Dreams have always been a fascinating instrument for mankind and have oftentimes served as a foundation for various scientific discoveries and inventions. The very first official use of dream-work in psychotherapy came with the theory of Freud Sigmund (an Austrian neurologist). He presented the psychoanalytic technique of free association to interpret the manifest content and latent content of dreams.
They are a coproduct of our sleeping brain that exhibit our physiologic and psychologic activities, including the reception of external stimuli, memory, consolidation, and emotion regulation. The self-organization theory proposes that a sleeping brain merges the discontinuous and incongruous neuronal signals into a narration.
On the contrary, Freud describes dreams as the ‘royal road’ to unconsciousness. He called the dream-work ‘the essence of dreaming’, writing,
“At bottom, dreams are nothing other than a particular form of thinking. It is the dream-work which creates that form.”
It is the dream-work that empowers the dream wishes to leap past the hurdle of censorship, giving it the distinctive frame.
These days, many psychotherapy models are employing dream-work in different forms. It is oftentimes confused with dream interpretation which is quite a different approach where the analyst/therapist is proficient in deciphering the symbolism. In dreamwork, on the other hand, the therapist serves as an aid for the individual and helps him connect the dots to discover the meaning on his own.
Role of Herbs in Dreamwork
The reason behind dreaming still remains a mystery to modern science. It gives a certain shape to our lives and greatly impacts the way we view the people around us. But once we begin to explore our dreams, we click into our inner wisdom and subconsciousness for the guidance we had been looking for our whole life.
Adding some herbs to this spiritual practice can revitalize our senses while connecting us to mother earth.
Using herbs to calm the erratic nerves and treating insomnia has become a norm. But you can stretch these benefits and get your dream-work sessions started.
There are a number of ways you can incorporate herbs into your routine for the dreamwork, such as:
- Burning as an incense
- Adding to the bathtubs
- Wearing its oil on the skin
Herbs for Dreamwork
The following 7 herbs can be used for dreamwork.
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is the perfect choice for lucid dreaming. It is fervently recommended for dream-work due to its extraordinary dream experience. It is combined with other herbs sometimes (such as motherwort and skullcap), but it works oh-so-good on its own too.
Mugwort benefits the dreamwork immensely by:
- Adding color to the canvas of dreams (in the case of black and white dreams)
- Awakening your other senses too to help with the visuals
- Assisting in recalling the dreams
- Lucid dreaming
- Increasing the frequency and clarity of dreams
For effective dream-work, you can use it a while before your bed in the form of:
Chamomile is a universal bedtime tea that has allowed millions of people around the globe to conquer their horizontal thrones with good quality sleep. This soothing Lunar herb is one of the 9 sacred herbs of the Saxons. It balances the inner chakra, assisting the individual to discover their inner center.
Have a relaxing cup of chamomile tea or add a dropper full of its tincture to your bedtime tea and open the doors to the psychic dream for vivid visions and dream-work.
Lavender is a versatile herb that gained popularity during the Victorian era. It is governed by Mercury and serves as a staple for witches. Its soothing vibrational frequency hushes our inner chaos and excessive mental chatter while taking our minds off of stress.
You can get started with your dream-work using:
Just before your bedtime, soak your feet in the foot bath, spritz some room spray around you and on your pillow, take its flower essence (neat) beneath your tongue and get ready to drift off into the dreamland with creative visions.
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) root has garnered a fair share of prestige due to its extraordinary comforting attributes. In folk medicine, it is documented as a muscle relaxant, calming aid, and sleep aid.
It magnifies the state of slumber to induce lucid dreaming. You can use it in the form of:
Stir it into your bedtime tea or consume it neat (beneath your tongue) to reap the most of its benefits.
Apart from promoting a deep night’s sleep and vivid dreams, it also helps you remember them the next morning so that you can discuss them and discover the hidden signals.
Since the Middle Ages, lemon balm has been employed to seek its soothing qualities. It is a nootropic herb (brain supplement) that improves memory and other cognitive functions. It promotes mental calmness and induces sleep due to its sedative action that supports the dream-work
You can take it before your bedtime in the form of:
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is hands down one of the best sleep aids in the town. It contains nepetalactone that reduces excitatory traffic and prepares the body for sleep.
Devote a night to your visionary dreams and drink its tea before bedtime to delve into the pool of dreams and magick. You can also pair it with Mugwort to seek more dream-work benefits.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a circulatory tonic that unclogs energy blockage and stagnation. Its dream-work benefit is often overlooked due to its other medicinal attributes that outshine its spiritual benefits.
It strengthens the integrity of dream space, and assists in astral travels, prophetic dreams, and defensive magic.
Use it before your bedtime as: