In the blog The Mayan Connection and Ritual Social Activism, I explored one of the rituals that came out of my interpretation of a significant dream. During the two week-process required to come to the conclusion in my previous article, I realized that many people may be experiencing significant dreams and are unclear about how to analyze them. Perhaps you dream often and are not sure what dreams are significant. This article is designed to help you sort your own experiences and utilize them to drive your spiritual growth. It may be helpful to read the first article, as I will be referring to it.
As I recounted in the previous article, I woke from my dream knowing that something significant had happened. How did I know that?
The first step is to train yourself to remember dreams by setting an alarm clock to a random time at night with a pencil and paper on the night stand. When the alarm goes off, immediately write whatever comes to mind. Do this on a regular basis and you will begin to remember your dreams. Eventually you will come to understand that you can dream about mundane things like cleaning or working, and sometimes those dreams have an odd edge to them. Mr. Snuffaluffagus is helping you sweep, for example. These dreams are purported by dream researchers as the brain’s way of letting off steam. Most do not think that dreams of this mundane type are of particular importance when discussing deeper meanings.
Another type of dream frequently experienced are fantastical dreams. These dreams can be muddy or lack color and often fuse a story line with lots of symbolism. These dreams are significant when discussing the things the dreamer thinks they know and what is truly known by the dreamer’s subconscious. The importance of these dreams is for spiritual development and growth.
The final type of dream I wanted to discuss is the vivid dream. Sometimes these vivid events can occur while waking, and often these dreams seem to have a crystal clarity to them. They are typically brightly colored and can often center around a figure of Divinity. These dreams can combine the first two types mentioned. Sometimes the first two types act as a lead in for these vivid dreams or visitations by Divinity.[i] At times, these significant visions occur while awake. Some will hear Divinity’s call, see symbols in their mind’s eye, or feel a series of emotions tied with a message of action or explanation.
You can practice having vivid type dreams by participating in guided meditations. Guided meditations build the mental muscle to help access the plane of existence where vivid dreams are experienced.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat Until You Can Record
In any case, dreams or visions should be recorded as soon as possible. If you cannot, for some reason, record the dream or event immediately, repeat the information to yourself on a loop until it is committed to your long-term memory. Or, take out your phone and use the recording function to talk through the dream you had or the event details so that you can consider them later. If a computer or phone is not available, take out some paper and write down everything you can remember. Do not edit yourself here. Write down whatever you think is significant even if it makes no sense. Don’t rely upon your long-term memory for too long. Write down your feelings and your impressions even if they seem unrealistic or out of place.
In the previous article, I do not elaborate on knowing I needed to record this dream for myself. However, it was during the recording of this dream that I began to understand the dream’s importance.
After the dream, I hastily got dressed. I was struck by a sense of urgency that the Goddess had spoken to me and I needed to record what I had seen and what She had said. I replayed the dream over and over in my head so that I wouldn’t lose anything of value.
Downstairs, my computer on my lap, I began to record the dream as pain that had been in my lower back for about a week began to intensify. Now it was throbbing higher and higher as if my entire back was cramping. Determined, I continued to type, trying to ignore my insistent discomfort. Then the throbbing began in my lower abdomen. I typed as fast as I could, the sensation turning malicious and spiked, with sudden moments of sharp pain that seem to transfer into my arms and hands. My fingers seemed to dance upon the keys in physical spasm instead of directed typing.
After the second attack, I became aware that the pain was from an on-going bladder infection. Suddenly the days of fever, the back pain, and the irritability made sense. As the pain ramped up, I swore loudly and jumped into action (to the befuddled looks of my dogs Alice and Ziek).[ii] Stashing a waggy-tailed Ziek into his kennel and securing Alice’s summer vest on her, I dashed to the door to run to my doctor’s office. I got two blocks in my car before the pain was so bad that I turned back, worried I would kill Alice if I continued to try and drive.
