Advertisement

Dream Gates

Dream Gates

Perform your vision, or something bad will happen

Chief of the West by Standing Bear in SUNY Press/Excelsior edition of "Black Elk Speaks"

Dreams require action. As I observed in Conscious Dreaming, in indigenous dreaming traditions, dreamwork is always oriented toward action. The principal task of the shaman, as a dream specialist, is to confirm the meaning of the dream and clarify the steps the dreamer should now take to honor the dream.

Advertisement

Take the case of a childhood vision that Black Elk, the Lakota holy man, had left unhonored. He was initially afraid to tell anyone about what he had seen. At last he confided in a wichasa wakon, a holy man, who told him: “You must do what the bay horse in your vision told you to do. You must perform this vision for your people. You must make the horse dance for the people to see. If you do not do this something very bad will happen to you.”

They proceeded to enact Black Elk’s vision. This became a major community undertaking. Scenes from the vision were painted on tepees. Black Elk was required to fast and cleanse himself in the sweat lodge. He taught chosen singers the songs from the vision so that they could perform them during the enactment. Others in the tribe were cast as characters from the dream, human, spirit or animal, and painted and costumed accordingly.

Advertisement

In Black Elk Speaks, John G. Neihardt observed that “even the horses seemed to be healthier and happier after the dance.”

Black Elk’s big dream wasn’t reduced by analysis or assimilated into the familiar structures of everyday life. As Mary Watkins noted in her wonderful book Waking Dreams,  “the attempt was made to bring the daily life into relation with the vision”.

 

Related post: Black Elk, the poet and the dream passport

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment niels Kuipers

    Wow, :O ! 😀 .. thank you for this great story! Inspiring and asking for more action related to dreams!

Previous Posts

In Search of the Antlered Goddess of the Ways
The British visionary artist Chesca Potter says that when she moved to London, she had a vision of an immense goddess figure, dressed in green and gold, over the church of  St Pancras. This is the oldest church,  in the city, founded ...

posted 8:15:05am Jun. 26, 2015 | read full post »

The only dream expert is YOU
You are the final authority on your dreams, and you should never give the power of your dreams away by handing them over to other people to interpret. Yes, our dreams can be confusing and opaque, and we gain greatly from other people's insights, ...

posted 11:00:05am Jun. 17, 2015 | read full post »

Dreaming is practice for immortality
There is a people of the South Pacific who say that there are as many afterlife situations as there are human imaginations. They may be right. What we encounter on the Other Side is conditioned by our desires, our courage and our imagination (or ...

posted 5:05:33pm Jun. 11, 2015 | read full post »

Dreams are not on our case, they are on our side
Our dreams show us things we may prefer not to think about — which is a major reason why many of us slam that door shut on our dreams and try to keep it closed. Those things may include future life problems, or parts of ourselves we tend to ...

posted 1:22:38pm May. 13, 2015 | read full post »

A short history of soul flight
In many human cultures the most profound insights into the nature of the divine and the fate of the soul after physical death ...

posted 12:09:30pm Apr. 21, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.