Dreams are very weird things. Anything can happen in them and they're not always easy to interpret, because the human mind is really complex. As a dream interpreter, I find dreams amazing because the mental landscape is vast and expresses way more than the physical landscape ever could. Dreams may be complicated but with a grasp of how they (and the brain and the mind) work, they're pretty interesting and helpful.
I have a set list of protocol that I've developed when I was doing dream interpretation on Fortminor.com that I generally follow. I usually ask to interpret dreams if someone throws one out there (haven't done it often as of late because I have little time to dedicate) and first interpret it as is, not asking for additional info about the dream. If the dream procures something pretty sensitive, I tell the person maybe they should contact me or the other way around because I couldn't care less if the recipient doesn't believe in this stuff, no one likes havin' their business put out there (then again, if you work my nerves and still don't care about secrecy, I have no
issue with pullin all the skeletons out of the closet and throwing them up like an exhibition). Now, there have been times I just jumped out there and interpreted a dream without permission just because I was excited enough about flaunting my skills and normally people don't mind until I trip over a nerve and all of a sudden, reading over.
I remember the one time I did that, it actually was how I got started on FM as the dream interpreter. Some kid posted that he had a weird dream, didn't know what it meant. Me and my over-zealous self just upped and interpreted the whole dream from top to bottom right there on the thread. Hey, others were throwing out guesses, I figured I'd be fine. Well, after a day or so the kid responded, pretty embarrassed. He remarked, "Dang, puttin all
my business out there." On one hand, I was pretty proud because it means I was accurate. On the other hand, I ain't mean to do him like CNN, hence why I don't just jump out there anymore. Instead I would try to ask or let people come to me (and oh they did, wasn't long before I had to make rules about that). I don't get as many requests as I did prior - a good thing because working too hard on too many requests is what did me in as a dream interpreter. I would be so tired that the interpretations would start to become wrong or waaaaay left field. So that was the end (kinda) of that.
Dreams are on one hand fairly complicated but on the other hand pretty simple if you know what to look for.
Not every dream is some deep, mystical, intricate fabrication of the mind that is incredibly metaphorical and completely perplex. Dreams actually do differ based on race, religion, age, culture, social impact from their environment, gender and even significant life alterations (i.e. being blind or restricted to a wheelchair) and it’s my job as the interpreter to see through all of that to find the real meaning of the dream as seamlessly as possible. Not an impossible task, just a arduous one sometimes because, well, sometimes I don’t feel
like looking up what a light bulb flickering inside of a synagogue with Arabic scriptures being highlighted on dirty, crumbled walls while a ballet recital is going on that no one is noticing means when dreamt by some atheist who believes that all religion is a very intricate sham that takes advantage of the feeble-minded and hence hasn’t set foot in anything spiritual in eons and is repulsed by the fine arts. If only it were that easy to say, “’Eh, it is what you think it is. Laters,” but then I wouldn’t have any recipients to help out now would I? Some dreams have meaning, some dreams is just your brain filing away memories of the day or maybe your brain decided to take a sharp turn into Stupidtown for a night and rented a room. The best way to tell the difference is the symbolism being used and how likely a string of logic can be woven from what is discovered. There have been dreams where I said, “It’s nothing, honestly.”
Not every dream is worth looking at because some dreams are simply loony or will just tell you the same old crap you already know, it just tells me how much of it is on your mind. That could
be noteworthy but people can be worrywarts too. I don’t interpret all my dreams because I’m quite lazy and I don’t feel that every dream is a message from the divine. It could be a joke script from your mind instead and what’s the point at looking at those? Dreams can help you better yourself but that’s not the point of dreams, to be an incredibly cryptic self-help kit.
Some dreams are worth looking at though because some dreams can be a cryptic self-help kit in the way that some dreams do have meaning. Dreams can be very useful in that they can provide insight or raise red flags that might have otherwise gone ignored on the conscious level. I know I personally have gone to the dentist because I had a dream about a particular tooth going gray and decaying to find out that I needed some important dental work done because something went unnoticed and could have been a real problem in the future. I could have interpreted the dream as an anxiety dream but there was something about the feel of the dream and how it played out that convinced me it was about a real matter and I followed up on it. To find all dreams as pointless I find to be very pointless in itself because it would be stupid to assume that people can note their own problems or that the conscious mind is thorough enough to handle everything that comes its way, suppressing and forgetting nothing.
