2017 Women’s Retreat in Photos

2017 Women’s Retreat in Photos

“Tucked inside the hills and valleys of that wooded fairytale island was a different way of life, and at night, the trees whispered words from the fairy godmothers, enticing me to stay. Our journey brought me into dark spaces through the wilderness that surround me, but I was held and protected by the council of women I joined there. About 20 of us gathered at a beautiful farm, sharing food and dreams and the desire for connecting to something more meaningful than what most of us found at home in our busy lives. As powerful dream symbols reverberated among us throughout the weekend, I was reminded that our humanity is found in community, in reciprocity, and in remembering that we are not alone. The grief of our separateness was healed through our mutual witnessing, and in our willingness to receive as much as we tend to give. My time away sung my soul back to life, and I was amazed with my changing reflection in the mirror each night. Stress, anxiety, and the need for constant doing melted away, leaving nothing but beauty in its place. As I continue to integrate what was discovered on that island into my city life, I’m graced with the imprint that remains. Burning...
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Emergence: A Wisconsin Weekend Dreaming Retreat

Emergence: A Wisconsin Weekend Dreaming Retreat

EMERGENCE A Weekend Retreat with Toko-pa Date: March 24-26th, 2017 Place: Osceola, Wisconsin 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. In this luscious 3-day retreat, Toko-pa will be offering a deeper look at and demonstration of some of the core practices in her approach to dreamwork especially as it relates to emergence into the life of our longing. This retreat offers a blend of instruction, practice and ritual. Participants are encouraged to bring a dream or two they’d like to work on.   LOCATION: Nestled among the forests and prairie lands of the beautiful St. Croix River Valley, this workshop will be held in...
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2016 Women’s Dreaming Retreat in PHOTOS 

2016 Women’s Dreaming Retreat in PHOTOS 

We had an incredible week at the 2nd Annual Dreaming Retreat with a phenomenal group of gorgeous women! It was full of ritual, beauty and catharsis and as soon as it was over, we began to speak of next year’s gathering. We began our circle of togetherness over a delectable organic feast, followed by an evening of ceremony in which we put words to our deepest longing, inaugurating our Dream Altar with sacred adornments and song. Our mornings were shared in silence to tend to our dream journals, making the transition between worlds almost seamless. Then we would gather under the arched roof of Stowel Lake Farm’s ‘Gatehouse’ to be in circle again, where we would share our dreams and partake in each other’s wisdom. Our evenings were spent around the sacred fire in the orchard, singing, storytelling or otherwise making things sacred under a starry sky. We deeply enjoyed the island and went on a beautiful excursion through the forest to a peninsula on the ocean. There was an enormous amount of wisdom and creativity in this group! The more time we spent together the more treasures emerged! There is something about the quality of women who are attracted to...
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Shame: What Covers You

Shame: What Covers You

Most people walk around for years without ever receiving a proper ‘Hello.’ What I mean by that is that most of us have been taught from the earliest age to suppress and discount the tenderest, most creative part of ourselves. This condition is what we call shame. When you consider the origin of the word shame, which means “to cover,” you begin to understand that, however misguided, we hold a secret and painful conviction that certain parts of ourselves are so ugly or unworthy, that unless we hide or cut them off, we will never belong or be accepted. Dreams, on the other hand, go straight for those things and throw off the covers. They work tirelessly to retrieve our forgotten, neglected and rejected soul-parts. It can be threatening to the ego at first, whose whole existence depends on keeping those things hidden. And while it is certainly possible to survive in this way, underneath the daily armour is an unabating hunger to be seen. So because of the intimate nature of dreamwork, one of the first things that happens is the ecstatic releasing of shame. Especially with dark dreams, which seem to contain perverse or violent images, but which are often speaking to the...
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A video invitation from Toko-pa

A video invitation from Toko-pa

Every year, women come from all over the world to this magical island with the shared intention of dreaming together in council. ‘Embodying the Dream’ is a place of reunion for those of us who crave community with other women dreamers. Whether meeting for the first time or weaving in deeper, we practice at belonging together through embodied dreamwork. To learn more and to  register, click here.  
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Workshop: Dreamwork & Belonging (Duncan, BC)

Workshop: Dreamwork & Belonging (Duncan, BC)

