What exactly is a spiritual dream?
This is a question some may take entire books to answer. There are many theories but most depend to some extent on your religion. I of course can only speak of what I know, and that is pagan.
Spiritual dreams in paganism can range from a full in encounter with a deity or spirit, a communion with your own subconscious, and in a number of practices often can be related to phenomena in trace and OBE. Though these should not be confused. Each are different to some extent, but are in essence all a spiritual encounter and considers deeply real for the practitioner.
What may one encounter in a spiritual dream?
Defined symbology is easy to come by and every religion has it, as well as every culture. Of course one thing in a certain culture can have a separate meaning in another. A red bull may be a bad omen or a soft drink advertisement, and on occasion both, or none.
Dream dictionaries often have such meanings and lists of them, but I highly suggest you make your own from experience and recording your own dreams. Some find runes and tarot of great use in interpretation, a subject we will come to later. Long story short symbology is a complex subject, and one set of symbolic meanings is different to any other.
Deity or a representative of deity
To be short gods and goddesses, spirits and others appear in dreams. This is a part of psychology, but also as in essence they may actually be appearing in your dreams. But here is the important part:
you don’t have to do what they say
This seems common sense, but not everyone likes me saying such things as they are apparently blasphemous. If you had someone telling you things you didn’t want to do on the street, would you do them? This does not mean our minds are an open platter, or anything of that sort. We are in some regards naturally open to interpret things as they seem to be. This leads us sometimes to make assumptions that are erroneous. I am not saying any particular dream is not important or not spiritual though.
The possibility exits that the being you have seen is the “true” one, but what they have communicated to you is referred to as personal gnosis. Personal gnosis is a strong spiritual experience that can be a great part of your own interaction with the gods involved, but it is personal not universal.
Some may say that talking to a god in your dreams is crazy. Yet such a argument is a logical fallacy.
This does not mean we should not be cautious with such experiences, just that reality of the waking world needs also to be taken into account.
People get a little (or a lot) agitated when I say these things as they think I am telling them they are not having a real experience. I am totally not saying that. What I am saying is that a deeply spiritual dream requires a deeply spiritual and practical response. We must think deeply and act only on what we know to be proportionally the best course of action.
I am saying this as a cautionary tale, I myself have acted on what has been told to me in a dream that was very spiritual to me and ended up hurting a lot of people, including myself. Thus I now take such dreams as a more representative fraction of a greater whole within my practice. I.e. I act holistically.
Do I have an example dream?
Yes I do.
On the night of the full moon, some years past
I am in a grove full if tall trees, the air is a crisp spring frost. I see the grows covers with turf and the refuge of the dying winter. Next to me stands a man, about 6’7″ and in front of me another 6’2″. The one in front of me is in a old white shirt and black pants. He speaks in a almost monosyllabic Irish accent “this is how we should cast a circle”. He then proceeds to show me each step in the process of casting a circle. “Here in the north we…” And so on. When we get to the element of water and he introduces the tall man whom had not been introduced. He wears a old leather suit and thongs. His hair is a odd color that seems to change. “And at this point you talk with my good friend Man here” and the other man says “Sup. Now next we wake you up”.
As usual I used my holistic interpretation model to help me with the interpretation of thus dream. 1. Memory: I had been working on circle casting and had managed to get something wrong when casting a circle that evening. As usual I was besting myself up a little about it. 2. I had been working with gods whom in my mind looked like these ones. Psychological: 1. I felt sad at getting it wrong and wasn’t sure how to get it right. 2. This dream happened on the night after the full moon which I see as significant. Neurological: 1. Full moon effects sleep patterns due to its brightness and psychological meaning.
I realized that this dream had significance as a personal lesson.