Twenty years ago, while working on a master’s degree in psychology, I had a powerful dream that changed the direction of my life. When I awakened from the dream, I felt as if I had been hit by a bolt of lightening! An indescribable power source of energy had shocked me into consciousness. What in the world just happened? Obviously, it wasn’t an ordinary dream where vague imagery makes subtle appearances while sleeping. It wasn’t a nightmare where the psyche compels a sense of urgency that grabs your attention. I was completely overwhelmed.
At the time, shamanism or shamanic healing wasn’t as popular as it is now, so I employed various approaches of dream analysis to my utter dissatisfaction. Then, I took a class in the psychology of shamanism and read The Way of the Shaman by Michael Harner. I found my dream was beginning to make sense from a shamanic viewpoint but I could not admit the dream was a calling from the spirits to become a shamanic healer. I mean really, a white, 39 year old, middle class American woman? Uh huh, right… but the dream persisted every day. I decided to take the Basic workshop with the Foundation for Shamanic Studies. There, it was confirmed that indeed I had been called to become a shamanic healer and I should heed the call or possibly face undesirable consequences. The dream is as follows:
In my dream it is late at night and darkness surrounds me. I walk into a room and stare in utter amazement of what is before me. I am overwhelmed by the sheer size and power of this creature. I step a little closer and notice I am barely reaching his abdomen. I gaze up into his face. I have seen him before; he is a huge Alaskan grizzly bear. His eyes are gentle and intense, painful and all-knowing. His mouth is open, exposing his enormous incisors. He sits on the floor, resting his back against the wall. Tufts of his thick, coarse fur and hide have been pulled up and away, revealing raw muscle underneath. The wounds are patterned around his mid-section. On the top of each wound and tuft of fur rests white, burning candles. I pull back to take in the whole picture and behold his astounding entirety. He has the appearance of an old-fashioned Christmas tree decorated with burning candles. It is beautiful and a little eerie. I zoom in for a closer look. The exposed muscle is pink and healthy. The fur is layered with several shades of warm brown and the candles are white, topped with an orange flame.
Then, I got slammed…
( to be continued..)