Every witch I have ever met is curious about and actively seeking ways to control their magick to a greater extent than previously possible. Programmed dreaming is a way to do exactly that. It is the ability to harness the subconscious mind and put it to work for you. With programmed dreaming, any witch can harness the energy of their dreams and have them work toward solving their problems, manifesting power for use in waking hours, communicating with spirit guides and totem animals in an easier format, healing illness as they sleep, or connecting to the collective consciousness to do spell work while in a sleep state.
Several steps need to work in order for the witch to use this unique tool to its best advantage. Initially, the witch needs the ability to remember their dreams after waking. Using a dream journal is an excellent way of training the mind to begin to remember all dreams. Even if they cannot remember their dream(s) when you first awaken, write in the journal anyway. A simple line, such as: I did not remember my dream(s) today, but I will begin to remember them. Just make certain that as soon as you wake, you write down as much of your dream(s) as you can remember. At first, it may be only a single sentence, or a broad theme you can barely remember, however, with practice you will begin to remember the dreams in greater detail. You will recall specific emotions or situations experienced and you may even find that specific portions of dialogue from your dream state will begin to stay with you upon waking.
Once this is a common occurrence, start working on lucid dreaming. That is the ability to realize that you are in the dream state while dreaming and the ability to affect the dream itself. This may be as simple as changing a frightening nightmare to a more pleasant dream. It may be as complex as finding yourself in a situation in your dream which mirrors a problem you need to work on in your waking life and trying to exert your will during the dream to finding a solution to the problem you can use once you awaken. It is not a simple process and may take some time to master. We will discuss lucid dreaming in depth, later.
Visualization is another extremely important factor in programmed dreaming because you have to be able to focus your mind and energy as you are falling asleep into creating the situation you want or need to dream. This may be achieved by repetitively writing lines before you fall asleep. (I.e. I will dream about a spell for achieving goal “X”.) It may be achieved by writing a paragraph about the situation you want to dream about before sleeping that describes the situation and the solution you are seeking, write any details that you know and feel my be helpful in the dream. For some people it is helpful to focus on the issue as you are falling asleep, thinking about the problem specifics and possible solutions you want to consider, etc. It varies for each person, so find what works best for you.
Remember that during any form of dreaming, you are in touch with external entities. Your personal abilities, and unique creative abilities, which may not be as easily accessible during waking hours are fully open to you at that point. Your mind is less aware of your body and its surroundings and physical processes when in your subconscious mind so more energy directs beyond yourself than while you are in your conscious mind. The realities you experience in your dream states are completely controlled within yourself and may be altered by yourself, unlike the many things in the physical world, which may not be changed, are immutable, controlled by others or in concert with others.
Using your will power and your intent, you will access ideas and thoughts that may not spring to mind during consciousness. As with spell work, you control everything in the programmed dreaming, you decide what occurs, what and who has input into the dream. If elements you did not invite and do not want try to invade your thoughts during the dream state, you have the power to banish them completely and irrevocably.
If you experience difficulties, try aligning your chakras, meditating, abstaining from caffeine, nicotine and alcohol, or any other substances that may affect your control. Remember that as you are drifting off into sleep, as with any other practice, you should be in a comfortable position and breathe deeply with intention to calm your nerves, bringing oxygen deeply in to aid in the rigorous work you have your brain working toward and to aid your mind’s ability to focus.
I would suggest starting small. Decide a simple subject that pleases, something you that you would enjoy dreaming about for a night. Maybe a trip to a new place you always wanted to see, have a conversation with someone you admire but have never met. Once you begin to master the process of programmed dreaming and are able to self-direct the focus for your dreams on a regular basis, it is time to start to focus on converting your dreams from the somewhat random events that most people experience, to specifically targeted dreams to improve your life. As when awake, your thoughts in dreams have power. Send out, during your dream time, spells, questions, etc. that you need to work on. Use this time to explore your creativity and try things that you might not normally consider. Just as with astral travel, you may find that you can achieve things in dreams that you cannot achieve when awake due to physical boundaries.
Programmed dreaming is a great tool for witches to use. It is still a relatively new science and there are many groups striving to learn exactly how it works. As such, there are a great many resources out there to learn from and gather ideas from, so do not waste any time diving into the deep end and discovering for yourself, if programmed dreaming is another tool you can add to your own personal witches bag of tricks.