Back at the house, I scrambled for Plan B, hoping to ensure I was not completely incapacitated for the rest of the day and could make it to the doctor’s. I grabbed pain medicine I keep for this condition and downed it with a full glass of water. Then I grabbed corn chips and began to stuff my face as I paced a circuit through the kitchen, living room, front entry and back. Every time I passed the chips, I would stuff a handful in my mouth. I refilled my glass with water whenever I passed by the refrigerator door. Alice struggled to follow me and not trip me. She finally took a sentry position where she could see most of my circuitous walk. Ziek, confused, kept tripping me with presentations of different toys that he thought would provide a much better game than the Curse and Pace game we were currently playing. I alternately spent time in the bathroom and doing the Curse and Pace thing for the next few hours. All the while I continued to repeat the dream in my head. Finally, the medicine reached my bladder, and I was able to go back and finish recording my dream.
When Things of Significance Happen…. There Is An OutCry
I am influenced a great deal by my upbringing with my Christian Cherokee Grandmother. When she would start her day, her will bent to some purpose, and obstacles would spring forth, she would say, “Not today! Get thee behind me, Satan!”
Even though my thoughts about Satan, Christianity, and the obstacles that present themselves to me have changed, my opinion of what it means when I am thwarted has not. I no longer believe that Satan is an active being trying to hinder my doing God’s good will. However, I know that when someone moves toward spiritual or personal revelations, there is a simple test the universe consistently poses: The “How Bad Do you Want This” Test.
The universe asks the question, “How bad do you want to learn this? Do this? Know this? Find this?”
When we answer the universe replies, “Are you sure? Are you sure you want to know what your dream really means? Are you sure you want to remember something that seems so significant to you? Are you willing to suffer and then come back? How bad do you want it?”
Birth, life, and death are not meant to be quiet events. They are met with great cries of triumph and pain that place a person into that next stage, be it directly after birth, into the next cycle through death, or in trying to find the revelations of an examined life. When something I think is important happens and I then immediately face an obstacles to recording, examining, or acting upon that revelation, I allow frustration to morph into determination. Because I am sure. I really want to know. I want it bad. I want an examined life more than I want to be free from my pain. I look at the connections between whatever is frustrating me and the event I have just experienced.
In this case, one connection was that the illness the Goddess alerted me to and began to draw out of my body mirrored the malice and violence being perpetrated against the body of the Earth in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Violence and malice are a physical illness upon the body of the Earth. This point was driven home through my physical illness. The fact that the illness in my body had gone unnoticed reflected the Western World’s general ignorance of the violence, drug trade, and poverty in the region large numbers of immigrants are coming from.
The flashes of personal and group worship happening without pomp and ceremony indicated a need for consistency of daily worship that I lack. Every breath of worship and prayer breathes power into the Divinities and Elementals I pay tribute to. As the power grows, so does the ability of those Deities and Elementals to effect a change on this physical plan. My daily meditations are integral to my spiritual health and the spiritual health of the world. It is the latter I had not considered previously.
I didn’t come to these revelations easily. I came to them by continuing to pay attention to news reports, articles, and the research I did regarding my dream. This is another litmus test I have for spiritual events in my life. Divinity-inspired messages have layers to them. Divinity rarely has just one thing to say to us. In this case, I imagine when re-reading these articles in two or three years, something else will be revealed to me that I cannot comprehend at this moment.
Research, Research, Research – A Dreamer’s Friend?
After I have met the Universe’s challenge, successfully record the event or dream, and begin the analysis, research can begin. As with initially writing down the dream, I begin my research on the Internet and pay close attention to the things that I find first. I “allow my first impression to stick” when I do research. This was significant in writing the last article because I came across a Mayanism website. Mayanism is a spiritual movement that attempts the cultural and spiritual resurrection of ancient Mayan and Aztec beliefs. Since 1987, José Argüelles has led a resurrection of Mayan belief and spiritual practices, based on a combination of personal research in different codexes related to the Aztec and Mayan cultures and Masonic beliefs and practices. This means, however, that spiritual teachings started by Argüelles are not necessarily academically or archeologically sound.
