"Let's go to the animal doctor," I proposed to the wonderful circle of dreamers who joined me for an adventure in Active Dreaming in a space that opened onto the towpath along the Oudegracht, the old canal that runs through the heart of Utrecht. There was a stir of lively interest.
The directions that I gave for our group shamanic journey were very simple.
"Go to your special tree," I instructed our dreamers, as they let their bodies relax and their eyes close. "Among the roots you will find a door. It will open into the consulting rooms of an animal doctor. The animal may be quite familiar to you. It could be an animal you don't know so well. Maybe one of your animal helpers will introduce you to a second animal who is a specialist in an area where you need some help.
"You will receive an exact diagnosis on your current condition - on your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. You will be shown what you need to stay well or get well. Better than this, you may be given immediate help and healing because when it comes to doctoring, the animal physicians don't waste any time."
When I was satisfied that everyone was fully primed, I started drumming. The results were instant, and quite wonderful. Our dreamers visited their personal animal doctors, and brought back wonderful encounters of what they learned and received.
One dreamer met a raven in a white doctor's coat who went to work on an infection, pecking out germs and bugs. When he withdrew his surgical beak, a host of "ran worms", as the Dutch call them (worms that appear in great numbers after rain) filled her body, and while this might have alarmed her, she knew they were completing the cleansing as they wriggled inside her. They finally exited her body, shooting out of her pores and every orifice as she had seen worms rising in the grass after rain. Then the raven doctor reappeared to claim his payment, gobbling up all the worms and with them whatever glop they had removed from her body.
The bear was an animal doctor in great demand. He opened bodies, removed organs that needed cleansing and renewal, and replaced them in a soft bed of ferns or moss, sewing everything up.
One of the animal doctors was a composite. She had elements of a cow, a giraffe and a hippo - all favorites from childhood - and radiant yellow eyes that projected light like lasers to remove something dark and fearful that one of our dreamers had located in her abdomen. This operation left the dreamer with superabundant energy and confidence.
One of my favorite reports was from a dreamer who met a hedgehog in a doctor's coat. The hedgehog doctor showed him that his head was covered by cobwebs that had been preventing him from perceiving and dreaming with clarity. The hedgehog stripped away the cobwebs, layer upon layer. He then called in three assistants who turned themselves into living scrubbing brushes and vigorously scoured away any residue, including cobwebby materials inside the dreamer's skull.
I know I'll be guiding more visits to the animal doctors in my playshops.
Art: "Moose Magician" (c) Alayna McKee