Monday, November 6, 2017

Calling the Deer





Deepheart, mountain guardian
who harries the hunter
and knows what belongs to us
and what does not,
give us your speed,
your ability to read the land,
to see what is behind us and around us.
-
May we grow with the seasons
into your branching wisdom
putting up antlers as taproots into the sky
to draw down the power of heaven,
reaching into the wounded places
to heal and make whole,
walking as living candelabra,
crowned with light,
crowning each other with light.


I wrote this invocation many years ago, on a mountain in the Northeast where I lead advanced gatherings of shamanic dreamers. It is a very special place, where we draw on the deep fires of Earth, and the spirits of the land, and where the healing energy of the Deer is very strong.
     The symbolism of the antlers is vitally important in every tradition that knows the cervid family. The antlers represent spiritual connection; they rise above the physical body into the spirit realm. They also embody the power of regeneration; the bones die and fall away and grow back stronger and greater than before. 


Art: L'Arbre et la Brume by Annick Bougerolle

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

We dream dreams of the child, and the child dreams of us


I often hear dreams from adults that sound like the products of a child's imagination. One dreamer is menaced by giants. She runs but can't get away - until Superman swoops down to rescue her. Another dreamer is entertained by a strange composite animal, a cross between a jolly pink pig and a hairless dog, with a strip of carpet instead of a tail.
     In such dreams, buildings and people around the dreamer often seem vastly larger than in regular life, as adults and cities might appear from the perspective of a young child. At the same time, the dreamer may find she has the ability to make herself greatly bigger or smaller, like Alice with the "Drink Me" bottles.
     I wonder whether such child-like dreams really are the dreams of the child within the dreamer. They may be returning memories of dreams in early life. They may also be a direct link to the inner child, providing a chance to bring more of her energy, joy and imagination into current life. They may even be a bridge to connect with the child in her Now time, which is past history for the adult except when released from the constraints of linear time, as in dreaming.
    I have given happy examples thus far, but the dreams of the child may of course be filled with challenge and drenched in fear. Those menacing giants may represent abusive adults and authority figures the child can't handle, and Superman is not always available. Yet when the bridge to the child in her own Now time is open, we can slip across it, to offer support and mentoring that may be desperately needed. We can help to provide the heroes our child selves want to be dreaming of.
 

    I know this: we can travel across time, and we can play mentor and counselor to a younger self, or receive help and guidance from a wiser older self. At the very least, when we reach to that younger self, we can offer the assurance that however much he is suffering, he or she will make it through.
    We dream dreams of the child, and the child dreams of us.

Art: "Jumping Rope" by A.E. (George Russell)