Lucid Dreaming Symbols
Symbols are an essential part of life and important to lucid dreaming. They are how we communicate; they are how we study life, they are how we interact with our minds. We see symbols all the time. In fact, you reading these words is another way that symbols have allowed us to communicate. Words, numbers, images are all symbols that we use in life to quickly understand the meaning of the world around us including dreams.
There are many schools of thought when it comes to understanding symbols and dreams. Often people will try to interpret dream symbols for others through almost a Freudian method. For instance, you see a stop sign in a dream, and someone may say, well that means you should stop doing whatever you are doing in life that’s making you feel guilty. Another way of this interpretation would be that people may say, you have a roadblock that you’re trying to overcome. Again, another way of interpreting the same symbol would be saying, your future is going to have a pause in it. Now I can’t tell the future, and I also don’t know you, so its a bit hard for me to understand what a stop sign would mean to you in a dream. I also tend to think that dreams are only able to be fully appreciated in their full context of the original dreamer. In that way, you are the only person who would fully understand your dream. Whatever way you go about interpreting your dreams we can see that there are many different ways that symbols can apply to dreams and interpretation.
Symbols can also be created while we are awake with the intention to represent aspects of our mind while we are asleep. This means you create a symbol that represents something that you want to experience in a dream, and focus on that symbol so that when you’re in a dream, you can identify that symbol and bring out that aspect of your dream. This is a form of control over what you want to experience in a dream. A symbol also doesn’t need to be an object or design. It can be a word such as voice commands or shouting out words while in a lucid state. This shouting of the word often brings us to some result that we intended or allows for us to communicate better with the dream world. The same thing can be done with colors, images, objects, sounds, and so on.
Creating Your Lucid Dreaming Symbols
Creating your own lucid dreaming symbols are important when it comes to communicating with the dream world. I don’t mean going out and creating your own design or word or anything like that necessarily. Instead, I suggest peering into your mind and memory and find something that you find valuable, that you identify with and conveys the message you are trying to achieve. Here is an example for you on how you may go about creating your first symbol:
I had a lucid dream where a panda was in my room. After that, I thought about creating a symbol of a panda and ended up creating a clay object to represent the panda. I would often sleep next to the panda and identified that symbol to be significant. A few days later I had a lucid dream where a man showed up that looked like a panda. He had a dark eye as though he was in a fight, and dark and light patches of hair on his head. I asked him if he was the panda, and he responded that he was. I was then able to discuss some important questions I had with him about dreams.
Here is another example as to how words which are symbols can be used to call out commands that represent aspects of ourselves or places to explore in dreams:
I noticed that I was out of my body in a dream and had remembered to use the words “higher self” in this state. It’s something that I had been focusing on before going to bed. As I yelled out “higher self,” I was taken to what looked like the moon. On the moon, there was a mirror, and I looked at myself. After waking up from this dream I became aware that the dream was communicating to me that I am my own higher self, I just have to look within.
Fake It Tell You to Make It
When it comes to creating lucid dreaming symbols for your use, it’s important that you believe the symbols will work. This means that the symbol again needs to be vital to you, that you feel a connection to it and that you make it your own. There are plenty of esoteric symbols on the internet that look cool and have some amazing details in them, but will they work for you? If you don’t have an emotional response to the symbol then they are recognizably not as powerful. The same thing goes for mantras that people chant over and over again but don’t have a relationship with the word; they are using someone else symbol to try to reach a higher state. The symbol is not the only source of its power; it’s in your relationship with that symbol.
Don’t seem to be able to get started on making your own symbol? Well, a great way to get going is to write down a word that is important to you, or that comes to your mind. Describe what the word means to you and why. Maybe try drawing an object or design that represents that word and the feelings that that word produces in you when you think about that word. Congratulations, you have your first symbol. Pretty easy right?
In the Taileater community, we use the symbol of the Ouroboros because its something that resonates with a lot of people when it comes to a dreaming practice as well as their own personal and spiritual growth. This symbol has a lot of different meanings throughout history, the media, and even personally. My introduction to this symbol came when I was personally in an altered state:
I lay there as a large creature slid up to me. It opened its mouth, and I recognized that it was a giant snake. The snake swallowed me whole, and as I went down it’s throat the same snake appeared and ate me again. This happened over and over again.
This experience was an indication of my own life of the repetitive nature of life, and me seeking knowledge in it. It also was an indication of me continuing to do the same things over and over again through life, and that I needed to make a change or order to continue to grow as a person.
Though you may not identify with the Ouroboros yourself, I know that symbols are essential to every one of us and can provide us with a way to directly communicate with our higher selves. Because of that, symbols are a necessary part of advancing your ability to meditate, lucid dream, or have out of body experiences and have been used for this very reason for thousands of years. Today, start making your own symbols, and I expect that you will find results.
Lee Adams is a Ph.D. candidate in Jungian Psychology and Archetypal Studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute and host of Cosmic Echo, a lucid dreaming podcast, and creator of taileaters.com, an online community of lucid dreamers and psychonauts. Lee has been actively researching, practicing, and teaching lucid dreaming for over twenty years.
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