I love sharing this topic with others. One because, it works! And two, more importantly, when we have access to our night dreams we have access to the wealth of resource they provide in bringing forward our life dreams. Those dreams that we want to actualize and manifest. This is important. Night dreams are absolutely a time when and where our soul speaks to us. In the dreamtime we have undiluted access to the soul, the higher self.
All indigenous cultures have a relationship with the dreamtime. The dreamtime was crossculturally regarded as important. Many communities would hold dream council every morning. If anyone had a dream that they remember it would brought forth to community and shared.
Medicine people or shamans were often called or awakened in the dream time. Insights around the harvest, hunting, encroaching enemies, whether or not to go to war… these decisions were all determined by information from the dreamtime. The dreamtime was an absolutely valid, in fact- highly valuable way of getting information.
Modern culture has lost this, and this is sad. In the dream time, the gatekeeper of the mind, that veil of consciousness that keeps our ego separated from the awareness that it is divine… this veil becomes temporarily suspended and we have full access to that pool, the pool of our subconscious, the pool of our soul, the pool of Spirit.
The insight that comes forward during the dreamtime is so valuable. Dreaming is divination for our self and our own life process. We are essentially in direct communication with our own higher self and spirit allies about what is wanting to come forward in our lives. What decisions to make, not to make, context around a decision, warnings, prophecy, where to focus our healing, etc.
How do herbs play into all of this? Herbs, or plant spirits, are agents of consciousness. Consider the herbs cannabis… coffee… peppermint… kava kava… rose. These are all plants, and they are all very different. They all affect our consciousness very differently.
With dreaming we apply this by calling upon the herbal allies whose medicine help to carry us through the gatekeeper of the mind and into the dreamtime, help keep us safe and protected while navigating, help focus our consciousness and intentions for our dreams, and also help us with recall upon awakening.
When we are working with herbs in this way we are dipping our toes into the realm of herb magic, or wortcunning. We are asking the herbs to help us arrive at a specific intention, they are helping us to manifest a specific intention.
Step 1: Craft a Dream Pillow: This is a dream pillow that will help you dream, that will help you remember your dreams, help with dream recall, and also once you get to the point of setting intentions for the dreamtime. Choose 3-6 of the herbs below that speak to you. Mix equal parts of the herbs together, then tie or sew them into a piece of fabric or leather. Anything that works for you.
Mugwort – Mugwort is known as “the dreamweaver herb” and is always found in dream and sleep pillows. It’s helpful for promoting dreaming, for aiding access to the subconscious mind, for opening up psychic perceptions, for helping access wisdom. Mugwort also carries intentions that you have for the dreamtime and helps unfold the wisdom.
Chamomile –Chamomile soothes, calms and relaxes the conscious mind. A common blockage to the unlocking of the dreamtime is a hyperconscious conscious mind that just will not back off and open to the dreamtime. Chamomile helps to relax and to soothe to allow sleep to really carry deeply into dreams. Chamomile is also useful for dreamers with excessive nightmares or night terrors that need to be tampered down a bit.
Lavender – Lavender soothes the nerves, relieves anxiety or depression, helps to relax and also to focus the mind… when this becomes important is when you deepen and are doing active dreamwork. Lavender helps to promote lucidity in the dream state as well as improves dream recall.
Hops – Hops is a really strong sedative and helps calm and smooth out the dream time. They’re useful when the dreams are so active and excessive that good quality rest isn’t achieved (sleep is also for rest and recharge!) Hops also help to tamper down nightmares and night terrors.
Rosemary - Rosemary is used to promote clarity and lucidity in the dreamtime, to increase recall, and to help with the conscious navigation of the dreamtime. Rosemary is also very protective. We want to have protection in the dreamtime when we are leaving our bodies, or travelling through the subconscious scape.
Rose – Rose is added to dream blends to soothe and to soften. Oftentimes the subconscious dreamscape can be a terrifying place- we are encountering parts of ourselves that we have repressed or are not aware of. Rose brings sweetness and softness to the soul’s experience, and also helps for tender-hearted dream topics.
Hawthorn – Hawthorn is used when there’s something working out in the dreamtime that requires a bit of vulnerability. To say that a different way, let’s say there’s a challenging and recurring experience in your life that feels really vulnerable… you can intend to dream about the underlying cause of the recurrence. Going down into the root fear or trauma of whatever is underlying can feel scary and vulnerable. Hawthorn helps to pierce through to the truth of a situation and does so in a way that still soothes, calms and nourishes the heart space.
Step 2: Choose a Mantra and Set a New Ritual for Yourself. When we are learning a new skill, forming a new thought pattern, growing new neurons… it’s important that there be some kind of ritual or embodied action that holds our intention, that grounds and awakens it. That as much as anything is the intention of crafting a dream pillow and of interacting with it every night before bed. Each night in bed you will hold the dream pillow in your hand, on your heart, on your belly, or tucked under your pillow.
You will want to choose a mantra for yourself and this ritual. When you are first starting out, just say “tonight I will dream, I will remember when I’m awake.” Roll those words around in your consciousness for at least 5 minutes before falling asleep. What will happen is that as you are drifting asleep those words, those mantras are doing their work, loosening the gatekeeper and carrying you through into the dreamtime. It’s important that we use mental mantra alongside the words or the affirmation, it helps to engage the conscious mind and helps to focus our intentions.
Step 3: Dream Journal The last step, I know it’s a cliché, but is to have a dream journal. This is really important if only for the reason that you are telling yourself, telling your psyche, telling your consciousness that you are serious about this dreaming thing. You’re so serious about it that you have a journal that is empty and waiting to be filled with all the amazing experiences you have during the dreamtime. It’s important that you have this journal and that you set it right next to your bedside table. It’s important that you write down anything that you remember. Most of the time we don’t remember the full running monologue of the dream like a tv show. More common in the dreamtime is snippits, symbols, one scene but the rest around it is fuzzy. Perfect! Write down what you do remember. I hold very strongly the belief that I remember what I need to remember and nothing more. If there was something that was important for me to remember then I would remember it.
In more advanced dreamwork, what happens over time is that our dreams become a tool that we use to help us make decisions, help us craft our life, manifest our life dreams. We learn techniques of dream analysis, and we learn about the patterns and trends that our own subconscious mind has. It’s important that we have documentation of those dreams so that we can then work with them and can figure out what it is that our subconscious mind was telling us.
These are all tools that you can implement yourself very easily. If you would like further assistance with unlocking your dreamtime, contact me! I love helping folks reclaim their dreams.
May your dreams be ever unfolding!