This tied into the dream’s lesson about my daily worship, its impact upon the nature of Deity, and the strength of the Deity worshiped. My first brush with Hanab Ku was to see it as a symbol of the All God, the God that is the same despite all the different mantles God takes on. The God that is Goddess. The Goddess that is God. The All God, as I understand it. This resonated with me as true in that place that is beyond logic, the place that tests truth on the psychic plan and not necessarily the physical one.
Further research uncovered the idea that Hanab Ku actually represents the Christian God, and that José Argüelles actually refers to an Aztec symbol on a mantle priests wore, also known as “Spider Water.” Then I tumbled into the Meso-American Website, where Miguel Hidalgo discusses The Omnipresent Mayan Deity that Didn’t Exist. In this article, he talks about how Argüelles appropriated the Hanab Ku symbol we use today from an Aztec codex, the Codex Magliabechiano, a 16th century Aztec Codex.In essence, José Argüelles seems to be much like our beloved Gerald Gardner for the Mayan/Aztec cultures. He combines Masonic teachings with Aztec/Mayan teachings to generate what Hidalgo describes as “connecting things that are not at all connectable.”
The fact is, Hidalgo provided spiritual proof regarding one the messages of my dream. If something, some being is worshiped long enough, that Being will rise and be as powerful as the belief that gave birth to it.
In past years, New Age practitioners and followers of Mayanism – in contrary to Mayanists, who are the serious scholars – widely accepted the principle of Hunab Ku as one upper deity of the Maya. If you dare, you can search for “Hunab Ku” in the search engine of your choice. You get thousands of results, all repeating the same wrong things and presenting them as facts.
It is obvious that Mayanism followers have been proliferating the idea that Hanab Ku is an upper Deity of all things. This means that there have been worship and prayers to Hunab Ku as the being José Argüelles put forth in his 1987 book, The Mayan Factor. My first thoughts regarding worship have been confirmed by this discovery.
My research around Hunab Ku continued and lead me to the World Thirteen Moon Calendar Change Peace Movement and the Planet Art Network. This led me to The Banner of Peace. Originally designed by Russian artist and humanitarian Nicholas Roerich (1874 – 1947), the symbol was meant to represent the sanctity and human right of indigenous cultures to retain their indigenous beliefs. It is tied to the Roerich Pact, an inter-American treaty about the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historic Monuments. This treaty asserted that legal protection needed to be extended to cultural and historical monuments above the needs of military defense. In essence, “Where there is peace, there is culture. Where there is culture, there is peace” accurately reflects the goals of the Roerich Pact.
“Where there is peace, there is culture
Where there is culture, there is peace.”
(Nicholas Roerich, 1874-1947)
One website described the Banner of Peace like the Red Cross. The Red Cross protects hospitals internationally, and the Banner of Peace was meant to protect culture in a similar way.[iii] Having recently seen The Monuments Men movie with my family, I immediately made the connection between the Roerich Pact and the events depicted. It was in opposition to the destruction of World War I that Roerich began to make his appeals to international governments to protect ancient artifacts and cultures. The Monuments Men paints a living work of art that reflects the need and the right of humanity to have its cultural objects protected from the destruction of war. We see in Hitler the antithesis of this principle: the Nazis understood that by destroying culture, they could better maintain the grip of war.
Understanding all this, I came back to my first thoughts after I woke.
In light of my dream, I wondered if the dismissal of the ancient Gods and Goddesses of that region had allowed malice and evil to take a foothold there. Was the poverty, violence, and death squads these people are fleeing grounded in some way to forsaking ancient beliefs and Deities? As worship has fallen off, perhaps the very stop gaps that keep communities and people from the violence and the greed that spawns it have deteriorated, allowing the energy of evil free rein to ravage the Earth and the people who live in that place upon Her.
