Prophetic Dreaming: A Users Manual
by Lori Lothian
I was 18 when I had my first prophetic dream. In the dream I was climbing a mountain with several strangers when a foreboding swept through me, a precognitive chill colder than the wall of snow and ice that loomed above us. Something bad was about to happen. Suddenly, the ground rumbled like a freight train as a cascade of snow hurtled down the cliffside, instantly burying my companions in a white grave. I woke up in the night, trembling and dazed in a Toronto apartment, my boyfriend asleep beside me. Later the next day, I turned on the radio while making lunch and listened astounded to the news that an avalanche had killed several climbers earlier that day in the Alps. I never did finish that lunch.
Almost everyone can conjure a similar story of the dream that came true, whether it was the happy dream of meeting a new friend or getting a job, or the more ominous vision of death or disaster. And almost everyone who has experienced the latter type of dream revels in the telling of the tale, while living in fear of any such reoccurrence. Once is enough and good for a campfire story but who wants to dream of the future, especially if it is a terrifying one?
Tuning In or Out
As every clairvoyant has learned the hard way, as human beings we all possess an antenna that we can choose to use, or to shut down. Think of your inborn psychic faculty as a big satellite dish capable of receiving hundreds of channels. It is up to you to program that internal satellite dish to pick up the kind of information you need and want, and to tune out the rest.
Taking a psychic development class, or meditating, or experimenting with oracular devices such as the Tarot, often activate our dormant psychic ability, manifesting most readily in the ability to dream prophetically. While all of our dreams, all of our life, hold some future content, the meaning is often coded in symbol and not immediately apparent to the dreamer. But when we begin to open up psychically, the dream content becomes much more literal, with dream scenes identical to forthcoming events. It is this type of dream that we can begin to use to our benefit and the benefit of others.
In developing this skill--especially as children--we are often vulnerably wide open, receiving only the strongest signals. These signals are invariably emotionally charged events that involve death , injury, illness or disaster.
Audrey, a spiritual counselor and intuitive relates one of her earliest psychic experiences involved a dream of her uncle flying through the air holding on to a steering wheel. Only four at the time, she nonetheless immediately told her family the dream. Hours later news returned that the same uncle had been involved in a car accident, and indeed had been ejected from the car clutching the detached steering wheel. Fortunately, he survived the incident.
Dealing with a Death Notice
Dreams foretelling the death of loved ones are perhaps the most common of all, and if we are honest with ourselves, they can also be the most healing. One of the best explanations of why we dream these dreams comes from author Rosemary Ellen Guiley, in her comprehensive book, Dreamwork for the Soul.
Writes Guiley: "Most cases of reported precognition in dreams...involve traumatic events, especially to people known to the dreamer. We are linked by cords of psychic energy that extend out from the heart. These cords are strongest to the people, animals, and places to which we fell the closet. In the unbounded dreamscape, information can travel more freely along these lines. The intensity and shock of trauma or dying sends stronger waves of energy along the lines, which are more likely to penetrate into the dreamscape and thus into waking consciousness."
While occasionally such dreams are a warning intended to alter a potential future, more often they allow the dreamer and others time to prepare emotionally, to say goodbye and even to pre-grieve.
When my good friend Alexander died of AIDS, I was well-prepared. Robustly healthy for more than a decade after his HIV positive diagnosis, in many ways his impending death seemed to me as remote as my own. A New Yorker, Alexander transplanted himself to Sedona, Arizona shortly after I moved from Manhattan to Washington DC. After living down the street from each other, we now occupied different states and began to drift apart. One day, four years later, I awoke with tears from this dream:
Alexander approaches me, appearing emaciated yet strangely radiant. We catch up on each others news, and he tells me he is dying. We hug goodbye.
Immediately I knew I had to contact my friend. I'd heard he'd moved back to New York City, but I no longer had his address or number. After several calls to former mutual friends, I managed to find his address and write him about the dream. A week later the phone rang. It was Alexander, and his first words were: "I'm alone, I'm lonely and I'm dying." Needless to say, we embarked on a marathon phone call of forgiveness and healing (he'd thought I'd rejected his friendship as we fell out of touch). Three days after the phone call, while travelling in Canada, I dreamed that Alexander had died. When I returned from my trip, his sister's message on my answering machine confirmed he had indeed died the night of my second dream.
In this case, the first dream served as a warning intended not to avert an inevitable outcome, but to create an opportunity for closure for both the dreamer and the subject of the dream. The second dream simply prepared me for the sad news upon my return from Canada.
Making Friends with Your Dream Oracle
Understanding that precognitive dreams can be a valuable ally rather than a dreaded foe is the first step in opening yourself to receive the blessings and responsibility of this gift. In order to do this, it helps to actively engage your capacity for psychic dreaming by using a technique called dream incubation.
Used historically by the Egyptians, Greeks and Hebrews, and involving temples, Gods and elaborate rituals, Western dream incubation can be reduced to the simple act of asking a question before bed and expecting an answer by morning. By writing the question down in a dream journal or placing the question on a dream altar, we give our intention form and increase the likelihood of getting an answer.
