Die before you Die

The recent of losses of David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Glen Fry, have me contemplating death more than usual. I am grieving in some ways the loss of my youth. The music left behind during the 70’s and 80’s by David Bowie and the Eagles, was such an integral part of that time in my life. The actor Alan Rickman, who played Professor Snape in the Harry Potter films, has me thinking about my children when they were younger. They grew up watching Harry Potter movies, as well as “The Labyrinth” with Bowie, and they have now grown into young adults. These events have heightened for me a deeper vibe of change, that is causing me to look more deeply at the reality of death.

My own father died in 2008, and he has been paying me visits more often in my dreams now. In a recent visit, he showed me a photo of a Native American Indian Ancestor. He told me, “this is your ancestor”. In the photo, I see a strong man in the prime of his life, wearing buckskins and a few eagle feathers tied loosely in his long dark hair. He carries a pipe in his hands.

In the dream, I wish to speak with him and so I decide to enter into the photo consciously as a portal, enabling the photo to come to life and I now stand beside him in the dream space. I see the pipe he carries is turned toward his body, so that I cannot see what the pipe bowl looks like. I ask him, “Can you turn the pipe? I want to see what medicine you carry.” He responds by turning the pipe bowl, so that I can now see it clearly. It is a human skull. He tells me, “This is your medicine.”

My father once again visited me in my dream, just the other night and told me, “You need to meet your death” and then he handed me a pair of black handled scissors.

So what does it mean to meet your death? Does it mean I will be meeting mine soon?  Perhaps, or maybe instead he is pointing at the medicine of my ancestor, that of death as a bringer of change and awakening, transformation and rebirth. The scissors he offered are also of note. It connects with the three fates, one of which cuts the life line with scissors when it is time to meet death.

Alkonost
“Prophetic Bird” by Andre Shishkin

Prophetic Bird Goddesss

In a recent gathering, I facilitated a conscious shamanic journey for a group of women who dream with the New Moon each month. Our intention for the journey was to connect with the Three Fates for a glimpse of the year ahead. During my drumming for the group, I saw a dark sky across which flew a large, dark winged bird with the head of a woman. She made a very loud cry as she flew across a dark mountain range and cried out three times. I felt she was meant to be the harbinger of death. She lands on a shore of this dark mountain range and I see myself standing before her. She is feeding me meat from her beak, like a momma bird to her chick.

 

I was previously unaware of the Slavic prophetic bird goddesses, until I dreamt with her in my journey, it appears the one I connected with was Alkonost, the messenger of sorrow. The image above of the painting, “Prophetic Bird” by Russian Artist, Andre Shishkin, looks much like the what I saw in my journey. I also did seem to understand that the dark mountain range was somewhere in Eastern Europe.

These dreams all had me thinking it was indeed time to meet my death, in the shamanic sense of die before you die. I reflected on the writings of Stephen Levine, who wrote about contemplating death in his book, “A Year to Live.” If you had but a year to live, what would you do?  I found out the other day that he too, has crossed over. Die before you die means the time is now, to live your life fully, without fear or hesitation.

 

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
(Turn and face the strange)

 

Valley Reed ©2016

 

 

Soul Mother

by Willow Arlenea
Image by Willow Arlenea

Soul Mother

By Valley Reed © 2013

I am dreaming inside the earth, deep inside her darkened womb. I see colors emerge of a rich dark red, swirling amidst the deep darkness of earth. An  inward spiral flowing back out again. The swirling energy of life, appears now as a red cloak covering a beautiful goddess. Her long hair is draped down around her looking like a Renaissance painting.  I am drawn in by her beauty and she is wrapped inside the sacred color of life and blood.  She gives birth to new souls emerging from her womb.  The souls appear as a dark shadow at first, and then drifting up through the surface of the earth, they transform like alchemy into children of golden light. Her work as Soul Mother, flows on continually bringing forth soul, after soul, into this realm. She is the life giver who brings us life and to her, we will always return.  She is the Alchemist, changing the dark matter of the earth and the soul, into gold ready to merge with the light of  the sun and spirit.

