‘Native American Indians believed that dreams were sent by the Great Spirit, to act as a guiding light for you soul and prevent it from becoming lost in the darkness of ignorance. Losing touch with them would be disastrous, as you would then be aware of your true path in life and become depressed or ill.’
From ‘Healing Dreams’, by Sarah Dening, 2004
We dream every night. Whether we remember our dreams or not, every night we enter into several dream states. Our unconscious mind uses dreams to work through our blocks and our day to day stresses, making sense of and processing our waking world. But dreams can be a really useful spiritual tool, if we learn how to interpret and work with our dreaming self. The important thing is to interpret the personal meaning of your dreams, in other words learning the language of your own subconscious.
I was lucky enough to know the late, Sarah Dening. She wrote books on dream interpretation and the I Ching, as well as being ‘Dream Doctor’ in both The Daily Express and The Mail on Sunday. Sarah trained as a Jungian psychotherapist and was hugely knowledgeable about the importance and meaning of dreams. If I had a dream I didn’t understand, I would ring her up and read it to her, and with her guidance I learnt to unpick the meaning of the dream and use it to help me in my waking world. Through my conversations with Sarah, I became very interested in the whole of Jung’s philosophy, I found it intriguing. I recommend reading up on the man and his work with dreams. It is also handy to have a dream dictionary to help you unpick what you experience whilst dreaming and to start to interpret the messages.
I believe we have more than one type of dream. Firstly, there are the usual ‘processing’ dreams. I call these processing dreams because they usually relate to the stuff that is happening to you in your day to day life. They included what I call stress dreams: realising you are in the middle of town completely naked, or having your teeth fall out, for example. These dreams help you to process the stress, expressing it, dealing with it on a psychological level so you can move it out of your psyche. Next, there are what I call instructive dreams, where you are being shown or taught: you may be in a learning environment or meet with a guide or helper who literally instructs you. You may witness a scene which unfolds in front of you or be part of a scenario which teaches you. Some of us will also have prophetic dreams, where you are warned or shown things that happen at a later date: I dreamt in 1999 of a child that I wasn’t to have until 2004, (I only realised this the other day when I looking through my old dream diaries, collating information for this website). I also dreamt of an explosion at a public sporting event in the run up to the Olympic Games of 2012. I panicked, thinking London was going to be a target of terrorism. When nothing happened I was relieved, but the dream didn’t go away. I couldn’t understand it. Then, the following spring, the Boston Marathon was hit by a nail bomb. As soon as I saw the footage, I recognised the scene from my dream. I’m still learning to understand my dreams and place them in my waking world. But if you’re having a recurring dream, the chances are you’ve not quite got the message yet!
I find that my learning and prophetic dreams are far more vivid and real than my processing dreams. I wake up still tasting a very vivid dream, all day I can think back and can literally be in the dream again. They are distinctive. I also have found that I meet the same people in my dreams, and that this is one of the ways my guides can interact with us easily. Dreams can be the first bridge between us and our helpers.
Writing down your dreams is essential. You'll remember more of them and you'll start to really use your dreams to help you. You can ask for a dream to resolve an issue you may be having, to guide you as to what to do for the best. The more attention and importance you give to your dreams the more they will respond.