Where do the dispossessed go, the refugees, the homeless, the thieves, pirates, star crossed lovers, the broken hearted, the heretics, the politically oppressed……..they go to Refuge Mountain. This mountain is hidden from the waking world, it exists in the world beyond the dream world in a location interwoven with time and space, a place where you can find your lost ancestors, their knowledge, and the places where they lived, that was perhaps swept way and taken over by their oppressors. They have not been lost, they only await your return.
By Valley Reed
Where do the dispossessed go? The refugees, the homeless,star crossed lovers, pirates, the heretics, the politically oppressed……..they go to Refuge Mountain. A mountain hidden away from the waking world, existing in a world beyond the dream world, in a location interwoven with time and space. A place where you can find your ancestors or recover sacred knowledge. You can return to the places they once lived which were perhaps swept way by cataclysmic forces or taken over by forces of ambition. They have not been lost, they only await your return.
Refuge Mountain is a sacred place of forgiveness, healing and regeneration. A place where you can be protected from your oppressors, and a place where you can make your home if it has been taken away. Refuge Mountain is a place of respite for trouble makers and saints alike, but here you may find a very fine line separating the two.
I stumbled across Refuge Mountain as I drifted into my dreams one night after I had stayed up late researching my ancestry. I had just discovered that I was connected to an ancestral line of heretics from France, the Huguenots who sought refuge in America from the oppressive forces of the Catholic Church in France in the 1600’s. Larrabbee is the ancestral line which I was able to track back to Pau, France at the base of the Pyrenees Mountains. I also discovered the name can also be spelled, L’arabie which is french for Arab. I went to bed thinking about my French Arab Huguenot ancestors and I had this dream.
I am on a mountain which is hidden from sight, in the center of the mountain grows a huge tree that reaches deep down into the earth and stretches up through the top of the mountain. This giant tree reaching down and moving upward is a pathway one can travel to access different places within the mountain. Hidden inside the mountain there are many who have come here seeking protection.
Tibetan Buddhists, pirates, star crossed lovers, a pub run by monks, a French tea house run by Wise Women Herbalists where they serve lavender tea and cultivate fields of lavender to make the tea. An Irish bard musician, outlaw cowboys living in a world with no boundaries, Spanish Sufi poets, African slaves, Jewish mystics, a Gypsy thief, a Wicca high priestess drawing down the Moon, alchemist scientists, Communist philosophers, mothers and their children, a caravan of Arabian dancers and drummers, a Siberian shaman, Apache horse thieves. These wanderers have all come here to find peace and safety at refuge mountain. They know they are protected and they can pursue their lives without fear of being attacked, destroyed or imprisoned. They can practice religion, speak their mind, love who they love, make their own living, they can live in their own homes and raise their children. But just in case of danger, the pirate ship is waiting to set sail at the drop of a hat. This get away shoot was dug through the mountain where an escape hatch on the other side awaits your hasty exit.
Escape to Refuge Mountain in your dreams tonight and discover the hidden paths of your ancestry, or places in your life which have been dispossessed and banished from the light of day. Set sail on a pirate ship across the seas of time, and find yourself the hero of a tale yet untold. Let your life unfold and the adventure begin, because if you get in a bind, you can always return to Refuge Mountain.
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 Native American flute.
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 next day I determined upon reflection that I was doing exactly what was needed. I did not go through the portal, but helped keep it open, and that was what gatekeepers do, keep the space open or close spaces that should not be open. They do not go through them.
At a recent week long Dream Teacher Training with Robert Moss on the East Coast, I kept noticing an ongoing theme. I got there early to the seaside villa where we were all staying and I was making myself at home when I heard an inner prompting telling me to go to the front door. I did, and found a knock at the door and standing before me was Robert Moss pronouncing me as the “Gatekeeper” ! This theme has continued with me over the past 2 weeks, and it seems a path I am now learning to traverse.
My roommate showed up late to the training, and since I only had one set of keys to our room, I had unlock our door to let her in. I once again found myself in the service of being a gatekeeper. After we adjourned from our first nights session, I had the opportunity to reflect on the gatekeeper and what that might be trying to tell me.
I was in the bathroom brushing my teeth and began to notice the lights were turning on and off, and then the sink began to look as though it were moving. I quickly removed myself from the space telling my roommate, there was something weird going on in that bathroom! She finished getting ready for bed and closed the bathroom door and it was then I noticed the bathroom door was now locked and it had a bolt lock that could only be locked from the inside.
