DREAM READER- UNRAVELING THE MYSTERY
People have been fascinated by dreams ever since the dawn of time. They have been the source of awe, happiness, grief and terror and people have always struggled to understand what dreams mean and what our mind is trying to tell us through them.
The dictionary definition of a dream is:
“A series of thoughts, images, and sensations occurring in a person’s mind during sleep.”
But we know that it is not so simple to interpret or understand what one is dreaming about. A lot goes into this process and most of the time we require help from someone who understands the way dreams work.
In the past, we have discussed various methods that help you in remembering and keeping track of what you are dreaming. Here is a list of few of them below so you can kick start your dream reading journey.
How to remember your dreams?
1. Go to bed according to your chronotype and be consistent with your timing. This way, you don’t fall asleep too quickly or slowly, because you’re going to bed at the right time for your sleep pattern. Then wake without an alarm. Both are good for the memory of dreams.
2. Use the “Power-Down Hour.” Give yourself 20 minutes for meditation or relaxation, in the dark, while falling asleep (then you can get the hypnagogic dreaming in).
3. When you wake up, don’t jump out of bed; take it slow, even drift in and out a little bit. Try to remember what you were dreaming; it will take a day or two, but you’ll get it eventually (try starting this on the weekend).
4. If you really want to remember your dreams, another trick is to drink three big glasses of water just before bed. This will prompt you to urinate several times throughout the evening. Most of the time, your body will wake you up to urinate just after a REM cycle, when you are most likely to remember your dreams.
5. Repeat to yourself while falling asleep, I want to remember my dreams, and over time you will. While not particularly scientific, this method does seem to work.
6. Write your dreams down in the morning. Once you’ve let your mind “drift” for five minutes, start writing down everything you can remember from the dream. With practice, you’ll start to remember them more fully and quickly.
The above techniques are guidelines that you can tweak and adapt to what suits you the best. Also, it is not necessary to implement all of them. Just one or two may do the trick for you.
These will help you create a catalog or journal of your dreams. Ideally one should spend a couple of months, training the brain to remember dreams and forming a habit of recording everything that you remember about these dreams. Once you have this data in your hand, you can start your journey to discover what they mean.
PATRICIA ELTINGE in her fascinating book THE DREAM CLASS, talks about dream reading and all its different aspects. She says,
“Whether you are going to revisit your dream with a bona fide dream reader or try to read your own dream, it’s important to understand what a dream reading is, and what it is not.”
She further goes on to explain how dream reading can help you connect with your subconscious mind and understand what messages it is trying to give us. She emphasizes on the need to not treat dream reading lightly. Saying,
“Dream reading is not fortune telling or a parlor trick. We are not trying to predict the future through our dreams. However, our dreams point to where in the future we need to direct our energies for well-being in our lives.”
Dreams are projections thrown out by our subconscious minds. Basically, the mind during sleeping hours is trying to make sense of what we are struggling with or consciously avoiding dealing with. If we decide to understand the messages the dreams convey, it would help us in bringing clarity in our life and conscious thinking.
If you are a person who often self-introspects, you will find the process of remembering, recording and reading dreams to a very fulfilling experience. It would help you in discovering new facets of your personality and develop a much more engaging relationship with your subconscious mind.
Reading books about dreams and dream reading like THE DREAM CLASS by PATRICIA ELTINGE would greatly help you in honing your skills as a dream reader. And once you have done it with yourself you can also attempt to help your family or friends. The most important aspect to study before you make any attempt at dream reading is to understand the complex world of dream symbols (images seen in a dream are symbolic of something and hence are known as symbols)
PATRICIA further elaborates,
“Dream reading is to be revered, as it has been historically in most cultures since ancient times. If you find you are getting positive results through your dream readings, that there is a resonance between your dreams and your waking life, then continue to hone your skills rather than showing off your accomplishments.”
PATRICIA also warns against developing arrogance about your ability to read dreams and cautions,
“The dream reading is not about the dream reader. These abilities are used solely to help yourself or others.”
PATRICIA also stresses on the importance of maintaining objectivity while you are reading dreams. Whether it is your own or of someone else’s, you cannot bring your prejudices or opinions into the reading. The interpretation has to be solely based on what the symbols seen in the dream mean.
What does a dream reader do?
Now that we understand the importance and sanctity of dream reading let us further explore what exactly a dream reader does. The dream reader acts as a bridge between the dreamer and their subconscious.
They help you understand the connection between your real life and the symbols that you see in your dreams
“A dream not interpreted is like a letter not read.”