This took me back to the dream and the news I had seen the day before my dream. I remember news casters talking about Honduras as a place where many of these immigrants were coming from. Checking a quick research of the BBC news, I found the article that the radio news I had heard was based upon. Sure enough, Honduras was one of the countries mentioned. I looked up ancient Honduras and discovered several native peoples listed: Lencas, Tol, Pech, Mayangna, and the Mayans. Out of these cultures some have completely disappeared, one is struggling to survive with only around 3,800 persons, and other groups have been reduced to their language. Reading this brought me back to the Banner of Peace, the Roerich Pact, and to the thoughts I had right after waking.
Through destruction of cultural elements, war, destruction and violence has taken root in Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. The first shots in this war were to destroy indigenous beliefs, places of worship, and ways of worship. The ancient temples are tourist attractions and rarely visited by the descendants of those who once venerated there. There is a slipping away of culture, and it is being replaced with violence, drug cartels, and poverty.
A Day Out of Time, July 25, 2014
Thinking about all this, I was wondering what I could do to ease the suffering of humans who currently are walking and traveling in the hopes of refuge in the United States. What can I do about the Americans who view these waves of huddled masses as an invasion that is a nuisance and threat to America? What about the seed of all this? What can I do about the struggles of the indigenous beliefs being lost in the region of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala?
The Day Out of Time is a period without work to allow for meditation and prayer. During this time, participants ask for forgiveness, give forgiveness in compassion, and be creative as a way to recharge our personal spiritual batteries. It is a time when the Mayan wheel turns and a new cycle of time begins.
On July 25, 2014, I will take time to create my own symbol for the safe travel of those fleeing violence. I will create a symbol that will project calm and compassion along the borders of the United States of America. I will combine my creation with the Banner of Peace – the symbol of the Roerich Pact. Then I will raise my voice in prayer, supplication and worship saying:
Ancient Gods and Goddesses of the American Continent: You are not forgotten
Not of your tribe, I call to you across the thousands of miles that separate
Long ago the journey to you was shorter and better known
Now your descendants travel a perilous, uncertain road
Coyotes guide them: that wicked tricky animal-man filled with greed
Invisible barriers, human-made lines denoting a place your children wish to flee
Walls of hate and privilege intertwine into a razor wire filled with denial
Coat those descendants who travel with your ancient powers of protection
Allow this worship to reach your silent halls, those bastions of beauty, art and science
Permit this entreaty to strengthen the land You were once worshiped upon
Sanction my energy to heal the gaping wounds created by eco-violence
And the violence and destruction that drive your people away
I see the Ancient Mothers along the journey rising up to shield those that travel
As it flows from those ancient grounds it reaches my own borders
It moves through every border patrol agent, every person who sees the desperate
The energy rises through my nation touching decision makers about our border walls,
With it comes waves of compassion and understanding, paving the way for the most prosperous country to make accommodation
Ancient Gods and Goddesses of the American Continent: You are not forgotten
Not of your tribe, I call to you across the thousands of miles that separate
With veneration, praise and worship I direct my energy
With the knowledge You are powerful enough to effect the change needed.
Once the initial research and evaluation were done, I formulated two responses to the Goddess’ call. The first was the one written for families and children, and the second one is above. After this, I could slow down and look at the things the dream had to say to and about me, personally.
As Within, So Without
As the days have gone by, I have continued to review this dream and its significance to me. One of the themes that has risen is privilege and prejudice. In Confessions of Confusion: When Does a Child Have Worth?, I write about my opening up to understanding the privilege and prejudices that perpetuate dealing with immigrants to our country like criminals instead of refugees.
However, for me, the dream offers me a chance to explore many of my untamed prejudices. Why was a Mayan Goddess distinctly shown to me as white? Am I unable to relate or pay attention to a presentation of Goddess as a different color? Was the Goddess speaking to me as a white woman because that is all I would pay attention to? Or was the Goddess saying that All Goddesses are One Goddess? I am sure the Goddess was telling me that the color of Her skin, the ceremony She performed, how She was dressed have no bearing on Her power and ability, just as dressing up for circle is only pageantry.
