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Here is the simple truth - you do not have to understand how an airplane flies, for you to sit and zip across the globe; you do not have to mentally comprehend the biology of birth, for you to create a new life. Much like every other aspect of your being - from the unfailing beating of your heart to your every breath - dreaming too is a mystery that is oft beyond the grasp of your minds. But that does not stop or limit its place and purpose in your life.
How do dreams occur? Where do they take place? And why do we even dream at all? These are questions to spark a lively debate - scientific, spiritual or philosophical. But whether scientist, spiritualist or philosopher - what most people in the room will agree on is that dreams are important. They are more than just ramblings of your mind - ask the mom who dreamt of her child's accident long before it occurred, or the scientist whose dream unraveled the molecular structure of benzene, or the young man whose nightmares make it near impossible to function normally in waking life.
Dreams Are Important
Whether pleasant or not, recurrent or not - your dreams are often more vital than you may realize, and are best not ignored. Bringing information and awareness from your sub/unconscious into your consciousness, dreams allow you to perceive yourself and your life in ways that your mind may miss out on in the pace and humdrum of everyday life. They help you see the bigger picture, the grander context within which your life plays out. This could be the context of your soul journey, showing you the karmic patterns, the past and the future that you may be blissfully unaware of. Or it could be the deeper emotions and beliefs you hold - things you may have bottled up or left behind to cope with your life.
Understanding the vocabulary of your dreams and learning to interpret them gives you a powerful tool of self-awareness to help you succeed, not just on your soul journey, but also in everyday life.
What You Need to Know - The Ground Rules
Dreams are just as unique and as diverse as the people who dream them up! Contrary to convenience, there isn't a singular dictionary that could be used to decipher your dreams. Dream interpretation is a vast field of exploration and learning, one that many a scientist and psychologist spend their lifetimes decoding. Yet as vast and varied as this field may be, much like our human biology or the laws of physics, there are a few ground-rules that we all tend to subscribe to. In kicking off this article series, here is a quick reminder of these principles.
1. You Are the Architect of Your Dreams
My family treats me like the psychic equivalent of a jukebox - one call and I am asked to unlock the deeper meaning behind the dream they had last night. And just like I remind them every single time, it is important you remember that your dream is a creation of your mind. At the end of the day, you are the best judge of what it means and whether a certain interpretation feels right, whether it holds resonance. Yes, there will be times when you are simply too confused or overwhelmed by a dream to understand it - which is where us psychic jukeboxes come in. But no matter what the books and websites say, if an interpretation feels plain wrong… take another look. There may be more at play and more to discover there.
2. Every Aspect and Element of Your Dream is a Projection of You
Your dream world is very often (not always, but usually) a symbolic representation of YOU. Every element, every aspect - be it the setting, the people in it, the events and outcome, or the little details that color it - is a metaphor for your own state of being. Dreaming of your school from childhood may point to a lesson you are learning or dreaming of a jungle may symbolize you being in an unfamiliar and hostile place in life. A wolf may represent the wild, untamed aspect of your being while a fluffy dog may symbolize the loyal aspect of you that works well within existing social hierarchies. A tsunami in your dream could be a projection of feeling emotionally overwhelmed in your life, or dreaming of death may symbolize a new cycle. The combinations and permutations are just as intricate of your own heart and mind - but they are usually an insight into You.
3. But Don't Let These Details Overwhelm You
If you dream in 70mm, HD Dolby surround sound like I do, it is possible your dreams offer so much detail and information that the meaning gets lost in them! The key to a dream is to identify the theme - the singular message that your sub/unconscious is trying to portray through all these meanings. This theme could be a feeling, a lesson, a milestone, or even a premonition. If your details are proving too confusing, take a step back and look for the theme in your dream.
4. Pay Attention to the Setting
A handy clue to the theme, the very essence of your dream often lies in the setting. It may not be the focus of your attention while you are dreaming, but it is the container within which your dream plays out, so pay close attention to it. The location of your dream (childhood home, school, the office, a forest, etc.), the time of day (early morning or the dark of night for instance, or even an absence of any sense of time), the weather (stormy, calm, windy or changing patterns) and the sounds (background murmurs or music, silence or outright noisy) are some of the parameters to observe.
5. How Did You Feel?
Very often when tuning into a dream, I find that the true meaning of it is overshadowed by the preexisting notions of the dreamer's mind. Being in a room full of tigers for instance can make for a powerful dream, but the sight of a tiger is so frightening to our mind that it may unnerve the dreamer once awake. Another common example is dreams involving snakes; with all the bad press snakes get, these are usually considered ominous, when really the dream could be a sacred and positive sign. The best way to prevent your notions from getting in the way of your sub/unconscious' dialogue with you, is to try and remember how you felt when dreaming. Were you scared in the room full of tigers, or were you surprisingly calm? Did the snake make you want to run away, or were you strangely drawn to it? Feelings punctuate our dreams, but we are usually so caught up in the visuals of it that we miss out on the vital clues they offer.
6. Playback Your Dreams
The biggest hurdle to interpreting your dream is very often remembering it! How many times have we all woken up from a dream, still feeling its after effects, but unable to recollect what we were dreaming, what was happening in them? Keeping a dream journal is a useful tool to studying and working with your dreams, but learning to recollect and playback these dreams is something that takes practice, patience and time. A handy tip to improving your chances of remembering a dream is to try and remember it before you return to the pace and demands of your waking life. Stay in bed for a little longer when you wake up and try and remember your dreams - very often the energy of the dream is still with us, and staying in that energy lets us access it more easily. Let your mind drift back, and you may find yourself reconnecting with your sub/unconscious and the detailed message it has just left you.