How to create your personal dream space to connect with your subconscious and give shape to your personal mythology.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to an old friend of mine – a writer. She was telling me how sleep has been rough for the last year, with everything that’s happening, choking her creativity. And between sentences she stopped and looked at me: “You know, I can’t even remember the last time I visited my place”.
“What do you mean by your place? Your home?”, I replied.
Well, it turns out that ever since she was a kid, she dreamt of this gigantic, magical world. It was inspired by one of Terry Pratchett’s books – but she made it her own. A personal world, with its own rules, creatures, gods, and mythology.
Every imaginative or creative thinking, every dream and story, every emotion emerged from her place. In order to write her amazing books, she had to immerse herself in that world.
And it got me thinking.
How many people have this inner place, lodged deep into their subconscious?
Perhaps you have it as well but you aren’t even aware of it! It doesn’t have to be magical or anything like that. It just has to be… personal.
Bringing the Subconscious to the Real World
She was very emotional about it. The idea that she “forgot” about that place, that part of herself, was depressing.
But that’s the reality for many people. I’ve said this a million times but lack of sleep means lack of dreams.
And in reality, not all dreams occur during the night. See, there’s no difference between your subconscious during sleep and your subconscious during the day. What changes is your relationship with it.
When we’re asleep, we have easier access. But the important part is to maintain a direct communication line during our waking hours to bring our personal mythology from the shadow to the light.
So, she asked me about my experiences. She knows I’m writing these blog posts and she wondered if I had any actionable advice.
Of course, the first thing I told her was to… fix her sleep. It’s imperative.
But the second step is to create a physical space where dreams can slowly emerge.
How to Create a Dream Space?
What do I mean by Dream Space?
Well, it’s very simple. A space, part of a room or a whole room, where you can safely bring your subconscious to the forefront WHILE you’re conscious – this is the key part.
Remember that dreaming is, in fact, an active process and not merely passive consumption of information. That means you have to work to bring forth what’s hiding.
There are 5 different ways a dream space will facilitate that:
- The right atmosphere and vibe for reflection
- Create a safe space for the inner journey
- Place triggers that will elicit certain emotions
- Objects of Power
- Inspire the Mythoneiric process
These may sound weird and esoteric at first but they’ll make sense as you keep reading.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”
1. Aesthetics Breed Meaning
This might be a little controversial but I stand behind it 100%.
What we see, what we hear, what we feel can influence how we see, how we hear, how we feel.
In practical terms, this means creating an environment that, to put it bluntly, puts you in the mood for introspection and reflection.
For me, that means using my trusted banker’s lamp, a couple of candles, and some light classical music. I might brew some tea. Or use this video in the background as well.
It doesn’t really matter what you do specifically as long as it expresses who you are. Another thing that might help is to take inspiration from your dreams. What themes draw you in? What kind of archetypes and mythological characters emerge?
What’s the setting, the world you’re dreaming in?
Decorate that corner with these images. Bring the elements you encounter in that space; fire, air, water, earth.
It sounds weird but these details can make a big difference.
Also, do NOT downplay the power of music. In many cases, a specific track can elicit a powerful emotional response that will act as the catalyst for further exploration.
2. Make it your Own
The term “safe space” has been overused but in this case, it makes sense.
We’re talking about a place where you’ll be vulnerable and open to new experiences. You will communicate with a part of yourself you’ve either ignored or completely neglected for many years.
It doesn’t matter who you are, this process can bring the most vile and soft spots to the forefront.
But how can you even make it a safe space?
Well, it’s mostly symbolic but creating some sort of entrance to that space. Both physical and mental.
You might lock the door or hang a certain painting. An anchor to signify that the process is about to begin.
To my friend, I suggested sprinkling salt, outlining a circle. Borrowing a page from religious practices, a circle is wholeness and a barrier. It filters out negative energy and lets in whatever is positive.
Speaking of negative energy…
3. Objects of Power
Don’t feel silly using crystals, incest, burning sage, putting bowls with plants and personal objects around your room as a means to banish any negative feelings – and clear up the space.
Whether I or anyone else believes in these sorts of practices is irrelevant. I won’t judge ancient traditions – traditions that the dominant religious dogma still employs but calls them by a different name.
Belief and intention over everything else! Bring in your Dream Space whatever can help you declutter your mind and your environment.
A special note about personal objects. Your favorite toy or an old yellow notebook can be vessels containing power. They store memories, trauma, and childhood experiences. If I were you, I’d look for them. They can be the key to unlocking that door…
4. Dream Library
We all have a handful of books that we go back to every few years. Novels we read as teenagers or nonfiction writing that changed our beliefs.
