As I mentioned in last week's post, I'm doing some one-on-one work with Mary Shutan and it's been a really great experience. (I'll be sharing some of what I've learned soon!) I first came to Mary for help in figuring out a series of reoccurring dreams I've been having-- even the dream expert needs help sometimes-- and one of the first things we went over were the various different kinds of dreams there are. I realized I have kind of taken for granted the knowledge that there are different types of dreams, each with it's own reason, and thought I'd go over these dream categories for you so you have the reference for your own knowledge about dreams.
Dreams really fall on a spectrum rather than have set, black and white, categories. However, there are 8 major dream themes, as I see it, and any one dream could overlap into several or all of these categories. However, you may find these categorizations useful:
1. Stress Relief/ Day-In-Review Dreams
These dreams relive the day and fulfill stress relief fantasies such as saying what you really wanted to say to the jerk on the corner or having the right answer at the right time during a stressful meeting at work.
2. Mundane Day-In-The-Life/Precognitive Dreams
In your dream, you wake up and get ready for work, get in the car and start driving. Soon you're in a traffic jam and can feel stress and regret mounting as you should have taken Exit Such-and-Such like you almost did but instead you ignored the feeling and ended up here. You wake yourself up.
Unlike the Day-In-Review dreams listed above, this dream is highly likely a precognitive dream warning you of this very situation. It's underscoring the feeling of exiting early and taking a different route to work. The trick is to remember the dream and act on it when the situation presents itself in your waking life. If you're wondering if your "mundane" dream is a precognitive dream, just ask yourself upon waking if this situation could play out in real life. If the answer is yes, well-- take the early Exit.
3. Past Life Dreams
I once dreamt that I was watching something like a marriage ceremony in an ancient Mayan community. A young girl was being wedded to a much older man and I looked down at my twin girls in my arms and felt a profound sadness for the young bride and for my own two girls should they have the same fate. I also took note of my unusual rough dress with odd blue designs woven along the hem. Then I woke up.
Because this dream was brief and actually highly detailed I believe it was a past life dream. These dreams may feel like memory or have a feeling of remembering. They are also often mundane save for the fact that you are in a different time period and dressed differently. You may or may not be aware of this time hop. I have no idea if the ancient Mayans had wedding ceremonies, but something of the sort was happening-- binding this young girl (12 years old at most) to this much older man (50+) and I felt sad for the end of her childhood.
4. Initiation/Teaching Dreams
Like the Tarot Workshop dream I recount in Oracle, there are dreams that are obviously teaching you something you need to know and/or initiating you into a new area of knowledge. You'll know these dreams when you have them!
5. Astral Travel Dreams
These dreams take you to other dimensions for exploration or learning and are also very obvious to categorize when you wake. See my post on Dream Stories: Rocketing (and Panicking) Through The Cosmos With Two Orbs of Light
6. Reunion with Deceased Loved Ones Dreams
You've sat at you're grandfather's feet all evening listening to his wisdom even though you don't remember any of it upon waking. You were in a nondescript white room catching up with your deceased cousin and you woke up with a message for his mother. You bet your bottom dollar you had a true encounter with these loved ones on the other side.
7. Healing Dreams
You've dreamt about a person you don't get along with and the dream showed you a different way of looking at them-- your heart has softened and the conflict can ease. You've dreamt about an herb to take to soothe your rough cough. You've dreamt about a body part where you've experienced trauma and that body part has talked to you, explained things to you, and these new realizations can help you let go of the wounded energy and being to heal.
Freaking love these dreams.
Nightmares are usually scary so that 1) you'll pay attention and 2) you won't forget. Nightmares are rarely scary for the sake of scaring you. If you have a nightmare, ask yourself what it could be trying to tell you or work up the gumption to face the monster (either lucidly in the dream or be reentering the dream) and ask it just what it's there for. I'll be teaching you how to work with nightmares more in-depth soon.
How about you? Any categories to add?