Last night I had the most peculiar of dreams, a gift was given and it is something that I cannot shake. Something that wonderful and amazing is something you don’t put on a shelf and forget about it. It is of one of the most sacred and humblest of gifts and I am so not worthy of such things. I haven’t a clue of how to care for such purity, innocence, love, and beauty. I would never want to be the cause of any harm that may come to such a rare and majestic being. I would rather in it’s entirety die never to return again than to harm such a being and because I lack such knowledge and experience I am terrified of what I dreamt. The purest of beings born of pure love one of the four original creations between Skywoman and Everlasting Man that lived with them on their “magical” island in the west; greatful yes, scarred yes, completely unworthy yes. Who am I to dream of such things. I am crazy, weird, and strange at best, just a mere insignificant shadow of the legacy of a once great society of beings, humans/everlasting man/Anishinaabeg (the good beings).
I had to work so I spent most of the day in a captivated state of consciousness. A colleague even stated “you are not here with us today are you.” I giggled, smiled and said to him, “No I am not.” I don’t know if you ever have dreams like that? Dreams where you can still feel the wind on your face, the smell of a flower, the touch of someones hand, the breathe of someone or something, their words whispered in your ear, the feel of a rock or tree; like you were actually there or the adventures/events actually happened. For me: dreams like that are real and happen often, the spirit world/dimension/degree is an accessible place for some. It is not quite that place we are traveling to when we are ready to journey, but more like a stopping place on the way there, most refer to it as purgatory, for me it is another world, another place along the path of the souls, “we are spiritual beings, having an Everlasting Man (human) experience.” The belief is that some are able to visit these worlds and come and go, my grandfathers referred to them as spirit walkers/flyers, ancient beings with ageless knowledge that are experiencing this worlds time.
There is no scientific or psychological explanation for such dreams for me, no matter the amount of research done on dreams they are an unknown. I have read many books, articles, papers on dreams but none are as helpful as my grandfather or others with in my family. One thought interested me and it was that “the dreams we dream are based upon the feelings we are feeling during that time.” If that were true then I would dream of my family members who have journeyed on every night and I would be able to talk with them every night as my greatest of mentors my grandfather and uncle both have journeyed on and I need their help now more than ever, even the comforting cooing of my brother is sorrowly missed and think of him always. So I hold fast to ALL of my ancestral teachings and beliefs. If that makes me weird, crazy, and pathetic to some then I am and wholeheartedly stand by those teachings and beliefs. Most would view my dream as a silly childs dream, but not according to the legends I grew up hearing. A dream of this nature is one that would never be allowed to be revealed to anyone except the person who dreamt it and the elder/spiritual advisor (most call them Shamen). However, since I have broken many practices already why not go with the most taboo, right and talk about my dream and share a legend with you.
The Dream: I woke, meaning I opened my eyes like I always do when I have these types of dreams, I am fully aware I am dreaming or spirit walking. I opened my eyes in my dream and I was sitting on my twin bed holding my cedar flute. I was looking out my bedroom window thinking how lovely it was outside and that I should be out in the forest and getting some sun. The chessboard stone floor was cold to the touch on my feet as I put them down on the floor and put my hand in the rays of the sunlight coming through the dark brown blinds that covered the window and I could feel the warmth. Then my locked bedroom door swung open and a blinding flash of light startled me, I had to cover my eyes, when I was able to look in walks a person, someone I don’t know. I can only say I know of the person because the person was someone I recognise. The person walked in holding a medium sized brown box, like one that would be used for shipping items through UPS. The person walks up to me and puts the box in my lap and says “here, for you.” I look at the person and asked why he was there, the person said, “open the box.” The first thing I saw was the red and white material. I pull the red material out and just as the material was almost fully out of the box, the box shook in my lap. I laughed and asked, “what is in here,” looking up at the person in front of me smiling. The person then said “watch this,” as I was about to pull out the white material out jumped one of the most sacred of beings to me, a Unicorn, Ninde’an (my heart). The Unicorn jumped out of the box kicked it aside, jumped into my lap, and nuzzled it’s nose under my neck and chin. He was no more larger than a full grown Beagle. I was afraid and shaking running my fingers through it’s long, curly, silky mane and tail; his body was soft, smooth, and firm. His horn was just as white as his mane and body and felt like a piece of dried coral. His eyes were like looking into the sky at night, deep, dark blue and shimmering like moonlight on rippling water. I looked up at the person standing before me with tears in my eyes and asked, “why?” The person wiped my tears and said, “To see you again, remember” and pulled us into the sunlight coming through the window and the unicorn began to shift colors in my arms like a prism would do when put into the sunlight. His horn began to pulse like a pulsar. The next thing I remember we were on the edge of a forest next to a river and the Unicorn was as large as a horse. We got on his back and he began to run across the water I could see the rivers end and see the ocean ahead, I could hear the heartbeat of the person in front of me as he whispered into the Unicorns ear, but it was the splashing of water on my face that woke me. When I woke I was in my own bed, but I could still feel all those sensations.