We were beginning to feel as though there were some poltergeist activity going on in our room. We finally got into bed and were discussing what the dream intention would be for the nights dreaming. I decided mine would be “What does it mean to be a gatekeeper?” I glanced up at the picture on the wall in front of me, and noticed it was a picture of a door on a barn, another portal! It was too much, I decided it was time for bed and so I laid down to sleep. As I lay there with eyes closed, I immediately saw the image of an open portal of green light which had infinite kalpas of swirling Buddhas. The portal was in front of the locked bathroom door which had exhibited the poltergeist activity earlier.
Previously in the evening, a ceremony by my two older brothers had been performed for the release of my fathers ashes over his childhood playground at the Garden of the Gods in Colorado. I was now seeing the portal which was open for my father to cross over. I felt like there was something I needed to do to help him, but I was afraid, and I was feeling the energy of the portal and a pull on my spine as though something was trying to pull me through it. I did not want to go through this portal and kept saying “I am not ready”.
My teacher Robert Moss appeared in my dream and I asked him to help me because I was not ready to go through this portal. He told me that I was at a teacher training and that I would have to do it myself. I said thanks alot! I kept feeling afraid to do anything.
I felt bad that I was not able to go through the portal, or assist whatever was trying to go through.
The next day I determined upon reflection that I was doing exactly what was needed. I did not go through the portal, but helped keep it open, and that was what gatekeepers do, keep the space open or close spaces that should not be open. They do not go through them.
The next day upon reflection, I determined what was needed from me was for me to chant for my fathers passage as part of my Buddhist practice. I decided to meditate and chant as I entered the portal and I could feel my fathers energy move through the portal until finally reaching the other side where his parents and brothers and sisters where waiting who had already crossed over. Everyone was so glad to be reunited. I was glad to see everyone there too, but I was only there on a day pass and it was time for me to return home, back through the portal.
May our doors and gates and paths be open,
and may the doors and gates and paths between the worlds,
and may the doors and gates and paths of any who wish
In the Fall of 2007 , I was given the news that my Father has cancer. He had stage four lung cancer with a large inoperable tumor, and he is 83 years old. Death is inevitable for each of us, and so the news of my father’s illness brought me closer to the portal of death. It also brought a pain so deep within me I was doubled over as if a knife were piercing my soul. I was feeling pulled deeper into the darkness and pain of these events as if my soul were being pulled down into the underworld. My father had recently given all of his things away and moved in with his Sister in El Paso, Texas. The borderlands, El Paso means “the Pass” and these are lands where the ancient Aztec territory had once reached and ancient petroglyphs of Quetzalcoatl can still be found in the Hueco Tanks area. One night I surrendered to the pull that I felt in my soul, and I said a prayer for a dream for my fathers’ protection and healing. In response to my prayer, I had this dream;
The Call of Quetzalcoatl
I see an Aztec Mandala as a large circular structure built with Aztec Codex tiles. Each tile is connected to a person’s life and there is a tile for each individual soul. I see a spirit presence there who is the guardian of this place, which is a portal to cross into the other world. The first panel I was shown is connected to me and my life. I stepped on the panel with my awareness, and it lit up with golden light and the God Quetzalcoatl, the flying serpent came to life and flew away. Then this gatekeeper guardian spirit told me he was directing my father’s death. He told me my father would be going into the underworld when he passes.
I see a friend with me in my dream and she stays on the perimeter of the circular space that makes up this portal. She is talking with this spirit and he gives her a very large ruby that he takes out of the side of the earth that is the wall of the perimeter. It seems to be some kind of cave maybe or part of a temple or a pyramid. Another part of my dream is showing me another layer where the Aztec Codex tiles are floating up in space like an Aztec temple but on the etheric realm. The spirit offers a simple bowl and sets it on a tile and the bowl flips over to the other side and it disappears immediately. This is a place where offerings are made to the ancestors or spirit realm. I am given the information that if I put my hand on one of those tiles it would disappear just like the bowl. Instead I take out some Milagros which means “miracles” they are small metal medallions in different forms such as a hand or head or a house offered as prayers of healing and protection. The Milagro prayers are received, but they don’t disappear. It shows me the importance of making offerings of prayers in Milagros or tobacco or sage to be received in the spirit realm. The prayers for assistance offers an opportunity for the ancestral spirits to be of service from the other side. – End of Dream
I shared this dream with my friend who had appeared in my dream. She has Mayan Ancestry and speaks Spanish and I told her I felt I needed to go to the Pyramids in Mexico and make prayer offerings for healing. I asked if she would accompany me as my translator since I did not speak Spanish and also since she was one of the people in my dream with me. The next day, we were flying to meet in Mexico City on a quest to the Pyramids in Teotihuacan to explore my dream healing ceremony. We stayed very near the Pyramids where there was a small village, my friend felt she wanted to explore the village nearby that evening in search of a Toltec Elder who might know how we could participate in the annual ceremony of the Aztec Moon Dance. She asked several people in the village if they knew anyone who might help, and finally we were directed to a house where a Toltec Medicine Man lived. We knocked on the door and spoke with a delightful young woman, a cousin who explained he was not there but he could give us a tour of the pyramids in the morning if we came back then. She also explained we would not be able to participate in the Aztec Moon Dance without a written letter of referral, which had to be submitted in advance. She let us know the Moon Dance would be taking place the next day in Mexico City. We left and returned to our hotel for the evening with a plan to return in the morning. It did not look promising for us to participate in the Moon Dance from what this woman had told us, but I left it up to spirit to decide. My sights were set on doing ceremony and making offerings to the ancestors in the territory I believed I had seen in my dream, the Pyramids of the Sun and the Moon and the Temple of Quetzalcoatl in Teotihuacan.
