Dream Work: Is It Always Mystical?

“Dream a dream so far away…” – Lullaby created by my son and I to ward off bad dreams…

I feel like there’s a huge disconnect in the witchy community. Do you see it? The one where in order to claim to be a witch, or claim to be witchy, you must have some sort of esoteric and natural symbolism for everything that happens to you.

It’s as if suddenly everything logical and scientific is irrelevant and we must become magickal beings of superior knowledge looking down on our lost brethren of humans wishing they were as woke as we.

Dreams are no exception. In fact, since they’re highly misunderstood and little studied scientifically, there seems to be an even greater source of esoteric elitism when trying to interpret them.

In my opinion, and like with all things that start with that phrase it can either be accepted or disregarded according to your beliefs, dreams come in two different categories: symbolic and psychological.

The symbolic dreams are the ones we wake up from that have no earthly meaning or representation in real life. We’re usually left dumbfounded by them, and are unable to see any connection to our reality. Psychological dreams, on the other hand, have connections and are usually the ones we wake up from with an emotional reaction (like our lovers cheating on us and we wake up angry at them, even though they’ve never done so in real life! Haha!).

Both are magickally relevant in their own right, but only one needs a Master’s Degree in the Supernatural to come across as intelligently divined. I’m going to shatter the ceiling here for a moment, but I don’t believe that all dreams have symbolic meanings of the spiritual type. Not all dreams are prophetic either.

Most times, from my experience, dreams are psychological. That means they deal directly with your current experiences, past experiences, and what your brain thinks about, feels about, or interprets about the two.

When interpreting dreams for other people, I always love when they give a bit of background. It allows me to see that maybe that river of water isn’t symbolic of change, as in the metaphysical books, but an emotional and mental barrier keeping them from reaching the other side of the banks.

The reason I find this so important to write about is that I’ve had dreams that mean more than what those books say- and to read about them in that metaphysical mysticism leaves me wondering if I’m losing my mind. Dreams can be good indicators of emotional states, turmoil, and mental health- yet, if looked at constantly in the metaphysical and esoteric points of view, we miss all the red flags our ailing brains might be trying to give us.

There are times, however, when dreams are very spiritual in meaning- and it’s important to discern the difference for yourself. But, let us not always run to the metaphysical or esoteric to find our magick. It lives inside us, in our brains, in our spirits, and in our souls- there’s no reason to dismiss the sciences that choose to study and learn of these magicks simply because they’re no longer “mysterious”.

A few examples of dreams in my own life:

  • When my father, a domineering and abusive man whom I mortally feared my entire life, died I stopped having reoccurring dreams of driving off bridges. These dreams continued from age 4 until 23. In them, he’d always take us to a place that was unsafe- and in his controlling demeanor, he’d insist he could make it across a bridge that was either broken or not fully constructed. Cars would be turning back, people realizing they couldn’t make it across, as my father insisted if he got the vehicle up to the correct speed he could jump it. The other end of the bridge was always so far off that I either could barely see it, or not see it at all. Of course, we wouldn’t make it, and we’d plunge into the icy depths of the water- leaving me to awake in a panic right before we landed.

In symbolic metaphysical realms, that dream is symbolic of change. It’s symbolic of movement. Without the background information I gave you, it would be interpreted as my fear of change, or my transition through to a new life.

In psychology, it’s symbolic of his control over my life. It’s symbolic of my fear, the mortal and constant betrayal that my brain felt over his presence in my life- the duality of having him in control (as a superior authority figure) but knowing that it wasn’t right. They represented a father that consistently betrayed his child by not keeping my best interests at heart. He’d kill us, for his ego and demons, even though that’s not what fathers are supposed to do. In psychological terms, I was dreaming of my inability to deny my fear and my abuse while recognizing that a father’s role in a daughter’s life is one of authority and control- no matter the outcome.

  • Another recent dream: having my house sprayed for rodents which left a giant whole in the center of an unknown room. Animals of all sorts pilfered their way into the home, from gophers to a baboon. All of them feasted on a dead mole, while I had to kill the rest before they killed me. All of them were vicious, and all of them wanted to attack me.

In psychological texts, this dream is pretty much uninterpretable. It could be that I was worried about animals in my home, or that I have an impending sense of doom of having my domicile being breached.

In symbolic metaphysical texts, however, according to a good friend of mine, moles represent death and mental illness. In my dream, since the mole was dead, my mental illness was no longer alive- while all the demons that feasted on it, such as my anxiety, starved from the death were now angry and wanting to attack me. I had to fend them off, killing them or being killed, because I’m no longer allowing them to feed off my illness. This represents my medication working, along with the different ailments that I’ve suffered because of being untreated falling away.

  • The dreams that led to this post is trigger worthy, so I will not include specific details. I will say that I’ve had several dreams over the last few months of suicide. They’re lonely, isolating, and often betraying of my current mental state, but in them, either I want to die, or others want me to die.

In metaphysical texts, these dreams are a new beginning. And while that can be said as true, I don’t ever wake up from them happy and reassured in that interpretation.

In psychological texts, however, these dreams are representative of my on-going battle with depression. Even though I am now medicated, I still have a mental illness that can trigger suicidal ideations. My brain is working through these by dreaming of them, and I wake up feeling depressed and alone for the first ten to fifteen minutes believing them to be true. I also currently have repressive dreams, which is a dream within a dream, again also resulting from my brain working through trauma in a better way than it’s been able to before.

These dreams are the reasons I’ve posted this today, because I couldn’t find anything that said that dreams of suicide that weren’t flighty or circumstantial. I couldn’t find anything that said that it may be a cause of psychological trauma instead of something butterfly-esque. Yet, I’d wake up crying and feeling anything but normal- and I don’t want anyone else to feel that way when it’s perfectly normal to dream about things we don’t think about if it lies under the surface.

And while, again, it can be said that my new medications are causing me to have new beginnings, it can also be said that knowing I am dealing with real mental health issues, I need to psychologically interpret these dreams as well. I cannot sit idly by, waiting for something to filter over into real life, before I take them seriously.

We can be metaphysical and still believe in science.

We can interpret our dreams with both, and whichever resonates is what is true. Try doing this with your own dreams, and if you need assistance, I’m here. Shadow Work is tremendously helpful in this area as well, which I’ll be detailing in another future post. I just wanted to get this out there, in case anyone else was dealing with the same. You are not alone- and it’s not always “mystical” in meaning.

I love you, friend.

Until next time…

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