You may not be aware of it, but research shows that you dream every night. In fact, you have several dreams each night. However, if youâ€™re like most people you may not easily remember them. Ease at dream recall improves with practice over time. Be patient with yourself! However, here are some tips or tricks that can help you to remember your dreams:
1) Every night, as you fall asleep, repeat silently to yourself, â€śI will remember my important dreams when I awake.â€ť This “programs” your unconscious to remember your dreams.
2) If you awake during the night and recall a dream but would rather go back to sleep, take a tissue or piece of paper, ball it up, and throw it into the middle of the floor. As you do so, tell yourself that it will remind you of the dream you just had. When you see the paper in such an unusual position after finally waking, it will trigger a memory of the dream.
3) When you do get up in the morning, record your dreams right away. Jot them down. Even if you are, uh, desperate to go to the bathroom, write somethingâ€”anythingâ€”down on your pad of paper first. Transfer thisâ€”and expand on it as you remember more of the dream(s)â€”to your dream diary.
4) Record something in your dream diary daily. Make it a habit by doing this daily for a minimum of three weeks. Regularly doing this “programs” your mind to be better are remembering dreams.
The Content of Dreams
When you dream (and everybody does dream), one of four things may occur:
1. Astral Work. When doing astral work, you are learning lessons toward your spiritual, psychical and magickal development as well as practicing these lessons. This occurs on the non-physical level commonly called the â€śastral plane.â€ť
2. Psychological Messages. Many times your unconscious mind needs to tell your conscious something, but your conscious refuses to or is unable to listen. In some dreams the unconscious sends a message, in symbols, to the conscious. This is a basis for one aspect of Freudian analysis.
3. Play. The mind, at rest, may wander aimlessly and meaninglessly, sending any sort of beautiful or bizarre pictures to your conscious.
4. A combination of the above.
The Dream Diary
If you have never kept a diary of your dreams, you will find that it is easy. Simply get a pad of paper and leave it with a pencil or pen by your bed at night. When you first wake up in the morning, write down what you remember. If you remember nothing, the entry in your diary may read: â€śI did not choose to remember my dreams,â€ť and that is okay. At first you may only remember a small amount, perhaps only one event or feeling. Within a month of steady practice, you will have trouble keeping your entries to less than a page.
Also, obtain a nice blank book or binder with blank paper, lined if you prefer, into which you should transfer your abbreviated notes from the bedside pad. Unless your handwriting is very legible, print your entry from the pad of paper by your bed into the new book. This will take a little longer, but in years to come it will be much easier to read. Be sure to date each entry.
As an alternative, you may wish to keep a computerized dream journal. You should still transfer the information from your pad to the computerized journal on a daily basis.
In a paragraph above I wrote about reading the diary in â€śyears to come.â€ť This overview attitude is quite important. Do not, at this point, try to analyze each dream. Chances are at this time you will not be able to tell which of the four types of dreams mentioned earlier you are having. It is also unlikely that you will be able to interpret their individual meanings. Instead, look for repeated images or changes you find between recurring dreams or dreams with recurring themes. Please, please, please stay away from all of those ridiculous â€śmeanings of your dreamsâ€ť books!
Let me give you an example of how this diary can be important for you. One of my students had frequent dreams of being chased by soldiers and running and hiding. She had dreams such as these several times a month, and would wake up in a cold sweat, terrified. For her, the dream was a version of events which actually happened to her in her early life.
But after practicing some of the protection rituals from the lessons inÂ Modern Magick, her dreams, she told me, began to change. She no longer would hide and almost be discovered and raped. Instead, she would make her escape. For her, an old mental block which manifested in a fear of men and sex was broken down. Her relationship with her boyfriend improved as she felt more secure. This was represented by the change in her recurring dream. Similarly, you may be able to see positive changes occur in your life by being able to observe the changes in your dreams over time.