Anne’s sleeping post

There are a really large set of results for “sleeping tips” on google. Go on search for it. I’ll wait. 
This whole set isn’t the issue here. Most of the good results are not that bad. Some are just good health advice, such as eat and drink probably. That’s no good at 3:00 when you haven’t slept for two whole days and have that big project due tomorrow. 
Not being able to sleep isn’t a disease. It’s a symptom. And while I could say sure cure the symptom and get on with it, that makes the problem arise again in a few weeks, days or months. 
So a new list of things to do may not be really very useful, but if you end up at the GPs or similar, you are probably going to get the same set of 5 questions or a version of them (if you already have said you have sleep issues they are likely to say other things). 
1. How is your diet?

2. Are you in pain?

3. How’s your general health?

4. How busy are you?

5. Are you drinking/smoking/taking anything for it?
All your answers to these questions will tell your Dr if you have a general health problem or a psychological one. It may tell them it’s both. 
I’m not going to be able to diagnose you, nor should I being a meer amateur. I don’t have any medical degree at all. (This is your disclaimer). 
The thing is that not getting enough sleep is a big issue for our society. The problem is that we are, when it comes down to it, smart monkeys. Our natural habitat and cycles are off from our technological advancement. 
It’s a common theme that you get better sleep on holidays than you do when your at work. Or even better sleep on the weekends than the weekdays. Every person in a western society probably has this issue. I’m not immune from it myself.

I’ve been recording my sleep with the same app on my iPhone now since early 2013. I have a good 3, almost 4 years of data in the application now. So this is a good indication of how much better sleep is on Friday, Saturday and Sunday than the rest of the week. My next best day is Wednesday. I’m not 100% sure why, it’s just how my sleep pattern works.

I’m sure your own sleep pattern tells its own story of your life and working habits. 
For example when you have a small child or baby your sleep is likely to be making your sleep patterns pretty insane. Sleep with small children is a very different subject that has many different ways of dealing with. I highly recommend the no cry sleep solution as a good book on the subject. 

How do you get to sleep?:

Insomnia is a painful issue. In the fact it can cause actual physical and mental pain. The usual cures will be the sort of thing to work out with your doctor but until then here are some good things to help:
Don’t self medicate. 
Switch on calming music 
Use a simple meditation to relax and then try again 
Get up, go to another room, sit their for five minutes, then go back to bed
Change your sheets
If you are still having issues:
Write down a list of things you are worried about 
Write next to them what you can do about them Tomorrow and if you can’t do anything then write “it’s a problem for another day”
Do some doodles
Cuddle a soft toy (seems stupid as an adult but it works)
Try a blindfold
Write in a journal before bed (best use physical book you have to write on). 
If all else fails it’s better to do some than feel like your doing nothing, so even if you go to the TV and put it on that’s ok. You are not a failure if you can’t sleep. You will get sleep eventually and you’ll see your doctor soon. 

Also note try not to:

Play or use a phone, ipad or computer 30 mins before bed or after you go to bed.
Do not have a TV in your bedroom if you can avoid doing so.
Of course I’m open to questions if need be. 

Dreams interpretation for you

If you are so inclined, and can’t get a decent answers by looking in the archives of this blog, I am indeed happy to do interpretation of dreams. Please note I take a no nonsense and somewhat scientific approach (as much as possible as I can). Also note I will not publish interpretation. Ever. 

I may however publish any questions about dream interpretation and dreaming in general. 

I am also aware this is the first post on this blog in a long time. 

To ask comment or email. 


Turkey dreams

Q: Does eating Turkey really help increase serotonin and make my xmass dreams more funky.

Firstly Turkey does help increase serotonin intake BUT this does not make xmass or thanksgiving dreams more funky.

If your like me, on xmass or thanksgiving day you eat some Turkey, some bread, fruits, salads, a few roast vegetables, maybe some dip and a whole lot of pudding. While you do this you often also drink a substantial amount of Alcohol.  Which as you can guess is actuly our “weirdness” culprit. Alcohol is the big doosey here for every article on how serotonin alone (not just Turkey) affects sleep, depression, etc., there are at least 5 more on Alcohol and its effect on sleep and the body. Your weird xmass dreams are also effected because, you guessed it, you expect to have them. You have had them in the past, everyone talks about them and its a fun way to spend the rest of the day when you wake up and don’t feel like moving as you have a pretty full belly.

Turkey and its effect on sleep is partly myth, partly reality. Preprocessed Turkey (like deli-meat) will be different to non-preprocessed (fresh cooked at home) as well, due what they do to processed meat (more salt, more fat, more accessible protein). If you really want a deit that will give you better “happy dreams” I am afraid that 1 meal Turkey is more likely to just give you a case of gas. Serotonin intake is also affected by everything else you consume on xmass day. And the thing is messing around with Serotonin isn’t something we should just do because we like weird dreams.

Serotonin doesn’t just give us the “happy” feeling, it also does other stuff, and having lots of it will actuly make you nuts. Were talking barking-foam-mad-dog mental asylum nuts here. You want to increase and decrease serotonin slowly and not without the help of real doctor or psychiatrist. 

Eating heaps of Turkey for a while may make your feelings, dreams and behavior change ever so slightly, but the serotonin is converted by your body, your body will stop converting it when you reach whatever level is normal for you and the rest will just end up in the toilet.

