Dream Gates

Dream Gates

A good luck sign from the Speaking Land

The First Peoples of my native Australia talk of the Speaking Land. Listen to that phrase, and you’ll hear in it the understanding that nature is alive and conscious and will communicate with us in many voices if we will only pay attention.

In our busy contemporary lives, noisy with traffic and media, we need to pause and remember what kind of attention this requires. The Latin stem of our word “attention” is the verb attendere, which literally means “to stretch toward” something. Giving our attention to the Speaking Land is a stretch, especially if we spend most of our days in cities of glass and concrete, eyes glued to a screen, drawing our inner soundtrack from Headphoneland.


But there is good news: a walk around a lake, or just in the neighborhood park, can be a fabulous tuneup. And when we start to attend to the Speaking Land, its voices get louder and clearer.

Yesterday I took a walk with a good friend with whom I have shared dreams – dreams of life and dreams of the night – for many years, around a pond in Northeastern woods where beavers have built a lodge and a red-tailed hawk once brought me a message, knifing down through the clouds. We strolled for a few miles along the trail, enjoying the dappled light. We were speaking about the need for a new book on imaginal healing (the theme of a recent post here) that we might write together. I paused from our conversation to ask: what is the response of the Speaking Land to this project?


At that instant, I saw at my feet part of a tree root that was so like a horseshoe, with the ends pointed up (from my perspective) in the correct and “happy” way, that for a moment I thought that a horse had shed a shoe on that trail. Recognizing what was in front of me for what it was, I touched the tree root gratefully. It seemed like a good luck sign from the Tree People. Yes, I will write the book on imaginal healing, with my friend.

  • Wanda Burch

    Happy sign – and a message that is thrilling. Paying attention is the beginning of so much in our dreaming lives and in our waking lives.

    I am honored – and excited!

    • Robert Moss

      Wanda – It was indeed a thrilling moment in a most delightful and energizing walk by the lake.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Azima

    Delightful – and I await this book eagerly!

    • Robert Moss

      Thanks, Azima – we’ll get on it!

  • Justin Patrick Moore

    A good sign that this project will take deep root! I surely know it will draw up much from the acquifers of healing water that lie below the land.

    • Robert Moss

      Justin – Thanks for that wonderful blessing. Yes, we’ll hope to draw from those healing waters under the land, and a spring of healing, bubbling from the earth, has been a central shared metaphor for us since 1990.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nina

    The tree horseshoe is a wonderful initial blessing for a new project. The sign of the good luck created by roots of the tree underlines its stability and firmness. And naturally roots speak volumes about the depth of your mutual wisdom and experience. My first association with the picture was a very archaic cup or chalice waiting for being filled. I am sincerely looking forward to drinking from it. Even now I can feel the taste of the clear spring water.
    I agree, in high probability with all readers of your blogs, that land and nature communicate with us in a very intimate and loving way all the time.
    Recently I remember the moment when I got stuck writing some peace of paper. I went for a walk to the lake in the middle of the hilly country and gloomily thought about the maze I got to and felt fairly discouraged by it. In that moment of mistrust, I looked around and saw a beautiful white stork landing on the shore of the lake.(the stork is in some personal dreamy way connected with that work). Its gracious movements by the lake and then its rather complicated patterns he was forming in the sky were enchanting and charged me with new strength and hope. The truth is that shortly after that friendly stork appearance I found the lost thread and started to enjoy studying and writing again.
    Last lovely case (there are millions) is Sakyong Mipham´s story of talking nature. As he visited Tibet, lots of people wanted to make karmic connections with him as a lama by giving him various gifts. The crown of all came towards the end of his journey. Local people offered him a mountain and a valley for building a monastery. They insisted so much that he promised to climb up to the top and if he saw any auspicious signs he would accept. He got up and three rainbows appeared and “he was put in an awkward position.”
    Thank you many times and the best of luck to both of you working on a new book together.

    • Robert Moss

      Nina – Yes, the tree root combines an old good luck sign with rootedness, groundedness, solid earth connection. Lovely, your account of how the stork (in folk tradition, the carrier of new life) helped to get you out of that momentary writing block.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Margie

    Nice….I also think of rainbows in this way…a good sign. I just took a pic of one this morning and saw this post. :)

    • Robert Moss

      Margie – All of us are probably happy to see rainbows. I saw some breathtaking double rainbows over Lake Champlain last week. The price of a rainbow (worth noting) is usually a shower or a storm. the Rainbow Bridge is the passage to the realms of gods or faeries in some traditions, and in the imagination of young children.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Patricia

    What a lovely way to start a book together. I do believe the imaginal, as I have learned it’s depth from your teachings and Wanda’s stories, to be a revolutionary tool for healing. It’s so simple, there with us when ever we need and the cost = play/work and stretching toward. Love that definition Robert. I bet this book will shake em up for sure. Imagining this as essential reading for many fields of medicine. I look forward to cocktails, soups and delicious stories.


    • Robert Moss

      Patty – Thank you so much. Yep, we intend to mix up some fine big shakers of healing cocktails :-)

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Lady Hummingbird add a comment

    As part of the “hummingbird couple” from Coloma, I really REALLY concur that is the perfect sign for you. We both look forward to your book. Jim says that he totally believes in the imaginal healing idea, he has done it twice for very large issues and is in good health now. Jim adds that your good luck is deeply rooted here—just like our bodies are deeply rooted in our minds. See you in Placerville in Sept.

    P.S. This; year we have lots of babies on our land–new projects coming?

    • Robert Moss

      Lady Hummingbird – Thank you so much. Our shared experience with the hummingbird medicine was beautiful and is often in my mind. Look forward to dreaming with you in Placerville in September,

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