Years ago, a dream was given to me where I was told by an unseen voice, “This is your Dream Tree. Spend time here.” I knew the tree in my dream was a tree in my waking reality, I had somehow seen before. I recognized the curvy shape of the trunk resembling a snake. After the dream, I went searching for the dream tree in my memory and found it near a lake where I often walked.
I approached the tree to make an offering of gratitude to honor my dream, and as I came near, I noticed my sight became more clear and the colors around me became vivid. I felt as though I were stepping into a dream. I could feel an energy surging through my body and the presence of fairy on the other side of the veil. There seemed to be an energy field surrounding the tree that was a portal to the other world.
Trees are indeed portals into another world, and in the conscious shamanic group dream journeys I offer, we learn how to journey from the tree of life to visit the lower, middle or upper realms of experience, with the assistance of the animal powers. We enter the world behind the world, through the portal of the Tree of Life. I have seen how the trunk of the tree can be a passageway to healing energetic blocks, and a place we may even find where our dreams have been hiding, when they are not reaching our awareness each morning.
The Tree of Life is the bridge between the realm of dreams and the waking world. In this story from Brazil, we see how the accumulation of spiritual power and wisdom can take one into the dream to discover ancient paths of spiritual initiation onto the path of the healer and Shaman.
The Dreaming Tree
A folktale from the Amazonian people of Karajae and Apinaye, Brazil.
A boy named Uaica grew up as a small and sickly child, and because of this, he often found himself the target of bullies. His Grandfather would stick up for him and protect him, but he could not always be there for him. When Uaica had no one else to turn to, he would retreat to the rain forest.
In the jungle, life was teeming with the sounds of beautiful birds and creatures of all kinds, surrounded by towering trees providing shelter. Uaica felt safe and protected in the rain forest, he felt at one with everything surrounding him and he did not feel alone or afraid. He felt like it was a place where he belonged.
One day after his time in the jungle and walking back to his village, he came upon a huge tree where he saw a monkey, sound asleep at the roots of the tree. He then noticed a jaguar sprawled asleep at the foot of the tree, then noticed a huge anaconda coiled up around the roots of the tree, sleeping as well. Uaica began to notice many animals laying around the tree, sleeping peacefully.
Uacia thought, something strange is going on here!
He stepped closer to the animals to make sure they were not dead, and as he got closer to the tree, he began to feel incredibly sleepy. He could barely keep his eyes open, and he forgot about the sleeping animals, and instead lay down himself, right next to the Jaguar. He found himself entering a dream, as he entered the sleep of the animals at the base of the tree.
In his dream, he saw many different animals, some he recognized, some he had never seen before. He was visited by many people in his dream, some from his own village, some were departed ancestors no longer living, some were from places he had never been and spoke languages he had never heard, and did not understand. He found himself traveling to many places on the Earth and even among the stars.
He returned to a familiar place inside the dream, where his ancestors sat in a circle around a fire and singing songs together, which he was given to learn. In this space, an elder stepped forward to introduce himself. I am Sina-a, child of the Jaguar. Uacia had heard stories of the Jaguar Man as a great teacher. He was very happy he was there and listened to all the songs, stories and teachings the Jaguar Man brought him inside the dream.
Sina-a told stories of stealing fire from eagle, he spoke of a time when he kept the darkness of night safe, in a time of eternal daylight. He shared a story of healing and transformation, when he took the ashes of snake and changed them into plants for medicine and nurturing.
Uacia came out of the dream, and noticed the daylight barely hung in the sky and night was falling. The animals were now gone and had crept back into the darkness of the jungle, he hurried home before darkness surrounded him.
The next day, Uaica could not wait to return to the Dream Tree to have more adventures with the Jaguar Man. He curled himself around the bottom of the tree and found himself dreaming once again. He sang the songs he was given, which gave him entrance to the circle of the Ancestors. The Jaguar man appeared and gave him more stories to learn.
