The Lucidity Path: Lucid Dreaming
Dreams are the most natural magic that we have daily or nightly access to. Whether we remember them or not, we do dream every night. It is likely that dreams are the oldest form of magic. Through time, there has been mention of dreams as a sacred practice from the Egyptians and Greeks to the indigenous peoples of Australia. Dreams have been implemented as an ancient practice for healing and divination. During ancient Greek times, healing sanctuaries called Asclepions, dedicated to Asclepius, the God of Medicine, were created for people to go and receive healing based upon their dreams. It is said that they would sleep at the temple in a chamber where two snakes that were tamed and trained for healing would lick wounds and observe them. Asclepius himself is often described as having a snake form because of this. Upon waking they would share their dreams with a healer or therapist and the healer would receive communications from the snakes about the night in the chamber. Based upon the dream, the practitioner would develop a treatment plan, which at the time, would include remedies such as herbal elixirs, sacred waters for both drinking and bathing, mud treatments, nutrition, exercise, psychotherapy, sound medicine and energetic infusions from flowers and plants. Through the ages, dreams have also been used to predict the future, to talk with the dead, and relay important messages from other realms and dimensions.
In this article, I will discuss common questions that come up around dreaming and how you can deepen your connection to your Self through the magic of dreaming.
So how is dreaming important for us living in this Now Age?
Well, like our ancestors, we still dream and we still have day-to-day tribulations. Although the challenges might have changed, we are still humans working through life dynamics. We spend a third of our lives sleeping, which is a large chunk of our experience to not pay attention to. Dreaming is a potent practice that offers us the opportunity to look deeply into our own psyche. It is available to us every time we sleep and therefore is an accessible practice needing no tools but our sleep and willingness to listen to the messages. Dreams can provide information about problem solving, healing, life events, and creative inspiration. They are a way for us to “meet up” with soul family, called co dreaming which is a special magic for unifying the collective. But even so, the Lucidity Path is an invitation to bring heightened awareness to all that we do, both in waking and sleeping. They are one and the same, on a continuum and the waking experience continues into our sleep and comes back around again when we wake up. Which is why we dream about the things that are happening in daily life and conversely can also witness dream themes emerge in our waking life. The continuum of the Lucidity Path is not linear and rather circular. By approaching nighttime dreams in this way, we can bridge vital pieces between both realms and invite the spirit of lucidity into the entirety of our perception.
Lucid Dreaming and Astral Projection: What’s the difference and how to know if I am experiencing it?
Lucid dreaming is a term we use to indicate that there is a level of knowing that we are within a dream. Astral projection has come to mean leaving the physical body through the light body to explore other dimensions, realms or timelines. Often times, we leave the body to join others on the “astral realm” often described as a dimensional, communal space with energies or beings from all over the Universe. What you choose to believe here is entirely up to you and I am just offering some theories on how many have explained these terms. While all astral projection is lucid dreaming, not all lucid dreaming is astral projection. For example, you may have a knowing within a dream that you are, in fact, dreaming. This awareness could come through an internal mind narrative where you say to yourself, “Wow. I am dreaming.” While other times, it could be a tip from your waking life such as an event that is playing out in real time that indicates to you that you are dreaming. Astral projection retains these qualities of lucidity and knowing, but also can be accompanied by feelings of flight or knowing that you are exploring another realm, dimension, planet, or even galaxy. Lucid dreaming and astral projection is totally safe and is a natural part of our experience.
Why am I not remembering my dreams?
There are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to recall. But the first thing I recommend feeling into is whether or not you are waking up feeling rested. Often times if we are not resting due to stress, anxiety or more serious conditions such as sleep apnea, dream recall may not be on the forefront of your body’s list of “important” functions. If this is the case, your light body may choose to stay in your physical body so that you can fully rest and rejuvenate. Sometimes dream recall can be due to alcohol or drugs, over consumption of caffeine, fluoride in the diet, too much exercise before bed or even overstimulation of the senses from technology such as your phone or t.v.
How can I increase my dream recall?
In my personal experience and also what I have witnessed works well for students is first inviting the Lucidity Path into both your waking and sleeping experience. Pay attention to what you are already receiving. Did a hummingbird visit you twice in a day? That might be significant. and researching that animal totem could provide insight. Look at your surroundings and let your environment share messages with you. This could include animals, plants, landscapes, but also PEOPLE, billboards, songs on the radio, and so forth. Lucidity happens through the language of symbols and synchronicity. So look for it in your waking life to also expand your conscious awareness during sleeping.
