Hello, and welcome to the last episode of March, and the last day of March as well. We are taking a week off from Birth Charts and we are going to talk about good old Dream Magic. Dreams are one of the more interesting aspects of the human experience. And science still has no idea why we do it. Why do our brains slip into an altered state of consciousness while we are at rest? What is the evolutionary benefit of having these wild hallucinations every night? They have theories, and some of them seem very solid, but the fact of the matter is that we don’t really know. Science can’t definitively tell us why we dream, or even what dreams actually are. But we don’t need science to explain that dreams, that the dream state, is very powerful.
All of us have had at least one dream that we’ve never forgotten, for whatever reason. Maybe we saw something in a dream that later came to pass in reality. Maybe we spoke to a departed loved one and the experience was so real that we just couldn’t believe it was all in our heads. Maybe we traveled to some unknown time or place in a dream and when we woke up, we just felt different, as though we had truly been there. And then there are lucid dreams, in which we realize in the moment that we are dreaming, and we can control things that happen in the dreams, we can control the environment, or the actions of the other characters inside the dream space.
And these are also the exact reasons why we might want to do dream work. We may want to be able to see into the future, or spend time in a specific time and place, maybe visit a past life, to speak to someone who has died, or to a spirit guide. Whatever dreams are, whatever the physiological mechanism is, dreams are powerful, they are important, they give us a glimpse into alternate dimensions, and the best part is that this is a muscle we can learn to flex.
As I’ve been preparing over the past week for this episode, I’ve dug out my old dream journals and I’ve been rereading through them and getting back into that mindset because it had been almost a year, well, about 9 months, since I have done intentional dream work. I keep a journal on the nightstand all the time, just for when I remember dreams I try to jot down those images because sometimes they matter, but I hadn’t done dream work, with a capital W, in a while. So I had the bright idea to set some simple dream intentions over the last week and basically what I did was to just open myself to whatever messages I needed to receive through my dreams from Spirit, from the universe, or from my guides. And the dreams started pouring in. They have been vivid and they have been filled with imagery and symbolism that I’m writing down and working through, but that is very complex and meaningful. It’s really that easy.
Now, I haven’t included much information about astral travel in this episode because, although there is a lot of crossover, it isn’t the same as dream magic. They are related, certainly, when we dream or astral project, we are slipping between states of consciousness, we are sort of leaving our bodies behind while our minds take the wheel, but astral travel ideally doesn’t take place when we’re sleeping, and it just requires different preparation and different exercises. We will talk about it though, just not today.
But dream work is something we can all do with just a little preparation and foresight. Because we all do it every night, we are already very familiar with it, we’ve been practicing 8 hours a night for our whole lives. So we can do this. And it’s really easy. It just takes time. You’re probably not gonna believe me when I say that this is probably the easiest spellwork you’ll ever do. Dreamwork is literally as easy as setting an intention, supporting it with whatever form or manner of spell you choose, and then going to bed. So let’s talk about the different forms of preparation and spellwork we can use to assist our magic.
Now first things first, we need to protect ourselves. Especially if the goal of our dream work is to speak to spirits or entities or to receive visions, it’s a great idea to put some protective measures into place before we put ourselves in the vulnerable position of being unconscious while disembodied visitors enter our personal spaces. So cast a circle and be very clear about which beings are invited to enter.
You may wish to include your spirit guides among that list, as protective guardians if nothing else. This will help you keep out unwanted energies and entities, and it will help you feel more relaxed and open because you’re not going to feel unsafe or fearful of what may try to come through and communicate with you. You may choose to cast your circle with salt, you can use powdered eggshells, or herbs, holy water, Florida water, you can use rose petals, you can just use your own energy to delineate that space. Just lay your wards, and we talked a lot about this kind of warding in the Protection Magic episode so I won’t belabor the point too much, just please, lay some kind of protective barrier.
And then beyond that, it really is just a matter of spinning a spell to support your work, stating your intention with conviction, and going to sleep. But this is witchcraft, and we like to do the most, so we are going to spend some time right now talking about correspondences. To get the best results possible, we can use what we know as witches to match our dream intentions with the different herbs, stones, deities, and spellwork that will reinforce our desired outcome and enhance the experience. So let’s get started.
If you participate in deity work of any kind, there are certainly more than a few that you may call upon for assistance with your dream work goals. You can set a place for them on your altar and meditate with them, give offerings specific to them. If there is a deity you already work with regularly and you feel that you have the kind of relationship where you can simply invite them to participate or to assist you in this work, by all means do so. I’ll go through a few here real quick-like.