Uaica continued to come and dream in this way with the Dream Tree, arriving each morning and leaving as evening approached. He would return to his home after dark, always missing meal time. He began to get weary and thin from this travels into the dream world. Sina-a was concerned how the boy was looking so thin, and asked him to not return to the Dream Tree. He saw the danger the boy was in of never being able to return to his world, if he continued to visit the dream world in this way. Uaica understood and agreed to stop visiting the Dream Tree.
Once home again, Uaica was starving after not eating for many days. He sat down to a morning meal with his grandfather. “Where have you been?” he wanted to know. Uaica trusted his grandfather most of all, and he told him of the Dream Tree and all the adventures he had found inside mysterious dreams underneath the tree. He spoke of meeting Sina-a and the songs which brought him to the circle of ancestors, where he was taught stories by the Jaguar Man.
“I can show you the tree if you want” Uaica said. “Yes, this I must see for myself”, his grandfather replied. Together the two went to visit the Dream Tree the very next day. Uaica showed him the tree and told him to go close to it. When he drew near, he found himself in a deep sleep and dreaming. Uaica made sure to keep his distance this time as he had promised the Jaguar Man.
Suddenly his grandfather woke and exclaimed, “You must tell no one about this tree! This is a very powerful place and there are those who would use it’s powers for selfish reasons.” Uaica agreed to keep the Dream Tree safe and secret.
When they returned to the village, they discovered a young boy had fallen ill and was expected to die. The boy was one of those who had bullied him before, which had caused Uaica to seek solace in the rain forest. Uaica was no longer afraid or unhappy now and he was able to offer what he had been taught in dreaming to heal the boy. The boy fully recovered and Uaica was no longer seen as a scrawny, sickly boy to be tormented. Now people came from all over seeking his healing gifts.
One night the Jaguar Man visited in his dream, “You have passed the tests put before you. You stayed away from the tree when asked, showed compassion for your enemy, and have used the lessons you were given to heal your community. Now, I will show you more so that you can help many more people.”
Uaica continued to dream with the Jaguar Man, who showed him many secret ways of healing. His grandfather built him a special dreaming hut, where he could safely go to dream. They planted a garden nearby with special herbs, which he had been taught in dreams, the many healing powers they possess.
The boy he saved, who had once bullied him, was now his best friend. He had not only healed his body, but also the hardness in his heart, and he was a loyal friend.
Uaica began to see wonderful things in his dreams and was able to create beautiful things inspired by them. He gave these gifts to those he loved most, like his grandfather and his best friend. When others noticed all the beautiful things Uaica was capable of creating, some became envious of him and his many gifts.
A few decided that Uaica thought he was better than everyone else and so they plotted a way to get rid of him. They waited to pounce on him as he sat down to dinner with his Grandfather and his best friend. Uaica stood up to them and knew they were there, because he had learned to see behind himself! Uaica and his grandfather, their dreaming hut, and healing garden suddenly vanished! His enemies were astonished and afraid as they stood there alone.
They had been transported to a new land where none could harm them. The village learned of their disappearance and was concerned to have lost the best healer in all the land, due to the envies of a few. They set out a search party to discover them and return them home again. They traveled far and wide until finally they came upon him and begged his return to the village of his people. Uaica agreed to return home once again and give them another chance.
The village prepared a great feast in honor of his return, but some in the village were not so happy and had a different plan in mind for his return. When Uaica stood to give thanks for the welcoming feast, his attacker approached from behind with a club in his hand. Uaica was able to defend himself by saying, “I can see you even though my back is turned! ”
Uaica, his grandfather, and his best friend disappeared again, only this time inside the crack of a rock, laying nearby. A voice from deep in the rock thundered to the crowd, “This time I will never return, you no longer deserve what I have to offer.”
Since that time, many stories have been told among the Jurana people of the great shaman Uraica, who could see from behind his head. It is said even today, he still dreams from inside the shaman stone, and those who have generous, kind and loving hearts, may be visited by the Jaguar Man to receive teachings of the ancients in dreams.
Blog Note; I have dreamed previously and written about the Black Jaguar and the Shaman stone.
Ⓒ 2018 Valley Reed