Your dream journal: A key to active dreaming
Updated: Apr 1, 2022
One of the keys to our dreams is your dream journal. I use the word “key” as it can turn the lock allowing us access to our dream lives.
I keep a blank journal beside my bed with a pen or pencil. After I wake up, remembering a dream, I find that the best policy to make a few brief notes about the dream. It’s too easy to think that I will remember the dream later in the morning but too often I forget. So, when at all possible, sit on the side of my bed, feet in slippers, night light on, scratching down a few keywords and phrases.
This dream journal can be a large, technical drawing pad – this is nice I can make sketches and take all the space I need on the page. Or it might be a journal with an ornate cover. When I’m travelling, it tends to be a smaller Moleskine type journal with a plain black cover that I can easily slip into my hand luggage.
Then later, I put the contents of the dream into a Google document. I keep it online, so I can search on keywords and dates.
This is an invaluable resource – many of the scenarios that we live in our daily lives, have been rehearsed in advance in dreams. For example, recently I decided to check a dream journal entry for April 2014. I had completely forgotten about the dream, but I had dreamt about the place I am living right now since late 2020. It had a garden around it with a lot of garden creatures and birds. I wondered in the dream if this was where I wanted to live eventually. I reviewed several possible future options and then concluded that I would take this house with a lovely garden.
I keep an online document covering a two month period, such as May – June 2020. Each dream has a date assigned to it. I also assign a title, and an intuitive assessment of the strength of the dream – which I indicate by a series of stars from 1 to 5. I realize that that is somewhat misleading because small dream fragments can be just as significant as longer highly charged emotional dreams. But nevertheless, it helps me to focus on the immediate energetic impact of the dream on me, and helps my assimilation of the dream. I also write any quick associations with my dream – do I associated with a place or person that I immediately recognize? I also jot down predominant colors, keywords themes, and emotions.
You can use a recording device – I used my iPhone for a while and then transferred it into a file for transcription using my Dragon dictation software. If I have a lot to record, I use my Dragon dictation software into a Scrivener document and then copy it into the Google document. It’s worth it because often dreams can give an indication of things that are underway in the waking world, of which we are unaware. Or give us solutions to problems that stump us in waking life.
My dream teacher, Robert Moss, advocates using our dream journals for bibliomancy: by this I mean you intend to get the answer to a question, and then open a book at random for an insight into the answer. This can be done with one’s own dream journal or any other bo
ok – a method leading to many insights.
My dreams and journey work tend to flow together. Sometimes my creative dreaming can merge with my writing. The longer we can keep our dream journals, the more valuable a resource they end up being. For example if you have a dream where a certain element becomes significant, let’s say a horse – then you can search on the word horse through all the dream entries. Eventually you can develop your own dream dictionary – with your personal associations and meanings for different dream elements. This is far more useful than any commercial dream diary that you may buy.
Maybe you could start your own dream journal or make a dream dictionary. Some artist friends of mine like to illustrate their dreams in lovely drawings and paintings for a multimedia experience.