The Path is Open
In a recent Facebook post, Robert Moss wrote, “The most important book on dreams you will ever read is your own dream journal… Yet you won’t truly understand what a treasure box your journal will be until you have kept one for at least five years.”
What were you dreaming five years ago? Dream tracking is the name Grandmother White Eagle has given to the practice of noticing important, unusual or deeply moving dreams and then connecting them to later events in waking life. These events may take place the day you have the dream, the next day, or perhaps weeks, months, years, decades later. The dream usually has meaning for you in the moment – and that meaning may deepen as the years pass. When I reread my past dream journals, I find guidance that is amazingly relevant to the present.
On December 25, 2008, I dreamed:
I walk down a path toward an ocean beach. The path goes through tough, bright green shrubs – it goes through an opening in the shrubs, or else an opening has been created. I yell to a person on the slope above and behind me, ‘The path is open!’ I am walking back up toward the slope when I hear noise on the beach. I look, and a large whale, likely a gray whale, swims right up toward the beach, blowing. It swims among large dark rocks to within about a yard of the beach. I have no glasses or binoculars – I’m seeing it as clearly as I can without them. I yell, ‘Look!’ I can’t get any other words out. Then to the left of the whale from my perspective (the whale’s right side), I see two others, each just a bit behind and to the left of the other. Each swims toward the beach, then turns and swims back out. An amazing sight.
This dream was important to me five years ago. How does it resonate now?
When I reflect on a dream, I look first at the most literal level. My wife and I are traveling to Maui in January to see the mother and baby whales. We have never been to Hawaii before. This dream feels like a welcome from the whales, an invitation sent to us years in advance. Perhaps the path is now open to a new level of connection with them.
I have also been doing some intense personal work on the ways my relationship with my father affected me. He left me many gifts and challenges. I am ready to give up some patterns that I started out of the belief that I, his daughter, needed to take care of him, my father, thought the natural order of things is that parents take care of children. Many children have and act on similar beliefs. We do it out of blind love. The dream tells me I can change these beliefs and patterns: “The path is open!”
Water and the creatures who live in and around the water are strongly connected with dreaming. The path to new ways of working with dreams is also opening up. As I learn about systemic family constellations, I am exploring how to use these methods with dreams. A Dream Constellation brings a dream to life in the present, with the people and beings in the dream embodied or represented by group participants. Communication, movement and resolution can occur when we make the intention and message of the dream visible in this way.
Another way to understand dreams is to journey back into them – a practice I teach in Shamanic Dreaming and Journeying workshops. In early January, 2009, I took this journey into the dream:
The path is my life path. The presence behind me is an ancestral one – my mother’s father, loving and indulgent. My energy is that of a child discovering. The bushes are fully alive. They appeared to be obstacles to my path; all along, they have been nurturing as well as obstructing me. Now they open up, no longer in the way. The whales are an amazing ancient presence. Whale allows me to see her as the beautiful, wise old being that she is. The whales want to keep in close touch with me. Their way of swimming to shore shows how the dreams come from the sea and contact us on land.
What obstacles have you been clearing, and what path opens up for you this Solstice?