Since I write a dream interpretation column for Paranormal Underground Magazine, I thought we could talk about how to interpret your own dreams. Of course, I'm happy to interpret your dreams for my column, as well. You can send your dreams (anonymously if you wish) to editor @ paranormalunderground.net (no spaces).
Why We Dream
We have different types of dreams.
Dreaming of Other People
One of the keys in dream interpretation is remembering this: every person you dream of in a symbolic dream is actually an aspect of yourself, so when you dream about another person, you are actually dreaming about yourself. If the person is someone you know, ask yourself which aspects of that person do you resonate with in your waking world. Or, which faults do they have you can barely stand? These might give you a clue to the aspect of yourself the dream is talking about. If it is someone you don't know, look for personality traits or features that may be telling you something about yourself.
The other thing another person might represent in your dream is an archetype. Without delving too deeply into Jungian psychology (which is a fascinating topic all of its own), Jung outlined major archetypes that represent aspects of self, desires, fears, etc.
The 12 Major Archetypes
Below are the main archetypes that appear in dreams.
So what should you pay attention to in dreams? Everything can be symbolic. Colors (wall colors, vehicle colors, etc.), numbers (such as a number of people or a number of items), objects in the background, landscape, thoughts and feelings, words....pretty much everything in your dreams may be symbolic. How people look, what they wear, if they have facial hair, if they wear glasses....The more detail you recall, the more likely the interpretation is to be accurate.
While sometimes a cigar is just a cigar (thank you, Dr. Freud), often objects in symbolic dreams mean something other than their literal interpretation.
Color is very important in dreams, so if a color stands out to you at all in a dream (whether it's a color of a shirt, the name of the color, or any other way a color might show up), it's probably meaningful.
When numbers appear in dreams, they come in various ways. You may actually see, speak, or hear a number. You might also note a certain number of objects - such as two people, four forks, etc. If a number sticks out to you post-dream, it is probably significant.
The information I've shared about dreams above is just the tip of the iceberg in dream interpretation. If you are really interested, I recommend finding a good dream dictionary. As far as online sources go, I find dreammoods.com tends to have information about symbols that resonates with me and most closely matches my own interpretations. Always look to your individual interpretations before you look to the collective conscious symbols. I find that many people actually do recognize what their dreams are telling them once they spend a little time thinking about it.
Last night I dreamed about playing dodgeball (which later morphed into field hockey and then some weird golf game), and everyone was divided into a yellow team or a purple team. I didn't get a jersey for either team, and the director of the game kept trying to give me a clear jersey (always great for showing off the bra or greeting your husband at the door when you come home). I wanted to be on a team - I didn't care which - and insisted that the director give me a team.
I discovered there was a blonde woman (her name was Annie) with short hair who had taken my jersey (that bitch!). She was on the yellow team, but she wanted the opportunity to be on either team depending on who was winning or losing. I was so upset at this injustice, and I tried to get her to give up my jersey, but she wouldn’t.
The director (who had short, dark hair) looked through all the colors and kept giving me colors that weren't either team. I kept insisting on being placed on one of the teams. Finally, she came up with a purple jersey, but it was more violet while the rest of the team was dark purple.
Then I went and joined the game, but realized what a slow freakin' runner I was. I was adept at playing, but I just wasn’t as fast as the other players. Two other teams had joined the game, and nobody was sticking to a team anymore - the teams (the other two colors were blue and red) were all intermingled. So instead, I found a cache of colorful golf balls buried in a hole in the ground and played with that. The cache was at the top of a hill, and I pulled up each colorful ball and tossed it down the hill to a green playing field.
Here are some of the symbols that showed up in my dream:
Here’s the process by which I interpret this dream.
1. I start by looking at the context of the dream, which is a ball game of some type. I desperately wish to participate. This gives me the overall theme of the dream – it tells me what the dream is about. It is being played on a field that is rough and rocky – with lots of hills, but there is a bright green, smooth pitch at the bottom of the dirt hills. In this case, the sport changes throughout the dream, so what is probably important is the field on which it is played – as well as the fact that there are balls in the game.
I know many people struggle to meditate - and I'm terrible at the traditional form of meditation myself.
