I know that I have already done an article on astral projection but what about the rest of the dream world? In the Tibetan religions they believe that being aware while dreaming is just as important as our awareness in our waking life. This is because they believe that when we die, we enter the dream state. So if we are unaware, how will we know that we’re dead. They and other spiritualists also believe that dreams are an important part of spiritual growth so if we can learn to be aware in our dreams it will accelerate us on our path.
Dream work emcompasses many topics but the main theme is learning to be aware in our dreams. By learning to be aware in our dreams we are able to lucid dream, astral project, and more. I am actually reading a book on dream work right now so I will be sharing some of the things I have learned so far, along with other information from my mind and the internet of course. So the first step in being aware in our dreams is knowing the types of dreams. So first there are level one dreams which are the run of the mill weird dreams that we have every night. These dreams are usually not remembered and if they are they make absolutely no sense. Then level two dreams are the dreams that have messages. These dreams probably make sense and are connected to a situation in your waking life. A good example is one time I was friends with this guy and I guess my subconscious was creating a hopeless crush on him because I had a dream about us making out. Then like a month later I was head over heels for him and we made out. The third and final level of dreams are level three dreams. These dreams are rare and they have a large meaning or message about your life as a whole. These dreams are very profound and they usually stick with us. There are more nuanced categories for dreams like nightmares and daydreams but there are so many different interpretations and categories for these that it can vary from person to person.
Most nights we have level one dreams and there’s nothing wrong with that but if you want to start becoming aware and remembering your dreams it is easier to do this with a level two dream. A common type of level two dream is an archetypal dream. These dreams contain a common archetype from the collective unconscious. For those who don’t know, the collective unconscious is a collection of thoughts from cultures around the world that humans come into life knowing about. This is that wisdom that we have but we don’t really know why. Like for example crows signaling death or trees signaling life. So for example, you may have a dream where you are a hero and your house is a big tree. You have a great mother who takes care of the tree and brings it life. As you do your hero missions away from home the dream suddenly changes to darker colors as you see an old man reading a newspaper. You sit next to him and he whispers something in your ear. Then you run all the way home and sleep under the tree as you wake up. This dream would be chock full of archetypes. So first there is the hero archetype and the heroes always falling and going back home. Then there is the tree of life that the mother is taking care of. The mother symbolizes a giver of life and home so her caring for a tree would make sense. Then there is the old wise man who tells you it’s okay to go home. So if you interpreted this dream it would probably tell you that you have a desire to be a hero but it’s okay to take care of your own needs for once. This dream would also be pretty memorable. So a good way to start getting these memorable archetypal dreams is before you go to bed, draw a major arcana tarot card. This is what you are going to dream about so when you draw it, let it give you a message and just vibe with it for a second. Then when you’re ready, go to sleep and think about it before you go to sleep. I tried this last week with the empress and I had to learn how to become the empress in my dream. This dream was obviously memorable as well since I’m talking about it now. So do this exercise as much as you want to bring on these types of dreams and encourage dream retention.
Dream retention is the most important stepping stone to becoming aware in sleep. This is because the more we remember, the more we will be able to figure out if it’s real. Remembering dreams also allows us to get messages from our dreams. I am practicing dream retention right now so I have a dream journal where I jot down my dreams every morning. This works wonders! When we wake up, we remember most dreams for a few seconds to a couple hours. The way to combat this is to write down your dreams because it has been proven that your brain remembers things that are written. So write down everything you remember about your dream right when you wake up, and you’ll remember. I also think dreams are really cool so I’ve wanted to start a dream journal for a long time. I am also saying the affirmation “I remember my dreams” at least twice a day and if you have been on the blog for a minute you know how much I love using affirmations to attract what I desire. Then I am also doing my normal meditation because it is amazing to help with dream awareness. You are almost entering the dream state when you meditate and most of the time (there are exceptions) you are pretty aware of your surroundings. It can also help to meditate for mindfulness specifically and there are tons of youtube videos for this.
One of the main reasons witches do dream work is to learn how to lucid dream. When I was about 12 so six years before I became a witch, I used to lucid dream and astral project all the time. Sometimes I wouldn’t even do it on purpose! I still don’t know why this happened to me at that age and then ended around 14 but it got me interested in witchcraft so I’m not mad about it. Now I am trying to learn how to lucid dream again and reading my new book reminded me of one of my favorite exercises for lucid dreaming. So one of the ways that you can realize you’re dreaming is by recognizing what we call dream signs. Dream signs are things that we notice as out of place in our dreams and they make us aware that we’re in a dream. Dream signs can vary for everyone but there are a few that are common and I happen to use. The one that I use the most is hands. For some reason, hands almost always look strange in dreams so if I am suspicious that I’m dreaming I will look at my hands. Usually they’ll be puffy and just weird looking so I know I’m dreaming. Another that I use is my home. It is very common for dreams to take place in the home. In dreams though, it will be a little different. If you can pick up these subtle differences they are instant giveaways that you’re dreaming. Another sign is clocks, for some reason in dreams time is weird and we can’t really read clocks that well. So if you look at a digital clock and the time changes then you are dreaming. Or if you look at an analog clock and it looks like something from a Salvador Dali painting you are definitely dreaming. One more sign is paying attention to what you’re wearing. When you dream you probably aren’t wearing your pajamas, you are probably dressed to fit the dream storyline so if you can pick up on this you will be able to become aware. These are just a few common dream signs so yours could be a little bit different. Now to get used to catching them you can do “reality checks” while you’re awake. What this means is checking to make sure you’re not dreaming. Then when you get used to doing these checks you will do them in your dreams and realize you’re dreaming. Since one of my dream signs is the time, I will look at the clock and it will be 3:47 pm. Then like a second later I’ll check again to make sure the time didn’t change. If it changes then I’m dreaming. I also look at my hands to see if they’re normal so that when I dream I will automatically look down and see weird dream hands.
So this is just an intro to dream work. As you can tell, dream work is a huge concept that is variable from person to person as we all dream. Even if you don’t remember your dreams you still had at least one. We spend ⅓ of our lives in the dream world so why not learn about it and use it to our advantage.