Saturday, March 9, 2013

Native basket healing, and other cleansings

I am visiting a store that sells Native American crafts and souvenirs. The really good stuff is kept in a locked glass-fronted cabinet. My companion persuades the owner to let me see a few items that are used for healing and magic. These are not for sale. She describes them in her own language, or with simple one-word statements like "medicine".
    Next, I am in an indoor space like the atrium of a shopping mall. The area is quiet. Maybe the shops have closed. There are just four of us here, standing at the four cardinal directions above the stairwell to the floor below. A woman who understands spiritual cleansing is showing us a simple ritual. She has given each of us a bag with aromatic herbs, including sage but also sweetgrass and other things. She leads us in burning the mix, and wants us to inhale the aromas while fanning the smoke around our heads and bodies. I join in this ritual, struck by the emphasis she places on breathing out what we need to eliminate from our bodies, and breathing in the sweet aromas.
   Now things get very interesting. The woman healer produces what a woven basket, large enough to fit over a human head. It is conical in shape, and has two blue lines near the mouth. There are grips that resemble horns. Holding the grips firmly, the healer revolves the basket, upside down, over someone’s head. This will get rid of unwanted energies and entities. They are being swirled away, sucked into the basket to be dissipated safely elsewhere.
    I look more closely at the basket grips. It seems that have really been made to represent bull horns. This fascinates me. This can work. I’d like to try it myself, and I’m willing to have it done on me. 

I woke from this dream an hour ago, after early sleep, excited and with a sense of blessing. I felt I had personally received cleansing and healing inside the dream.
    This is not the first time that Native healers have appeared in my dreams. My life was changed, some 25 years ago, by my visionary encounters with the Mohawk/Huron woman of power I call Island Woman in my books, including Dreamways of the Iroquois. Other women healers have shown me secrets of other traditions in my dreams. I was once shown how to burn certain things together (including juniper and oak) to make a smoke that could be used as a medium for divination and for access to certain places in the Otherworld. We tried this out in one of my advanced gatherings, and it worked like a charm. Later, among old juniper trees near the site of a hill fort in Estonia, a wise woman of Baltic tradition confirmed what I had learned in my dream as part of a practice handed down in her family for generations. 
   In tonight's dream, I may again be in Iroquois country. Yet the conical shape of the basket more closely resembles that of the "burden baskets" of other nations than Iroquois basketry I have seen.  The Apaches are famous for their burden baskets, sometimes hung by the door of a house so that visitors can leave what ails and weighs them down inside. I have yet to find a basket with those horn-like grips. But then, dreams set us research assignments that can take quite a while, in ordinary reality.

Drawing by Robert Moss      


Unknown said...

dreamways of the iroquois was a rivoting illumination for me, I read it straight through in just a few days which is uncustomary for me. From reading this book and following your works I have learned to give significance to my dreams, to work with them as direct communications from Spirit. Thank you for helping me rediscover this vital connection with the sacred.

Robert Moss said...

Thanks so much for your warm and spirited comment, Jennifer. The encounters with the Mohawk/Huron shaman I call Island Woman, described in "Dreamways of the Iroquois", reawakened me to an ancient path of healing and dreaming and led me to change my life and follow the way of a dream teacher, for which there was no career track in our society at that time.


Dear Robert,
Thanks for the book compliments! Yes I do remember the dream healing of 'Juniper & Oak'.

The medicine of this in my dream is: I am taking 'The the horns' in my life to cleanse and
simplify myself.
The basket itself was woven by spiritual means. With the intention of weaving and reweaving a life. I feel the Native woman connects me with the Horns=male energy and connect the energy within me to the basket=female. Spinning away what does not apply to me. She tells me this will be balancing.
All the while I could smell the sage to which the Native woman had added Lavender. She tells me this becomes a scent that Spirit pays attention too and then helps souls with their path.


Robert Moss said...

Thanks for your insights, Karen. I like the suggestion about "taking the bull by the horns." The bull has great meaning for me, in terms of many spiritual and mythic traditions tow which I feel connected. I think you are also right that there was lavender in the mix.

I know that the energy of what was going on in this dream will reach others too. Overnight I received an extraordinary message from a woman in Sweden (previously unknown to me) describing the depth of healing she received simply by reading the report, meditating on the procedure, and opening her to the presence of the healer.

Wonderful that you have published your own book "Journey of an Apprentice Dreamer." I know the depth of practice from which this comes, and I am grateful for all the adventures we have shared.