A few years ago I started and read about half of Sliver RavenWolf's To Ride a Silver Broomstick and for whatever reason I set it aside. Things in life changed, grew complicated, and I shifted or rather put being a Witch on hold for awhile. Restarting my journey on the path two years ago, I've been reading a few books here and there, taking my time to enjoy the journey, and decided it was time to revisit this particular book. So far it was much the same as before, a lot I remembered and could skim over, but then I came to Chapter 8: Meditation, Visualization, and Dreaming, and suddenly I have a bit of a bone to pick not only with Sliver RavenWolf, but even with some members of the Pagan/Witch community.
First let me state that I while I have an issue with one section of this book, it doesn't mean that I have found any of the other bits of information wrong or suspect. This book is actually a helpful source of information and has been for many many people. Also let me point out that I actually like Sliver RavenWolf's writing but let's get on to what I take issue with.
The parts on Meditation and Visualization are fine and dandy. I read through most of it mentally saying "yeah, yeah, yeah, I already know this," or "hey, I didn't know you could do it like that, cool beans". When I came to Dreaming everything was great until I reached the bottom of page 86 wherein she writes:
"A note about prescription drugs here. A friend of mine says that she, and some individuals she knows, always dream about blood under prescribed codeine. I know that after you have mastered dream recall, cold medicines sold over the counter or prescription drugs strongly affect dreaming. I do not suggest working with dream recall or dreamscaping when under the influence of any type of medication."
I'm pretty sure she's not implying anything or trying to be offensive but what exactly is she saying? Are those of us who have to take medication out of luck? Will we not have accurate recall or dreamscaping if we take meds? Does she expect us to purge our systems- probably not but I wanted to present the question anyway. Are we to be denied this particular avenue, if it is something we are interested in? It's certainly something I am interested in, I have some pretty crazy dreams, some reoccurring dreams that I've had for years, and some that leave me with the deja vu feeling in times of wakefulness.
As a person who has taken prescription medication for ADD as a kid, anti-depressants for all of my short adult life, and recently pain medication for chronic pain, I find this rather annoying. You know some people take meds because they have to. If it weren't for my depression and anxiety meds, I probably wouldn't be here writing this blog at 2 am in the morning. And as a person who suffers from a herniated disk, disk degeneration in my lower spine, and fibromyalgia to top the cake, I can tell you that if I don't take my pain meds, getting through the day is much more difficult.
Now I know there are some people out there who screech to the ceiling and rant and rave about how going "all natural" is the way to go, that we don't need all these chemicals in our bodies and so forth. I have a dear friend who was even been bitched at and told she should do just that, go "all natural". Maybe it works for some people, some people who don't have chemical imbalances in their brains, but for others it just doesn't work. Before anyone gets their panties or boxers in a twist I will tell you why I think this and why I will defend this belief until you are blue in the face.
Aside from my own person experience in not taking my pills as directed and the fall out of that, my Father was a corrections officer for over 30 years. Point being I have been exposed to criminals all my life. WAIT, I am not saying that all people with mental disabilities or issues are criminals and I will defend that point fervently until the day I die! Sometimes there is just evil in the world. What I am saying is that my Dad and I once had a discussion about some of his clients and why they were in his facility. It's actually very depressing. You see a lot of people who are for lack of a better term "crazy" don't believe that they are. So they don't want to take their meds. So they do something, get into trouble, and get sent to jail or to the corrections facility and are court ordered to take their meds. Well, they are fine while taking the meds and are able to function well enough or normally, to get back on the straight and narrow. When they have done their time and are let out, they think they are fine or just don't want to take the meds anymore and go off of them, and then they do something stupid or bad and are right back in trouble again.
In my everyday life, away from examples like that, I have seen a couple of friends who didn't want to take pills who suffered from depression or anxiety. I kept telling them to go to the doctor, see if there is anything they suggest, hell maybe even therapy. They would resist and fight and be depressed and suffer along and finally break down, go to the doctor, get medicine and it would be like night and day. I'm not saying they were 100% cured, but it would make enough of a difference that they weren't as bad off as they were before.
What's my point? If the meds work, take them. Don't mess around with them, don't purge your system or skip doses. It's not good for you and honestly, I truly feel and believe you can still practice dream recall and dreamscaping while on medication. Her "normal" or anyone else's isn't your "normal" and that's okay. I feel that you can still have good and meaningful dreams and still glean all that you need to from them.