Before retiring for the night, I realized we were actually sleeping on sacred grounds with ruins on the property located walking distance to the Pyramids. I made the intention for a dream of assistance for the quest we would embark on the next day. My dreaming was difficult and disrupted, I awoke in the middle of the night with a feeling that chilled me to the bone. It was as cold as death in our room and I could not get warm no matter how many blankets I piled on me. I looked at my companion and she slept peacefully without any signs of discomfort.
Over breakfast the next morning, I described my lack of sleep and dreams to my friend and we determined she would go and seek out the Medicine Man we believed lived in the nearby village while I waited at the hotel. She would then bring him to the hotel for me to meet him and I could tell him my dream. She returned with his wife who spoke some English and I told her with the help of my translator of the dream of Quetzalcoatl that had brought me before her. I spoke of the need to offer prayers for my father. She understood immediately and went to retrieve her husband. Upon our meeting I felt as though my dream was opening up and I was falling back into my dream. I recognized the man standing before me as the guardian spirit I had seen in my dream. This Medicine Man is the keeper of the Staff of Quetzalcoatl and the guardian of this sacred place for his people. He offered to do ceremony at the pyramids with us and asked us both to accompany him and his wife as his guests to participate in the Moon Dance in Mexico City later that day.
Before we entered the sacred grounds of the pyramids, the Medicine Man and his wife offered me colorful stones as offerings of healing for my father and myself. They explained to me that it was through my own healing that these healing energies would be made available to my family. They also gave my traveling companion a stone that was the color of a red ruby, we both looked at one another with a knowing grin understanding this was actualizing a part of the dream. We were on the path of my dream and together we went to the pyramids and offered prayers with traditional Copal and also Sage which I had brought and offered out of respect and gratitude. It is the traditional way as I had been taught in my past years of study practicing ceremony with my teacher, a Lakota Sioux Medicine Man known as Ten Bears. The teacher before me now was an Aztec Medicine Man and he was young as was his wife, and they had nothing but smiles and concern for my well being on my healing journey with them.
We offered the prayers without the flame to burn the sacred herbs as the traditional ceremony would be done. The four of us stood in each of the four directions offering prayers in Nagual the language of the Toltec people. It was sad for me to see the indigenous peoples living in this area on the land of their ancestors forbidden by the government to practice their rituals with an open fire and so the ceremony we did was without flame. After we made prayers, we went to the temple of Quetzalcoatl to open a portal of healing energy. We climbed the steps of the temple in a zig zag serpentine fashion to connect with the energy of the feathered serpent. When we reached the top, the guardian of this portal spoke the sacred prayers and told us to concentrate our energy and open up to the power of Quetzalcoatl. We stood looking down on the ancient carved serpents that covered the temple holding our hands out over the temple breathing in the energy. I could see in my minds eye a V shaped opening occur where golden light poured fourth and then two giant golden serpent eyes were staring back at me. The energy of the feathered serpent had been released and it had made contact with me. I could still feel the energy coursing through my body as we made our way down the many steps of the temple back toward the earth in a serpentine direction.
