For the last three years, I’ve traveled to Egypt as a ceremonial guide, sound healer and dream worker. My role in this has been to offer music, poetics and support for groups of individuals taking a soul-journey to an ancient land of rich, surviving spiritual wonder. Over the course of my sojourns, I have been mindful of paying attention to my dreams and learned much about the ancient world. Through this course of trips, I have also found inspiration at home and abroad to learn as much as possible about the various connections between music and dreams – both in ancient and contemporary times. Various threads of curiosity have tickled my attention as they’ve woven across the loom of my adventures. I find them still, composing a wild and unfinished garment of experiences I have been about discovering on my travels in this fertile, surprising land.
In 2012, I had a bevy of dreaming and waking serendipities, which I feel illuminate the way that creative and attentive work with dreams benefits both the dreamer and his/her community on many multiple layers of meaning and experience. While on a short layover in Jamaica New York on my way to Egypt this time around, I had the following dream:
“Beach Swim below the Mountain of the Ancestors”
“I find myself at the beach, with others, including my waking life partner. We’re playing in the waves, and I sense this is a place somewhat like Hawai’i and/or Mexico – somehow a combination of both. We’ve been to the nearby mountain. This high peak reminds me of a place I often visit in dreams and which I connect, on one important level, with the energy of the Ancestors. It rises up into the sky just above a wave-lapped wall up from the surf where we are swimming in the ocean. It’s time to go for a bite to eat. As I have this thought/realization in the dream, my former boss from many years ago (also a good friend in waking life to this day) shows up along with one of my former work-mates – they are both women. Their names, I discover later, mean ‘the forest’, and ‘of noble birth’. I see the mountain up beyond the beach where these two individuals have suddenly appeared. There is a ring of cloud around the top, a ways below the summit. It seems like bad timing, as the woman who was my boss has a sore on her lower back and is asking me to help her with this, or is complaining about it to me. She’s uncharacteristically ‘trashy’ and seems ‘needy’. My attention is distracted away from my friends, by her unexpected presence along with the other woman. At this moment, I get taken under by a big wave, eventually come up and look at the whole scene as before. The beach, the wall and the mountain behind the other figures are stil there; my friends are irritated with me for dilly-dallying and paying attention to this woman, rather than going with them to get some food.” End of Dream
At the time of this recollection, I paid special attention to record it in my journal, ponder it and turn it over in my mind and heart. I had very little idea of what to make of the experience (something we’re all prone to, when working dreams alone, due to a phenomenon known as ‘unique blindness’ which says that it’s often difficult for us to ‘get’ the meanings and messages spun through our own dreams, because it’s hard for us to see ourselves – as if we’re looking from within and seeking a clear view from without). No less, I spent time with this dream reality and came back to it as my Egyptian advent unfolded. This begins to describe the way that ‘Dream Catchers’ – folks who work and play with our own and others dreams – seek to make a healthy habit of tending a nest for the strange and wonderful, sometimes confusing productions of the psyche. With dreams, it’s as if one has been given the charge to look after a burgeoning garden. Even after the starters have been planted in the soil, much care and attention is needed for the growth of a healthy and diverse harvest. The vital living forces of the dream garden are to be watched, felt, watered, fertilized and nourished along the way to any crop that might be taken in when what is grown and greened becomes ‘ripe’. Over the years I’ve learned not to put away images and events that enliven my nights during sleep just because I don’t at first understand their meaning or import to my life. As Carl Jung has said, the more we turn such energies around in our waking awareness, “something almost always comes of it”.
The story of my 2012 Egypt trip continues in Part 2, “coming soon” All Blessings, 13 Thank Yous! Travis W