If you want to change your diet to get better dreams your better off doing, you guessed it, what every health expert pretty much tells you about diet. Mostly fruit and vegetables, medium grain and pulse, some meat and cheese; not to much and plenty of fresh water; Skip out on Caffeine and Alcohol drinks. Although yes alcohol helped you with the “weird” dream, the “weird” dream effect is diminishing. The longer and more alcohol you drink, the more likely you are to do damage and cause issues.

Republished due to high search count. 

Not a volunteer in dreamsĀ 

Previously I discussed how Jung thought (probably based on evidence at the time) that dreams were a Involentry state. I can’t find any evidence to say he changed from this view. It’s somewhat ironic that a lot of lucid dreaming texts use Jung as a basis for the archetypal interaction with dream characters. Lucid dreaming being, in of itself, purely voluntary. 

Modern Psychology tends to say that Jung was rather flawed in his views. Considering my reading of his texts I can see why. No one is above criticism, though it should if at all possible be objective. 

The creation of the archetype is however somewhat more. One can see such a concept being applied in the way people interact with myth, story and many of the way humans use their ability to  make sense and classify things. 

A “sense” of a area is assertianed, a set of attributes is listed and in short order a list of these things as they appear to be is made. This could be called a list of archetypes in this case. This leads to the idea that a archetypes might be a way to interact and understand the phenomenon of characters or concepts within dreams. 

This isn’t wrong. Let me say that clearly. It’s just not the whole picture of how a dream or a dream character could be interpreted. Like a novel character or like a tv show character. It’s a way of working out perhaps how you might continue to interact within a lucid dream or who you might tell your dreams to.

The point is, though their are many other factors to dream interpretation and that the Jungian method is unfortunately not entirely fool proof (though I am not aware of one that is). 

If you do use it, use it at your own risk and in the knowledge that dreams are not always Involentry. 

How do you incorporate paganism and your spirituality into your everyday life?

To cut a long story short, routine.

The long story:
I have a small group of friends and my wife who get together and do ritual work with. The rituals follow the standard set of pagan holidays, though we combine Beltine/Ostara and sometimes others. Litha we just have a movie night as it often to hot to ritual. Yule we have a kind of AGM gab fest thing. Its not a strict tradition. I get heaps out of doing it still so I am hopeful it continues for a while.

I’m mostly a kitchen / house witch these days. I do do many spells etc because mostly its a case of having explored it, and learned about it, I have discovered much simpler ways to do things. Every now and again I do a bigger ritual to help with stuff. I have done a few related to transition. I am about to start work writing up a new one for my 1 year anniversary.

In my general practice:

Wednesday I have a lunchtime meditation.

Saturday I do a week end prayer.

I do general household spells, such as protection spells, altar maintenance spells, cleaning spells. I also do some kitchen witchery, adding certain energies to foods / tea. Most of my ritual work these days is doing spells to make sure other rituals work. i.e. maintaining the space, altar tools, etc. I also have been doing a few job related spells. Mostly though I live by the ethos that the gods help those who help themselves. Unless you do work on the stuff you want your are not going to get it.
Basically you can ask the gods to win Lotto a billion times but they will just stand their in their whatever it is shouting back “Buy a bloody ticket.”

I do lucid dreaming as often as I can. Dream work used to make up the bulk of my practice. Having Finn put that to the wayside a bit. I generally try to do more dream work in the colder months as I seem to get better sleep cycles then.

I have tried OBOD Druidry, and I did about 1/3 of a course in Wiccan practice run by the local coven. Druidry fitted with me better, but still doesn’t quite cut it. Wicca and I don’t get on for philosophical reasons, which is another story.



I have decided that I need to open this space up to talking about more spiritual/philosophical musings. Although I think that their is a need for religion free dream work content, I have pretty much done all that I can with that. I can’t add anymore. Since that is the case I want to use this space not for spiritual and philosophical musings and discussion. I am happy to get feedback on this clearly but the content is going to be very modern pagan centric.


Are dreams voluntary

Again one is faced with the questions of archetypes. Jung had a proof for his archetypes which contains the assumption that dreams are voluntary.

“the main source (for evidence of archetypes ), then is in dreams, which have the advantage of being involuntary, spontaneous products of the unconscious psyche and are therefore pure products of nature not falsified by any conscious purpose.” Jung. The archetypes of the collective unconscious, p. 48, parra, 100.

I’m not entirely certain this is indeed the case. Sleep is not voluntary. We need it from a evolutionary and biological point of view. Scientifically we must say since dreams are occurring in most humans and almost every animal we have been able to a study of. (Citations needed). We can get into the idea that in essence for the majority of the human race dreams are not voluntary.

This is not to go and show everything Jung says in his continuing proof is flawed. If he had indeed stated that dreams are not voluntarily entered into by the conscience, his remaining evidence actually makes a lot more sense.

Take the examples he draws from religious rituals. I’m certain, from both my experience of trance states and Jungs that he knew these were not involuntary. He most likely knew they were open to influence from those leading the rituals and processes.

He also says that dreams are free of outside influences. Just starring the fact that archetypes exist and then saying they form from dreams that is saying that this is clearly not the case. The dreamer is able to influence the telling of a dream.

I’m not the only one who has found flaws in Jungs work. And I am not saying that merit is vacant from it. However his concept of archetypes is influenced by these two assumptions. I’m not sure using them as he defines them in his work is as pure as many works of more modern times (often spuriously saying things I would rather not credit with the ink they are put to print on). This is of course why I have spent the time researching the actual original text from which of these authors claim to have.