The Great Mother creatrix gives birth to the prima materia, soul matter. This continual birth of soul matter from the heart of the earth, is perhaps the innumerable creative soul works that are always flowing into our realm from the depths of the womb of the Earth Mother. Hers is a constant love to birth forth more soul into our world. Hers is a remembering of the sacred power of the mother, who through her love and body continually brings forth soul creations to nurture life. I honor her on Mother’s Day and the ability to bring forth and nurture soul work through the depths of my being and into the light of day. I honor my creative abilities to birth something new into the world.

Tracking the Dreamtime

My dreams have been teaching me about the indigenous mind over the years.  I have gone dreaming with Indigenous Peoples from Kyrgyzstan, Africa, Mexico, Aboriginal people of Australia, and also U.S. Southwestern and Hawaiian Native Peoples among others. The indigenous mind might say, “I went dreaming”. Many westerners like to describe dreams they share by saying, “I had a dream” it seems almost in passing, and indeed much of the dream, may pass from our memory on waking. The indigenous mind shares dreams as an experience and a real place one can visit or where ancient ancestors may come calling on you for a visit.

blue-lightning

Naming Ceremony

When my daughter was 4 years old,  I had an extraordinary experience of a visit from the powers of dreaming. I was not yet asleep, but sitting up  in bed in my darkened room, about to lay down and rest.  I saw what appeared as blue lightening, streak across my bedroom. I knew it was from someone of power paying me a visit. I was astonished by what I saw, but not afraid at all. I was calm in fact, and  somehow seemed to know what was about to happen.  I looked out my bedroom window and saw a man standing there, somehow familiar to me. He sent me a telepathic message asking permission to come inside. I knew he wanted to take me on a journey and so I gave permission inwardly and settled into to bed.  The second I closed my eyes,  I was transported to a foreign land where a ceremony was going on.  We were outside and there were a number of large boulders in a somewhat barren landscape at night. We were among a  small group of people who had gathered for this ceremony. He let me know it was a naming ceremony for my 4 year old daughter. She would receive her spiritual name during the ceremony and I was invited to participate as her mother and hold witness to the ceremony. I was not allowed to know her secret spiritual name, but there to give my permission and blessings on the ceremony.

There have been other stories I have shared here in my blog, that recount extraordinary dreams. One thing I am beginning to learn is how this plays into my life and how I can understand the dreamtime, where time and space exist simultaneously, without separation.  Indigenous peoples pass on the stories of their culture, which are interwoven and inseparable with the land where they live.  In the dreamtime, one can travel to a possible future, or the storied past, all existing in the present.  The Indigenous Mind does not think of time as linear, but circular where always, there is a return.

grandcanyon

Return of the Ancient

When my son was 3 years old, I had a dream that I was sitting on a Mesa overlooking the Grand Canyon. An ancient elder sat across from me drawing a circle in the dirt with a stick. He began to trace the circle and tell me about my son, who he is and why he is here. He let me know, that my son had not reincarnated on this plane in a very long time. I asked him how long, and he pointed at the canyon and I saw it was no longer there, but now stood as one solid land mass. That is a very long time, I thought to myself.

