Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The meaning of flowers in dreams

Much of my shamanic guidance comes in dreams.  I first dreamed about the Journey Oracle in 1992 and have been following the dream images for the oracle cards ever since.  Last night I had a dream of guidance about a stone oracle, a Sastun, that is requiring me to discover the meaning of flowers in dreams.  I understand to set an intention when asking for a dream and my purpose for this dream was ,“what do I do now to care for the Sastun? This is one of three dreams I recorded:

 I’m with L at her house.  Even though it is not the season I see bright red tulips blooming in front of an evergreen hedge.  I borrow a trailing yellow- blooming plant in a wire hanging basket to use to open the door into the back of the house, but it is too flimsy and doesn't work.  When I return the basket to its place over a hole—something unseen in the hole pulls the plant in.  I tug it back out but the plant looks the worse for wear.  L arrives, and says she will keep the all-day visit by setting up at the craft store.

What are the meanings of flowers in this dream?  The bright red tulips out of season certainly could indicate early spring, and mean that this work of caring for the Sastun will be clear during that time of year.   Intense colors of flowers also indicate intense energy and feelings associated with the color.  Like this brilliant purple rhododendron is the color of power, intense red is the color of heart-felt passion, and of the core energies of family and survival. The “home” where I am looking for help caring for the Sastun is a place marked by strong feelings of family, and contains passionate energy, even if these feelings are at times “out of season”.

The yellow flowered plant in the wire basket is the wrong form for doing the task I intend.   Just like this Iris seems out of place in this drift of beach gravel, trailing plants in wire baskets are too insubstantial to hold open a door—I am using the wrong plant and form to do the work of caring for the Sastun.  I understand that the third chakra of personal power is associated with the color Yellow, so the form of personal power that I am presently using to care for the Sastun is the wrong form for doing the work.   The plant being pulled beneath the ground is a metaphor for my personal power being pulled into a place I do not easily fit or belong, and also an image of being "grounded" in my care of this Oracle.  The effort to pull myself back from the practices I have been following with the Sastun have taken a toll on my personal power.

So who is L?  Someone who lives where there are intense energies of family and survival.  Someone who has passionate energy, even if sometimes out of sync.  L is also someone who is willing to spend a full measure of time setting up a “power” store—as kraft in German means strength or force.  Although the visit will be intense, the flowers in this dream have helped me recognize just who L is—a woman friend I need to go see, who is as beautiful, helpful and dangerous as these Brugmansia flowers.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Winter Solstice rituals and decorations

Winter solstice rituals have been the centerpiece of my year for more than 2 decades.  I can feel the energy building toward this sacred day celebrating the birth of the sun, as the light recedes to a pale wash in late November.    I am especially drawn to the power of trees in my winter solstice rituals, and to finding ways of honoring their magic in our lives here on this out island in the Discovery Passage of BC.

I honor apple trees during this winter celebration of the longest night.  The apple is the tree that most represents the Goddess, and women’s ancient wisdom, to me. When cut horizontally the 5 pointed star, or pentacle, appears within the pattern of the core.  The apple holds the special place of spiritual origins for me, because my first awakening to a spiritual practice came through full moon rituals grounded in Wiccan teaching.

I honor cedar as the grandmother of my shamanic relationship to the other-than-human-worlds of nature and spirit.  When I first began making shamanic frame drums I understood to tell the tree the purpose to which I planned to put its child branch, and to leave a gift at the root for the twig.  These small offerings of broken corn kernels and meal have grown throughout the years into a mindfulness practice to never take anything, even the most ordinary pebble on the beach, without putting something in its place to keep from making a hole in the spirit world.

I honor family by decorating my winter solstice windows with trees that come from away.  This candle holder made of a birch log came from my partner’s family woodlot in Idaho, a tree species that does not grow here.   This is a reminder to me that I live on the bones of someone else’s family and ancestors; my ancestors’ bones are far away in England, Scotland, Germany and France, and so I am always a guest on this soil I call home.

While I love the twinkle of colored lights and the glow of candle flame that wavers in the heat from the wood stove during winter solstice, this honoring of trees in my winter solstice decorations comes from the same understanding I wrote about for learning from nature when creating the The Journey Oracle. “Does not the sun shine and rain fall on one as much as the other?  Is not every entity living the one that is adored?  No creature is better than another.  Each one is the perfect teacher of its unique qualities and usefulness.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Asking an Oracle is exercising free will

I believe asking an Oracle is exercising free will.  I seem to be able to find lots of reasons to consult something more mysterious than myself during those moments when I want counsel that is wiser than myself.  For me, an Oracle does not tell me yes or no—this would be the negation of my free will.    An Oracle shows me the traces of unseen or unconscious hopes and fears; of motives and perspectives that may be operating in my hidden present, while leaving the responsibility for my choices and actions with me.  I recently had the opportunity to conduct two readings that illustrate the Journey Oracle’s ability to show pathways without demanding which route be taken.

A young woman asked me to comment on the “animal streaked with white” in her Journey Oracle card image.  I remembered the magical meaning of colors in Wylundt’s Book of Incense:  White: brings about awareness and understanding; for all general magical workings; brings about happiness, honesty, loyalty, peace; protection (physical and psychic): purification, religion and spirituality; tranquility.  This young woman was concerned about a possible negative interpretation of the dark red “shadow” on the right side margin of the image—yet the highest creature “streaked with white” brings a sense of protection and tranquility to the oracle card image.  It is her choice to determine which way the meaning goes.

I conducted a joint reading with a friend about what is keeping our creative enterprises from finding the sponsors and supporters who would help her music and my art move out to a larger public.  We dropped this oracle card while shuffling the deck together.  We described this image as “an old wolf peering out, a creature gaunt with burnout, a waiting, a seeking.”  As we moved through the reading we discovered that this image was not of us, but of the spirit world waiting for us to stop endlessly finding perfection and move our works to finish.  We suddenly said the phrase this way:  “Move on.  Out of the way.” This has a different tone and meaning than “Move on out of the way.”  It is our choice to place the emphasis and therefore shade the meaning.

An Oracle prompts revelation by unveiling mystery more than by providing answers.  The subtlety and layering of the Oracle’s phrases and questions require us to use our free will to access deeper wisdom that expands and transforms into meaningful action and self-knowledge.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A dreamer's drum

 This new drum is calling out for a dreamer.  Someone who can read the shapes of messages behind the stars.  A drummer who hears the songs of the night sky.

This new drum of Cortes Island deer and BC spruce wood is fastened with a pentacle, the most widely revered of all esoteric symbols.   In ancient times the pentacle meant 'life' or 'health' and was derived from the apple core pentacle of the Earth Mother, according to The Women's Dictionary of  Symbols and Sacred Objects. 

 The pentacle of this Dreamer's drum is also an interlacement pattern, which means its double layer of rawhide thongs is one continuous thread of invocation to the Sacred.  The ancients generally regarded stars as living entities: angels, legendary heroes, the souls of the unborn or the newly dead.

This drum was built during the summer season of light, but has waited until this season of  darkness to be offered.  As dreams need time to incubate in darkness before coming into their strength just before dawn, so some spiritual companions need time to mature into their purpose.

Please check the posting on YouTube in the next weeks for the voice of this drum being played with a felted drumstick.  If this is your drum unpainted, please email me at  Otherwise I look forward to sharing with you, during the first weeks of December, the painted face of this Dreamer's drum.