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Dream Interpretation: The Beginner’s Guide, Part One

Thea Euryphaessa helps untangle the knotty nocturnal underworld of dreams

Written by . Published on November 30th 2011.

Dream Interpretation: The Beginner’s Guide, Part One

WHEN not reviewing natural and organic skincare and beauty products, I mentor folk through personal transformation – have done for eight years. One of the main tools I use for doing this is by ‘tending’ dreams.

Ultimately, dreams belong to the dreamer. My role is to help the dreamer find out what the dream means to them.

Some may call what I do dream analysis/interpretation; however, after working intensively with my own dreams for the last five years, I’m careful not to bludgeon dreams with a narrow, one-size-fits-all interpretation. Ultimately, dreams belong to the dreamer. My role is to help the dreamer find out what the dream means to them.

 My interest in dreams came about through studying depth psychology and, in particular, analytical psychology (also known as Jungian psychology). On first encountering the material, my dream-life immediately responded in wild and vivid ways. As I continued working seriously with my dreams, my waking reality changed beyond belief – so much so, I wrote a book about it (Running Into Myself). In my book, I wrote a wee chapter about dreams which I’ve adapted and added to here:

Trust your creative unconsciousTrust your creative unconsciousMost people dismiss dreams. The brain processing the events of the day, they say. Psychic crap. Stuff and nonsense. Well I have news for you – if you throw out your dreams, you throw out your dreams. Logical, overly intellectualised types might run at me wielding hard-and-fast-facts for saying that. But quite frankly my dear, I couldn’t give a damn. 

If you’re serious about coming to consciousness and living a fulfilling life that reflects your inner essence, it’s time to get serious about your dreams. You have to pay attention to them. You just have to. There are no two ways about it. Dismiss them and you dismiss yourself (put another way, you dismiss your Self).

Some people say they can’t remember their dreams. This is easily remedied. The first step to dream recall is to simply get interested in your dreams. Befriend them. After all, what you focus on grows. The second step is to keep a pencil and notepad by your bed (pens can run out of ink at the most inopportune moments). Some of my clients use the voice recorders on their smartphones and mumble incoherently into them in the dead of night. At the very least, it makes for entertaining listening the next morning.

If you plan on going down the pencil and pad route, though, the moment you wake up write down whatever dream fragment you remember. If all you can remember was a black hat, write that down. In dreams, everything is significant. When you do this, you’re essentially saying, ‘OK, I’m listening. I take this seriously. I take my Self seriously. I want to learn.’

The more you do this, the stronger your dream memory will get. (By the way, if writing’s not your thing, paint your dream imagery. Remember, no-one has to see it. But painting also opens up the channels, strengthens the connection.)

Befriend your dreamsBefriend your dreamsThe third step to dream recall is, before you go to sleep say an invocation three times. Think of it as a way of knocking on the psyche’s door. The invocation can be as simple as ‘I intend to remember my dreams tonight.’ If you’d like to address something or someone, go right ahead. If you’d like to add in more, make it fancy, that’s fine too. There’s no right or wrong way to reconnect with your psyche – just your way. And whichever way you choose is just fine. 

Advanced dreamers may want to throw in a question after the invocation such as, ‘I’m not sure whether to leave this relationship or not. Can you please give me some guidance?’ Or, ‘I don’t know whether to take the job in London. I’d like some clarity please.’ Guidance may not come that same night, but trust that it will come.

Step four to dream recall is to go back to the last dream you remember. It doesn’t matter how long ago this was, even if it was a recurring childhood dream. The trick to this step is to write it down as though it were still happening. To stay present with the dream, I use the ‘When and Then’ technique. So, for example, ‘When I walked into the airplane hanger, then I saw Angelina Jolie. When I was in the queue with her, then she started telling me how Brad Pitt was like a strawberry.’ (Yes, this was a recent dream – don’t ask.) It may sound a little clumsy on the ear but it keeps you in the thick of the dream landscape, helps you follow the dream’s thread, and aids recall.

Finally, step five is to dialogue with your psyche. If all else fails, this is another – albeit, imaginative – way to help reconnect with your dreams. So, sit down and write something along the lines of, ‘Dear Dreaming Psyche, where’ve you been? How are you?’ Then, sit and wait for an answer. Whatever you ‘hear’, write it down. Even if it’s along the lines of, ‘I’ve nothing to say to you. Sod off.’

It may seem crazy, but it’s no crazier than the approach a writer takes when allowing a story to well up and bubble over onto the page. The important thing with this exercise is to trust your creative unconscious which, ultimately, is the same place your dreams come from. During the course of your ‘conversation’, though, make it clear to your unconscious (particularly if it seems antagonistic) that you’re ready to take it serious and want to learn. Always remember that, when it comes to matters of the psyche, a little humility goes a long way.

 Urban DevaUrban DevaIn Part Two, Thea explains how to work with and make sense of your dreams by means of association.

For more mind, body, and soul tips, follow Thea on Twitter @UrbanDeva

Visit her Facebook page facebook.com/urbandeva or website at urbandeva.com/blog

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