by Maria Shaw
(Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal.)
What is your subconscious trying to tell you? One good way to find out is through your dreams. When we sleep, our subconscious doesn’t need to battle with our conscious mind. Our emotional side is not challenged by our logic, so it’s easy for our subconscious to break through barriers. But it isn’t always easy to understand what it is trying to tell us. The subconscious relays messages in the form of dream symbols, or sometimes even bizarre dreams in which we are participants or observers. Think of a dream as a private movie screening of a film in which you play the leading role, or perhaps just sit in the front row of the theater.
Dreaming is one of the best ways for the subconscious mind to get your attention. Many people get psychic impressions from their dreams. Others may only dream when being forewarned about a situation. Some people think they never dream. They do, but probably can’t remember. In some dreams, our friends and family members may make an appearance. Even loved ones who have passed on can show up from time to time to say hello.
Prophetic and Recurring Dreams
There are two distinctly different types of psychic dreams: prophetic and recurring.
Prophetic dreams are those that give us a glimpse into the future. These dreams you will want to keep record of and attempt to interpret.
My friend Mona had a dream that I was in Italy and being followed by a handsome, young Italian man. She told me she dreamed of me going into a store while this man was watching me. She didn’t feel good about this guy, and described him as creepy. Her details were pretty vivid: I was all alone, it was during the day, and I was definitely in Italy.
Weeks later, my friend Julie asked me to go to Italy with her on a business trip. I was very excited and had completely forgotten about Mona’s dream. While Julie was busy with her meetings all day in Milan, I was sightseeing by myself. I went into a huge department store to shop and that’s where I noticed this older Italian man staring at me. I felt uncomfortable and went into another department. He followed. I casually walked into another department to see if I could lose him. He was right behind me. Then I got on the escalator and went downstairs. He made his way to the escalator, too. Off I went into another department. He was there! I made a bee-line for the front door of the store, pushed my way through a crowd of people, got on the subway and lost him. My friend’s dream was pretty accurate. But her description of this “stalker” was off. He wasn’t handsome at all!
This is a good example of a prophetic dream. If someone dreams about you, ask them for details. It may be nothing. Perhaps it’s something silly, but it could be important.
Recurring dreams are ones you have repeatedly. The same theme or series of events is always played out in this type of dream. If you experience a recurring dream, there’s probably a psychological or emotional reason for it. Your subconscious mind is telling you that there is an issue, fear, or worry you need to examine within yourself.
Other Types of Dreams
Here are a few other dream categories:
- Precognitive Dreams: These are psychic dreams that can foretell the future. Make special note if you have a dream that feels precognitive. Even if the details are a little off, they may be close enough to alert you to upcoming events.
- Warning Dreams: These dreams alert us to possible danger or problems ahead. These dreams help us by giving us prior knowledge so we can be prepared or a crisis our even stop it from happening.
My friend Char had a warning dream that scared her. She dreamed of a school that had yellow police tape all around it—the kind you see at crime scenes. She said it worried her because it was very real, and she was shaken when she awoke from the dream. She described small children running out of the building and dozens of police cars circling the school. She was frustrated because she didn’t know exactly where the school was. She felt helpless without more information. She wanted to be able to warn someone, but didn’t know who. About two days later and twenty miles from where Char lives, a first grader shot another classmate. The little girl died. The tragedy made national news headlines. The events that occurred later had been revealed first in Char’s warning dream. It could be considered a prophetic dream, too.
- Factual Dreams: We have lots of these! They don’t last long, and we’re more apt to get bits and pieces of information than tangible knowledge. However, they can be very helpful. For example, you could dream of being interviewed for a new position or of talking with a friend about something that is actually happening in your life.
- Inspiration Dreams: If you are going through a personal crisis, perhaps having a difficult time at work or worrying about something, an inspiration dream offers a solution. It can give you insight to handle a situation. These dreams leave you with good feelings when you wake up.
- Visitation Dreams: Sometimes, deceased loved ones want to visit us, and the best way for them to connect with us is through our dreams. When we’re asleep, our subconscious is open to receiving messages from the other side. But how do you know if you are just dreaming of a departed family member or experiencing an actual visitation?A dream is something you’ll remember when you first wake up. It fades over a few hours and eventually you’ll have little or no memory of it. A visitation is an actual visit from the soul or spirit of someone. It seems like a dream, but you will remember it vividly. It stays with you all day, or sometimes for weeks and months afterwards—maybe even forever. During holidays and around anniversaries and birthdays, loved ones seem to make more visitations. It’s as if they want to share these special days with you. If you have lost someone dear, know that you can still connect with them. Ask them to come to you in a dream. Many times, deceased family and friends come to us when we’re involved in a major crisis to offer support and guidance.
Many people are keeping dream journals these days. A dream journal doesn’t have to be anything expensive or even fancy. A spiral notebook will work. Keep the journal next to your bed along with a pen. If you don’t have time to write when you wake up, keep a tape recorder handy so when you wake up you can record what you remember.
Date the journal and write everything down that you can recall. Write it in sequence, or in bits and pieces—whatever is easiest. Colors, numbers, faces, places, people, discussions, times, and seasons of the year are all meaningful. Specific details are important. Throughout the day, if you think of anything else, write that information down too. No information is insignificant, though some bits may turn out to be more important than others.
Dreams are made up of many elements. There’s always a main theme in every dream. Pick the one thing that stands out in your mind as being the most important, and analyze that first. I tell my clients that they are the very best interpreters of their own dreams.
Ask yourself first: What does the dream mean to you? Then look up meanings for individual symbols in a dream interpretation book, if you have one. If your dream is full of detail, this means it is very important. If you only remember fragments and it fades quickly, it’s probably not as important. It may not have much meaning unless it is linked to another dream you’ve had in the past.
Article originally published in The Llewellyn Journal. Copyright Llewellyn Worldwide, 2004. All rights reserved.