Have you ever had a prophetic dream? If you record your dreams, then you probably have. Most often, they occur as "inconsequential" prophecies, or details of little import that bleed through the dream world into wake-world occurrences. Inconsequential prophecy (and commonplace clairvoyance) dreams happen for just about anyone who pays attention.
This morning, I had a dream in which I was turning my soaking wet purse inside-out to dry. Sure enough, when I arrived at work today, I found myself in this exact situation.
A couple weeks ago, I had a dream in which I was rooting for the decades-old rock band, Rush. I was telling a group of people how much they deserved to be in the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame, and how glad I was that they were finally being recognized. The very next day at the doctor's office, I opened Rolling Stone magazine to an article that said, "Rush Enters Hall of Fame." I couldn't believe it, except that I could. This happens all the time: BAM. Commonplace clairvoyance.
Have you heard of the crossword puzzle experiment to explore the notion of "collective consciousness"? In the movie Waking Life, a visionary exposition on lucid dreaming, two characters describe the idea behind the experiment: If the crossword puzzles were a day old, meaning that thousands of people had already completed them, then people found it easier to get the answers because the answers were already "out there" in the collective memory.
Thousands of screaming Rush fans at the inauguration, lots of press and hullabaloo: Seems likely that my cosmic radar could easily pick up on this, especially since--and here's an embarrassing admission--as a teenager in 1998, I used to wait in the long line at the University of Florida's library to use a computer just so I could solicit the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame bulletin board to plead for Rush's induction.
(I have since learned that there are more pressing issues to which I can lend my efforts.)
But what about prophetic dreams? Dreams that occur before a phenomena has occurred among the meat-suit participants of waking life? The best way I can explain this is to say that time is all oogly-boogly.
Waking life and dreaming life are really part of the same team, constantly informing each other. The two worlds are actually one. When we learn to read the symbols of our dreams, we simply find that they hold a million premonitions. They just do. If you're interested in learning about this for yourself, I recommend keeping a dream journal.
Write down everything that you remember about your dreams. Don't worry about any of the meanings of the dream symbols or events. Just listen and record, and keep those records accessible. I write my dreams down in a notebook, and then type them up into my computer so I can search by keyword later.
Then let life unfold! You will begin to notice that certain symbols predictably yield similar events. You will start to learn the language of dreaming, both personal and transpersonal. Here are two examples from my own life:
Foxes. Foxes are wonderful animals. So beautiful. We have the red and the gray variety here in the Bay Area. But when I dream about foxes, I know I can expect a spot of trouble. There is nothing inherently negative about the animal, yet when they appear in dreams, they often foretell distress of some kind or other. I originally believed this was my own personal portent, but then I learned from two prominent dream teachers that foxes are actually a cross-cultural symbol for impending complication.
During the most difficult of times in my life, such as when my daughter had a stroke after her birth, a pair of foxes, a mom and a baby, literally walked into my midwife's home on two separate occasions in the weeks leading up to the birth. This occurred in waking life! The symbols can appear in either realm. (It's the same realm.)
And then there are weddings. I used to dream about weddings, beautiful dreams in which the bride, usually a family member, looked so lovely as she entered her marriage ceremony, surrounded by family and friends. Then, in waking life, the bride would pass away. So, I learned that weddings foretold profound transformation or "marrying" a strong fate. Sometimes this can be a literal death, sometimes not.
This made me very anxious about wedding dreams. I started having dreams with myself as the bride. This is an example of anxiety skewing a dream symbol. I had aversion to it, so my aversion created more wedding dreams.
Plenty of more positive-seeming foretellings can occur as well. Flying can mean freedom (or it can also mean you have gas). Ripe fruit signifies abundance and luxury. We can meet with teachers and guides whose positive impact on us requires no interpretation. Usually we don't need someone to explain to us if a dream is good. It just feels good.
But sometimes good dreams occur in a "crooked" form, or opposite of what you think the dream might mean. For example, seeing feces in a dream often heralds a time of great wealth. Seeing a coffin portends good health. Copious weeping can mean profound healing and resolution. No meaning is set in stone. The images are flexible, and can evolve over time. The feeling of the dreamer informs the auspice. Some dreams are not symbolic at all, but offer direct glimpses into things to come.
Often, prophetic dream hold a message for or about a larger community. Dream sharing with our friends can help us discern these larger messages, and recalibrate accordingly. Integrating our dreams (which is a good 30% of our lives) keeps us healthy as individuals and as communities. For example, if a tribe wanted to avoid a traumatic event that they had seen in a dream, such as a raid, they could enact the dream (in a dramatic, but non-lethal way) so the dream's reality and vitality would be "spent" and the disaster could be averted. We can get creative, too, to make adjustments in order to buffer unwanted outcomes, or simply prepare for things to come.
My point is this: All the information we ever wanted know about our dreams presents itself to us every day and night. All we have to do is pay attention.