Start a Dream Journal

Hello and welcome to Magick Month!  For the entire month of October The Guitar Witch will be posting a new tip or challenge to help your creativity flourish and pulse with all the energy and life it deserves! You can find previous days here. Today I will talk about the benefits of using a dream journal. 

Start a Dream Journal

A dream journal can be a microscope which allows you to peer into a usually unseen world.  

In several other posts, I talk about benefits and methods of making the unconscious conscious. This is another way that we can do that. 

In the Tibetan Yogas of Dream and Sleep[1], the author Tenzin Wangyal Rinpoche writes:

If we cannot carry our practice into sleep, if we lose ourselves every night, what chance do we have to be aware when death comes? 

He is speaking of increasing the lucidity of our dreams, as well as the lucidity of our waking life.  We are often in a semi-conscious state even when we are awake. 

The benefits of A Dream Journal

Getting more in touch with what is going on in your own mind is a treasure trove of insight, material for creative expression, and sometimes even signs and warnings about scenarios in your present and possibly your future.

We can see how our own minds process the material of our lives while we are not looking.  We can enhance dream recall.  We can increase the lucidity (level of conscious alertness) that we have in a dream by giving them conscious attention during the day.

A couple great articles on the other benefits of dream journaling can be found here and here.  Today I will focus on using a dream journal to increase lucid dreaming more specifically.

Lucid Dreams

Lucid dreams are dreams in which the person becomes aware (or at least semi-aware) that they are in fact asleep.  That dream scenarios playing out in front of them in the dream world are not real and are, to some extent, controllable.

I always wanted to lucid dream.  Lucid dreams come quite easily to one of my brothers, and his dream life always seemed fascinating.  Perhaps a little frightening as well, given that he could not control every aspect of the dream.  Particularly chilling, he described a dream in which he told a large group of people that he knew they weren’t real, and they all turned looked at him with intense inhuman coldness.

Regardless of horrifying “They Live” style scenarios, I wanted to delve deeper into the world of dreams, particularly to try lucid dreaming for myself.  

Degrees of Lucidity in Dreaming

Being able to have consciousness and control in a dream means that you can spend that time in almost any way you want. 

However, there are degrees of dream-consciousness.  As my brother’s story illustrates, just because you are aware that you are dreaming doesn’t mean you have automatic control of everything occurring around you. 

Just as in waking life we may be aware that we have an addictive pattern or unhealthy dynamic in a relationship, this does not automatically mean we can be free of it without effort – consciousness of the dream sometimes means only that.

In my second lucid dream ever, I had this occur. I was stuck in a bathroom.  I looked in the mirror and my whole face was black static. It was terrifying.    I was throwing myself against the stalls and ground to try to wake myself up. 

Techniques for lucid dreaming

There are several techniques for lucid dreaming.  Here are a few:

    • Set several alarms during the night: Remind yourself as you fall back asleep that you want to lucid dream.
    • Do reality checks during the day: Basically this means asking yourself if you are dreaming throughout the day. Is there something that is always different in your dreams than in your waking life?  For me its clocks and phones.  The numbers get scrambled and it is very hard to read or call someone.  So every time I check the clock or call someone it is an opportunity to tell yourself “I am awake”.
    • Quit using alcohol, marijuana and CBD: Quitting the use of these drugs can cause a temporary increase in the intensity of dreams[2], which can help jump start a journey into increased awareness of dreams
    • Look at your hands before you fall asleep. Try to use this as a trigger while dreaming to become lucid.  This spontaneously occurred for me, triggering my first ever lucid dream.
    • And lastly, my favourite, the dream journal.

Other techniques can be found here.

Dream Journals And Lucid Dreams

Lucid dreams come more easily to some than others.  I am in the “very difficult” to lucid dream category.

Regardless of the checks, alarms, and various other techniques, I couldn’t lucid dream until I started doing a daily (and I stress DAILY) dream journal. 

Every morning, no matter what, I write out my dreams, or my lack thereof. 

Consistency is key.  Because you are telling your conscious and unconscious mind, every day, that this is important. 

Where attention goes, energy flows.

When I did this daily for about 4 months, I started having lucid dreams. However, if I fall off of my journaling schedule, the lucidity of my dreams diminishes. 

What to do in a lucid dream

Peter J. Carroll, in his book Liber Null and Psychonaut talks about trying to go to a place in your dreams.  One that you are familiar with and recognize.  Once you have the ability to reliably direct yourself to a specific place in the dream world, you can control many aspects of this experience and can use this time for any purpose you wish. 

In Conclusion

Dream journaling helps bring the subconscious into the conscious realm.  This act alone will improve your creativity and connection to the deeper realms of existence.  If you are able to develop a consistent and controlled lucid dreaming experience, the possibilities expand to near infinity. 

 

If you have any questions do not hesitate to comment below.

Thanks for reading!

~ Blessed Be and Happy Creating ~

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[1] I highly recommend this book. It is one of the most powerful books on the occult I have ever read, which was kind of a surprise for me, as I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Anyone with interests in esoteric practices should pick it up!

[2] There may be an interesting point here about why the use of these mind-numbing substances cause a reduction of dream recall.  Could it be related to the fact that overuse of these mind altering substances reduces your consciousness in your waking life as well as the dream?

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