Ancestral energy lives in the stars above us, the stones beneath us. Their memory gathers in oceans, rivers and seas. It hums its silent wisdom within the body of every tree.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Healing in Dreams

I have a very active dream life. In fact, I always have, and can still recall dreams I had as a child. For six years I have been logging my dreams every morning. I had to learn to relax my mind before the subconscious swept in and pushed the night musings back into dreaming. It is still hard to ignore that first song of the morning that runs through the back of my brain and it is never easy to ignore the day’s checklist, popping up before my eyelids open.

Everything gets easier with practice. Dreams help our brains process and filter all the invisible things we perceive throughout the day. Some people may never have nightmares. Some people may never remember their dreams. Maybe that’s for the best, because constantly remembering your dreams can feel like living with feet in two different worlds but you have to make the most with what you have. What I discovered is that I can do a lot of healing in my dream world.

Shamans do a lot of travel and healing via the dream world and it’s their wisdom I have used for my own work. After opening a doorway to heal myself, my dreamings deepened and became patterns of usefulness. And then a back door opened, into another world, allowing spirits access to me. The only conversations I’ve ever held with ghosts have been in my dreams. The ghost beings always seem a bit out of place, a bit superimposed on top of the events happening, as if they’re slightly out of frame. And they are often just as amazed at what they’re looking at as I am. It’s a bit of a tell.

I believe in spirit. I believe in the spirit world. I believe in spirits and ghosts. It’s hard to believe in something you’ve never experienced. That takes great faith. So I don’t expect people to believe ghosts are real purely on my say so. But I’m going to believe it, because I’ve experienced it.

As a child I had five imaginary friends but my first one, who I called Amy, was a ghost (you’ll hear more about her later). She was my only imaginary friend whose clothes I couldn’t change. She walked barefoot beside me through the snow in the wintertime. I remember that her name was something like Amalthea or Amalia… maybe even Amelia, but it all sounded foreign to the five year-old me who suffered a speech impediment. So I called her Amy.

Amy was one of the first spirits who made an appearance in a dream of mine to catch my attention. It’s common enough now. Some spirits were unknown to me, but being able to recognize them helped me track them down; a friend’s classmate and a loved one’s Great-Grandfather. I just accept it. (If you allow dream elements to surprise you into awareness that is what will pull you out of the work and the remembering.)

A Dog Called Leather
This past weekend I had a dream in which I was taking our family pet, Leather, for a walk. She was a smart and sassy blonde cocker spaniel who died in 2008. The dream itself was simple. My hair was hanging loose and long like it is now and I was wearing my brown crocs. Leather and I were walking down the block and she was stiff and slow but willing. I was worried that I was pushing her but the longer we walked the more energy she seemed to have. Her coat was shiny again and as we got to the end of the street she was bouncing around a yard with a small Chihuahua. They were excitedly sniffing each other’s butts.

I started to cross the street and turned around but she was laying down. I called her to me and she finally got up to come but paused halfway across the road and sat down in the middle of traffic, exhausted. I ran out to get her as a truck swerved past and took her home. My mom wanted to see her to make sure she was all right. She was laying on a blanket in the living room. In my dream the living room was in the front of the house, which hasn’t been the living room since my childhood. And the blanket she was laying on was one I used to use to make a mountain for my Barbie dolls to climb. I hold Leather’s muzzle in my hands and tell her what a good girl she was. Was. The word catches in my throat. My mom is worried that Leather looks tired…

I woke up not knowing for a moment why dreaming of Leather should make me sad. And then I recalled the feeling of her jaw in my hand and her hair on my flesh and if I close my eyes, right now, I can still feel her against my skin. At the end of the dream, I understand that my brain was reliving the moment Luna passed. But it was more than that, too.

The dream gifted me a new memory with a very dear friend.


  1. I have a lot of dreams of relatives I've never met & places I've never been. I recently told my mom about some of them when she was here in January. She tells me who the people are & what the places are. I don't know why they come to me or I see these places. I also dream about my Nani, a lot. She was my mom's mom. I smell her often. My mom is sad she doesn't dream about her as much & still cries for her. I miss her too but I'm never sad, I have so many happy memories & in my dreams she is always smiling & laughing with me (usually at my mom!). I believe in spirits and in the spirit world too.


  2. Elizabeth, that's wonderful!

    Sometimes, my grandparents will be in a dream and I'll turn back to see Grandpa, leaning against the counter only it's Him, my Grandpa, standing in dream-him's body, as if the colors are brighter, or the lines crisper. And he'll wink at me to tell me that it's really him and he'll squeeze my hand and it feels real- real enough to pop me out of the dream. I'll wake up feeling the pressure there still. It's a comfort.

  3. It's always comforting. I like when I have those dreams. I notice I always wake up smiling & feel so peaceful. I wish every wake up could be like that!


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