2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,100 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Awaken the Dream in 2012

“At sunrise on December 21, 2012 for the first time in 26,000 years the Sun rises to conjunct the intersection of the Milky Way and the plane of the ecliptic. This cosmic cross is considered to be an embodiment of the Sacred Tree, The Tree of Life, a tree remembered in all the world’s spiritual traditions.” – Steve Becker

In the coming year we will continue to see changes of prophetic proportions which have been foreseen by cultures from around the world in ancient prophecy. What can we, as modern technocrats in this fast paced, materialistic, devouring, industrialized society, make of being in the midst of such changes? Even the prophecies themselves have been the subject of cultural hijacking and spiritual materialism by those who would try to speak for another culture and profit from ancient prophesy.

“Anthropologists visit the temple sites and read the inscriptions and make up stories about the Maya, but they do not read the signs correctly. It’s just their imagination. Other people write about prophecy in the name of the Maya. They say that the world will end in December 2012. The Mayan elders are angry with this. The world will not end. It will be transformed.” – Carlos Barrios member of the council of Mayan Elders.

At the heart of ancient prophesy are dreams, and that is something we can all do. Dreams can enable us to tap into our connection with timeless wisdom in order to understand our unique, individual role we each play as part of the larger community. When things fall apart and the old structures are no longer viable, it is a time to look into our dreams to envision a new world and our role in it. The tree of life is a classic shamanic entry point of dream exploration to travel into non ordinary reality.  It is here where you can connect with protector animal spirits and spiritual guides or ancestors along with the transformative energies now entering our sphere toward the cosmic alignments of 2012 .

Dream exploration through conscious group dream travel, aided by the sound of the drum, can be an entry point to the past, present and future. The tree of life is rooted in ancestral wisdom and a place where we have access to our deeper selves, beyond the workings of the trivial everyday mind, to guide us in remembering our true soul purpose.

A safe space for dream sharing 

In many indigenous cultures, dreams often held a sacred place in the community and were given a place of honor and respect. There were women and men shamans, medicine women or men, ancient priests or priestesses who were able to dream for the community. In our current minimalistic, scientific, industrialized western society dreams have been relegated to tiny bits and pieces and lost the role of importance which enabled our ancestors to survive and flourish as a community. They knew through dreams where to find game to hunt, what plants to heal, when to pack up and leave and where to move.  We need these ancient dream practices today in our own lives in a world that is rapidly changing to know where to find work and how to create communities that support life and the respect the earth.

Dreaming in Community

To enable the space for dreams to take root, we need a container to hold them. A protected and sacred space in which to dream and share in community. Setting a specific intention for what the group will dream towards while preparing dreamers in advance to bring dreams to share is an important step. Sharing dreams with respect for the dreamer and the dream is crucial to creating a safe space and this is most often done by making sure that dreams are shared in confidence and not taken outside the circle, and any feed back given to another in relation to their dream must be shared from the perspective of “If this were my dream”. We may live in a culture of experts and specialists, but the dreamer is the only expert on their dream.  Group dreaming exploration through shared conscious dream journeys are also ways to cultivate dreams for the community and the earth. Creating a dream community also requires action and determining what action to take to honor our dreams is an important way toward creating a world we can share together.

Become part of a larger dream community

Dreaming together for our community and our world is crucial to our unfoldment as we enter 2012. We can no longer approach our lives as though we are just individuals pursuing our own goals. We are on a shared journey together and dreaming can help us to navigate the way.

The Pachamamma Alliance is taking action toward Awakening the Dreamer. The non-profit organization is creating alliances with indigenous communities in South America which are under siege from globalization and multinational corporations. These  communities are struggling to maintain their indigenous ways in a world that is hungry for their natural resources. The message from the shaman’s of the Achuar people in Ecuador is to change the dream of the modern world and awaken a new dream in harmony with the Planet we share together. Ecuador has been one of the first Nation’s on Earth to enshrine into their own constitution in 2008 that the Earth has Rights.  Since then in 2010, Bolivia has followed suit and also declared into law the Earth has rights.  These efforts continue to gain momentum and expand as part of a broader movement toward the  Universal Declaration  of the Rights of Mother Earth.

