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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
I am in a dark mountain cave where the light of my soul hovers above dark waters. I see a white tiger emerge from the mountain and sit by the side of the water looking into the darkness. The water surface is covered with a dark, thick, sludge and a being crawls out of the water, its body covered in sludge. The tiger looks at the sludge covered creature and turns her head away, wanting nothing to do with it. The white tiger finally decides to jump into the water, and the contrast of her beautiful white fur against the deep darkness in the water is amazing to see. The tiger is a powerful swimmer and moves swiftly through the dark waters until it reaches a place of murky astral waters, where many spirits are floating. The tiger continues to swim through the murky waters of spirits until the water begins to clear and she is now swimming in the clear open sea. She finally emerges on another shore with a rope in her mouth from which she is pulling a boat from deep within the ocean waters onto the shore. Inside the boat is a woman dressed in gold trimmed and maroon colored vestments and wearing a regal shaped head dress. On the shore of the beach is a small girl of about 7 with blond hair and fair features, who runs toward the boat ecstatic to see the new visitors.
The dream shifts, and now I am back inside the mountain cave with the white tiger and the black covered creature still lying beside the sludge pond. The white tiger moves toward the creature and begins to wash it. As the tiger continues washing, it reveals the creature is actually the small girl who was seen running on the beach. The child now lays her head on the huge strong arm of the white tiger as she is lovingly being cleaned, nurtured and restored by her new protector. EOD
I returned from this experience deeply moved by what I had seen and how deeply I felt it inside my being. I understood it to be a soul retrieval, however it did not feel as though it were connected to me individually. I was later to find part of this story unfold in pictures which were shared with me from a friend and teacher who was in Kyrgyzstan at the time. She was participating in the lighting of the Sacred Fire Ceremony of Uluu Ot where indigenous elders from around the globe had gathered to light the sacred fire on the Summer Solstice under the full moon. I looked through the her pictures of the ceremony and found myself staring back at the woman dressed in traditional dress who was an Altai Medicine Woman. She was dressed just as the woman I had encountered in my dream vision who came riding onto shore in the boat pulled by the White Tiger. I thought about the dream and decided to share it with my friend to see what she thought. She was able to confirm my experience and told me that the mountains of the Uluu Ot are known as Tien Shen, home to the Snow Leopard. During the Uluu Ot ceremony, the Altai Medicine Woman I had seen in dreaming and also a Japanese Medicine Woman, both individually reported seeing the spirit of a young girl dancing around the fire. They realized she had been murdered and her soul wanted to be part of the ceremony. According to the hosts of the ceremony, a genocidal event occurred on the grounds where the ceremony had taken place. The story goes that while 100’s of men’s bodies were being buried, a young girl came upon the scene. They murdered her too and threw her in the grave along with the other bodies. She was remembered in this ceremony and her soul retrieved.
According to this account, I was connecting in my dream with the Uluu Ot ceremony going on the very same day in Kyrgyzstan, and the soul of this child was restored during the lighting of the sacred fire. She continues to be held and protected by the spirit of the White Tiger. I give thanks the White Tiger and all of my relations and teachers who share their connection with me in dreaming and the waking world. We are all connected and part of a larger story. I am grateful to participate in this journey of healing the past, while healing the earth.
The Dark Moon, Dark Dreams group which met on the New Moon, July 11th, was a lively group which gathered on the shores of White Rock lake in Dallas, Texas. The evening began as I unloaded my car in preparation for the group to meet, when two boys of about 11 or 12 began jumping around the area where I intended to set up. The boys were jumping over the area where I had begun creating the altar, and I gently let them know they would have to take their games elsewhere. They said, “Yes Ma’am” and politely left, only to return moments later with several other friends who gathered around and sat on the edge of a wall watching me continue to build the altar.
I proceeded to introduce myself to each of them shaking their hands and began asking them about their favorite kind of dream. One boy smiled and said “I like dreams where I have super powers!” I agreed, saying “Those are my favorite dreams too!” I then asked, “What is your favorite super power?” to which he responded, “I like flying dreams!” Everyone agreed as we continued around in our game of dream sharing. I invited the boys to stay for the remainder of our group but they were about to leave in a few minutes. I invited to them join us for our next group on the Full Moon if they would like to learn how to do all kinds of amazing things in their dreams. Perhaps I will see them again at our circle, or possibly traversing the dreamscape!
Our scheduled group began to arrive and once the ethics for dreamsharing were discussed we could create a safe space for sharing by prefacing any feedback with “if this were my dream”. This gives both the dreamer and the dream the proper listening and response, rather than any one person becoming the expert on any one else’s dream. The dreams shared by group members brought a deep discussion about the subject of healing dreams and dreaming with the departed. It was the perfect preface to the planned shared group dream excursion to do a conscious dream journey for the purpose of healing the oceans in response to the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The discussion with the energetic group of young boys about dreaming super powers also seemed a fitting preface to the dream excursion we were about to embark on together!