Our next destination would be the underground ruins of the Jaguar Palace. I followed my guide as he lead me to the ancient ruins and found myself in the territory of my dream. Inside the underground palace, we were led to a location that had once been a waterfall. It was obvious where the water had once run down where the sides of the earth where smooth. I was directed to stand underneath it, as if the water were flowing today. I leaned my face and body up against the earthen wall under the barren water fall, and I could imagine the once plentiful waters flowing over me washing away all of the wounds of my past. I stood taking in this energy for a long time until I felt my spirit replenished, the water was long gone, but the healing energies of it remained and I was grateful to be in this amazing place. We then went deeper inside the underground ruins known as the Jaguar Palace and I was shown what seemed to be a covering over some kind of opening. When the covering was removed it revealed a dark hole that went deep down inside the earth. My guide pointed down into it as if he wanted me to enter this portal. I looked at him like he was crazy and exclaimed, I am not going inside that! It was so deep and dark you could not see the end! He laughed and had me place my hands hovering over the opening and told me to draw the energy of Mother Earth up into my hands and through my being. I stood positioned over what was an ancient well that lead deep inside the earth and drew from the healing energy of Mother Earth.
I was feeling lighter with each step along the way of our journey and now it was time for us to travel to Mexico City. My companion and I had decided we would accompany our Medicine guides to participate in the Ancient ceremony of the Aztec Moon Dance as their guests. I was profoundly grateful to them for their generous spirit, and all the love and support they had shown me and my friend. It was here in the Moon Dance Ceremony that I was able to make my prayer offerings for my father. I had brought the Milagros with me, and put the stones that I had been given in a small bag that I carried with me. I danced with the bag during the ceremony, and I was amazed at all of the colorful costumes and the many different people from across the region who arrived for the dance. The Medicine Man and his wife who accompanied us, wore the costume of the black jaguar while his wife was dressed in the beautiful flowing colors of water. I did not come prepared with a costume for the dance, however my friend provided me with a headdress of colorful parrot feathers that she and I wore during the dance. The dance began around 2:00 in the afternoon and it went on until the Sun was down around 8:00 we danced the entire time without taking a break on concrete in the middle of the busy square in Mexico City. There were different Aztec tribes there from across the region and well over 50 dancers who participated. I was accepted as one of the tribe as if I had been there my whole life without hesitation or question. The Moon Dance was so hypnotic and yet I felt so completely alive with the sounds and smells and the movement of the dance. I thought my body would collapse in the waning hours of the dance. I could feel the energy of the dance take over and I was no longer one person struggling against the difficulty of my physical challenges but surrendered to the dance and became one with the movement of a whole community. The energy of us dancing together as one took me and lifted my exhaustion away. I felt lifted ever higher by the energy of this Sacred Moon Dance and I knew my dance was a prayer that was offered to the ancestors of this sacred place.
When the final words of the closing ceremony had been spoken, we all gathered in the square to join in a sumptuous meal of chicken mole, beans and rice with even a shot of Agave Tequila to take the edge off tired muscles. The night wore on as it was getting late and I was ready to return to my hotel to rest and asked our guides to please escort us back home. They had other plans however the ceremony and the night was not yet over! They insisted that we accompany them back to their village to join in a small group of people to do a temascales purification sweat ceremony. They insisted this was a crucial part of the day of ceremony. They had both shown such tremendous concern for my well being all along the way in the course of our journey always checking in to see how I was feeling, and if they insisted on this final step I had to trust them. We arrived at the temascales where the rocks to heat the lodge had already been well heated in a ceremonial fire and everything was prepared. I was given a simple white cotton gown to wear in the lodge. Special herbs were burned over the hot rocks and then poured with water to release the steam. In the lodge we sang songs and prayed deep in the night and into the early morning. Several of those who shared the sweat lodge with me that night kept complaining about it being cold inside the lodge. The Medicine Man whom I had come to love and trust, let everyone know the reason they felt cold was because they were experiencing the trauma they held in their body. This rang a bell for me, that must have been what I experienced in my dreaming the night before when I woke up freezing and was unable to get warm. The Medicine Man checked with me to see if I was cold, I shook my head no. He gave me a warm and knowing smile shaking is head in agreement. The healing was complete. Now I knew I had received healing through the day of ceremony and ritual. I was the only one in the lodge who was not cold.
We then finished the healing lodge and prepared to leave. I gave a donation for the services of creating the space for the lodge and I offered my faithful guides money for the healing I had received. They thoughtfully declined, knowing I was called to them by the dream and through spirit, and it was their honor to be of service. These were indeed people of beauty and faith and love and integrity. They had helped me find the miracles I came searching to find. Now I could take this energy home with me and share it with my loved ones. It was hard to say goodbye to these special people that the dream had answered in response to my prayer but I knew this was a place and a people to whom I would someday return.
My father later died peacefully surrounded by family and I feel strongly that through the dreams and ceremony and sacred dance and prayers offered a pathway that was prepared for him to travel into the afterlife. The day he passed my daughter had this beautiful dream of his death.