Find out more about how to become an Active Dreamer in 2012 and view a schedule of dream groups, workshops or retreats, or participate in a Pachamamma Symposium visit www.chrysalishealingarts.org

Valley Reed © 2012

The Fruit of the Pomegranate Tree

Pomegranate Tree

 

I wrote a previous blog post, about Persephone and her journey into the underworld. It was inspired both by the Winter Solstice, and a dream I had of a visit from Persephone herself. I wrote the following poem in honor of the dream. Happy Winter Solstice!

 

 

The Fruit of the Pomegranate Tree

Oh Persephone!

You came in my dream

and showed me,

The pomegranate seed.

You said,

“If you never open the pomegranate,

you can never plant the seed,

And the tree will never grow.”

Well, you opened that fruit,

and planted that seed.

The tree grew tall and strong,

fully grown, before my eyes,

like magic.

You opened me,

as you did the fruit.

You planted that seed inside.

I have grown worthy

of becoming a tree.

I have much to offer,

from the land of the dead.

The seed of the goddess

is planted in the deep, dark earth.

I reach up toward the light,

as my branches stretch,

strong, tall and beautiful.

I can hold the weight,

of the abundant,

juicy, fruit of the ages.

Ready to be picked,

and broken open to feed the soul.

I can lead others

into the dark,

into the mystery of becoming,

where the richest fruit,

and most magical trees grow.

Valley Reed – © 2011

Dreamways to Peace

When we have a love for something which we strive towards in our everyday life, we may find in dreaming we can connect with a greater experience and presence of those who have passed on, but their legacy remains.  I have worked as an activist toward peace and justice in Texas for more than 10 years. It is often difficult and thankless work, but clearly needed in order to create change from a culture of violence toward one of  peace with justice.

Over the years, I have been gifted with two significant dreams which have helped to spur me on in my endeavors as a peace activist.

Doorways to Peace

I see Martin Luther King Jr. standing before me, he holds out his hand and offers me what he has inside his palm.  It is a golden bee pollen and he tells me to eat it.  I take what he has offered and eat some.  I am conscious in the dream, and having trouble staying that way due to being very aware and excited that I am actually standing with the great Martin Luther King Jr.  I can hardly contain myself.  He is trying to speak with me in the dream, but I seem too overwhelmed to be able to hear his words. He then shows me a large golden tree made of gold light and we walk toward it. The tree is so large we are only looking at the huge trunk of it and cannot see the top of the tree nor the bottom. There is a door inside the tree  made of golden light which opens.  I walk through it and find there are many more doorways unfolding before me, all I must do to get to the next one is walk through each door as it appears. EOD.

This dream was profound for me to meet Martin Luther King Jr. – one of my heroes, whom I consider to exemplify true leadership. It showed me the potential for peace and that it only takes the willingness to step through each doorway as it is presented. This is something I continue to strive to do as an activist.

In the next dream, I went consciously to meet up with a dream partner to an agreed upon destination where we would converge together in our dreams for a shared dream adventure. We decided to meet up at a market in Fez, Morocco

The Magic Pot

I find myself in a busy market place in Morocco with narrow dirt streets and vendors set up all around. It is a busy place and the sights, sounds and smells are almost overwhelming.  I am looking for my dream partner.  I walk further through the market and find a large clay pot.  I circle around the pot as I touch its rim with my hand and as I do I see Gandhi walking toward me from out of the market place. He approaches standing across from me and tells me to look into the pot. I look inside and see it is full of water, he tells me to look again, and once again I look and see it is full of grain.

I look one more time and now the pot has transformed to a small Moroccan clay pot with a lid which looks like a strange hat.  I take off the lid to see it contains a delicious meal enough for two people to eat.   I realize this pot is a magic pot. I want to share this meal with my dream partner who I have not yet found in my dream.  I go and look for him and find myself at the airport where he is just arriving to meet me. We go once again go to the market where I meet up with another friend who is the founder of many West African Drum Circles in Texas.  My friend looks at me and says, “What are we waiting for? We are in Africa – Let’s Drum!” We all begin to drum together. EOD

This dream shows the importance of nurturing and having a container that can feed many people. Peace is that container and shows itself in the form of the magic pot which offers unlimited resources as well as the ability to build community both through feeding and nurturing and drumming and celebration while also nurturing my personal relationships along the way.

