Dream Wayfinding

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.

temple-of-quetzalcoatl
Teotihuacan The Temple of Quetzalcoatl

My father has since crossed over last fall, and during the past Summer Solstice of this year, which was also Fathers Day,  my oldest brother spread my fathers ashes over the Garden of the Gods in Colorado where my father grew up.  Teotihuacan is also known as “the place where men become Gods”,  so it seems fitting that my Father would finally come to rest in the Garden of the Gods.  I wrote about my experience as being a “Gatekeeper” in my previous blog entry and serving in the role of psycho pomp to help my father to cross over into the next stage of his journey.

I found in the workshop on dream way finding we did in Chicago that the journey was continuing.  I had a dream the night before the workshop of a mysterious princess or priestess who had a star on her forehead and wore a beautiful transparent veil in shades of blue, which just barely covered her head.  In the dream, she handed me a Crystal Skull and also a small crystal spiral.  I was transfixed by the images in this dream the energy was so inviting and mysterious. The next day,  I set up the space for the workshop to create a sacred ceremonial space within which to work in the basement of an airport hotel.  I put out about 30 chairs and I thought I must be expecting a good crowd.  I imagined all the chairs being filled for the workshop.  I also decided to lure people into the space down in the basement by playing my bamboo Native American flute I had bought at the Mohawk reservation in Montreal last year. The first person to come into the circle through the East was Dr. Tricia Torres an Anthropologist from Guadalajara. We had the opportunity to visit briefly, as she entered the circle and put her offering on the altar my colleague Teresa had set up in the center.  Dr. Torres told me she was the Dance Elder for a dance circle of women in Mexico, and they did sacred precolumbian dance.  I asked her if she knew De Leon, the keeper of the staff of Quetzalcoatl in Teotihuacan, and told her I had danced with him and his wife as their guest in the annual Moon Dance Ceremony in Mexico City in 2007.  She affirmed to me she did know him, I then felt moved to ask her if she could tell me anything about the Crystal Skull. I shared with her that I had a dream last night of a crystal skull and it seemed to me to be from Mexico, or Central or South America.  She told me the crystal skull had to do with higher transformational energies.  I left it at that and thanked her, allowing her to take her place in the circle and continued to play the flute to help guide other dream wayfinders to our workshop. We managed to fill each of the seats we had set out for the workshop. It was a wonderful mix of bringing the ancient practice of dream way finding through the voices of the elders who Teresa MacColl had interviewed and recorded.  Teresa has her Masters through the Indigenous Mind Studies Program at Naropa University now directed at Wisdom University by Dr. Apela Colorado.  It is important to follow the protocols of honor and respect toward elders and these ancient practices by honoring the ancestors.  Within the protected ceremonial space we had created together, I was able to lead the workshop on a shamanic group dream journey with the help of the drum to dream our way forward.

In the circle, we called out the names of our ancestors and shared dreams and experiences on dream way finding.  I felt called to mention that each person in the circle had found their way there that day, and that it was also an example of way finding.  I made the connection with Dr. Torres and that she knew the gatekeeper from my dream that lead me to Teotihuacan.  She told me on June 21st during the Summer Solstice her womens’ dance circle had performed a sacred dance to help heal relations between fathers and daughters, the same day my fathers ashes were spread over the Garden of the Gods. The name of the sacred dance these women performed is called the skull dance.

Dr. Torres offered to teach the whole circle the skull dance to close the circle. We all did the dance together beautifully, picking up the steps as though we already knew the dance.  The dance was offered as a closing prayer to our dream way finding workshop and offered further closure for me on the journey of my father’s crossing over.  The workshop was so magical, and the weaving of the bigger story into the circle was overwhelming to me in the sense of how incredibly blessed I felt to be a part of this work and to be able to dance together into the realm of the ancestors.

The dance continues and the journey of dream way finding with plans to bring Dr. Torres,  director of  The Mexican Research Institute of Interdisciplinary Anthropological Studies to Dallas to begin a sacred womens’ dance circle.  I will also to travel to Mexico to dance with my sisters there.  To find out more about workshops and classes scheduled on dream way finding visit www.chrysalishealingarts.org

Mariposa Movement

By Valley Reed December 2007

Mariposa Movement

With the flap of the wings of a butterfly,

a hurricane was started halfway across the earth.

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.

Circle round for freedom,

Circle round for peace,

for all of those imprisoned,

Circle for release.

Circle round the Planet,

Circle for each soul.

For the children of our children,

Keep the Circle Whole.

Welcome to Dreams Awake Blog

Let me introduce you to the realm of dreams. Some of you may be familiar with dreams and the multiplicity of effects they can offer your inner and outer life, while many of you may simply be asleep to your dreams. Whatever your state of being one thing we all have in common is we dream. Hopefully this blog can serve to awaken your dreams and how you interact in them and with them. 

The first step in dreaming awake is to remember your dreams.

How do you remember your dreams you may ask? Well there are many techniques to do so, and one thing of particular importantance is to set an intention to remember your dreams. This can be done by writing it down on a piece of a paper ” I will remember my dream from this night” and set it next to your bed or even under your pillow.

The next step then is writing down whatever impressions come from the night before, upon waking in the morning.

Give yourself time to let the impressions come, I know the shower seems to be a good time for dream images to flood my memory. Be sure to take the time to write down what ever comes in the morning, maybe as you have a cup of coffee in the morning and make it a part of your morning ritual. 

No matter how disjointed the images or pieces of the dream you recall, simply writing these impressions down affirms your committment to follow the dream and awaken that part of your consciousness.  The more you interact with this part of yourself the stronger the relationship will grow, and before you know it you will have dreams dropping by in the morning begging your attention from the previous nights exploits.   

Once you have written the dreams down, read over them and revisit them, allow your awareness to enter the dream. You may recall more of the dream in this process, be sure to allow yourself to feel the dream and experience it. You will find that with practice you don’t have to be asleep to visit your dreams. You can be awake and consious in your exploration of dreaming.  

Once you have begun to spend time with your dreams upon waking you, will find that your dream life may increase and the quality of your dreams may shift.