Adrienne's work and teachings have been a great
inspiration to me! In August of 1998, about four months after my
father passed away, I read about one of Carol's
workshops in a Learning Annex catalog and
synchronistically found her book on a bookshelf at the
bookstore. The themes of her teachings were
familiar and comforting, as they confirmed the thoughts
and ideas my father had shared with me shortly before
his passing. Her books and workshops ignited my
spiritual curiosity, setting me on my soulful life path,
which led to the very creation of
SoulfulLiving.com! Carol's participation has been
an integral part of SoulfulLiving.com, at its soul
level! Thank you, Carol, with all my heart!
~Valerie, Founder and Soul, SoulfulLiving.com
"Dreamwork for the Soul"
It seems that you and I get a lot of
work done during our sleep time! We have a gold mine of
information in our dream life that could help us in our waking
life, says my good friend, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, author of
over twenty books on spiritual and occult subjects. I first
met Rosemary at an IIIHS conference in Montreal four years
ago. She came out to California recently for some radio
appearances promoting her books, Encyclopedia of Dreams:
Symbols and Interpretations and Dreamwork for the Soul
and stayed with me. I really enjoyed being able to spend some
time with her, and decided to interview her for the column in
order to share her expertise with all of you.
written books on angels, intuition, prayer, mysticism, and
paranormal phenomena, and now dreams. Why dreams?
REG: "Dreams have been of great
importance to me for most of my life. There was a lot of
psychic ability in my family, and my mother had many
precognitive dreams. Even as a teenager dreams fascinated me,
and I started studying and experimenting with my own dreams.
For example, I was able to send telepathic messages to people
in dreams, and I discovered that I was also travelling
out-of-body in dreams.
do you know if you are travelling out of body in a dream?
REG: "If you are lucid in a
dream--that is, if you know you are dreaming while you are
dreaming-- you sense that you are traveling and
visiting distant locations. Sometimes you are actually able to
verify the location later when you’re awake. For example, in
one dream I visited my parents’ home 300 miles away. I
dreamed that I was walking through the house, and I noticed
things that weren’t normally in the house. One of the items
was a cake sitting on the kitchen table. The next day, I
called my mother and she verified the items I had seen. She
had baked a cake that day—not something she normally did—and
had put it on the kitchen table.
our dreams trying to tell us something we need to know?
REG: "Absolutely. The more I
study dreams, the more I realize how important they have been
to human affairs, including affairs of state, since ancient
times. Dreams have always been regarded as a direct link to
the gods, and have been used to receive divine guidance as
well as healing. The Greeks perfected the art of healing in
dreams. They had sacred dream temples, and people would make a
pilgrimage to the temple. There they would undergo a ritual of
purification, and then ask specific questions that they wanted
the dream to answer.
"We can do this today. It’s
called incubating a dream. That simply means that you instruct
yourself to receive specific information from your dreams. You
can also ask the dream to give you a healing.
"It’s a simple process. Before
you go to sleep, ask a question, such as ‘Should I do
such-and-such?’ It’s better to ask a yes or no question
rather than an open-ended question such as, ‘What should I
do?’ That’s because dreams speak in symbols, and if you
ask an open-ended question you may not understand the answer
clearly. If it’s yes or no, it’s easier to interpret.
"One time I asked about a
whether I should do a certain project. That night I received a
dream that indicated I should.
you interpret your dream symbols by looking up the symbol in a
REG: "The dreaming mind answers
according to your own individual circumstances, perceptions,
and things that you, yourself, will understand. Someone else
would have completely different triggers or meaningful
symbols. In my book, the Encyclopedia of Dreams, I
suggest possible meanings for symbols, but they always must be
related to context. Dream dictionaries are useful, but they
are useful for validating your own intuition. Even though,
ultimately, you have to see what interpretation feels right to
you, it is useful to hear the ideas of other
people concerning the meanings of dreams. By working with your
dreams over time, you’ll probably see recurring images or
symbols and begin to see how they are related to a situation
or condition in your waking life. You learn to feel the
validity of the message you are taking away from the dream.
