When you realize you’re an intuitive, Big (Shamanic) Dreamer, it’s not uncommon to feel a bit alone in the world.
That’s because Western culture is not set up to help people who have strange experiences and see invisible things.
We’re often labeled as weird or woo-woo or any number of pejorative terms.
But I’ve met countless people who have crazy dreams and unusual waking life experiences who are quite sane and grounded, yet who have no idea how to work with these gifts.
I know what it’s like. I was one of them.
Called to be a Big Dreamer (also known as a Shaman)
My dreams have called me to a magical, mystical path, but for most of my life, I didn’t know what was happening.
My initiation into dreaming was hypnopompic. When I was five, I woke to find an animated farm scene on my bedroom wall. Horses were neighing. Cows were mooing. I was afraid, yet the imagery stayed locked in my mind, drawing me deeper into a life spent living in two worlds.
Walking and Waking Between Worlds
The more I dreamed, the more my dream life took center stage. But when I was 22 something strange started happening to me.
I started doing shamanic journeys without knowing that’s what they were, and received verifiable information during my quests.
I received psychic information in my dreams and in waking life.
I had spontaneous OBEs (out-of-body experiences) while asleep. I’d wake up in a liminal realm, where the world was blue and I was neither awake nor asleep. While in that space, I heard alien voices that asked me who I was. I told them I didn’t know.
I was confused. I felt alone. I had no idea what was going on. And the only people I could think of to ask for help didn’t know either.
Finally, I met a friend who suggested I read Robert Monroe’s books on OBEs. It helped tremendously, but still, I didn’t know why this was happening to me and I definitely didn’t know what to do about it.
Maybe these experiences are common, but I don’t think so. Rather, they may be an indication of a calling to become what we at the DreamTribe call a Big Dreamer – someone who has an innate ability to dream for information and healing purposes. In this context, I am not referring only to sleeping dreams, but waking dreams (visions) and shamanic dream journeys.
Perhaps if I had been born into another culture, to people who lived close to the earth, my abilities would have been recognized by my elders, signifying something meaningful. I will never know.
What I do know is that the shamanic path is the only one that has ever felt authentic to me, but as a white Westerner I didn’t know how to pursue this path with integrity.
In my late twenties, I dabbled in Lakota pipe ceremonies and sweat lodges, but it felt wrong, even though I participated with reverence and initiated Lakota leaders.
I missed my own indigenous heritage. I wanted to know what my Nordic-Germanic ancestors would have done. What my Jewish ancestors would have said. How my Celtic and Anglo-Saxon ancestors would have initiated me.
So I started dreaming about them.
Dreaming of my Ancestors
They came to me and showed me drums and ceremonies. Nordic ritual drums. Jewish mystical dances. Welsh ceremonies to help pass down power from generation to generation.
But I also had sleeping dreams of American Indian medicine people. They taught me, protected me and led me on vision quests. I dreamed of Sun Dances and ceremonies and wondered what it meant.
I even had a series of dreams about Huichol shamans, even though I know nothing about them. The curious thing about these dreams was that the shamans weren’t actually Huichol. One was a red-haired Scot and the other was Japanese. This juxtaposition seemed to be a message: we are people of the earth, and although our cultural heritage can shape and inform us, more important is the willingness to heed the call, regardless of cultural inheritance.
So after many years of fighting it, of denying it, of pretending like I didn’t know, I answered the call. I am a Big Dreamer. A soul healer. Or what some cultures might call a shaman.
What does it mean to be a Soul Healer in modern times?
In my work, I travel between worlds to gather information. In the process I help my clients retrieve lost soul parts, confront their demons and clear energetic blocks that prevent them from living in alignment with their soul’s purpose.
Many of my clients are healers in their own right, who like me were at one point (or still are) confused about how to navigate this tricky calling.
That’s because people called to this path have little context for it. Our culture doesn’t recognize this role. There is no obvious training, so many people end up following other cultures’ traditions, which can lead to feelings of resentment and appropriation, while other people choose a path of denial and end up ignoring their soul’s callings.
But then there are those who attempt to walk an authentic path, even though they have no teachers or guides to help them. It can be a solitary journey, in many ways, and sometimes quite lonely.
One of the reasons I founded the DreamTribe was to help usher in a new era of dream healers; to provide sanctuary for those who do not understand their initiation experiences, or their wild and crazy dreams. To create an authentic pathway that is not steeped in other cultures traditions, yet honors the old ways.
All of us on the DreamCouncil have our own version of this story. We — Atava, Katrina, Linda, Ryan and I — are committed to helping people like you explore your own path toward becoming a full-fledged Big Dreamer.
That’s why we’re sharing our dream stories with you. It’s our way of calling together a new tribe: a global group of healers, of dreamers, of conscious people who are ready to step more fully into the role of Big Dreamer.
It’s time. And we’re here to help.
What do you think? What is the role of the Big Dreamer in today’s society?
Share your thoughts below.
And, remember to share your own dream story here.
*Photo collage by Amy E. Brucker using Flickr.com images by Drown (butterfly), Chez Sugi (woman statue).