The Power of Sharing Dreams

220px-Caveman_5Ancient dreaming societies understood the power of dream-sharing. Often, the first order of the day was for members of the tribe to gather over the morning meal to share the dreams of the night.

Some call dream work ‘New Age’. Humans have been dreaming for  tens of thousands of years,and continue to dream even though there is a disconnect (in the West at least) from our dreaming lives. A colleague of both Jung and Freud, Hungarian Sandor Ferenczi, theorized that ‘dreaming itself is the workshop of evolution’. EVERY dream asks (and symbolically answers) the same question: Who is the dreamer in this now moment, and how did the dreamer come to be this way? Who is the dreamer in the process of becoming?

If you are looking for another way to accelerate your spiritual growth, working with your dreams in a projective format would be something you should seriously consider. It has opened new doors for me, and just when I had reached a place where I thought it was not possible. I am now more conscious than ever of just how far I have yet to travel to reach awareness, but am grateful to my dream Maker for leading me to this path.

Our dreams bring us our ‘next step’. We just have to pay attention to them, and sharing in groups is especially helpful because each of us is uniquely and selectively blind to our own symbolic material (our ‘issues’). Another reason group work is helpful to a dreamer is because of the many layers each dream has. Usually, there will be at least one member of the group that resonates with a certain ‘layer’, and that is often their focus during group dream work.

The primary consideration to keep in mind is that all dreams come in service of our healing and wholeness. Our dreams precisely point out the neglected or repressed parts of our experience that need our attention in order for us to grow in awareness.

There is also always a theme in the dream that deals with the dreamer’s current physical health and condition of the body. Most often, this ‘report’ runs in the background because all is well with the dreamer, but when there is something that needs the dreamer’s attention this ‘track’ will be moved front and center. The scary dreams we call nightmares take the form they do so we will remember the dream, because it is important that we do so for at least a little while after we awaken.

Sigmund_Freud_LIFE

Sigmund Freud

Freud was correct that all dreams do have an element of sexual energy and desire woven into them.

jung

CG Jung

Jung was right when he stated – after having devoted much of his life to intense exploration of archetypes – that all dreams indicate where the dreamer is on their path to psycho-spiritual development regardless of the dreamer’s conscious attitudes about religion. Researchers who conclude that every dream is simply the result of the transfer of random short-term memory traces into the long-term memory banks are also correct.

Our dreams also always contain a level of collective significance. In other words, they give a report about the current state of the society and culture in which the dreamer lives. It is not beyond the realm of possibility to imagine that we can change the world by working with our dreams.

mirrorMost importantly, all dreams are reflections of our native creativity. Dreams are like the magic mirror of the fairy tales, the one that never lies. Our dreams always tell the truth. This applies to the truth about our shortcomings, but also about our positive traits. The more willing we are to look in the mirror, and accept all that we see, the more self-aware we become.

If we live completely, we surrender to the lives (of the ancestors) and redeem them. ~ CG Jung

 

All original material posted to this site (c)2016, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

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How Can I Remember My Dreams?

Everyone dreams. Without exception. Some of us don’t remember them. There are things you can do to help ‘catch’ a dream or two.

We will start with the most important thing to remember: intent is everything. That applies to the catching of one’s dreams in particular. The most important thing you can do to improve your dream recall is to focus your intention and your desire. Decide you really do want to remember your dreams, even if that means you may have to face some unpleasant information about yourself.

As you drift off to sleep, you can imagine yourself writing down dreams in the morning. You may even decide you want to share your dreams with others in a group setting. What seems to happen once a person sets an intention to work with their dreams, is they begin to remember their dreams! When your Dream Source  knows it’s being heard, the messages will start to flow again, and you will begin to remember your dreams.

It's important to record your dreams in one place.

It’s important to record your dreams in one place.

FIND YOURSELF A JOURNAL FOR RECORDING YOUR DREAMS         Do you need to have a detailed  dream experience in order to be able to uncover the treasures awaiting you in your Dreamtime? No. Whatever you remember, you are remembering for a reason: it is important.