Why is this dream so significant to me and my family. Those who attend the Mide ceremonies will understand the significance of the Unicorn in the Mide “Society” because Unicorns are a part of the ceremonies of a certain degree; the edge of the “known” universe is what I refer to that ceremonies degree as and maybe someday I will explain why, but not today. The known legends told to me by my grandfathers of the Unicorn will only be known by a small few. No: most won’t know, truly only a few will know parts of their tales not many know all the legends of the Anishinaabeg and infact I think non-live now that actually know them all. Sad that much is being lost. The storytellers have kept them secret for far too long and only told in half stories to elude others from fully knowing; all from fear of persecution like so many other cultures and their way of life the teachings went “underground” in an effort to save them. That said here are a couple of the legends of the Unicorn, Ninde’an as my grandfather called him.
Skywoman and Everlasting Man what a pair they are their legend is one of creative passion: I wonder will they ever meet again, but when they first met their first touch many wonderful things happened. Yes uncontrollable desire and love for another being, but from that touch of desire four other beings emerged “pop” “pop” as my grandfather would say “like those fires popping in the night on your birthday.” He was always a day off. Although not born of what we consider conventional birth; these four beings were born from the first touch of desire and passion; the first touch, a flash of light, heat and an unbreakable bond was created and from that light emerged four beings ( energy is not “lost” when transferred but transformed) Maanidoog (Spirit/magic folk), Ninde’an (Unicorn – my heart ) or Gaagii- Ninde’an (my everlasting heart as Skye called him), Me Me gwe sii (Water dwelling beings lil hairy dwarf folk), Misaabeg (giants). Each of these beings were born possessing great knowledge of the earth and made it their home, living with Skye and Man on their island (I want to speculate Rodinia Supercontinent). Each being has their own legends. The Unicorn being of interest right now; so extraordinary is their healing abilities that just one touch or breath from them one could be healed of all ailments even if one were close to immortal death. If pure of spirit the Unicorn would come to you and heal you; if so your heart desired and your purpose was pure. If seen not just anyone can approach them. They know nothing but purity, love, compassion and goodness. They run from darkness so if your spirit harbors even a shadowy drop of darkness you may not be able to see, hear, smell or touch them. This is because of the cylindrical vortexed horn on their head, like a pulsing frequency broadcasting an unknown cloaking sound, the Unicorn travels, searches, and hides with it. My grandfather used to say to hear it’s song takes the rarest of beings because to him only Skye was able to hear his song and seek him out. Ninde’an (nin-day-on), the Unicorn, wasn’t a very large being just a little bigger than a goat, but due to several ages of transformations with other beings and not in the sense of what you believe a mother gives birth to a child, Ninde’an’s family grew and became more vulnerable due to their compassion and were easily captured for their traveling and healing ability. Mankind went mad with searching for them till a small few remained. This angered the Maanidoog so they pleaded with Skye to find them a safe place to live. There were so few left they were almost impossible to find. So Skye whispered to Ninde’an and he lead his family to a place Skye called the island within a star. Some refused to leave because of their compassion for innocent life and found their own places to dwell and no one truly knows where Ninde’an and his family went or if any of them have survived.