The Butterfly Tree
I see an old two story house with a front porch and grandpa is sitting on the porch in a rocking chair. The family is gathered around and everyone is coming up to speak with him and tell him goodbye. My mom and I go and speak with him and say our goodbyes. We see a butterfly land on his shoulder and then he dies. A tree in the backyard holds many butterflies who now flow around him, as they do he begins to transform from his older self to his younger self of about 40 years old. He looks happy and peaceful. End of Dream
There are stories about butterflies in Mexico that the return of the butterflies each year during the migration are the souls of departed ancestors coming to visit. The Butterfly Tree is a migration of the soul and the end of the journey we call life.
During the ongoing journey of the Kundalini Yoga series, we move through the each of the chakras rising the energy up through the lower chakras into the higher chakras. The Heart begins the first of the upper chakras. Breathing with the energy to enter the heart chakra , I could see the energy in each of the lower chakras was strong. I moved from the root chakra into the creative chakra and up into the power chakra where it became a bright ball of energy with red and yellow and orange. I could hear a sound like a deep base drum beat pulsating and as the sound moved upward towards the heart I could see a thin plate of clear glass break apart as I moved into the heart chakra. A breakthrough!
I entered and could see the energy there was neutral, I could then feel the energy in my crown chakra move down to fill my heart with white light. During one of the asanas, I could feel my right hand begin to cramp. I was aware the energy was stuck there in my body, I was trying to hold onto to it and needed to let it go. I concentrated on letting the energy release through my palm and the cramp in my hand began to ease. I became aware of a long held body stance of trying to protect myself by clenching my fist. I remembered waking up at night sometimes to find I had clenched fists. It was time to let go of the fear and anger and the need to protect myself, and trust in energy of the heart once more.
In the ending class meditation, I entered the temple of the heart chakra, in my vision I could see a flock of white doves take flight as I entered the space. I approached the temple and became aware that it looked like the white house. At first look, I thought the politics of the presidential candidates race had taken over my life! Then upon contemplation I realized the qualities of the heart chakra is a space of sacred law, truth and justice.
I entered the temple of the White House in my heart, and found a long hall where at the far end sat a man with a safron robe and bald head, and had the appearance of a buddhist monk. As I walked closer, the man turned to greet me, I was surprised to find it was my father.
My father was talking to me telling me things, that as usual, I did not want to hear. I did not trust him and I found it difficult to see him in this role as a Buddhist monk. Many times he and I had argued about religion and our differences in religious belief. He from a perspective of an Evangelist Christian and I from a perspective of Nicherin Diashonin Buddhism. My father at 83, is now at the end of his life struggling with lung cancer and having undergone chemotherapy, now has a bald head and the appearance of a shaven headed monk.
My father took me over to show me a long white marble table that had many pictures laid out, the pictures were of my ancestors. Among the pictures was a photo of my great grandmother on my grandmothers side. My father was telling me that this great grandmother carried Native American blood. Then lying next to the pictures was a large ancient book that was old and worn, and inside it carried the sacred names of all the medicine peoples of all the tribes who have walked this earth. I looked down and also found lying next to the book on the table was a medicine pipe. The pipe was being given to me and the knowledge contained inside the book was the legacy my father was handing down to me. It was here that my father and I could always meet without disagreement, it was here in the Native way of being that we always understood one another, Aho!
I know from this meeting of one another in the heart chakra, when his time comes to pass, that we will each be more at peace with one another, and I am grateful to my father for pointing to my ancestors and the legacy they have left me.
In Kundalini Yoga,the progression is to raise the Kundalini energy coiled in the root chakra up through the seven Chakras toward the crown Chakra. In these intensified focused classes, each one is devoted to working with a different chakra following this progression. In this class, we entered the 3rd chakra and practiced chanting, fire breathing & yoga positions to raise the energy into the third chakra. I found difficulty at first penetrating into the energy there. I saw a protective ring of fire surrounding the third chakra that did not allow me to enter. I focused my awareness on the fire and put my intention there and the fire change from a closed circle to an open V shape, like wings, which created an opening for me to enter. The fire then transformed into a Phoenix, and I could see the face of the Phoenix had become a heart shaped portal and inside I could see the enchanting faces of Shatki and Shiva beckoning me to join them. I was feeling shy and did not go through the portal to join them, my attention was drawn to enter the palace of many jewels, the third chakra. I then saw my 3rd chakra energy change into a green lotus that reached down into the spinal cord, it then changed into a bright blue and once again I saw the phoenix as a blue bird flying toward the Palace of Jewels.
