Sunday, February 19, 2012

Dreaming of the Dead: Messages from Beyond

Have you ever had a dream about someone who is no longer in this world? A relative, a friend, someone famous?

A couple of weeks after my dad passed away I had an interesting dream right before I woke up in the morning. I dreamt that I was looking at a computer screen. My dad's full name was printed in the middle of the screen and flashing.That was it. But when I woke up, I knew that I had to check my computer. When I checked my inbox I was excited but not surprised to see that I had a new message from dad! With a little bit of trepidation, I clicked on it. What would it say? Well, it turned out to be a form letter, which was still being sent out to all his life insurance clients, of which I was one. But still, spooky?

I figure this experience could have one of three explanations. First, it was a coincidence that I dreamt about a message from my dad the same morning that I got the form letter on the computer. Second, I could somehow sense that the message would be on the computer, the same way you are thinking about a person and then that person calls. Or third, my dad sent me a message from beyond.

I prefer to think it was the third option and here's why. Before my dad died, he was very sick for a few months during which time we had lots of conversations about life after death. We agreed that if he was somehow able to communicate something to me after he passed on he would. I felt like it was a simple but clear message from him that he had arrived (somewhere)and he was just letting me know. (Like you'd text someone when you arrived at your destination to let them know you're alright.)

Since then, I have had one other "message giving" dream. In it, I saw an image of a Manulife duffel bag (the company he worked for). On the bag was a handwritten message: I love you.
Now, it could be that I was just thinking about my dad and conjuring up words of comfort that I wanted to hear, but I think the Manulife duffel bag was a carefully chosen symbol (by my dad) so I could clearly identify who he was.

Apparently, it's not unusual for deceased family members or friends to visit us in our dreams. Some believe that this is direct communication with the dead. Others believe that the dream images are created by us to allow ourselves to resolve feelings that we have about those people or their death.(I would place my second dream about my dad into this category.) Additionally, as in all dream images, things are not always what they seem, and these people could actually represent an aspect of ourselves.

Anyways, I can't discount the experience I had with the dream and the computer. It left me with a feeling of confidence that there is some kind of "life after death". I also feel a great sense of gratitude to my dad for reaching out to me.

I'd be interested in hearing if anyone else has had a similar dream experience. Please comment below.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Driving a Car, Road Conditions, Near Death Experience

In my dream I was driving my car by myself. I was headed up a mountain but there was a traffic jam. The people in the car in front of me rolled down their windows. The car was filled with women I had been acquainted with in my past. They warned me that the road was icy. I didn't know that. But when I tried to turn my car around I spun in circles on the road. I couldn't get control and I thought for sure I was going to go over the edge of the road and into the water below. I was prepared to die. I felt like a part of my soul left my body and then I felt calm and accepting of whatever happened to me. I noticed that I was again driving straight down the road but the other cars were coming towards me.I was concerned that I was in the wrong lane but then the other cars started to drive the same way as me and I felt good about that, relieved.

According to various dream dictionaries, a car represents our own personal space and the one who is driving it symbolizes who has control in our life. (I have dreamed before of driving with my spouse or my mom at the wheel).

A road represents the conditions of our journey. That in my dream the road was icy means that I am facing difficult conditions. Obviously, I felt unable to control these conditions in my dream (and in my real life situation).In other dreams, I have experienced an uphill road, a winding path, the road conditions mirror the challenges we are having in our waking life.

I have experienced the sensations of my "near death experience" in dreams before as well as real life. It is a strange feeling of a part of my body (my soul I guess) coming out and then a feeling of peace and calm. I think it is surrendering to the circumstance. (Like being unable to control a car in real life as well as in the dream).I don't see it as a prophesy for death in any way.

In my dream I end up "going against the flow" of traffic. This very much mirrors my real life where I feel I have to make a decision or follow a path that may be unpopular with most people. It is interesting to me that the traffic then changed to go my way. This makes me feel hopeful that people will come around to my point of view and everything will work out okay.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dark Hooded Figure

(photo taken by keoni cabral,

About a year ago, I had the most disturbing dream. I dreamt that I woke up in bed because I heard footsteps going up and down the stairs. In my dream I woke up my spouse to go and check out what was going on, I thought it might be a burglar. He did and then shortly came back, got back into bed and said he couldn't find anything but there was a dark shadow on the stairs. He promptly fell back to sleep (of course!) Then I sat up in bed and saw a dark hooded figure standing at the corner of the wall by the door. The cloak reached the ground and I couldn't see a face. What totally freaked me out was that it was only around four feet tall. I expected the grim reaper to be taller.

