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Author Topic: Dreams and DreamWork  (Read 2073 times)


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Dreams and DreamWork
« on: January 09, 2012, 04:07:58 pm »

-(c) 2010 By - Please don't reproduce without permission.[/SIZE][/CENTER]
1.  What are Dreams, and where do they come from?

      Dreams come from the Sub-conscious.  Every moment of everyday, even when we're sleeping or unconscious, there is a part of our minds that is always awake and aware,  monitoring every thing we see, hear, feel, experience.  There is even evidence that unconscious patients in an Operating Room are aware of what goes on around them.    

      The "unconscious" or "sub-conscious"  is a kind of "repository" of all our fears, joys, frustrations, terrors, bright and dark fantasies, etc, from infancy and perhaps before -- THIS is our "sub-conscious;  and *this* is where dreams come from.  Obviously, therefore, dreams have a very rich, broad and deep "reservoir" from which to draw.

      Some dreams are efforts of our sub-conscious to understand and cope with all this material; some are merely responses to it, and some seem to be jumbled-up confusions of it all.
2.  A Dream is what psychologists call a "Gestalt" –
      That’s a German word meaning a complete, total picture, each part of which is *essential* to the whole.  Even seemingly "unimportant" elements are actually important to understanding the whole thing-- even capable of changing the entire meaning.  And, the entire picture is more than just the sum of its parts; the meaning arises out of the INTERACTION (not meaning to yell at you there, just emphasize something really crucial, ok?) of all those "parts" working with each other --  When all those "parts" or elements are taken together, they become something much more than just the sum of the parts.  

      Consider for example, a symphony:  The horns play one "part", the drums play another, the string instruments play yet another, etc, etc. -- but put them all together -- that's the key, you understand: TOGETHER -- and they create something much beyond what each of them is capable of, alone.
3.  Dream Language, Symbols and Archetypes:
      Dreams use a "language" all their own -- a *symbolic" language; which can take some time and effort to understand.  

      While some symbols do seem  to have some universality to them , we must beware generalizing too much, or taking a single "meaning" and assuming that it always applies.  One good example, especially for Pagans, is the Serpent.  For many people (and often in those "dream symbols" booklets) you'll see serpents or snakes portrayed as negative symbols.  There is certainly some degree to which many people do (properly and appropriately) interpret snakes negatively --

      However, go back a bit in history and human culture, and you discover that serpents have a very different "meaning":  Since they shed their skins but live on, they have long been a symbol of rebirth, renewal, eternity, longevity; and then there are other meanings that can branch out from there -- wisdom gained through experience, eternal life, creativity, etc, --

      So let's say we dream tonight of serpents.  Let's say we already have a little "dream symbols" or "Dream Interpretation" booklet we got from the grocery store; so tomorrow morning  we look up "serpents" in the book, and find the typical sort of interpretation -- something like, "Dreaming about snakes means evil is coming..." or some such thing.

      Compare that with ideas / concepts like "eternal renewal, rebirth, wisdom gained through the experience of many lives" -- and many other possibilities -
Look what richness we've missed by just accepting the first single "interpretation" given by that silly book!

      Another thing to consider is that while some symbols are somewhat universal (often referred to as "archetypes" -  See for example:
      However, we are each individuals, and our individual, unique experiences give us each a very unique view of symbols.  For example:  Let's say that in your youth, you (or a family member) collected snakes, so every time you think of serpents, you're reminded of that family member, such that for YOU, the "meaning" or symbolism of snakes has become (unconsciously) connected to/ with all the symbolism, experience and feeling  associated with that person and your experiences with him/her.  
No booklet is going to have that information; they are not going to be able to remind you of all the little symbols and meanings that are "stored" in your sub-conscious.

      Can you see how limited, even problematic, those little booklets are, in interpreting your dreams?  They may send you off on some interpretational “wild-goose chase" -  While all the answers you ever need, are actually deep within your very own psyche!  -- You just need to learn how to (reliably and easily) access them -- and you *can* do so.

