How Using A Dream Journal Can Help With Interpretation

How Using A Dream Journal Can Help With Interpretation
super snow moon back on night sky silhouette cloudon sea, Elements of this image furnished by NASA

There is a guiding principle to using a dream journal for dream interpretation, and Edgar Cayce said it best when he called for us to interpret the dreamer and not just the dream.

Why should I use a dream journal?

A dream journal is an excellent tool for self-improvement, like the proverbial finger pointing to the moon. Don’t focus on the finger or you will miss out on all the celestial magic. Interpreting your dreams is an exercise in self-discovery and self-growth. They are almost always referring back to you and every character, image, and emotion can refer to various parts of your psyche.

The primary purpose of your dreams is to attempt to balance the psyche. Keep this in mind to help you understand the meaning of your dreams and prevent you from getting way off track in your interpretation.

Trying to understand one dream in isolation is like trying to understand a person by spending one day with them. By recording all of your dreams in a dream journal you will, over time, find it easier to understand individual dreams you have in the future.

What should I write in my dream journal?

Dreams are like plays or movies that we create every night. They can have a similar structure and storyline. It can be helpful to look for this story when trying to understand your dreams and writing down the structure as soon as you wake. Make sure you have your dream journal and pen handy and note down these characteristics before you rise:

  • Location: Where does the dream take place? How do you feel about that place? What emotions arise within you as you think about it? Does it have any relationship with a real place you know?
  • Characters: Who are the characters? How are you presented? Who is the antagonist? How do you feel about each of those people (including the presentation of yourself). How do they relate to parts of your own personality or to people you know?
  • Plot: How does the plot unfold? There is usually a beginning (where the story is established and begins to build), a middle (where a crisis peaks), and an end (where the crisis gets resolved – although sometimes dreams don’t provide the solution and end in the middle of the story. This is because it is up to you to provide the resolution).

Sometimes dreams can be very literal and they are easy to understand. There is nothing wrong with asking whether the face value of the dream may have meaning for you.

Most often, however, dreams are shrouded in symbolism that points beyond the literal image. They can be trying to communicate a very specific message that applies to your waking life. Or they may be merely trying to balance your emotional life. They could also just be hinting at some thoughts or emotions in progress without any final resolution yet. Make a note of these in your journal and look for similar themes in future dreams to understand the issue more deeply.

Do I need a dream dictionary?

Dreams are often messages from our subconscious mind that our conscious mind has resisted or been unable to process. For this reason, the subconscious often cloaks the message in symbols so the dream isn’t immediately rejected or simply avoided by the conscious mind.

Sometimes you can make answers simpler by consulting a dream dictionary for the meaning of common symbols and archetypes. However, each person is different and your individual dream dictionary can be very personal . Use a separate section of your journal to note down any symbol interpretations that are unique to you. Bear in mind that your personal dream dictionary can change over time.

leather hand stitched dream journal with lapis crystal cover

Next steps

Interpreting your dreams can provide you with a life-long quest that goes way beyond the puzzle solving of the Da Vinci Code, but can also be much more rewarding. Unravelling these symbols can be very difficult, but also a lot of fun. It’s the ultimate mystery and the most elaborate puzzle, but the answer is always within you. Our hand stitched and embellished notebooks are perfect for focusing on your dreams on a daily basis. With 200 lined pages and enhanced with a focus gemstone crystal on the cover they make a perfect dream journal. Use code DREAMINGISFREE at checkout to get a free stationary set with your order!

dream dictionary

Our Recommended Dream Dictionary

Packaged full of the most common dream symbols in an easy to read format, this is a great addition to the beginner’s bookshelf. The introduction includes snippets of classic texts from Sigmund Freud and Gustavus Hindman Miller, this original text has been updated to include modern symbolism such as mobile phones and televisions.

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