Dream Weaving: Self Knowledge, Waking Reality, and the Underworld


Dreaming. An (imaginary . . . ?) world we enter while we sleep. But the word dreaming is also used to describe our ability to envision our future, our desires and intentions, so that we can find the ways and paths to make our dreams into reality. In dream weaving, these two ways of dreaming are connected. 

Similar to sewing with a needle and thread, the cycle of waking and sleeping becomes a journey where we pull a thread from the sleeping realm into our waking life (conscious/reality/overworld), and then weave it back into the mysterious realm of sleep. (unconscious/dream worlds/underworld). Repeating this process is the essence of dream weaving. 

The cycle of dream weaving: pulling a thread from waking reality, through liminal space, into the underworld/dream world, and extracting wisdom to weave into waking life.

While we sleep, we can experience the deepest layers of our mind and soul. Some dreams seem like a meaningless scramble of random events, but others are clearly powerful, vivid, and dripping with symbolic meaning. Honing the ability to remember dreams gives access to this information. It is a valuable source of self-knowledge. One method I use to help me remember dreams is to notice the very first moment that I am awake, and then I do not move! I keep my body very still, do my best to pause all thoughts, and focus all my attention on recalling as much of my dreams as I can. Then I let myself get up and write down everything I can remember.

Every human dreams, though certain substances may reduce the amount of time spent dreaming (Such as Marijuana). Not every human can remember dreams. People who cannot remember dreams often say things like “I don’t dream” which is physiologically inaccurate, yet metaphorically, it might be true. From a perspective of dream weaving, there may be a connection between not being able to access the deepest layers of consciousness, and knowing what we want in life.

This may be a provocative statement for some, but let’s explore some mechanics of waking dreams (goals, intentions, desires) to see how the forms of dreaming connect in the realm of self-knowledge. 

There is a concept I find very useful when working towards my waking dreams, sort of like an invisible force. I’ve seen it described as Polarity, or the direction we are sending the energy of our intentions. For example, a river flows one way. Unless the water is moving around an obstacle, the direction of flow is very clear and doesn’t change. Down. Towards the ocean. Down. 

Dream weaving quote from Alice in Wonderland
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don’t much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: …So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

When we dream up our future, we are choosing what we want to move towards/find/create in life. In my experience, my intentions are more effective when I choose a consistent direction of flow. Perhaps if I don’t know what way I want to go, then the universe cannot help me! Oftentimes problems with manifesting dreams arise when we are not clear about what we want. It is like a river trying to flow two ways at once, what will happen? The water will either stagnate, stop moving, it will become a pond. Stuck. Or another possibility is that it becomes a whirlpool, destructive and dangerous and something that can drown us.

What if we can’t decide between potentially conflicting desires or directions? One way to better understand our true, underlying desire is to ask WHY do we want the various things that we want? What is the motive underneath each thing? Asking WHY we want the things we want is a way to dig deep until we see WHAT we really want.  We can explore different aspects of our goals and intentions until we get to where the dreams have the same root. That root is our true longing. 

Another caveat with waking dreams is that we cannot force any specific person to give us anything. We cannot choose WHO or HOW what we desire appears in our life, we can only choose WHAT we desire. WHO or HOW is not up to us. The WHO and HOW is up to Reality/Universe/God/Gods (insert your favorite term) . . . and that power is far more creative than we can ever imagine.

When I understand my own dreams better, both waking and sleeping, I know myself better. My ability to create can flow in one direction, like a rushing river in the spring. It becomes easier to flow with it and follow the golden thread of excitement that leads me to the right people and places. It also becomes very clear which wishes and intentions I want to hold in my consciousness while I drift off to sleep (through liminal space) and into the world of sleep dreams, where I can plant them like seeds.

When I see my own motives and desires more clearly, I also remember my sleeping dreams more often. This is a union/cohesion of the mind that takes some cultivation. We are all powerful dreamers. To unlock this power, know thyself.