I have been dreaming about the color gold in many dreams over the past several years and it always leaves me feeling that something magical is at work in my life. Alchemy is a magical approach of turning lead into gold. Alchemists believed that gold was a spiritually pure metal, and the journey of the soul to was transmute lead into gold. The Arabic term al-khimia means ‘the art of transformation’ which just happens to be the tag line for my business Chrysalis Healing Arts. Like butterflies, dragonflies are also connected with regeneration, immortality and rebirth.
Dragonfly Dream Catcher
A giant golden dragonfly entered my dream and flittered before me. I turned with a sense of awe as I followed in the direction of where this giant golden creature had gone, and saw it had landed on a golden circle held in the hands of an artist weaver who was creating a dream catcher with golden thread. The giant golden dragonfly was large enough to cover the entire center of the dream catcher, and so the weaver had to work underneath it to create her dream catcher with her golden thread.
It turns out the dragonfly is an ancient creature, and actually dates back 300 million years, when it arose in giant form with 2 foot wings and 4 feet across. There are many tales of the dragon fly from many cultures around the world.
Ancient mythology reveals the original name for Japan is “Akitsushima” meaning dragonfly island. Dragonflies are known to be returning ancestors and celebrated in the Summer Festival known as Obon which is coming up on Friday, August 13th. Samurai warriors identified themselves with dragonflies as a symbol of power.
In a Mayan legend, dragonflies hold the power to heal and rebirth the Moon Goddess Ixchel by humming over her and filling her up with their life force.
Zuni Native tribal peoples see dragonfly as having supernatural powers and who carries prayers to the spirit world. The indigenous people of the southwestern tribe of the Hopi, also believe the dragonfly has supernatural powers and are shamanistic. They assisted the ancient Hopi in migrating to find their permanent home, and helping them to locate water and to grow corn. The Hopi have lived in their permanent home in Arizona for over 2000 years, but they are rooted in much more ancient cultures from which they migrated from South America, Central America and Mexico. They are considered one of the oldest cultures living in documented history.
These are just a few of the tales of dragonfly from around the world, and in my dream the dragonfly got my attention appearing as a giant ancient ancestor and pointing me to a golden web of dreams giving protection and vitality to the dream catcher being woven by an artist weaver. My dreams are woven from the transformative process inside my being. Blessed by the presence and protection of the golden dragonfly, big dreams are being created in the center of my circle.
Our recent Wild Woman, Blue Moon, Spring Retreat 2018 in Southern Oklahoma, was in it’s 5th year of offering safe and sacred space for nature getaways for women. We are each held deeply by dreams, shamanic journeys, ceremony and the wilderness of our inner and outer realities. This year was a deeply touching and profoundly moving experience with the newly formed bonds between SisterStars made from our group of 14 women. Some came from as far as Colorado, to take part in this weekend with other Wild Women to howl with the Blue Moon! I was very blessed to be supported by this weekend by Victoria Anna, who is a very gifted healer and shamanic movement facilitator, and also the immensely talented sound healer and music artist, Savanna de Valle. Our next Wild Woman Fall gathering is slated for the weekend of October 26-28 of 2018. If you would like more information about the next retreat or future retreats please let me know.
I have invited Victoria as a guest blogger, to share her reflections from our weekend retreat.
Wild Women’s Spring Retreat 2018 – Reflection
by Victoria Anna (Zsuzsi)
Walking the grounds on the first day of arrival at the Wild Women’s Dreaming Retreat, my visceral memories of freedom begun to emerge. I was still half way in the structured material world, capturing a few photos, then I chose to put my phone away for the rest of the weekend. I’m glad I did.
With 14 women we entered a well held ceremonial space, journeying into our active dreaming world by Dream Teacher, Valley Reed. Guided by the sound of the drum, we brought messages and guidance back to our waking life for each other. As we shared in our circle of women, and journeyed over and over, ventured deeper and deeper, very rich tapestry emerged that called for being worked with. The sound of the drum penetrated deep. We entered portals to other worlds, our bodies at rest, yet we soared in adventures.
Each night we incubated an intention of inquiry for our dreams to reveal more insight. Each morning, as we all gathered for breakfast, we shared what came though and marveled in the mystery.
We spent plenty of time outdoors as well, taking personal vision quests to collect symbolic items. Walking through the forest singing or laying down by the water, the vastness of nature held many treasures, opening and widening our senses.
We then embodied our dreaming presence as a group, with a guided shamanic movement practice. The facilitated journey led us into experiencing physically “stepping in” to our waking dream, while periodically “pausing, to recognize and to be recognized”, as we integrated our presence with all, through our breath.
