Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ancestral Remembrance

art by Jen Delyth

I have been discovering the rich, complex world of lucid dreaming. I've engaged dream figures in conversations, received messages for others, and just plain explored this new-to-me terrain. I find myself backpeddling a bit, noticing my tendency to charge into something new with great gusto, and naïveté. I've begun to see new (read: old) applications of lucid dreaming, such as ancestral remembrance, or reconnecting with the ancient ways of our respective tribes. Some of these ways have been lost, sometimes on purpose. What a great way to retrieve and restore the dreamways of our indigenous people. Since all of our indigenous ancestors lived closely with the Earth, reconnecting with these ways absolutely falls into the realm of lucid dreaming for the Earth.

In a recent correspondence, Robert Waggoner, author of the amazing book Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self, asked me what I meant when I mentioned integrating ancestral ways through lucid dreaming. Here's an excerpt from my response:

I'll start with a lucid dream featuring the Mo'o, or the giant black lizard/goddess who's the guardian of the Indigenous Mind program I did under the tutelage of Dr. Apela Colorado, and various traditional elders from around the globe. The Mo'o is also the protector of all the Polynesian islands. As we did our residencies in Maui, the Mo'o figured in to a lot of our tribe's initiation dreams. We, the students, come from various tribes around the globe as well, and we explored and reconnected with our ancestral ways and homelands while having the opportunity to sit in circle with elders who came from relatively intact indigenous cultures. The Mo'o was always there to guide us as we "lost our Western minds" and began to experience our indigenous minds, or our Whole minds.

This dream occurred in June of 2006:

Ravens are flying by. The formations they make are amazing! They are doing it just for fun. One is sitting on another's back. One is flying with wings down, one with wings outstretched, there's a group of about nine of them flying. I tell my housemate, who says he is familiar with ravens flying just for fun. I tell him he's not seen anything like this, though. Then I am outside again on the deck. There is one big Raven, and I say, "It was YOU!" because I recognize it as the one who gave me medicine in a previous dream. It gets bigger and bigger and lands on the deck with a thud. Then it transforms into a giant raven chick and falls to a lower story of the deck. Then it transforms yet again into a giant black crocodile (the Mo'o), HUGE, at least 30 feet long. It is going to eat me. I get very afraid. Then I remind myself that I am dreaming, and if I were awake, I'd scold myself for not having the courage to be eaten. I muster what bravery I can, and allow the crocodile to eat me. But because I have brought my fears into the dream, I can no longer see the lizard. I can only feel as it chomps down on my arm, then stomach, then leg, and then I know I must be completely inside it.

That dream happened right before I left for my ancestral journey in Ireland. It was about walking the talk and becoming a whole person, connected to my history and heritage in ways beyond knowing the names of my dead relatives listed with dates on a piece of paper. And, Ireland was truly initiatory. To say the initiation started with the dream would be wrong; it is more like the occurrences are so bound up in each other that they are one. It is difficult to separate parts out from the process, which is alive and whole.

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