My initial entry, was through a cave of emerald that I knew to be the cave of the Emerald Buddah. I felt this was not the right place and so I waited until an Egyptian Sphynx Woman appeared and the cave became the color of Lapis Lazuli. She lead me through the cave until we came to a wall. I could see it was very dark as I approached and there was a wall made of a shiny black material like onyx and I could see my reflection looking back at me in the wall. This was the place in my life where I had lost my power, and my guide was there to help me, she whispered in my ear gently guiding me, while giving me confidence and gaining my trust. I was at a loss as to what to do about the wall, it was thick and solid, I turned to my guide with a look “what now?” She raised a hand and the wall became nothing but smoke. It completely disappeared, and there hiding in the shadows were childhood figures of me as an infant and my three older siblings. It was behind this wall where the family secrets where hidden, and next to the shadow childhood figures, hovering in complete darkness was the energy of my mother, although I could not see her, I could feel her, and I embraced her and gave her my complete forgiveness.
I now realized that my sphinx guide had wings, and that she was ready to fly! I took off riding on her back and she flew me to the top of the palace where artists painted beautiful frescos into the dome topped roof. The colors they used to paint where made from ground up jewels of lapis lazuli, emerald, and ruby. The frescos painted on the dome where depicting history, and we flew circling around the dome absorbing what one could learn from the artistic vision. There on an adjacent wall, reaching up the ceiling, was a library of sacred books that required ladders to reach the upper shelves. This was a place of ancient learning and sacred texts. Then suddenly the sphinx and I, flew through the top of the palace and changed into a blue beam of light that shone into the heavens never ending. I was aware that part of me was traveling this beam of light upward into infinity while another part of me was inside the palace still. I rejoined my awareness into the palace of jewels and saw there was preparation taking place for a sacred ceremony. I was being bathed and massaged and perfumed as purification before the ceremony by a host of attendants. I was then escorted and laid down on a platform and given a drink. I looked at my face and I was a beautiful man, with cocoa colored skin, tall and thin with a long narrow face. I was about to undergo a dream ceremony in the palace of many jewels.
The Second Chakra holds the creative energy of regeneration and creation. A vigorous class of practicing Mudras with fire breathing was followed by a guided meditation.Upon entrance into the energy of the Creative Chakra I see myself as a tiger and I am swimming across a river at night where the moon is shining on the water. I can see the ripples on the water where I am breathing as I hold my head above the water as I swim across. I reach the other side of the river and I walk as a magnificent Tiger into the darkened jungle searching for my mate.
As I am guided along this journey, we came to meet the sacred child. In my experience,I saw myself as an infant surrounded by darkness with no one around. I could feel the terror in my body of the experience of the infant reaching out needing to touch another with no one there.
Finally as I waited for some kind of response, in my vision I could see rose petals fall on my body, one at a time like gentle drops of water, and I could see I was surrounded by a circle of angelic beings each dropping a soft gentle rose petal on the infant. As each soft petal fell, the terror in the body became soothed and finally the infant felt peace. I then saw the image of myself cradling the infant in my lap in this peaceful space, and then finally feeding the infant at my breast. The circle of mother and child was complete. Healing the inner child and strengthening the mother and inner nurturer, I felt the power of the completion of this circle.
I was then guided to a temple that had 4 doors, I could see the doors and was not sure which door to choose, each door presented a different aspect. I saw one door that was open and glowing with golden light, I entered the doorway and there was a woman with long blond hair hovering in the golden light. She was there to give me a creative gift and she told me I needed to sing, and that she would be giving me a song. The energy of her body then slipped into mine and the muse became apart of me.
The next day after this experience, my tonsils swelled up and my throat was burning.
I spent a day in bed resting allowing the energy to move through my body and out.
I was fine the following day, but I have yet the receive the song promised. What did happen was that my house suddenly became a center of creative energy! New carpet in the bedrooms, my nephew- a singer and musician, came and painted the walls and brought his singing and creative energy with him! The space opened up and creative movement began to flow. My son completed his art portfolio and applied to one of the top Visual Arts Schools in the country. Our house became a swirl of creative energy, my daughter auditioned for three parts in a play her school will perform for the Texas State UIL contest and she got all three parts!
I am beginning a kundalini yoga class, and we are learning fire breathing in the first class. After going through the breathing and asanas and chants, we do a relaxing meditation where I had this vision. I see myself on fire with my arms outstretched. My whole being is on fire, and I am enveloped in a leaf and am floating down a river. My life is an offering, a give away.