At twilight, we walked the labyrinth towards the tree of life, taking every step winding inwards as a representational journey of fate. Arriving by the Tree of Life, we shifted, thereafter, every step winding outwards, now walking the path of our destiny. Accompanied by the sounds of the cello the strings passionately came alive. Filled the air with palpable essence, powerful visions coming through. What is it that our soul is asking us to do?
During our evening fire ceremony, we offered our give-aways to let go, drumming to hold space for one another, we then danced our visions into the Full Moon. Gold Lotus Elixirs were there to support our journey, whether it was to find forgiveness, gratitude or to call in clarity. The resonance of crystals connected us to Earth and the Heavens, humbly aligning with our soul’s destiny.
The next morning, we offered our gratitude and prayers by holding a sacred water ceremony. We each took part in singing The Grand Invocation mantra for healing our planet’s history. The sacred waters of many rivers collected and held as one, from the jar poured into the fresh spring water pond, now blessing this one. From the pond some water transferred back to gather with the sacred waters from all around the world, we each held the jar to our heart, to receive healing, open portals and to let messages in. Water is its own portal, water holds ancient wisdom, water transmits messages – water heals through intention, remembering prayers of many generations.
We finished our retreat by walking back to our lodge to the sound of the drum. We joined to sing and celebrate. Then, we split off to laugh and play. We shared many hugs before we got on the road, a bit worn out, just enough to feel that some structures have been torn apart. Now, to integrate our journey, I find myself the next day sharing stories, journaling, breathing out in nature.
I am immensely grateful for this transformation that occurred, to refresh, to renew and to come into alignment walking my purpose, becoming more embodied and aware of the gifts that come through from my healing. I’m so touched by this experience of sharing space with other women, reminding me of our strength and ingrained ancient wisdom within.
I’m feeling so blessed for being invited as a contributor, holding ceremonial space and guiding our group shamanic movement practice in nature, as well as holding the water ceremony alongside Valley Reed, our organizer & main shamanic facilitator. I’m grateful for sharing this experience with Savanna de Valle who has infused our experience with her authentic cello sound bath and her untamed fiery youthful expressiveness. We had a circle of women of 3 life stages: the Mother, the Maiden, and the Crone. Grateful to be with all expressions and learning the wisdom from All.
Smiling now, having taken my shower after this weekend, feeling clean again, I’m plugging my phone back to reflect and post. This weekend was short, but at the same an unforgettable experience of being launched through portals of time travel, meeting ourselves within this multiverse.
Women, we part, but the web we have woven lives long. I look forward to keeping in touch and following one another’s journeys as we venture on! With overflowing love, I now go to sleep. Maybe we, you just never know, meet in another dream.
Victoria is a lover of dance, poetry and nature. Her interest in indigenous shamanism/ dreamwork has enticed her to study in what ways dance/movement can become an integral part of entering portals into other realms. She explores movement from multiple perspectives as a form of art, psychosomatic journey, gateway to dream states and as a tool for integrating profound experiences of transformation. She has traveled the world for personal growth, professional training and teaching. She has taught numerous workshops and contributed to retreats that explore consciousness, other realms, spirituality and embodied connection.
Victoria touches people’s lives in many ways: She is the founder of Embodied Art of Life – Personal Development and Transformational Life coaching (through Astrology, Somatic Movement Practice, Nature, Art, Creative Expression, Writing); healing practitioner of Aguahara – An aquatic journey back to Self – Aquatic sessions in a private pool; founder of Gold Lotus Elixirs – crystal-infused elixirs for intentional life; and the founder of Integrated Conscious Leadership – corporate mindfulness and team building group workshops informed by somatic psychology, behavioral neuroscience and body-mind centered practices.
It’s Only Just a Dream….how many of us have heard this seemingly harmless phrase after sharing a dream with someone at some point in our lives? I have heard stories from others who tell of their “Just a Dream” experiences, often in childhood, and what followed was a lack of respect for the dreamer and the dream, leaving a scar and broken trust. But what you will see in my story is a tale of caution, where labeling a dream as “Just a Dream” could spell the difference between life and death.
Back in the mid 80’s I worked for a Commercial Real Estate Developer in Downtown Dallas, Texas during the Savings & Loan Crisis, which caused many companies to go bankrupt. The company I worked for was no exception, and so I also became a casualty of the economic crisis and suddenly found myself out of a job. I was young with limited work experience and found it difficult to find work. The only job I could find was to work as a rose girl trolling through bars in the evenings selling roses to amorous couples, or some guy hoping to get lucky with that pretty girl.
