As some of you may know, our dream time can be a deeply spiritual time. I think there’s a spectrum of dreaming, from the totally mundane dream that echos the day’s events to the highly spiritual visitation where you encounter an angelic presence. In our lifetime, we’ll likely get to experience this entire spectrum.
But how is dream content spiritual? The main thing to know is that our mind is divided into two main aspects, the conscious and the subconscious. The conscious mind is the part of our being that we can see and know clearly. The conscious mind is where the limited, individual sense of self resides. It’s practical and useful. The subconscious is that part of our psyche that is just beneath our conscious awareness. We can sense it intuitively in dreams and meditation, but not quite “see” it directly. The content and experience there is not limited to the small self or the individual personality. Rather, it reflects the higher-self, the broader consciousness that connects all things, and the higher soul.
When you meditate and achieve a hypnotic, light trance state (which I recommend for sacred and psychic meditation) you are making contact with the subconscious, which speaks to us in a lexicon of symbols that take on meaning specific to you.
The same is true when we’re dreaming. For many of us who aren’t using our intuition directly in meditation to dialogue with the divine realm, our dream time is the primary psychic experience and state. That’s because we’re relaxed enough to let our soul speak. We generally have very little resistance and fear in that state, and so our inner guides can come close.
In my experience, the more spiritually open we are (for instance, during a personal awakening phase or a big life event) the more vivid our dreams become. That’s because our openness is allowing divine presence to penetrate our consciousness. But we don’t have to wait for our awakenings to cycle back around to have psychic dreams. We can invite them at any time, and here’s how:
Set an intention or say a prayer before sleep
You can ask for a spiritually informative or instructive dream. I suggest writing your request in a notebook by your bed and speaking your prayer aloud. This can be viewed ceremonially and it also primes your subconscious to work with your request. You can ask specific questions just like you would in an active meditation. I suggest dreaming with 1 question for a whole week. Ex: Who are my spirit guides? Or Who are my ancestors? Or How do I heal my body?
Record your dreams
Dream recall is the main aspect of advanced dreaming. One of the main techniques of dream recall is writing them down in your notebook right away as you wake up. Even if you have to do it half-asleep. Every time you recall a dream it gets easier to use this type of memory. It’s generally difficult to remember content from dreams because when you’re dreaming you’re in a different state of consciousness than your waking state.
If you need to use your Notes app on your phone to do this, that’s OK too. But I suggest not sleeping with a mobile device right next to you in general, as EMF from phones and computers can disturb sleep functions. It’s probably not super harmful to do it every once in a while.
Also note that you will eventually get a sense from this record as to what distinguishes a mundane dream (which is less symbolic and communicative) from a spiritually significant dream. As I said before, there’s a spectrum of significance. You’ll just have to get a feel for your personal dreamscape. I recorded every dream for nearly 3 years, and from that experience I was convinced that dream experiences are a foundational level of communication with the spirit world. Think of your dreams as shamanic experiences.
If you have trouble recalling, try getting more sleep, less alcohol, less psychoactives in general. You may find that you go in and out of phases where dream recall is strong and when it’s not. Just know that it is normal for it to ebb and flow.
Advanced levels of dreaming
I think some spiritual seekers out there will be curious about how to travel in advanced ways during sleep. This process is generally known as lucid dreaming. One of the more advanced levels of sleep is regaining enough conscious awareness to lucid dream, which will allow you to travel the astral space (otherwise known as the collective unconscious), learn and dialogue spiritually with guides just as you do in mediation journeys.
There are resources for that sort of thing listed below. After 7 or more years of using dreamtime spiritually, I don’t personally find lucid dreaming to be the most important thing, but that’s likely because I’m journeying daily in my sacred meditations.
Sacred meditation is primarily what I’m exploring, and I think it’s a more direct way to advance your consciousness than lucid dreaming. But feel free to see what works best for you. We’re all different after all!
The Phase (linked below) can explain how to achieve an out-of-body experience in sleep. I’ve experimented with it when I was younger, and it does work. Pretty astounding actually. Just make sure you use a protective prayer and intention before you initiate that form of psychic experience. In the dream state, you’re essentially traveling through the astral plane or the 4th dimension as some call it.
- The Phase for lucid dreaming
- Valerian for deep sleep (this will make you feel cozy and is a general sleep aid that I love)
- Blue Lotus for lucid dreaming (use this ceremonially)
- Jungian guide on symbolism
- Woman’s Dictionary of Symbols (Men can use as well. I just really like this dictionary.)
I hope this has been helpful and informative. Feel free to leave your experiences with dreaming states in the comments section below, so we can all learn together.