Don’t discard those fragments or snatches of dreams. Give them the same respect you give the longer dreams. You will soon learn how complex a simple image is once you work with one of these in a dream group.

When you wake up in the middle of the night, it is imperative that you take a moment to scratch a few notes down. I keep a simple composition notebook by my bed to capture the crux of my dream experiences before they can escape. In the morning, I transfer these notes into my dream journal over my first cup of tea.

343px-Ice_coffee_imageIf you want to increase your chances of remembering a night dream, drink a large glass of (non-caffeinated) liquid before you go to bed. You will increase your chances of waking up in the middle of a dream cycle because you’ll need to answer nature’s call. Before you move, take a second to ask yourself: ‘What was I just dreaming about?’

When you first wake up in the morning, remember to ask yourself ‘What was I just dreaming about?’ before you turn your attention to your morning routine. If all you have the time for is a few words, jot them down in your composition book and transcribe the notes into your dream journal at your earliest opportunity.

Another tactic that works for some dreamers is to use the following morning’s date, and to write out their intention: I intend to remember my dreams when I wake in the morning.

If you still cannot recall any of your dreams in the morning, make one up. What would your dream have been if you had one? Record this in your journal. You are sending a signal to your DreamSource that you are serious about working with your dreams.

Half-Dome-Fire-1024x688Some dreamers choose to use a digital recorder to capture their dream notes. At some point, you will have to transcribe these notes, and often the words are not intelligible when you listen back. Some use a computer to keep their dreams. I prefer the journal approach. It is important you honor your dreams. The more energy you put into recording your dreams, in drawing images that come to you in dreams, the more likely it is that your dreams will reveal their vast potential to improve your life.

Pile of notebooks and papers

Copyright 2012, Julia Marie.

If your dreams are scribbled on stray scraps of paper, or in many notebooks, the quality of your dream catching will reflect this haphazard approach. If you take the time to set up a proper journal or file where you keep a record of your dreams, the more meaningful your dream experiences will be. You may even consider decorating the front cover of your journal. If you are artistically challenged, consider using images from magazines to reflect some of the dream themes or recurring images contained in the journal. For example, in 2014, one of the recurring images in my dreams was ships. These were all sizes, and included a massive space ship. Some NASA images and images off the internet of ships that closely matched what I saw in the dreams grace the front cover of this journal.

An interesting way to decorate the cover is to wait until a theme or recurring image shows up. You will be able to identify the themes more easily if you keep all your dreams in the same journal. Save a few pages in the back of the book so you can create an index of your dreams for easy cross-referencing. You will quickly recognize the value of this practice.

HOW TO SET UP THE JOURNAL

When you go to bed,  make sure to write the date in the composition book. Jot a few sentences about what happened during the day. (These notes will be important later. Context is critical to understanding the messages of your dreams.)

When you transfer these rough notes to your permanent journal, write ONLY on the right side of the page, leaving the left side blank as a place for images and any insights that come when you work with the dream later. Record your dream using first person, present tense. Using past tense when recording your dreams creates a barrier between the waking mind and the dream experience. In addition, sometimes there will be past experiences in the dream, and it is more difficult to sort this out if the dream itself is recorded in the past tense.

Give the dream a title, whatever comes to your mind even if it doesn’t seem to ‘fit’. This is often another clue about the dream-message. Do not hesitate to sub-title your dreams when you review them days or even weeks later.  If you can remember how you felt when you woke up, record that, as well.

Once you have a number of dreams in your journal, take the time one day to go back through looking for and cataloging common or recurring themes or images. Cross-reference these dreams whenever possible. (I do this in the index in the back of the book, as well as  with each dream.)

Angel in the SkyIf you get inspired, make art from your dreams, or turn a dream into poetry. Any way you can engage with the energy of your dreams and ground it into your waking life, the more intense your dream life will become and the more active your interaction with your dreams during your waking life will be.

Next time, we will take a look at some of the layers every  dream contains.

May you dream well this night. And may you remember them.

All original material posted to this site is (c)2016-Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

You’re never given a dream without also being given the power to make it (come) true.                                                                                                                   -Richard Bach

Why Should I Work with My Dreams?

dreaming sleeperFor most of my adult life, I ignored the powerful messages my Dream Source was persistently trying to send me and – like all  dreamers who don’t pay attention to their dreams – I quit remembering most of them.

