Transferred Visions

Recently I spent a week in Dream Teacher Training with Robert Moss at the beautiful and peaceful Mosswood Hollow retreat center in Duvall, Washington. It was so great to be able to step out of the pace of everyday living and immerse myself in the dreaming for a full week. To reconnect with nature. To reconnect with my deeper self. To reconnect with friends made last year and meet new friends. And to remember and remind myself how important dreaming is.

One focus of our week was to dream new ways of healing. We practiced vision transfer, a process in which one journeys via the shamanic drum and retrieves a healing vision for another. I reconnected with my friend from an earlier dream workshop who had gifted me with a powerful vision that helped me to write The Deep Water Leaf Society. Without that transferred vision, I don’t think I would have completed the book. Here’s how it happened, about a year and a half ago . . .

I had told Lisa very little about myself or my book at the time. I simply told her I wanted to write a book on grieving. I explained that I was feeling very stuck and feeling as though during any time I spent writing I was letting innumerable other more “important” things go undone. I was conflicted about several other goals and paths and I felt that time and dedication to the book would prevent me from pursuing them. She agreed to retrieve a vision that would help me to get unblocked and move forward with my project.

As the drumming began, I sat quietly, holding the intention of completing my book. Lisa rode the drumming into the place of dreams and visions. The drumming took her to a vision of a large outdoor fire around which many people sat. She saw me sitting at the place of honor, dressed in buckskin and a feather cape. A woman walked into the circle carrying a bundle in her arms. This woman, she told me, was the embodiment of Kachina Woman (a rock formation in Sedona). Kachina Woman dropped the bundle into the fire and smoke rose into the sky. Then she came and stood by me, holding out her arms. She said to me, “My arms are empty now. I can hold for you whatever you feel you might be missing while you write. It will be in my arms, ready for you to reclaim when your work is done.”

I pulled a feather from my cape and began to write words into the smoke. Then everyone around the fire was healed by the smoke rising from the bundle she had dropped into the flames and the words I wrote in it. They came forward, one by one, and dropped their own bundles into the flame. They thanked me and honored me for the healing I had brought them.

As Lisa told me what she’d seen, I was moved to tears. The feather cape I wore in her vision was a cape I had retrieved in an earlier vision that same day, when I’d traveled into space and connected with the Archangel Raphael, protector of humanity and healer of hearts. I had not told Lisa of that vision, and I was amazed that she had retrieved the same imagery. The fire and smoke also mirrored some of my earlier journeying. As she spoke of the smoke rising from the fire, I felt Cameron’s presence with me strongly. It seemed that the fire was my grief and the smoke was its transformation. It seemed the smoke was the remaining presence of Cameron and that he would be helping me to tell our story. I told Lisa all of this and explained to her that I had lost my son and that it was the grief of that loss I wanted to write about.

She said, “I didn’t want to say this before, because it seemed so odd and kind of creepy, but the bundle that Kachina Woman dropped into the fire was a baby.”

We both sat stunned and awed by the power of this vision. When I came home, I found a photo of Kachina Woman on the internet and set it as the background on my computer monitor so that she would be there, holding whatever I needed her to hold, as I wrote the book. I held in my mind the vision of all these other people finding healing from grief, of my story somehow helping them to do that. That is still my hope.

It’s easy to retrieve a healing vision for someone else. Here’s how:

  1. Create a sacred and safe space in which to journey. You can do this by calling on whatever healing and protective powers you feel connected to – God, angels, the Light, your power animals, the directions or anything else that works for you. You might wish to light a candle or use some other ceremony.
  2. Have the person you’ll be journeying for tell you, briefly, about a situation in their life for which they’d like to receive a healing vision. Have them paint a picture of the situation with their words so that you get a sense of their feelings about it. (In the above story, I told Lisa how frustrated I felt about all the other things that wouldn’t get done if I focused on writing the book as well as my uncertainty about the value of what I had to say.)
  3. Have the person you’ll be journeying for summarize and distill what they’ve said into a simple intention they can hold in their mind while you journey for them. (Mine was, “I want help to complete my book.”)
  4. Get into a comfortable position for journeying. Either lie down or sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Hold the intention that you are journeying to retrieve a healing vision for your partner.
  5. Using shamanic drumming (either by drumming yourself, having someone drum for you, or playing a recording of shamanic drumming), allow yourself to ride the drum sound as you pay close attention to what you see, feel, hear or intuit. The person for whom you are journeying simply sits quietly holding their intention. Fifteen minutes of drumming should be an adequate amount of time.
  6. When you return from the journey, take a few moments to write down your perceptions. If you feel like you “got nothing,” then make something up!! Your imagination has been primed by the drumming and you will be able to craft a helpful and healing story. Don’t second guess yourself.
  7. Gift your vision to your partner by telling the story vividly and with conviction.
  8. Ask your partner if there is any part of the vision they’d like to claim as their own. Have your partner retell as much of the story as they wish to claim in their own words. They can add into the story any personal connections they may have felt as you gave them the story. This retelling and saying the words out loud is an important step, because by doing so your partner will be claiming the power of the story as their own. (I claimed all of Lisa’s beautiful story and added to it the idea that Cameron would be in the smoke, helping me to write.)
  9. Ask your partner what action they will take to honor the healing vision. Dreams and visions require action to work their magic in your life. (My action steps were to find a statue or picture of Kachina Woman that I could keep in my writing space and to call on her when I felt distracted by other things or guilty about my writing time.)

It was great to reconnect with Lisa this past week and to have an opportunity to let her know how powerfully her vision had worked in my life. Never underestimate the power of dreams to heal and transform. And never underestimate your own power as a dreamer and a storyteller. Your words can heal others and help them to find their way.

Thank you, Lisa, for helping me to find mine!

Lisa’s business is called DreamSync and she offers counseling and support with dream circles, decisionmaking, tracking synchronicity, imaginal healing and dream journaling. I hope you’ll check out her beautiful website at

Wishing you peace on the journey . . .

One thought on “Transferred Visions

  • September 17, 2008 at 9:23 AM

    Claire, this exercise sounds wonderful and transformative. Thank you for sharing.


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