Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Mountain of Messages

Esalen Institute, Big Sur, California

We discover a hill that may be an enormous rounded boulder. Its surface is pitted with what may be cave openings. There are also native rock carvings and pictographs here. Trails to the great rock from either side are also marked with native carvings.
    I am very excited. We have found a way to access the ancient spirits of this land, both spirits of the First Peoples and spirits of nature. I may give everyone the assignment to go this hill and bring back their own message, by entering a cave or copying and inscription or even by imagining what message they would inscribe as a symbol if they belonged to the ancient ways of this land. Through all of this, I have the sense of a native elder looking in, watching over, initially wary, wanting to check my intentions, then very willing for us to learn, at the price of respect and careful study and attunement. His voice is like the wind. His name may be Rushing Wind.

I asked for this dream. On the first night of my workshop at the Esalen Institute last week, I set the intention of dreaming for the group, and it seemed I was answered. I opened the morning session by placing a tobacco pouch at the center of the circle and suggesting that everyone might want to make an offering to the First Peoples of the land. When we joined hands to sing together and set intentions for the group, I spoke of the ancestors.

Grandmothers, Grandfathers
we honor you, we remember you
we ask your blessing and protection for all our journeys

Later I proposed that we should make a group journey to the Mountain of Messages. This idea was eagerly received, and the journey was deep and fruitful. Here I'll report only on my personal experience, traveling in my dreaming mind while drumming for the group and watching over the other dream travelers:

Return to the Mountain of Messages

The trail is very physical seeming, dust rising underfoot, smell of chaparral. I can make out carvings on stones along the way, impressions of fish and wavy lines for water. The prayers in stone of a fishing people.
    At the base of the mountain, I find the entrance to a cave or tunnel. There is a fierce guardian figure, with a single eye, like a giant hairy cyclops. He is ordered back by a power – Rushing Wind, the elder from my dream? – who asserts my right to enter. I realize that white wolf and mountain lion are with me, hawk overhead, and the energy of Island Woman. I am asked for a dream name.
    Soon I am carried through a network of passages and caves by rushing winds, until I am deep in a great cavern in the presence of a giant bear. He is not friendly at first, but accepts the bear in me.
    I begin to inspect patterns on a cave wall. A light glows behind the stone until it looks like frosted glass. Then it becomes transparent, like a window. Now it is no barrier at all. I step through into a world of primal beauty and simplicity, where people are fishing and gathering fruits. They remind me of the people among whom I lived when I left my body at nine years of age. They welcome me, and I am full of joy to be with them.
    They tell me, “We are always here.”
    For the natives of this land, they are the Original People, ancestors of the ancestors.
    Whatever is done in the surface world, they are here.
    “When you get sick, you come here. When you get well, we send you back.”
     There is a deep sense of belonging, of home.
    “We are alive. We are here. The dead are alive. The living are dead.”
    I am reluctant to leave, but I am drumming for the group and responsible for them. I leave the caves and walk the trail on the other side. I see my beautiful double. I know that, if things go well, we can finally come together and walk together through the sun, which is right ahead, on this trail leading beyond the Mountain of Messages.  

I have led many journeys to caves of the ancestors over the years, and provide a script for this kind of shamanic journey in Dreaming the Soul Back Home. The dream-guided Esalen group journey was especially thrilling not only because it seemed to open an authentic link to the First Peoples of the land where we were gathered but because - for me personally - it reopened contact with a world-behind-the-world I discovered during a near-death experience when I was nine years old.


Valley Reed said...

I recently dreamt of a Native Ancestor, which I first met in a journey to the ancestral library during a dream teacher training. In my dream, the intention I had set was, where is the rest of me? What came was a very real visit from a buffalo robed Native American. He wore a buffalo robe which had pictographs visible from the shoulders and the buffalo head hung to the right of his head. He did not speak to me, but I wondered why he had appeared when I was asking where is the rest of me. Your journey from the mountain of messages makes me wonder if maybe part of me is where he lives.

Robert Moss said...

Thanks for sharing, Valley. Both in personal incubation and in group journeys on the theme, "Where is the rest of me?" many of us have now had similar experiences, encountering ancestral figures from many cultures and times. This helps us to grow in understanding of our multidimensional identity and trans-temporal connections.