I began to think about whether or not my own privilege and racism made the figure of the Goddess white. Thinking seriously about this question makes me disappointed in myself. Can I truly only see the Divine if the skin color is the same as my own? I believe all faces, regardless of ethnicity, should reflect me because I believe I am part of the whole and the whole is all parts. However, when the Goddess wanted to make a point, she came to me as a white woman. Moving forward, I will have to reflect on whether I have not evolved beyond racism and privilege as much as I desire.
Further, I had to reflect on my disappointment around my view of gay men. What does it say about me that it was the gay men dressed up and posing first? It shames me that I didn’t think heterosexual women are equally to blame for show before the depth of meaning the dream conjured. It was gay men the Goddess pulled from my subconscious to make this representation, even though the truth of my experience has exposed me to many more pompous and made-up heterosexual people in rituals than homosexuals or lesbians.
Then, in my musings, I wrote:
What would happen if witches went to that place in the dark of night and called out the fear that spawned such hatred and malice from the very ground upon which that detention center sat? Would that act calm the energy around the complex and allow the tired and poor a chance to rest before facing an uncertain future? Would it allow the hearts of that area to open and view these immigrants as simply other people fleeing object poverty, violence and death squads? Would it allow them to see themselves in the parents who paid to send their children on a journey that could just as easily end in death as in a successful life? Could they find within themselves a way to seek empathy and compassion instead of fear and hatred and privilege?
This adjusted view started out as “What would happen if witches went to El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras…” After further research and re-reading, I began to see my errors of privilege. My thoughts was innocent enough, “All those poor people need are some good witches to set the energy to rights.” The arrogance with which it was said caught my attention when I re-read it later.
My sixteen-year-old son often says, “I would never…” Often he would never do something that he sees as completely within his control. In his world, the idea that he might face something beyond his control is completely foreign. Filled with white male privilege, he says,
“I would never let myself be abused.”
“I would never send my children on such a dangerous journey.”
“I would never break into another country illegally because of having a hard time somewhere else.”
Please don’t misunderstand, my son is compassionate and loving and awesome. However, it is easy for him to say things like the statements he has made because he has “never” HAD TO. That is the condition of privilege. In privilege, Tree Bear doesn’t worry about sending his children on dangerous journeys or breaking into a country illegally or allowing abuse. He lives in a world where he has been empowered to know that he could fight, he has that right.
As I have studied and reviewed my dream, the failing of my teaching and training of Tree Bear is evident. Tree Bear’s opinions do not lie in his heart; those opinions have been influenced by my own inherent privilege. I didn’t push my child enough to consider that although he has lots of “nevers” in his life, many have “no choices” in theirs. They do not want to break the law and they have no choice. They do not want to be abused and there is no protection for them from the coyotes they hire.
I have not sorted out the prejudice and privilege issues around this dream, and I will be reflecting on these lessons for months and years to come. What disheartened me while simultaneously boosting my resolve was how far I have to go regarding issues of prejudice and privilege. Had I not paid attention to all the parts of the dream, I may have continued to think that I am looking at the world with fair and objective eyes when I am not. Most assuredly, I wouldn’t have considered how to change my parenting style to expose Tree Bear more fully to his inherent privilege.
[i] This article is heavy on my own practice of dream interpretation and magical experiences. If you are hearing voices, seeing things that are not present or experiencing realistic waking dreams, you should be certain you do not have some medical explanation for these experiences. Everything from brain damage, epilepsy, brain tumors, and mental illness can cause these episodes. Part of knowing when Divinity is talking to you is ensuring that you are mentally and physically well so that you can take the greatest advantage of the messages Divinity provides you. It is best to be evaluated by a physician and psychiatrists to ensure your brain and body’s functioning.
[ii] Alice is my Service Dog and Ziek is her baby brother, lap dog and friend.