We can all recall at least one dream that has either frightened us or even made us question some decisions or events that were happening in our conscious world. Tree Carr, London-based dream guide, shares why we dream, what we can do to improve our connection between dreams and our reality and what common dream themes sometimes mean!

Human beings have been dreaming since the dawn of time. We have a long history of looking to them for guidance, inspiration, spiritual connection and decision making. Kings consulted seers and gifted dreamers for political advice and tribe leaders took heed from the prophetic dreams of their shamans. Dreams have led to inventions and scientific discoveries as well as the creation of moving works of music and art. There are countless examples and references in a wide variety of cultures throughout history, that illustrate the importance of dreams. From Ancient Indian writings through to the Greek philosophers and onwards, humanity has been intrigued enough by dreams that they saw to it that they were documented or passed down through word of mouth and folklore.

In our modern, industrialised world, it would seem as though we’ve become disconnected from the importance of our dreams. We are often too busy or too tired to even recall any dreams that we might be having. As a result, we’ve become disconnected with our own inner worlds. Kickstarting your dreamworlds again requires a combination of lifestyle improvements: intent to dream, improved sleep hygiene, dream journaling and mindfulness to name a few. Making a few changes, you will find that you can begin to work with your dreams and use them for emotional healing, inspiration, problem-solving, creative process and the list goes on!

When you begin to reconnect with your dreams again, you begin to reconnect with yourself. They hold powerful insight and guidance when it comes to navigating the territory of your unconscious realms. Bridging your dreams over into your waking reality through the form of dream journaling is a very effective method of mapping out the machinations of your unconscious self. In just one month of dream journaling, you will definitely be able to start seeing a pattern emerging. Perhaps there are similar themes or perhaps recurring dream symbols. These are all there for you to decode and solve the mystery of their greater meaning in order for you to integrate transformation and bring about new insight and ideas into your waking life.

Symbols are the language of dreams. Feelings and ideas can often be invoked through symbols which prompts the dreamer to act on solving the deeper meaning of its mystery. Cultivating the ability to interpret your own dreams is a very powerful tool. Because they are so personal and integral to your own psyche and unconscious mind, no one is a better expert at interpreting your own dreams than yourself!

There is so much information out there on dream symbols and dream interpretations. A simple google search can act as a dream oracle when trying to solve the mysteries of your dreams. Of course, simply googling your dream symbols is in no way the final conclusion to interpreting them, but it can certainly be a very helpful starting point. Using online dream dictionaries in conjunction with your own personal intuition, experiences, history, circumstances and memory can assuredly guide you to interpret yours in an integrally deep and personal way.

Universal Dream Themes and their Meanings

Water: emotions, unconscious mind, spirituality

Pregnancy and babies: new ideas, new creative project, new possibilities and potential for growth

Road: life journey, life path, direction

House: self, psyche, personality,

Fire: purification, transformation, anger, passion, destruction

Dreams by Tree Carr is published by Aster, £10.99 (www.octopusbooks.co.uk). Design and illustrations by Ella McLean.

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