A few weeks ago, I went to see a tarot reader/shaman/ native American medicine woman and then, less than two weeks later, I visited an Australian psychic/energy reader. They live on opposite sides of Ubud, look nothing like each other and, while one uses a gamut of props (including, yes!, a crystal ball), the other one relies solely on copious amounts of water and cigarettes. I took some notes at both, wasn’t blown away by anything (save for the question about whether the name Dan or Daniel meant anything, which it did), but came away puzzled (and mildly amused) at references to my many previous lives – priestess, healer, herbalist and street urchin in 17th century France.
Some friends asked about the readings: Were they precise? Were they right? Did they know what they were talking about? I had no way of confirming events of the past and, as for the future (you will study Chinese medicine…) only time will, or will not, tell.
So for now, I will only place my bets on two people: a Vedic astrologer on the outskirts of Kathmandu – because, with enough worry in his face and concern in his voice, but without divulging details to me, he foresaw my accident; and a Canadian phys-ed teacher living in Kuala Lumpur, who has been interpreting my dreams since I met him and his wife last year. What I appreciate about R’s interpretations are that they untangle some hidden meanings that I don’t seem, myself, to be able to detect; and they provide confirmation of my own understanding.
Unusually, I remembered a series of vivid dreams while I stayed with R and his wife, which made it easy to share them the next day and receive immediate feedback. Since then, I go through long phases when I don’t recall any dreams, and then, I awake a few mornings with the dreams front and center in my mind. Such as this morning…:
Picture a large table or platform, so expansive that it reaches as far as the horizon. On this platform is set up a diorama, a mini-cityscape, complete with low-rises, single-dwelling homes and, at the front of the table, a clumping of skyscrapers. Amidst the skyscrapers are a handful of empty plastic cups with straws (in real-life size), in front of which sit a small group of women who are talking animatedly. They are seated on straight-backed chairs (with maroon color padding, I think). I am passing behind them, then pull out my camera to take photos of this incredible layout.
I don’t notice immediately but the women are standing up, still talking. I try to take a picture, but something isn’t quite working with my camera. I fidget and pull out the batteries, then replace them, and with the camera seemingly back in working order, I put the lens up to my eye and am shocked to see a massive brick wall on the other side. I lower my camera and look up, in amazement, to see that the diorama has disappeared, and in its place have sprouted (back?) all regular-size buildings in front of us. I ask the woman closest to me what happened and she says that the diorama was no longer needed, so the technician shut it off by remote.
I then find myself inside a house that stands pretty much alone in the middle of a lot, far away from other homes and buildings. It also seems to belong to an Indian family. I am standing (or lying on the bed) on the mezzanine of their house, overlooking the lower floor, which is empty of people, and furnished rather simply. There is a portrait of someone on the wall, but I am too far away to see the face. The only person that I see and hear is an older man at the doorway into a room, who seems to be playing ball with his son or grandchild perhaps. He doesn’t look up and I don’t have interactions with anybody in the family (that I can recall). There is a sense that I am just an onlooker, with no connections to this home or family.
Next scene: I magically appear in a low-rise apartment building, complete with cookie-cutter units, shag carpeting on the floor, white walls, moldy smelling, pretty boring stuff. I’m led to one apartment (by whom, I don’t recall) and I am left there alone. I may have a bag that I place on the ground; I know I have a helmet that I place on a shelf above. I think the TV is on, but I’m not watching. I’m eating, maybe ice cream, and looking out the window. Suddenly I see humans flying (how else to explain this phenomenon?!), perhaps on gliders or para-sails, coming into a landing to my left and a little behind; one after the other. Then, in between their landings, other people, dressed in colorful clothes and hats – a combination of marching band and Balinese in ceremonial dress. They walk while waving large flags, crossing the path of incoming flyers, but with enough space and timing, that nobody crashes into each other. It’s an orchestrated inter-weaving of walking and flying people!
Meanwhile I’m wondering where my helmet is… I know I had a helmet, at least I did when I came to the apartment, placing it on a shelf slightly higher than my head. I can’t recall where it is now.
Remembering that I don’t have my camera, I quickly return to the apartment to retrieve it, only to realize that I don’t have the key and the door locked when it closed behind me. I knock on the door, which I sense is pointless because nobody was there when I left. I’m about to turn away when a thin older, white haired man answers the door, inviting me in. Who are you, I ask. He doesn’t answer, but I quickly realize that I’ve knocked on the wrong door, and though he is perfectly happy to have a visitor, I feel uncomfortable and anyway, I have to find the apartment where I was last.
As I walk away, the shaggy smelly off-white carpet underfoot, I realize that I’d gotten lost in the warren of stairs going this way and that, and had probably climbed and gone down a few different staircases to get outside, then lost my way re-entering. I’m getting into a bit of a panic, not that I want so much to get to that apartment – I felt cramped, isolated, boxed in – but I am obviously lost there, needing to find my way back.
From around the corner, L, a friend of my parents’ (in real life, who has in the last few years become a friend of mine as well) walks up to me and asks what I’m in a tizzy about. I explain and then, in her typical equanimous, calming way, L re-assures me that I’m not lost, that she can help, that I can always stay with her or someone else I know. But above all, she reminds me, I have no need to be concerned, I will find the way in – and out…
On many levels, self-explanatory, I can figure it out myself… but I’ll count on R to fill in the details. When my sub-conscious can provide so much authentic and colorful fodder for self-understanding, I wonder why I even consider seeking the (sometimes questionable, sometimes hilarious, more often than not piecemeal) understanding of others?