We are working with shamanic dreaming in a course I am taking with Robert Moss, and right now we are specifically working with dreaming with the dead and with spirit guides. I have always been a strong dreamer, and the current subject matter inspired me to share with our group a powerful dream I had years ago that involved my father and my spirit guide. My father died suddenly a little over 21 years ago, and this dream came about 3 months after he died. I had fallen asleep mid-afternoon on the couch in the living room. I am also feeling inspired today to share it with my readers, so here it is:
I am at a family picnic at what looks like a state park. We are gathered at picnic tables under lovely shady trees and the children are playing kickball in the open field nearby. My cousins, my mother, sisters and brothers, aunt and uncle…all of my father’s side of the family are there. (This is not unusual; we often had summer family picnics.) I am sitting on a huge boulder at the crossing of two dirt roads (park access roads) near my family, and I see my father walking toward us out of the road that emerges from a patch of forest. I am delighted to see him and go to meet him and walk with him to the family tables. He visits with everyone for a while and we have a fun family afternoon on this beautiful summer day.
Then my father gets up from his place at the table and tells me he has to go now. My uncle (his older brother) walks with him a ways and I follow along behind. At the boulder at the crossing of the dirt roads, my father and my uncle embrace, and my uncle returns to the family. My father asks me to walk with him for a ways, and I am happy to do so. We have a nice conversation (of which I do not recall the words now), and as we do, we are walking into the bit of woods. We begin to cross a wooden bridge across a river, but my father stops me and tells me, very gently, no, I am not allowed to go across the bridge. Not yet, he says, and embraces me. I begin to cry. I ask, weeping, “But where are you going? Why can’t I come along?” I am distraught, but my father is adamant. “Stay here.”
And he walks across the bridge, waves cheerfully from the other side, and walks out of sight through the trees. I am beside myself, and in my determined way, start across the bridge to follow him. I am a little more than half-way across when I am surrounded suddenly by a whirlwind or tornado, which lifts me from my spot on the bridge and unceremoniously deposits me back on my own side of the bridge, but underneath it now, near the riverbank. As soon as I shake off the dizziness, I see a man wearing a pith helmet and khakis, and he is standing over me, looking for all the world like he’s just come out of a safari. But I recognize his eyes, and know this is my spirit guide in one of his many guises (that I’m sure he dons to amuse both himself and me). I am angry with him, for I now know that he sent the tornado to fetch me. He smiles gently at my rage and tears, and says simply, “It’s not time for you to cross that bridge.”
I woke up then with my face soaking wet from tears. It took me about an hour to feel at home in my own body again after that, but the message was very clear.
My spirit guide has plucked me out of several potentially dangerous situations in my Otherworldly travels, and I am eternally grateful for his guidance and love. He is an excellent teacher, too. Without his intervention, I may well have crossed that bridge to the Land of the Dead in my grief that afternoon and might have really been lost to this world. I was not ready to make the crossing in that particular way at that time, for that was the way of the dead, and I am still alive, with far too much to do in this life before I cross that bridge.
We all have a spirit guide. Many of us are not aware of him or her, but he or she is certainly there (and working hard on your behalf). You may think of your guide as your guardian angel, or a power animal, or even just that nudge of intuition, that “tap on the shoulder,” that keeps you safe. I have always had a direct working relationship with mine (much to my family’s chagrin when I was a child). The more you become aware of and heed those nudges or whispers from Spirit, the better your relationship with your guide will become — and the better your life can be because of it.