Note: This article, written by Dawn Baumann Brunke, is an excerpt from the book Shapeshifting with Our Animal Companions (Bear & Company, 2008).

One early morning, not long ago, I awoke from a terrific dream. It was so vivid and powerful that its images and ideas still pulsed through my body as I opened my eyes. It was one of those multi-leveled dreams--one in which I was 'me' but also a spirit self that was part observer, part participant.

To begin, the dream opened with a visual of the earth cut in half--the kind of graphic that elementary science books are fond of using when describing the different layers of our planet. But, unlike the static image in a text book, this visual was reverberating with activity. What I saw were so many layers of colours and movement: a frenzied red-orange molten center; a dark, dense layer that was magnetic, strong and powerful; several grid-like layers that were 'electric' and blue, like thin moving fields interspersed between other layers; and many more. Each layer had a unique consistency, pattern and--yes, consciousness. There were layers upon layers of water, and I noticed differences in such things as 'lower waters' and 'upper waters'. Indeed, nearer the surface crust there were ever more delineations, and the patterns and colours became more varied and ornate.

As I moved closer in perspective, I was aware that each layer was actually many layers, and that even the divisions between layers were not so much divisions as layers of merging. So, too, were there many 'voices'--many cohesive presences alive and aware, each responsible for a particular layer of space, each vibrating with its own flashing pulse that was both a tone and a colour and--I saw now--harmonically related to the deeper pulse that beats through every aspect of our earth. How exquisite!

I was reminded then of how I connect with large fields of presences, such as Ancestor Horse or Spirit of Dog or a Great Bird Deva. My understanding of these is that they are all are variations of group consciousness, 'held' by a unifying force and awareness. Of course, ancestral energy is different than devic energy or animal spirit energy, but all are similarly held by a sentient consciousness, a presence or wisdom which we can all connect with and learn from, should we choose to do so.

It is difficult to explain in words but, of course, we must always try. This is what I heard in the dream as I was observing the layers and urging myself to remember when I awoke--for part of me had been 'awake' in the dream, quite aware another part of me was sleeping. Everything I saw, felt and heard was alive and throbbing… so many insights were flooding my brain that I knew the best I could do was simply experience as much as I could and hope the gist would be carried back to my waking consciousness.

It was then that I was aware of being in a large meeting hall--not a meeting hall as we know it in our human way, but a spatial meeting hall, a kind of deep down in the ocean or far out in space setting that had a vague Sci-Fi atmosphere yet at the same time was realer than real. I remembered being here before! I remembered many of the beings who were sitting around the tall, elegant meeting tables, which were unlike any I had known. As I looked closer, I realized they were also simple, natural--how was it that we did not know of this design on earth?--and somehow centering.

This was a meeting of the Council of Earth (also known by other names), and the discussion was the 'Surface People'. Many of us were in attendance as listeners and students. I was mildly surprised to find I was simultaneously sitting on the Council and sitting as an observer, watching, listening, learning. The Council was explaining how those called to know about the Council (which now includes you, as the larger memory is unfolding) are also called to remember we are all members (as always, a funny twist on the word remember, which is to re-member ourselves), and we are all part of something much greater than we normally suspect.

The Council then shared one of their main concerns for the Surface People--those of us living with our consciousness limited to the surface of the planet (or, we might also say, those of us living primarily on the surface of our awareness)--was our resistance to awakening to deeper levels. As a key example, they showed this in terms of the political arena. As an observer of the Council, I sensed dismay at the levels of corruption, fraud, and fixation on money that had diverted so many humans from breaking through to a larger awareness which would allow all of us to genuinely feel our connection not only with the wisdom and delight of our deeper selves and others, but with the earth herself. How could this have happened? And why?

And then, just as a wave of an overwhelming frustration, sadness and overall disappointment threatened to crash over me, I saw a shimmering movement from the Dolphin People. From their minds or beings, they shared an image of the dolphins on earth: joyous creatures leaping and arcing over turquoise waves in the ocean. On a huge flat screen which appeared in front of us, we watched the physical dolphins leaping, clicking, splashing and making backward motions half in the water and half out, until we were all smiling and laughing. This living film then shifted to other animal scenes: a group of ants moving and aerating soil beneath a flower bed; brightly shining bees buzzing from vibrant flower to flower and back to a golden, gleaming hive; dragonflies glittering the sky with their iridescent wings--and I was awash in the group's responsiveness to the innate beauty and tremendous feeling of gratitude for these small beings who did so much. It was as if our hearts were swelling upward and outward, as if our deeper feelings--the ones we always felt but covered over with so much 'stuff'--were suddenly coming to light, as if our inner selves were literally illumined and illuminating through our bodies in this joyous state of being.

We watched the Elephant People--such a proud, strong people!--walking majestically through sun-dappled forest. The Fox People showed us their presence in so many parts of the world and we appreciated their fine, delicate movements, their sensitivity to the cycles of the earth, the contours and varying presence of the land. The Raven People, the Polar Bears, the Iguana People, the Crocodiles--each group showed itself like a bubble of consciousness that any one of us could access merely by attuning ourselves and merging in deeper relationship. There was so much! Worlds within worlds--all these bright sparks of awareness, movement, vitality--and these words are merely covers of understanding, for it is not even awareness, movement or vitality as we pretend to know it in our surface way, but a deep, abiding love and connection for who we are in all our totality, with all our connections to our own countless layers of self, and to others, to all the peoples--plant, animal, human, sky, rock and more--of the Earth, and beyond. There is a central pulse of such pleasure for our diverse presence on earth which runs like a song--truly, like a song--throughout our planet. And between these worlds within worlds--which I now saw were not separated at all, but flowing, merging, one into another. I understood not just with my mind, but with my being, that this is how it was all over, even on the surface: when we limit our awareness, the very living of our lives, we see only the separation because we resist the fullness of who we really are. We so fear the greatness, the fullness of the experience of one merging into One, that we limit ourselves. And so we scuttle up to the surface of things, using only one thin fraction of our awareness, diverting our thoughts with so much activity and noise and busy-ness, so as to avoid the truth we all know deep inside.

The dream took several hours to unfold, bits of it reconnecting me like long-forgotten spiritual synapses, depths to surface, a little at a time. "Is there another message?" I asked, but nothing came. While writing about this for Timeless Spirit, I asked again, hoping for a central message or words from the Council to bring through to others. And then I heard, It is enough. You are enough.

As a laugh of deeper being burbled upwards to consciousness, I recalled the Council's presence--the fullness of what that was: simultaneously being on the Council and watching the Council, hoping to learn more. How is it we are both something so big and something so small? What kind of trickster plan is this? And then I saw it was that way with all of us Surface People, such an extraordinary game we play: pretending not to recognize the truth of belonging flowing constantly through our blood and bones and being, linking us to all the ten thousands things upon the planet.

Our relationship with the earth is thus a relationship of becoming, of waking up from the dreamy game and laughing with elation at the fullness of who we all, really, most sacredly, are. It's a dream within a dream. Not only are we remembering the Earth; the Earth is re-membering us. 

You can read more from Dawn on her website.

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