Dreams can be such powerful teachers if we make it a priority to listen to and heed their messages. Dreams have the potential to snap us out of the automated, mindless, rhythms we can get into in our daily lives and call us into honest relationship with our own souls. Sometimes dreams remind us of what is right in front of us that we have forgotten to pay necessary attention to. Other times dreams hint at what might be coming around the bend with insight so useful it has the potential save our lives.
Dreams are a gateway to a far reaching wisdom, a wisdom we would do well to honor, as it has the power to positively affect our daily lives.
Indigenous cultures the planet over acknowledge and utilize the power of dreams. They maintain what Robert Moss (a world renowned dream teacher and ambassador) calls a “dreaming society”, even in their governance. There are systems in place to access the wisdom and guidance of what the Aborigines of Australia call the “Dreamtime” even during the hours of waking reality. These ceremonies, rituals and traditions acknowledge the obvious need for human beings to remain humble and stay in contact with a wisdom greater than we posses when we operate in an imagined state of isolation. When we, as a species, try to govern from the illusion of separation from dreaming wisdom, things go very wrong.
Dreaming societies are gentler societies and the further we get from dreaming the further we go into the violence that is born of this state of disconnect. Intimacy with the Dreamtime keeps us honest and on track. It also reminds us that, while we are not all the same, we are all of equal value in the tapestry of creation, and each of us bring necessary “medicine” to the whole. By facilitating dissolution of our habituated sense of separateness from all that is, dreams help us to remember that we are undeniably connected: to each other, the earth, the stars, the creatures we share the planet with. Remembering our interconnection has practical value. It motivates us to govern our lives with tender regard for the rest of creation, and promotes a culture of compassion.
One of my dearest and most beloved teachers, Grandmother Keewaydinoquay, taught of a dreaming practice of her people that saved an entire community one winter on their island home on the Great Lakes in Northern Michigan.
I won’t go into the entire tale here because we are not in circle together and I can’t give proper honor to the tradition of fireside storytelling as she taught it to us, but I will say this much…
The women of the village honored Grandmother Moon as one gateway to the wisdom of the Dreamtime and they had a ritual, handed down over generations, for seeking her wisdom in times of need. At one point in the history of the village on Garden Island, a serious danger had befallen the people and without direction from a greater wisdom, it was unlikely that they would survive the coming winter. It was a grave situation.
As they had done for eons, the women took themselves in this time of need to the sacred circle in the clearing at the heart of the forest and did their Dreamtime magic. They danced and sang for hours, opening their hearts and minds to a solution for the dire situation their people were faced with.
When an idea struck someone, they all sat to hear her out and then either nodded in agreement or respectfully shook their heads in disagreement. If even one among them didn’t feel entirely right about the proposed solution, they simply got back up and returned to the singing and dancing that served as an invitation for Grandmother Moon’s vast wisdom to enter into the equation.
It is scientific fact that repetitive actions like drumming, singing, or dancing quiets the commonly dominant beta brainwaves and allows for deeper states of consciousness to prevail. This inner quietude serves as an opening for the wisdom that we seek.
The women of Garden Island continued with their process until they reached a place of total agreement, a consensus if you will. But this was no ordinary, modern Western version of a consensus. It was not a consensus born of endless hours of listening to the droning sound of our own voices (we’ve all been in those meetings). It was a consensus that honored the wisdom of the Dreamtime and consequently it was a consensus that led the people out of danger and away from war. What a concept.
The practical implications of such “magic” are far reaching. I know from experience that necessary guidance comes more readily when I am settled down and able to truly listen at the deepest level. Imagine a world in which this was the norm, a world in which we felt safe enough to get still, truly still, and trust that the direction we needed would come.
We don’t have to go far, even in these modern times, for examples of such dreaming societies: people who willingly and effectively welcome the guidance of a greater wisdom as a way of life. The Water Protectors of Standing Rock (a current movement of fiercely loving indigenous uprising in protection of the land and water) demonstrate and embody such honorable collective practice that it shapes their governing decisions. Facing incredible danger and very high stakes every step of the way, the people at Standing Rock have led from the heart and demonstrated, for the world to see, the power of interconnection and restorative justice that is possible when we remember to dream. They are a dreaming society here and now.
Denial of the Dreamtime, of interrelationship, brings suffering. The world is longing for relief from this suffering. We are longing, often in inexplicable ways, to remember, because the soul level amnesia that is required to keep droning on in the modern West has got to go; it is death dealing. It is time for collective awakening and we know this in our bones.
Separation is not keeping us safe, it is keeping us lonely and nothing good is coming from that. As we stand at this time in history we face an opportunity to remember our interconnection and reweave our wholeness. As we turn to embrace this process, some practical questions arise.
How do we become a consistent part of the solution and choose more consciously what we give our attention to?
How do we hasten the restoration of a dreaming society?
How do the many world citizens who feel unrooted in relationship with land or ancestral traditions find a way to the comforting and practical guidance that intimacy with the Dreamtime affords us?
Here at In Sacred Balance we have a thriving modern community with circles in cities across the country. We have personalized our tradition of dream entry, or reentry, as a means of gathering the medicine for the whole. We joyfully and humbly seek insight for individuals and/or the collective using a process of ritual and storytelling. I was first introduced to the basics of this contemporary method of dream reentry, based on Jungian dream analysis, back in the late seventies. However, it was here, in our circle of sisters and sibs, that I learned to enter a dream together and bring back medicine for the world.
There is immense power in this simple process of dreaming together. I honestly believe that we may very well find what we need to course correct on this beautiful mama planet, in the dream.
c ShuNahSii Rose 2016