'Dream Caravan' comes to New Orleans to help you explore what your dreams are trying to tell you _lowres

Photo by Michael Mantese -- Kezia Kamenetz

If you are someone who thinks you don’t dream or don’t remember your dreams, then “The Dream Caravan,” slated for Saturday and Sunday of this weekend, may convince you otherwise.

“Everyone dreams,” says Kezia Kamenetz, who has organized this weekend’s inaugural New Orleans dreamwork conference. “And all it takes to start remembering your dreams is to consciously set the intention of doing so when you go to sleep a few nights in a row.”

That, and a notebook at your bedside so you can write down the snippets you remember. In time, you will have trained yourself to remember your dreams, Kamenetz says.

The “Dream Caravan” begins with several pre-conference workshops on Saturday, then a Sacred Cacao Ceremony Saturday night.

Kamenetz explains that chocolate is not just good for the physical heart, but said that the Olmec, Maya and Aztec peoples believed that — in its purest form — it was a divine medicine that could open the spiritual heart.

On Sunday, more than a dozen talks and workshops aimed both at dreamers and dreamwork professionals offer insights into topics ranging from the healing power of dreams to dreams and the Kabbalah. Keynote speaker Dr. Alexis Gumbs discusses personal growth through dreamwork can become a resource for the entire community.

Kamenetz was introduced to dreamwork when she was a teenager and her father, the acclaimed author Rodger Kamenetz, began exploring it. She continued while she was in college at Yale University.

After graduating with a degree in philosophy, Kamenetz soon discovered that she wanted to help people understand their dreams because, in her words, “I love the experience of witnessing someone being transformed.”

Although many dream experiences are similar, Kamenetz rejects the idea of a one-size-fits-all interpretation of them.

“Dreams come with a healing intention, so they are intensely personal,” she says. “In dreamwork, you try to figure out how the dream can inform your understanding of yourself, maybe shine a light on something you didn’t want to look at or were ignoring. When a dream is upsetting, you need to get into the details of the exact situation and then try to work with it in the context of your world. You need to trust the dream because the part of you that is in charge when you dream is the deepest part of you.”

Some dream themes are very common: dreams about being chased, cheating, death or falling. Many people dream about being naked in public, flying or taking a test.

Snakes appear often, as do rotten or missing teeth. Driving a car in a dream occurs often. But such dreams have no universal meaning, Kamenetz explains. It all depends on the dreamer’s situation.

To derive the greatest benefit from studying them, they must be interpreted in the context of your personal symbology. Curious about what that may be? Then bring a dream along to the event on Sunday and get a 30-minute consult with a dreamworker to glean insights.