“In the Tree of Dreams, there is a song,” Face in the Water said to me. She is a beautiful elder woman whose eyes reflect an ancient past, the tribal customs of her people. “Like any other living thing, the Tree of Dreams has a song to be sung. This song is to be listened for very, very carefully, for it teaches you that life is never ending.
“The Tree of Dreams is you and me,” she continued. “We are all a Tree of Dreams, filled with yearning, joy and love, filled with the teachings we have received and the experiences we have had. Our branches are the different times of our lives, the leaves our experiences – the colors, textures and aspects of the divine. When the leaves drop from the tree in the autumn, a harmonic is created. As the leaves fall – as we experience life – our song can be heard, playing on the wind as it is communicated to other trees, if they are listening.
“The whale people who live in the north speak about the great whale and how, when she sings a song, it is heard sometimes a thousand miles away. Another whale picks up that song, and the echo is heard another thousand miles away. This goes on until that song is created around the world by all whales singing in unison.
“The music that forms from the dropping of our leaves is similar. The song that is very much your own blends with other songs to create a harmony as it touches the earth. It is at that moment that all leaves become one, surrounding the earth with crimson, orange, red, and gold….
“You have your song,” she said. “As long as you have your song, you can never lose your direction or your vision. To lose your song is to lose your soul.”
There is magic in this world if you want the world to be magical. If you want life to be special, it will be, filled with the songs of all Trees of Dreams on earth, and what a wondrous and special sound that is!
Magic, like the power of Stonehenge, is part of the unknowable – that which you cannot describe, but which exists and makes your life extraordinary. It is part of the goodness of your spirit, the mysterious and intriguing part of your spiritual life. Magic comes from the soul, from within the human spirit in that place where we are one with the Great Spirit and all of life. Your own song, the song of your Tree of Dreams, is what brings magic into your life and harmony to the earth as it blends with the songs of others.
No one wants to be bored or consumed by ordinary drudgery. But what happens, all too often, is that when magic is presented to us, we don’t recognize it for what it is. The highly analytical Western mind craves precision and absolutes; it has no room for the unknown. Magic comes from the unknown, so our modern, scientific mind rejects it. Curiously, the more our science discovers, the more we realize there is much that we don’t know; and the more we realize that we don’t know, the more we can become open to possibilities we’ve yet even to dream. Still, the modern, analytical mind distrusts and rejects magic – magic, the unknowable force in the universe that makes all things possible; the essence of who we are that enables us to become anything that we wish to be, anything that we can dream. When you lose your connection with the magic in your life, you are in danger of losing your song. Then you no longer realize what can really be accomplished in your own life.
One night as I was sitting around a ceremonial fire with my teachers – a group of indigenous shaman women from native cultures on five different continents, known as the Sisterhood of the Shields – Twin Dreamers, a Kuna Indian from Panama and member of the Sisterhood, turned to me with eyes that were at once kind yet filled with a fierceness and a wildness that I knew came from knowing and loving who she is on a very deep level.
“Your people have lost so much,” she said to me, electricity filling the air.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“You have lost your spiritual families, your community,” she said. “We in the Sisterhood share this wordlessly, from heart to heart and soul to soul. There is a communion between us, a communion beyond what I know and see in your world.”
What she was seeing in my world are a people who have all but lost their songs, a people terrified of letting our own true selves shine out into the world in all of our frailties as well as our strength; she was seeing a people who are even losing our desire to hear the songs of those around us, oblivious to the beautiful harmonic we create when we share our experiences as one. Instead, we go around wearing headphones. We have separated ourselves from the world around us. We have separated ourselves from one another. And, tragically, we have separated ourselves even from ourselves, separated from our own songs and the magic of our souls.
We are at a crossroads today in the human experience, a place where the choices we make may well determine our ability to continue in this world as we know it. Our planet is in peril, at a point where our tampering with the environment is so clashing with the earth’s natural cycles, which have been going on for hundreds of billions of years, that whole species are going extinct at an unprecedented pace. Our societies have grown so complex, unwieldy and fragmented that we no longer want to know our own neighbors, and we have weapons so destructive that they are capable of wiping out entire cities in the blink of an eye. My teachers often say to me that human beings were never intended to live with the amount of chaos and stress that we face in today’s world, yet here we are.
By its very nature, a crossroads is a place of great power, because it is a place where choices must be made and decisions acted upon. We in the Sisterhood of the Shields believe that this crossroads is one that holds great promise for the future, precisely because of the same human creativity and ingenuity that has brought us to this point in the first place! We have at our fingertips such a wealth of scientific knowledge and ability and the incredible richness and diversity of every magnificent culture on earth, and we are capable of using all of it to make this earth truly a better place for all, if that is our choice.
We are at a crossroads where we must choose between an old consciousness that says, “Take care of me, regardless of the cost to the world around me,” and a new consciousness that says, “I am responsible, and together we can make these changes happen for the good of all of life.” Which consciousness will we choose, going forward?
It all depends on which songs we sing.
“What is forever but a breath of the Great Spirit?” Agnes Whistling Elk, my dearest friend and teacher, said to me one day. “The design of the universe is nothing. All of time is but the snap of an arrow in the bow of the Great Spirit. The song of the tribes of plants was sung. The song of the tribes of the animals was sung. The song of the tribes of man was sung. Every world was remembered in song and no world was forgotten. The Great Spirit is sleeping in all the named and nameless things.”
Which world will be remembered in song from this day forward, the new consciousness or the old? What is the song in your Tree of Dreams? It is the song that is made up of your experiences in this life, your dreams and your losses, the truth of who you are and your own personal vision to heal this world. There is a reason you chose to be born at this time on this planet, and the reason is clear. This is a time when the healing of Mother Earth is imminent, and you have gifts and abilities that will help in the healing process. What is your vision for a renewed planet Earth, and for your place in it?
Sing the song of your own personal truth now. And as happens with the whales, once one person starts singing, another begins to listen; then that person starts singing, too, and the song is taken up until it is sung all the way around the world.