DREAMWORK & BELONGING A workshop with Toko-pa Date: June 26th, 2016 Place: Red Cloud Yurt, Duncan, BC Most of us think of belonging as a place, that if we keep searching, we might one day come upon it, wholly intact. But what if belonging is not a place at all but a skill, or set of competencies? In this workshop,Toko-pa explores what she calls the ‘competencies of belonging’ with a focus on dreamwork as an active practice which brings us back into relationship with the parts of ourselves from which we’ve become estranged. “To make a courtship of a dream, we must sit near it and learn what it loves and what it longs for. If we can make an invitation of ourselves, wildness might decide to approach us.” This workshop is a blend of instruction and embodied practice. Participants are encouraged to bring a dream they’d like to work on. (10 am – 4pm bring your own lunch) LOCATION: Red Cloud Yurt REGISTRATION: Workshop is limited to 25 participants $120 Earlybird (before June 10th) $140 (after June 10th) Cancellation Policy: Any registration cancellations before June 10th will receive a full refund minus a $20 administration fee. After June 10th you will receive a 50%...
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Lostness & The Call of Momentum

Lostness & The Call of Momentum

We all lose our bearing from time to time. Whether precipitated by a major event, or a gradual becoming lost, this is when the horizon you had been following disappears – and in its place, a persistent anxiety searches for the new direction of our lives. But from what have we become lost, or dis-located, and how can come into location again? The first thing lostness makes obvious is that whatever we’d been following, though it may have provided a seasonal purpose, has now fallen away. It has completed its resonance with our lives, taken what it needs of our service, and we must now come into relationship with our next becoming. But we can’t know where we’re going if we don’t know where we stand. In our lostness we have a chance at coming to know our enduring values, and learning to stand behind them unequivocally. This way, when something inferior comes calling for your sponsorship, you’ll know it instantly and turn it away. Because to settle for halfway love is to drift further into dislocation. We also can’t know where we’re going if we don’t know from what we originate. The loss of purpose that so many of us feel is greater...
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Online Dreamwork Courses: New dates!

Online Dreamwork Courses: New dates!

Sweet Dreamers! By popular demand, I’m excited to announce new dates for both of my online courses, Dreamwalking & the Dream Lodge Dreamwalking is a 4-week intensive that explores the mystical, magical language of Dreams (February 8th – March 5th, 2016): The Dream Lodge is an intimate 8-week mentorship program for 13 women who have completed Dreamwalking and want to go deeper into the feminine mysteries with a dreaming council March 15th – May 3rd,...
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‘The Power of Silence’ [video] and Autumn 2015 Events

‘The Power of Silence’ [video] and Autumn 2015 Events

Silence is a power because it keeps what’s tender, what’s vulnerable away from the violences of scrutiny, dismissal and exile. But when does silence turn upon its keeper and become the captor? Please enjoy my new video below, speaking on the power of silence kept and broken, and how dreamsharing fosters intimacy in community. Also some quick announcements: I have extended the earlybird price to September 1st on the upcoming Dreaming Retreat on Salt Spring Island (November 20-22, 2015). I have just announced a new Online Dream Lodge (Sept 8 – Oct 27th) set in a time zone (3pm Pacific) especially conducive for Australia (9am AEST). Also in September, I will be coming to Montreal to present at the Conscious Heart Conference (Sept 25-27th, 2015). Find out more details below. Lots of love, Toko-pa Dreaming Retreat for Women Salt Spring Island (Nov 20-22, 2015) In this weekend retreat we will be living as a Women’s Dreaming Council in the mystical serenity of Salt Spring Island. In our daily gatherings we will work deeply with the wisdom of our Dreams, share story, ceremony and song around a sacred fire, and play with embodiment of our dreams. The intention of this...
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Redeeming Medicine of Dark Dreams

