Do you remember when you were a child how much fun it was building a fort or perhaps a tree house so that you could have a sleep over in it? Do you remember how magickal that secret little corner of space became to you, or how the feeling of mystery and excitement would wash over you as you crawled through the small tunnel entrance into the spacious cavern that you dragged all your favorite toys, blankets and books into?
Did you know that at such a young age, you sought out this special little haven perhaps as a dream temple and didn't even realize it?
Dream temples are prevalent all over the earth, created by the ancient societies as a special haven where they too could have their secret corners to let their imagination and dreams inspire them. While the temples of old were more formal and certainly more spacious than our couch cushion walled, blanket ceiling and armchair supported fortresses, they nonetheless served the same purpose to draw out a new mystical perspective from our beings.
Some postulate that dream temples, which simulated incubation, allowed the body to experience death; others thought it was more like the comfort of a mother's womb and thus allowed us to experience a place of birth. Whichever the case may be (it's likely and logical that both are true), it is important that when creating your personal dream temple you make it feel like a hidden cozy corner away from the rest of your everyday world. Your bedroom doesn't count! Let me explain why... First, your bedroom is part of your everyday world. You begin your days there and end them there too. After a period of time the body naturally begins to associate your bedroom and the bed/things in it as a place of sleep and everyday living (I know you're saying well yeah, that's why it makes a good dream temple silly). By a place of sleep, I am talking about a place of physical rest and restoration of your body, not so much a place of sleep where you will dream your magickal dreams. When your body becomes used to (adapts itself to) associating your bedroom with relaxation and regenerating itself, that's what it gets itself programmed to do. Now, if you change that and add a new sleeping place to your resources, one that is for magickal thought and dreaming your body has a new place where it can let out or maybe gain some of the inspirations you've been looking for.
Why does it work? Because for one, your body must get used to a new sleeping environment and can't access the mental program your bedroom environment has to get you into the rest and restoration mode. Two, the emotions evoked by a dream temple create a magickal mood in your body making you more receptive to those threads of thought patterns and energies. Three, the different ways that sound, smell and light does or doesn't enter your sleeping environment will tend to change your sleeping habits. For example, as the sun rises each day the light may enter your bedroom window, signaling your body to start awakening. However, if you create a dream temple that is almost completely void of light you might catch yourself oversleeping (and beneficially having more REM/dream time)!
To help you create your dreaming temple here are a few suggestions:
1. Create your dreaming temple outside of your bedroom if you can.
2. Try to keep your space partitioned off from mainstream activity in the house, allowing you a safe haven of secrecy for yourself.
3. If you can, let the child in you come out to play. Pitch a tent in the living room; build your fortress with your couch cushions and blankets and nearby furniture; drape a blanket over the kitchen table, and sleep under it with the dog (don't sit up too fast when you awaken!); if you have a large enough walk in closet, dig the junk out of it for a few days and make yourself a nest. Glow in the dark stickers did you say??? Definitely!
4. Get a special set of blankets and pillows for your dream temple. Anoint them with a specific oil/scent that you only use for them. Why? Because once you start using these your body will associate the textures and smells with your special dreaming space, thus opening your mind to that mood etc.
5. If you can make your temple with secret compartments for your flashlight, your pens and dream journal do so! Secret compartments always add to the fun, and they keep you from waking up with ink stains all over your jammies!
6. Bring in some charged crystals if you like. I prefer amethyst, moonstone or clear quartz. I also try and make sure that the crystals I use are the soft polished ones, not crystal points because I don't like waking up to sharp pointy things digging in while I'm trying to dream.
7. Try and keep your dream temple easy to assemble and disassemble (if you must). If you have a spare room in the house however, you can make it your permanent dreaming space.
8. Don't over use your dreaming space! Sleep in your dream temple 7 days in a row at the very most (I personally try not to go over 4 or 5 days). If you over use your dreaming temple you may find that your dreams start dwindling as your body starts looking to re-associate itself with a program to relax and restore itself in your dream space.
9. You may want to access your dream temple on the weekends or days that you know you won't have to get up at any certain time. My dream temple is particularly dark when I shut the entrance and that from time to time does keep me sleeping later than usual.
10. Most importantly keep it comfy. If you have a hard floor without any carpeting you may want to invest in one of those foam bed cushions. Sleeping on just blankets could leave you with an unwelcome stiffness in the limbs in the morning. Also temperature control... You may need lighter blankets in the summer etc.
11. When using your dreaming space it is recommended (for many dreaming techniques) that you eat a light dinner if any at all, refrain from smoking or consuming alcohol the day before, and perhaps take a ritual bath beforehand.
The rest is for you to tailor to your needs. Good luck and blessed dreaming!
~Windfox 8/04From Windfox’s Web of Wicca