I see my burning body cradled in a leaf floating down the river, and then a spirit emerges from the fire. The spirit calls himself the primordial spirit of mankind, he is everlasting inextinguishable and exists within all of mankind. The spirit shows me how to take the things in myself that I want to let go of. I take my fear and doubt and put it in the fire, and as I do, I see the fire burn into a deeper place in myself. I am going deeper. I take more of the fear and doubt and place it in the fire. The primordial spirit is assisting me in this ceremony and helping me to go deeper. I see that we have reached a depth in my being where I can see my bloodlines. We have reached the level of the ancestors now.
Feb. 16 Kundalini Yoga – Root Chakra
In this class we continue the fire breath, and practice asanas and chants related to the root chakra. The Chakra opens up the earth energy, and we do a difficult asana that pushes the energy of the root chakra up to the third eye that is placed on the ground.
When I try this pose, I have an experience of seeing the earth separate from the sky with a flash of golden light and I can see the shadows of the ancestors standing on the horizon in between the fabric of space and time.
During the relaxation meditation, I have the experience of feeling my body arching backwards and floating upwards. I am intrigued by this motion I am experiencing and so I go with it and find myself in a vision of my body draped across the planet earth relaxed and completely open. The earth spins in its orbit and my body is large like the earth. I become concerned about being expanded in space like this, and so I return to my root chakra and find myself entering a cave where a ceremony is about to begin. I see my face as I enter the cave and I am a man, my face is painted with a red ochre. I sit in a circle of men and there are many of us in the cave. There is a cenote in the center of the cave and it has bones near the edge. This is the burial place of the ancestors and a portal to contact the ancestors. There is a Medicine Man who is leading the ceremony and he smudges everyone with copal, and then passes out a sacred herb, ayahuaska that everyone will take together to journey in the spirit realm. We focus on the cenote, the portal to the other side for a vision. The Ancestral spirit appears surrounded with golden light and is dancing on the edge of the portal. Then the spirits of the Woolly Mammoth, and the Sabor Tooth Tiger appear in the surface of the water. These are the animals that the tribe will hunt, and animal spirits will assist the tribe and show them where to find the animals.
Now I find myself suddenly on the surface of the earth, and I am running through the jungle, I am a man, a hunter, and I am hunting a black jaguar. I look different than the man in the cave, I am alone stalking this big cat through the jungle. It is a worthy adversary, and I hold it with great respect. I am hunting the jaguar to protect my village, and to earn the respect of my tribe as a powerful leader. In hunting the jaguar, the spirit of the animal becomes my power.
Sometimes the effects of one action can set something in motion so powerful it can pull the powers of the wind and the sea together creating an awe inspiring force. Once in awhile, in the midst of the long struggle for peace and justice, an activist may see the effects of their heartfelt message break through the barriers of greed and ignorance. If we are blessed we will see the fruits of our actions turn from song and vigil for the oppressed and voiceless to freedom and justice.
One morning, I awoke from a dream with the phrase “Mariposa Movement” on my mind. I recalled the dream from the previous night where people gave up their places of comfort and status within the American Empire to stand in solidarity with Mexican immigrants, Indigenous peoples and Muslim Immigrants who are currently being demonized by the United States. These honest hard working people are being described as criminals, terrorists, child molesters, and drug dealers. I remember how inspired I felt upon waking from the dream with the idea it was presenting of a Solidarity movement to tear down the walls of class, racism and separation that are currently being built along our borders. It was shortly after this dream I was presented with the opportunity to accompany several fellow activists down to visit Taylor, Texas where a demonstration was planned with activists from all around the state of Texas. The focus of the action was the Don T. Hutto residential detention center where families are locked up along with their children while waiting for their case to process and seeking safe assylum in the U.S. These families seeking safe haven are being treated like criminals, along with their children, and imprisonment of children is in violation of International Law and Sacred Law.
On this day as we sit outside of these prison walls in Taylor Texas at the Don T. Hutto Residential Detention Center we are drumming to free the children inside. I tried to imagine what it would take to open the doors and allow those inside to have their freedom. I remembered the story of the Shoshone Medicine Man, Rolling Thunder, the story was of one of freedom.
Rolling Thunder had stood up for justice in his day, to demand freedom for his Shosone brothers who were locked up for refusing to fight an imperial U.S. war against Vietnam. Rolling Thunder was a Medicine Man and an activist for indigenous rights and the environment. He was known to have abilities such as effecting the weather by calling in the rain, the wind and the lightning. He demanded the release of his brothers and when the guards did not heed his call, he summoned the powers of the sky, and called a tornado directly toward the prison.
