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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. 

Not a volunteer in dreams 

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.


Fear of sharing

I’ve talked about this before and I have thought a bit about our fears of sharing dreams. In a lot of societies that share information in the way we do, we get this feeling about each bit of information we ingest. We don’t always have to believe it’s a true feeling to have, it’s still there. In the life !of information it’s our feelings and anthropomorphic model of the medium of that information that sets up how we digest it. I’ll show you what I mean.

Imagine that WordPress was a person. What do they look like? What do they wear? What does this tell you about the information WordPress tells you?

Do this again for another source of information, say Twitter. Again does this anthropomorphic model tell us about this medium?

We do this a lot as humans. We create identified models of things we interact with. Some become universal characters whom we share our daily lives with.

To me WordPress is the girl in highschool whose on the magazine, sharing everything she can with everyone. She cares so much about her little articles. Each one is a little pearl. You know sometimes it’s not the best, but you pay attention to it as most of the time it’s a pretty awesome magazine.

Twitter is a group of friends at a table, each talk about something they care and observe. I’m in this conversation as well. Every person can join this group but I have some favorites whom I keep together with. Every now and again we get together and share something really important, but mostly it’s just the thoughts and feelings about today’s stuff.

What does this have to do with dreams? Well one of these mediums is what we call common knowledge or common sense. If they were a person they would be the slightly dodgy guy who sometimes tells you silly bits of stuff that might be true but sometimes isn’t. It’s often very convincing so you listen to him as he’s your elder. One day maybe he says something that everyone seems to believe. Like our dreams are things people can tease us about if we share them. We can be hurt by this as they tell us our dreams are nuts. We are crazy and need to seek proper phychology all consulting. Secretly we believe we do.

This is now what we feel when we think of sharing our dreams. We get scared of being accused of being crazy. We don’t want other people to know we secretly feel like we are the only ones who are actually genuinely insane.

I will share something with you now.

This was me too.

I believed I was nuts because of my dream content.

I dreamed about becoming a girl. I wanted to be one so bad I was a girl in pretty much every dream I had. Mostly I ignored it. Or when it really made me feel bad I told my diary.

I did start to get over some of this fear. I found out that gender swapping dreams are pretty common.
It was my fears that stopped me from sharing them with anyone.

Transgender people don’t get a good wrap in the media. In the 90s the bad press around them was pretty saturating. There was however one moment that stands out for me.

Ace Ventura

This movie is rife with transphobic messages. I was horrified in my little teenage self I would be treated like the trans woman in this movie. People out to proove in every possible way I wasn’t a “real woman”, and never could be.

It pretty much set me back about 15 years. I was just staring to properly question my gender. The context of the medium, a movie, helped clinch the message home. Being transgender wasn’t a good thing. Of course I now know it to be a bunch of shit attempt at horrid comedy designed by a immature fuckwhit (not sorry). That being said it gets my point accross, the medium changes how we interpret and analyze our message. Our own personal dream medium is no different.

Not all transgender people have gender swapping dreams of course. In most of my dreams gender isn’t even a factor. Others it’s the main element. And it’s completely fine for it to be so.

There are a lot of people who ask me if any particular topic in a dream is normal. I have to say again, normal is a concept. It’s another one of these media we humans have created. My normal is vastly different to the normal of a Kenyan boy in his early teens, as an extreme example. My normal is also different from the guy in a business suit sitting across from me on the buss.

Being worried about dream content is kindof normal, as long as it doesn’t cause you anxiety or insomnia or fear of sleep etc. In those cases seek help.
Otherwise normal is just a word.

The medium of dreams should be as free and unfearfull as possible, and if others make you scared of sharing your dreams, they are not the people to share dreams with.

A reality of dreams

Mind Hacks

The journal Sleep has an interesting study on how people with narcolepsy can experience sometimes striking confusions between what they’ve dreamed and what’s actually happened.

Narcolepsy is a disorder of the immune system where it inappropriately attacks parts of the brain involved in sleep regulation.

The result is that affected people are not able to properly regulate sleep cycles meaning they can fall asleep unexpectedly, sometimes multiple times, during the day.

One effect of this is that the boundary between dreaming and everyday life can become a little bit blurred and a new study by sleep psychologist Erin Wamsley aimed to see how often this occurs and what happens when it does.

Some of the reports of are quite spectacular:

One man, after dreaming that a young girl had drowned in a nearby lake, asked his wife to turn on the local news in full expectation that the event would…

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How sleep makes your mind more creative

Mind Hacks

It’s a tried and tested technique used by writers and poets, but can psychology explain why first moments after waking can be among our most imaginative?

It is 6.06am and I’m typing this in my pyjamas. I awoke at 6.04am, walked from the bedroom to the study, switched on my computer and got to work immediately. This is unusual behaviour for me. However, it’s a tried and tested technique for enhancing creativity, long used by writers, poets and others, including the inventor Benjamin Franklin. And psychology research appears to back this up, providing an explanation for why we might be at our most creative when our minds are still emerging from the realm of sleep.

The best evidence we have of our mental state when we’re asleep is that strange phenomenon called dreaming. Much remains unknown about dreams, but one thing that is certain is that they are weird. Also…

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