Dream Diaries! Most of us have one, or have at least attempted one at some point or another. Interpreting the land of dreams is something that is very much associated with Witchcraft and the Occult. This is a follow-up post to my 4 Benefits of Dream Journaling post I made a little while back. Dreams are such mysterious things, like just about everything else, anything that is mysterious or too abstract to understand tends to be put into the realm of the occult.
Interpretation of dreams, however, has really reached the mainstream in the last 10 years or so. You can find endless amounts of books, websites, facebook groups, etc dealing with interpretation and understanding your dreams. There is even scientific research on what is going on in those dreams, what they mean, what our unconsciousness is trying to tell us.
There are quite a few benefits to keeping a dream journal (which I mention in the article linked above). Of course, what we really want to know, is what it all means. The messages and insight that are hidden (or sometimes quite blatant) in our dreams and unconscious thoughts. Here is where interpretation comes in. Keeping a dream journal is something that can benefit anyone, Pagan or not. While we are asleep, we are able to receive messages from our minds more easily, and even problem solve items from our waking life easier and in a more effective way in our dreams.
Depending on your personal belief systems, you may also be more open to receiving information from the Divine, spirit guides, animal guides, and other spiritual entities via dreams. All information received in dreams has the potential to be meaningful.
Some people may find keeping a dream journal difficult for one simple reason. Remembering dreams can be difficult sometimes. They are such fleeting things, here one second, gone the next. There are a couple of tricks you can try to facilitate the remembering of dreams.
- Sipping on some warm tea or other soothing drink before bed
- Making a dream sachet and placing it under your pillow
- Making a dream affirmation before going to bed (i.e. I will dream and remember my dreams upon waking’
- Ask your favorite deities or spirit guides for help
Another thing you will want to do is keep a pen and paper next to your bed. Dreams will be more vivid immediately after waking, this is the time you will want to write them down. I don’t suggest keeping your formal dream journal next to your bed. Instead, keep some paper and a pen near you, and make this initial dream writing session more like a note-taking session. Immediately upon waking, take your pen and paper, and quickly jot down what you remember from your dream. No detail is too mundane, quickly write everything down. Colors, sensations, words, people, etc. This doesn’t have to be neat, just neat enough for you to be able to read later when you go back over your notes. You can also use a digital voice recorder and simply speak into it instead of writing notes down.
Later on, when you have some time to sit and work on your formal dream journal entry. Go over your notes. In most cases, simply re-reading these notes will bring back vivid portions of your dream back to life. You will want to take a good hard look at your notes and begin making sense of your dream here. You might be able to pick out portions of your dream that were influenced by something you saw during the day on tv or while you were out and about. Or things that are influenced by your waking fantasies or thoughts. Sometimes even certain kind of foods can affect your dreams!
Begin to look for the abstract, the unusual, things that would not have come into your mind by the influence of your previous day. Sometimes the meaning of dreams is quite blunt. A direct answer to a question or problem you had a hard time with during your waking time, or maybe the location of a lost item. When writing your dream in your formal dream journal, you will want to try and do your best to put the dream in sequential order. Sometimes, you may have several different dreams in the same night, write them down in the order you best remember them, a hidden meaning may be in there that may otherwise not make sense.
Once you have the dream written down in your journal. Read over it again in its entirety. Then, on another piece of paper, or maybe even in a pre-selected area of your journal, write down how your dream makes you feel. What you *think* it may mean. Trust your instincts. You can also use a key to decipher the meaning of dreams. There are countless books out there that can help with this task.
Dream interpretation is a subjective art. You can create a section in your Book of Shadows of some of these guidelines for future reference. Here is a short list of guidelines that can help you find meaning in your dreams:
- Look for a theme in your dreams. For example, a mirror breaking, a tree falling, a wall falling down. These could be clues of something being destroyed or wasted in your life.
- Trust your instincts. The emotional response to an item or sequence in your dreams is usually the most accurate meaning.
- Open yourself to the possibility that what you are dreaming may be glimpses of past lives, or precognition/post-cognition of things have that happened in the past. These dreams tend to be hyper-realistic.
- If it’s obvious, don’t try to find hidden meaning in it. Though dreams are mysterious, our mind tells to be quite up-front. Some of us have very symbolic minds, if that applies to you, your dreams may show you these things in the form of symbols that may make sense to you. (witch tip – write those symbols somewhere in your Book of Shadows or Grimoire for quick reference).
- Attempting dream interpretation while you are sick, tired, angry or down in the dumps is not usually a good practice. We are emotional creatures and may add an emotional knee-jerk meaning to something that doesn’t merit it.
- Some dreams may just not make sense right away. So allow yourself room and time for that meaning to come at a later time. These ‘trigger’ dreams may make complete sense sometime later when something happens and it ‘triggers’ the hidden message.
Hope this proves helpful in beginning your dream journals, and getting into the habit of writing down your dreams and beginning to interpret them!
Love and Light