One night before I was scheduled to work as a “rose girl”, I had an unusual dream that changed my life.
Belle Starr Rose Girl Shot Dead
I see myself dressed in my rose girl uniform in a red jacket, black shorts and fishnet nose, and I am walking around Belle Star, a popular country and western bar, carrying my rose basket. I walk slowly around the bar and it is crowded. I make my rounds through the place and head back towards the front, as I do a man bursts through the door and begins shooting. I see myself hold my neck with one hand as I fall to the ground in slow motion and the roses spilling out everywhere. I have been shot in the neck, and am lying dead on the floor surrounded by a pool of blood with roses spread all around me. EOD.
I awake from this dream terrified, my body is shaking and I know I have just seen my own death. I shared the dream, fearing for my life, with my now ex-husband, who tells me frankly, “Oh it is just a dream,……..you have to go to work we need the money.” I was almost persuaded by his goading and pressure that I needed to go to work, but I was still very afraid, and so I called into work to tell them I was sick and would not be coming in. They were very upset with me, and told me they had given me the very best route of clubs to work that night and I would make alot of money. They told me what clubs they had scheduled me to work and at what time, and Belle Star was one of the clubs on that list. They also told me if I didn’t come to work and called in sick they would have to fire me. I didn’t want to lose my job and so I somehow mustered the courage to get myself dressed for work and drove in that direction. While driving down the highway, I saw a really bad car accident that had just happened. The car was totaled and I could somehow sense that someone had died in that car wreck. My hands began to shake on the steering wheel, and I began to feel the same sensation I experienced in the dream about seeing my own death. I could not physically force myself to drive to work after that, I was too shaken by the whole experience, and my body knew the real danger I was heading toward. I turned around and drove home instead.
My then husband at the time, was very angry with me, and yelled at me for being irresponsible by not going to work. My employer was not pleased with me either and fired me for not showing up for my shift. I was feeling pretty low about the whole situation. The next day however, on the front page of the newspaper, was a story about a man who had gone into a popular country western bar called Belle Starr and began shooting, and two people were shot. http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive.mpl/1987_443477/man-dressed-in-black-shoots-2-in-dallas-club.html
I was astounded, that could have been me! I felt I had been touched by grace somehow, and that for some reason I was given information in a dream which saved my life. Clearly there was more to dreaming than I had previously been lead to believe. Never again would I look at any dream as “just a dream”.
My life changed after that day and I made a determination to honor my dreams from that day forward. I began to look more deeply into the messages my dreams had for me, and I started writing my dreams down in journals. I soon realized by keeping a dream journal, that many dreams I recorded had content which connected to events in waking life. They were not as dramatic as the rose girl dream, but just normal everyday occurrences would also appear in my dreams. I discovered that deja vu experiences I had often had, were a result of having dreamt it before, rather than lived it before. I determined that dreams are a place where we can create our life and often give us glimpses of what may come. I also began to have out of body experiences, and once found myself hovering above my body connected to my physical body by a luminous cord of fuchsia colored light which lit up the entire room in that hue. I felt the strong loving energy of the light which enveloped the room, and was confused about why I was looking at my physical body asleep in bed as I was hovering above. I wondered how this could happen, and suddenly found myself slammed back into my body and abruptly woke up. I was having what is known as an “out of body experience”, but at the time I was unfamiliar with this, and so I began to explore lucid dreaming and astral travel. I learned that I was not confined to my physical body but could travel in my night time excursions beyond the physical.
These experiences were a turning point in my life, which set me on an exploration of consciousness, dreaming and shamanism. I have recorded my dreams now for over 25 years and studied many aspects and approaches to dreaming. The approach that I value most is Active Dreaming, a synthesis of modern day dream work with ancient shamanic dream practices. Active Dreaming was developed through the pioneering work of Robert Moss and it is through his dream teacher training and depth workshops over the years that I have joined the ranks of dream teachers around the world who are helping to create a dream sharing community once again. I offer classes and workshops on Active Dreaming where we explore the many ways dreams provide guidance and healing as we travel our life path and beyond. Dreams have the ability to lead us out of danger and onto a path of heart and soul. All we have to do to start on this path is dream, and share our dreams in a way that offers respect for the dreamer and the dream. The lightning method of dream sharing is an excellent way to share dreams in a way begins with the felt sense of the dreamer upon waking, followed by a reality check, for clues of a possible future which may play out in our dreams. The process asks “What do you most want to know from the dream” as an important touch stone to work from and then moves to “What action do you want to take?” This process is a quick method of dream sharing that points to the important aspects to work from when discovering your dreams. Dreaming the future does not mean your waking life must play out the same way. My story exemplifies how it is possible to change the outcome of a dream, if appropriate action is taken. Conversely, if a dream is showing us our heart’s desire, we have only to gather our courage and act.
