When I was a teenager around 18 years old I often dreamt about a rocking chair which rocked on its own or with the help of the wind on a deck that floated across a bayou. This dream was in black and white. I mention it because I usually dream in colors. Dead trees dangled over the bayou and the water seemed muddy and murky. The dream seemed to last a long time. I would soak in the impression of this image and it seemed really important to me. I always woke up feeling spooked and extremely sad. After a year of two of repetition, I finally told myself one night that I wanted to know more about the dream. Why was it so important to me and what did it mean?
One night I dreamt this dream again except this time there was rattling in the background as if bones or stones were knocking against each other. I turned around and saw for the first time, a cabin. I realized I had never turned around before while dreaming this dream. I only looked forward at the scene. There was an elder woman on the porch and she was beading. She rocked in a rocking chair and over her head there was a "rattling of bones." I got close to her and started feeling like she was someone I knew and liked. She had this tatoo on her shoulder of the Medicine Wheel. She smiled.
Again, the dream was black and white. Again, it seemed important to soak in the image. The details told the story. Finally, just before I was about to wake up the woman said: "Lisa remember -- there's what you experience, what you feel, what you know, what you wish you would know, and then, there's everything that's bigger than you wanting you to grow."
At that moment, the "rattling of the bones" didn't mean much to me. It was one detail within a bigger picture. I certainly journeyed with this dream for years seeing new messages, or new learning with every new perspective. I never dreamt this dream again after figuring out some meaning or after visiting with this woman until of course I came across the skeleton men that danced on the hill top and brought the sun to rise. I saw then, a connection between the dreams and it was like I was starting my journey or exploration all over again.
I understood at that point that Rattling the Bones was about stirring up the past; bringing up memories; awakening us to the ancestors; and allowing us the core of Mother Earth. Entranced with the concept I decided to collect bones and create my own "wind chime" (so to speak). I knew enough about tradition to understand that when you receive a dream or vision that brings you learning and healing it's always a good idea to manifest it. So I created the bone wind chime and adopted it as a sacred tool. It didn't take long, almost a month after doing this I came across a small museum on Native American artifacts close to Niagara Falls, Ontario.
The old couple who owned the place were both in their 90's. The shop was rarely opened to the public except of course when were drove by. We roamed the shop and I found in the over stuffed boutique a rattle of bones. I wanted to buy it but the owner said he couldn't possibly sell it because it was rare and it was the only one he had. He explained to me that a First Nation Shaman had used it to cure his sister who was haunted by the negative energies of the past. I smiled and was quite glad he had shared the story.
I realized after the fact that I didn't need to buy someone else's sacred tool because I had created my own. I also understood that sacred tools can speak and share their own story. It's a matter of listening. We expect life to repeat always the same images and in the same manner because we think that's the only way we can understand each other or Spirit but the fact of the matter is LIFE speaks through mystery and the unknown and if we're not capable of flowing to the different forms it takes and hear the mutating messages it delivers we cheat ourselves of so much learning and healing.
LISTENING should always be the first step to sharing or TALKING. Lots of parents are quick to getting their kids to know words and master vocabulary but they forget the importance of listening and hearing what lies between the words. Rattling the Bones is about sound but it is also about sound within silence. There's beauty in what I'm saying and I think I'll stop here so that I can bathe in it for a little while.