The first time I visited the Baltic, I dreamed of an ancient priestess who showed me the spiritual uses of amber. She brought me inside a chamber like the inside of an egg-shaped amber, glowing with golden light, and showed me how to use a smaller version of this amber as a place to see.
I have been on the lookout for the right egg-shaped amber since then. Its specifications were clear: it must be clear, light golden amber, natural but free of inclusions (such as ancient insects) and polished by hand. I found it, at last, on a cobbled street in the Old City in Riga last month, when we had to to leave the street we were on because construction drills were throwing huge quantities of cement dust into the air.
The amber is beside me as I write. It takes me back inside a big dream I saw on my second visit to the Baltic, when I taught in Vilnius and traveled through Samogitia. I titled this dream "The Mud People and the Amber People". In the dream, I was out in deep woods at night and found myself sinking into sticky mud while creepy things moved about me. I came to the house of a ragana, a witch, among the roots of a crooked tree. She had painted the upper part of her face chalk-white, from the hairline to the cheekbones, so that it resembled part of a death's head, or perhaps a venomous spider. While she scuttled away from me into hiding, nasty slithering things rose from the mud.
I was glad to find that an enormous Bear was now with me, as my bodyguard. While willing to fight the witch's familiars, I also recognized that I had strayed into her territory, and that she had reason to fear intruders. Instead of engaging in battle, I called down Light, and a bright shaft of golden light immediately descended from on high, like a column of amber coming down from the sky. It worked a traction beam, lifting me straight up, high above the mud and the wood witch.
I found myself inside an enormous egg-shaped amber, in the company of wise women. It was like the amber room where I had first met the ancient Baltic priestess, expanded to the size of a mother ship. The leader told me: "You must understand that there are the Mud People and the Amber People. You belong to the People of Amber. Your duty - and that of those you train - is to build bridges and walkways so people can get across the mud safely. You must avoid allowing yourself to be sucked down into the mud. You must remember to call on the power of light amber to heal and guide, and on the power of dark amber to cleanse and remove the darkness."
That seems like an agenda for more than one landscape. I have offered that dream as a space of light and healing that others can enter. Several groups - most memorably in my recent workshop in Kurzeme (northwest Latvia) - have traveled together, with the aid of shamanic drumming, through their own dark woods into that space of amber light, and have brought back energy and guidance.
The full report of my dream of "The Mud People and the Amber People" is here.