"Journey to the Healing Heart of Your Dreams"
Tatyana's Dream of Passage
by Graywolf Swinney, c2000
Tatyana has been my assistant, companion, secretary, and many other compliments
to me for many years. She passed away Saturday, November 18th, from
an aggressive brain tumor. In the final weeks her deterioration was
rapid. She was unable to find the simplest words to communicate her
thoughts and desires, and the pain in her head was intense and crippling.
But we were still very close and she was still able to dream and share
them with me.
In the mornings she usually awoke with some energy and being hungry would
head down to the kitchen to eat. Her appetite remained good, and
it was a hopeful sign. We were working for a spontaneous remission
through Dream Journeys and the Consciousness Restructuring Process and
other natural treatments.
Tatyana was, after a lifetime of emotional and physical pain, finally at
ease and happy with her life and wanted very much to live it. She
had prepared for death through the previous three years while fighting
this cancer as a rectal tumor. At the last minute of that battle,
she decided that at any cost she wanted to live and finally agreed to a
surgery that removed the tumor. She was, we all hoped, given a new
lease on life.
It was unfortunately a short lease. Three months after the surgery
she experienced a seizure and was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor,
which had apparently spread from the original cancer and lodged in her
brain. It was a blow to all of us, but she (we) remained hopeful
and she was more than ever determined to survive. In fact, on the
whole her spirits were excellent. She told me that the land and her
life were incredibly beautiful and at last she had found her home, and
peace. She wasn't ready to give it up!
In many of the healing traditions I have studied, including Shamanic work
and the ancient Asklepian Dream Healing, death is also seen as a means
of healing. According to this latter traditions, the healing God-mortal
Asklepios carried two vials. When the contents of the vial in the
right hand were used, it would bring about remission of the symptoms.
The vial in his left brought healing through death. One of a Shaman's
most sacred duties is to face death and accompany one on the journey through
the valley of the shadow of death. So we prepared for whatever outcome
On a twenty-four hour medical watch, I arose each morning when I heard
her up and foraging in the kitchen, and met her there. It was the
place where we met every morning for many years to check in with each other
and share whatever dreams we remembered.
Three weeks before her passing, in our morning check in, she shared with
me a very meaningful dream.
In her dream she is walking through the forest and comes to a circular
clearing. In the clearing are six women all robed in shining white
gowns and dancing in a circle. She hangs back, but soon is seen by
the women and is invited to participate in the dance. She is embraced
by each of them and feels welcomed and warm as she joins the circle of
women in their dance.
This was not a dream for interpretation or analysis, although many suggested
themselves. The dream itself provided a wealth of valuable experience
for her. I didn't even consider a Dream Journey. It was a dream
that in and of itself a complete and whole experience. I merely reminded
her that she was all parts of the dream and invited her to explore the
sensations and experience of becoming the circle of women in the white
As she did so, a look of calmness and peace came over her. Throughout
her body and mind she reported sensations of lightness, purity and cleanliness
in the whiteness of the robes, and a sense of balance, and completeness
as she joined in the circle of the dance. There was a flow and the
rhythms and movements came naturally and brought a great sense of harmony
and fulfillment. She had a smile on her face as she recounted these
experiences for me and we were both uplifted by the experience.
From which vial had she drunk with this dream? Was it the release
of death and the passing; or was it the experience that would nourish her
body, cells and nervous system to give them the experience and means to
shrink the tumor? I did not know nor could I guess. It was
not a matter of mind but of her Spirit.
During the next three weeks her condition began to rapidly deteriorate.
This did not discourage us because spontaneous remissions usually occur
at the eleventh hour, often when all seems hopeless. We still did
not give up our prayers and hope, but the dream had prepared us for either
On the Saturday morning she died, she did not ever fully wake up.
She became aware enough for a brief period to indicate that she was willing
to go into the emergency room to get a reading on what was happening, and
then she appeared to go to sleep again. She remained asleep for the
entire day. We learned at the emergency room that it was a coma,
and that she could remain in it for days or weeks, or she could pass at
I whispered several things into her ear in my last communication and kept
her dream in my heart as I was doing so. We were in co-consciousness
in that moment, and I know she felt the dream too. I may even have
told her to remember it. I think I did, but it doesn't matter because
the dream was hers and it was there to guide her to whatever outcome was
best for her. It was her dream; it was a gift from her spirit.
Three hours later she passed on. Her face was relaxed and unlined.
She just sighed and stopped breathing. There were no pain wrinkles
on her face and her mouth was slightly opened. Her passing had been
mercifully free and easy for her. She got to stay on the land she
had dearly loved as her sanctuary for as long as possible. She deserved
the ease of this passing. I can't help but think that the dream carried
her with it. Was her "dream" now her reality? Was the outer
experience the "dream" from which she woke into the reality of the everlasting
dance of evolution?
Her consciousness patterns live on and we will see each other in our dreams.
She lives on in my dreams and those of many others; even if they did not
know her in life. That is the way of dreams. Watch for her!
You'll sense her archetypal presence as a gentle spirit full of love and
Dreams are so much more than just a story line or symbols. They are
a completely altered state of dynamic consciousness in which all is possible.
They are another perception of our lives, ourselves and our deaths.
They serve us in many ways, not the least of which is to guide us through
our important life transitions. They transcend time and space.
They help us to prepare for death. They can show us the passage and
also help in the last days with their wisdom and experiences. They
can connect us even after death. Tatyana's dream helped me to accept
and come to peace with her passing. It provided a myth or archetype
that helps me to flow through my personal grief to the celebration of her
release from her pains in this life. I know that she's okay because
I experienced with her the vision of her passage, and her welcome into
the dance of the elders creating with everlasting and ongoing evolution.
I experienced her purity and excitement as she joined this dance.
In her memory I am establishing the "Tatyana Midori Scholarship" at the
Institute for Applied Consciousness Science. It will pay tuition
for one full year of mentorship training for a selected individual each
year. She would like that.
Tatyana, may your journey on into the "great mystery" be one of balance
and harmony. You will be remembered, loved and honored and will live
on in my dreams.
Our website is http://asklepia.org; email is firstname.lastname@example.org or we
can be reached at P.O. Box 301, Wilderville OR 97543; phone (541) 476-0492.