"I think it is important to pay
attention to dreams, because they provide us with our purest
guidance from our higher self or intuition. On the surface,
they may seem not to make sense, but once you understand the
symbolic communication of dreams, they reveal a richness of
feelings, information, and wisdom that is always in our best
do we have nightmares?
REG: "Some nightmares are part
of pathological disorders such as post-traumatic stress
syndrome. However, most of us have occasional nightmares that
are any dreams that make us feel uneasy or frightened. The
purpose of a nightmare is to call attention to something that
needs to be addressed in our life. The nightmare gets our
attention in a dramatic way! Quite often it relates to
something we have ignored or repressed, and so the dream is
literally shaking us awake. For example, we might be in a
relationship that needs to change, but we are in denial or
resisting making any changes. A bad dream might come to show
us that we don’t like our job, and to help us get in touch
with our fear about moving on. The nightmare shows us where we
need to bring balance back into our lives.
"A frequent nightmare for many
people is being chased by a monster or threatening figure,
which often represents the situation they are ignoring. A
question to ask yourself after a bad dream is, ‘What is
bothering me that I am avoiding dealing with?’ Or, ‘What
is bothering me that I feel I’m powerless to change?’ The
dream reminds us that we do have power to change
circumstances in our life.
"I think it’s also important
to remember that you don’t have to take drastic
actions when you realize that something needs to change.
Frequently I hear from people who are unhappy in their jobs.
Often they feel that it’s too threatening to leave the job
if they don’t know what else is out there yet. But changing
their jobs may not be the best answer, anyway. I believe that
the job situation is the area which is providing the biggest
opportunity for their personal growth at the time. Therefore,
the most profitable change may come from making an internal
change in their attitude towards themselves, their co-workers,
and their perspective rather than simply leaving and probably
recreating the problem all over again in another context. It’s
important to look for ways to change that we can, that we are
ready to do, and that are not more drastic than need be.
"Usually new perceptions of
ourselves and our choices empower us to take action. For
example, a woman I know was married to a verbally abusive man.
For that and other reasons, their sex life was nonexistent.
She had frequent nightmares in which she was always
discovering her husband with another woman. The other woman,
in this case, represented her own repressed sexual feelings
and identity. After several years of personal turmoil, she
ended the marriage, and the repetitive dreams ended.
do dreams recur?
"When a dream repeats it is a
clear signal there is an imbalance that must be addressed. If
we do not take action, God or the universe will take action
for us. If you have a repeating dream, something in your life
needs to change.
Another recurring dream is loose
teeth and teeth falling out. Our teeth are symbols of our
personal power, so these dreams often relate to control and
power issues. For example, a man who came to a class of mine
worked for a large corporation. He was unhappy there because
he felt he had very little control in his work. There were so
many layers of management involved in everything he did, he
felt powerless to make a difference. Several times he dreamed
that his teeth were loose and about to fall out, and these
dreams carried a lot of distressing emotion. While he could
have transferred out of the situation, with some help from a
therapist, he realized that what he really needed to do was be
more willing to stand up for himself in the position he
already had. As soon as he was able to see the situation from
this point of view, and take more direct action, the dreams
What do you suggest we do to make the most of our dreams?
- The most important thing is to make
a commitment to listen to your dreams.
- Ask for answers before going to
- Write your dreams down first thing
in the morning.
- Since everything in a dream is a
symbol of something going on in your life, ask yourself, What
situation in my life is like this dream?.
- Don’t take the images literally,
but make associations as to what they represent. For example,
if you are being chased by a runaway car, what in your life
feels out of control? What are you trying to dodge? What would
you like to run away from?
- To free associate to a symbol, write
down everything that comes to mind while thinking about the
symbol. Just let ideas and associations flow until you get a
sense of understanding the theme or message. Remember, the
answers may take time to surface. Insights may come
spontaneously at another time.
- Dream work is an intuitive process,
so what you feel is right is right.
- Consult a good dream dictionary to
get other ideas for what specific symbols can mean in dreams.
- Most importantly, take some sort of
action such as changing your attitude or making
self-improvement plans. Without action, the process of
dreaming is not complete.
For speaking and workshop
information, visit Rosemary’s website at www.visionaryliving.com.
Call for Dreams
If you would like to schedule a dream
consultation with Rosemary Ellen Guiley, please contact her at
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