Why would you want to? Look at meditation's numerous benefits:
One of the biggest challenges is clearing your mind, and honestly, it's a tough one. Having some kind of a visualization might help. For instance, as you notice thoughts arise, picture them on a blackboard and erase them, or imagine yourself sweeping them away with a broom. You can also use other visualizations or vocalizations as focus points, such as a mantra (which can be anything from OM to an affirmation) or visualizing different colors, focusing on an image of some sort, or even focusing on your breathing and counting breaths. The trick is to find something that works for you, and gently move your focus back to it whenever you notice thoughts interrupting. Be kind and patient with yourself.
Perhaps one of the biggest blocks to meditation is the belief you are unable to meditate. It's an easy trap to fall into, and it becomes a self-perpetuating cycle. The more you tell yourself you can't meditate, the truer this becomes for you. You can meditate. There's no trick to it. Still your mind as best you can. When you notice your thoughts invading, take a deep breath and once again still your mind. Do this starting with just a few minutes at a time and work your way up. And, when you catch yourself thinking or saying, "I just can't meditate," remember that thoughts become things. When you notice this belief arising, replace it with the belief that you can, indeed, meditate.
Another type of meditation to try is guided meditation. With guided meditation, you listen to someone else's words and music and let your mind follow along. For some people, this is an incredibly powerful form of meditation. You can find all kinds of guided meditation on YouTube, and there are great smartphone apps, as well. I'm a fan of Glenn Harrold's guided meditation sessions.
Two other forms of meditation you can try: journaling and trataka. Try writing as meditation. Start with stream of consciousness writing - put pen to paper and just write. If you get "stuck," write the same word over and over until you get unstuck. Trataka involves gazing at a single point - many people use a lit candle for this. Just gaze at an object or point, and as your attention wanders, bring it gently back to the object. Try all the methods we've talked about this week and see what works for you - or mix it up and incorporate them all.
It's natural to have a strong emotional reaction to a toxic person or event. Unfortunately, what often happens is the strength of the emotion attached to the person or the event creates energetic ties that grow stronger every time you revisit how you feel. This can (and often does) become a series of looping thoughts that keep us energetically connected to the toxicity. And the more energy we give to that person or event, the more deeply ingrained the toxic energetic pattern grown in us. We create energetic ties that can be harmful to us.
I'm not suggesting you don't react emotionally to painful events, toxic people, negativity, or betrayals. You're not robots - you feel how you feel. It's natural and even beneficial to experience a range of emotions in relation to negative events or people. Allow yourself to feel them fully.
However, when you keep revisiting these emotions weeks or months after the relationship or event has ended, you are building energetic ties to negativity. For your own self preservation, it's important to detach yourself from that energy just as soon as is humanly possible.
So how does one detach from these negative feelings?
There's nothing really magical about cleansing rituals - I believe they do as much to reset your mind and help you set intention as anything else. Therefore, while I'll make some specific suggestions, what I tell people who wish to engage in cleansing rituals is that they should listen to their intuition. If something feels appropriate to you and your situation, then do it with the intention to bring about positive change and remove negativity.
The Power of Intention
I want to start our discussion of cleansing rituals talking about intention. When working metaphysically, intention is everything. Therefore, your first and most important cleansing ritual is recognizing a pattern of negativity has entered your life and setting the intention to convert the negative energy to positive. Then, you need to continue to re-set that intention until it becomes ingrained.
Affirmation and visualizations are both very powerful methods of re-setting intention. A simple intention setting exercise you can perform is this: sit quietly somewhere that you won't be disturbed with your eyes closed. Breathe in deeply and then exhale. As you breathe in, say to yourself, "I breathe in the positive," and visualize positive energy flowing in through your nostrils with your breath and filling your body. As you exhale, say to yourself, "I exhale the negative," and visualize negativity flowing out of your body with your breath. Continue doing this for as long as you feel is appropriate. Then, throughout the day as you notice yourself caught up in the negative energetic patterns, take a moment to briefly close your eyes, place your hands over your heart, take a deep breath, and visualize breathing in the positive (restating the above affirmation) and breathing out the negative (restating the above affirmation.)