Morpheus is the Greek god of sleep and dreams and fun fact, his name is where we derive the word morphine. Morpheus would literally form peoples’ dreams, and he could appear in them in any form that he wanted, but he frequently appeared as a winged human. This talent made Morpheus a messenger of the gods, he was able to communicate divine messages to sleeping mortals. If this is the kind of information you hope to receive, then you may pay tribute to him with poppies, or adorn your altar with feathers in his honor.
Aengus is a Celtic god, and legend has it that he saw a beautiful woman in his dreams, which he then sought out and found and then married in the real world. You may approach him for assistance in dream work having to do with love magic, finding someone special or strengthening a love relationship, and also if you hope to communicate with the Fae during your dreams. Altar additions might include roses, cinnamon, rose quartz, and copper.
Epona Is a Celtic goddess of horses, but she is also known to be a powerful ally in matters of dream work. Honor her with grain and also valerian, so consider maybe using valerian root when you’re working with her for lucid dreaming in particular.
Faunus is a Roman god, his Greek counterpart is Pan. He has the ability to predict the future based on visions he receives in dreams, so clearly, then, you might appeal to Faunus, or Pan if you prefer, in matters of prophetic dreams. He is a forest god, so if you have a forest nearby, maybe meditate there to make contact and get to know him.
Fortuna is a Roman goddess of fate and luck, we’ve talked about her before, and she’s also powerful in matters of dream work, especially for divination and clairvoyance. So maybe light a purple candle and put out some acorns or oak leaves as offerings for her if you are looking to do work in those areas.
Hecate is Greek, she is a moon goddess, a goddess of magic, she’s a triple goddess, a crossroads goddess, she’s the real OG. Approach her in matters of prophecy and visions. Appropriate offerings, or altar adornments, would be quartz, moonstone, sapphire, dandelion, lavender, belladonna and anise.
Hermes is a Greek god, among his powers are issues pertaining to the afterlife, divination, and omens, so obviously any dream work wherein you would like to communicate with spirits, or have some visions of the future or to receive warnings or prophecies, he is a good ally. Plant correspondences and offerings could include ivy, palm, lotus, or willow, and also peacock feathers.
Isis is an Egyptian goddess, she is the protector of the dead, so you’re likely to find her to be helpful if you’re trying to communicate with spirits or a loved one on the other side. Appropriate offerings are heather, irises, roses, lapis lazuli, carnelian, coral or pearls.
And this isn’t an exhaustive list; there are certainly other deities you may like to initiate contact with. Kali comes to mind, Nepthys, Rhiannon, Selene, just do a bit of research either online or in books, or just meditate with the intent of making contact and introducing yourself and establishing a relationship.
Depending on the type of dream work you plan to do, and then the specific goal you have for that particular kind of dream work, you can support those intentions in all kinds of ways. But no matter what you decide, if you would like to plan any kind of dream work, it’s a good idea to perhaps start with a bit of water magic. Water is associated with emotion, relationships, and intuition and psychic ability, and of course dreams. So some strong water magic for the purposes of aiding us in our dreamwork will not go amiss.
Now we can always use moon water for just about anything we want, we just need to essentially tell the water what we are going to use it for. And because the New Moon is associated with divination, illumination and psychic ability, it’s an excellent moon phase for charging moon water with dream work intentions. And wouldn’t you know it, tonight is the new moon in Aries. Now, if you’re not really prepared to actually do dream work tonight, that’s perfectly fine, you can still make your moon water just so that we’re not wasting the moon phase.
We can make the water tonight and then bring it inside and keep it in the fridge or in a dark cabinet until we’re prepared to work the magic. And this is good advice for any moon phase, even if you don’t have a spell prepared, go ahead and make your full moon water or your new moon water and just save it for when you need it. If you’re not sure what intentions you want to set for it or what you may use it for, just hold off and charge it when you’re ready to use it. It still holds the power of the moon phase from when it was collected.
We may want to include a specific crystal or stone with the water to aid our intentions as well. Quartz is of course an amplifier, so it’s a good choice to include no matter what your intention is, and it’s water safe. Amethyst is lovely for prophetic dreams, also water safe. Just always google your stones before you place them in water so you don’t ruin them if you aren’t sure about them. Obsidian for divination. Moonstone is another great stone for divination, but not water safe, so just place it on top of your jar rather than inside. Sapphire, carnelian or red jasper for astral projection, ruby or tiger’s eye for prophecy. Black tourmaline is a great stone for protection if you’re concerned about safety while performing this kind of dream magic.
Emerald and labradorite are great stones for contacting spirits, and I’d recommend using the black tourmaline in combination for this kind of work, not necessarily in the water, but do keep some by your bedside while you’re asleep, just to give yourself that extra protection and make sure you’re not exposing yourself to anything unwanted while you’re in a vulnerable state. For psychic ability, malachite, pyrite, or smoky quartz, also silver. And again, we may want to use a combination of stones depending on how we plan to use this water. And please DO A GOOGLE SEARCH before you put your stones in the water. If they can’t go inside the jar, just place them on top.
