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Your Unfolding Path
April 2000

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Carol's Current Column

by Carol Adrienne, Ph.D.

Carol Adrienne's work and teachings have been a great inspiration to me!  In August of 1998, about four months after my father passed away, I read about one of Carol's workshops in a Learning Annex catalog and synchronistically found her book on a bookshelf at the bookstore.  The themes of her teachings were familiar and comforting, as they confirmed the thoughts and ideas my father had shared with me shortly before his passing.  Her books and workshops ignited my spiritual curiosity, setting me on my soulful life path, which led to the very creation of SoulfulLiving.com!  Carol's participation has been an integral part of SoulfulLiving.com, at its soul level!  Thank you, Carol, with all my heart!
~Valerie, Founder and Soul, SoulfulLiving.com

"Dreamwork for the Soul"

It seems that you and I get a lot of work done during our sleep time! We have a gold mine of information in our dream life that could help us in our waking life, says my good friend, Rosemary Ellen Guiley, author of over twenty books on spiritual and occult subjects. I first met Rosemary at an IIIHS conference in Montreal four years ago. She came out to California recently for some radio appearances promoting her books, Encyclopedia of Dreams: Symbols and Interpretations and Dreamwork for the Soul and stayed with me. I really enjoyed being able to spend some time with her, and decided to interview her for the column in order to share her expertise with all of you.

CA: Youíve written books on angels, intuition, prayer, mysticism, and paranormal phenomena, and now dreams. Why dreams?

REG: "Dreams have been of great importance to me for most of my life. There was a lot of psychic ability in my family, and my mother had many precognitive dreams. Even as a teenager dreams fascinated me, and I started studying and experimenting with my own dreams. For example, I was able to send telepathic messages to people in dreams, and I discovered that I was also travelling out-of-body in dreams.

CA: How do you know if you are travelling out of body in a dream?

REG: "If you are lucid in a dream--that is, if you know you are dreaming while you are dreaming-- you sense that you are traveling and visiting distant locations. Sometimes you are actually able to verify the location later when youíre awake. For example, in one dream I visited my parentsí home 300 miles away. I dreamed that I was walking through the house, and I noticed things that werenít normally in the house. One of the items was a cake sitting on the kitchen table. The next day, I called my mother and she verified the items I had seen. She had baked a cake that dayónot something she normally didóand had put it on the kitchen table.

CA: Are our dreams trying to tell us something we need to know?

REG: "Absolutely. The more I study dreams, the more I realize how important they have been to human affairs, including affairs of state, since ancient times. Dreams have always been regarded as a direct link to the gods, and have been used to receive divine guidance as well as healing. The Greeks perfected the art of healing in dreams. They had sacred dream temples, and people would make a pilgrimage to the temple. There they would undergo a ritual of purification, and then ask specific questions that they wanted the dream to answer.

"We can do this today. Itís called incubating a dream. That simply means that you instruct yourself to receive specific information from your dreams. You can also ask the dream to give you a healing.

"Itís a simple process. Before you go to sleep, ask a question, such as ĎShould I do such-and-such?í Itís better to ask a yes or no question rather than an open-ended question such as, ĎWhat should I do?í Thatís because dreams speak in symbols, and if you ask an open-ended question you may not understand the answer clearly. If itís yes or no, itís easier to interpret.

"One time I asked about a whether I should do a certain project. That night I received a dream that indicated I should.

CA: Can you interpret your dream symbols by looking up the symbol in a dream-interpretation book?

REG: "The dreaming mind answers according to your own individual circumstances, perceptions, and things that you, yourself, will understand. Someone else would have completely different triggers or meaningful symbols. In my book, the Encyclopedia of Dreams, I suggest possible meanings for symbols, but they always must be related to context. Dream dictionaries are useful, but they are useful for validating your own intuition. Even though, ultimately, you have to see what interpretation feels right to you, it is useful to hear the ideas of other people concerning the meanings of dreams. By working with your dreams over time, youíll probably see recurring images or symbols and begin to see how they are related to a situation or condition in your waking life. You learn to feel the validity of the message you are taking away from the dream.