But the true key to success is that the question must be one to which you are truly willing and ready to hear the answer. It need not be about the future at all, of course, but about insight into a current situation or relationship, or even answers to unresolved issues from the past. When we tap our dreams to look into the future, however, we are taking a leap into trust-- that the information we receive through our dream oracle will be for our best to know. Simply affirming this before going to sleep will often allow fear to recede and the answers to appear. I suggest allowing a week of dreams to occur before concluding that perhaps your inner oracle is not willing to provide an answer. Also, realize that while dreams are symbolic, in dream incubation you can insist on literal answers that will be obvious to you immediately as a clear answer.
The Golden Rule of Dream Work
Before embarking on the adventure of engaging your Dream Oracle, there is one rule that must be heeded: even when attempting to incubate a question for others, ninety-nine percent of the time, the dream is for the dreamer. As simple and obvious as that sounds, too many dreamers assume their dreams of friends or family are urgent messages for those people, rather than messages coded in symbol and intended for self. While eventually you will learn to distinguish a true precognitive dream involving another person, in the beginning the tendency is to mistake typical dream content as information you need to pass on in real life, to those in the dream.
For example, a friend once dreamed that my son fell into a hole in an airplane wing and hurtled to the ground, losing an arm in the accident. Her approach to this dream was to relate it along with the warning that I should be careful and watch out for my child, who was eight at the time.
Needless to say, as a parent I was at a loss as to how to use this information, especially since the dream offered no clues as to a when or where this serious accident might take place. After all, it was highly unlikely that my child would be doing a stunt on the wing of an airborne commercial jetliner. True dream warnings tend to be much more literal.
I suggested to my friend that she examine the symbolic content of the dream. First, it came on the heels of previous airplane dreams that seemed to be about her work situation. Second, my son she had long considered a reckless daredevil who did not think before he acted, ironically a part of her nature that often surfaced when it came to dealing with such things as finances. I saw a parallel between the hole in her dream, and the money phrases "going in the hole," and "it cost an arm and a leg" and speculated it may be a warning for her about a potentially dangerous debt situation. On top of it all, the hole in the plane's wing was square, and she possessed in her birth chart a configuration known as a grand square which was quite active at the time. Finally, in the dream she was watching my son from inside the plane and trying desperately to warn him of danger. I suggested it was not my son she was to warn, but perhaps a reckless part of herself.
Less than a year later, she found herself in a precipitous debt situation in which her home had been repossessed by the bank and was up for public auction because she had recklessly neglected to pay the mortgage for months. As in the dream, the child survived the fall, but it cost an arm--a second mortgage she was forced to take out on the house in order to pay off the first lender. This case clearly demonstrates the value of heeding the golden rule that a dream is most often a message for the dreamer, and only rarely, a message for another.
Dreaming for the Tribe
A last note on dreaming the future: what do we do with dreams we may have that are not of our personal destinies, but of the collective? How do we deal with the rare dream information that has little personal significance, yet not enough detail to allow the dreamer to do more than wait and see?
For instance, I have dreamed of stock market crashes, earthquakes and plane crashes shortly before they've become news, yet never with enough information to be useful as a warning. The plane that crashed in the dream, for example, was headed for an apartment building and flying over water, but until the actual news event a week later in which a cargo plane struck a building in Amsterdam there was little I could do with the dream but wait. Afterward, the dream was relegated to an interesting story, nothing more.
These sort of dreams I find the most challenging, for they offer the dreamer a glimpse of a trajectory that affects the human tribe, yet offer little in the way of power to make a change. Psychic Bobby Drinnon, author of Petitioning Reality with Faith, has tackled this very issue with a series of recurring dreams in which in apocalyptic biblical fashion he is taken to the dessert and shown six visions of humanities future, from world war three to technological advances to climate changes. Some of the changes he writes about in 1988 have already come to pass.
It is important to distinguish these types of prophetic dreams from typical dream fare. Like out of body travel, spirit visitation and guide dreams, there is often a heightened sense of reality and vividness, conversation takes place and is recalled, and upon waking, the dream imprints itself in a way that it becomes impossible to forget.
But why do we dream these dreams? Perhaps their purpose is to give us a glimpse of where we are going as a species, so that we may re-orient our collective destinies should the road we are on be a road to destruction. Or perhaps their occurrence is no more profound than the dreamer dipping his cup deeper into the well of prophecy than most dreamers choose to? Whatever the case, this kind dreaming may offer a roadmap of the future that allows us as a species to chart our course wisely and, as individuals, to realize we are all players with a role in the larger drama of spirit learning through matter.
Copyright 1999 Lori Lothian . All rights reserved. Lori Lothian is a professional clairvoyant with clients across the US and Canada. She is currently at work on her Tarot book Archetypes In Action with artist Lauren Raine. To view the tarot art go to: Tarot Series - The Rainwalker Gallery
For information about workshops, speaking engagements, or private consultations, email Lori at Tarology@aol.com .
Lori's column Tarology is published regularly in our Looking Deeper Magazine.