Sometimes I have dreams where the images of certain parts, of strings of words someone said, linger for hours or even days after I wake – sometimes that’s because they feel…important. And other times it’s just because they were plain odd. And sometimes, the dreams don’t even stick around for much longer than a moment after waking.
So, whether you’re like me and have strange, vivid dreams every night, or barely dream and remember one or two here and there, you may be wondering how to tell which dreams hold meaning and weight.
The answer, as with most things in spirituality and witchcraft, is not a one size fits all.
Scientifically speaking, dreams allow our brains to process a day’s events, and rehearse for upcoming events. Sometimes our dreams are just that.
You can tell if this is the case simply by the subject of the dream. If you have a test or job interview coming up, and you dream of taking a test of some form or being questioned by someone, it likely is your brain rehearsing for these upcoming events.
Same if you dream of getting into a fight with someone or have a nightmare after arguing with a loved one or even just another person in real life – your brain is likely processing the events that happened.
Every once in a while, though, our brains allow us to have major insights and breakthroughs while dreaming.
And this can come because it is processing emotions and daily events on a much, much deeper level when we sleep, or because the divine is sending a message.
You can tell what these dreams are because you wake up from them and feel either like a light bulb went on, or you feel more at peace or ease with something. And again, these dreams are a mix of insight from our own brains and practical, logical self-knowledge, and gifts from the divine.
An example is a long dream where I met up with someone I hadn’t spoke to in years in real life. We stopped talking because of a fight, and I had been questioning and trying to heal from the relationship. In the dream, the two of us talked it out and revealed how we were truly feeling – now, whether what my dream said about how they were feeling was true or not, I woke up feeling completely at ease with the situation and was able to move on in a much healthier way than before.
This dream held extreme meaning and significance, and who knows whether it was my brain processing something, or the divine.
Now, if you’re not dreaming of people you know in real life or situations that are likely to occur in real life, how do you tell if it’s a significant dream or just your brain having fun and being creative?
The best way I can describe it is that they linger. They feel important. They literally feel heavier or like they have weight. They make you question or ponder when you wake up.
If it’s been three days and you’re still thinking of that one thing that random brain-generated character said in your dream…it’s likely something important. If you’re still wondering what that could’ve meant after thinking of it all day, it’s likely you something important.
As odd as it sounds – you’ll just know. And I wish I could describe it better for you than that, but it takes practice.
If you think a dream is important, I recommend grabbing a journal or your phone or open a word document and type it all out. Type out what happened in the dream, how you felt, what you heard. Write down questions it made you have. Write down things it immediately made you think of – follow a train of consciousness, if you will.
If you have personal associations with anything you saw, write those down too. It may slowly come together, or may still feel like a ball of confusion. Sometimes you need more dreams or more reflection or something to happen in your waking life for it to make sense. Sometimes, it will all come together as you reflect.