Dreams provide messages from our soul. Some may discard the meaning they find, or avoid looking at all. Many people say they don’t dream or can’t remember them. We all dream, but to remember them takes intention. If you want to remember your dreams, you will. To lucid dream with clarity and purpose means to be aware that you are dreaming while maintaining a conscious intention to receive messages from them and then integrate the new awareness into your life.
It would be wise to try to remember your dreams, and to observe the dreams you’ve had, because our dreamtime is a sacred time that our mind slows down to weave “new material into the memory system in a way that both reduces emotional arousal and is adaptive in helping us cope with further trauma or stressful events,” suggests Eric Hoffman, director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Newton Wellesley Hospital in Boston, Mass., of what a function (although not proven) of dreaming is.
We can receive the insights that follow an exploration of the feelings that arise in recollection of dreams, flashbacks, or critical interpretation of visions on our own if we are confident to do so. Sometimes people feel like they need support though, or are completely baffled or even frightened by the content of a dream. In every culture there are those who have a passion for dreamwork, who understand the language of symbols shown in dreams, who can work with others to make sense of them without distorting the information, or influencing the dreamer. They have been called, shaman, healer, priest or priestess, medicine man or woman, or witch. There are various names for all types of people who do dreamwork…
It is important to hold your own intuitive power if you do seek help from another person though. Make sure that you trust this person, and are not being fooled by a false image online were they just call them self a “shaman” (for example) and tell you they can help you for a price. Be aware of your own energy and the messages that flash in your mind. You hold the key to the knowledge of your dreams… For someone else to help you they need only encourage a deeper exploration or arouse possibilities for you that you may or may not resonate with. It is not possible for someone else to tell you exactly what your dream means for you.
Some believe that dreams have no meaning, but many others, like myself- believe they do. In the same regard, I would never say to an artist that the meaning in their art is just an illusion. Dreams fuel the work I do. The work I do in all its manifestations is the result of my dreamwork. To be a dreamworker, or dream-weaver, is to soften the edge of waking life to dreamtime… to blend the symbology we use to understand our life and each other with what we see/feel in waking, and what we see/feel in sleep and/or during visual quests, vision journeys, meditations or trance states.
One thing that everyone can learn to do, that will help them gain more control in the choices they make in dreams to affect their outcomes, and to recall them more easily upon waking, is to set the intention to ease into a sleep state with alertness…
How to Lucid Dream with Clarity and Purpose
1. When laying in bed (or wherever you sleep) tell your self that you want to remember your dreams. Don’t lay there and wait to fall asleep. Stay awake and alert of your thoughts as long as possible as you start to cross over the bridge to your dream state. You will be falling asleep more aware of your dreams… Tell yourself you will wake up on your own, without the use of an alarm clock. (You can still set the alarm, but try to wake up before it goes off.)
2. When you first wake up, instead of just jumping out of bed or worrying about what you’ll make for breakfast or how much time you have to get ready – hold the vision of your dream, the fragile dream capsule in your mind that is alive and pulsing through your mind about to fly away… hold it tenderly and observe it calmly. This is when you may have flashes of insight about what the dream was… like a summary of the most important parts standing out to you. You may even hear a whisper of the meaning it has for you.
3. Whatever it is that you saw, whether a single image or word you heard, or a voice, or a scent… whether it was a long story that you can remember every detail of- go through it in your mind and retrace it without judgment. Some people find it very helpful to try to write them down in a designated journal. (I personally don’t like to, but I have on occasion.) The most important thing to remember is to just give attention to the messages trying to come through. To pay attention to the opening in our mind’s eye, that receives our intuitive guidance, and universal intelligence.
4. Use crystals or herbs to enhance your dream state. If you are setting your intention every night and still having trouble remembering your dreams, there are several crystals that I recommend for wearing, holding, or keeping in your pillow, or in a dream pillow while you sleep. Sometimes just wearing a necklace or bracelet all day charges your mind and keeps the energy flowing into your sleep state even if you take it off before going to bed. You could even keep it on a bedside table.
5. Consider burning a single leaf of white sage before sleeping. Hold the smoke up before yourself as you set your intention for dreaming well. Pass the smoke around your body, and then hold it over the bed as you give thanks for a cleansed space to experience rest and visions…
My top 3 crystals to work with during dreamwork are Prehnite, Pietersite, and Red Jasper. Red Jasper is amazing for helping us recall the most potent messages from our dreams. They will come to you in a flash of insight, sometimes right away, other times, hours or days after your dream… Prehnite, Pietersite, Moonstone, Amethyst, Apatite, and Clear Quartz all have metaphysical healing properties that provide support for a relaxing and third-eye activated dream state.
Some flower essences and herbs also induce powerful dream states, others simply calm the dreamer and soothe them into a deep, restful mind state that allows for a more vivid dream experience. I make Dream Pillows that contain:
Lavender: promotes healthy rest… relaxes the mind… reduces stress… protective… Mugwort: protective for travelers during Shamanic Journeying… and enhances all types of dreamwork… enhances creativity… Rose: calms nervous tension… comforting… aides in deep breathing… promotes lucid dreaming…hope. Hops: enhances dreamwork… and aides in restful sleep… may affect some people strongly-by making them sleepy… Lemon Balm: calms nervousness and anxiety… aides in restful sleep. Chamomile: calming… comforting… relaxes the mind… soothes nervous tension, promotes sleep… and Jasmine essential oil: promotes vivid dreams, enhances creativity, calms nervous tension, regulates breathing… uplifts and calms the emotions…
This blend may improve the dream state by making it easier for the dreams to be recalled, and processed for healing. It is not meant to protect from bad dreams, as sometimes feelings that arise that are unsettling can be that which we truly need to explore to find that inner peace we seek. It does however, protect the dreamer from losing their vision during and after dreamtime. It helps keep them grounded but enhances lucid awareness so that it is easier to work with the messages. It is relaxing to the mind and heart, helping them to work together to achieve the healing needed on one’s part. Dreams are not to be feared, but embraced with gratitude and commitment.
*Inhale or diffuse before rest or sleeping…
Lastly, it has been said by people all over the world that sometimes we will be guided into a powerful dream by an animal guide. Lizards are one of those creatures that can enchant the senses into lucid dreaming.
Remember, that if you don’t believe there is no way it could be true for you, but I have written a lot about how lizards cross my path and send me into a deeper dreamtime every time.
If you are interested in any other articles I’ve written about Shamanic Dreamtime and Dreaming in general, visit these posts here.
“And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being.” – Black Elk