Shapeshifting with the White Animals

On May 12th in Greenville, Texas a white buffalo was born named Lightning Medicine Cloud after being born during a Thunderstorm. It is said to be part of the Native American prophecy of the Lakota Sioux Tribe and the 3rd white buffalo recognized as born to fulfill the Native American prophecy of earth changes.  Lightning Medicine Cloud was born to a Lakota Sioux couple on their ranch in North Texas and it is only the second white buffalo ever born on Native American lands.  Around the same time this auspicious buffalo calf was born, I found myself having contact with the White animals in dreaming.  My dream encounters with the White Animals has been profound for me and I continue to carry their presence.

Lightning Medicine Cloud

Lightning Medicine Cloud
Royal White Elephant by Sundara Fawn

Shapeshifting with the White Elephant  April 24th, 2011

In my dream I see myself as I look now, I then see that I have shapeshifted into a White Elephant. I look closely at my skin and see the white wrinkled elephant skin covering my body. I hear a voice tell me, “This is something you do all the time, shapeshift.”

Several weeks later after that dream, I had an encounter with a council of White Animals during my shavassana meditation during a Kundalini yoga class.

Council of the White Animals – May10, 2011

In my mind’s eye,  I  hover above my body laying on the floor in shavassana pose, I look to my right and see a doorway of light open up and a magnificent white elephant approaches me. I then see in front of my feet the White Buffalo has joined me, then near my left shoulder a white tiger snuggles up next to me licking my cheek, while on my right, a white lion with beautiful blue eyes looks deeply into my eyes. I then notice a white giraffe has joined the white elephant and I look up above and see a white eagle circling over my body above me and there are many more white birds flying higher  in the air. I then see a white snake slither up toward me and enter into my body where it curls up in my second chakra. I notice a white bear is now standing near my feet next to the White Buffalo and then a white gorilla appears next and begins to jump up and down.  I now feel a white owl is sitting on my left shoulder and finally a white horse appears standing over my head.  I am overwhelmed by the white animals which are gathering around my body as others continue to join in. I had this experience just two days before the White Buffalo was born less than an hours drive from where I live.  I have never had a dream about a white buffalo before  nor seen one appear in my meditations either.

Not long after this experience,  I facilitated a dream group during the Wesak Full Moon celebrating the birth of the Buddha who was foretold to be born to his mother by a dream of her being pregnant with a white elephant. We journeyed together as a group assisted by shamanic drumming to consciously  connect with the presence of the white animals and the spiritual energies present during Wesak which celebrates his physical birth, spiritual rebirth and death of the Buddha.

What I take away from these waking and sleeping dream experiences is that it is time to shift awareness to connect with higher spiritual energies and shape shift my reality to embody the changes. I accept the message of my dream that “this is something I do all the time”.

I shall embrace the energy of  transfiguration in my own life and celebrate the birth of that energy actually embodied in the white buffalo calf  as part of the earth changes and spiritual energies now shape shifting our reality.

The Gifts of the White Animals

May the White Elephant bring the strength and wisdom of the Buddha and augur in an new age of spiritual enlightenment and compassion.

May the White Buffalo bring the presence of the great spirit and the wisdom of prophecy.

May the White Eagle fly to new heights of perception and clarity.

May the White Tiger bring her nurturing, playful and fierce spirit of love and protection.

May the White Lion bring depth of beauty and strength of heart and courage.

May the White Snake bring its energy of creativity and healing.

May the White Giraffe bring it’s ability to take risks and stick it’s neck out to reach the most delectable heights of success.

May the White Bear stand it’s ground and give support.

May the White Gorilla bring unbounded energy and the ability to speak out.

May the White Owl bring Wise council.

