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NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
Ancient Knowledge, Dreams, Visions And Understanding
Article ID: 10004
Age Group: Adult
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Author: Lady Abigail [a WitchVox Sponsor]
Posted: February 19th. 2006
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Dreams, impressions and visions have been a part of my life since my first memories. How excited I became on those special nights, nights my Great Grandmother called “dream nights.” Those special nights only came a few times a year. Sometimes it was cold with ice or snow on the ground, so being outdoors was impossible. But for those that came in the summer, what magickal nights they would truly be.
I was awakened in the early morning by thunder shaking the house. It was wood framed and the windows rattled with each clap. I could hear the wind slapping the branches of the willow tree against my bedroom window. The rain was beating so hard against the glass that it looked like a blue waterfall each time the lightening flashed. I was sitting up and watching out the window to see what might come next, when my Great Grandmother’s gentle voice called out for me.
She was up and already dressed. She was lighting the small candle on the table; I could see her long skirt with the clean, white, crisp apron tied in back. Her hair, braided long, was coming across her shoulder and looked like a thick silver rope. As she pinned her hair back into a bun, she said, “They’re just cleaning the sky, little one, so we can see the dreams in heaven tonight.”
She knew I had no fear of storms; I liked watching them. But I was worried that we would have to wait until another night, because of the rain. I was assured it would clear in plenty of time to read and enjoy the night.
Dream nights began in the evening, on the eve, as the sun would just begin to set. I would later understand this was the eve of the Winter and Summer Solstices. These were days of balance and harmony, days for seeking understanding.
It had been an especially long day for me. The storm kept us inside until afternoon and then I had to take a nap. Naps were something I really didn’t like.
By the time I had awakened, it was late afternoon. I could hear my Great Grandmother working in the kitchen; she was frying chicken for our picnic. I could smell the fresh baked corn muffins. I was allowed the special task of making the honey butter for our holiday night.
The sun was hot and the morning’s rain had made the day muggy. It seemed like a lifetime to me, as a child, waiting, as we got our baskets packed and ready to go. But soon my Great Grandmother picked up the blanket and it was time to go. I was so impatient; it felt like I had a swarm of bumble bees flying around in my stomach.
We walked the narrow path through the back woods to the meadow. I can still hear the birds, singing as we walked along. That meadow was miles from the house and used for growing hay that would be harvested in early fall. It was overflowing with flowers, giving off the sweet aromas from the hot summer day.
The sun was just lowering and caused long shadows on the ground as we arrived. I knew my way from there. It wasn’t long until my Great Grandmother was calling me down out of the great oak tree. She had placed our picnic underneath it, in the shade, where we made a small campfire in the ring of stones placed there since before I could remember.
It still brings joy to my heart, remembering how I had listened to my Great Grandmother as she would tell the legends of her family. As the sun began to set, I liked to lie on the blanket and watch the sky as each tiny star began to show. I would memorize my Great Grandmother’s face as she spoke to me of amazing stories and visions.
This was the time and place I learned to dream. Not the dreams that come from sleep, but the dreams that come as a gift; guided dreams, vision quests, impressions, the time in which we seek knowledge and understanding from the powers of light and dark.
By whatever name you call it, this is the power to walk the veils and travel time by means of energy, sight, or shape-shifting to gain knowledge in divination.
As I lay there, with my head on my Great Grandmother’s lap, I watched the moon slowly rise, making the night as bright as day. Visions and dreams, sounds and songs, came racing across the sky like brilliant flashes of lives recorded from people and places I did not know.
I saw those that lived long before the others came. I saw vast oceans, snow covered peaks, deserts, and lands alive with nature. I walked in lands erased by time and covered by progress. I joined my hands with those that had passed on before me; those that had paid the heaviest price for being different. I learned that I was made up of many parts, past and present, hopes and dreams, not all my own.
My first visions were times of learning. Learning who and what I was, learning that, even as a small child, I carried the knowledge and history of many lifetimes. They were memories of different people, spirits, some passing through, some native, and some that never walked this earth.
This gift of visions comes from learning how to utilize your magick and technique to access the powers of transforming and transformational control. This is found within birth, life, and death, as experienced in the seasons of all existence. To travel in this existence, you must learn to develop and deepen the use and understanding of ancient magickal traditions. Like my Great Grandmother, those who excelled in this ability were called Shamans, the Wise Ones, or Witches.
Again, the name is less important that the feat. It does not matter if you are female or male; it is in learning to respect all things, no matter the direction in life or beyond. If you seek understanding, then you must learn of all the worlds, seen and unseen. You must learn to be a master of your own state of mind. If you desire to enter the trance state, that which is both dreams, sleeping and waking, you must desire understanding of yourself, living and past. You must seek comprehension of who and what you are, before seeking to find answers in the veils of conscious and unconscious thought.
This gift, this power, comes from a consciousness beyond mere idea. Some may enter through meditation, beating a drum, dancing, chanting, or by using mystical brews, or joining with those who have passed before. These are only a few ways some begin this journey.
Once you call for a vision by way of a vision quest, lucidly dreaming, or trance, you must remain focused and conscious, always well aware that journeying into the veils means crossing boundaries of many worlds. This can only be done by seeking to gain insight and knowledge; information that can be brought back into this world and made real. This is done by validating what you learn through words and works, ritual, healing, and magick with complete respect.
I believe that to communicate with the spirit world, you must have a belief in the existence of individual spirits; spirits that not only exist within the consciousness of nature, but inhabit the consciousness of natural objects, as well. This comes as you learn that existence is both spiritual and physical. The two are one. We are both our spiritual and physical bodies. Once this is understood, you can unlock the possibilities to all.
Over the years, I have had to be careful who I allowed into this part of my life. To allow others to know the gifts I have been blessed with could have not only brought disbelief, but danger as well. Reactions from some can be saddening and painful. There are those that have no eyes to see beyond their own minuscule world.
Why? Is the idea of seeking insights by way of personal journeying and visions less acceptable than going to a psychiatrist to get understanding of our inner demons? Both are a seeking and finding within our own spirits; only the philosophies differ by time and traditions.
If this vision questing is your desire for seeking and divination of insight, first learn to visualize and guide yourself to your own personal goals. Then, be wise; learn how to form clear mental images. Learn to focus and direct energy in magick and ritual. As you seek and grow to appreciate your visions, they will come with greater clarity. This clarity will begin to open the door to understanding your own spirit. Then, in time, and with patience, you will begin traveling further than any physical existence.
For me, a vision quest is a quest for the visions within my soul. They help heal us or make us whole, both spiritually and personally. In times past, the elders taught the young how to find their path in life and find their spirits to aid them. I was fortunate; I had a Great Grandmother that taught me the old ways. Today, that is not as common; many have to be self-taught and travel alone.
Today, I can only travel back to the meadow within my visions and dreams. The field that was once filled with life is now gone; the great oak tree cut down, and the stones erased by time and progress. But this will not stop me from lying on the quilt beneath the great oak tree, or talking with my Great Grandmother.
Many have learned too well not to see and not to hear. They live in a world without color, afraid of the truth. Children of the light choose to be open to the visions, the dreams, and the spirits walking with us. We are unafraid of the truth.
Be blessed as you walk in the rainbows of life and witness all the colors before you.
Location: Greenfield, Indiana
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