Dreams Help Us See the Bigger Picture

While reading the biblical story of Joseph welcoming his brothers into Egypt years after they had sold him into slavery (Genesis 45:1-15), and noticing his forgiving and gracious reception of those who did him in, it was clear to see that Joseph understood the bigger picture of God’s plan in the awful treatment his brothers gave him.  Joseph held no grudges or desire for revenge.  Instead, he welcomed his brothers, saying “God sent me here to preserve life.”  He was able to offer his brothers refuge in Egypt from the famine that was rampant.

Joseph was a famous dreamer of dreams.  He had vivid prophetic dreams which told him early on he would have power over his older siblings.  This, of course, is what added fuel to the flames of sibling rivalry, resulting in his being sold into slavery.  Later, Joseph’s dreams and ability to interpret dreams won him Pharaoh’s favor in Egypt.  In other words, Joseph knew all along his troubles would lead him to greatness, even though he probably suffered greatly when his dreams seemed far from having anything to do with reality.  However, he kept the faith and believed in his dreams.

Being in touch with one’s dreams over a long period of time gives one clues to the major themes, meanings, challenges, loves and tragedies of one’s life.  Much of this drama is played out ahead of time in dreamtime if one is only “awake” enough to witness it, record it and remember it.  As they say, the story is not nearly so scary when there is an inkling of the ending, and the drama doesn’t dominate one so much.  An aware dreamer like Joseph is able to act with kindness because he or she understands the deeper meanings already suggested in dreamtime.

Joseph’s ability to see the big picture of his life surely made him understand that resentments, grudges and revenge had no place in the greater drama of God’s plan as shown to him in dreams.  It lifted him above the level of cruelty and pettiness of his siblings to a higher consciousness where God gave him the grace to act well on a grand stage.  If we are in touch with our dreams, they will guide us through the story of our lives, helping us to act with dignity and graciousness even in the worst of times.

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Can Dreams Foretell Death?

Grim Reaper

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It is quite common to dream about the death of someone close such as friend or relative.  These dreams can be very upsetting because the natural tendency, especially for those who have not observed dreams in depth, is to assume the dream has a literal meaning.  Therefore, the dreamer will often mistakenly assume the person in the dream who died will really die.  In many, and perhaps in a majority of cases, this is not the meaning of the dream.  So what does the dream mean?  In fact, the dream could have one or many meanings!

Dreams as a Reflection of One’s Own Energy

Dreams can come from many sources and have different levels of meaning but one thing is certain: Dreams always have a spiritual meaning in addition to possible literal, physical or emotional meanings.  It is important to consider a death dream first from the spiritual perspective and consider that everything in the dream is representative of energies within oneself.  So one might ask a question like the following that fills in the blanks with a descriptive adjective (happy, ambitious, generous, etc.) such as:

This _______ person reminds me of times when I am ________.  Lately, I haven’t been so _____.  Could this dream mean that that part of me has died or is dying?  Why?  Does the dream give clues?  How does the person die in the dream?  Is something similar happening to me right now?

Dreams that Make a Statement on Our Relationships

Dreams can also give us insight into our relationships with people.  To dream of someone dying may be telling us that our relationship with that person is dying or changing so dramatically that it may be unrecognizable.  It is important to reflect on the relationship and ask if the relationship might be ending or changing dramatically and perhaps make choices that will resuscitate or enrich the relationship, if that is desired.

Dreams that Foretell the Future

There are times indeed when dreams do foretell the actual death of a person, often in a graphic and realistic manner that also comes true.  I had a dream of watching my mother die in the arms of my father.  As soon as I had the dream, I “knew” this dream was a predictive one.  I made the decision to go back to the family home to visit with my parents, suspecting this might be the last chance I would have to see my mother.  I was glad I did because a short while after she passed away. What surprised me was that she died just as my dream indicated, in the arms of my father.  It was as if I had been a fly on the wall and had seen it all transpire ahead of time.

It is possible to also see one’s own death ahead of time.  Abraham Lincoln had a famous dream just a few days before he died of seeing his coffin laid in state in the White House.  A person may also dream about the Grim Reaper visiting, or an angel or possibly a relative who has already passed come to get the dreamer.  Again, the dreamer usually knows at a deep level the meaning of this kind of dream.