May the White Horse carry me with it’s noble spirit into dreaming.

by Valley Reed  © 2011

Dream Healing with the Benu Bird

At a recent Dream Healing workshop I was teaching in Grand Junction, Colorado, there were themes of heart and soul interwoven with the dreams shared. I incubated a healing dream while catching an afternoon nap, prior to giving a lecture that evening on the Healing Powers of Dreams.

“Bennu Bird” by Michelle Celebrielle

During my dreaming, I was gifted with the presence of a large white bird which flew overhead.  I could clearly see the huge white wings until it landed on a tall tree upon bare branches.  I looked closely at the face of the bird,  noticing the streaks of black coming out from the eyes and long narrow feathers reaching out from the crown.  I recognized it as the mysterious Benu bird of Egyptian myth, bringer of renewal and capable of retrieving and bringing forth the energy of soul.  A wonderful ally to accompany our dream journeying for the weekend.

There were themes of the heart and relationships which presented themselves over and again from our group of dreamers. One participant shared a dream which was full of opposites and polarities which gave the opportunity to dance with each of the polarities represented in the dream. The dream was brought to life through the movement accompanied with the intent of each of the polarities. The dreamer was able to reach a resolve toward wholeness through the movement and integrate the separation of loss into complete freedom. The wings of the Benu Bird were flying through the dance at the end, to bring about healing liberation. Another young woman brought through a vision of seeing a possible love relationship which culminated in the couple riding off together on black and white horses. The dream also gave counsel and warned her of the need to be willing to wait and not hurry into the relationship.

A doctor who attended was eager to see how dreams could help her better care for her patients. She journeyed with two power animals, that of the cougar and the eagle which became one creature. She was on call during the whole workshop and was indeed living in two realms at once. The bringing together of these two animal protectors will help her to better navigate the challenges of her dual life.

The energy of relationship and the balance of opposites flowed throughout the day, and in the end, the feeling of connection was the gift, like the egg of the Benu bird in the tree of life, which promises renewal for the future.

The Benu Bird according to Egyptian mythology recounts the bird as a carrier of “Ba” or soul energy. The soul energy is able to leave the physical body and travel at will, something we can do nightly in our dreams.  The Benu Bird is akin to the Phoenix and bringer of renewal which comes with each era. It is a rare occurrence to witness a Benu bird, as there is only one such bird in existence.  The Benu bird has no mate but continues through self regeneration. It has the capacity to integrate both polarities of Masculine and Feminine into one being. It builds its nest in the tree of life, laying a single egg to break open a new era of soul.  It was the song of the Benu bird which sang creation into being. The mysterious Benu Bird is a beautiful story of how, we may each give birth to ourselves and participate in this renewal of soul and spirit. Through this transformation of death and renewal, we can bring all parts of ourselves into wholeness as a way to help heal the past and bring about a brighter future for coming generations.

Included in this healing and to honor the Benu Bird, I offer this poem of prayer;

Dream of the Benu Bird

May we walk in beauty as we step upon the earth,

and sing our lives into being.

May our souls learn to soar as the Benu bird,

and dance awake our dreams.

May we bring about more balance in connection to each other,

the Earth we all share,  and all the creatures upon it.

May we honor those who came before us,

and the gifts they have given.

May we remember where we came from,

and what we each came here to do.

May we honor and protect the children,

and future generations, through our actions today.

Following the Rivers and Stars of My Life

The Canoe is your Life 11-13-10

In my dreaming recently, I saw myself aboard a canoe following down a river. I hear a voice tell me, “The canoe is your life”.  In the journey of my dream,  I travel through many different levels of ceremony and initiation, one where I am at a higher level of  awareness and I see two beautiful long citrine or amber crystals that appear to be power objects, like a kind of wand.  I reach for one and then drop it as I hold it,  as I couldn’t quite grasp it.  I watch as it falls many levels below until it breaks at the bottom.  I feel the loss of this,  especially when I held in my hands ever so briefly. I then notice I have another wand waiting for me, which is easily accessible to my right, and I am now on much firmer footing.   I do not try to pick it up just yet however, perhaps when I am ready. I will be more careful next time when reaching for the other one and the power it wields.

