Dreams and Interpretations I
By Athene Raefiel
Using dreams and their interpretations is an art that can easily be developed to assist in our spiritual development. Using our dreams can aid us in understanding different elements of our lives and ourselves. With the world around us continuing to rev up its pace, requiring more and more of our time, things such as sleep and dreaming are sacrificed. Many people discover that they are just too tired to remember their dreams, let alone give time to interpreting them for their usefulness.
Dreaming and its importance has been around and used by a variety of cultures for many centuries now. Some indigenous tribes such as the Senoi in Malaysia always begin their day having breakfast and discussing what had been dreamt about the night previously. This included what the children had dreamt as well as the elders. Such cultures and traditions are beginning to fade, as are the jungles in which they live.
Dreams hold different connotations to different people; this is commonly due to the diverse backgrounds and religious belief individuals come from. Though to some people dreams represent mysterious and prophetic things, to others they simply tell the tale of daily life.
It is interesting to know that in many cultures where dreams are held almost sacredly, there are special rituals and prayers of protection used to take someone to a special dream state of the highest order. This is true of the Native American Indian tribes who have used Peyote as well as Vision Quest journeys to bring on visions as well as sacred dreams.
Dreams are an interesting tool for spiritual growth because they herald various stages of advancement for the true seeker of spiritual advancement. When one learns to remember and study their dreams they begin to realize that dreams can come in many different stages and levels.
Once a person actually delves into the study of dreams, they discover what a vast area of learning they have embarked upon.
In dream studies, there are areas of learning called Creating Dreaming, Lucid Dreaming, Astral Dreaming and even Prophetic Dreaming. Though many people think that Prophetic Dreaming always involves imminent disaster or devastation, this is not true. Dreams of this nature would come from the Astral Plane and are usually fear based and tied into frightened emotions. Though they may actually manifest in the physical, can simply mean that the individual who had the dream, accidentally tapped into an astral level of the collective whole and saw some of what was there. There are those who proclaim to make a practice of such dreaming but it has no real value to one who is trying to progress spiritually.
Most dreams are basically random thoughts and activities of daily life. Often in dreams it can seem as though we are simply rehashing what we went to bed to forget. The result being that we do not wish to remember our dreams. This is one of the main reasons that individuals should take the time to purify themselves and space around them before falling asleep. I believe this is why so many teachings tell people to say prayers before bedtime.
So much is tied up in superstition and myths when it comes to dreams that few venture into the study because they feel it is too mysterious and holds little reward. But dreaming and learning how to use our dreams helps us to learn about ourselves in new and different ways. When we learn to Lucid Dream is it is expressly fun and informative.
When you Lucid dream you are actually watching the dream take place and can actually control or change what goes on in the dream. You can even change it to another dream if you wish. Some believe that lucid dreaming is the highest level of dreaming because they now have control over their dream state. This is not true. Control is still an element of the lower self and is a need by the physical self. By the need to continually control your dreams, you block your own expansion within the dream realms. Lucid dreaming is fun, yet, as with all metaphysics it is simply one more level to learn about and surpass. When you truly understand that spiritual evolution is about surrender and allowance then you choose to exceed and excel even in your dream state.
Interpreting a dream begins with the desire to interpret what the dream means. When we have a strong desire to do or learn something, it is as if our inner self begins to work with us to help us fulfill that desire. In fact, if we take a dream we had and see each person in the dream as some aspect of our lives and ourselves, we will always be amazed at what perception we realize from this dream when awake. Remembering how we feel in our dreams helps us tremendously when interpreting the meaning of the dream. Different feelings often color our perception of what something means to us. Feeling fear as opposed to safety creates a very different meaning when interpreting a dream. Rarely do people take into account that they are actually aware of how they feel in a dream unless it is fear based.
Most remembered dreams that are fear based are often called nightmares. There are different phases of sleeping and the dream-state is believed to occur while in REM, or during rapid eye movement. Though many of us understand that during the night our astral body also travels to the astral plane, others don't realize that you also bring memories back, dreaming about them after this traveling. Some of the things that dwell in the lower astral plane are demon-like energies and entities. When passing through this level in our dream state we sometimes attract their attention and they want to attach to us. This can easily be remedied by simply saying some mantras before going to sleep and when you awake, along with your prayers to anchor the light and love of the Divine.
Dreaming in black and white or color also helps us define our dreams and the help they give us. We rarely even remember a dream unless it has some important significance, so if it is in color we are more apt to take notice. Even when we do dream in color, part of the dream may be both color and black and white. This is certainly an attention grabber and something one would easily remember.
Dreaming in color often means that you are having an astral dream. Since there are different levels of astral dreams, the types of colors that you experience in the dream can help you identify what level of the astral you are in. When the colors are vibrant and luminescent you have reached into the more heavenly planes of the astral. Here, it is as if all your senses are heightened and awake as you experience yourself seeing, feeling, touching and even smelling while in the dream-state. During such dreams the sense of aliveness and beauty bring about amazement and awe for the dreamer. This is quite different from Lucid Dreaming.
Other things to look for when remembering dreams is if you can identify other people you know, or have known, in your dream or are the others in the dream strangers? If they are strangers, how did you feel about them in the dream? Did you feel comfortable with them being there or fearful? This is an important aspect of dream interpretation because very often our companions in spirit will participate with us in our dream state and help us in this way. In the dream they most often appear to regular looking people and we feel genuinely comfortable with them being there. Very often they guide us to various experiences in the dream.
Sometimes we will have a dream and see an Archetype such as and Angel or Ascended Master. People often claim to have dreams with Jesus, the Virgin Mary or a Guardian Angel coming to them. These people are actually reaching into a very intimate sacred place of love and have a great desire to receive grace and love from the Divine.
Another dream we often hear spoken about is the dream a family member has when a loved one has died and crossed over. When this person who died comes back in a dream it is to either let the family know they have made a good crossing and are safe and doing well, or if they come seeking help and guidance because they are lost and feel trapped.
If the dream is that of the family member asking for help then it is imperative that the family seeks help to aid this individual soul to cross over into the next dimension of its incarnation. There is nothing worse than being stuck in between worlds. I liken it to a fog bank where you feel despair and fear that you are still alive but cannot find a way of being in any familiar place or with familiar people. After awhile these souls begin to walk the earth feeling displaced and exiled by both worlds. Simply someone knowing how to help this soul find its way to next plane of existence for itself can avoid so much of this.
So our dreams tell us a lot more than we realize and it is often better to pay attention to them. This may not be necessary or feasible daily, but it certainly is when we feel a pull that they are telling us something valuable. Then we might want to honor such a nudge and perhaps even journal our dream memories for awhile.
Dreaming is a powerful method of tuning into your soul consciousness, sometimes called the unconscious mind. Once you have the ability to traverse the various levels of consciousness in your dreams you will find that things such as past life memories even begin to surface. Dreams in and of themselves are simply another tool to enhance full awakening and awareness of spirit and it is a very powerful one.