– The Talmud
PATRICIA explains that the role of a dream reader is like a mirror.
In simple terms, a dream reader has to convey what the symbols in the dream are saying. Nothing more and nothing less. It is vital to remember that a reader can only be a guide. No one can claim to completely understand a particular dream, as dreams that follow may alter our understanding and provide a different perspective to the previous dream.
Patricia also advises to always study a series of dreams rather than any one single dream.
This would allow the reader to make more accurate readings and also give a better perspective understanding to the dreamer.
“The main point is to understand the images that are bubbling up from the unconscious to the conscious mind. In that way, one can begin to ascertain the lessons that are being presented by the dream and how to better process one’s personal journey through the waking life.
Further in the book THE DREAM CLASS, Patricia talks about the importance of asking questions to the dreamer once you have finished reading a particular dream.
“An experienced dream reader will question the dreamer on a particular image and how the dreamer relates personally to that image.
Remember that every symbol in the dream is actually a part of the dreamer’s own psyche in whatever aspect that part comes alive in the dream narrative.”
But she also cautions about not doing this in the early stages of information gathering. It is important to bring this up only when it will help in the correct interpretation of the dream. She goes on to say that,
“The dream reader interpreting a dream subjectively and giving only general dream symbol meaning will not truly serve the dreamer. Training, skill and care in dream reading are truly needed by an individual attempting to work on their dreams or to help others.”
The dream reader starts by writing down some of the key images that are being relayed. If you are attempting to read your own dreams, be sure of noting down exactly what you saw. The dream reader’s job is to explore what these images mean individually and what story they are trying to tell collectively.
“Start the dream reading from the first thing the dreamer remembers.”
This stands true whether you are reading for yourself or someone else. The first place to start is with the strongest and most vivid memory of the dream.
“Then you can start going deeper into the symbols. Draw out as much information about the dream before you start to read it. Sometimes asking for more information triggers more memories of the dream and that allows for a more accurate reading of the dream. The dreamer may even remember a previous dream as they start to relay the particulars of one dream.”
If you are reading your own dream it will make sense to note down the questions and ask them to yourself. But understand that it is not an easy job to try and remember the images of your dream and also think of asking questions about those images at the same time.
That is why it always makes more sense to take the help of a dream reader. An empathetic and intelligent dream reader can really help you unravel the mystery around your dreams and give you a more satisfying experience.
PATRICIA explains that the dream reader has to then ask about the associations that the dreamer may have to particular people, nature images or things in the dream.
“Symbols are coded associations.”
In order to understand the personal meaning of the symbol for the dreamer, it is important to know their association with that particular symbol. What it means to them, how significant it is in their life and what emotions it evokes in them.
“Remember that part of the dream reader’s job is to coax out the meaning of the symbols and circumstances and to help the dreamer to connect the dots as to how the dream relates to their waking life situations. Drawing out information from the dream requires patience, insight and sixth sense so that the dreamer is inspired to move deeper into the issues that the unconscious is asking to explore.”
Once you have gathered all the possible information about the dream you can start the actual interpretation.
There are different ways in which you can do this. For any reading, the dream reader uses one or more of these processes to make a successful reading.
The Yin/Yang of the Dream
This consists of studying the feminine and masculine aspects of the dream and its symbols. In dreams, if a male figure appears, it generally means a reference is being made to the feminine (emotional) side of the dreamer. Meanwhile, if a female figure appears it represents the masculine (thinking or doing) side of the dreamer.
The concepts of yin/yang are also applicable to nature images and also inanimate objects.
The Anima/Animus Paradox
Another important aspect to understand is the anima/animus paradox.
“The Jungian anima/animus paradox wherein men unconsciously express their feminine side for psychic balance and women unconsciously express their masculine side for psychic balance.”
This paradox may sometimes be difficult for the dream reader to understand and may require deeper delving into the psyche of the dreamer. This can again become very tricky if you are trying to do your own dream reading, and hence again it may be of significant advantage to enlist the services of a dream reader.
An archetype is another Jungian concept that helps us in reading dreams.
“Archetypes are objective, large concepts that are globally recognized. While these archetypes can take on numerous forms in our dreams, there are several archetypal images that commonly occur in most cultures.
But again while interpreting it is important to remember that the context of their appearance is as important as the meaning of the symbol
We hope that we have given you some insight into the science of dream reading. This is a wonderful subject to study and PATRICIA ELTINGE’S, THE DREAM CLASS is the perfect way to start understanding dreams and dream reading.