Precognitive & Symbolic Dreams: The Dream-state
Dream guides of ancient Egypt traveled to the stars on soulful journeys, and in the age of Cleopatra, schools with the sole focus of dream-work flourished.
At our very conception lay a dormant potential, and ripe with consciousness and creativity. Within this dormant potential lies our true Core, our true Nature, with a will and resistance of its very own. In our waking hours, we are driven by a superficial will which desires what is without...but in our dreams, once connected to our true states, our desires turn inward and above, to something higher, more sacred, more Divine. The only breakthrough we may ever experience is when the waking self submits to the Core, and gives it full expression.
Ancient Egyptians held to the belief that there were in fact three types of dreams:
1. Dreams of gods calling for righteous/pious acts.
2. Dreams from rituals.
3. Revelations/epiphanies and insightful, symbolic dreams.
Yet it was not only the ancient Egyptians who held dreams and the dream-state as sacred. The Greeks were known to practice certain rituals before retiring each night in which they would purify themselves and imbue iconic images with feelings of honor, love, and respect. The god Hypnos was responsible for bringing dreams to all sleeping mortals, with the fanning of his wings or the touch of his magick wand. Hermes delivered important messages to slumbering mortals as well, as Morpheus sent warnings and prophecies.
Let us now analyze some common, yet ancient, dream symbols and their meanings.
Assyrians believed that seeing an empty pot in a dream symbolized poverty, while overflowing goblets promised good fortune and fertility. Ancient Egyptians believed that to dream of sitting in a tree meant one would overcome their troubles soon, and the Hindus believed that dreams of accidents symbolized temporary struggles and dreams of birds denoted sorrow and setbacks. Perhaps the most interesting of all dream-beliefs are those of the North American Indians, who felt that dreams were the revealing of the deep and hidden wishes of the very soul and would seek their destinies during dream journeys. [The most vivid dreamers were often chosen as the Medicine Men.]
When we are awake, we receive inspiration in short bursts throughout the day. Yet, while sleeping and allowing the body to naturally mend, the mind processes while remaining highly active. This is desperately needed by the body-this time to "mentally digest" and naturally repair. Did you know that a person is actually more at risk of death from lack of sleep than from lack of food?! Inanition (starvation's technical term) is an extreme level of malnutrition and caloric deficiency, and while it's obviously fatal, many die from the side effects of starvation, rather than starvation itself. Sleep, however, plays roles in memory function and tissue repair. Agrypnia (lack of sleep) affects your concentration, your motivation, and even your perception! Even worse, the effects hit you in just the first 24 hours without sleep, as cortisol levels rise, and within just a day or two the body is unable to metabolize glucose properly as body temp drops and immune responses become suppressed. So as you can see, sleep isn't just needed spiritually...it's rather important physically, as well!
But let's touch on the whole spiritual side of sleep a little more, shall we? We all know how it feels to get lost in a dream and lose track of time. In our waking hours, we are ruled by clocks which demand our attention all through the day...the morning's alarm, the race against the clock to get to work on time and the clock's painfully slow movement of its hands as we wait out the end of the day, punch the clock, head home, juggle chores and other responsibilities so that we can jump in bed for a few hours before waking to do it all again! But, once we close our eyes it's a whole new world, outside the restricting confines of time, which we never seem to have much of anymore as adults. And not only do we lose sense of societal-time, but our emotions become heightened...events become exaggerated..and insight is offered, whether we always remember it or not.
While we dream, we also tap into that creative side we may have had to suppress throughout the day. Creative dreams cause us to wake with motivation, feeling rejuvenated. Creative dreams are the stuff writers, poets, and composers thrive on!
And then of course are the precognitive dreams. With our basic (and limited) understanding of reality and time, plenty of people are still skeptical about the validity of precognitive dreams, but it's worth noting that the unconscious mind is absolutely capable of some serious revelations while in the stages of REM sleep. Could it be that while in this stage the brain is better able to decode some energetic signal or language of the Universe that, in our wakeful states, we simply cannot process or even recognize? And could it be that this signal is always eager to communicate with us...hence the dreams of warnings and of factual problem solving?
And what if, rather than confirming the waking mind's affirmations and convictions with our dreams, we allowed the Core/the Universal energy trying to communicate with us to reveal to us what we truly needed to know, to learn, to experience?
Wouldn't this drastically change the meanings we assign to so many commonly occurring dream symbols?
Just something to sleep on ;)
-The Dopemystic Wytch