We can of course simply drink this water, but we can also use this water in a ritual bath or shower in preparation for our dream work, to get ready for the messages we hope to get or the visions we might receive. And something like a ritual bath is really effective for getting us into the right headspace. Light some candles, put on some relaxing music if you like, run your bath and add your moon water. If you don’t have a bath, you can use it in the shower just as effectively. Same preparation process with your candles applies, and then use your moon water to wash yourself. Use this time to meditate, to calm your mind, to focus your intent on the specific kind of dream work you mean to do, and just be. Just allow yourself the time that it takes to find that focus.
Another way to add some zest to your bath, OR if you plan to drink your moon water, is by steeping herbs that will aid us in the specific kind of dream work we want to do. In a pot on the stove or in your cauldron if you’ve got a nice big one, dump in some herbs and cover them with water. Bring them to a simmer and let them roll for a few minutes, then turn off the heart and let them steep for a good half hour or so. Once you strain out the plant matter, you can add this water to your bath or shower, or use it to make a nice cup of tea to drink before bed, being very careful that you use herbs that are safe and that haven’t been treated with herbicides or pesticides.
Some useful herbs for dreamwork include chamomile, which is a great herb for sleep and meditation because it’s calming and centering. Lavender has similar calming and peace-promoting qualities, but is also associated with spirit work, so if you’re hoping to meet with the departed or to at least receive messages from the other side while you’re sleeping, this would be a good herb to include.
Mugwort is known for its ability to assist in prophetic dreams, psychic visions, and astral projection incidentally, and witches frequently drink mugwort tea before doing divination work, so you may experience that as well. It can also be used to make an oil or salve which can be used on the skin for the same purpose, and we will talk about how to make dream oils in a minute. But mugwort is a hugely popular herb in witch’s flying ointments, which are balms or salves that witches have used historically to induce visions. Mugwort is very powerful, and it’s very effective for this kind of work.
Passionflower is an herb that is used commonly for treating insomnia, so it does have some gentle sedative qualities, but in terms of its magical properties, it’s great for psychic enhancement. I’ve mentioned before that the tea aisle of your local grocery store is a great place to find some of the more uncommon herbs at a good price, and they’re safe to use internally, and passionflower is one of those. And as a reminder, they got a lot of chamomile in the tea aisle too, although it grows SO EASILY that I really recommend just getting a packet of seeds and letting chamomile just go nuts in your garden or in a container on a sunny windowsill. You will never run out if you grow it yourself.
Rosemary is an excellent herb to add to any dreamwork concoction because it’s first of all a very safe and gentle herb as long as you’re not allergic to it, and it assists in remembering dreams. So no matter what your exact intention is for your dream work, you may want to add Rosemary to the mix to help with recall. But even beyond that, rosemary is supremely protective. So adding some to your evening tea or to your bath, or just sleeping with a sprig of fresh rosemary on your nightstand is advised.
Yarrow is also excellent for protection. And, especially when made into a tea, it’s another good herb for expanding psychic powers. Valerian root is a known mild sedative, so it can help if you feel like it’s difficult to relax into a dream state. And that’s not an uncommon problem when we are actively trying to do deep meaningful dream work, sometimes we find it hard to fall asleep. Valerian root is also used for lucid dreaming, so it’s great for that purpose, but remember to take that into consideration if you’re thinking about using it just for relaxation. You may get more than you were looking for.
Peppermint is great for causing dreams to be really vivid, and when used with rosemary, it compounds the effect of helping us to remember our dreams more completely. It’s also great for spirit communication, and it can sometimes assist in prophetic dreams. Peppermint also helps to make a lot of these herbs taste a little better too, so that’s certainly something to think about. Some of these herbs are nasty as hell, and I’m looking at you, Valerian root. Smells like feet but it’s really magical.
But if you don’t want to drink your herbs for whatever reason, maybe you’re concerned about allergic reactions or potential interference with certain prescription medications, certainly consider burning the dried herbs as incense before bed (with your windows open) OR using infused herbal oils to help your dream work intentions. And dream oils are made in exactly the same way as other oil infusions and we have talked about that process before, but we’ll go through it here again.
Now you can certainly just buy essential oils if you like, just make sure that they’re safe to consume, if you plan to do that, or that they’re safe for your skin if you plan to use them that way. Oftentimes, essential oils that are found in stores are really only meant to be used in diffusers or for aromatherapy. Which is also a perfectly valid way to use oils, just please be safe and make sure that you’re using your oils correctly. I don’t want anyone to burn their skin or have an adverse reaction if they’re ingested.