Redeeming Medicine of Dark Dreams

Like many people, I turned to my dreams when their ‘volume’ got so loud that I couldn’t ignore them any longer. According to the accepted standards, my outer life was thriving at the time. I was working as an executive in the music industry, living the so-called ‘good life’ of restaurants, hotels and exclusive parties. After years of being a musician, struggling to make ends meet, my ego really felt like she’d ‘made it’ in the world. But it all came at a tremendous cost. Not only was my health suffering from the burnout that comes with workaholism, but the things I truly valued – like creativity, community and beauty-making were being devastated by my neglect. It was then that I was initiated by my dreams. One night I was awoken by a bone-chilling dream, a dark mare which haunted me for weeks. When I was finally brave enough to look at it squarely, I was forced to question the direction my life was taking. After that all the vitality I had for my career suddenly went out of me, like a flame to a gust, and I found myself in a deep depression. For the next year, the dreams pulled me down into their mucky depths, where I came to face the terrifying loneliness which my hectic life...
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Courting the Mystery

Courting the Mystery

In this age of instantly answerable questions, there is very little mystery left intact. Governed as we are by the great scientific quest which pulls things apart to get at their mechanics, we are desperate for that which returns us to cohesion. One of the greatest challenges in approaching dreams, which is but an echo of our relationship with the Earth, is allowing mystery to work upon us. There are certain questions which, as the poet David Whyte puts it, ‘have no right to go away.’ There is a delicate alchemy which brews in our not-knowing and which is essential to our becoming worthy of the dream’s revelation. As Dr. Clarissa Pinkola Estes tells us, there are those ancients who referred to the dreammaker as ‘The Riddle Mother’ because when you carry your question into sleep, she responds to it with a riddle. Like any good fairy tale, the task is not to find an answer, but to become the kind of person who knows which way to go. The task is not to find an answer, but to become the kind of person who knows which way to go.Click To Tweet If you feel dissatisfied with Dream Dictionaries, which reduce your symbols to mean something other than they are,...
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Loss of Identity: A summoning of the Numinous

Loss of Identity: A summoning of the Numinous

There’s a famous story that Robert Bly tells about Carl Jung who, whenever a friend reported enthusiastically, ‘I have just been promoted!’ Jung would say, ‘I’m very sorry to hear that; but if we all stick together, I think we will get through it.’ On the other hand, if a friend arrived depressed and ashamed, saying, ‘I’ve just been fired,’ Jung would say, ‘Let’s open a bottle of wine; this is wonderful news; something good will happen now.’ Now this may seem like backwards thinking to the rational mind, but to the soul it makes wonderful sense. These kinds of promotions in social stature set the ego into inflation, believing itself to have finally been recognized as the supreme ruler it was meant to be (!)  The ego’s survival depends upon the belief that it is in control and it doesn’t like to think that it might lose its ascendancy. But in those moments of trembling loss, it is forced to face its smallness. Jung wrote, “… the experience of the Self is always a defeat for the ego.” Indeed, in those initiations by illness, loss or depression, when we are dragged into the underworld to pass through...
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Dreamspeak with Toko-pa: Free Teleseminar

Dreamspeak with Toko-pa: Free Teleseminar

Beautiful Dreamers, In celebration of the astounding community we’ve built together on Dreamwork with Toko-pa, which is nearing 40,000 Dreamers (!) I’d like to invite you to be my guest for a very special Live Dreamspeak teleseminar on Thursday March 20th at 11am (Pacific). On this free hour-long call, we’ll discuss how to: Improve your dream recall Access the transformative wisdom of your dreams Engage with dreaming as a spiritual practice Discover the redeeming medicine of dark dreams Awaken your creativity, relationships & well-being You can ask me any burning questions about your Dreaming practice and I’ll do my very best to drum you up some answers. If you’d like to join us, please enter your name and email below to register and we’ll send you all the teleseminar details. I look forward to your presence, All the bless,...
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The Dreaming Season

Dearest Dreamers, For those of us in the Northern hemisphere, it is just a few short sleeps before the Autumn Equinox is upon us. This is a time characterised by warm colors, cozy cowls, changing leaves and, as the poet Keats so beautifully puts it, the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness.” As we prepare ourselves for the inwardness of winter, a time when we restore balance in our lives, Dreaming always comes on stronger and richer. My favourite thing about this season is the call to Creativity! And for those of you who have been patiently waiting for news about the Creative Dreamer – an online Creativity course – I haven’t forgotten you! I’ve been hammering away in my Dream Workshop and am almost ready to announce it!  Please stay tuned for dates. And by popular demand, I’m happy to announce new dates for Dreamwalking: A 4-week online Course on Dreaming. It tends to fill up quickly so be sure to register early if the timing feels right for you. Now please enjoy these small offerings. Love & lucidity, Toko-pa...
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Water Dreams