Not all hard-to-interpret dreams are prophetic dreams or actual messages from God. Sheesh, if I had a nickel for every person who thought that God was speaking to them because they dreamt of walking a lamb in the desert and strolling right into a burning town filled with the most hysterical people you can find. Sometimes hard-to-interpret dreams are just that, hard to interpret. People aren’t easy little boxes that you can open up and tinker in so some dreams are very complicated because the general dream dictionary(ies) may not have a good enough interpretation for them. It doesn’t mean the dream is impossible to understand – for all we know, there isn’t anything in particular to understand – it just requires more work (or less).
It does bug me when someone tells me their dreams, it’s usually preceded with a “My dreams are weird
.” No, they’re not. I have interpreted tons of dreams; yours most likely won’t take home the Weirdo Award. Dreams are just that, dreams, hence they don’t run the same as a linear movie always. Dreams are pretty abstract usually, which is why everything in a dream is called a symbol because most likely it’s gonna represent something else. There’s nothing weird about dreams, even if it includes some of the most taboo elements of someone’s culture, it’s still not weird. It can be weird if a person doesn’t dream but even that is rather explanatory in itself but it’s also something people want to take the Weirdo Award home for: not dreaming.
I dunno, maybe people think it’s so cool to not be of the norm (I’m kinda laughing because those who say they don’t want to be of the norm generally are the people who fight hard to keep it) that they can’t dream and omigosh they’re so different and unique and would probably make for an awesome villain for the next Inception
film and stuff like that.
There are different stages that the brain partakes in during sleep, some stages producing more memorable dreams than others but basically a complete and total rarity to not at all dream a single whit. We all dream at least 200-400 dreams a night as the brain goes through the different stages between alpha, beta and theta (I won’t bore you with what those are – until I start running out of content for this blog/column, then this place is gonna look like a textbook) and we basically remember about three or four dreams out of all of that, particularly the ones as we were going into deeper sleep, REM (Rapid Eye Movement) and the two hours right before we wake up naturally from sleep. Those patterns can be disturbed however if the dreamer is stressing out in real life or isn’t getting enough sleep, among other factors. It’s not terribly unique to not have dreams, it’s even happened to me, just generally a flag to something more important.
Dream interpretation is really fun to me. I’ve always been intrigued by psychology and metaphysics so it just makes perfect sense to me to get into that because the human mind is really interesting and I think that dreams are way more than just a mental slideshow of nonsense as we sleep. Not all dreams are poignant tales of caution or of the dreamer itself but they are remarkable in what they tell. Dream interpretation isn’t as hard as one would think, just keep an open mind and a good grasp of psychology and sociology for the harder stuff but just get a dream dictionary (here’s some recommended ones on Black Witch
) and keep a dream journal. I still interpret dreams for others but I’ve mainly been keeping them to offers of divination giveaways and even if I did get dreams to interpret, they would have to situate themselves to a spot on Ask Black Witch.
Now that the column's out of the way, I would like to mention that I plan to be at this year's Afro-Punk Festival! It will be nice to visit and stay for the full festival (I could only stay for a few hours last year) and I hope that some bands and musicians I like (Janelle Monae, Lupe Fiasco/Japanese Cartoon, Margo, Straight Line Stitch, etc) will be on the bill. Hopefully I will see you there. Before that though, I will be in Philly at the Black Comic book convention
on May 21st and in my hometown, Baltimore, for the CityLit Festival on Apr. 16. Also Black Witch will be running for the Black Weblog Awards starting next week, I'm very excited!
Wanna keep up with Black Witch? Join the BW Fan Page
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or just email (firstname.lastname@example.org
). To those that submitted ABW questions early, I do have them and they will be April's ABW.