Fast forward to the late 1970’s and early 1980’s there was once a little strange girl running around in the forest who loved to talk to trees, rocks, fireflies, and the rain. She had the most peculiar of childhoods and loved listening to the stories of old. Ninde’an was one of her favorites especially because one of her grandfathers believed that the island within a star was close by, but she was never allowed to visit that place because it was guarded and protected by the most foulest of creatures, the most pitiful of Maanidoog, the Windego, like a darkened vampire, not all are bad though; so it seems, but some steal life, so many people were and are terrified of them, but they protect the most precious of beings. To the little girl she wondered did this mean the Windego was only bad because we were bad? Still she did not fear the stories her grandfather grew up hearing about the island. Her grandfather told her many a stories of people who had to spend a night on the island. Some ended in tragedy drowned or never heard from again so came back with stories that if stranded there overnight do not stray too far into the woods and do not by any means swim in the lake within the island this will upset the Windego and they will harm you. Still to this day I have not set foot on that island but the stories told have lead me to believe that the small hoof prints seen on the beach from time to time just might be Ninde’an. My grandfather seemed to think so. Why not protect being of greatness with one of the most feared. (+/-)
As always I like to find the connections with other cultural legends which help me grow as a being of this world and maybe understand a little more of who we are. No legend is more important than the other, we are all one species of being clamouring to find a truth in who we are. Doing this has helped me find a little of my way. So yes as always I find connections and always they are like flashes of light in the dark much like as you would see a firefly in the night…. The Middle East once called this animal a unicorn, but recently the name has changed to an oryx due to better translations of their ancient texts. The Karkadann, as stated in their ancient text, a deer like creature with one horn. It too had extraordinary gifts and it brought good luck and if eaten it would chase away demons. The Japanese believe the unicorn or Kirin as they call it has a shaggy mane and the body of bull, they believe it’s gifts were that it was able to sense a person’s guilt and in judgments of criminal nature the Kirin was called upon and if found guilty the Kirin would pierce the guilty person through the heart. The Chinese believe the Kilin was to have sprung from the earth and revered as one of the four sacred animals of their culture. The Kilin is also a good omen who foretold the future of special births and was multicolored. It is also believed that it appears in many different forms and only comes to this world when goodness is prevalent. The Celts believe Nuada road a unicorn into battle and it was only after he had jumped off the back of his friend that his arm was cut off and the Unicorn was captured and tormented by the Fomorians. The Celts also believed that the Unicorn possessed great healing powers and only came to those who were of innocence and pure of heart. Some of their legends tell of evil men baiting the Unicorns with women who were innocent and pure of heart to capture them and take their horn because it possessed great healing power. The authors of the bible even refer to the quality of a Unicorn many times, but my favorite quote is the one from Job 39:9, “Will the Unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?” My grandmother, of Irish/Scottish/Welsh/Finnish/Dutch descent and for some reason would read that to me when I would spend the night. I think she knew and now after all these years the dream and what all my grandparents and family instilled in me I do and don’t understand why, why me, I am not worthy to dream of such things, knowledge, and love; afraid yes I am. My family would say by sharing this makes me unworthy and they maybe right, but I also think we are fading too fast like the forests of our world, turning into unaccessible petrified pieces of knowledge. My greatest fear is that by sharing this with you I am exposing Ninde’an to his devourers once again and I have so naively baited the trap, but maybe things have changed that is why the person who brought him to me is someone who is themselves exposed to many things good and evil, but seems very well prepared for the exposure. Very humbled and grateful to that being I will forever be. I could go on and on and kind of have. There is just so much more to explore and imagine. This is just a part of how I have been taught to look at spirit dreams with a little of my own edge and knowledge of other cultures and scientific theories. My knowledge is minimal, but it does help some.