I later find myself in a ceremony where I am placing ceremonial objects in a line where others have already been laid.  I notice that this is not the usual way I would place ceremonial objects to create an altar, usually it would be in a circle.  I am laying them out this way because I am creating a path and including the properties I will bring with me.

I lay a red clay mask of a woman, along with other objects I have in my possession.  I seem ready for the journey.  I later find myself in a submarine where I am told, “This is for diving into your subconscious”.   Ha! I enjoy the pun of my dream maker, of course a “sub” marine for journeying into the “sub”conscious.  I like the help of this vehicle taking me deeper into the depths of my unconscious mind.  EOD.

Upon reflecting on this dream,  I recalled another dream of a canoe following a river from several months ago that held a deep message of healing and transformation.

Star Grandmother  June 2010
I am given a task by a peace and justice community activist leader to go down to Central America and retrieve  something. I take a canoe trip following a river all the way down to Nicaragua. I am on this journey alone. When I reach my destination, I find myself at a small village.  I walk to a mountainside nearby made of volcanic rock and find an altar has been carved into the side of the mountain next to the ocean. Sitting inside the altar is what appears to be a blue star, that at one time was a starfish, but over time it has turned to stone.  I look deeper into the starfish and discover it has a presence.  I can see two tiny eyes looking back at me.  I begin to talk to the starfish coaxing it back to life,  saying sweet and loving things to the starfish.  It begins to transform before my eyes into a living star and I call it grandmother. The grandmother wants to go with me wherever I go,  and so I place her lovingly on my shoulder.  I continue to talk to her saying sweet and loving things to her and my loving words transform her to become human once again.  She eventually changes completely into a human and I am able to return her to her family.  Her family is so happy and appreciative that she has returned.  I feel a beautiful loving connection with the grandmother who I have helped nurture back to life and return her once again to her family and community.   EOD

As I continue to follow the flow of these dreams in my life, I am reminded of another dream.  It connects with the star grandmother from the dream above.

I am looking at several different classes that I would like to take, and going between the setting of each class already in progress. I am having a difficult time choosing which one I would like to participate in as I would like to take them all, but since they are all happening at the same time, this is not feasible.

Galaxies in my hands 11-7-10

I am looking at a choice between 4 different classes going on. I find myself in a class with a teacher and the class is being lead by her graduate students who are giving presentations. I find myself drawn into another class setting where I am with a man who is a guide that looks like he is perhaps Spanish with shoulder length dark hair, eyes and skin tone. He is showing me what appears to me to be a keystone or some kind of marker for a path to follow as one would see on a pilgrimage. I feel strongly drawn the follow him on this journey and so I choose this as my path of learning. I return to the other class briefly before departing to speak with my teacher. I am told that she is already gone, and her students are there cleaning up the class room after giving their presentations. They tell me my teacher was very disappointed that I did not come to the class. I feel a tinge of disappointment myself, but then look down at my hands and see there are stars and galaxies shining in the palms of my hands.  I exclaim, look! I have galaxies in my hands!

I then turn around to see a projector which is shining the image on the back of my head at the nape of my neck.  I at first doubt the experience as being just and image reflected on a projector, but then realize there is more than that going on, it is shining outward through my third eye and also reflected onto the palm of my hands. I am in awe! EOD

These dreams all speak to me of a spiritual quest and learning from mistakes made as well as choosing the teachers and paths along the way.  They also speak to me of retrieving that which has been lost and also a sense of destiny, not only for self but for the greater good.  May we each follow the rivers of our lives, where we may find our most beautiful dreams come true.

Persephone and Opening the Pomegranate

  In a dream from just the other night, I encountered the Goddess Persephone. She offered me a Pomegranate which she held in her hands and told me.  “If you never open the Pomegranate you can not plant the seed and the tree will never grow.” She then took a single seed from the open Pomegranate and planted it from which a beautiful tree grew tall, full and strong like magic. EOD

This dream is rich with meaning and nourishment as is the Pomegranate. In this time of the year as we edge toward the winter solstice and the turning of the wheel from the harvest of Autumn to the cold dark days of Winter, it is the season when Persephone makes her journey into the darkness of the underworld. She will make her ascent and return during the season of spring when all things come to life and begin to grow once again.

