As I'm sure you've heard many times, we spend at least 1/3 of our life asleep. That means a good portion of your life is spent dreaming. Paying attention to your dreamscape and its symbolic language can provide crucial insights for personal growth, healing and transformation in waking life.
Working with dreams is a common practice throughout many cultures around the world. From the Toltec, Aztecs & Mayan to Tibetan buddhists who practice traditional dream yoga and many other indigenous groups whose list would be too long to include here, many cultures work deeply with these night time landscapes. It makes sense, everyone sleeps, so everyone dreams. Why wouldn't most cultures have practices to work with this potent space.
One of the most common practices for familiarizing ourselves with our dreams, is to write them down, or record them in some way immediately upon waking. For this to be most effective, it is encouraged to remain perfectly still upon waking and sort of bask in your dream memories. Once you feel like you've got a handle on it, before getting up and doing anything, grab your notebook or voice recorder and begin to document every little detail. It can be helpful to start from the last part of your dream and work backwards.
Now lucid dreaming is a bit of a different animal. This is where you actually wake up in your dreams and become and conscious and activate participant in them. In order to do this, you must become very present with your waking reality and dreamscape, in order to be able to sense when you are dreaming and "wake up" in the dream.
"Reality checks" are crucial for this process. These are simple things you to throughout your day to program your consciousness to see if you are dreaming. The most basic is just asking yourself regularly "am I dreaming?" You can even write little reminders to ask yourself. Another is looking at your hands frequently (their different in dreams), pushing on the wall (you'll push right through), & plugging your nose and trying to breathe (you can in your dreams). Upon becoming lucid, it is crucial to stay grounded so you don't just get excited and wake yourself up when you try to fly or something. From here, there is lots to explore!
Other Dream Tips
One final tip before we get into herbs for dreaming is that it is vital to take a break from the screen before bed. While I'm sure EMFs play a part, the big factor being addressed here is simply the light our screens emit. When we sleep our brains go through a series of chemical processes. Some of these work through the pineal gland, which releases melatonin, a hormone that signals to our body that it is time to sleep. This process is triggered by it getting dark so when we are up at night with bright lights or a screen in front of our faces, this process is inhibited. Because of this your ability to get proper rest will be impacted. Both lucid and vivid dreaming require a certain amount of energy to do. If you are running on minimal sleep the chances of you waking up in your dreams or even remembering them is far lower. Thats why we have included some relaxing herbs in our Dream Potion to make sure you are also getting deep rest.
Mugwort, Blue Lotus, Yarrow, Lavender, Passion Flower, & Sage
We created this formula as support for those who wanted to enhance their dream experience either through more vivid dreams, lucid dreaming or better dream recall. It has a blend of oneirogens, relaxing and cleansing herbs to encourage both deep rest and profound dreams!
Provoking higher states of consciousness, drop doses of the Dream Potion can also be used for meditation, divination and contemplation.
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris): Associated with Artemis, goddess of the moon and mother of nature. Mugwort connects us to our subconscious and increases the frequency and vividness of dreams. Here much is revealed about our emotional and subconscious patterning. Mugwort is also nutritive to the nerves and stimulates autonomic nervous activity (rest and digest state).
*Please note: Mugwort contains thujone, an oil which can be toxic when used for prolonged periods or in large doses. Please consult with a herbal practitioner if you have been working with this herb for an extended period.
Blue Lotus (Nymphaea caerulea): A herb highly revered in ancient Egypt, commonly used in magic and ritual workings due to its ability to open higher states of consciousness. This incredible flower is one we love so much! It has a bitter taste and and can been used to enhance psychic vision. Ancient texts attest to this plants pain relieving and euphoria inducing effects. We've found it to be a nice counter balance to the mugwort, bringing a little more levity to the sometimes murky waters of the subconscious mind.
"The flower also plays a role in Buddhism, where it represents the victory of the soul over the senses, intelligence, wisdom, and knowledge." - The Lucid Dream Society
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium): This is a plant of the wounded healer, and is associated with Achilles. Often our greatest wound is the source of our greatest strength. Yarrow can help guide us in healing and coming into our own power. It is a highly protective ally and serves this purpose in dream time.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata): Associated with Venus and Neptune, this plant is calming to the nerves and sedative. This plant is excellent at adjusting thought patterns and indicated for those who have a hard time sleeping due to a busy mind or circling thoughts. Passionflower brings tranquility into our body and mind, supporting a more ideal internal environment to do dream work.
Sage: Sage is associated with the moon and commonly known for energetic cleansing through the smoke of its leaves. Taking it internally provides the same action for your being, calming emotions and clearing the senses. This plant is highly energetically protective, and gives you a shield of protection while navigating the dream world, while also supporting the purification of that which does not serve anymore.