I have always told this story orally, as in the tradition of the elders that I have worked with, but now the time has come to write it down. In 1990, I had one of the most incredible dreams of my life. When I awoke my whole being was radiant with joy and this voice said, “try and remember what you dreamt last night – your life depends upon it.” I sat down at my table and brought out a piece of paper with the intent of drawing images to help me remember. Not long after my pen hit the paper the dream came to me and I drew it out. – actual drawing below
In this dream I was standing on a cliff with my sister Carol in Mexico, and suddenly my legs involuntarily pushed me off the cliff. As I was falling to my death, I felt power well up inside of me. I attempted to use that power to connect with the cliff and stop my fall. It didn’t work. Then this energy grabbed me from my solar plexus. It connected me to an invisible slide that pulled me away from the cliff and out toward the sea. I noticed a whale way out in the sea, and it was the whale’s spirit that was saving my life by pulling me toward it, in the most epic and ecstatic flying experience of my life.
When I splashed into the ocean, I looked at the whale underwater and noticed a very severe wound, where its tail met its body. The sadness I felt at that moment was beyond reckoning. Here was this whale that would save my life even though it was mortally wounded. I dove deeper into the water and then from the depths of my sadness, I directed a sound of healing to the whale’s tail. The sound was like a digree-doo-whistle-chant. It had so much energy in it that it actually had a physical luminous presence.
The sound completely covered and penetrated the tail of the whale – immediately healing it. The whale leaped out of the water and splashed back in. Then it picked me up with its spirit again and sent me flying across the sea. I wondered – where is the whale sending me now? It flew me to a dock where my dad stood with the harbormaster, who was giving my dad a boat with a gun on it because I saved the whale.
About four years after that, (in real life) my Dad was in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez on his boat with his friend. There, motionless in the water was a wounded whale. Right where the whale’s tail met its body was wrapped a mass of netting.
The whale was completely exhausted. with its tail pulled far below under the weight of the net. My dad, being a Jacque Cousteau type, jumps in the water with his fillet knife and dives down to cut the netting from the whale’s tail. He notices that the netting is deeply impaled into the whale’s flesh. After a couple of attempts of diving down and trying to cut the net, the whale turns and looks at my dad and then lifts its tail and the netting to the surface so he won’t have to dive down.
Dad proceeds, over the next 30 minutes, to carefully remove and cut the netting from the whale’s flesh. The whale swims off. While this is all going on his friend was video taping. When they get back to Phoenix, the local news airs the video – “Local Man Saves Whale”. CNN picks up the story as well. My dad is noticeably altered by the whole event. I called him on the phone and said, “dad you know you saved a soul”, and he said, “I know son, I know”.
Flash forward about three years into the future. This time it’s my dad, brother, uncle, two cousins and myself in my dad’s boat in the middle of the Sea of Cortez. The ocean is unusually flat and there swimming in front of us is a large Sperm whale and her baby. She is also accompanied by dozens of dolphins. It was an extraordinary sight.
My brother suggests that we pull the boat in front of the cetacean entourage and jump in the water with our snorkel gear to see them as they pass by. We did that, but she changed course and the dolphins followed. My brother said, “come on lets try it again”, and again she changes course. Then my dad asks me, “Anthony what do you think?” I said, “Dad let’s leave her alone she has her baby”. But somehow the crew decides to try again, so we pull in front of her and my brother and I jump in.
This time she doesn’t change course but heads right toward the boat and the dolphins leave. After jumping in the water and swimming a short distance toward the whale, my heart rate goes up as I notice her baby directly below her, protected between her pectoral fins. The next thing I knew, her tail came jack-knifing toward me and right where her tail meets her body, my body is smacked. She breaks my leg and my rib.
Far worse than the physical injury was the emotional and spiritual blow I experienced. I knew I should have shown more respect for the whale and the baby but I didn’t listen to myself. I also knew there was something intimately connected to my dream but I couldn’t assimilate it. I was deeply saddened.
