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The Dreamer

By CinnamonMoon

The Dream Lodge is a powerful arena for enlightenment and many of us work there. However, it's difficult to share those teachings with any who are not familiar with it. Mark St. Pierre and Tilda Long Soldier have a book out called 'Walking in the Sacred Manner' and I'd like to share some of what they wrote about Dreaming. (This is Women's Medicine they are discussing here.)

"It is not possible to give all the details of a holy persons’ dreams or visions, because the dreams are real and alive. It is believed that if certain jealous or vengeful people wished to cause this woman harm, they could do so by using details of her dreams."

"Knowing and using the correct songs in ceremony is critical to its effectiveness because it is through song that the spirits are called." (Songs are used to call dreams at times.)

"The dream world is considered the eternal and real world." What follows is an account of a holy woman's experience of calling for a dream: "...and you could see them come in! The spirits!...There were little blue lights everywhere....The flowers were so beautiful, and the smell of sage, and the ground---the ground was speaking to me in whole thoughts..."

"There comes a special point in a holy woman's life when she starts to have dreams that differ in quality from all the dreams that came before. No true Indian woman would want this calling or seek it without the right signs, because it might call for a lifetime of selfless service, and more than that, might place her in spiritual danger. Nobody can imitate this process, because the efficacy and power of the woman's dreams will be called into question by the community of the faithful every time she makes a prognosis or diagnosis or prescribes a treatment."

"These experiences and dreams may go on for months or years. Sometimes they dissipate and don't return. Depending on the nature of the dreams and the particular calling, they may intensify and literally make the dreamer afraid or even crazy, as in dreams of Thunder Beings. These dreams may be a call to perform a specific ceremony or set of ceremonies such as the Sun Dance, Kettle Dance, or Horse Dance. At one time various dream societies like the Heyoka (Thunder Dreamers, or contraries) and Elk Dreamers also acted out visionary dreams in a public "dance"....which is the old way of purging oneself of the impulses associated with the dream.

"These dreams are not to be taken lightly. To ignore what the spirits want could be deadly to the dreamer or a member of the family. Some dismiss their dreams but they do not go away....It is not uncommon for others to be spiritually aware of a person's calling.

These others, perhaps holy people in their own right, inform the man or woman of the content of their own related dreams to encourage and reinforce the "new dreamer's" calling." "In the ongoing development of a holy woman's powers, certain dreams begin to form the shape of the future. They may present the actual spirit helper and the essence of that helper's identity. Dreams may symbolically indicate the kinds of help the helper spirit or spirits will provide and eventually the rituals necessary to call upon them--the very basis of a personal ceremony."

"Moreso with women than with men, dreams significant to the transformation from lay person to holy person may come at any time. Men who wish to enhance their abilities to "doctor," however, always fast in a formal one-two-three, or ideally four-day denial of food and water. These fasts, which women also undertake, place the seeker on a secluded hilltop or in a vision pit or sweat bath used as a hut of isolation, in an area where spirits are known to dwell...this is what it is to "cry for a vision".

"There are no guarantees that fasting will produce vision...When these visions come to a person, man or woman, it is often with mixed emotions. Doubt, joy, and often dread are spoken of by people we interviewed."

"The path to becoming a "doctor" [healer through dreaming one's gifts] is not always an easy one and can be fraught with dangers for the individual who is called to serve the people. Other medicine people may be jealous and use their own powers or position to prevent by spiritual means, or through malicious gossip, the fulfillment of the competing shaman's calling. Through the moccasin telegraph of gossip, they may deny the validity of the rivals’ dreams. This caused a spiritual crisis for Good Lifeways Woman that took years to overcome. During those years she did not practice her ceremonies or acknowledge her dreams."

"...firsthand accounts provide the context for the beginnings of a true calling in the sacred. The crisis of faith, the jealousy of another "practitioner", and the scenes of spirits appearing in a Lowanpi ceremony are all well within the traditional Lakota, Cheyenne, and Crow religious worldview."

*Now* I'm hoping that by sharing this insight with some of you that you can see how your own gifts might develop and what it is to struggle to gain control with them as an individual and in society accepting you for who you are. There is great power found in Dreaming and it is a dimensional reality that we all need to be aware of.


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