The Four Colors Dreaming the Earth by Erin Langley
Lucid Dreaming for the Earth began as a project in which lucid dreamers collectively donate our lucid dreams for bioremediation. This can take many forms--healing the Earth body and healing our human bodies, which are reflections of each other. After much experimentation, I have come to broaden my perspective of what Lucid Dreaming for the Earth means.
I would like to offer a conversation between me and dream educator Ryan Hurd as a way to illustrate an evolving understanding of health, wholeness, and lucidity.
1. Erin, tell me about when you started lucid dreaming, and the first impact these dreams had on your life.
Over the years, I have been blessed to meet many people who are practiced at navigating the lesser-acknowledged facets of reality. Many are elders, medicine people, or those who simply live in their hearts. For lots of human beings walking the earth today, "mystical" experiences are a normal and integrated part of life. In the words of Credo Mutwa, "Nothing is supernatural. Everything is natural."
|by Kimi Pryor|
2. Your background in indigenous ways of knowing helped frame these experiences. Can you speak a little about the process you went through that led you to see dreams as a pathway to ancestral knowledge and as a glimpse of our interconnection to all sentient beings?
Recovering an animistic worldview (i.e., a world in which everything is alive) is very natural for me, and it has required a lot of work. So far, my process of decolonization has included treating dreams and waking life with equal respect and attention, identifying with a land and clan rather than a politic or nation, remembering my cultural stories as a framework for the world (in conjunction with the current Western scientific mythology), delving into my family's genealogy, immersing myself in the observation of nature, respecting and listening to the voices of my ancestors, learning Irish music and dance, celebrating ancestral holidays, using divination, creating ritual with other deeply-rooted tribal peoples, honoring elders, treating everything as alive and endowed with spirit, visiting my ancestral homelands, and recovering my family's tartan and ceremonial attire, and taking up the Bronze Age ceremonial horn, which I am looking to do now.
|me with a dord at the Munster Fleadh Cheoil (festival) in Killarney, Ireland in July, 2014|
When [the late] Tlakaelel, Mexica-Toltec wisdomkeeper, elder, and sundance chief came to town, I told him that my people lost our ceremonies, and asked how to recover them. Emanating pure love, Tlakaelel took my hand and explained, "You must must do a lot of research, keep looking with your heart. If you still do not find any ceremony, then you must create it. You must create it from your heart, with respect to the elders." So, I have been following his advice, mostly by reading my ancestors' sagas, folktales, and historical documents, familiarizing myself with our old languages, staying connected to the modern caretakers of my ancestors' stone monuments, looking to my dreams, and living in my heart.
|me and Tlakaelel|
I am learning that while we can recover some indigenous ways of knowing, we are now a global tribe, indigenous to the planet Earth. It is a new time, with new circumstances. We get to create something new. It is good to have strong roots as we do this. When we try to define the word "indigenous," it eludes us. Tlakaelel explained how the Toltecs and the Lakota were the same tribe, before one group migrated South. Does that mean that the Toltec are not an indigenous people? We are all a flow of land and sky. It is fun to study the migration patterns, the oral tradition of human beings, land-given art, science, and customs that inform a culture for a time. Do Europeans originate from the Siberian steppe? All of these terms, while they have value, eventually become arbitrary distinctions. But I still like to know the story.
Often personal symbols can also be cross-cultural symbols. For example, I noticed that when I dreamed of foxes, difficulties could soon arise in life. I thought perhaps this was my own personal harbinger of complication, but I learned from two experienced teachers from Asian traditions (one Daoist/Chan and one Tibetan) that foxes usually carry a "negative portent" in their traditions as well. For me, this is a poignant illustration of our interconnectedness, that dream symbols can come to us, and that we can interpret them.
|by Diane Sudyka|
3. In your blog "Lucid Dreaming for the Earth," you have documented your process of engaging lucid dreaming as a way to dream for the earth. How has your view changed as you went deeper into this journey?
Something else I've learned along the way is the importance of continuity. I am learning that the ways I can help most are often unseen. Continuous presence is farther reaching than alternating bouts of output and recovery. Plus, stable presence encourages naturally-arising opportunities for healing, rather than contrived or forced ones. If I listen for how to create balance, then my responses to life will be helpful for all beings. In making decisions with all of us in mind, I might have to do something that is personally difficult, requires a lot of effort, or upsets an existing order. As long as I'm letting life cue and contextualize these movements, they'll be appropriate. Most of the time, my actions can be relaxed and invisible. Of course, I don't always succeed (far from it), and that has its place, too. I question "success" and "failure" in general.