Of all my teachers, the one who will always hold a sacred place in my heart is Dancing Feather. In the strangest way, he helped me see the significance of past-life regression through his insistence on healing and forgiving the past. As he lay dying in the Santa Fe Indian Hospital, I was with him and asked, “Dancing Feather, what’s the most important thing you would have me know?” With a gnarled brown finger, he beckoned me to lean in closer. “Keep it simple,” he whispered softly. Then he smiled and fell back weakly against his pillow. I was expecting to hear sage, ancient Native American secrets, but that was all he said. And then slowly, like a gentle tide coming to shore, the truth sank in. I’ve never forgotten the wisdom of his statement. Keep it simple.

And then his last words to me were: “Denise, wherever you are, wherever you go . . . I’ll be there.”

I walked out of the hospital with a heavy heart, knowing that I’d never see my dear teacher again in this lifetime. I cried as shafts of lightning tore across the sky. I felt that the spirits of the sky were also grieving the loss of my teacher. I began to run.

Although my vision was blurred by the pelting rain and my own tears, I saw what I thought was an old Indian slumped over on the side of the road. As I passed him, he flung up his head as if a steel bar had been pushed up his spine, looked straight at me, and said clearly and with authority, “I won’t forget.” Then he slumped over again. When I heard those words, I knew that Dancing Feather would indeed “be there.” It seems that for just a moment an angel had superimposed itself on this person to make sure that I got the message from my beloved mentor.

After his death, a peculiar thing began to happen. Whenever I conducted a seminar on healing, people who had the gift of sight would say, “I see a Native American standing beside you.” And they would describe my old teacher perfectly. Although I didn’t see him, I know that he was keeping his word and was with me. “Wherever you are, wherever you go . . . I’ll be there.”

Soon after Dancing Feather’s death, feathers began to appear around me under remarkable circumstances; and amazingly, they also began to show up around people who attended my seminars and read my books.

In many native beliefs, feathers are thought to be the connection between humans and the spirit world. Perhaps they’re sacred because they come from birds—and birds, in some cultures, are considered to be messengers between heaven and Earth. Feathers are also customarily worn on natives’ headdresses because it’s believed that the hollow shaft of the feature allows the Creator to communicate directly to the human being through it…and it also allows a person’s prayers to rise up through the shaft toward the heavens. Feathers are a kind of reflection from Spirit, the same way that the light reflections of a mirrored ball are manifestations from their source.

I believe that feathers carry the wisdom from Spirit, and they are a fulfillment of the covenant that Dancing Feather made on his deathbed.

If you start seeing feathers after reading this article, be still for a moment and listen for the message. It can be a feather that you see on the ground, one that appears in your home, or even one that floats down from the sky. It can be little or large. Each one is a message from Spirit. I share this gift with you from my teacher—he would have liked it that way.

Denise Linn, the best-selling author of 16 books, has researched healing traditions from cultures around the world for more than 35 years. As a renowned lecturer, author, and visionary, she regularly gives seminars on six continents, and also appears extensively on television and radio shows.