So when you dream of someone dying, go through the reflection process above and don’t let false or neurotic fears carry you away.  Chances are, if your dream is a predictive one, you will know it at the gut level, giving you a chance to prepare for the end.

Working With Dream Themes: Repetitive Dreams

Repetitive dreams need to be taken seriously.

Dreams Can Reflect the Soul’s Purpose

Perhaps the most frequent question I get asked is, “Why do I have the same dream over and over?”  This is so is probably because everyone at some time or other has had a recurring dream.  A recurring dream presents itself over and over, sometimes as often as nightly but more often, at odd times over a period of months or years.   The dreamer usually feels that if the dream is repeating itself, it must be important and therefore wants to ask about it.  And the dreamer is right!  Repetitive dreams are important and should be taken seriously.

Repetitive Dreams: Like a Visitor Knocking on the Door

A repetitive dream is like a persistent visitor knocking on the door and will come back if no one answers the door.  The visitor has something important to say and wants to say it, and won’t give up so easily.  Therefore, the best way to deal with a repetitive dream is to open the door and listen; that is, pay attention to the dream, ask questions of the dream, and see what it is trying to say.

Possible Types of Repetitive Dreams
  • Warning dreams.  These dreams act as alerts on how the dreamer is not living his or her life appropriately.  For example, if a person is not exercising enough over a long period of time, the dreamer may get a recurring dream about an athlete or a doctor coming into the room.
  • Prophetic dreams. Prophetic dreams provide a glimpse into possible future directions.  Repeated dreams about a person filling a role not currently held may be the call to a new vocation or job that would enhance the quality of the dreamer’s life.  The dream is trying to encourage the dreamer to take steps towards getting into the new work.
  • Commentary dreams. Actions or symbols occurring in a repetitive dream might be trying to make a values statement to the dreamer on how the dreamer is handling an issue in life.  Is the dreamer living according to his or her true inner standards, as opposed to someone else’s standards?  For example, a repetitive dream of losing one’s wallet may indicate that the dreamer is susceptible to losing his or her identity or sense of worth, and should trust more in life and the process that is going on in life.
Ending a Recurring Dream

Whatever your repetitive dream is, take it seriously by reflecting on what it means and by asking what association it might have with something important in your waking life at the moment.  If you get an “Aha” response, act on it.  Chances are if you have heard and acted on the recurring dream, it will stop coming because it has served its purpose.

Common Symbols for Kundalini in Dreams: Snakes

The Snake: A Symbol for Kundalini Rising

Caduceus - Medical Symbol for Healing

Caduceus


As the first of a blog series on common symbols for kundalini that occur in dreams I will begin with the snake. Perhaps it is one of the most popular symbols for kundalini because the Hindus have often portrayed the energy as a snake that uncoils and rises up. The snake’s movement symbolizes kundalini energy as it uncoils and rises up the spine to do its work in the body. When I had my blissful kundalini awakening in June of 2009, (not to be confused the powerful kundalini energy release I underwent in 2007), I experienced this uncanny sensation. I felt a building energy at the base of my spine and then a unique uncoiling sensation that was followed by a burst of energy igniting my first, second and third chakras. It seemed that every cell from my knees to upper abdomen was radiating pure ecstatic joy. With my mind’s eye, I saw glorious tones of red, orange and yellow extend several feet from out of my body. For a long while after, I reveled in a profound blissful state.

Perhaps because the snake has been so long associated with kundalini and its healing properties, and because the snake’s venom can heal certain conditions, the snake has long been a symbol for healing. Everyone is familiar with the ancient symbol for the medical profession, the caduceus, a rod with a snake or two wrapped around it.

A Human Caduceus

Since having experienced kundalini I now see myself as the rod surrounded by two healing snakes. This is no accident. In February 2003, I had an emotionally powerful dream of two giant golden snakes wrapped about my middle. Since then, I have come to understand that these two snakes were and are healing the 2nd and 3rd chakras, areas where I have needed healing. I also don’t think it is an accident that I have been gifted with the art of healing others as I have been healed. The caduceus is a symbol for any human who has been enfolded by the healing energy of kundalini and thus can heal others.