Another exercise for releasing negativity and converting it to the positive is a simple visualization. Sit or lie comfortably with your eyes closed. Visualize the negativity as dark shadows in your body. Now, watch those dark shadows leave your body, rising out into the atmosphere or flowing down into the earth and dissipating. Next, see white light come from above and surround and fill you completely. Do this for as long as you need to feel the energy patterns shifting. Then, throughout the day as you notice the negativity slipping back in (as it inevitably does) breathe in white light and breathe out dark energy, saying to yourself, "Release."
Using Smoke for Cleansing
Many people are probably aware of the ritual of burning sacred herbs, such as sage, to transmute energy. Sage is probably the most well-known and commonly burned herb, and many believe it clears negative energy, setting the stage for more positive energy to come in. After burning sage, you'll need to burn another herb to invite positive energy, such as palo santo (my favorite), sweetgrass, or lavender. When burning herbs, you can leave them in the middle of the room to fill the room, or you can walk with a bundle around the house starting at the front door, and making sure the smoke goes around all doors and windows.
You can also use incense smoke as a method for clearing energy, or you can burn resins like frankincense or myrrh. Nag champs is a a good incense choice, although you can find incense to be burned for all kinds of purposes in metaphysical stores.
Of course since the cleansing rituals are intention based, you can also do something that requires very little, such as light a candle and let it burn. As long as your intention is to signify a change in the energy, this may work, as well. Choose a scent like sandalwood or frankincense, which have sacred properties. Although it isn't technically smoke, you can also diffuse essential oils, choosing oils that have properties of the energy you are trying to bring about. Here's a good link with properties of many essential oils and fragrances: http://www.spiritual-path.com/aromatherapy.htm
Cleansing Your Environment
Cleansing Your Environment: A cleansing ritual can really be anything that allows you to begin to shift the energy in your life. When you're ready to start to shift energy patterns, it's time to literally clean house. Use scents that uplift you - I recommend happy aromatherapy scents like grapefruit or lemon. Remove clutter, clean out closets, vacuum away cobwebs, and wash your windows so the sunlight or moonlight can enter in to your home. Open the windows and invite in fresh air. Once your environment is sparkling (don't forget your car!), bring in positive energy with objects you love - like a bouquet of flowers or a scented candle.
If you're cleansing energy in the wake of a toxic relationship or friendship, remove objects around the house that maintain ties to the other person. Clear out things that may leave you still energetically linked to that other person - such as gifts they've given you that are still around the house. Remove those energetic links by getting rid of the items. Don't just shove them in a closet. Donate them or throw them away. Once you have, replace them with items that invite positive energy - such as crystals, aromatherapy diffusers, photos of beautiful landscapes, or anything that makes you feel positive, happy, and whole.
Cleansing Your Environment: Once you have created an environment that makes you feel healthy, happy, and whole, add objects that invite good energy. I have several in my home, placed where I can see them as a reminder of the positive energy I wish to invite. I love aromatherapy diffusers and a few in places where I spend my most time. I make my own blends. I use a blend of mandarin, cinnamon, and clove in one diffuser, and I use a blend from doTerra called Console in another. I also recommend Himalayan pink salt lamps and/or candle votives, which release ions to improve serotonin levels in the brain and boost energy. I keep those where I work as well as in my Reiki studio.
Creating Positive Energy Flow
Once you have cleansed the energy in your environment, you can create a flow of positive energy throughout your home. How the energy flows throughout your space is important. I once worked with a family whose home had such an awkward layout that the energy came into the house and then just swirled around in the foyer because the house's architectural features and layout didn't allow it to flow freely. There were spots in the house where they had consistent energetic issues (i.e., they felt these were spots where "bad" things always happened.) We were able to help change this energy by placing objects in and around the house to invite the energy to flow throughout and not stagnate.
Inviting positive energy into your home starts with the front door approach to your home. Make the approach attractive and free of debris that may block the energy. Having an attractive front porch also puts you and other visitors in a positive place as they approach your home. Living plants are especially helpful near your front entrance, such as on either side of the steps, and a lovely mat invites the energy inside. A small water feature placed near your front door is also excellent for inviting positive energy into your home. It doesn't need to be anything fancy or expensive - just something that moves water to invite the positive energy.
