Before tackling the idea of interpreting dreams, before deciding whether or not to use a dream dictionary, a dream must be remembered. This isn’t always an easy task, especially for someone who isn’t used to remembering their dreams.
Preparing to Remember Dreams
For the most part, people don’t remember their dreams because they’ve been ignoring them. Some believe that the "higher self" has ceased attempting to pass on the information to the conscious mind because the conscious mind isn’t accepting the data. In this situation, it's believed that the mind must be programmed and trained to remember dreams.
Meditation and affirmation are commonly regarded as some of the best methods for conditioning the mind to remember dreams. During an evening meditation, conducted immediately before going to sleep, it is important to repeat this mantra: “I will remember my dreams.” This should be repeated several times, until the mind absorbs the idea.
The Dream Journal
It does no good to wake up after a particularly profound dream simply to scramble around the entire house looking for a scrap of paper and a pencil. It pays to be a little more organized about the entire process.
A pad of paper and a pencil should be placed next to the bed, within easy reach. This act itself aids in the remembering process, reminds the brain that this is information that's important, worthy of remembering. It also makes it easier to jot down notes about a dream.
Immediately upon waking — whether it be first thing in the morning or in the middle of the night — snatch up the pen and paper and write down anything and everything that can be recalled from the dream. Don’t worry about order, just write as many details as possible. Describe every sight, sound, and feeling, paying special attention to colors and numbers. After this is done, one can use the notes to write a more final draft by placing the details in the correct order and filling in missing details.
What Kind of Dream Was It?
The final stage in remembering dreams is to determine what kind of dream has been remembered. Some dreams require a great deal of study and interpretation. Others do not. In order to know what type of dream it is, there are some questions to ask.
First, the dream must be examined to see if it resembles any of the events that occurred the previous day. Some believe that when the dream deals with the day's events, it's the mind's way of processing the details of what has occurred. An in-depth analysis is usually not required for these dreams. If the dream does not fit this mode, then further analysis is necessary.
It must be determined if a dream is literal or symbolic. Generally, a literal dream is one that actually makes sense. As silly as this sounds, it’s true. Literal dreams are dreams in which the characters or images represent the real people or things. If something in the dream doesn’t make sense, the dream is probably symbolic instead. As an example, no matter how literal the dream seems, if everyone has blue faces, then there’s probably some symbolic interpretation necessary.
Symbolic dreams are dreams in which the characters and images present cannot be taken literally. A flying dog, for instance, should not be interpreted literally, but symbolically. If this is the case with a particular dream, then interpretation is necessary.
Training the mind to successfully recall the complete events in a dream can be a difficult task. Continuing to affirm that “I will remember my dreams,” will assist in this, as will faithfully recording every dream. Eventually, the memories will come easier, but this takes time and dedication.
Welcome to the Order of the Sacred Star! This Pagan/Wiccan group, based in Winnipeg, Canada, is committed to teaching the Craft to all those who wish to learn. Our goal is to provide a complete and fulfulling learning experience. Our public classes are offered through the Winnipeg Pagan Teaching Circle.