Early in 2014, I was patiently led by Spirit to the world of dreams through a series of signs I could not ignore. I am now a firm believer in the process of dream work as a path to personal growth, spiritual expansion, and as a tool for healing the wounds of the collective unconscious.

There are riches, treasures of inestimable worth, to be retrieved from our dreams, and working with your dreams in a group using the method known as Projective Dream Work will quickly change your mind when it comes to ‘dream interpretation’. The first thing you will learn is that this process is not mere ‘interpretation’.

The Costs of ‘Typical’ Dreaming

When you do not pay attention to your dreams, there are some consequences and the three most important ramifications are:

  1. You lose life force energy. Your dreams can help you identify and then move beyond your limiting beliefs, concepts and visions of yourself. It takes a tremendous amount of your soul-energy to hold these limiting beliefs in place, which is what often leads to a constant feeling of physical exhaustion in your waking life. Lift yourself out of lethargy, low-level depression and aimlessness by actively working with your dreams.
  2. You lose the connection to Soul. Through dream work, you can re-establish a meaningful dialogue with your higher wisdom. Experience important initiations and healings that will take your life to the next level., and re-discover the richness of the guidance waiting for you in the dream space and say goodbye to feeling alone, indecisive, and with a lack of purpose.
  3. You lose contact with key parts of Self. Aspects of your larger Self live on more advanced levels. Seek them, find them, reunite with them and bring their wisdom and beauty back to your waking world. The Shadow (both dark and bright) contains parts of our self that we have either rejected or do not acknowledge. When we are able to see all aspects of ourself, and to accept those parts, we move towards wholeness, which is what our Dream Source wants for us. There is an aspect of our being that seeks reunification on all levels, and it is this part that sends the material through our unconscious when we are ready to assimilate it.

Do you remember your dreams or do you have problems remembering them? If you allow your dreams to slip away, you are losing a huge part of yourself and the benefit that comes from working with the messages that are brought to you from these other levels of your awareness.

Dreams provide us with tremendous intuititve guidance, and are the gateway to a true understanding of the complexity of our nature. When we work with our dreams, we come to understand that just as our conscious mind dreams at night, our superconscious mind dreams our waking reality. Life is but a dream, after all.

To become conscious in the highest sense, we not only need to become centered, alert and intentional during our waking life, we need to become more aware of the multiple layers of consciousness we occupy during our ‘unconscious’ sleep time.

When we understand that we are a conscious being that is learning and creating all the time, we will experience the limitless nature of our true self. Your soul does not get tired and need to rest, only the physical body needs to restore itself with sleep. Your soul is alive and aware all the time.

You can increase your intuition by recording and actively working with your dreams. Consider establishing a practice connecting your day time experiences with your night time dreams. Before you slip into sleep at the end of each day, make a habit of reviewing your day. When you review your day, think about the things you accomplished and ponder what you might have done differently tomorrow. What are you grateful for? When you spend a few moments in such a review, your dream time won’t be taken up sorting through the events of the day, it will focus more on creative guidance and insights especially if you set your intention for your dream time.

The other piece to the puzzle is when you wake in the morning, don’t jump straight out of bed and rush into your day. Take a few moments to answer the question: What have I just been dreaming? Whatever you recall, record in the first person, present tense. This will keep you connected to the dream. It is also a way to re-connect to the energy of the dream later.

If you don’t remember a dream when you wake up, make one up. Or write down the first thought or feelings you have upon waking. Write or draw something in your journal every morning. This will help send the message to your subconscious mind that you really do intend to connect to your dream world. Your subconscious mind will start to connect with your waking mind.

There are some things you can do to make your journaling more helpful to the process of dream work, but that will be covered in the next article on dreams and dreaming. Until then, may you remember the dreams that mean the most to your Soul.

