People have asked when “it” began for me, my spiritual path through life. It was early. In a different culture, I would have been identified young because of the dream I had, and I would have started training formally with the shamans or medicine people of the tribe as a small child. As it was, I did the best I could.
I was a little child, less than 6, around 4 or 5 I think. It is one of the only memories I have of my earlier childhood years. I was very sick – I was often very sick, seeming to have strep throat nearly constantly, and running very high fevers with them. I was asleep, and had a dream:
A man appeared to me and took me by the hand. He looked almost exactly like Jesus did in my little child’s bible. I recognized Him as such, an aspect of the Divine. He pulled me up, and we went flying, hand in hand, all over the world. We stopped along the way, many times. We stopped in a church. We stopped in what I eventually recognized as a synagogue. In what I much later recognized as a Buddhist temple, and a Hindu temple.
At each place, people were worshiping. I remember being almost frightened at the crush of strange looking people at the Hindu temple, with their dots on their foreheads and flowing saris. This was, oh, I don’t know, maybe 1968? No cable series for me to have watched, to have picked up the images from, for they were all in bright, vivid color. With each stop, the words the man said to me were the same: “This is a good way of reaching God, but not your way.”
Finally we came to rest on a high hillside. At the bottom of the hill was the most massive Tree I have ever seen. We walked down the hill towards the tree, and there, lining the hillside, were people living in a primitive, tribal way, what I recognized as Native American, or as we said back then, Indian. He told me that this, this was my way. That all the people there were serving the Tree, the Tree of Life, and that I would, too.
It made sense to me, because I had had past life memories of being a Lakota Indian, and dying a very awful death, for as long as I could remember… my memories didn’t start as a small child, they started with my death as that young Lakota woman.
He showed me a wheel, what I would now call a medicine wheel, and he told me that just like on a wheel, that has many spokes leading to the center, so it was with God, too. That there were many paths all leading to the same place, so that everyone could have a path that bests suits them.
And then he took me home, and told me not to ever forget.
And I never did.