I was so scared I couldn't speak. I felt like the wind had been knocked out of me. I could feel the strain of trying to find my voice. It finally came out in a hoarse whisper. "Who are you?" I asked. No response. The figure still stood there silently regarding me. I was angry that it didn't answer so I tried the same question again. This time I added "What do you want?" Still the figure didn't move or answer but continued to watch me. This really scared me and I willed myself to wake up. When I did (in real life) the figure was gone but I was totally scared and disturbed. It took awhile for me to go back to sleep.

Of course the next day I looked up the image of a dark, hooded figure. It was difficult to find any definitions that matched my image. Most referred to it as "the grim reaper", but it might have been something else. I read a passage from Jung that really resonated with me. He talked about "the unseen,creative dwarf gods,hooded and cloaked manikans who...appear as little figures about a foot high,where, as kinsmen of the unconscious, they protect navigation, ie the venture into darkness and uncertainty" (from The Collected Works of Carl Jung, Vol 4, 8, 12 and 16).So that could be a possibility, that I was just conjuring up in my mind a symbol from the collective unconscious representing a guardian to the unconscious world (a symbol I didn't consciously know existed).

To put the dream into context, my daughters had just gone away to camp for the week. The size of the figure would have been the same as my youngest daughter (around four feet). I often wake up to her footsteps as she leaves her bedroom to go to the bathroom at night.So it's possible that I was missing her, feeling anxious about her safety but I didn't feel like the hooded figure was her or giving me a warning having to do with her.

But because of the fact that it was more of a lucid dream (I thought I was awake, I had woken up in my dream) I felt as though it was not coming from inside me.
The fact that I confronted the image and it did not yield or change like it would in most of my other dreams makes me think that it might have been an "otherworldly visitation" (I never had this kind of experience before.) Look up "dark hooded figure" on Google and you'll find lots of stories about shadows who appear to people both in real life and in their dreams. Some say these "shadow people" are visitors from another dimension just coming to observe us. Whatever it was, I felt like it was there to intimidate me. Obviously the dream still bothers me. If I do have that dream/experience again, I will definitely try again to confront the image.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fish, Nets and the Number Three

Last night I dreamed of an image I haven't seen in my dreams before - a fish! It was a salmon actually. I was skimming down the river (the Ladner slough for those that are local), in a boat. There were clumps of salmon, in groups of three, scattered on the surface, with nets beside them. All I had to do was scoop them up as we rode along. It was very fun. I woke up feeling good.

A fish image in dreams can represent awareness and knowledge, according to Pamela Ball in The Complete Dream Dictionary.

Salmon, specifically, is an important image to the westcoast First Nations. It symbolizes renewal and a link between survival and the development of culture.

Viewed within this perspective, the symbol of the nets in the dream could mean being provided with the opportunity to catch something that would provide me with both sustanance and further blessings.

A net is a symbol of something that can trap. The fact that the nets were just laying on top of the water tells me that these blessings are out there for me and I just need to reach out and scoop them up.

Finally, that the fish were grouped together in threes is an important symbol for me. Whenever that number comes up in my dreams I feel like it has great significance. It stands for three as in the Holy Trinity, or completition being body, mind and spirit.

This was an important and affirming dream for me as I feel like my life is at a crossroads and I am unsure of what the future holds for me. Because of the images and the good feeling I had from the dream, it makes me feel hopeful and that good things are waiting.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Green Monster and Ice Block

The first dream image that I can remember having was when I was eight. I dreamt that a green bigfoot-like monster was standing in front of me, at the edge of our driveway in our cul-de-sac. He was holding a huge block of ice that was slowly melting. It scared me to death!

I have always dreamed and been good at remembering my dreams, long before I had ever heard of "lucid dreaming" or dream "journalling". As well, I have also always had a talent for being able to interpret both dreams of my own,as well as those of other people. I think that if I were living in another time, I might have a place in a beautiful Grecian temple where people could come to me with their dreams; but in this day and age, I am reduced (or privileged!) to having a blog.I'll try to make it as beautiful as I can!

Over the years, I have added to my knowledge of dream symbols by reading books about the psychology of dreams, dream symbols and religious symbols and views on dreams. I especially like the authors Pamela Ball, Carl Jung, Robert Moss and Celtic Symbols.

While I believe that some dream symbols are universal and have intrinsic meaning (such as a circle, dreaming of a house, a skull) I do feel that dreams need to be interpreted personally. You and I might have a similar dream but based on our individual circumstances it would mean something different to each of us.

The image of a monster in dreams represents our fears or our negative emotions. This is a common childhood dream image. The colour of the monster was green which represents nature but could also represent envy or jealousy.

Ice, in dreams, can be seen as something dangerous or just hard and cold. A melting ice block makes me think of cold emotions that are, or need to thaw or change.

I can't remember what was going on in my life at the time, but now as I try to interpret the dream, I think I was being confronted, subconsciously, by strong negative emotions I might have been having.