Gift of the Dreamtime: Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma
by S. Kelley Harrell
Spilled Candy Books, 146 pages
Book review by Julia Watson
Columnist, shamanic teacher and first time author S. Kelly Harrell offers readers a deeply personal account of her spiritual journey of healing in Gift of the Dreamtime: Awakening to the Divinity of Trauma. Grounded in new age spiritual practice, the story takes place entirely within the vision quest dreamscape of the author’s inner world as she works her way towards wellness. The book chronicles Harrell’s visits to The Dreamtime, a multi-leveled spiritual dimension of learning and healing, which she is trained to access in trance while taking up lessons in multicultural shamanistic exploration.
This powerful book is not for the squeamish. Struggling to make peace with her past as an incest survivor and her present emotional and physical disquiet, Harrell ventures unflinchingly into her own history of sexual abuse and the raw, emotional complexities left in its wake. Through her visits to the Dreamtime, the author seeks the help of angels, spirit and animal guides, and her own higher power in order to heal herself, and ultimately, to embrace her path as a teacher and healer in the lives of others.
The resulting journey is utterly transformative. With the help of her guides, the author discovers that the roots of her current malaise and physical illness can be traced back to the abuse she suffered at a young age at the hands of a male relative. In The Dreamtime, Harrell undergoes profound healing experiences, sharing along the way the sometimes hard won spiritual lessons of her guides. Ultimately, this is a story of one woman facing down her personal demons and claiming the spiritual legacy of one who has endured great pain to attain firsthand knowledge of human suffering.
It is not always an easy journey to which to bear witness, but for readers, Harrell’s story of spiritual, emotional and physical recovery is a moving and profoundly inspiring one. The tools used by the author to reach The Dreamtime and promote her own healing are shared at length in the book’s epilogue, which includes a guided meditation that can be read out loud and recorded for later use during trance exploration. For those interested in embarking upon the shamanic path, or for anyone seeking healing, this life-affirming book is a wonderful resource.