Nature Teaches by Judith Dreyer
Nature teaches with surprising results. I extend a warm welcome to Judith Dreyer, MS, BSN, author and speaker who also offers a Dream Navigation, Online Class. Judith shares personal experience of connecting to nature in this world—and among spirits.
Virtually all native cultures that have survived without fouling their nests have acknowledged that nature knows best, and have had the humility to ask the bears and wolves and ravens and redwoods for guidance.
— Janine Benyus, Biomimicry Institute
Nature teaches and I wanted to know “the woods” and how to move within the forest and meet creatures unafraid. I knew of Tom Brown Jr.’s Tracking School, and as an herbalist I was especially interested in his knowledge of edible plants.
Fate steps in
Through a series of synchronistic events and encounters I heard of a wilderness school in Maine run by one of Tom Brown Jr.’s students. I had enjoyed one of his awareness workshops so I enrolled in Basic Skills week to be held that spring in the deep forests of central Maine.
Our small group slept in a tipi and practiced the skills needed for two days of hiking and camping under the stars. Living so close to the land in respect and love for the earth heightened my senses, and I found myself walking in two worlds – the physical and the world of spirit. Spring colors intensified. The air of spring was cool and clarifying. We followed the tracks of deer and moose. The connection to all living things pervaded my bones. And I dreamed.
Return to everyday life
When I returned home I found it difficult to be indoors. I was also exhausted. While it was a terrific experience, the new sights and sounds of the forest had kept me awake and that week had taken a physical toll. I needed to rest and replenish. Once home, when I found myself in the woods where nature teaches, I practiced seeing with soft eyes and staying grounded.
The work process of Dream Navigation
I am a dreamer. In the aboriginal sense, everything is part of the Dreamtime. There is no separation. In the Mohawk tradition, for example, you follow the energy of the dream – if you dream of getting a massage you go out and get a massage in the waking state. It is this understanding of no separation that I try to bring into my everyday life. Shortly after I returned from the Basic Skills week, I had a dream. I teach dream work and I followed that same process of recording the dream:
Step 1: Record the Dream
The Dream: I had a sense of being with the head instructor from the wilderness school. We were working on a more difficult tracking exercise, at least for me. As I looked into the forest clearing I saw deer that shifted into a group of people – several men and one woman – doing a specific toe walk. They would put the ball of the foot down and then lift the heel quickly and gently from the ground. They were wearing moccasins. The woman was dressed like a dancer wearing black leotards and a black skirt, her hair was tied in a bun like a ballerina. Men surrounded her on three sides. They toe-walked in unison. I “felt” as if I was given a message and a gift by the deer people. They were showing me a specific walk that would help to camouflage a group walking in the woods if everyone did this together.
How did I feel when I woke up?: I felt elated, light-hearted, and I thought seeing deer shift into human form was pretty cool.
Reality Check: I did not know this form of walking in the woods. I did not experience any contact with deer on my walks during the day.
Action: I wrote to the Wilderness School for verification. I was told that yes, in fact, there is a deer walk used in stalking and tracking in the forest. I was encouraged to practice the walk as given to me in the dream.
Nature teaches with a deer in the woods
About a week later I found myself on a local trail in a little preserve I had not visited recently. The main trail leads away from a small pond into a wooded area that meets a stream. The sound of rushing water soothed me so I sat on a stump to listen. This gray, early spring day was overcast and chilly. Suddenly I caught sight of two deer. They bolted out of a dense thicket 100 to 200 feet away and circled around me, two or three times. Surprised and in awe of these beautiful creatures, I sat still and willed myself to become part of the pattern of the woods and to observe.
One of the deer stopped about 50 feet away. She looked around. Eventually she bobbed her head as she pawed the ground. As she bobbed her head, I blinked my eyes and in my heart, I silently told her that I was here as her sister. I came to “do no harm” as my elders often advised. My eyes were the only part of me that moved. Nature teaches. Did she have a message?
I sensed she knew I was not part of the normal pattern of these woods. She turned. Her flanks quivered as if she was nervous or stressed. Then, she took deep breaths and let the air out with force from her nostrils. The sound was similar to a horse only there was no whinny. As I watched her leave, I had the sense she was showing me a useful breathing technique.
That spring, as I explored the forest more deeply, I experienced a shift in my energy. Some know it as Kundalini. All I can say is that it was beautifully inspiring, very powerful, and it affected my heart chakra. It was not easy handling the Kundalini power surge. But, I had received a gift from that creature in these woods—an effective breathing technique to relieve pressure I could feel in my heart if I was anxious. I tried it and followed this pattern over the next few days along with the toe-walking step from the dream. I felt my strength build.
These two events occurred within a week of each other, delivering messages from the deer. Both helped restore my health and energy. Both were wonderful gifts that came from connecting with the deer – one in the dreaming state, the other in the forest. Neither from books. The Dreamtime is all-inclusive. All of our experiences contribute to our deep knowing. We are not separate from Nature so if and when we pay attention she offers solutions and inspiration.
Dream proved true
Later on, in the fall of that year, I attended a workshop for dreamers given by a dream shaman. One of the participants was a member of an ensemble that performed a deer dance that dates back to the 1100s in Europe.
- The deer dance is enacted by a group of men acting as the deer.
- They walk using the ball of the foot and gently lifting their heels.
- There is only one woman involved.
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Judith Dreyer, BSN, RN, MS, received degrees in Nursing and Nutrition Science. She has taught at Western State Connecticut State University and focuses on holistic health including Western-based herbalism.
She is the author of AT THE GARDEN’S GATE.
Her website and blog can be found at www.JudithDreyer.com.
Podcast series Holistic Nature of Us is available on Spotify, iTunes, YouTube, Google Music Play and her website.
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Thanks to Judith Dreyer for posting on my personal blog, Writings on the Wall. DreamWatch True Paranormal Blog has added Judith’s “Deer Dance Premonition Dream” to our Personal Premonitions archive because the dream foresaw both the need to use the breathing technique to “feel stronger” and of seeing the Deer Dance at the Fall workshop, as well as the action and results that happened in future months.