon our great ocean that she may grace your shores with her foamy lapping. Make yourself as still as sand, who knows the patience of millennia, having been ground down to its essential parts. Wait your turn at the edge of known things that she might soak you with her rising swell. Wish for nothing but to be dislodged by her power, carried into her depths for the chance at a glimpse of the underlife. May that you be taken into her possession, even for a moment, to know the absence of gravity and participation in her rhythms. Let your body be for what it was intended: an expression of her grace. And what small ways you make of this encounter in poetry; what strange songs you sing out of your own silence; what migrations and what ripples you disturb in the world; may they have something of her signature on them. May the you that has been touched go on touching in her phenomenal multiplication until we are all suffused with awe and a salty vastness upon our skin.

2014 © Toko-pa Turner

Aug 212014
Artwork by Julie Massy

Artwork by Julie Massy

Drop your maps and listen to your lostness like a sacred calling into presence. Here, where the old ways are crumbling and you may be tempted to burn down your own house. Ask instead for an introduction to that which endures. This place without a foothold is the province of grace. It is the questing field, most responsive to magic and fluent in myth. Here, where there is nothing left to lose, sing out of necessity that your ragged heart be heard. Send out your holy signal and listen for the echo back.

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Aug 112014

Beloved Dreamers,

I’m writing to you from the good side of a month-long sabbatical through July in which I immersed myself deeply in my writing On Belonging.

Though I’ve been gently cradling this in my contemplation for the last two years, I finally became ready to roll up my sleeves and put my shoulder to the wheel of articulating all that I have discovered.

I am amazed by how vast and intricate this inquiry into Belonging really is and am so eager to share this writing with you in the form of a book! An actual, physical, bound, sealed and delivered book! Whooo!

Of course there are many steps between here and there. I’ve heard writing a book described as ‘reverse childbearing’ in that you do the big labour first and then wait for 9 months until the thing emerges :).

I’m sure I’ll call upon your support to bring this dream into materiality, but in the meantime I hope you’ll enjoy these previews below along with a few other entry-points into this good work.

Love and lucidity,

 A Slow Emergence

Emily Kell

Artwork by Emily Kell

“Emergence never happens all at once. It is a slow stepping into the expanded capacity of your next self. You may need practice at releasing in those places you’ve grown accustomed to bracing which, like a tight swaddle, was comforting in its limits. But when the time to remain hidden comes to its natural end, you must begin to inhabit your new dimensionality. Breathe into the fullness of your gaining altitude and consider that what presents itself as fear may actually be exhilaration. As your future approaches you, worry less how it may receive you and say a prayer instead for your becoming approachable.”

Excerpted from the upcoming book “On Belonging” © Toko-pa Turner 2014

Artwork by Emily Kell’s Art



Synchronicity Symposium in Joshua Tree, California

Synchronicity Symposium in Joshua Tree, California

California Dreaming

As you may know, I’ll be presenting at the Synchronicity Symposium in Joshua Tree this September! The focus of my presentation will be on Embodying the Dream: Living into Belonging.

“Belonging spins itself out from the center of the Self in the form of dreams and synchronicity. These living images call the dreamer forward, step by tentative step along their gossamer threads, into an increasingly intimate conversation with our lives and embodiment of our soul’s values until we find ourselves anchored in a meaningful life.” – Toko-pa Turner

If you are unable to come for the whole weekend, you can now attend my 2-hour intensive on September 15th as a standalone registration: Click here to find out more.





Dreamwalking: a 4-week Online Dreamwork Course

Dreamwalking: New Dates!

Sept 22nd – Oct 18th, 2014  (Nov 17th – Dec 13th, 2014)
I’m happy to announce new dates for this hugely popular online course. It tends to fill up rather quickly, but please don’t worry if you don’t get in this round. I’ll consider offering it again in the winter months. Click here to register.

A recent Dreamwalking graduate had this to say: Toko-pa’s Dreamwalking Course is a beautiful journey into the magical realm of dreaming. A gentle, scholarly and intuitive guide, Toko-pa accompanies us into the depths of our psyche to discover that we can navigate unknown dimensions, trust strange characters and feel safe amidst the unfamiliar and often bizarre worlds of our personal dreamtime. With her attentive instruction we discover that the language of metaphor, poetry and myth is part of our dream and waking states. This enriching experience truly opens and deepens intimacy and confidence in self. I look forward to the next course.

Myth in the Mojave

Myth in the Mojave

Interview on Myth in the Mojave

Last week I had the priviledge to be a guest on Myth in the Mojave, with mythologist Dr. Catherine Svehla who interviewed me on ‘Embodying the Dream.’ Click here to listen to our 30 minute conversation.


Jul 232014
Artwork by Daria Petrilli

Artwork by Daria Petrilli

In the end, so much of the conflict we feel in our hearts is because we’ve split ourselves off from the very life we are living. We partition ourselves from the things with which we are at odds, treating them as unbelonging even as we live them. We vaguely imagine some other place, some better job, some other lover – but the irony is that so much of what makes us unhappy is our own rejection of the life we have made. Eventually we must take our life into our arms and call it our own. We must look at it squarely with all its unbecoming qualities and find a way to love it anyway. Only from that complete embrace can a life begin to grow into what it is meant to become.

Excerpted from the upcoming book “On Belonging” © Toko-pa Turner 2014

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