Look for Your Snake’s Color and Their Reappearance in Your Dreams

In your dreams, be particularly aware if snakes seek you out and wrap themselves around you. It may mean kundalini has chosen you. It is important to understand snakes can have many other meanings in dreams so noting the color of the snakes will be an important clue as to whether these snakes might be harbingers of kundalini energy. If the colors are brilliant, glowing and beautiful or are white, a symbol for spirituality, there is a good chance they may represent kundalini energy. For example in 2005 I had a dream of two snakes, a green snakes were approaching me. A month later, I dreamed of two white snakes going to the left and right in front of me. This repetition of dreams featuring a unique symbol such as a snake bears taking notice. It is another sign that something significant is happening. These dreams are telling me to take notice that whatever the snake symbolizes is coming my way.

For more information on dreams as they related to healing, please visit my website at http://www.healingdreamgarden.com.

Dreams Can Forecast a Kundalini Event

Kundalini is often portrayed as a snake

Image via Pinterest.

Kundalini energy is a phenomenon of the human experience that has probably been around as long as humans have walked the earth.  In the Indian sub-continent, peoples have been working with and exploring this energy for thousands of years.  In other cultures, it has often gone unrecognized in its own right, and its expression in the soul, mind and body has been misdiagnosed as madness, emotional disorder or disease–even to the present day.   The Hindus, who know the most about it from studying it so long, say it is the powerful life force energy latent in all of us that appears in everyone in small degrees to maintain heath and procreation.  In some people, it bursts forth with great power, totally transforming the lives of those that experience it, bringing unique gifts. Unfortunately, the power can bring great havoc spiritually, psychologically and physically if a person is not prepared and does not understand what is happening.   This series of blogs on kundalini is aimed to help people detect and prepare for kundalini long before the energy shows itself.

Dreams Can Forecast Oncoming Kundalini

Dreams are perhaps the best indicators that a kundalini event is forthcoming–often years before the energy will be felt in the dreamer–because dream images symbolize different energies in the body’s energy field.  If one knows common symbols for kundalini in dreams, one can be warned and prepared.  This will be a real help for meeting the profound changes to come.

It is only one great benefit that ongoing dreamwork provides.  Another is getting to recognize your personal symbols for the energies operating and influencing your mind, body and spirit.  Should you be destined for a kundalini event in your life, you can find that your dreams will forecast this in symbols that both are common to others for this event and symbols that are unique to yourself.  At the present, it is important to learn the common symbols.  In my next blog on kundalini, I will write about the common symbols for kundalini that appear in dreams.

For further information on dreams as they relate to health and healing, please see my website: http://www.healingdreamgarden.com.

Dreams: Our Own Inner Biblical Prophets?

The biblical prophets acted much in the same manner as do our dreams.

The Prophet Jeremiah
by Michelangelo
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Dreams play roles in our lives that is very much like the roles played by prophets in the Bible—and perhaps this is one reason why many people find dreams somewhat uncomfortable to work with and explore. And maybe it is a reason why some people ignore or forget their dreams altogether!

People tend to think of a prophet as someone who can predict or foretell the future. In the Bible, this was true of the prophets in many cases. We can think of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Obadiah who predicted the eventual downfall of Israel and Edom because of the sins of the people.

Many people don’t want to hear dire predictions about the future, especially when the message runs counter to their hopes. Hearing a prophet foretell doom and destruction for Israel wasn’t something the king wanted to hear, or anyone else who had something to lose in those times. It is no wonder prophets weren’t popular and often suffered abuse.

However, the most important role of the biblical prophets was not so much to foretell the future as it was to “forthtell,” to speak out about an uncomfortable or challenging situation which was presenting itself at the present moment, and to suggest ways this situation could be remedied or resolved. This often meant challenging the king, the priests and the people about their unjust or immoral behavior. We only have to think of the dramatic story of how the prophet Nathan called King David out for sending his general into the worst of the battle so that the man would be killed, allowing David to take the man’s wife to be his own. Or, the prophet Micah who, spoke out against the unjust ways that people treat each other, saying that God was a god of justice who wants mercy instead of phony animal sacrifices. Micah asks, “What does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” A great prophet of our time is Martin Luther King, who called us as a nation to act justly and treat everyone equally under the law.