arizonarainbowtree

Lizard Woman

I hear music playing in my dream and suddenly, I am looking at a map of Arizona.  A journey is laid out for me on the map in rainbow colors that show a route of travel to places I must visit and tracks the path I must follow.  I am then in the landscape of a dessert terrain, with some large trees that are near a spring of water. There is one Tree in particular I am drawn toward, and as I draw nearer,  I can hear a woman speaking to me.  She is calling to me in a haunting lilting cadence, “Come to this place, it is time for you to claim your power.  It is time for you to come to this land for healing and claim your own power.”  I see her working with me, and she buries me partially in the earth, as she does a healing ceremony for me. Now I am in an underground hogan, where herbs hang from the ceiling and I lay covered with a native designed blanket and I am dreaming. In my dream within a dream,  I see a huge Gila Lizard that lives beneath the earth. It stretches giant across Arizona and lives beneath the ground.  I am aware of this ancient place where the land is interwoven with the stories of the peoples who have lived here for centuries.  The powers of the land, guard these sacred places.  Years later, I learned that the Gila Lizard is sacred to the Navajo people as a  great healing ally.  The name Gila even evokes the sound of Heal.  In this dream, my power was hunting me and singing me into being.  I once again feel this place of power calling to me inside myself.  I am ready to follow the rainbow tracks and songlines of the dreamtime, ready to discover my place of power on the path of an ancient people who have called to me.

Gila

Valley of the Giants

Becoming my Larger Self  June 2012

I dream of growing into a Giant being. I begin from my natural appearance and then grow into a very large version of myself.  Over and over again, I am growing larger and becoming giant. There is now, more than one of me.  I am aware inside of the dream of this transformation taking place, and my thought is, “It’s happening! I am becoming my larger self.”

I am deeply afraid of what is happening and at the same time, I know it is inevitable. My little self, lucid awareness, begins to try to control the dream and stop from growing so big, but soon I realize it is no use, there is nothing I can do to alter what is now happening. I even try to forget about it inside the dream, actually telling myself,” I won’t remember this dream in the morning, no need to worry!” (wrong) Finally, I try self deception and doubt, and tell myself this is not really happening. My larger reality however, overcomes the fears and doubts of the little lucid self in the dream.  I finally have to accept the truth of what the dream is presenting, and realize I AM becoming my larger self and growing into a larger being, on the scale of a goddess. EOD

What does it mean to become the larger self in affinity with a Goddess as big as a mountain? In one respect, it means the limits and constrictions of the little self can no longer control, nor hold the larger sphere of the soul and spirit which now reaches out to connect with the everyday world. This seems to hold a place of great fear, to be viewed on the same plane as a Goddess, and not seem like an egomaniac. The dream showed however, there is no stopping this transformation taking place anymore than one could change a butterfly back into a caterpillar.

I had a deep sense of knowing within the dream that this space of transformation was always available to me and that it would eventually come my way someday. It was as if remembering some long forgotten promise, that was finally coming true. Another part of this dream for me, is that it was not a singular event which resulted in this transformation, it seemed to be a process of learning how to shift into becoming my larger self, and indeed practicing becoming giant, over and over. Beyond that, I had the sense this replication of the larger self was perhaps creating these larger shifts of perception and being into other realms and dimensions.

Action Plan- Recall the larger self in waking reality, when I find I am struggling with fears and doubts.

Dream Re-Entry to get to know and explore the dream of the larger self.

My one liner from this dream is “Living the Larger Self!”

Valley Reed © 2012

Journey of the Soul of my Soul

By Valley Reed © 2012

I recently read Dreaming the Soul Back Home by Robert Moss and was inspired by his writing, to embark on a conscious journey given in the book, to connect with the soul of my soul.  The sound of my frame drum was my passport, as I sat ready to release to the journey, and off I went.