      So to review: Your sub-conscious has its own symbolic “language”, and it's understanding the interaction of all the different symbols of a dream, working together, that is key to understanding the dream itself -- and its meaning and "message" to/for you.
Levels To Dream Interpretation:

      In Dream interpretation, there are several different levels: On one level, *everything* in the dream -- every person, animal,  etc -- often even the surrounding "props" or scenery -- represents some aspect of YOU, and gives “voice” to some part of yourself.  

      For example:  Let's say you have a dream in which the following appear or happens :
  You “wake up” and as you walk down the hall to the bathroom, you encounter  your mother and father offering you some toast for breakfast; in the bathroom you look in the mirror and see yourself reflected – but your hair is a different color; you get two phone calls: one from your best friend and the other from your worst enemy; while you talk on the phone,  your next-door neighbor knocks on your door, and simultaneously, on the TV in the background,  the President of your country is giving a speech;  your pet cat or dog comes by and just as you hang up the phone, you get a call from your Boss telling you not to come into work today……

      OK, EVERYTHING in that dream  -- from your mother and father to the toast, your own reflection in the mirror, your friend and enemy and the telephone itself, your neighbor and the President as well as the TV, your pet, your boss, etc, etc –
-- ALL of those are on some level, a manifestation of YOU or some "part" of you, expressing something about yourself that your sub-conscious is trying to communicate to you.
Lucid Dreaming:

      A Lucid Dream is one in which you know you're dreaming.  They can feel like and indeed be, very magickal dreams, and are the beginning of various kinds of advanced DreamWork -- such as learning how to direct, change, and finish, your dreams, as well as dream "incubation" (please see below for more on that.)

Dream Journal:

      The very best way to begin Dream Work, is to keep a Dream Journal.  Dream researchers have found that within the first five minutes of awakening, we forget nearly 90% of any dream.  

If you want to keep a Dream Journal, here are a few tips:

a.    Keep your Journal, pens, and a small flashlight right by your bed, so you don't waste precious few minutes locating your equipment.

b.    Write down everything you can remember;  don't worry about complete sentences, grammar or spelling -- just so you can understand it all later.  Write down whatever you can remember of the setting, mood, theme, emotions, characters, props, conversations, etc.

c.    If you have trouble remembering, put yourself into a gentle trance through some "grounding and centering" and deep breathing, and try to put yourself back "into" the dream.

      Don't worry if you don't get much at first.  Write down what you do, and gradually, your sub-conscious will begin to realize that you're serious about wanting to work with it, and it will begin giving you more and more material to work with.

*      *     *      *      *


On Dreams & Dream Work:
I’m sad to have to say that there is an awful lot of garbage out there on Dreams and Dream Work, so beware.  One of the best resources is Dr. Stanley Krippner, a psychologist who has devoted many years to studying Dreams and Dream Work, and written some excellent books -- For more on Krippner and his books, see his website, here:

A few of his books that I most strongly recommend:

“Dreamtime and Dreamwork:  Decoding the Language of the Night” – Stanley Krippner, ed.

“Extraordinary Dreams and How to Work With Them”-
   By Stanley Krippner, Fariba Bogzaran, André de Carvalho.

“Dreamscaping:  New Techniques for Understanding Yourself and Others” -Editors:      Etzel Cardeña, Steven J. Lynn, and Stanley Krippner.

“Dreamworking: How to Use Your Dreams for Creative Problem-Solving” – Authors: Stanley Kripper and Joseph Dillard.

On Dream Journaling:

“The Dreamer’s Workbook” by Nerys Dee.
“The Creative Journal” by Lucia Capacchione, Ph.D.

On Lucid Dreaming:
Video results for lucid dreaming
How To Lucid Dream                  
1 min 57 sec - Dec 29, 2008
Jerimiah Molfese´s Step by Step program in the ...
124 min - Aug 27, 2007

2.   Book results for lucid dreaming
Lucid dreaming: the paradox of consciousness ... - Celia Elizabeth Green, Charles McCreery - 186 pages

Lucid Dreaming: A Concise Guide to Awakening ... - Stephen LaBerge - 77 pages

Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self - Robert Waggoner - 306 pages
On Dream Incubation:

Video on dream incubation


  I hope that's helpful --  Blessed Be ~  GaiaDianne


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