The guards became so frightened they let the two Shoshone men go they held prisoner. I looked to the story of Rolling Thunder for inspiration as I drummed an African Beat called Kaki Lambe on my Jimbe Drum, it is an African drumbeat used to call to spirits for assistance in times of dire need. My partner, Hadi Jawad, had taught me the rythmn and it was his strong desire that we bring the drums so that the children inside could hear us drumming through the thick prison walls. Together we drummed the rhythmn and I focused my attention on every beat. I connected my intention toward spirit for an answer, I closed my eyes as I drummed and released myself to the sound. It was then a clear vision appeared, and I saw the spirit of an immense White Eagle that flew to the front doors of the prison, opening them and letting me know that every child inside would feel the presence of the eagle and know that we were there. Later that afternoon, an indigenous looking man with long dark hair approached me and expressed his thanks. He had been listening to the drumming throughout the day while we played and he let me know how important drumming is to the Native People. He said, “We believe the drums are sacred, and they call in the power of the Great Spirit.” I said “Yes!” and I immediately shared with him my vision of seeing the spirit of the White Eagle flying through the front doors of the building. The spirits had heard our call and come to our aid.
After the last song was sung of the candle light vigil, we moved in the direction of leaving after a full day of drumming, protesting, singing and vigiling. The sun was going down and it was starting to get cold. Suddenly, something began to happen, instead of the crowd dispersing, people began to spontaneously move toward the doors of the prison demanding to speak to the warden! We joined in the movement of protestors toward the front door where official vehicles tried to block our path. We boldly walked around them as water flows around stones, we also crossed over the line we were “officially” told to stay behind. The crowd moved right up to the doors of the prison and people began to open the doors and fill into the building singing Feliz Navidad and chanting solidarity forever! Many people still holding candles aflame from the candlelight vigil we had finished just shortly before. People then began shouting, “Bring in the Toys!” A flood of Christmas toys began to appear with people carrying boxes and bags of toys overflowing. The gifts and were brought inside from the 200 or so protesters who had come from all around Texas to make their voices heard against the immorality of imprisoning families. This experience of breaking through the prison doors was elating to all those who came to participate in the vigil. Spirit was among us, and flying high this day just as the eagle had foretold.
This movement that took us right through the front doors of the prison may have begun from the flap of a butterfly’s wings in Mexico. Mariposa means butterfly and it also means soul. It is said that the butterflies who migrate South to Mexico are the returning souls of lost children. To the Native People sacred law states that children shall always be protected and that no harm shall come to the children.
Free The Children!
Let me share with you this beautiful song that was sang as one of the closing songs during the candlelight vigil.
In the tradition of many indigenous peoples dream sharing is central to the survival and renewal of the tribe. Sharing dreams with another is a sacred space, and should be approached with honor and respect for the dreamer and the dream.
When sharing dreams either in a group, or with another individual, it is important to remember that the dreamer knows most closely what the real message the dream is trying to relay.
The process of sharing dreams may reveal new insights and energy into the dream but it must be offered in an atmosphere of respect. Dream dictionaries and dream interpretors don’t have more insight into the language of the your dreams than you. When you share your dream with someone be sure they don’t try to tell you what your dream means as if they were the expert on your life. This dissempowers both you and the potential your dream has for you.
Dreams can offer many levels of meaning, and keeping a dream journal provides more opportunity to return to your dream time and again for deeper exploration. It is not so much how many dreams that you catch that are important when keeping a dream journal, it is what you do with the material that make up your dream archives. In sharing the dreams that you catch with another individual you create an opportunity to honor the dream, and also honor yourself as a dreamer, as well as those whom you choose to share your dream. Dream sharing is in the ancient tradition of story telling and it is how bards, sages, and healers, passed on wisdom to their people. This sharing process binds us together with wisdom and the connection of community. We have to often relied on books to inform us of our past and our future when we have this wonderful resource of unlimited creative intelligence that can be shared with one another. In the current modern culture of science and intellect, the act of dream sharing and story telling has become a dying art and the fabric of our culture has become dull and frayed. The current culture in America is bound in a dark cult of war, violence, materialism and racism based on fear and ignorance.
Dreamers are being called to create a new way of living and creating a culture of peace. We must return to the ways of a dreaming culture so that our creative intelligence will once again be in service to life and living instead of the motives of profit, death, and destruction. Many of our brightest creative minds are in the service of militant aims in developing ever more lethal and diabolical weapons while the world faces global environmental problems, hunger and poverty, and widespread disease.
Dream sharing strengthens our connection to the web of life. We are interdependant and interwoven in this web of life and the dreams that we catch will help us find our place in this magical tapestry of life.