There were dead Indians and Pilgrims everywhere.
Floating in the river.
Washing up on shore.
It was a bloody, horrific battle, and few people lived to tell the tale.
It was a dream, of course.
But it was also a memory; an ancestral memory that was hundreds of years old.
As Westerners, we’re not taught how to listen for the whispers of our ancestors, but they speak to us nonetheless.
One way we to hear these messages is through our sleeping dreams.
Our dreams show us how ancient events still impact our lineage hundreds (thousands) of years later.
And our dreams assist us in becoming aware of the wounds and destructive traits we inherit so we can choose new ways of being.
When I was 22 years old, just out of college, I had the dream I call “The Thanksgiving Day Massacre” in which a group of Indians and Pilgrims fight to the death. I didn’t know it then, but it was an ancestral memory of the King Philip’s War, a bloody battle between my ancestors and the neighboring Wampanoag.
If I had distilled my dream down to a bunch of symbols, I would have missed the most important message, which was about the need for deep ancestral healing.
I could have asked myself, “What do the ‘Indians’ mean in my dream? Might they be a reference to the “indigenous” part of me? The earthy part of me?”
Or, what might the ‘Pilgrims’ mean? Could they be the colonialist side of me, the side of me that is willing to kill off the earthy part of me in the name of progress?”
And while those are legitimate questions and interpretations, focusing solely on the common archetypal meanings would be a mistake.
This dream was about a deep, ancestral wound that is still impacting my lineage today.
It’s a dream about a battle that needs to be remembered so it can be properly healed, not just for my lineage, not just for the lineages of the other parties that were involved, but for our country, and for our earth.
When we heed our dreams, and listen deeply, when we look beyond symbolism into the living reality of the dream realm, we can access layers of meaning, and therefore healing, we will never find in a dream dictionary.
Which of your dreams are ancestral memories and messages?
What are your ancestors whispering to you?