Two Horses - Photo by Meredith Eastwood

A Trip to the Dream Studio

“The Return of the Ancient Deer: A Journey into Celtic Dreaming”

During the first week of April I had the opportunity to attend a dream workshop in Madison, Wisconsin, and to attend a signing of Robert Moss’s new book, The Boy Who Died and Came Back: The Adventures of a Dream Archeologist in the Multiverse.

The Boy Who Died and Came Back is a story of purpose and passion, of myth, history, dreams, synchronicities, and journeys into non-ordinary realities. The reader travels with the “boy” as he experiences his own death more than once. Then with golden prose, the boy (turned best-selling author) recounts the incredible events of his life which include becoming a scholar, master story teller, and dream shaman. Robert Moss reminds us that death is always with us and that “all times are accessible in the Now.” In this awareness we can learn to make choices with courage and clarity.

As I read this exceptional book I lingered over the stories in many of the forty-two chapters. During one of my reading adventures, I opened the book at random, a process Robert calls bibliomancy, to the chapter entitled, “Return of the Ancient Deer.” Imagine my surprise when I realized I had just registered for a workshop entitled, “Return of the Ancient Deer, A Journey into Celtic Dreaming” to be held in Madison, Wisconsin. The following quote summarizes the reason I knew I had chosen correctly to attend this event: “Over the years, the Antlered Ones have called to me sources of ancient wisdom and of contemporary healing and renewal. The symbolism of the antlers is precious to me, as it has been for many cultures. The antlers signify spiritual power, reaching beyond the physical head toward the spirit realm.”

The first night in Madison, I attended Robert’s lecture and book signing at the Unity Church of Madison. The audience was packed with admirers and dreamers. Robert recounted the difficult times during his childhood when he died and came back, his adventures into dream archeology, and writings about Sir William Johnson. Then he read a selection from one of my favorite chapters, “The Change in the Very Hungry Caterpillar” about transformation and the importance of not rushing the butterfly. During part of the evening we participated in a favorite synchronicity game. Robert drummed as we imagined an image, dream, or memory. Then we wrote a few sentences on index cards describing what came into our minds during the journey. The cards were collected, shuffled and redistributed. We were instructed to view the card we received as a message from an oracle for an issue we seek guidance about in our lives. I drew the following card:

“Now is the time
for Liberation
to mirror my soul to the world
a radiant reverent flame in the song of the wind.

Although there was not an opportunity to learn the identity of the author of my card, I was delighted that it found a way to my hands. I knew my weekend would be full of Celtic magic. And like the caterpillar, I was hungry to become the butterfly in the song of the wind.

On the first day of the workshop I found my way easily to The Dream Studio, a sanctuary located in the picturesque farm country of Oregon, Wisconsin. As I drove up the long driveway to the building that would serve as our meeting place, I noticed horses. A stunning retreat for dreamers! I was grateful I had made the long drive from Indianapolis.

Fence and Shadow - Photo by Meredith Eastwood

After I gently placed my crystal egg onto the altar in the center of the room, I settled into a comfortable spot in a circle of fellow dreamers. I noticed the walls covered with paintings, a room filled with art supplies, and a stuffed Tiger on a shelf opposite from where I sat. I had a strange feeling that the tiger would have special meaning for me before the end of the weekend. I then reviewed Robert’s website for information about this “Journey into Celtic Dreaming.”

“In Celtic tradition, the field of dreams is a field of interaction between humans and the more-than-human. Dreaming is traveling, and a way of real magic which is the art of bringing gifts from another world into this world.” Continuing to read the historically based description, I knew we would have a powerful experience with the ancient deer. And that we would “find our way to the island of apples, dream with the Merlin who is the lover of words and deer and poetic speech, and that if we were lucky he would offer us an apple that contains a story that will give us the power to shape shift our lives.” I would have the opportunity to give voice to the song of my own soul. But would there be dragons there?

During one of the journeys in the workshop, I imagined a crystal bowl I could hold easily in the palms of my hands, like a “singing bowl.”

In my imagination my bowl feels warm, holding all that is sacred. Its sounds are brought to life though words and thoughts spoken with love, compassion and generosity. There’s no dragon guarding this bowl, only a fairy with golden wings. I dream about the bowl’s melody and what words and thoughts would cause the bowl to sing. I am the only one who can create its song. It is my desire for my bowl to vibrate with what is nurturing and life-sustaining, a world of beauty, meaning and harmony. My words and thoughts are more musical than I can imagine.

During the second day of the workshop as we each crafted Celtic poetry, I was reminded again that I am what I see, hear, touch or feel.

Here is a small segment of the poetry I created:

I am the beating heart of the glossy green banyan tree.
I am its branches that grow down, its roots that reach up.
I am the valley that grows green, the rose that opens.
I am the gritty sand on a moon-lit beach, the salty foam in the Southern Sea.
I am the Pegasus that prances among the pulsing stars,
And the girl who holds heaven’s key.

When the workshop ended late afternoon on Sunday, I pondered the experience of dreaming where artists created and horses grazed. Perhaps Elen, Celtic patron of roads and gates between the worlds, was with us too as we found our special trees and encountered the ancient deer. I was grateful to have connected with other dreamers, dream teachers and with friends I had met last fall. These were my thoughts driving back to Indianapolis as I listened to Tolkien’s adventures of traveling Hobbits, a fire-breathing dragon, and a Wizard named Gandalf.

Oh…and the stuffed tiger on the shelf? After several references during the weekend to the tiger’s presence, I decided the night dream I had about a tiger would be the prologue to a book I want to restart. I suspect we all returned home with a bit of fairy dust in our dreams.



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