During the season of Winter and the descent into the darkness of the underworld, there are opportunities for growth to come from within.  This call from Persephone to break open the hard shell which surrounds the deep juicy fruits inside is a kind of death of the protective hard shell and an opening of the heart and soul.    The seeds planted will grow to provide more fruits and opportunities for growth, as well as a path to travel in dreams toward the upper realms.

The Return of Persephone by Frederic Leighton

In the Myth of Persephone’s abduction by Hade’s into the underworld her Mother Demeter, Goddess of the  Harvest, is devastated by the loss of her maiden daughter. She searches the earth for her daughter and becomes forlorn by her loss and refuses to bring the sun to grow anything upon the earth. Finally, her father Zeus is persuaded to bring his daughter back from the depths of the underworld where she sits as queen alongside Hades over the souls of the dead.

Zeus sends Hermes to go and bring her back but before he is able to do so Persephone eats the seeds of the pomegranate and is destined by the fates to stay in the underworld.  Hermes manages to negotiate a time settlement where she is able to serve part of her time on earth but must return for a portion of the time to reign as queen of the underworld alongside Hades. It is agreed, and Hermes returns her to her awaiting mother goddess Demeter, bringing the return of spring and the end of winter.

“Eclipsed Moon” photo credit Martin Pugh

The Winter Solstice honors the descent into the longest  night of the year and celebrates the hope of renewal and the return of the Sun as is portrayed in the myth of Persephone.  This year the Winter Solstice will shine under the light of the full moon and also be brought in with a lunar eclipse that will at its apex appear like a giant pomegranate in the sky.  In the spirit of Persephone, I honor this time of year with remembering loved ones who have passed into the realm of  the underworld where Persephone sits as Queen.  I will celebrate the hope of the return of the light, just as Hermes served as guide to Persephone to help her return to bring about the season of planting seeds.  Before the return though, the winter season of breaking open is upon us , an opening to bring about change and transformation and growth.  May your Winter Solstice be juicy and heartfelt!

The Gifts of Dreaming

Dreams call out to us in the night showing us a possible future, crossroads past and timeless sacred pathways.  We can look into sacred libraries of remembering to discover our sacred contract for our life purpose. Dreams bring us in contact with healing energies that restore a sense of wholeness and well being. They can introduce us to our creative communities where we may dream our brightest dreams and grow them in the waking world.  Dreams help us remember who we are, why we have come here and the people with whom we may share our journey.   Spiritual and creative gifts are often revealed to us in dreams.  If we have the courage to go beyond our limited self concepts and explore the potential that dreams offer, then we are indeed ready to receive the gifts of dreaming.

The Gift

In a dream not long ago, I encountered an invisible guide who sat beside me. My guide held my  hand and was showing me the paths written there in the lines on my palm.  I was shown a large “W” shape across my palm made from the lines on my hand and was told “this is your gift, you know how to move energy”. The “W” shape was an indication of being a magical person, or a “W”hite “W”itch.  I was then shown two vertical lines running parallel down the center of my palm in which small w’s were streaming one after the other as this universal energy was pouring into my palms  which could then also be directed outwardly.  Suddenly, aware I was dreaming, I began to wonder what I could do with this gift in the palms of my hands.  I considered the fact that I already do healing work and have been an energy healer for many years.  I was then shown in the dream a possible path as a successful writer on book tours.  I saw a yellow palm card advertising the date of my next book signing. EOD

It strikes me that the universal flow of energy is that which is beneficial on many levels. The  hands touch everything in our world allowing us to give and receive energy that is loving, sustaining, creative, nurturing and healing. They provide us ways to communicate through writing, gesture and touch. The image of the hands being a sacred portal to the divine is truly a gift worth receiving and learning more about the ways the hands may serve in the flow of this energy into my life and relationships, our community and world.

I am now on a path of exploring the book  I have glimpsed in dreaming.  In this writing, I am sending my RSVP to the universe! I accept the invitation to write this book.  I only need to let the “w”‘s flow in the universal stream of energy and send them back out onto the page.