I'm inspired by Samhain and Day of the Dead to speak about ancestral dreaming.
This can have many meanings. We may dream about the land where our blood ancestors lived. We may dream about the land upon which we were born. We may dream about lands we lived on in past lives.
And it's not just the land that comes to us, but the ancestors as well. I know many people who have dreamed of grandparents, great-grandparents, and even more distant ancestors who have passed away and visited in dreams. In my own work, I've come to believe that it's not just blood ancestors, but the people I call spiritual ancestors, who come to us as well.
Three years ago, on the morning of Halloween, I had just such a dream.
I see a spinning globe with red lines being drawn all over it. One line is drawn down Eastern Europe or Africa, I'm not sure which. Then I hear someone telling a story about hundreds of orphans. I am one. I am in a house with the people who adopted me. I am drawing a big blue and green eye on my hand between my pointer finger and thumb. It is shaped like the eye of Horus. As I draw the eye, I have a memory: I work at a market. Every day I see another girl who works there who has a beautiful brown horse. I want to go see her, but I am afraid. Finally, I do. She has symbols drawn in purple on her hand...one is a half-moon, another may be an eye. She is a gypsy and a psychic and she tells me I have the gift too. That night, as I am drawing the eye on my hand and having this memory, a violent storm blows in with lots of lightening and pounding rain. I am scared at its power and feel it's related to me somehow. My adopted mom and I look out the window and see our house surrounded by a flood.
That night, I was lucky enough to work this dream in a class I was taking. We did Gestalt dream theater in which each piece of the dream is played by someone in the room. When I walked up to the woman playing the gypsy psychic, she said, "This is your lineage." I had shivers.
I knew the ancestors had come to me in my dream. You can see the importance of the land in the dream as well, from the map to the market to the house. And storms play a big role in my life, so it's no surprise I have a violent, scary storm raging outside in this dream. I've worked with this dream on and off during these three years and it continues to bring me gifts.
I encourage you to do your own ancestral dreaming, especially at this time of the year. Speak to the ancestors. Call out to your ancestral lands. See what comes.
Here are some other writings on ancestral dreaming to whet your palate.
Dream Genealogy by Amy Brucker
Connecting with the Ancestors on Day of the Dead/Samhain/Halloween by Robert Moss
Initiation Dreams by Erin Langley