I explained to the group the intention for our conscious dream journey aided by the sound of the drum, and gave the conditions for returning once the journey was concluded. I told a story of a recent visit to an artist’s studio who was creating a large beautiful painting of a mother Manatee and her baby. As I watched her work on the painting in her studio, I told her that I often dream of Manatees and how worried I am about their welfare being in the midst of the oil spill in the Gulf. My new artist friend told me that was why she was painting the Manatees because she was worried about their safety, and also because her husband was there in the Gulf helping to clean up the oil spill. She pleaded with me to send positive vibrations and mediations of healing for the creatures in the ocean. I told her I had recently incubated a dream intention to find a way to solve the oil leak in the Gulf. I dreamt of being taken deep down into the bottom of the Ocean by a blue whale where I was dropped off to stand on a cluster of huge quartz crystals from whence the sound of beautiful celestial sounding music began to emanate. I believe the Whale was showing me the solution seemed to lie in sending out a powerful vibration of healing for the ocean and its creatures. It was from this dream experience that I asked the circle of moon dreamers to embark on a conscious dream journey for the purpose of healing the ocean and stopping the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico.
The dreamers each brought back powerful experiences of connecting with power animals and ocean creatures who guided them in healing the ocean. One woman worked with the elements in her dream to bring about healing through the forces of nature with a tornado which caused a whirlpool causing the centrifugal force to move the oil downward back into the earth. Another dreamer also worked with the ocean but was aware of healing needed all around the world and worked on sending out energy through the earth energy grid with the assistance of 4 different power animals from each direction to bring healing to the areas most in need. Another dreamer brought through a powerful diamond energy through her crown and heart chakras sending out healing energy to the ocean. She also spoke of hearing a powerful sound during the dream excursion and wanted to send out the sound she heard but was concerned of disturbing the other dreamers. A group member suggested we end the group with the call of our collective voices to honor the call heard by her fellow dreamer. We all turned and sent out loudly our collective inner voice which wanted to be sent. In response, a group of geese nearby who had gathered at the lake shore sent out their loud calls to us. A fitting conclusion to this lively circle of dreamers. The headline news today of the Deep Water Horizon Oil leakage being temporarily stopped and capped on July 14th, brings a wonderful affirmation for the efforts of this circle of conscious dreamers. If you would like to participate in growing a dream community join us by the lake on the full moon Sunday, July 25th for the next gathering of Moon Beams and Moon Dreams at the Stone Circle at White Rock Lake.
Valley Reed is a certified dream teacher and leads dream groups and classes for both young people and adults on Dreaming at Chrysalis Healing Arts in Dallas, Texas. For class descriptions and workshop registration information visit www.chrysalishealingarts.org
I had a short dream about a month or so ago. In the dream I am shown an unusual looking tree that has a spiral like trunk. I am told, “This is your tree” by a disembodied dream voice.
That was all of the dream I recalled.
I thought the tree looked familiar somehow, that it was a tree I had somehow seen somewhere before, and that it was a real living tree, as opposed to an ethereal dream tree. I put the information away in the back of my mind and did not think about it much after that. Weeks later, while walking at the lake along the usual path that I take with my partner, I was astonished to see the exact tree I had dreamt about. It was my Dream Tree! I excitedly showed my partner my discovery and went over to make a connection with “my tree”. We then proceeded on finishing our walk, but I began to notice as I walked a pain and heaviness in my chest which was making it difficult for me to walk or breath. I returned to the tree as we followed our route back and just hugged the tree, I felt the heaviness lift from my heart and felt an infusion of healing energy into my heart.
I then felt lighter and full of energy as I finished my walk.
In the picture here you can see there are light orbs appearing in the photo as I am listening to and hugging my tree.
Notice the orb over the back of my head.
In the many visits I have made with my tree since then, I have seen and heard many wonderful things.
The tree has an amazing energy field around it, and when I walk close to it I begin to see differently. I can see many colors of light coming from the tree at times and even after leaving the space as I walk back to my car I am still seeing these colors appear.
When I put my ear to the tree I have heard a woman’s voice speak to me.
For instance on one of my walks I was talking with my partner and told him,
I wanted to make the earth my teacher over the coming year. I then went over to my tree to check in, and as I put my ear to her trunk,
I heard “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
My tree was very excited to know I was “getting it”.
I will continue to visit my dream tree to listen, and learn, to heal and be healed, and share energy and make prayers in connection with other realms.
To dream with the tree as the tree is dreaming me.
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.