Indoors, you can place water features in the entryway to help energy continue to flow. You can also use items like wind chimes, which can keep energy from stagnating. Mirrors and crystals can also help direct energy throughout the space or reflect away negative energy. For example, if when you walk in your front door you have a small foyer and then a sharp turn to a staircase, placing a small mirror at an angle facing both the front door and up the staircase can direct the energy you have invited in up the stairs. Likewise, if you feel you have negativity coming towards your home from a neighboring property, you can use a small mirror to reflect that energy away from your home. Wind chimes set up around tight turns in your home can also help to allow the energy to continue to flow. Placing crystals throughout your home, as well as himalayan salt lamps and other items that make you feel positive and joyful can help keep positive energy flowing.
One of the things I recommend doing is, after meditating, walk through your home and make an effort to sense the energy as you move throughout the space. Note where it flows nicely and where it feels stagnant. This is pretty intuitive, so just listen to your inner voice as you do so. Then, sit for a few more moments in meditation after your walk through focusing on the best ways for you to remedy any energy stagnation. Remember, intention is everything here, so there aren't a lot of missteps you can take because it's about creating the energetic environment that is best for YOU and your family. Listen to your inner voice and follow the wisdom it offers.
Sometimes, what really needs cleansing is your energy. It's easy to get trapped into patterns of negative energy and thinking, so personal cleansing rituals can play a meaningful role in helping you re-set so you're on a more positive track. Again, choose a ritual that is meaningful to you. For instance, try cleansing by fire. No - don't light yourself on fire. Instead, write all your negative thoughts or worries on a piece of paper and burn the paper. Then, replace them with a series of more positive affirmations.
A ritual bath may also be valuable for changing personal negative energy patterns to positive. Light candles in your bathroom, turn of the lights, and fill the bathtub with hot water. Add sea salt or Himalayan pink salt and a few drops of an essential oil, such as rosemary. Soak in the bath, imagining all the negativity flowing into the water. Then, pull the plug while you're still in the tub and allow all the negativity to flow down the drain. Once it's gone, get out and dry off. While the water drains, I like to repeat positive affirmations.
You can use any other ceremonial cleansing rituals, as well. For example, cleanse yourself with incense or sage smoke, spritz yourself with an essential oil spray, seek an energy healing treatment with the purpose of clearing negative energy, play a singing bowl and bask in the vibrations of the music, take a dip in the ocean or another natural body of water, or dance in the moonlight. The key is to set the intention in your mind that you are now changing your patterns of negativity for a new, positive energy pattern.
Being prosperous doesn't necessarily mean having material wealth (although it certainly can). Rather, it is feeling wealthy in the things you value, such as love, friendship, compassion, joy, health. One of our biggest blocks to prosperity, however, is tied up in our feelings about money, wealth, and having enough. Many people believe the desire for prosperity is counter to spiritual principles, which can create blocks to achieving it because our thoughts and actions lack clarity.
Many of us have been given messages throughout our lives that have caused us to believe a desire for prosperity is selfish (or there is nobility in lack - like the Biblical idea it is much easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God). Others may believe on some level they are not deserving of prosperity. I know I have struggled with both of these beliefs throughout my life. However, in order to truly be in a position to help others, we must first be in a position to help ourselves. Prosperity doesn't mean keeping everything for yourself. The more prosperous you are in all ways, the more you have to share with others. At the same time, it's okay to want things because you want them. There is no shame in desire. Desire does not have to equal greed, and you can choose to be a good steward of your prosperity so it doesn't cross the line into avarice.
If you believe - even on a deeply subconscious level - it is not okay to want "things" for yourself, then your thoughts, words, and actions won't align in a way that allows the universe to consistently deliver for you. Therefore, the first step in changing your mindset about prosperity is to notice thoughts that are counter to being prosperous as soon as they arise. Often, these thoughts are quite fleeting or just feel normal. So the first step in changing your mindset about prosperity is to listen deeply to your thoughts and words. Do you have thoughts or beliefs that are limiting what the universe provides?
Thought, word, and action are all creative. In other words, thoughts become things. The things we say, think, and do send messages to the universe, which then creates the exact conditions we have requested through our thought, word, and deed. So every time we think a limiting thought about prosperity, the universe responds in kind, giving us what we have created.
