Dreamwork brings us together with our deepest inner wisdom. It is an extraordinarily useful means to answer questions of meaning, purpose, destiny, healing and mortality, and to explore our connection to self.
Traditional peoples believe that no important event ever occurs in a person’s life unless it has first been dreamed.
And many cultures hold that, through dreams, illness clearly shows itself developing long before it appears in the body or the psyche.
Dreams can be among the finest, most precise and empowering sources of inspiration and direction to anyone seeking means to enhance creativity, determine life path, maintain focus, find joy, confront illness or assuage grief.
The Dream Source speaks to us nightly in brilliant, powerful parables that teach us how to heal ourselves.
Working With a Dream
1. What Was I Just Thinking? For some people, especially those new to dreamwork, the question “What did I dream?” can seem heavy, fraught with consequence. It may be easier to begin with a gentle “Now what was I just thinking?” to start the process.
2. What’s the Weather? How you’re feeling, not only physically but also emotionally and spiritually, can be a valuable indicator about the meaning and the importance of the dream. (If I dream of being a gladiator in the ring, there will be tremendous difference to the dream’s meaning if I wake up feeling elated and empowered rather than battered, hopeless and defeated.) So, are you sunny, stormy, fogged in, misty, etc?
3. What Pops In? Do you have any immediate associations (whether strong or not) prompted by any of the persons, images or situations in the dream?
4. What’s Been On Your Mind, Lately? What’s going on in your life, and what themes have been surfacing in your personal, emotional, physical and spiritual evolution? Our dreams offer us a safe process to work out our changes, and provide insight to guide us.
5. What If It’s Real? Sometimes dreams are warnings. How closely does the dream correspond to something that could actually, literally, happen exactly as illustrated?
6. What Is the Cast of Characters? Many dreamwork traditions specify that every object in a dream is a character in that dream (like the dancing mushrooms in a Disney movie). Note the ones that resonate for you in a special way. Note as many as you feel drawn to remember.
7. What Symbols Speak? Anyone and anything in a dream can be symbolically important: a chair, a bird or a motorcycle, let alone a cave, a highway, a snake. Before you run off to Google “snow leopard,” give yourself some time to ask yourself, “What does ‘snow leopard’ represent to me?” Work it through, and see what this new awareness brings to the dream. Then, Google it for additional cultural insights if you wish.
8. What Would You Do If…? What would do if you were an infinitely wise and powerful being? How would you change the dream? Who and what would you question, and what would you ask, to correct the situation or to obtain deeper meaning?
9. What Layers Can You Perceive? Every dream has multiple meanings. Is this truth readily perceptible? If it’s a really juicy dream with a lot to it, what meanings do you perceive as you go back to re-explore it again and again?
10. What Wisdom Is Offered? Does the dream answer any questions, offer any transformative guidance? If your dream was an angelic being sent to direct to you for healing, comfort and growth, what would its gift be?
11. What Would Give the Dream Life? How can you get closer to your dream, and bring its vibration into ordinary reality? Write it as a poem, or write a poem about it? Draw it? Sing it? Dance it? Obtain an object that reminds you of it?
12. What Will Honor the Dream? How might you wish to change your day, your attitude, your life to take advantage of the wisdom and healing the dream has brought? What will you do?
Stephen Neal Szpatura