Ancestral Dreaming: Of Blood & Spirit
Many moons ago when our ancestors first awoke from their Dreaming, the Great Council of Spirits passed on a new vision. With sweet whispers carried on warm winds, they revealed that it was time for the People of the Trees to embark on a long quest.
Emerging from their slumber they climbed down from dense foliage, gathering in great numbers, guided East towards the Rising Sun. They crossed prairie and savannah; exposing themselves to the scorching day and icy night of bare tundra. They braved mountain and canyon, weaving wetland and swamp.
The seasons were many, as the young turned to old and the old returned as young. Like mycelial mapping under forest floor, they covered great distances; the fruits of their awakening sprouting like springtime seedlings, as some settled, and some carried on. These were the peoples of Africa, spreading their stories far and wide, to Eurasia and beyond.
Meanwhile, in the great southern lands, another story was emerging.
The Serpent of the Underworld stirred as the first trickle of the full moon's light touched his scales. With a giant yawn and a belly full of mystery, his breath carried fresh spirit into the heart of the first Aborigines of Australia. New footstep gave birth to new songline, threading memories for generations to come. Journeying across lush forest, coastal scrub, and red soil, they gazed upward, constellation as compass, setting sail northward towards what would become the great dynasties of Asia and beyond.
As the cycles passed, the people of the East, North, West and South would weave their strands together under black ocean and white celestial river. Like braided sweetgrass, some strands held strong, while others dried up and flaked off into the sands of time.
Neanderthal. Denisovan. Floresiensis. Luzonensis. Erectus. Sapiens.
Many came, and many went. And still, the Great Wheel continues to turn.
The light of the Morning Star was just beginning to touch the horizon. With pipe in hand, the taste of tobacco was felt before the first whispers of smoke caressed the crisp air. White cockatoo feathers fluttered in the north-westerly breeze, bundled together on the sacred axis-mundi overlooking the fire; seabird feathers bound steadfast on top, uniting land, sky and sea.
He cradled the talismans protected by buckskin pouch that hung from his neck. Serpentine from Machu Picchu mountain. Reindeer Antler from Mongolia. Labradorite crystal from Finland. Ayahuasca vine from the Amazon. Smoky Quartz from Africa. An amalgamation of stories. Different times, different places.
With another toke of his pipe, he reflected on the marvel and mystery before him; silently acknowledging and offering gratitude to many…
The Great Creator for gifting him with this miracle of life. Father Sky, keeper of time, illuminating from above. Mother Earth, nurturing all, nourishing from below. All the ancient wisdom encoded in the Four Directions and the Spirit Keepers of the Medicine Wheel. The traditional custodians of the land and indigenous elders - past, present and future. The ancestors of the land, and his ancestors of blood and spirit.
Gazing upward, he allowed his thoughts to hover on his ancestors, empowering the grey hue of passing cloud to carry his consciousness into it's own Dreaming.
Ephemeral whispers penetrated the hazy fog of remembrance; brief glimmers of long forgotten timelines appearing from the mist. A map of the world appeared with coloured lines tracing multiple songlines across the planet. He saw the great migrations out of Africa and Australia. Images flickered like candle flame as hominids interwove strands of DNA across the globe.
The rhythmic pattern of reindeer hooves were felt as the Sami of Fennoscandia pounded skin and drum. The great shamans of Northern Asia danced around sacred flame, their thumping footsteps in sync with the Great Mother's heartbeat, quaking from Siberia to Mongolia and beyond.
Celtic ceremonies blossomed as Druids gathered in ritual robes under the enchanted light of full moon. Viking warriors set sail across ocean; elaborate dragon carvings decorating bow and stern, carrying the energy of violent conquests. The crushing force of Spanish invaders was felt as they wiped out pagan rituals and demolished indigenous culture.
Hunter gatherers drifted across European landscapes. Drafts of wind flowed up canyon cliff, while long dark hair, white garments and buckskin pouch of medicine man swayed in the North American breeze.
The rise of gold and turquoise from Egyptian temples blinked into view, while the vortex of mystery schools swirled deep within hieroglyphic covered temples.
Initiates were led by flaming torch and the disorienting bellow of conch shell into the dark chambers of Chavin de Huantar - the cradle of consciousness - communing with the sacred plant teachers of the Andes.
Babaylans of the pre-colonial Philippine Islands - herbalists, healers and medicine people - called in visions within the shadow of mountainside cave, making offering to spirit through prayer and song…
The piercing caw of Raven perched atop nearby conifer broke his spell. His consciousness landed back in his body, as he settled back into the gentle rhythm of breath. Moments of remembrance from ancestors - blood and spirit? Or fanciful dreaming and romanticizing of myth and legend?
Family knowledge had revealed ancestral lineages from Irish, English and Danish heritage on his father's side, with Filipino and Spanish on his mothers.
DNA results suggested a mixture of:
• 38% South East Asia (Philippines - Malay - Java)
• 5% North Asia (Siberia - Mongolia - China)
• 2% Central Asia (India)
• 30% British Isles (Ireland - England)
• 20% East/South East Europe (Italy - Greece - Poland - Hungary - Germany)
• 2% Finland (Part origins of the Sami)
• 1% Oceania (Australian & New Guinea Aborigines)
• 1% South America
• 1% East Central Africa
Even with the great expansion of technology and scientific understanding, with our diverse ethnic landscape and multi-cultural modern era, tracing back our complex ancient ancestral groups has it's limits. From the sacred to profane, magic to mundane, violent to peaceful, our ancestral lineages span a rich contrast of backgrounds.
Yet, despite all the not knowing of the scientific mind, the knowing of the soul can cast light on these times of amnesia. When we still the overthinking mind, and allow ourselves passage into the portals of Dreaming, our ancestral and archetypal guides can show face, helping us on our healing journeys and supporting us into a more loving and rich connection within the Great Web of Life.
The conjuring of myth and legend can bring wells of inspiration as we dream new dreams into existence. In all their shapes and forms, these songs of remembrance can serve as guidance towards the path of reconnection; the path of beauty; the unique path for us that feels right and good; a path based on our own personal connection to the natural world around us, as we learn from ancestral cultural timescapes and integrate nature based rituals and wisdom into our lives.
From distant timescapes, we have journeyed far and wide, ebbing and flowing, rising and falling, to find ourselves right here, right now, breathing in the same breath that our ancestors breathed, many thousands of years ago.
With another toke of his pipe, he allowed these visionary whispers to find refuge in his body; the energetic shivers of cellular remembrance sending electric surges from his cheeks down his spine. He offered a prayer to the Creator Spirit, for prosperity, wise relating, and health, for himself and his family, as he settled into the humbling feeling of all that came before, from this Earthly plane, and from the Galaxies and Star Nations above and beyond.
From the first quest of the People of the Trees, many moons ago, countless Dreams had come and gone. And from the first Dreaming, to this day now, from thought and intention, with fire and flame, through conscious breath, as the final whisp of this morning’s tobacco smoke carried prayer on wind, a new vision was being called into existence.
And so it was, a new dream was being born.
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