Carl Jung once said that a person’s dreams reveal more than they conceal. In our dreams, we can work through complex situations that plague our waking life. We can process trauma, pain, and even joyful occasions all while we sleep. But what happens when our dreams are confusing, vivid, or even terrifying? As witches, we have the power of divination at our fingertips! We can pull out our favorite tarot deck, focus on our dream, and maybe get a clearer answer.
One of the ways tarot can work is by tapping into our subconscious through symbolism. This is why using tarot to help interpret a confusing or unnerving dream can be extremely effective in helping you understand the message you are receiving. There are some common themes when it comes to dreams and the human species. For example, many people dream of going to school and realizing that they have no clothes on. This can be interpreted as a sign from the subconscious that the person dreaming is afraid of being vulnerable at school. The person may feel like they do not belong there or they are not good enough.
Despite us having common dreams as humans, sometimes we have dreams that make no sense to us at all. In this case, we might want to pull out our tarot cards and inspect the dream further.
Dreams and Nightmares
Scientifically speaking, dreams are our brain’s way of processing information from our waking life. These are mental thoughts, feelings, and sensations we experience while we sleep. Almost everyone dreams, though not everyone remembers their dreams. As we sleep, our brain can create elaborate and sometimes bizarre situations based on our thoughts and feelings from everyday life. We can even accomplish amazing feats of physical strength, defy the laws of physics, and so much more in our dreams.
Humans are also capable of having extremely terrifying dreams. These dreams can fill us with very real fear as we experience visual, auditory, and physical sensations while we sleep. While not usually common, nightmares can be caused by worry, stress, trauma, and even some mental health disorders or medications.
Outside of the scientific reason for dreaming, there are also spiritual sides to dreams. Some dreams may be messages that you need to interpret. These messages may come from a deity you work with or that is trying to get your attention. A message may even come from your shadow self or your higher self, too. Since our dreams are full of symbolism, our subconscious mind puts symbols together in ways that make sense to the more symbolic subconscious mind. However, our conscious mind does not always think this way! This is why interpreting dreams can sometimes be a difficult process.
Messages from the Gods
The Gods don’t usually speak directly to us. It is very, very rare that we see physical manifestations of a deity, nor do we usually hear them with our ears. Sometimes a deity might have a message for you and the only way they can communicate with you is through your dreams. This does not always mean you will see them in your dreams. Sometimes they will send you signs, symbols, or other intuitive messages that you will need to make sense of. When this happens, we may not fully understand the messages we have received because our dreams can only happen with what we have experienced.
Messages from our Shadow
The concept of the Shadow has a foundation in psychoanalysis with Carl Jung. Without fully diving into the psychological process, the Shadow is the part of us that contains everything we have been conditioned to repress. This includes common negative traits such as anger, violence, and hatred but it can also include more positive traits such as empathy, compassion, and love. This is all subjective to the person in question, so getting messages from our Shadow can be an unnerving experience, especially since we are taught to repress the shadow because it is somehow “bad”. However, receiving messages from our Shadow can help us heal from our past hurts, especially if they are impacting our everyday lives.
Messages from our Higher Self
Just like getting messages from our Shadow, our Higher Self can also speak to us through our dreams. Usually, this is a guiding light to put us on the right path or to steer us in the right direction. It may even be words of encouragement, a suggestion for the future, or healing from the past. When our Higher Self speaks to us, it is usually a positive and uplifting experience. However, that does not mean that dreams from our Higher Self will be any easier to interpret.
Receiving the Message Tarot Spread
If you are having difficulty interpreting a dream, this tarot spread is a good resource to have in your Book of Shadows. This spread uses five cards laid out on the table in the shape of a ladder starting from the top. Each card represents a different aspect of the dream interpretation and, when the cards are read together, it may be easier to see the bigger picture. So get comfortable, light some patchouli or mugwort incense for spiritual communication, and choose your favorite tarot deck. If you do not have a deck, that’s okay! You can print one for free here on Spells8.
The Message – Card One
The first card and arguably the most important, this card represents the message you are receiving from your dreams. This card as it is has no filter, no codex, no translation that will make it easier for you to understand. This is the raw message, exactly as it has appeared for you.
The Conduit – Card Two
For card number two, we are pulling a conduit. This is the channel through which we can receive the message we have been given. This card represents the filter through which our conscious and subconscious mind will receive the message and understand it.
The Slumbering Subconscious – Card Three
This is the third card you will pull. This card represents your subconscious mind and all its symbolism. Remember, the subconscious mind does not think logically. It communicates in symbols, ideas, and secrets. This card can be a representation of a past experience that is influencing you right now, something that your subconscious mind is dwelling on.
The Waking Mind – Card Four
This is the fourth card you will pull. This card represents your waking mind, the logical side of your brain. In this case, remember that the conscious mind will only see the things you have been conditioned to accept. This is your logical approach to the situation.
The Dreamer – Card Five
This is the last card you will pull. This card represents you as you are, a blend of your waking mind and your sleeping subconscious. This card may reveal an action you need to take for the message to become clear. It may also reveal more symbols that you need to understand in order to make sense of the message. Remember, read this card together with both the subconscious and the conscious for the best result as this card is a blend of all three.
Did you get the message?
When you put all of the cards together, your message should become more clear. Remember, card number two is your filter to use when interpreting the message from card number one. Card numbers three and four are the ways your subconscious and conscious mind are viewing the message and possibly distorting it. Don’t get discouraged if you do not understand the dream right away. Be sure to keep a journal, record your dream and your divination, and the answer will become clear over time.
More Tarot Posts
If this spread does not work for you, try one of these other posts!
Also called The Portrait Spread or The Box Spread, this particular divination spread was developed for use with Lenormand cards. It consists of a three-by-three square of cards laid out on a surface. Even though it was originally used with Lenormand cards, it can be adapted for use with just about any divination card system.
Struggling to make up your mind? Use this quick and easy 4-card Tarot spread to help you to weigh the pros and cons of a situation. With the guidance of the Tarot, you can examine which side of the scales is tipping for or against your favor so that you can make a clear decision.