Posted in Why?

Why the Masters Aren’t Lost

I had often wondered  why my ancestors, the prehistoric people of Europe, Celts for example left no writings to continue the understanding of their culture. I heard it suggested that it was due to the superstition that writing  down their knowledge and religion would allow others to steal and/or corrupt it. (I might think this a ridiculous notion were it not for the number of people who have died in past and who sadly continue to die today due to the corruptions of religions that were founded on love and peace.) Still this was not enough to satisfy my curiosity.

Then I saw a documentary about how, in Japan, many traditional arts, such as sword making, are not studied in books  or classes but must be handed down from master to apprentice over many years of training. It had explained how in this way the craft knowledge from a thousand years was kept the same. At once I was struck both by, how beautiful and admirable such dedication seemed, and how impractical and impossible it  would have been for my ancestors to do the same.

A thousand years ago, the Dark Ages was the well earned name for that period in European history. A result of waves of barbarians fighting over land and loot, the years between the fall of the Roman Empire and the Renaissance saw so many killed or dying young from the loss of any scientific medical knowledge that to imagine a fine craft passed from master to apprentice for generations was nigh impossible then. Only monasteries were able to protect what bits of craft and culture survive.

So it seemed to me a sad truth that most of the knowledge that my Celtic ancestors may have possessed was certainly was lost (Especially after thousands of pagan saxons were executed by Charlemagne) and the only  remnants that survive are those that became part of Catholic tradition (like Christmas trees.)  For I long while I thought them foolish for letting superstition keep them from writing down their history.

But then I dreamed a shaman summoned me, and granted me communion. I awoke the next day strangely changed. I found myself more  aware of many things, especially nature. I found myself no longer questioning why they did not write but instead marveling at the confidence a oneness with nature bestows. I am in awe of the power contained in a single immortal soul.

If neither  death nor time can keep a master from taking an apprentice, then I have no excuse for not learning.

 

Posted in Dream Masters, Winter 2015 - 2016

Shaman Summons

It has been many years since I dreamed of being summoned by a shaman. I have learned a lot since then. Yet there are few dreams in which I learned more. The shaman dream was the one for me that makes so much I didn’t understand make sense.

I had stayed up late that night, my children were at their father’s for the weekend. I was watching something about a group of researchers trying to learn more about prehistoric humans by trying to recreate living in a clan. I was sleepy and shutting off the television, my mind wandered over the question of why had my Celtic ancestors not developed writing. How had a monument like Stonehenge been created by an illiterate civilization? Was there a reason why writing was developed by some cultures and not others?

From the start I knew it was an astral dream, beginning with the sensation of floating through air thick like water. I felt myself pulled as I now recognize the sensation of being summoned. It is a most enjoyable feeling like gentle gliding on warm and welcome currents. When I landed, I found myself in a frozen, snow covered land. Deep, deep snow so that you heard glaciers approaching. Yet directly in front of me was a habitation, a hill in the snow. Smells of unwashed human, sick human and dead human emanated from the mound. My survival instincts urged me inside. Still new to my astral form, I did not wish to test how long I could endure the cold.

It was just as well I entered, for immediately I was made aware that this was the place to which I was summoned. Many dead bodies lay about the outside walls. They could not be buried so the living had placed the corpses as close to the cold as possible without exposing them directly to the elements.

Entering further, I was welcomed by the shaman. I was surprised he could see me so well. He insisted that he knew me and had been waiting for me to arrive. All around us the few living clan members gathered. He told me that I was to be his replacement. I was a shaman he said. I apologized, insisting I could not, I was not trained as a shaman and I belonged to the future, thousands of years away. He nodded and in my mind made me know that was why I had been summoned.

The shaman showed me to the clan, my hair of chestnut brown. Then he showed my first born, my daughter, hair of murphy red. “This is the chosen leader the chief,” he said. Next he showed my second born, my son, blond haired. “This child belongs to God,” he told me. “Care for him with reverence and the spirit world will be pleased.” Last he showed my third born, my brown haired youngest son. “A child of the earth, to toil in the earth, be humble and follow where the red haired leads.” Last the shaman returned to me. “The woman who bore all three carries each within her. Hidden brown in the dark but gleams with red and blond in the sun, you are the shaman, the bridge to all three, and to the future.”

