dream journal

How to use a Dream Journal

Why keep a dream journal?

There is a guiding principle to dream interpretation, and Edgar Cayce said it best when he called for us to interpret the dreamer and not just the dream. Dreams are a tool, like the proverbial finger pointing to the moon. Don’t focus on the finger or you will miss out on all the celestial magic. Dreams are the finger and they are pointing to the dreamer. 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 is usually referring to various parts of your psyche.

The subconscious mind works in symbols and, when you are dreaming, your subconscious mind is in full control, providing the night’s entertainment while your conscious mind takes a back seat.

Why do we dream?

The primary purpose of dreams is to attempt to balance the psyche. So, if you have been trying to work out a solution to a challenging issue, your powerful subconscious mind goes to work on this while you are sleeping. When you are asleep, the subconscious mind deals with all the mental and psychic junk you’ve been carrying around with you during the day, freeing your mind for a fresh start in the morning, 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. I don’t always write my dreams down in a dream journal but, whenever I have had a strange or vivid dream, I make sure I write it down. I have noticed similar themes play out and, once I had several dreams that had a water theme and 2 days letter the water pipes burst in work and we all got to have an unexpected day off while they worked to fix it! Re-reading your dream journal after a few month’s worth of entries can be very enlightening when you see the recurring themes and how they have played out in your life.

What to look out for when keeping a dream journal…

Dreams are like plays or movies that we create every night, and they have a similar structure. It can be helpful to look for this structure when trying to understand your dreams:


  • 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), and how do they relate to parts of your own personality or to people you know?
  • Plot: How does the lot 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 though sometimes dreams don’t provide the solution and end in the middle of the story because it is up to you to provide the resolution).

Dreams and your subconscious mind

On rare occasions, dreams can be very literal and so they’re easy to understand. If you understand this literal meaning, all the better! It may be your subconscious was sending you abstract symbols that you didn’t understand and so it sent you the literal meaning when it wanted to make sure you understood the message!

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, they may be merely trying to balance your emotional life or they may just be hinting at some thoughts or emotions in progress without any final resolution yet in mind.

Dreams are often messages from our subconscious mind that are resisted by our conscious mind. 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.

Unraveling 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.

Dream Symbolism

Sometimes the answers are as simple as consulting a dream dictionary for the meaning of common symbols and archetypes. However, each person is different and has their individual dream dictionary. To make things even more interesting, your personal dream dictionary can change over time. You will find that your mind will have its own way of showing you things, which may differ from other people and you also have your own unique interpretations of things. For example, you may love black cats and find them comforting whereas a highly superstitious person may see this dream as a bad omen. You may also notice that your subconscious mind allocates the same interpretations to certain things that are the same whether or not you are dreaming. So, if black cats are lucky for you in real life, they will be lucky for you in a dream and vice versa. Your subconscious will be using this image to communicate that you will be lucky in some way.

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.

Here at SoulMinded Wellness, we love how powerful the process of journaling can be and we recommend keeping one big journal to record anything and everything, including your dreams! To grab your free Quantum Manifestation PDF Journal click here:

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