We keep them close as a reminder of what we once were and who we are today. Well, the interesting thing is that the process of transformation occurs in our subconscious, ergo these books affect this specific part of ourselves.
In that context, a dream library is 4-5 books that deepen pre-existing furrows in your mind, towards the center of it all!
Do you have to read them? Only if you want to. You might’ve figured out that a lot of symbolism goes into your dream space. Books are not different; they’re placeholders for meaning and specific beliefs.
Another thing I like to do personally is to keep my dream journal next to this pile of books in case something jumps out.
5. Trigger Alpha Brainwaves
Now that you’re sitting in your dream space, it’s time to engage with your subconscious.
And the best way to do that, while increasing focus and visualization ability, is by shifting to alpha brainwaves.
That can be accomplished through music, meditation or breathwork techniques.
6. The Mythoneiric Process of Applied Mythology
“An archetype is like an old watercourse along which the water of life has flowed for centuries, digging a deep channel for itself. The longer it has flowed in this channel the more likely it is that sooner or later the water will return to its old bed.”
Finally, we arrive at a special method of mine. It’s experimental so whatever you do, keep that in mind.
First of all, you need to read this to understand the context of what I’m about to say.
Done? OK, let’s begin.
So, everyone has certain archetypes inside them. Whether you follow the Jungian perspective, MBTI or a completely different model, humans have these egregores that represent clusters of behaviors and personality traits.
Mythology creates a setting where these archetypes can interact and create primordial stories and events.
For example, the mythological character of Zeus obeys the archetype of the father figure. How you relate to the Olympian God represents how you relate to the father figures in your life.
This is a crude oversimplification but I hope you get the point.
How can you use the mythoneiric process in practice?
First of all, the mythoneiric process is a combination of applied mythology and active imagination; a meditation of mythological archetypes and how they manifest in your life!
The best way to go about this is to describe my personal experience.
I relate to the ideals and myth of Prometheus. For the longest time, this archetype emerges in my life, subconsciously for the most part.
Thirst for knowledge, sacrifices for insight and creativity, a deep admiration for great humans, etc.
(Dreams about fire lighting a hallway or an anabasis to a mountain and the subsequent fall…)
Unsurprisingly, I’ve also inherited the shortcomings and downfall of the Titan.
Perhaps Zeus won’t strap me on a rock and have an eagle feast on my liver.
Yet, I’ve found that a symbolic manifestation of this event is taking place in my life.
My disregard for the authority of the father figure has, more than once, thrown me under the bus. Trying to outsmart and trick those above me, thinking that my intentions were noble, created a cascade of consequences I could only anticipate in hindsight.
So, how can the mythoneiric process help me?
By allowing my thinking about a specific situation in my life to find footing in the mythological arc of Prometheus.
I meditate on how these events in my life relate to Prometheus.
In fact, I do more than meditation. I try to visualize how said events might unfold within the mythological structure of the Promethean archetype.
The Gift of Fire
A few years ago, I wrote an opinion piece on a particular political decision in my country. The “gift of fire”, I thought, was my insight. At least from my perspective.
If I had used the mythoneiric process, I’d have realized that a big sacrifice had to be offered – ie, the pushback on my ideas. And at that time, I wasn’t prepared to deal with the consequences. My pride, Zeus’ eagle, came back to bite me.
I know that this sounds way too abstract, but that’s because it’s as personal as it can get. Trust me, once you start thinking in these terms, it’ll make a lot more sense.
A few days ago, we spoke on the phone with that writer friend of mine.
Turns out that all she needed was some personal time and… the emotions started flowing.
Akin to a temple, the dream space can become a place for contemplation and safe exploration of our subconscious.
She was able to remove these creative blocks merely by knowing that there was always a haven she could retreat to if life came knocking on her door.
On that note, let’s conclude with this quote from Marie Kondo’s books:
“It is not our memories but the person we have become because of those past experiences that we should treasure. This is the lesson these keepsakes teach us when we sort them. The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past”
Introspection doesn’t always concern the past. It is the vehicle that will propel your current self to the future.
George K has been immersed into the world of myths and dreams for a very long time now, attempting to find the numerous symbolisms and meanings attached to them. He is a prolific writer along with being an independent researcher. Contributing his knowledge and learnings to several magazines and blogs, he has the unique ability to simplify and explain even the most intricate subjects.