Hello my fellow witches, pagans, shamans and the like.
Today I will be going over Dream Magic and common ways it is used. I will not be going over dream interpretation as that is a much larger umbrella and conversation, instead today I want to dive a bit deeper into how dreams can be used in magic and the various forms they take. Dream Magic can be very powerful and has been used for as long as magic has been around. Appearing in everything from modern day magical texts, and going back through the ages to appear in the Three Occult Books of Philosophy by Agrippa in the 16th century, The Sworn Book of Honorius from the 13th century, and even appearing multiple times in The Greek Magical Papyri which was written between the 2nd century BC through the 5th century AD, dream magic has long been used by man as a way to bring affect change in the world. From spells that use dreams for prophecy, to influence the dreams of others, to even contacting the spirit world, Dream Magic is as versatile as your dreams are.
Connecting with Spirits, Deities, and Spiritual Guardians
Dreams are a wonderful way to connect with spirits, guardians, and even deities. When we sleep it is thought that our mind wanders, that the soul travels and that the lines between our world and others grows dimmer. Due to this, many people use dreams as a way to contact the spirits of those that have passed on, or even deities. I personally have used it to work with my two guardian and guiding spirits, The Lady Who Watches and The Lady In The Garden. One watches out for me and the other helps tell me things I need to know. Sometimes when working with spirits and deities, it is difficult for the conscious mind to make the connection due to our own self doubts, distractions, and the overall confusion that can come when trying to work with other planes of existence. When you are asleep, a lot of that falls away, making it easier for you to contact and work with the entity, especially for beginners.
On Sending Dreams to Others
For as long as man has existed we have always tried to send dreams to others. This can range from sending the one you love dreams of you in an attempt to woo them to you, to sending nightmares to our enemies so they do not have a good nights sleep. Sending dreams to others can have many reasons, but the underlying thought is always to get someone to react a certain way. While not a compulsion spell as you are not forcing an action, it is still considered a left hand path action as you are attempting to sway the emotions of another. For example, sending bad dreams to an enemy will get them to not sleep, causing them to make mistakes and perhaps lead them to do something that will blow up in their face. While love spells might give the person good dreams, you are still doing it in an attempt to change the perception of the dreamer. Either way, sending dreams to others can have quite a profound effect on a person and the decisions they make (due to this it is not normally practiced by those that follow the threefold law or practice Wicca)
Dreams as an Effect of Spellwork
Dreams are interesting in regards to spell work. Sometimes after doing spellwork you will get a dream about the spell and how it is working. Othertimes, especially for older and more complex rituals, you are required to have a dream where you are visited by a specific person or entity before moving onto the next portion of the spell. In fact, one of the many spells in the Sworn Book of Honorius states that after performing the ritual, if you are not visited by the Archangel Rapahel in a dream within 3 days, it means your ritual was not accepted by God and will not come to fruition. This actually seems to be a fairly common practice among “Higher Magic” as most of the spells I have come across do require some form of verification, usually by a visit from an angel in a dream. Regardless of if it is a required part of the spell or a random happenstance afterwards, it is always advised to pay attention to your dreams for a few days after doing spell work or rituals as it can give you insight and knowledge. I personally leave a section of my Grimoire blank under my spells and rituals, this way I have room to document a dream if I have one, so this way I can pay attention to how the spell plays out.
Using Dreams for Divination
As long as Divination has been around (think since the dawn of time in one form or another) people have always used dreams as a way to see what is ahead. From dreaming of their future husband, the location of buried treasure, to dreams predicting disaster, dreams have been used as a way for us to reach out and seek knowledge. Indeed, there are as many spells out there for using dreams as a way to see what comes next as there are spell books in creation. The interesting thing about this is, unlike most tools of divination, it does not need to be conscious or controlled. Indeed, sometimes they come unbidden and for no reason. A perfect example is the mother of Eva Hart, a survivor of the Titanic disaster. Eva remembers that when she and her mother boarded the ship, her mother started having horrible nightmares of the ship sinking, to the point she started sleeping in the daytime and refused to sleep at night. When the Titanic hit the iceberg at 11:40pm on April 14th, 1912, Eva’s mother was awake and felt the jolt and was able to wake her husband who quickly inquired what had happened, then running back to collect his wife and child. Eva and her mother were some of the very few passengers who were able to make it to the lifeboats in time, and had it not been for her nightmares keeping her awake, they would never have made it off the doomed ship.
Lucid Dreaming and Dream Traveling
Lucid Dreaming is a form of dream work where the dreamer consciously is able to control the dream itself. This is an advanced practice that usually takes the dreamer quite a while to master. While not able to cause a change in the real world, Lucid Dreaming has been used in magic for centuries. Typically used as a way to attempt to enter the dreams of others, to consciously control the visions of the future, it has even been used as a way to travel between alternate realities and dimensions, such as the astral plane. While not inherently considered magic, Lucid Dreaming is the basis and form that many people use to attempt to consciously contact an entity that we cannot communicate with easily on this plane of existence, such as a spirit or deity. Some people keep their altars in their lucid dreams and some more advanced practitioners only do spell work in a dream world, feeling more connected to the divine and magical energy while being in their “spirit form”. Additionally, Lucid Dreaming has been used in more modern times for shadow work, a way to look back on past events and interact with them again, helping to further understand your shadow self and gain clarity into your desires, fears, and trauma.
*I am purposefully not speaking about Reality Shifting as, while it is a form of Lucid or Daydreaming, is not considered to be a form of magic*
On Dreams as a Tool of Prophecy
Dreams have been tools of prophecy for eons. Most holy books contain tales of men and women falling asleep and dreaming of the future or a task that needs to be completed. Unlike Divination, dreams of prophecy usually follow one around their life and typically are said to be messages directly from God or the Universe. With Divination you are piercing the view of time to get answers, while prophecy is a gift bestowed. Usually involving actions to take, they are also said to contain messages from the divine to humanity. Additionally, most prophets suffered greatly for their prophecy and considered it more of a curse than anything. Regardless, the prophets were always compelled to share their prophecies as well as act upon them when needed. While not a form of magic as you cannot compel prophecy, having the divine inspire and touch you is one of the highest forms of magic in existence. Notable Prophets include Nostradamus, Edgar Cayce, Joan of Arc, Enoch, Ezekiel, and Abraham to name a few. Prophecy typically runs more in religious circles and is not something that most solitary practitioners would ever experience.
Dream magic is powerful, versatile, and can be confusing and difficult to master. Nonetheless, learning dream magic takes time but is well worth it for any witch to help experience a deeper understanding and control of not just themselves, but the world around them. So, with that being said, sleep well sweet dreamer.
Peterson, Joseph “The Sworn Book of Honorius”. Lake Worth, FL: Ibis Press, 2016
Betz, Hans Deiter “The Greek Magical Papyri in Translation including the Demotic Spells, Second Edition:. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, 1996
Tyson, Donald “Three Books of Occult Philosophy Written by Henry Cornelius Agrippa of Nettesheim”. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 2021
[Eva Hart Additional Reading|https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eva_Hart]
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