Dreams offer themselves to all. They are oracles, always ready to serve as our silent and infallible counselors.                                                                                ~Synesius of Cyrne

All original material posted to this site (c)2016-, Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

Day Two Dawns

This whole working with your dreams thing caught me by surprise. It seems that, simply by opening my awareness to another part of my consciousness, I’ve somehow pushed the “accelerate” button. After over two decades on my path, working each day to the best of my ability to hear, understand and follow what Spirit would have me do, I am taken into the classroom for my next level of education.

sanctuary-bellomegaDay two dawns, and I awaken early, slip on my shoes, and go for a walk to breathe in the peace and quiet of the grounds. Crow calls to me from the trees again. “Good morning, brother crow.” Thank you for letting me know you are here with me.

I make my way back to the cabin, and get ready for the rest of my day. I wonder where I will journey today?

On the morning of this day, we journey to the Magic Market in the  place of Lost and Found Souls. The crow theme appears in an interesting form this day. The objective of the exercise is to travel to the market, get past the Guardian at the Gate, wander through the market until we find the stand, stall or tent that contains all the items from our childhood, from our early life. We are then to choose one item to work with which is the key to open another gate.

I think to myself that it’s going to be interesting to see what part of my soul is ready to be found today. I anticipate it would be a part from this incarnation, or at least this dimension. I am wrong.

The moment I began the journey, I see myself in a different form. I am a tall (even taller than I physically am this lifetime) slender woman with pale alabaster skin, long black hair and people who escort me everywhere. This day, I  wear a midnight blue – almost black – dress and a floor-length cape of black feathers with an accent of cobalt blue feathers near the bottom edge. I also have a headdress of some sort made of feathers, mostly the same cobalt blue as on the cape, but with some long black feathers mixed in.
Some bodyguards/servants are with me.

The Gatekeeper is expecting me. He bows, and holds his hand to his heart. He greets me with a certain term of respect and holds the door open for me. As I move through the market, I point at various items. The guards/servants show the items to me. All the other people in the market make way for me, but I am not aware of it. I focus on my search.

Nothing from my current childhood is in the large, gymnasium-sized room that I know is my childhood space. I do see a flash of myself at about 3 years of age, this incarnation, while in this room. As I wander through the room, I am drawn to the left wing of a dove.

As I hold the wing, I wonder if it is ‘right’. I get the sense from this aspect of myself that it is. In that moment, I am both parts at once. The horse appears the moment I decide on using the wing. The horse also has wings. The horse’ color starts out black, changes to red, then to white. Each stair step or dimensional shift changes the color of the horse. I jump on its back and fling my long cape over its flanks. I ride side saddle because I’m wearing the long dress. By the time I get to the level, I’m wearing a dark blue-black body suit under the cape when I swing myself off the horse.

Holding the wing, I stride straight to the ‘palace’. I go inside and see my father there, sitting on a throne, waiting for me. He looks like an ancient Melchizedek with long white hair and beard and piercing blue eyes. He wears a plain white robe with a simple crown on his head.

I step forward and show him the dove wing. I ask him ‘What can I do to have peace?’

He takes the wing from me and smiles. Using his mind, he says ‘Come here…’

I fling off the cape, take off the headdress, and move to sit on the floor beside the throne, resting my head on his knees. He strokes my hair, soothing me, and tells me it won’t be too much longer, that I must be strong. He gives me a gift to take back with me, then waves his hand at me and tells me to go spend a few moments in the Great Hall. All the same dignitaries that were there when I left long ago are still present. I greet them and hug them, and too soon realize it’s time to go.

I prepare myself to leave, and everybody in the hall releases a pink butterfly from their hearts and the butterflies surround me. I swoop through the pink cloud with a golden net and capture at least seven of them to bring back with me.

I take the butterflies and the gift and make my way back the way I came.

Coming out of the journey was difficult. I did not want to return to this world, but I knew I had to. There were some other journeys this day, one of which was another Egyptian-themed one. By the end of the day, I am worn out. We head back to the cabin after dinner and sleep comes early. I fall into the most amazing experience I’ve had while in the dream world in at least 30 years.

All original material posted to this site is (c) 2015- Julia Marie. All rights reserved.

If you do not do something with your dreams, you will not dream well. ~Huichol Shaman