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Dancing & Chanting Your Dreams
Festival of Dreams
8th Nov- Festival of the South West
“Now is the time to dream your dream and dance it awake”
Everybody sings, Everybody sings, Everybody sings!
Sings with this world, sings with the wind, sings with the water.
You can hear the water roar.
I sing in the wind,
Sing to be heard.
I strike my drum, my drum is singing in this world.
I shake my gourd, and it sings also.
So we are all singing and dancing
Dancing in thanksgiving that we have lived so long
So I am singing in the water, I am singing in the air
I am singing with my drum, I am singing with my gourd
So we are all singing in this roaring water
As we hear it roar, roar, roar!
I know that Great Spirit will help us
While we are singing, singing,
Singing in this world.
Potowatami Creation Song
As Above, so Below . . . As Below, so Above. This is the time of year when the veil between the worlds is most permeable. In the Hindu way, it is Diwali, the Festival of Lights. In Condomble, Yoruba and Mayan/Mexican ways, it is the Days of the Dead. In Europe and America, we celebrate the old Celtic holy days of Samhain, here in America called Halloween, or Hallows Eve and All Saint’s Day.
Many cultures believe that three ingredients created the world as we know it: Light, Sound and Movement. The Hopi myth says, “Among the noises of creation, but abreast of it; disciplining the winds, modulating their tonalities, shaping the sounds: Taiowa, god of creation, spoke at last in a loud voice: ‘I have funneled the noises of the wind, in a powerful music of sounds,’ he said. ‘I brought forth the dynamics of the forces of creation, like a work horse to its labors.’” Spiderwoman and Taiowa . . . sang the magic Song of Life over them, and at last each human figure breathed and lived.
Australian aborigines believe in the dreamtime, also called “The Dreaming”. During this special time-out-of-time, the animals created the world as they walked the universe, singing. In Walbiri legends, the ancestor ‘first dreams his travels ~ the country, the songs, and everything he/she makes ~ inside his/her head before they are externalized’.
Even in Christian belief, the apostle John say, “And the Word (Sound) was made flesh”. . . and . . . “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, is the Word of Life” (I John 1:1).
So how do we connect with the Spirit Guides, the Helpers and Ancestors who can, and want to, assist us to bring our dreams into this physical plane of existence?
This is what our ceremonies are about. We design rituals and ceremonies to meet the needs of the special forces necessary to culminate in the act of creation.
We call in the Spectrum of Light ~ the colors and gradations ~ infusing them into our Beings, through our chakras, and into our sacred space. Surrounding and imbuing ourselves with Light and Color sets the stage for the singing, dancing movement of space and time that summons the co-creative expansion of the universe.
Chanting our intent places our desire on the Universal Bulletin Board, allowing all who are available to assist us. We can actually ask for help from the particular ancestors, spirit guides, totems, etc. with whom we work, being as specific in our request as possible.
However, without action, our dreams continue to rest in the void. The ancients knew this. In every culture, the dance, rhythms, drums and songs combined to move the energy of creation to fruition! Every festival, celebration, ceremony and ritual contained four basic elements: darkness, signifying the great mysterious void from which emanates all life; light, the blessing way that instills the fire of creation into a beings; song, that calls and claims that which will be birthed; and rhythm, the pulsing movement that dances creation to Life.
Scientists have re-discovered what all ancient civilizations have known since the beginning of time. . . . memories encoded in our DNA are actually embodied in our cells. It’s called ‘cellular memory’. Dance is both a form of release, purging those memories we that no longer serve us, and an affirmation, declaring and confirming that to which we aspire.
In the Native way, four is a very important number . . . the Four Directions of the Medicine Wheel; the Four Winds; Four Ages of Humankind; Four Deaths of the Medicine Person, etc., etc.
The Medicine Wheel is a wonderful symbol of ceremonial preparation and creation. In the West, the place of Water, one looks to the depths of Healing and Regeneration; Introspection and Dreamtime; Autumn and Harvest; Transition and Transformation. This is the direction we find ourselves in at present.
The North is where the Ancestors and DNA Wisdom reside. It is the place of Grounding and Earth; Winter Solstice and Darkness; the Void. The aspects of the East are New Vision and Beginnings; Air and Light; Springtime and Renewal; Dreams manifesting from the Void. The South equates with Passion and Purpose; Fire and Energy; Summer and Blossoming; New Birth and Re-Birth.
So, to devise a ceremony that will help to realize a dream, I might use the Medicine Wheel, the Circle of Life, as a starting point. Participants would enter at the West Gate, in darkness, carrying symbols of their intent. While the drum beats a simple heartbeat, each person might slowly dance, give thanks for all that has already manifested in their lives, and chant their experience of surrender to the Great Mystery and the Void. Moving to the North, we would chant and dance our Ancestors and Spirit Helpers, calling them to the Circle, to listen and assist us. We would ask for the knowledge and wisdom we need in order to live our aspirations. In the East, we would light our candles, enlightening and enlivening our vision. As the drums gain momentum, we would sing and dance the story of our dreams, feeling and expressing them fully. Then, moving to the South, we would build the fires of manifestation, increasing the tempo and conveying our wild and passionate desire. It is at this point that we reach crescendo, in the purposeful knowing that our mission is complete, and our dream is being realized. As the ceremony is completed, we carry the symbols of our dreams to the altar in the Center of the Medicine Wheel, giving our gratitude to Father Sky, Mother Earth and our Inner Self for all that has transpired. We close the circle in confidence that our prayers have been heard, our guides and ancestors will do their work on our behalf, and all our needs will be met.
About the author:
Rev. Robin Tekwelus Youngblood, Okanagon/Tsalagi, minister of Church of the Earth, has been a student of her heritage for many years. She has studied with Indigenous elders of her own tribes, along with African, Siberian and Aboriginal leaders. Robin believes that the only way to create harmony and avoid disaster in these times is to learn to attune ourselves to our Earth Mother's natural rhythms through ritual, ceremony, chant and dance.
"I love to sing, honor the ancestors, and share the ancient teachings with others. Please join me for Dreaming Shaman Workshops, Retreats and Ceremonies where together we can bring balance to Mother Earth and All Our Relations."