During phases in your life where dream recollection comes to you more naturally, you’re most likely bridging gaps from your subconscious to your conscious mind. This is healthy. It can show that you’re actively processing your past hardships, having healthy outlets for intense feelings, and integrating for heightened emotional awareness.
Recalling your dreams can become more natural as you develop your intuition.* This is because your intuition, which seeks to guide you towards your highest good, is closely associated with your subconscious mind. When we are comfortable with sitting with our “nonsensical” subconscious, we become more equipped to understand the messages of our “nonsensical” intuition.
Meanwhile, when it’s more difficult to recall your dreams, there’s often unconscious repression going on.* This is where your conscious mind is avoiding certain issues because it brings up uncomfortable emotions to process. Many clients often say to me, “I don’t dream”, “I only see black when I sleep”. This is untrue. We all dream - whether we recollect it or not depends on other factors.
In astrology, dreams are often associated with the twelfth house of the unconscious mind. In Tarot, dreams are often associated with the Moon, associated with Pisces, the sign associated with the twelfth house based on modern evolutionary astrology perspectives. Through an astrological lens, astrologers are also aware that those who keep their twelfth house in the shadows of repression struggle to understand themselves on a deeper level, sit with their uncomfortable experiences, and spend time alone.
How we go about improving our intuition, emotional awareness, and mental health is through beginning to trust our intuitive insights. To understand our intuition, we must understand our shadows and do shadow work.
Shadow work is to willingly and openly confront that which we consciously catch ourselves avoiding. Shadow work is to open our minds that we have flaws, that not everything is perfect about ourselves and our lives, and that we too are in need of healing our inner child as the next person.
One of the most accessible ways to do shadow work is by listening to our dreams. Like I said above, dream recollection seems like an impossible task for those who have not had dreams in years. While there are certain traumas and/or brain functions that prevent vivid dreaming and I’m not qualified to speak upon, and deserve recognition, I am speaking on behalf of the rest of us in saying this: We are able to bridge these gaps again.
Some of the most helpful ways to recall your dreams are:
Try sharing the experience with someone. You could ask your friend daily, what did you dream about? And share your dream experiences! It could be fun to give each other your interpretations as well.
Stating when you feel yourself in the in-between phase, about to fall asleep: “I will recall my dreams” three times aloud or in your mind
Choosing an object in your room that you’ll see upon waking first, and making the intention that it will trigger you to remember your dreams. Ex, When you look at the chair across the foot of your bed, you’ll recall imagery or details of your dream further.
Writing down anything you do remember, first thing upon waking. When we wait even a few minutes, we forget a lot of details of our dream. Writing down even the smallest detail that you recall first thing upon waking exercises your mind to begin attempting to remember your dreams more and more, the more you do this practice.
Is the dream a message or just speaking on your fears or worries?
Part of the beauty of dream interpretation is that you learn how to regulate your emotions. Emotional regulation helps you to understand which of your reactions come from a place of intuitive insight, protection, or informative purpose and which come from trauma, fears, anxieties, or insecurities that need healing.
When you have the practice of sitting with your dreams, you practice sitting with your emotions. When you practice asking “what does this dream mean? What is this dream showing me?” you learn to consequently ask, “What does this emotion mean? What is this feeling showing me?”
The only way to know 100% if a dream is a direct omen, message, or meaning or if it is just helping you to express unprocessed emotions is through this direct practice and intuitive muscle building in my experience.
Do your best to recall the vivid details of these intense dreams, interpret their meanings, so you can then understand better if it’s representative of your fears or a message. Or, you can go to a trusted dream interpreter (I am one if need be!)
**This is a general rule, as there are always different factors and unique brain functions for each individual to take into consideration.