“I want to tell you my personal experience of dream healing,” Bonnie Horrigan said when she joined me for a conversation on my Way of the Dreamer radio show today. “I was in hospital with a serious liver condition. It was really touch and go. Night after night, I would ask for help and guidance, saying, Show me the way.
“At last my wish was answered. A spirit guide I recognized – a female presence who had appeared to me twice before – came to me in a dream. She scanned my body, seeking to understand what had gone wrong. She frowned and told me, ‘You only have three lights. People are supposed to have twelve, but nine of your lights have gone out.’ She said she was going to re-ignite the nine lights that had gone out, and that is exactly what she did.
“I woke with absolute confidence that my healing was begun, and that I would come out of this fine. And I did.”
Simple and profound, this personal story may inspire all of us to remember to ask for help when we are in need of healing (and to ask nicely). It makes me want to check on the state of my own “twelve lights”. Bonnie had never heard of “twelve lights in the body” before, and nor had I, but I think I may do a self-scan and invite one of my shamanic dreaming circles to journey on this theme.
Bonnie Horrigan is one of those who are laboring mightily to bring ancient ways of shamanic healing and dreaming into our healthcare system and our contemporary lives. This involves working with souls as well as bodies, developing personal imagery for healing and asking spirit to be present in any procedure. Bonnie is co-founder and former publisher of Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, a breakthrough medical journal examining alternative and cross-cultural healing practices and the relationship of the human spirit to health and healing. She also co-founded the Society for Shamanic Practitioners, a non-profit organization dedicated to the assisting the re-emergence of spiritual healing in our culture.
I told Bonnie that a few hours before our interview, drifting in the hynopompic zone (the half-dream state following sleep) I had a brief encounter with a version of her; she told me she had dreamed a new song and was willing to sing it on the air! This did not actually happen on my show, but a few minutes later Bonnie was telling the story of how a physician we both know used a song in facilitating soul retrieval for a patient who had lost his will to live. In a hospital setting, this spirited doctor made a shamanic journey on behalf of his patient and returned with a song that he shared with the man he was seeking to help. His patient claimed the song as his own, sang it frequently, and as he did so, his lights came on again. The story sang through Bonnie’s voice. Again, simple and profound.
This is Paleolithic medicine; indigenous peoples recognize that the healing power of a dream may come through in the vehicle of a song, and shamanic types have been doing this kind of thing for at least 40,000 years. It is also as cutting-edge as tomorrow’s fresh methodologies for imaginal healing.
My interview with Bonnie Horrigan can be heard or downloaded at the Way of the Dreamer radio show archive.