Cara was haunted by horrific dreams of blood and death in Vietnam for forty years. As described in yesterday’s article, in our work together I realized that we needed to determine exactly how memories that did not belong to her or to immediate family members had come to invade her nights. This is the story of how we solved that mystery through shamanic lucid dreaming, and of how Cara proceeded to effect spiritual release for some of the ghosts of Vietnam.
“Change of plan,” I say to Cara, and our little group. “You don’t need to go back inside a dream that belongs to someone else. Can we try to travel back to your place you were living when you were four years old, and try to find out why you started dreaming of Vietnam?”
She bursts into tears. “There were so many bodies.” She is shaking.
“You’re not going alone,“ I remind her. “We’re coming with you. We’ll be your family, your bodyguards, your protectors. We’ll help you see what you want to see. I think there’s a chance to get to the root of this now and life the shadow that’s been over you for forty years. Are you willing to give that a shot?“
Bravely, she says, “Yes.“
“When you go back to that beautiful four-year-old girl, remember you are going as your present self, a mother and mature woman who has made it through and can help little Cara to get through. At the very least, you can promise her – You‘re going to make it. You are going to survive.”
During the drumming, we cross space and time and find the ranch house in Arizona where Cara started having the evil dreams. Cara holds her four-year-old self tight and safe in her embrace, proving the love and support she needed when the adult world was telling her that her dreams were “only” dreams and that she should stop screaming and go back to sleep, back to the place of terror.
As tracker, my job is to find the link, the connection to Vietnam and its dead soldiers. I see two things with clarity. Body bags being lifted out of a big transport plane at a military airfield near Cara’s home. A man I take to be her father inspecting a shell casing, a medallion, a good luck charm and other metal objects that appear to be mementoes of the war, items taken from the bodies of men who died in Vietnam.
If these sightings are accurate, either one might explain why Vietnam’s ghosts came bleeding into the dreamspace of a sensitive child. The physical proximity of the dead. The persisting energy of the dead that is often carried by physical objects worn next to the skin. Either or both could bring lost soldiers confused about how they died and where they should go into Cara’s home, and into her energy field and her mind.
When I report my discoveries, Cara gasps. She now remembers how she often saw her father poking around in a box he kept in a closet. The box contained military relics, especially medals and protective medallions. She recalls a good luck charm. Her dad started collecting these items, bequeathed by dead soldiers, around the time she started having the war dreams. She doesn’t recall a military airfield, near her home, let alone the transshipment of body bags. But when she calls her mother later that day, she discovers that there was indeed a military air base less than a mile from that house, and that it was a major reception for the corpses of soldiers in the last years of the Vietnam war.
How do you stop dreaming dead mean’s dreams? We discuss a ritual of releasing. Cara will call on the guides of the dead soldiers who have been with her to help them find their way. She will speak to the dead directly, explaining their situation and encouraging them to move on. She will also conduct a second burial to lay to rest the denser energy of the departed.
I suggest that for this she should go to a toy shop and purchase a number of plastic U.S. soldiers. She will literally bury these figures in the earth with the intention that the energy of the dead that is meant to go into the ground should be discharged in this way.
Cara performed this ritual when she went home, and asked her six-year-old daughter to take part in it. Her heart was touched when her child said to the dead soldiers, “Thank you for protecting us.”
After this mutual releasing, Cara wrote to me: “That day with you and our helpers was so potent. I felt like I had regressed in age as soon as we started talking. Terror was the feeling. I remember you saying it was possible to clear it quickly and I wondered – really? Years of this and it could be gone so easily? I was worried that going back would “stir the turd” and I would go home that night to a dark room of dead men waiting for me. What a miracle experience. I was freed.”
Cara stopped dreaming dead men’s dreams. She is no longer terrified by the sound of a helicopter or an air conditioner.
The deeper we go into dreaming, the more we recover the ancient skills of the shamanic dreamer, the more ways we have of recognizing what is going on in a dream and how it can offer portals for healing.
To learn more about “second burial” as a method of spiritual release, please see The Dreamer’s Book of the Dead.