When you catch yourself thinking a limiting thought (or speaking of limitation) about prosperity, it is important to realign that thought (or word or action) right away. Here's a concrete example. You might catch yourself saying or thinking, "I'm broke!" Catch that thought and immediately cancel and replace it. When you hear this come out of your mouth (or pass through your brain), say to yourself (it can be in your head - doesn't need to be aloud), "Cancel that. I am prosperous. I have all I need to live the life I choose for myself," or something similar.
The point is to make it a positive statement that cancels out the negativity that passed through your mind. You don't even have to believe this to be the truth. You've probably heard the old saw, "Fake it 'til you make it." Changing your thoughts at first may seem unnatural, but consistent effort eventually brings a change in beliefs, attitude, and ultimately circumstances.
If the world - or any aspect of your life - seems cloaked in darkness, there's something important to remember. You have the Light inside of you. It goes with you everywhere and when you walk in that Light, you illuminate even the darkest of corners of the universe.
Sometimes we forget who we are, and we think we are surrounded by darkness until something reminds us once again that we are beacons of Light. This is your friendly reminder. You are the Light. It's what we call came here to do - to be the Light. It is our sole purpose and our soul purpose. You take the Light with you wherever you go, and all you have to do is choose to activate it to make it shine all around you.
To many people, the world may feel like a scary and tumultuous place right now, and I understand. I believe we are seeing the push back of darkness (old energy) because so much Light (new energy) has entered via individual's spiritual work.
I believe what is happening is the darkness (old energy) is seeking to create balance with the Light (new energy). I also believe the way to resist the darkness is with our own Light. Darkness is an illusion. It is the absence of Light, but it easily vanishes when you flip a light switch. Stay in the Light. Try to step away from your anger, ego, fear, judgment, and reactions and be the true Lightworker you are. Spread Light, unconditional love, compassion, and peace by recognizing the Light in you and in others.
Namaste (नमस्ते)- The term roughly translated means 'the Light in me recognizes the Light in you.' Live in namaste. Focus on the Light and not the dark. When you focus on the dark, you give it power.
When I saw the women's marches and how strong, peaceful, loving, and powerful they were, I got chills. This is the new energy - powerful and loving and based in a positive focus about what we DO want, not about what we don't want. The Light always wins, and going through the "battle" leads us to a better place and makes us stronger Lightworkers.
नमस्ते Namaste. I love you for the Lights you are.
Forgiveness sets you free. It's something I work on every day - choosing to let go of anger, hurt, pain I feel others have caused me. Intellectually, I realize nobody has caused the pain - I'm choosing it. Sometimes it takes a bit longer for the heart and emotions to respond but with work, I always get there eventually.
I can't remember who I heard say it, but this has always stuck with me. It was spoken to an adult survivor of child abuse, and I'll paraphrase here - "Your abuser stopped beating you years ago, but every day you're choosing to pick up the stick and continuing to beat yourself."
Are you continuing to beat yourself with a stick that someone else put down long ago? I'll say it again. Forgiveness sets you free.
Forgiveness doesn't mean you have to allow a destructive person back in your life, but it does mean you release them from the destructive ties that are binding you. You can step away with love. Here are some tools to help in the process:
Send a little Light everyday. Just for a few moments, before you go to sleep and/or when you first get up, put your hands over your heart chakra, close your eyes, and visualize Light. Then, visualize sending it to the darkest corners of the world.
Don't send it where there's already an abundance of Light, but to places where darkness appears to have taken over. Send it to the Middle East. Or to the Oval Office. Or to Congress. Or to the greediest of Corporations. Send it to terrorist cells. Send it to people in your life who have treated you unkindly. Send it to where people are dying, and where human rights don't seem to matter. Send it to fascist dictators and to war-torn and poverty-ridden regions.
Beam that Light to places where darkness appears to live, because you can't fight darkness with more darkness. You can only combat it by turning on the Light.
And as you visualize, affirm. Affirm that the Light you are sending will bring peace. That it will bring prosperity. That it will bring wisdom and compassion. That it will bring Love. That it will bring wise and compassionate leadership. That it will bring healing and joy. If enough people make this tiny effort every day, eventually even the darkest places on earth will be filled with the essence of who we truly are - Light.