"I think it is important to pay attention to dreams, because they provide us with our purest guidance from our higher self or intuition. On the surface, they may seem not to make sense, but once you understand the symbolic communication of dreams, they reveal a richness of feelings, information, and wisdom that is always in our best interest.

CA: Why do we have nightmares?

REG: "Some nightmares are part of pathological disorders such as post-traumatic stress syndrome. However, most of us have occasional nightmares that are any dreams that make us feel uneasy or frightened. The purpose of a nightmare is to call attention to something that needs to be addressed in our life. The nightmare gets our attention in a dramatic way! Quite often it relates to something we have ignored or repressed, and so the dream is literally shaking us awake. For example, we might be in a relationship that needs to change, but we are in denial or resisting making any changes. A bad dream might come to show us that we donít like our job, and to help us get in touch with our fear about moving on. The nightmare shows us where we need to bring balance back into our lives.

"A frequent nightmare for many people is being chased by a monster or threatening figure, which often represents the situation they are ignoring. A question to ask yourself after a bad dream is, ĎWhat is bothering me that I am avoiding dealing with?í Or, ĎWhat is bothering me that I feel Iím powerless to change?í The dream reminds us that we do have power to change circumstances in our life.

"I think itís also important to remember that you donít have to take drastic actions when you realize that something needs to change. Frequently I hear from people who are unhappy in their jobs. Often they feel that itís too threatening to leave the job if they donít know what else is out there yet. But changing their jobs may not be the best answer, anyway. I believe that the job situation is the area which is providing the biggest opportunity for their personal growth at the time. Therefore, the most profitable change may come from making an internal change in their attitude towards themselves, their co-workers, and their perspective rather than simply leaving and probably recreating the problem all over again in another context. Itís important to look for ways to change that we can, that we are ready to do, and that are not more drastic than need be.

"Usually new perceptions of ourselves and our choices empower us to take action. For example, a woman I know was married to a verbally abusive man. For that and other reasons, their sex life was nonexistent. She had frequent nightmares in which she was always discovering her husband with another woman. The other woman, in this case, represented her own repressed sexual feelings and identity. After several years of personal turmoil, she ended the marriage, and the repetitive dreams ended.

CA: Why do dreams recur?

"When a dream repeats it is a clear signal there is an imbalance that must be addressed. If we do not take action, God or the universe will take action for us. If you have a repeating dream, something in your life needs to change.

Another recurring dream is loose teeth and teeth falling out. Our teeth are symbols of our personal power, so these dreams often relate to control and power issues. For example, a man who came to a class of mine worked for a large corporation. He was unhappy there because he felt he had very little control in his work. There were so many layers of management involved in everything he did, he felt powerless to make a difference. Several times he dreamed that his teeth were loose and about to fall out, and these dreams carried a lot of distressing emotion. While he could have transferred out of the situation, with some help from a therapist, he realized that what he really needed to do was be more willing to stand up for himself in the position he already had. As soon as he was able to see the situation from this point of view, and take more direct action, the dreams ended.

CA: What do you suggest we do to make the most of our dreams?

  • The most important thing is to make a commitment to listen to your dreams.
  • Ask for answers before going to sleep.
  • Write your dreams down first thing in the morning.
  • Since everything in a dream is a symbol of something going on in your life, ask yourself, What situation in my life is like this dream?.
  • Donít take the images literally, but make associations as to what they represent. For example, if you are being chased by a runaway car, what in your life feels out of control? What are you trying to dodge? What would you like to run away from?
  • To free associate to a symbol, write down everything that comes to mind while thinking about the symbol. Just let ideas and associations flow until you get a sense of understanding the theme or message. Remember, the answers may take time to surface. Insights may come spontaneously at another time.
  • Dream work is an intuitive process, so what you feel is right is right.
  • Consult a good dream dictionary to get other ideas for what specific symbols can mean in dreams.
  • Most importantly, take some sort of action such as changing your attitude or making self-improvement plans. Without action, the process of dreaming is not complete.

For speaking and workshop information, visit Rosemaryís website at www.visionaryliving.com.

Call for Dreams

If you would like to schedule a dream consultation with Rosemary Ellen Guiley, please contact her at rosemary@visionaryliving.com.


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March 2000

February 2000

January 2000


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