Thursday, December 10, 2015

Lions in the tree tops: when someone else's dream is a gift for your life

I am in the woods. They are lovely, dark and deep, as in the poem. I am thrilled by the movement of many wild animals among the trees. I look up, and see big cats in the tree tops. Can they be lions?
    I have no sense of fear. I want to watch, and explore.
    However, my friend doesn’t want to stay here. She keeps talking about chores and social engagements, all the little things she needs to deal with at home and at work. She tells me she’s taking off and I let her go.
    Paths diverge in the woods. I sense that any of these paths will lead to new adventures. I’m not sure which one to follow. The lions are moving fast in the tree tops now. I trust them to show me the way. One of them makes a fantastic leap, pursuing a deer that I glimpse further along the trail. A second lion lopes ahead along a second path.
    I get it. It’s not either/or. More than one path is open to me in life, and I can follow both at the same time, if I let the lions in me show the way.
This is a dream that I heard in an intimate circle of dreamers last night. I am telling it as my own dream because that is what it has become. Let me explain.
    We were playing one of the coincidence games I have invented. In this version, members of a group are invited to write a brief summary of a dream on one side of a small index card. The cards are collected and shuffled and they become an oracle deck. Before the game begins, the players are invited to set an intention by stating a theme on which they would like guidance. They take turns to pull a card from the deck. It is suggested that whatever is written on the card you pull will be a direct response from the index card oracle to your life question.
    My theme last night was simple and practical: "I would like guidance on the next six weeks." Over these winter weeks, I will be at home for the longest period in more than a decade. I want to be sure I take full advantage of this break from my almost incessant travel.
    The card I received gave a glimpse of the scene in the woods, the choice of paths, the friend who wanted to go back to everyday routines. At my request, the dreamer told the fuller version. As soon as she identified the big cats in the tree tops as lions, I found myself quivering with excitement and entirely there, in my inner senses. I could smell the forest, and the hot breath of the lions,
     The first message I received came loud and clear, in the behavior of the dreamer's friend. I must part company with the part of myself that encourages me to get caught up in small assignments and minor distractions.
I need to put myself, in the weeks ahead, in a place of wild freedom.
     I want to accept that I can follow more than one path, in my new creative work.
     I have always felt close to lions, and I put a lion on the cover of two of my books, Active Dreaming and the new one, Sidewalk Oracles.
     What is the lion, to me? It is courage, the power to speak my truth and be heart by others, wild and primal energy for life. My lion self follows the path of heart, the only path worth following.

We may find that there is a message for us in another person’s dream because, quite simply, we are human and we are all connected. This is part of the beauty of learning to share dreams in the right way. We recognize something of ourselves in another person’s dream because, while every dream is unique and requires close attention to specific details, dreams also reflect universal situations and living symbols that speak to all. 

For the rules of playing the Coincidence Card Game with dream reports, see my book The Three "Only" Things. For further ways to play the game, and on building a personal index card oracle, see Sidewalk Oracles.

Drawing: Sun Lion by RM

1 comment:

Amy Oscar said...

Thank you for this dream within a dream," Robert Moss. I am using your full name because this morning, I used it to call to you. I used it to call you into my dream.

This morning, while reading your book, I looked up and spoke aloud: "Come and find me," I said, flowing my request along the thread of my awareness which knows the thread of yours. The thread which knows that you will hear me. The thread that is listening for me.

Come and find me, I said. And your face flashed into my awareness. And I knew that you would 'hear' me - and that you'd come.

That instant, a small cat - between kitten and full grown - appeared just across the street from my home and scampered across the road. As I watched her escape collision with the approaching car, I knew she would make it. She crossed into my front yard, keeping to the fringe, weaving into and out of view between the pine trees which divide my world from the neighbor's.

As she wove, I watched and I learned. It happened in less than a minute. A moment later, I rose and walked to the kitchen to open my laptop and see if I could find you.

Why did I call for you?

Because your 'becoming a shaman' story sounds so much like mine. The dream teachers. The birds. The animal friends. The signs in the world. And the call to help others... so many others.

Because I am moved by the stories you share about your students, who sound so much like mine. Because your stories remind me who I am - and why I do this work that I do.

Because I asked you to come find me and less than ten minutes later, I found, here in front yard of your Internet home, a post about a dream that, I, too, am sharing.

My dream, ongoing for several years now, is of cats of all sizes - panthers, protective lions and lately, a large Bengal tiger who stands beside my 12-year-old self as she and I get reacquainted and begin to do our work in the world.

I am grateful for your presence in the world and for your book, which
For the dream that we seem to be sharing.

Thank you for hearing me this morning- for responding to my call.