Water Dreams

To dream of water is to make an encounter with the Earth’s own lifeblood, of which we are mostly composed and by which we are all related. Water is not simply our ’emotions’ but that which gives rise to emotions: the unconscious source of all vitality. Though it is easy to become identified with our terrestrial roles and duties, the feeling life will not be ignored. It will come for you when you might need a good drowning, flood away that which is redundant, lead you to the fountain you don’t know you are thirsting for, or just sweep you away on its crest towards a new terrain. At other times Water may cleanse and baptise you or introduce you to ancient helpers who live below your surface. It is the slipstream from which poetry is culled, the softening grief makes of us, it is the flow, the origin and sustenance of all life. Though we give ourselves only small drinks to soothe our gasping gills, what we really need is to be often returned to these great depths, to be carried deeper into our own fathomlessness, immersed in that place where lovemaking is the dialect and discovery is the constant – where we are without destination or tether, carried by...
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New Moon in Aries

New Moon in Aries

  Happy New Moon intrepid dreamers! I have a dear friend who calls this the ‘horns of the bull’ moon, which I find so apt considering the fiery, active energy that comes available to us at this time. For many of us, these long winter months have been about doing the hard, internal work of shedding old habits and patterns, sealing up our energy leaks, and tuning in to the deeper sense of direction that only arises from ashes. And now, we are ready to grab on and go! As well as a couple of announcements below, you’ll find some beautiful art, poetry and wisdom to touch your brave heart in my April Newsletter. In my biggest news, a gorgeous group of women will be making the great journey to the UK this August to come together in Dreaming Council for a retreat I am offering called Embodying the Dream. There are a handful of spots left if you’d like to join this magical circle! And by popular demand, I’m happy to announce new dates for Dreamwalking: A 4-week online Course on Dreaming. It tends to fill up quickly so be sure to register early if the timing feels right for you. Lots of love,...
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Embodying the Dream: Women’s Retreat in Wales

Embodying the Dream: Women’s Retreat in Wales

  Embodying the Dream A 4-night Dreaming Retreat for Women Dates: Aug 1-5, 2013 Place: Snowdonia, Wales In ancient times, our ancestors saw no separation between us and the cosmos. Nature and humanity were inextricably linked and it was our prayers that kept the sun and moon rising, our rituals which ensured the rain to fall on our crops, and it was our songs which brought the planets into right alignment. Sadly, the Elders who once passed on these ancient customs – wisdom they’d received from their own dreams – have all but vanished. Now it is up to us to become those Elders, to nurture the seeds of our dreams and provide a meaningful inheritance to the young ones who will follow us. In this 4-night retreat we will be living as a Women’s Dreaming Council in the mystical serenity of Cae Mabon, a secluded fairytale village to ourselves in Northern Wales. In our daily sessions we will listen deeply and respectfully to our bodies, engage with the wisdom from our Dreams and enact ritual and song around a sacred fire together under the moon. Along with these central practices, we will also have free time to get to know one another better and explore the vast...
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A conversation with Moon Woman Rising

A conversation with Moon Woman Rising

Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the special fortune to be interviewed in depth by Aja Blanc who runs one of my favourite blogs, Moon Woman Rising on the deep & tender Art of Dreaming.  Here is an excerpt: “So many of us feel a deep longing to offer our gifts to the world, to contribute something meaningful to the deficits of our time, but there are so many sources offering spiritual guidance that it can be hard to know who to trust. But as a student said recently, “The beauty of Dreamwork is that it connects me to my inner teacher, who I know is guiding me to live my life according to me!” And that’s just it – we can think of dreams as Nature, naturing us by way of symbols and stories. There is no outside guidance more creatively genius, or tailor-made for our personal growth – we just have to re-learn the language dreams are speaking, which is the mother-tongue of the soul. Despite the richness of the Sufi tradition, my own family home was very troubled and I left at a young age. With no parental guidance I was, in a sense, forced to turn to my inner world and very quickly learned that it was a source of powerful wisdom and it was...
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