01/05/2009 11:46 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

The Dreams of the Myth-Makers

Astrologer Rob Brezsny made an interesting statement recently about the state of our culture going into 2009. He was asked in an interview about people who make predictions for the future, and had this to say:

It depends on how much authority they have. It's easy to dismiss the wacko prophets who are constantly emitting visions of gloom and doom. The more dangerous prophets are the storytellers of our culture - the journalists, the filmmakers, the writers of fiction and many musicians who are constantly besieging us with dark visions...

My personal opinion is that the first line of defense and the most effective thing anybody can do is to negotiate with their own shadow...If you know the Jungian concept of shadow, it's the unripe unregenerate aspects of ourselves. We don't want to look at those aspects -- we'd rather ignore them - and because of that, they tend to sneak up from behind and cause chaos. They also tend to be exactly what we project out into the world. I believe we need to take a stand, to say "I'm going to find out what my shadow is up to, I'm going to tenderly try to bring it along so that it's at least conscious in me, and it's not going to sabotage me." I think that as long as we're not projecting onto the world our own darkness, we're much better able to see the beauty in the world, to identify it and to deal with it.

Like Brezsny, I think our culture's storytellers -- I call them the myth-makers -- have a responsibility because of their huge influence to be the best they can be. And that means somehow confronting the shadow and using the energy and inspiration of that fusion to fuel their art.

But how do we find the shadow and face it? The best way I know how is by looking at dreams. By interacting with dream characters and dramas, we confront aspects of our psyche and the world around us that we'd prefer not to acknowledge. This only helps our ability to be the best storytellers and myth-makers we can be.

So in 2009 you can go to an astrologer or have someone read the tarot cards, but if you really want to know what the future holds for you, have a look at the stories and predictions being generated in your own head every night: your dreams.

Anne Hill is a dream consultant and writer based in Northern California. She teaches internationally, has a private dreamwork practice, and hosts a weekly radio show on dreams. Anne can be reached at