Dream Categories: Part Two

Author's Note: Dreams come in many forms with many messages and levels of interpretation. I have found that dreams fall into ten different categories. These categories overlap, giving varied depth of meaning to even "simple" dreams. I previously discussed the first five categories (DNJ Vol. 11 No.1). Now I'd like to complete the list so that you may use this to cross-reference your own dreams. It is very important to remember and give attention to these nightly scenarios.

6. Bad Dreams or Nightmares

Everyone has had a bad dream at some point in their lives. Often these are the only dream experiences remembered. With an on-rush of adrenaline, you wake with a start and the emotions overwhelm you while reliving those scary scenes. "Bad" dreams, above all, should be paid close attention. There are several possible reasons for these types of dreams.

a) Nightmares shock you into remembering and/or facing certain fears, emotions, or blocks. Your conscious mind hasn't gotten the message (you don't remember the "simpler" dreams or else you don't pay attention to their messages). So your subconscious "slaps you awake" with a scenario that is so dramatic that you will remember and with such an emotional impact that it has an effect! Unfortunately, most people treat nightmares as "only a dream". Instead, the dreamer should view these dreams as highly important - kind of a last, drastic attempt by the subconscious to get through. Take a look at the dream characters and actions, break them down to specific characteristics and see how they might apply to your waking life.

b) They are acting out possible negative scenarios to release negative energy. It shows you that waking reality isn't so bad. All actors are familiar with "the actor's nightmare". You go out on stage to do a musical and suddenly the rest of the cast is doing Shakespeare. You're in the wrong costume and you don't know any of the lines! AGH! At the next rehearsal in your waking life, everyone else is still doing the same show you thought you were in. Relieved by this affirming reality, you have more confidence as you step onto the stage.

c) Nightmares personify negative feelings in order to deal better with fears. Shirley MacLaine, at her Higher Self Seminar, shared a recurring childhood nightmare. In the dream, she was being chased by a huge, mean gorilla. She ran and ran, barely keeping out of reach of the gorilla. Finally, she came to the edge of a cliff. This is where she usually woke up - terrified! One night, she was having the same dream, only this time when she reached the edge of the cliff, she turned. "What do you want?" she cried out to the gorilla. He replied, "I don't know, little girl. It's your dream." This humorous anecdote shows how we create the scary images from our dreams and we can control the outcome. By understanding what is behind our fear, we can overcome the possible negative outcome and make that dream character our ally.

d) Coming out of the dream state into a more wakeful state, the conscious mind can become aware of and evaluate the dream material. Those dreams where you are berng chased but can't move are likely to be times when the conscious mind checks in on the dream, yet realizes the body is "frozen" in its R.E.M. stage, thus the feeling of not being able to move. The conscious mind doesn't realize that this state is a dream and panics, waking you up in distress. Please don't brush aside these bad dreams just to relieve yourself. These are important dreams with important messages and should be given your waking focus. If you ignore these dreams, then the problems or difficult situations are almost forced to manifest in your waking life.

7. Clarification Dreams

Further dreams can:

a) Clarify previous dreams

b) Give a clearer message

c) Using the same symbol, show a different scenario that clarifies that symbol.

For example, I had several dreams about my highschool vocal coach. The first time I dreamt about him, I assumed the dream content would relate to his life at that time. Since we are still friends, I contacted him, but he could not confirm the dream's message as relating to him. So I asked my dreams for clarification. My next dream dealt with my own career progress at that time and was easily interpreted. Again, I asked for dream clarification about my former voice teacher. The next time I dreamt about this man, I clearly understood that he represented a time when I was very clear about my career aspirations. He had personally been very supportive of my desires. He, as a symbol, represented the support of those goals. Now when he appears in my dreams, it is usually at a time when I really need this support.

8. Assistance for Others

They can give:

a) General aids

b) Insight into specific problems (often seen symbolically rather than literally)

c) Symbolic understanding of trends and probable future events. Just like in your own "body and health awareness" dreams, you can pick up on health problems in a close friend or family member. But it doesn't have to be specifically health-related. You can dream about a brother who is overworking himself; in the dream he begins to make mistakes, eventually getting fired. You can check with this brother to see if he is indeed overworking himself. In any dream that seems to deal directly with another person, check with that other person first to see if the dream has significance for them. However, whether it has significance for the other or not, realize that you had the dream for a reason! Maybe you are overworking yourself and can't see it, so the dream non-threateningly shares this information. It is important to take the dream content back to the dreamer and apply the messages and symbols, however subtle, to the dreamer's personal life.

9. Psychic Awareness Dreams

This category gets the most phenomena attention. Most people have had at least one form of psychic awareness through a dream. The most common are:

a) Connections with "other world" people. Your grandmother has died recently and one night you dream that she visits to tell you that she is all right and very safe. "There is nothing to fear in death. I am still with you", she shares. Another common experience is

b) Telepathy about past, present or future events for:

  1. Yourself. For example, you dream about skidding on the ice and your car swerves off the road. The next day as you travel in those winter conditions seen in your dream, you are particularly cautious. Your car hits the ice patch and you are able to correct your car before sliding off into the ditch.

  2. Your friends or family. You dream that your mother falls down the stairs. The next day, because of your awareness from this dream, you stop by your mother's house and arrive just after she indeed has fallen. By your prompt arrival, the situation turns out to be much less serious.

  3. Your community. Many people in a community often dream about a significant event that will happen in their area. For example, some might dream about a tornado hitting their town. When weather conditions sour a few days later, they are more prepared to face the potential disaster.

  4. National or global. Several people, including the President, foresaw Lincoln's assassination in their dreams.

Again, the important thing to do with these clairvoyant dreams is first to react to them literally. Then look internally to see why that dream might have significance for you personally. Perhaps your emotional life is about to experience a "tornado" and you need to go within to your "shelter" to withstand the impending storm. A third psychic category is:

c) Past-life memories. You awaken from a very vivid dream about life during King Arthur's reign. The dream seems so much more "real" than waking life. All day you can't shake the images. Perhaps you are tuning into past-life memories of a life during that time period. As with any past-life work, it is important to apply any insights, messages or lessons to the present. By tuning into that past life during King Arthur's reign, you may rekindle that feeling of a noble and charitable life, when standing up for "right" did enable "might".

10. Spiritual Connection Dreams

These dreams can share:

a) Spiritual lessons

b) Universal truths

c) Unconditional love

d) Connection with "angels", guides, teachers, your Higher Self, and God.

I had an incredible dream experience a few years ago that falls under this category. The dream was very long and complicated, but one section I'd like to share:

I was with a close friend. When I looked over at him, we zoomed out of our bodies and flew up high over the earth. The earth looked so clear and beautiful. When we returned to earth, we did not rejoin our bodies. Instead, when I looked at my friend, I saw only his etheric body, vibrant energy and light! As I looked into this energy field, I saw in a flash (not like in a movie, but instant knowing) all of his many lives and experiences. When I looked down at my own energy field, I was of the same type of energy and light and also knew all that I'd ever experienced. We discussed the many choices we'd made and laughed at how complicated we'd made life, how many times we'd lost perspective. Then an overwhelming feeling of unconditional love swept over me.

It was like nothing I'd ever experienced before! This experience left me with a heightened perspective and love flowed over into all areas of my life.

Dreams are a precious gift we receive nightly. By learning to remember and unravel the various layers, dreams can add a special awareness to our loves and the choices we make. Dreams can be likened to a nightly therapy session. The only cost is the attention to explore these rich, nightly scenarios. Keep these categories in mind when viewing your own dreams and good luck in this rewarding avenue of personal discovery.