Dreams also foretell in a way that can be uncomfortable for us. People who have consistently kept a dream journal over a significant period of time know that many dreams are like a dress rehearsal of things to come: in dreamtime, they have already encountered issues and made decisions that sooner or later manifest in waking life. Or in dreamtime, they meet new people whom they encounter for the first time a bit later in waking life. In a sense, their dreams foretell the future.  In dreamtime our minds are trying to resolve the issues, often producing nightmares when the problems are severe.

So while dreams not only foretell, they “forthtell.” Another realization that comes with paying attention to dreams in a consistent and mindful manner is that dreams challenge us and call us to our best behavior, to live by values that are ours and not society’s values. Like Nathan calling out David, they often tell us when we are missing the mark and often point the way to better decisions.  They can expose our masks in the various figures that present to us in dreams.  They can send guides or teachers that literally tell us in dreamtime to shape up.

It is no wonder that our dreams, like the prophets of old, are scary creatures. It takes a brave person to hear their message and act on their advice. This is why doing dreamwork is like learning from the prophets and is thought to be a religious and spiritual undertaking. Dreams give clues to the paths we can take and call us to our higher selves. It is like they are our own inner prophets–and they can make prophets of us if we but heed their call!

Why are Dreams Important to Health and Spiritual Growth?

Dreams are today's answers to tomorrow's dreams.

Go Within for Answers

According to research on dreams, dreams are what help us make sense of the world around us. In dreamtime we are already problem-solving and dealing with current and future issues, no matter if we remember the dreams and issues or not.

Intentional dreaming is about pro-actively tapping into this amazing ability we all have—but most of us just let run on auto-pilot. What is even more amazing is that we can intentionally tap into, work with and be inspired by the dreams for specific reasons—and our dreams seem to want us to do this. They respond to our questions and concerns and keep knocking at our door with repetitive dreams when we don’t want to respond.

Dreams are sources of pure intuition. While daydreaming, prayer and meditation can give us intuitive insights, dreams are probably the surest and the best way to access intuition in its richest form. The famous neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, called dreams “the royal road to the Unconscious.” He was not the first to make a similar claim. Ancient cultures viewed dreams as a way that the gods spoke to humans. We only have to think of Joseph’s prophetic dreams and Jacob’s ladder dream to recall that the Bible is full of stories of holy and dynamic people being led by God through their dreams. Edgar Cayce, one of the world’s greatest intuitive minds, said that dreams were “today’s answers to tomorrow’s questions,” and that working with dreams was important for spiritual growth. To not do so would be “highly negligent.” Edgar Cayce thought that the purpose of dreams was to align the dreamer with the soul’s purpose—something that is often quite different from Ego’s purposes which tend to be focused on things like making money or gaining status in the community. (Reading 2265) Dreams then are one of the best ways for connecting with the true nature of one’s Self for the purposes of healing and direction.

From my experience, I have found dreams provide clues that are symbols for energy in the body, mind and soul. Dream elements such as images, themes and processes are the language tools used to communicate the health status of body, mind or soul. Learning to recognize the symbols for disease, health and well-being can, therefore, greatly aid us in learning at the energy level what the body, mind or soul wants and needs to be healthy—often long before something registers as a recognizable or testable medical or psychological ailment and before the time when something becomes a challenge to treat.

Engage your dreams and let them inform you about how to better improve your health and well-being!

To learn more about dreams, visit my website: http://www.healingdreamgarden.com.

Reflections on Which Dreams May Manifest in Waking Life

Dreams can help keep us healthy.

Hippocrates of Kos taught about dreams indicating illnesses.


If you faithfully keep a dream journal you will notice, over time, many things and events that you dream about come true in waking life. It may be the sequence of events that particularly manifest or it may be that you see a person in dreamtime you never met before–but several months after the dream you meet that person in waking life. Then there are some dreams that don’t appear to have any relationship to current reality or seem so bizarre and surrealistic that it doesn’t seem they could ever be making a true statement about anything.

This raises the question of how do you know if a dream might manifest in waking life? From nearly forty years of dreamwork, I have made these observations about my own dreams. You might see if they apply to your own.