Listen to your dreams, even if they are little snippets. Also pay attention to the emotional tone of dreams or the mood you wake up in. There is a lot of information there. If you know you had a dream, but are having trouble remembering the details, get back into the position you were sleeping in. Sometimes it is even returning to the side of your body or part of your pillow that you were on during the dream. Close your eyes, breathe and let the dream come back to you.
Working with stones, crystals, herbs and resins can be easy ways to expand our lucidity and increase dream recall. Amethyst, apophyllite, aquamarine, celestite, labradorite, and moonstone all activate different parts of the dreaming. Choose what calls to you first. What works for some, might not work for others. Chamomile or lavender tea can help you relax and slip into dreaming effortlessly. Mugwort can help one to activate lucidity and astral projection and also be used for divination but do not work with mugwort if you are pregnant or trying to conceive. It is cautioned to not even bring it around women who may be expecting. It is a natural abortifacient. Jasmine can ignite psychic and precognitive dreams and marigold can aid one in speaking with those who have crossed over in their dreams. Before bed, burn frankincense to activate the crown chakra, clear the mind and third eye. Upon waking, burn amber resin to activate memory. She is exceptionally great at helping us activate dream remembrance but also past life remembrance and DNA/lineage memory. There are many, many tools to ignite your dreaming process. Let yourself be intuitively led and listen to your heart for what you need!
What do my dreams mean?
During graduate school, I studied the psychology of dreams. I remember my professor saying, “The meaning of a dream is ultimately up to the dreamer.” and that has always stuck with me. So first and foremost, the meaning of your dream is up to YOU. Sharing our dreams with others is a fun part of the process, but remember anyone else’s input is coming through their lens, even the best facilitators. Dreams are intimate and they call us to be honest with ourselves. Dreams can also simultaneously not be personal because they belong to the collective consciousness, since dreaming is a major access point to the collective.
The first step to deciphering dream meaning is writing it out in a journal in first person. You could also record your dream vocally. Once it is written or recorded, go back and revisit the dream. How did you feel upon waking? Are there any parts of the dream that stuck with you? Avoid trying to analyze during the recording phase so you can remember as many details as possible.
A way to approach analysis could start with the questions, “What part of the dream speaks to my individual consciousness/experience? and What part of the dream speaks to collective consciousness?” For example, if the dream scenario involved you observing a gigantic tsunami rising above you, about to crash down and there was just a tsunami in the world, then perhaps the dream is speaking to the community’s experience of the natural disaster. On a personal level, it could speak to your feelings about a situation in your life that may be overwhelming or something completely unrelated to what I have mentioned here. Individual versus collective dreaming reflection helps to discern what part of the dream themes are speaking through your personal psyche and what may be someone else in your network or the greater global hive mind.
Looking at the individual symbols in a dream is important too. For example, if you remembered a black snake, a red apple and a sun in a dream, feeling into what each means to you, how it felt to you in the dream or what it brought up, even after waking could give information about what it is speaking to. Remember dreams speak in synchronistic and symbolic language, so taking things too literally sometimes loses meaning. Examining dream symbols from an archetypal viewpoint such as through the work of Carl Jung is another layer that provides awareness around dream symbols too. Archetypes speak to universal patterns of human nature.
After this process, if you feel like you need more information about the meaning of your dream, share it with someone you trust. Another pair of eyes or listening ears on your dream could provide insight from a completely new vantage point and help you connect some dots. Plus the sharing process is so fun, exciting and like you’re taking an adventure with a friend.
I wanted to finish this with the concept of dream incubation because many don’t know that this is even possible and it is such a special dream magic. Dream incubation is the process of asking oneself a question before sleep with the intention to receive answers or message about the question during dreamtime. Writing down the question in a journal is recommended. If you resonate with angels, guides/guardians, ascended masters, and other spirit helpers, you can call upon them too. If not, you can just call upon your highest self with assistance in answering the question. Then let yourself fall asleep with the intention to dream about the answer. Staying non attached to the outcome of the dream experience is important and often opens more allowance for the way the information will come. If you dream something that is seemingly irrelevant to your question, don’t be too hasty to pooh-pooh the process. Throughout your day during the follow two to three days, there can be parts of your experience that speak to the dream or the incubation question. Remember that the Lucidity Path involves both waking and sleeping lucidity and allowing yourself to receive from both to connect the dots can offer whole-person centered, transpersonal guidance.