Right now, I’m a traveler.

I’ve been on the road for three months visiting Scotland, England, Norway, and Switzerland. Back home, I don’t have a job or a house; I’m truly a vagabond.

You could say I’m on the heroine’s journey, an initiatory journey to find my true self.

Before I left, I set the intention to connect with my ancestral lands, and hopefully, in some way, my ancestors.

I haven’t been disappointed.

It’s not in waking life that I have encountered my ancestors; instead, they introduce themselves in dreams and meditations, bringing me guidance and support.

Take, for example, this dream, which I had on May 17.

I am at prom. It’s partly outside and partly inside. I’ve come here alone. There’s a buffet I peruse. Then at some point there’s a big pool outside and in it swim orcas. A Hawaiian-looking man is working with and swimming with them, and he has an amazing connection with them. Somehow, I do too.

How can I tell this dream has an ancestral bent?

  • The setting of the dream. Prom is our modern culture’s equivalent of an initiatory ritual.
  • The location of the dream: the prom is half inside and half outside, indicating a threshold between the two worlds of the conscious and unconscious. The point of going on an initiatory journey is to travel, leaving behind the old and stepping into the new.
  • The characters: whales and a Hawiian-looking man. Although I do not have blood ancestry in Hawaii, I see the Hawaiian man as a representation of someone indigenous and ancestral.

And whales, as we’ve been exploring at the Dream Tribe, often represent the record keepers of the collective unconscious, a world the ancestors knew well.

This dream has become the harbinger of what I could expect to learn on my trip and it is showing me my progress in my heroine’s journey.

First, I am at prom. In waking life, prom sucked. Friends and family nagged me until I found a date at the last minute and I was bored for 80 percent of the time. So much for a powerful initiation ritual.

But in the dream, I am at the prom because I chose to go. I went alone. No one else was involved in my decision to attend. Just like this trip.

I peruse the buffet, a representation of all the choices I have now. The ancestors show me that because I have decided to do this alone, I have a whole buffet of options.

And that’s not even the best part.

Here’s the cherry on top: I am gaining access to a new power, one that is more intuitive and connected with nature. One that the Hawaiian man knows well. An ancestral way of knowing.

In the dream, the man works with and swims with the whales. He stands at the side of the pool, his arms up to the sky, communicating with the whales non-verbally. The dream demonstrates that I can communicate with the unconscious and attain ancestral knowing by utilizing non-verbal communication. Like, for instance, in dreams.

The ancestors seem to say, “Let go of your Western, logical, aggressive, goal-oriented thinking. Follow your own path. And follow it by learning to relax, go with the flow, swim in the unconscious, and seek guidance from the ancient ones.”

This dream was my initiation into indigenous mind.

So what does it mean to live in flow with ancestral knowing?

  • I make decisions from the heart and not the mind.
  • I trust that I am held and supported in my decisions.
  • I constantly express my gratitude for the ancestors, the land, and the friends helping me along the way.
  • I listen to my dreams and ask them for guidance.
  • I trust my gut instincts, my intuition.
  • I pay attention to signs and synchronicities.
  • I center myself within love and not fear.
  • I slow down and become present to the moment and the place where I am.
  • I let go of material things and goals.

Ever since I had the orca dream, I have watched my old habits unravel. I see myself sinking more into the uncertainty and trust that is required to live in this new way.

Sometimes I stumble.

But I have also opened my heart, made many deep connections, and discovered that every day is a chance to practice this new way of being. And that is exciting beyond measure.

How have you tapped into indigenous ways of knowing?

Have your ancestors come to you in dreams in forms other than you would recognize as your blood ancestors?