What if you had your own personal guide standing ready to shed light on your path, bring messages of encouragement, show you how to live a better life, or reveal your greatest stumbling blocks? Wouldn’t you listen?
Dreams can act as powerful guides if we learn to decode these nighttime messages. Heeding the symbols in dreams has a history that stretches back in time at least five thousand years to ancient Egypt and Sumer. Three thousand years ago the Upanishads, Hindu sacred texts, described dreaming as a higher state of consciousness than the waking state. Dreams might be viewed as a one-way mirror, reflecting a deeper reality behind the seemingly mirrored wall of waking existence. Only by going through the looking glass can we perceive differently.
Australian Aborigines refer to the “Dreamtime,” a sacred state when the soul journeys in the heavenly realms. Through concentration and breathing Aboriginal shamans claim to enter Dreamtime at will, performing consciously in this state while awake. Tibetans have a long tradition of valuing and working with symbolic dream messages. Chuang Tzu, a Taoist seer, wondered with Shakespeare, if “all life was but a dream.” Assurbanipal, an Assyrian king from the seventh century B.C.E., considered dream elements to be like ciphers, symbols with distinct meaning.
As far as I can tell from my research, every tradition in the world pays attention to dreams. There seems to be a universal understanding that the guidance offered through dreams comes from a wiser place, a deeper knowing, than our everyday awareness provides. Dreams can act like magic mirrors, or scrying bowls, inviting our gaze and revealing and reflecting deeper truth. Our task is to bravely face the reflection and be willing to accept and act upon the guidance we receive.
Dreams speak to us in the timeless language of symbols. Words are an imperfect means of communication, but pictures are potentially perfect. I have found that keeping a dream journal, and tracking the dreams that seem to make an impact upon waking, is time well spent. Working consciously with our dreams allows us to step through a portal, or gateway, which is generally veiled between these two “worlds,” so that we stand in both simultaneously.
From my research and counseling practice I’ve found there are seven common dream themes that seem to recur with some regularity. This commonality of themes may speak to the intrinsic similarity of the human experience as well as the issues we all deal with repeatedly. Even though most people don’t recall the majority of their dreams, everyone seems to have a “favorite” which falls into one of the following categories.
1. Flying and falling rank among the top dreams themes. Flying with a thrilling sense of abandon may showcase our expanded abilities while in the dream state. Falling seems to be a way of communicating to our conscious mind that we are making a rapid reentry into our physical body and ordinary awareness.
2. Attending school, or being in a classroom, may show the lessons we’re working on in waking life. Sometimes this version of “night school” reveals other work or learning our mind is involved in while our bodies rest and recharge.
3. Feeling unprepared themes are popular and include exams we’re not ready for, hurrying to catch a plane, train, bus, boat, and losing or misplacing something, especially keys, wallet, purse, or briefcase. These dreams act as warnings and usually reveal very real concerns about where we need to be prepared or paying attention in waking life.
4. A sense of vulnerability is a common dream theme and usually is symbolized by being naked, or improperly dressed in public. These dreams can show us where we indeed feel vulnerable in relationships or waking challenges we need to face where we must strengthen our resolve.
5. Storms are a frequent symbol and almost always suggest emotional issues which aren’t being addressed at the conscious level and which are preparing to unleash their emotional force in a potentially damaging way if we continue to ignore the symptoms.
6. Teeth falling out is another popular image and may hint that we’re feeling guilty about a “biting” comment recently made to someone. This symbol almost always has something to say about careful speech and judgment.
7. Trying to answer a phone or make a call is a frequent image and may suggest issues of incomplete communication occurring in waking life. Here we may be either receiving a direct communication from our subconscious that we need to heed, or we are counseled to gather the courage to address a difficult communication we’ve been avoiding.
Reflecting on these commonly appearing dream themes may give us a head start in understanding some of the nightly processing our minds perform. If we sense the thrust of the message we can take a closer look at what’s unfolding in our waking life and respond from a hopefully wiser perspective.
About The Author:Julie Loar is the multiple award-winning author of six books and dozens of articles. She has a BS in Psychology, has done postgraduate work, and has been certified in numerous professional training and development programs. Julie was a Human Resources executive in two major corporations, and an independent training consultant, working with large companies. Her latest book, Goddesses For Every Day: Exploring the Wisdom & Power of the Divine Feminine Around the World, (available at Satiama) has won three national awards. Her popular astrology feature appears in ATLANTIS RISING magazine, and she is a featured contributor on John Edward’s web site, InfiniteQuest.com where she has her own internet TV show. She has traveled to sacred sites around the world, researching the material for her books and teachings. Each year she leads a sacred journey to Egypt. Visit her at http://www.julieloar.com