Asklepia Foundation
"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 occurred.

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 robes.

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 outcome.

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 any moment.

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 support.

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; email is or we can be reached at P.O. Box 301, Wilderville OR 97543; phone (541) 476-0492.