And the other problem with essential oils is that they’re really expensive. It takes so much plant matter to make a small amount of essential oil, that you really just don’t get much for your money. But we can make infused oils ourselves at home for a lot less money. To make infused oils for anointing your skin or to dress your candles (or even if you plan to use the oils internally to add them to your food), get yourself an inexpensive olive oil or coconut oil to use as a carrier. If you’re only going to use your oils externally on your skin or for candles, you can use vitamin E oil, although that tends to be a little more spendy.
And you’ll only need to add about a quarter cup or so of the oil to a small pot or alternatively you can use a small crockpot if you’ve got one. To the oil, you will add a few tablespoons of fresh herbs, or a few teaspoons of dried herbs. Bring your pot to a very low simmer and let the herbs warm through for 10 minutes or so. Don’t fry them, we’re just trying to extract them. Then turn off the heat and let the whole mixture steep until it cools to room temperature. If you’re using a crockpot, turn it on low and let it warm for a few hours, then turn it off and let it cool to room temp. Strain out the plant material and put your infused oils into a small bottle or jar and LABEL IT, and then keep it in a dark cool cupboard and use it as needed.
If you want to make your oils into a balm or a salve, just add a teaspoon or two of beeswax beads to the oil mixture AFTER you’ve strained out the herbs, but BEFORE it cools completely. Pour your balm into little tins or jars, and you can use it as you like. But don’t eat the balms. And you can get beeswax pellets in any craft store and a little goes a very long way, so you definitely don’t need to buy a lot of it. And you can experiment and mix and match these herbs and the manner in which you use them, you can combine the herbs to make a special personalized dreamwork blend, it’s all very, very witchy. Just be sure to write down what you use and how you use it so that you can either recreate it if it works well or adjust it if you need to.
And that brings us to the most important part of this work. Write it down. Everything. Keep a dream journal specifically for this work, and make a note of everything you do to prepare for your dreamwork. Write down the date, the day of the week, the moon phase, the current sun sign. Write down any deity work you’ve done in preparation for this work and the results of that. Write down any information related to whatever ritual preparations you may have done, such as a ritual bath and whatever herbs, oils, candles, or incense that were used. Write down any guides you may have called upon. Write down exactly what kind of dream spell you’re performing and your expectations and intentions.
And then keep this journal right on your nightstand so that the moment you wake up, you can immediately write down images or impressions, places, phrases, symbols, people you saw, animals, colors, sounds, sensations, what season was it? Was it day or night? Write down every single thing that you can recall in the moment you wake, because it’s going to slip away so quickly. Once you’ve got it on paper, you can begin to expand on the things you’ve written and try to make more narrative sense out of it, but if you try to make sense of it in your mind first, before you write those things down, you’re going to lose so many of them. It’s just the nature of dreams. This doesn’t have to be a fancy notebook. This can be as basic and inexpensive or as fancy and ornate as you like, just have something there, and don’t forget to keep a pen there, too.
This kind of work, once you start it, sort of perpetuates itself. And you will, rather quickly in my experience, get to the point where, unless you’re doing some kind of major, major dream work spells that really require all of that preparation we just spoke of, you will be able to slip into the proper mindspace to just, almost casually, be able to direct your dreams exactly where you want them to go. At night, before you go to sleep, as you’re just settling into bed, it will get to the point where you can simply write yourself a prompt. Just state your sleep intention. “I will visit a moment from my past life while I sleep tonight and I will remember it in the morning.” or “I will see a moment from the future while I sleep tonight and I will remember it in the morning.” Whatever your dream work intention is, without a lot of pomp and circumstance.
And if it just so happens that you’ve done any small amount of spellwork, used an herbal tea, or lit a candle, your journal will be right there, so you’ll quickly be able to write all of that down too. Date it, and then go to sleep. Then when you wake up, you write down everything you can remember underneath your prompt, and boom, you’ve got some really great, well-annotated information.
Do this every time you do intentional dream work to any extent, and very soon you’ll begin to have really great results. You’ll find that you begin to remember more and more of your dreams, you’ll find a lot more meaning in the messages, you’ll be more attuned to the messages you do receive. And as an added bonus, you will find that the more often you do this, the more you’ll begin to have these really meaningful dreams, even without meaning to. That’s why that notebook needs to stay on the nightstand all the time, not just on the nights you do intentional dream work. Because once we crack the door open, we just never know when a departed loved one, or a spirit guide, or an ancestor, or the moon itself, or a past life memory, or a prophetic dream will decide to come through and deliver a message, so we gotta be prepared.
And that’s really, truly, all there is to it. And I hope that you give it a try and let me know what happens. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or message me on instagram or facebook at @middleagedwitch. I will be back next Thursday to talk about rising signs or ascendents, but in the meantime, make some moon water, enjoy the moon phase tonight, and dream big. My name is Eli Ro, and this has been the Middle-Aged Witch podcast.