  1. Very realistic dreams tend to manifest in waking life. If I have a dream that is realistic and probable, i.e., I am driving my own car and not some fantasy car, then it probably has something to do with manifesting something in waking life. For example, any physical ailment which I knew about ahead of time in dreamtime presented quite literally and showed up later on a medical test as when years ago I had a dream in which a voice said I had blood in my stool. A medical test actually concurred with that even though a later colonoscopy proved it was nothing to worry about. This rule applies also in cases where the symbolism is present but there is a clear resemblance such as dreaming of having overflowing pipes and end up having diarrhea. This is possible because there is a close proximity to the symbol and waking reality. In fact, Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, said much medical and diagnostic information of this sort could be gained from similar dreams.
  2. Somewhat surrealistic or unrealistic events may be relating events in the far off future. Years ago I had a series of dreams in which I was traveling around Hawaii with my brother. At the time I was living in Massachusetts, and so the possibility of this happening seemed a little far-fetched. The island’s scenery was stylized in my dream, not being typical of a specific place on any of the islands. Yet, as I read my dream journal years later, I found that after I moved to Hawaii, we did travel around the island of Oahu as we did in the dream, and we shared certain concerns that showed up in those early dreams.
  3. Very surrealistic dreams tend to be making a statement about the interior world of the dreamer. Really bizarre, odd or unusual objects in places they don’t usually belong, such as a rare or extinct species of owl in a refrigerator, are most often aspects of the dreamer and need to be looked at as such by asking, “What about me is like this owl?” or “What about me is like the refrigerator?” In this type of dream, I personally have not seen a close or frequent connection to events or objects manifesting in waking life such as opening the refrigerator and finding a rare spotted owl perched next to the orange juice.

Dreaming of Someone’s Death: What Can Be Done?

Dream of Someone Dy8ing

The Knight’s Death by Antonio de Pereda

Having recorded my dreams for over 35 years, I can refer to a number of dreams that made me aware beforehand someone was going to die. Recently, I had another one of those dreams and they are unsettling—no matter how long or well you have worked with dreams. It is a fairly common phenomenon so I have decided to share some reflections on my experience:

The Dream Could be Symbolic

Take heart in that not every dream about someone dying means that person is going to die in the near future. It may be suggesting your relationship with that person is undergoing a change and will not remain the same. It may also mean that a part of you, which that person symbolizes, is dying. For example, you dream about your young 20-something neighbor dying might mean your relationship with that person is going through a death and rebirth or that the 20-something in you is dying as you see the first gray hairs in the mirror. Your gut instinct will tell you if your dream means any of these two things.

When the Dream is Prophetic of a Real Death

However, some dreams are literal, and one such dream could really mean the 20-something will die. Since every dream is a gift even when we would rather not get the information contained in these letters from the Unconscious; remember that a dream about someone dying was given for the reason such as to help you to prepare for the event or better appreciate the person while he or she is still alive. For example, I dreamed of my father’s and mother’s deaths long before these events happened. I even saw in a dream how my mother would die—in the arms of my father. The sadness in my heart told me these dreams where prophetic. Here is how I responded to the dreams:

  • I made it a point to visit my parents and spend quality time with them.
  • I tried to do little and big things that meant something to them.
  • I told them I loved them and communicated other important things I needed to say.
  • I might add that if I were in someway responsible for my parents’ trust fund or end of life directive, I would have asked them if all those things were in order, if I didn’t know.

When my parents did pass, I felt no regrets and the inner critic saying, “You should have done…” As a result my grief was clean, viewing it as a privilege to mourn and honor these two amazing people who brought me into the world.

So when I had the dream of a close friend dying, and felt in my gut that this dream indicated she might really die at some point in the future, I now focus on spending quality time with this person, doing fun things we like to do. I try to show appreciation for what she does for me. I have not told her about my dream because I think it would be pointless. Since in my dream she died of natural causes and not from a plane or car accident, there is nothing I can do to prevent her possible death other than offer the usual friend’s advice (when appropriate) about eating well, exercising and getting a good night’s rest.

In Dead Men Do Tell Tales, teen detective Ashlynn has learned to work with dreams about someone dying. In this case, she is able to see the dream as a messenger to help her police father solve a crime.