Dreamways to Peace

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

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

Doorways to Peace

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

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

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

The Magic Pot

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

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

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

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.