“At sunrise on December 21, 2012 for the first time in 26,000 years the Sun rises to conjunct the intersection of the Milky Way and the plane of the ecliptic. This cosmic cross is considered to be an embodiment of the Sacred Tree, The Tree of Life, a tree remembered in all the world’s spiritual traditions.” – Steve Becker
In the coming year we will continue to see changes of prophetic proportions which have been foreseen by cultures from around the world in ancient prophecy. What can we, as modern technocrats in this fast paced, materialistic, devouring, industrialized society, make of being in the midst of such changes? Even the prophecies themselves have been the subject of cultural hijacking and spiritual materialism by those who would try to speak for another culture and profit from ancient prophesy.
“Anthropologists visit the temple sites and read the inscriptions and make up stories about the Maya, but they do not read the signs correctly. It’s just their imagination. Other people write about prophecy in the name of the Maya. They say that the world will end in December 2012. The Mayan elders are angry with this. The world will not end. It will be transformed.” – Carlos Barrios member of the council of Mayan Elders.
At the heart of ancient prophesy are dreams, and that is something we can all do. Dreams can enable us to tap into our connection with timeless wisdom in order to understand our unique, individual role we each play as part of the larger community. When things fall apart and the old structures are no longer viable, it is a time to look into our dreams to envision a new world and our role in it. The tree of life is a classic shamanic entry point of dream exploration to travel into non ordinary reality. It is here where you can connect with protector animal spirits and spiritual guides or ancestors along with the transformative energies now entering our sphere toward the cosmic alignments of 2012 .
Dream exploration through conscious group dream travel, aided by the sound of the drum, can be an entry point to the past, present and future. The tree of life is rooted in ancestral wisdom and a place where we have access to our deeper selves, beyond the workings of the trivial everyday mind, to guide us in remembering our true soul purpose.
A safe space for dream sharing
In many indigenous cultures, dreams often held a sacred place in the community and were given a place of honor and respect. There were women and men shamans, medicine women or men, ancient priests or priestesses who were able to dream for the community. In our current minimalistic, scientific, industrialized western society dreams have been relegated to tiny bits and pieces and lost the role of importance which enabled our ancestors to survive and flourish as a community. They knew through dreams where to find game to hunt, what plants to heal, when to pack up and leave and where to move. We need these ancient dream practices today in our own lives in a world that is rapidly changing to know where to find work and how to create communities that support life and the respect the earth.
Dreaming in Community
To enable the space for dreams to take root, we need a container to hold them. A protected and sacred space in which to dream and share in community. Setting a specific intention for what the group will dream towards while preparing dreamers in advance to bring dreams to share is an important step. Sharing dreams with respect for the dreamer and the dream is crucial to creating a safe space and this is most often done by making sure that dreams are shared in confidence and not taken outside the circle, and any feed back given to another in relation to their dream must be shared from the perspective of “If this were my dream”. We may live in a culture of experts and specialists, but the dreamer is the only expert on their dream. Group dreaming exploration through shared conscious dream journeys are also ways to cultivate dreams for the community and the earth. Creating a dream community also requires action and determining what action to take to honor our dreams is an important way toward creating a world we can share together.
Become part of a larger dream community
Dreaming together for our community and our world is crucial to our unfoldment as we enter 2012. We can no longer approach our lives as though we are just individuals pursuing our own goals. We are on a shared journey together and dreaming can help us to navigate the way.
The Pachamamma Alliance is taking action toward Awakening the Dreamer. The non-profit organization is creating alliances with indigenous communities in South America which are under siege from globalization and multinational corporations. These communities are struggling to maintain their indigenous ways in a world that is hungry for their natural resources. The message from the shaman’s of the Achuar people in Ecuador is to change the dream of the modern world and awaken a new dream in harmony with the Planet we share together. Ecuador has been one of the first Nation’s on Earth to enshrine into their own constitution in 2008 that the Earth has Rights. Since then in 2010, Bolivia has followed suit and also declared into law the Earth has rights. These efforts continue to gain momentum and expand as part of a broader movement toward the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Mother Earth.
Find out more about how to become an Active Dreamer in 2012 and view a schedule of dream groups, workshops or retreats, or participate in a Pachamamma Symposium visit www.chrysalishealingarts.org