DRAWING ON DREAM WISDOM
Dreams speak in images and symbols imparting a sense of the present by reaching backward and forward. We can trust their wisdom and call upon their advice for individual benefit and for the greater good. To tap into dream wisdom, follow this four-step R.U.L.E.—Remember, Understand, Listen to, and Express your dreams.
Remember: To recall your dreams, note what you recollect in a journal. Some dreamers keep an audio recorder by the bed and transcribe the dreams later. Include events of the day in your journal. Include your thoughts about what the dreams mean. Keeping a written journal of your dreams stimulates more dreaming.
Chronicling even snippets helps you remember more of the dream. Date and title your dreams.
If you have difficulty eliciting dreams, before going to sleep ask to remember them. What are blocks to recollection? Did a “bad” dream come true and you feel responsible? What might be other barriers?
Understand: Take time to study the implication of your dreams. Sometimes the significance is obvious; sometimes it will manifest later. Understanding what the dream means is challenging, but engaging with the visual and verbal content is worth the effort.
What category—reflective, guidance, ESP, psychic, transformational—is the dream? What do the symbols characterize for you? Continue asking, “What does this dream mean?” Go deeper. There may be multiple layers of association.
Try interpreting your dreams without a dictionary. Symbols may summon for you something distinct from connotations in a dream dictionary. Develop your own definitions; discern nuances.
Turn to a dream dictionary for standard definitions and additional ideas. A dream dictionary is helpful for insights about universal symbols. A spiritually- oriented book for understanding dreams is Dream Dictionary by Tony Crisp.
Examples of universal symbols: Water may mean consciousness, healing, or cleansing. Cars are the vehicles we use to move around, move ahead, or travel. Animals may be aspects of our self. Dogs are masculine; cats, feminine. School friends may be noteworthy because of an issue of bygone days or their present-day occupation.
Notice specifics of the symbol. Is the water dirty? What type of car is it? Are the headlights on or off? Details carry significance.
Examine word plays, verbal-visual images, and the movie-like quality of the dream. What is the dream conveying? Look for puns, especially of names. Someone may appear whose name is Rose. What flowering does she represent? A phrase such as “pick her up” might remind you to meet the person or it might mean emotionally support her.
Numbers and colors have import. If the color of a car is maroon, are you feeling abandoned? If the symbol is white, does it connote the mystical?
Listen: Look at the dream in the context of your life—the issues or the concerns occupying your time and thoughts.
A woman had a recurring dream she lost her purse, that is, she had lost her identity. Notice the details. Her purse was lost, not stolen. What happened to the bag containing her Social Security card, driver’s license, and credit cards? Did she lose her identity because of a job or a relationship? Where? When? How can she find or replace it?
Express: Incorporate the dream into your life. Do your dreams guide you in a new direction or offer a perspective beyond what your five senses tell you?
A dream recurs until you understand and act on it.
How can you express the meaning of the dream to make a positive difference in your life and in the world?
Your dreams have power when you integrate their messages into your everyday life.
c Joyce Lynn from Dreams and the Wisdom Within