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By January 30, 2011December 9th, 2014Claudia's Corner

Most dreams occur during REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep. Criteria for REM sleep includes not only rapid eye movement, but also low muscle tone and a rapid, low-voltage EEG; these features are easily discernible in a polysomnogram. REM Sleep stages last between five and forty-five minutes! Our REM sleep comes in short segments at the beginning of sleep and lengthens toward morning. That is why it is often easier to remember a dream upon waking in the morning; you have just experienced it and for a long time!

Many folks say they never dream, but that is just not so. Everyone dreams, but not everyone trains themselves to remember their dreams. Often, we are disturbed by our dreams or feel that they are so odd and disjointed that they can’t have any meaning or significance in our waking lives. This may play a part in the forgetting.
“Dreams don’t waste our time.” Carl Jung

How can you begin to remember what goes on in your dream life? Upon going to bed, tell yourself – right before you fall asleep – that you will wake in the morning refreshed and able to recall the dreams you had during the night. Do this every night, even if it doesn’t materialize that way right away! Over a period of time, you will have sent the message to your subconscious mind that you want to remember your dreams and your subconscious mind only knows how to manifest, so it will happen.
Keep a dream journal. Write down what you recall from dreams the night before. As time passes, these journalings will become more and more detailed as you recall your dreams more and more vividly. Some dreamers I know write down the dream during the night upon waking up from one. If that seems too sleep-disruptive (turning on a bright light can do that), do what others do and have a tape recorder on the bedside table so that you can speak into and record what you have just dreamed. This record can then be transcribed into your journal.
What is the point of keeping a dream journal?

Dreams are the subconscious mind’s way of communicating, problem-solving, and instructing you when the conscious mind is out of the way! The conscious mind needs sleep. The subconscious mind never sleeps. Those who meditate find that dreams can be the answer to puzzles they have been trying to solve: ask for an answer as you meditate before you drift off to sleep and the response may be given you in dream form during the night. For those who believe that The Universe is always broadcasting, dreams are a way to tap into that higher frequency. Einstein said that he solved many problems while asleep…the equations were completed in his REM sleep.
What do your dreams mean?

Often, it is easier to interpret a dream someone else has than to interpret our own. We are too close to our problems…it’s ‘the forest for the trees’ thing. There are many good books that deal with universal dream symbols. These can be instructive, fun, and help you in ferreting through the symbols rife in your dream world. Many clinical hypnotherapists, psychologists, intuits, shamans, and those gifted with clairsentient skills can help you read your dreams. Find a skilled teacher and bring him or her into your life.
Your dreams can show you what you have mastered, what you need to work on, where your struggles are, who you truly are…they can tell you what is coming to you, what you fear, what you can create…they are like a life road map, showing where you’ve been and where you are going. And they are fun! Isn’t everyone fascinated with themselves? Don’t we want to peel back the layers of the onion (us) and see what’s inside?
If we can see what’s inside, our fear of the unknown is dissolved.

Often, our Shadow Self, is revealed to us in dreams, also our animus or anima. Fear of our shadow is fear of something we can’t look in the face. Once we shine a light on something we are afraid of, that thing seems less threatening, more manageable, less in control of us. Dream analysis allows us the opportunity to do just that: shine a light on ‘the dark night of the soul’. There are always two meanings to a dream: one, the outer life and the other, the inner life. This is why some of the symbols are so ordinary and may reflect something that actually happened in the recent past. Those same symbols also point to what is going on in our spiritual life, though I do not mean that in the religious context. We all have spirit inside us, soul. This is where growth happens. This is where we define our purpose and gather the strength to accomplish what we are here to do.
Here is a sample of one of my dreams and how it was interpreted by one of my teachers:
I am on a scooter, leaving a filing station. This is on a huge space, on a corner, in a large city, but it has a deserted feel. There are no people or cars anywhere. As I am headed for the street, a silver Porsche drives in. I think the driver is my former husband. I think he will slow down and I will do a maneuver on my scooter and we will end up in the same direction at the same speed – like a crazy movie car stunt. The car doesn’t do that. The driver is a man, but faceless, not my former husband. I am in the car. Me, exactly as I am now…same age, hair, same face…and I am laughing like crazy. In my dream, sitting on that scooter, I am so surprised to see myself.
(When I woke up, it felt so odd to have had a dream where I look like myself. Although I have been in almost all of my dreams, this was the first time that I appeared this way. That made me feel the dream was an important one.)
My teacher studies The Tree of Life and the Qabalah, so she always sees the symbols as they refer back to that knowledge. Yesod is the sephirot (energy center) designating balance between emotion and intellect. Though the color of Yesod is purple, the corresponding metal is silver. This would indicate that I am finally learning how to maintain a balance between my emotions (which are what I have always led with) and my intellect. She felt from this dream that I was on the brink of a huge shift, that The Universe was communicating with me, that I am going to be all right, and that my dreams have a prophetic quality about them: I dream things a short time before they happen.
Additionally, a car represents the human body, how one gets around in the world. My former husband represents my masculine side, the one that is trying to be responsible and take care of me.
I interpret this dream to mean that where I once relied upon a husband to care for me because I was too childlike to want that responsibility, I am willing to take care of myself, am learning to do that…that companionship is a plus, but not a necessity…that I am filled with laughter (true enough!) and truly a happy person now…that I AM a sleek and racy sports car…that I will be all right.
Some books about dream analysis…

Animal Spirit Guides by Stephen Farmer, PhD
The Complete Dictionary of Symbol (no author, just editor)
A Dictionary of Symbols by J.E. Cirlot
Dream Power by Dr. Ann Faraday
Just remember…“A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes…”