By Valley Reed
The Annual Conference for the International Association for the Study of Dreams was held last month in Chicago, Illinois. I was there to participate in a panel on Listening to the Earth Dreaming chaired by Jean Campbell along with Wendy Panier, Jody Grudy & Teresa MacColl, a powerful group of women leaders and dreamers. I also co-facilitated a workshop with Teresa MacColl on Dream Way Finding. I have been a presenter at several of these conferences over the years, including last year in Montreal, Canada where I chaired a panel on Dreaming Across Borders with Indigenous Peoples. The presentation I gave last year is listed on my blog as “The Call of Quetzalcoatl and Dancing with the Moon” which has also been published in Dreamtime Magazine. I flew to this years conference in Chicago directly after attending a week long Dream Teacher Training with Robert Moss in Connecticut at a beautiful seaside retreat. The circle of 18 women was a powerful, grounded group that attended the training and we have all become bonded on this journey we are embarking on together.
The Dream way finding workshop seemed to pick up right where I left off from my experience in Teotihuacan, where I did ceremony with De Leon the keeper of the staff of Quetzalcoatl. It was in response to a prayer I had offered for my father two years ago, who was dying of cancer that I had the dream of an Aztec Gatekeeper who told me he was directing my fathers death. This dream lead me to go the Teotihuacan to do ceremony in Teo at the temple of Quetzalcoatl and the Jaguar Palace. I have been told by a Mayan friend that the name Teotihuacan means “Valley of the Reeds” and my given birth name is Valley Reed.
My father has since crossed over last fall, and during the past Summer Solstice of this year, which was also Fathers Day, my oldest brother spread my fathers ashes over the Garden of the Gods in Colorado where my father grew up. Teotihuacan is also known as “the place where men become Gods”, so it seems fitting that my Father would finally come to rest in the Garden of the Gods. I wrote about my experience as being a “Gatekeeper” in my previous blog entry and serving in the role of psycho pomp to help my father to cross over into the next stage of his journey.
I found in the workshop on dream way finding we did in Chicago that the journey was continuing. I had a dream the night before the workshop of a mysterious princess or priestess who had a star on her forehead and wore a beautiful transparent veil in shades of blue, which just barely covered her head. In the dream, she handed me a Crystal Skull and also a small crystal spiral. I was transfixed by the images in this dream the energy was so inviting and mysterious. The next day, I set up the space for the workshop to create a sacred ceremonial space within which to work in the basement of an airport hotel. I put out about 30 chairs and I thought I must be expecting a good crowd. I imagined all the chairs being filled for the workshop. I also decided to lure people into the space down in the basement by playing my bamboo Native American flute I had bought at the Mohawk reservation in Montreal last year. The first person to come into the circle through the East was Dr. Tricia Torres an Anthropologist from Guadalajara. We had the opportunity to visit briefly, as she entered the circle and put her offering on the altar my colleague Teresa had set up in the center. Dr. Torres told me she was the Dance Elder for a dance circle of women in Mexico, and they did sacred precolumbian dance. I asked her if she knew De Leon, the keeper of the staff of Quetzalcoatl in Teotihuacan, and told her I had danced with him and his wife as their guest in the annual Moon Dance Ceremony in Mexico City in 2007. She affirmed to me she did know him, I then felt moved to ask her if she could tell me anything about the Crystal Skull. I shared with her that I had a dream last night of a crystal skull and it seemed to me to be from Mexico, or Central or South America. She told me the crystal skull had to do with higher transformational energies. I left it at that and thanked her, allowing her to take her place in the circle and continued to play the flute to help guide other dream wayfinders to our workshop. We managed to fill each of the seats we had set out for the workshop. It was a wonderful mix of bringing the ancient practice of dream way finding through the voices of the elders who Teresa MacColl had interviewed and recorded. Teresa has her Masters through the Indigenous Mind Studies Program at Naropa University now directed at Wisdom University by Dr. Apela Colorado. It is important to follow the protocols of honor and respect toward elders and these ancient practices by honoring the ancestors. Within the protected ceremonial space we had created together, I was able to lead the workshop on a shamanic group dream journey with the help of the drum to dream our way forward.
In the circle, we called out the names of our ancestors and shared dreams and experiences on dream way finding. I felt called to mention that each person in the circle had found their way there that day, and that it was also an example of way finding. I made the connection with Dr. Torres and that she knew the gatekeeper from my dream that lead me to Teotihuacan. She told me on June 21st during the Summer Solstice her womens’ dance circle had performed a sacred dance to help heal relations between fathers and daughters, the same day my fathers ashes were spread over the Garden of the Gods. The name of the sacred dance these women performed is called the skull dance.
Dr. Torres offered to teach the whole circle the skull dance to close the circle. We all did the dance together beautifully, picking up the steps as though we already knew the dance. The dance was offered as a closing prayer to our dream way finding workshop and offered further closure for me on the journey of my father’s crossing over. The workshop was so magical, and the weaving of the bigger story into the circle was overwhelming to me in the sense of how incredibly blessed I felt to be a part of this work and to be able to dance together into the realm of the ancestors.
The dance continues and the journey of dream way finding with plans to bring Dr. Torres, director of The Mexican Research Institute of Interdisciplinary Anthropological Studies to Dallas to begin a sacred womens’ dance circle. I will also to travel to Mexico to dance with my sisters there. To find out more about workshops and classes scheduled on dream way finding visit www.chrysalishealingarts.org