Gore Mountain, New York
"I asked my dreams for guidance on soul recovery," Kerri told us. "I woke at 3 AM, and my first thought was, Where are my dreams? Then a big dream came flowing back, and I realized that it exactly responded to my intention. I needed more sleep, but the dream stayed with me, intact, until morning."
She thought the dream would make a good script for theatrical production. I seized on this suggestion, before she gave us the story. We had been inside our meeting lodge all morning, voyaging together in some powerful group journeys. Now we needed to get outside, in the spring sunlight, and move. When soul or the spirits speak through dreams, according to the Native traditions of these mountains, then we must move with their energy and bring that alive in our bodies. We never want to bore the spirits, especially our own.
Dream theater with fresh material may be my favorite part of my depth programs. It brings out the performer, the improviser, the comic - and the child inside us who isn't afraid to make things up. It can run the whole gamut of emotions, from wild bawdy laughter to deep pathos. It always delivers raw vitality.
So we gathered outside on the grass, in a clearing in the forest of silver birch and spruce, to hear the dream that Kerri said provided guidance on how to bring soul parts home.
"I am approached by a tall Scotsman in a kilt. He speaks in a beautiful deep voice that could carry across mountains, but with gentle patience, as if he is teaching a child.
"He holds out a key ring with three keys. He says, 'To regain the soul, you must be able to open the locks.'
"While I am holding the keys, wondering how to use the, the Scotsman says. "And to please the soul, you must have music.' He waves his hand, and this cool jazz guy appears, playing a saxophone.
"The Scotsman makes another flourish. 'And of course, you must have food to nourish the soul.' I see a kitchen with an open door, with delectable aromas wafting out.
"Now the Scotsman gestures towards a couple who are walking past some long shelves, like the shelves in a department store or a supermarket. On the shelves are glass pyramids with squared-off tops. The woman in the couple is a teacher. She turns to me and says, 'To recover soul, you also need glass.'"
Much in the dream was deliciously mysterious. It excited us. I had Kerri cast members of our gathering to play every role in the dream, including the keys and the key ring. She picked me to play the Scotsman. Another woman in the group donated a beautiful fern-green scarf to serve as my kilt.
While I followed the dream script, other players brought the dream elements wonderfully alive. The three keys - played by three women in the group - wanted to open centers in the dreamer's heart, and in her head, and in her gut, and then became the soul parts returning through these openings. A improvisational musician in the group was in his element as the cool jazz man. An Italian-American woman threw open a delectable Mangia, Mangia kind of kitchen to produce soul food.
Up on the deck of our meeting lodge, the people selected to play the glass pyramids with squared-off tops staged a silent hieratic drama. We came to understand that they were in the role of chambers or transporters for soul parts. I was vividly reminded of shamanic soul retrieval operations in which we may use a quartz crystal for such purposes.
All of this was fast becoming a vibrant, effortless education in shamanic soul recovery techniques. I did not want to stop. Still playing the Scots instructor, I asked Kerri, who played her own part in the first production, to now cast another member of our group to take the lead role, and go through the whole process. We repeated this with several players, and each time our understanding of the nature of soul recovery healing deepened. It was beautiful to watch the dance of the three keys around the dreamer, within the ring, becoming the deep embrace of soul reunion, again and again.