As a child, I was plagued by nightmares and was found dreaming and sleeping a scary, unnerving mystery. As an adult, thankfully, my nightmares are few and far between but I’ve learned over the years that those nightmares I had were indicative and reflective of my waking life. I was not a very happy child and my frightened dreams were an expression of that. But many of us – my parents included – dismiss dreams and nightmares as “just dreams”, fleeting random experiences that don’t deserve much thought or attention.
What Is A Dream?
As I have grown and developed on my path as a healer, I have come to understand quite the opposite. There are some shamans and mystics who believe dreams are integral to understanding our waking life and that they are true mirror-pool reflections of our own souls. A teacher once explained to me that the language of the soul is expressed through images. And this is what a dream is.
Images and feelings make up the majority of the dream-experience, and different images pertain to different emotions, thought structures, and archetypes. Paying attention to and knowing how to understand our dreams can be powerful and transformative to understanding our deepest selves.
Steps To Make Dreams Powerful
1. Remember Your Dreams
This is often where people get stuck, believing they don’t really dream much and so what’s the point! But there are several different techniques you can do to help you remember:
- Buy A ‘Dream Notebook’
This can be as extravagant or cheap as you like, but the idea is that it is only used for recording your dreams and nothing else. Keep it by the side of your bed and in the first page/front cover, assign its purpose by writing ‘dream journal’ or whatever fits for you on it. This will create a solid tangible intention, which will help program your mind to recall dreams easier. Some people say using a red pen is also effective. Keep the diary right beside your bed and pen – next to it – to make them easily accessible to write into.
- Wish For Easy Remembrance Of Dreams
Before going to sleep, set out the journal and pen, take a deep breath, and ask that your dreams be easily recalled in the morning. Many of us have forgotten the power of setting our own intentions and that we actually have many spirit guides around us at all times, wanting and wishing to help us, but we don’t ask!
Give it a couple of weeks of repeating this practice and watch how your dreams come to you more easily.
2. Understand Your Dreams
Now that you’re able to recall your dreams more easily, you’ll probably want to know what they were all about! This is not a matter for the head to figure out, but for you to tune in with on the level of feeling, and this is a very personal experience but can be helpful to have someone talk through it with you, objectively.
Firstly, you’ll want to write down three things:
- The main location it took place in
- The feeling you were left with on waking from the dream
- And, the headline or summary (think of your dream as if it were a book or movie, what would the title be?)
Now that you have those things, you can ask yourself, “Where in your waking life are these qualities being expressed? Can you see any mirror qualities to the dream experience in your daily life”?
Typically, dreams are reflective of something that has happened in the last 72 hours. It is also important to remember that everything within the dream is a reflection of you. So, even when you dream of someone else, you are dreaming of yourself, reflected back in the quality of what that person means to you individually at this time.
Try not to get too caught up in analyzing every detail and feel into what the bigger picture is about. The more you do this, the easier it becomes. And, we can find out so much about ourselves this way, it’s truly a deep form of therapy once you get the hang of it.
And, if you’re struggling to remember dreams or to make sense of them, fortunately, the plant kingdom is there to help as always. Here is a list of herbs that have been used for thousands of years to help us make sense of our dreams, of our souls, and our deepest selves. These can all be utilized as a tea, incense, or combined with alcohol to make a tincture.
Herbs To Help You Understand Your Dreams
1. Mugwort: Excellent for helping to induce vivid dreams, and often very visual ones too – as well as – help to recall them.
2. Passionflower: Calming and sedative-like effect help bring about a calmer dream state.
3. Sage: It can help bring more peacefulness to your dreams.
4. Datura: This is a powerful herb that can bring about very vivid and even lucid dreams.
5. Calea Zachatechi: It is also called as ‘the dream herb’. This can increase the reaction time and frequency of dreams, as well as, encourage vivid and lucid dreams.
You can use these herbs alone or mix and match to experiment with.
How To Use Them
- Purchase dried herbs from an organic high-quality distributor. Before using them, connect with the herbs and set your intention for how you would like to work with them.
- Use as incense: Place herbs on lit charcoal disk in a safe fire-proof container.
- Distil as a tea and drink before bed.
- Create tincture: Use a purchased tincture bottle (should be amber or blue glass) and mix herbs with some high-quality pure alcohol. You can play around with the ratios but generally, I’ll fill the bottle with two-third herbs and the rest, liquid. Let this sit for at least a month before using, so the herbs can deeply infuse. When ready, use 2–3 drops of the tincture before bed or even sprinkle on your pillow. Date and label the bottle and you can use this for years!