Witchery: Programmed Dreaming

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.

By Charlie Marshall from Bristol UK, United Kingdom (Parachute Didn't Open) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Physical Manifestations from Astral Travel

Other than my accidental journey, one of my first few trips, after learning how to control myself when I was astral, was experimenting with the flying capabilities that I suddenly had at my disposal. As with most people, I had wondered about how the birds feel when they fly through the air, so I was having a great time playing around.

I was using the trees as catapults of sorts. I would fly at them and grab one of the top branches that was sticking up and hang on until it bent way over to one side. Then, using the force of the branch returning to its natural place I would slingshot off again faster and faster. It was a blast.

When I got tired of playing with the trees, I started swooping and soaring, making huge ornate patterns with my flight. Suddenly, I realized that it had gotten a bit out of hand, when I looked down only to see the ground as it seemed a million miles away. I knew in that instant that something was wrong. I was hearing this extremely high whistling noise and the lights below me were getting larger than they were… much faster than seemed normal. “Oh My God… I’m falling.” was all I could think. I have a fear of heights, normally, so I reached my hands and feet out in front of me and began to chant “This can’t happen, this can’t happen, this can’t happen.” continuously while scrunching my eyes closed as tightly as I could. The high-pitched whine had my ears so sore that my whole head throbbed. I was terrified of what was going to happen.

Suddenly I felt something incredibly soft under my hands and feet and then there was pressure against them. I opened my eyes and saw that I had landed ever so softly and lightly into a beautifully manicured cemetery. It was small and had a house right next to where I had come down. I knew that it belonged to an old man who tended the place, because I saw him as he wandered about. I decided to go exploring. I saw that he had some clotheslines out in back where they were not visible to the cemetery because of his fruit trees. The trees were not very tall only 20-30 feet or so, but they were very bushy and as such, provide a great deal of privacy for him. His little cement porch by the back door was encircled with terra cotta planters and had all kinds of plants growing in them. Small ones with tiny little blue flowers to huge ones that looked like heavily stemmed herbs, some were almost like rosemary… but not quite the same. There was a radio playing softly beside the back door as if he had been out there earlier and he had forgotten to take it in with him as dusk began to set in.

The name on the wrought iron gate said it was the Cumin Cemetery. I have looked around a great deal over the years since and have never found it on a map, yet. I am curious to know where I was. All I know is that there was a very large airport near to it, because I passed it on my way out.

After coming back into myself, I had severe earaches for a few days after that trip. When I asked about my earaches, a casual friend, who is an experienced astral traveler, told me that my physical body had manifested the pain that I had experienced in my astral form as some kind of sympathy reaction. Shortly thereafter, the friend had to relocate for his job. As such, I have never discovered if there is a way to prevent these types of issues, though I am sure there must be.

Though I am not very well experienced in going astral, myself, I still want to learn more about it and explore it when I have the chance to do so. With me, it is all a matter of finding the time to do so and the peace and quiet necessary in a house with three teenage sons and their visiting friends.




Recipes: Teas, Simples, Washes and Philters for Witches

There are many different sources for divination teas, philters, simples, and washes. These are added to magickal workings in some instances and actually are the magickal workings at other times. Any time you combine two or more types of magick into one ritual you are building that much more power to be able to send out with the spell.

The following is a list of tried and true recipes that we have enjoyed in the past.

Clairvoyance Philter
Source: Scott Cunningham

3 parts rose petals
1 part cinnamon
1 part nutmeg
1 part bay
1 part mugwort

Put these in a cauldron or pot and pour boiling water over them. Allow them to steep for several minutes, use the scent of the brew to improve your psychic awareness by inhaling the scented steam; you may even drink a bit of the brew to assist you in this. Then lie down and allow the visions to wash over you. Allowing the steam to continue rising and continue to help with the visions.

Psychic Tea
Source: Cunningham

3 part rose petals
2 parts yarrow
1 part cinnamon

Put these in a cauldron pot and pour boiling water over them. Allow them to steep for several minutes, then strain and drink it to assist you with divination and scrying.

Here are a few other recipes, which we have picked up over the years, which have proved helpful. They require 8 ounces of boiling water and the following herbs depending upon the result you are seeking. First, add the chosen herb to your cup or mug, bring the water to a boil on the stove top, then, and add it to your cup or mug. Let it steep for ten minutes and strain out the herbs. You may chose to sweeten teas with the old standard sweeteners of brown sugar, clover honey, orange honey, or you may use ordinary honey if you wish.

(For washes used externally, you may store the concoction in a glass jar in your refrigerator for a few days up to a week. Experiment and see, which works best for you.)

Agrimony: Brew and use as a wash for areas of the body which need healing as it is an excellent anti-inflammatory. Used in conjunction with healing spells work wonders.
Chamomile: Brew and use as a wash to draw good luck.
Cinquefoil: Brew and use as a wash to clear away hexes and curses of all kinds.
Eyebright: Brew and anoint eyelids and temples to enhance clairvoyant visions.
Hibiscus Flowers: Brew and drink to improve divination.
High John the Conqueror: Brew and use as a wash before gambling to increase luck.
Horehound: Brew and drink to increase mental acuity and processing speed. (Author’s Note: Do not use this if you are already physically tired and have to drive after your mental tasks are completed. This tea will make your mind race and allow you to achieve success over complex mental problems, but it causes a side effect of extreme exhaustion and can be unsafe to drive after using.)
Jasmine Flowers: Brew as a tea and drink to draw prosperity. Drinking also assists with bringing psychic dreams.
Kava Kava: Brew and drink as an aid for astral travel and psychic visions.
Mugwort: Brew and drink for clairvoyance.
Passion Flower: Brew and use as a wash to draw in peace and to erase stress.
Peppermint: Brew and drink as an aid to peaceful sleep and divinatory dreams.
Rosemary: Brew and mix with two tablespoons of baking soda and applied it to the scalp as a baldness preventative. (Spiritwind reported that after using this mixture for a few weeks he began to see new growth on the top of his head where he had been losing hair for years.) Leave on overnight and then rinse the next morning. Brew as a wash to cleanse your hands before spell work.
Skullcap: Brew and drink as a cure for insomnia and to bring peaceful sleep.
Vervain: Brew and drink to increase creativity.
Yarrow: Brew as a tea and drink to improve psychic powers.