There is a place where we all go where magic and mystery meet. There is a place where we can access things unfathomable. This place is our dreamscape. It has been defined in so many ways. This ethereal space is unique to each dreamer and it is also essential to our evolution. It helps us to process what we have been going through and also assists us in storing our memories. Without our ability to dream, our human race would not be what it is today. It has allowed us to move through and unpack traumas. It has allowed us medicine that we can never know the entirety of. It is a place where anything can happen.
Most people will claim that they know they sometimes dream but that they don't always remember them. Or that they used to dream, but not anymore. Dreaming is innate, and the practice of learning to recall dreams and activate a richer dream life is easier than you may think. But why would you want to do that? Working with your dreams allows you to gain insight into what your psyche is processing. It allows you to access the collective consciousness. It allows you to access the past and the future. It opens doorways to past lives. It is here that you can meet your guides and get to know them better. And if you begin to access the state called lucid dreaming, you can play even more consciously with your dreams and ask questions to the universe; you can invoke healing here; you can reprogram your subconscious; you can rewire yourself towards any goal you have in mind. For me the question is really, why wouldn’t you want to access this power?
So how does one begin this journey? The first and most important thing is to check in on the quality and health of your sleeping patterns. If you are not entering REM sleep due to insomnia or other problems, then it is unlikely that you can easily access the magic of your dreams. Insomnia is a serious issue, and one should work in conjunction with a medical practitioner to heal. Some chronic medications may hinder your ability to dream or recall dreams. Everyone's journey is different. There is no one-size-fits-all here. I believe in our ability to overcome anything, including the side effects of medication, but your belief system may look different and that is perfect too. Always work with your intuition and under the guidance of your doctor when working in conjunction with medication. If insomnia is a problem for you then check out my tips for better sleep hygiene here.
Simply by paying attention to your dream state and implementing the action of recording your dreams as you wake up, you can activate this rich world. When you enthusiastically listen to them, your dreams respond with powerful movement. Talk about your dreams daily. Think about them. Invoke them through your attention. They will respond. Like anything in life, to call something in, you have to have the desire. It is the desire that pulls it. So get excited about the possibilities.
So once you are dreaming and remembering on a more regular basis, what do you do with all of that strange content? How does one decipher dream symbols? Well, the most important key to interpreting your dreams is YOU. Your psyche will speak to you in personal symbols that have a particular resonance for you. So the first rule is don’t ask Google. Ask yourself instead. What associations do you have with these symbols? Do they remind you of something you have experienced? What are you going through at the moment that may be affecting the nature of your dreams? What might this be saying?
After you have begun to create an archive of your dream symbols and recurring themes, and have acquired a deeper understanding of your dream space, you may be ready to invoke lucid dreaming. The first important thing to note here is that lucid dreaming is not only accessible to all dreamers, it is a very normal and natural thing to do. It is a part of our developmental growth. Most children have experienced this state even though they may not have the words to explain or describe said states. You may regularly have lucid dream experiences that you don't remember in your waking life. For some, it is possible that just by beginning to record your dreams that you are already becoming lucid. For others, it may take a little more effort.
While there are many methods for invoking lucid dreaming, we shall diverge one favorite here. Introduce a practice in your waking life of asking yourself if you are dreaming. Do it so often that it becomes a habit. Maybe you stick a note on your mirror or wall that says “am I dreaming?” and every time you see it, you look around at your environment and look out for signs that you are dreaming. The idea is that this habit will carry over into the dream state. The thing about the dream state is that it feels very real - and it surely is, it is just another reality. We are not in the habit of asking if we are awake or dreaming and so we generally don't question things if they are a little odd. If we cultivate the habit of asking, however, it becomes very obvious when rooms are flooding, walls melting and things are generally not acting according to our laws of physics.
Well now that you are lucid what do we do with that? A favorite response is to fly, play and explore, or play out your fantasies, and this is great, but the medicine of lucid dreaming far exceeds this kind of delightful satisfaction. You can use the lucid state to ask questions about your limitations and receive the answers. You can ask about information or knowledge that you wish to unlock. You can invoke healing beyond comprehension. The limit is your imagination. And this is where the real work begins.
If you are interested in exploring these realms, learning rituals that you can use to invoke your dreams, how to communicate with your dreams, how to set intentions, and how to decode your dreams then come and join the DREAMWORK LUNASCENTION PROGRAM. One of the best ways to shift something in your life is to join a focused group that is reflective of that which you wish to manifest. So if you want to access the medicine and power of your dreamscape come and apply here.
Photograph captured by Rudi Lotter in collaboration with Carla Janse van Rensburg