Looking around at the clan, I understood. These people stood upon the brink of extinction. More had died this winter than lived, and hopelessness itself was enough to end them. That was why the shaman summoned me from the future, even though I was no more than a shade to them. The only way to save them, to inspire them to struggle on, was to show they had a future. I don’t know how rare it is to have children born where the first has red, the second is blond and the third is brown haired but I think it must be pretty rare since the only other person I know whose children follow the same pattern is my sister. To a clan in prehistoric times, would such traits be considered proof on the continuation of their line? Why not?

As I tried to digest this possibility, the shaman filled my mind with sensation and information. For a moment, I saw all of time stretching out before me and knew that the soul is not limited by the fourth dimension any more than it is limited by distance. As his and my astral bodies merged I was overwhelmed with the amazed awareness, that if this dream were real, no knowledge has been lost which can not be found.

Posted in Fate

My Covenant

I decided to believe in God, as I decided most things, looking logically at the question from the two sides I was familiar with. My mother had told me that, as a Unitarian Universalist, it was entirely my choice. She said it as though it was some special treat. But I can tell you that at the age of four or five I was unimpressed. I would have preferred to be told what the rest of my family believed and just trusted that they knew best. As it was I couldn’t help thinking this was one more puzzle that I was likely to be made fun of for getting wrong.

Many days later, sitting on my tricycle, watching tree leaves dance in the wind as the sunlight changed them from light to dark, I remembered the question. Did I want to believe in God? First I considered the educated people I’d seen on television asking “If God exists, why is there so much misery in the world. How could God let so much evil happen?” I thought this would be the more defensible position and less likely to bring me ridicule.

But as I considered my life as a non-believer, only putting trust in facts and figures and that which can be solidly proven, I felt a coldness sweep over me. All the terrible things that happened in the world suddenly seemed more terrible because they happened without reason. Looking around at the world the colors seemed faded and all was grainy and grim. I wondered why was I alive at all, knowing there could be no answer. Without faith in something more, something greater, a great emptiness threatened to overwhelm me.

Soberly I returned to remembering the people on television who said they believed in God. “God works in mysterious ways,” they said. “Everything happens for a reason,” they insisted. I had thought they sounded weak and scared, but I wanted to be fair. I took a moment to imagine what if I believed there were reasons for everything bad that happened. I looked at my own life. I struggled with speaking, talking was painful to me. What if someday I could use my knowledge of that pain to help some one else?

That was when it happened, a moment I will never forget. I had a waking vision of a little girl who desperately needed to speak but couldn’t. The adult me appeared beside her, helped her and heard her.

As I inadvertently made my covenant, a warmth spread through my heart. The colors of the world returned more brilliant, as all my senses were heightened. I knew then that I could say I believed simply because it felt right.

That was the moment I promised God that I would believe and in return I asked God to give me the opportunity to help others who, like me, struggled to find the words and the courage to speak. I had no idea at the time even what a covenant was nor the immensity of the one I had made. From babies and autistics, animals and the dead, I’ve come to realize there are many more beings who need help to be heard than I had any idea existed. I was just a little girl who wanted to save the world.

Posted in Society

Defining God

A great difficulty I face every time I try to rationally discuss God with anyone is that first we each have to define God. That discussion often takes up a great deal of time and inevitably some small point throws us into disagreement so that I am forced to drop all hope of discussing the question I wished to ask and instead must clarify my definition.

This happened most recently when I tried to explain to my muslim friend what I believed God needed me to do. I regretted immediately having used the word “needed.” God does not need us for anything, he told me, God is all powerful. I agreed with him. The God that I believe in is all powerful, but . . .

The God I believe in is both male and female though I use the masculine pronouns He, His and Him. He is an entity of infinite size that connects our universe in another, higher dimension beyond our present ability to discern. He is able to communicate with us at will and make any miracle we imagine possible save one. My God has one restriction.

This is perhaps the most difficult to talk about and yet to my mind without this one restriction there can be no purpose to discussing God at all. You see, the restriction I refer to is not one laid by outside forces upon God, but rather it is the single law that, in most religions, He made for Himself. It is the law of free will. Without this first law, what reason is there to discuss ten commandments, five pillars or 20 ni-yamas. Even the three-, seven- or ten-fold law I have read in assorted pagan books becomes void if you do not first give credence to the law of free will.

Thus when I tried to tell my friend that I believed that God needed me to do something, I should have said that God wanted me to do this something, of my own free will, because He shall not break His own law, though it may mean the destruction of humankind and this earth as we know it.

By all means pray to God for guidance, but if you would save yourself, your loved ones and this world, you and I must do it ourselves. That is the bitter side of knowing that free will is the first law. It is up to us to make right the wrongs of mankind.