The Soul of my Soul Journey 5-20-12 Solar Eclipse, New Moon

I see a smoldering coal in the place of my heart, the flame grows like a ring of fire. I place my hands as a cup over my heart and begin to receive light into my body through the top of my head. I go deeper in connecting the light to my heart and the burning flame. I feel lighter, and begin to see a mist gather around my body. I enter into it and stick my head into a sunset beach scene, where a man is walking toward me from the distance. I see the sunset display a beautiful brilliant light which reflects upon his body and face, but I cannot see what he looks like clearly. A cloud shadow passes over and he steps out of the light and into the shadow. Now I can see his brilliance. He is beautiful with blond hair and blue eyes. Tall and muscular and tan. His face has a pleasant, beautiful, relaxed look and his smile is full of love. He approaches me and we begin to talk as friends. We sit back on the beach to relax, we are comfortable together, he has his arms around me and we are just listening to the ocean. He then places a mirror on the sand before me, it is large and he wants to show me something. He shows me how to enter the mirror and inside we go. It is like moving through a permeable membrane, and suddenly we are in a beautiful mysterious mountainous landscape in China. It is raining gently and we can hear the wind blowing through the forest like musical chimes. He becomes a white tiger and we move higher into the mountainous forest. We look together over a peaceful river perched high over this beautiful place. We do a shape shift dance into two beautiful White Cranes. We  take flight soaring over the river where an ancient boat sails. We find ourselves inside the boat and find a cozy bed for us to rest. We lay together in tender embrace and love-making on our journey together.

We sail to another shore, in another country, and arrive where the shore meets a desert landscape. He takes me to some horses awaiting us nearby. They are White and Black Arabian Horses. I ride upon a white one and he on the black. We ride through the desert until nightfall, when reaching a Bedouin tent campsite. We lay down with our horses gazing up at the crescent moon and the beautiful starlit sky. My appearance is now different and I have long curly dark hair and he is also dark featured and handsome and strong. He takes me to a waterfall spring coming out of an ancient mountain. We are naked and he makes love to me pressed against the mountain under the sacred spring. I feel I am becoming the mountain as he makes love to me and the mountain shakes beneath my body. It is passionate and healing. He takes me to a cave where I am told I must go in order to heal. The cave is an underground temple and I enter for sacred initiation of the ancient goddess. When I come out, I am met by a snake, which begins to talk with me. It is giving me wisdom, and it is also part of my soul. I am now given another horse to ride that is black and has a white heart on his forehead. This is my soul’s soul also, and I have a deep love for this horse. I ride with him and together we ride through the desert. I stop to gaze upon a pool of water in order to glimpse my future, I am continuing along the roads of my soul’s journey and writing along the way.

This journey was deep and beautiful for me, visiting other lives and landscapes, magical shape shifting, and connecting with ancient rights of passage in the cave of the goddess, as well as a ceremonial mating with the land to reclaim the energy of the goddess and connecting with her wisdom.

I discovered one of the places I visited in my vision, was the Yellow Mountains of China. A mystical place where  immortals are said to live. A place where white animals are said to roam, and immortals travel flying on the backs of white cranes. It is a unique landscape with interesting shaped mountains and curled up pine trees which grow upon the mountaintops, clouds rise to give the impression of a heavenly mountain island.  It is not a place I have ever known about, seen or wanted to go previously. I am so glad that now I know the way. Just look into the magic mirror of the soul of my soul.

Dream Seed

World within a world, a drop of dew was shown to me in my shamanic dream journey as a dream seed upon my tree of life. I could choose one of many drops glistening in the light of my dream. I chose the one which lit up and wanted my attention. I was now ready to enter a tiny world of my dream seed. I entered and saw the reflection was upside down, I had to walk the side of the tiny globe to turn this world right side up. Once there, I found what appeared to me to be a castle which was presented to me in my dream of the book of Uriel. I was able to enter the castle in this tiny dream seed, perhaps planting actions that may activate something in my waking life. Dew is a magical substance highly prized by alchemists for their healing qualities. It was known to be an elixer for long life as well. The healing power of Bach flower remedies is rooted in the awareness of what can be imprinted into water from the extraction of it from flowers and plants. Science is now finding that the environment can imprint on water including the configuration of stars and planets. On sacred nights such as Imbolg, tradition says that if you leave a piece of cloth out overnight to be blessed by the goddess Brigit, she will bless you with her presence through the year. I imagine the morning dew is part of her magic.

Awaken the Dream in 2012

“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

Valley Reed © 2012