One week after being hit by the whale, I come limping up on crutches to Dan Chee, the 90 year old Navajo (Diné) medicine man that I have been working with for years. He asks his grandson Cayce, “What happened to him?” Cayce explains, “He got hit by a whale.” Grandfather instructs Cayce to translate to me, “You are taking it too personally. You are not that important, but what hit you was.”
Then he says, “Whales and dolphins, wonderful creatures, beautiful creatures much wisdom there. You were like a bug bothering her and she swatted you away.” Grandfather’s clans are called Edge Water and Bitter Water, since before settling in Arizona, his clans lived near the sea, and as such held ancestral knowledge about the whales and the dolphins. Cayce continues translating, “Grandfather says that we are going to do a ceremony.” I asked “Why?” Cayce shakes his head and answers, “Because you need some healing”.
Later that evening my cousin Lydia, my girlfriend Janelle, Cayce, Grandfather and I find ourselves looking into a tepee full of Diné people. They are in the middle of a Native American Church ceremony and there doesn’t seem to be room for any one else, especially unknown outsiders. However, we are with Grandfather, a highly respected elder, and he wants us all to go in there. The roadman never conducted a ceremony with so many people and he had to form another inner circle right next to the coals where Cayce and myself would sit.
As I sat there on the hard floor, I was in nearly unbearable pain. The pain coming from my broken leg and rib was compounded by the uncomfortable heat coming from the coals and by the fact that I had to urinate very badly. Then the singing-praying-chanting would start and I watched how all my pain would miraculously go away. I couldn’t believe it, and as soon as the singing would stop, I remember thinking, please, please start singing again. Grandfather proceeded to sing an ancient prayer of his clan. The main verse of the prayer went something like, “the whales and the dolphins sing a prayer of healing that goes around the earth and into the stars as I know my song will do the same.”
The ceremony lasted until we came out to greet the rising sun. I went to the sweat lodge with Grandfather. Inside, I asked a young Diné man to translate a question to Grandfather. Grandfather responded, “No questions now, you forgot something . . . Think.” I couldn’t imagine what I forgot so I remained silent and Grandfather let me sweat. Then he said, “years ago you did a beauty way ceremony, but you forgot something . . . Think.” He let me sweat some more and then we came out of the lodge. Then he said, “You forgot to say thank you”. He pointed to the people around, he pointed to himself, the earth, and then he looked off into the distance and pointed to me.
He was right on every account, I had forgotten to say thank you all around and I had so much to be grateful for. At that moment, I felt the worst of all. In fact, I appeared so dejected that my hesitant translator said, “Wow man you are taking this really hard, it just means you have to do a Thank You ceremony.”
Some years later, Cayce, my friend Ricardo and I did our thank you ceremony in Cayce’s lodge. I thanked just about everything, including my mom for my life and a moth that continuously crawled over my head – fluttering its wings while I prayed. I am grateful – especially to the whales and dolphins.
In addition to living in more respect and appreciation, I have learned to trust the extraordinary capacity of my higher self, the dreamer as a seer and creator of reality. My dreamer already knew that the medicine of the Whale was a sacred prayer of healing – just as Grandfather said. So my growth continues to revolve around how to better learn from my enlightened self and how to then express that learning in my daily life.
For this reason, I have formed Enlightened Science. Its purpose is to support all of us in knowing and creating from an enlightened place. From this place, we can apply new sciences to rapidly heal and transform our planet – which is now revealing itself to be our only option for a future.
Fortunately, it is in our moments of most profound sadness and injury, that we become inspired to know and create the most joy and healing. I know this from my whale dream, when an extraordinary healing sound originated from my despair for the mortally wounded whale. For the whale, I resonated every fiber of my being as total appreciation and love – expansive enough to contain both joy and sadness – just like the whale’s song, a rhapsody in blue.
My thank you to the whales and dolphins is not complete and perhaps never will be. I intend for it to be an ongoing process of expressing my thanks through my actions. My actions are seek to enlighten myself and humanity, to realize our infinite potential to co-create the vibrant planetary existence that our dreams call forth.