Have you ever awakened from an exceptionally vivid dream with a feeling of indescribable awe, reverence and gratitude? If so, you may have had what we call a "numinous" (mystical) dream, which is a direct communication from your superconscious, or soul. A numinous dream, which often resembles a vision, is unusually vivid and has a spiritual tone or theme. Its purpose is to awaken your spiritual life and provide guidance, healing or spiritual "progress reports."
Location, location, location
Beautiful natural locales, like a majestic mountain or shimmering lake, are often the backdrop of numinous dreams. You can also recognize these dreams from their spiritual symbols, such as a beautiful ship, brilliant light, vivid colors, religious figures (or people who have a spiritual aura), white garments, and flowing clear water. Actually, a numinous dream will contain any symbol that evokes a reverent response in you and gets you in touch with your spirituality.
Numinous dreams can reveal our soul purpose and encourage our spiritual growth. Sandra in Everett, Massachusetts offers an excellent example of such a dream, which is prompting her to "cross over" to a more spiritual way of life. She writes, "I had a dream once that I am standing in front of a big, clear lake with crystal and diamond rocks underneath the water. Across from me I see a man with a long white gown and long white beard. He is sitting down and looking right at me, calling to me to cross over the water." Sandra's dream has many elements of a numinous dream, including a picturesque, clear lake (symbolizing spiritual and emotional clarity) and a wise being who advises her. This figure may actually be her spirit guide or even the part of her psyche that guides her on her journey.
If Sandra chooses to consciously embrace her spiritual life, in whatever way that's appropriate for her, she may eventually have a dream that offers a kind of progress report on how she's doing. For instance, she might dream of climbing a steep mountain slope, striving to reach the peak. Mountains symbolize higher planes of consciousness and being closer to Source. In the dream, her path may include stumbling blocks symbolized by boulders that she has to navigate around (a good metaphor for life's distractions and challenges that may obscure her true path). This dream would be giving her an A for effort as she ascends upward on her path.
Physical and emotional healing can take place during our nighttime excursions as well, as prompted by the superconscious. Healing dreams often include hospitals, doctors, treatments, or even the loving touch of an angelic presence. You may dream of being on the operating table or a nurse giving you a shot. These dream scenarios are actually symbolic representations of the healing that can occur during a numinous dream. You may even awaken with the urge to change your diet, attitude or habits to supplement the healing you received while you slept.
Sometimes numinous dreams come to us simply to remind us of our bond with the Infinite. Kim from Hollywood had such a dream, which took place about 15 years ago and contains many classic numinous symbols. She writes, "I'm walking along a street of white picket fenced houses - the fences are about a foot high and the lawns perfectly manicured. It's the time of night where it looks like a Maxfield Parish painting (either dawn or dusk). I am all alone - I am so content. It feels like I am going to Bethlehem (like the wise men before Jesus was born - yet it is modern day and I am my present age. It is perfectly quiet and the only other glow I see is a few televisions on the houses - very faint. I run into this guy I know (but not very well) from an entertainment side job I have in San Francisco. We say hello and he tells me he is going 'over there' as he points high in the sky where there is a crescent moon and a star shining just to the side of it. A stream of white light comes together from each and drops to the horizon. He explains that it's 'where The Mojave, The Himalayas and Egypt meet.' I say, 'Cool! I'll see you there!' and we merrily go our separate ways. (In life, it was just before I moved to Los Angeles, and when I told Dennis about the dream, he said, 'Oh you're part Cherokee.' And I said 'Yes - my great great Grandmother was 100% Cherokee.' He replied, 'That was a Cherokee dream. Did you know I have my Master's from Berkeley in Religious Studies and I'm 100% Cherokee?')"
Kim's dream beautifully portrays how everything in the Universe is connected, as symbolized by the streams of light coming together ("I'll see you there!"). The reverent feeling of traveling to a spiritual place like Bethlehem and the sense of profound contentment are typical of numinous dreams - plus the fact that the dream still makes such a deep impression on Kim after so many years.
Numinous dreams that contain messages from the soul provide invaluable guidance, inspiration and healing. Perhaps most important, they remind us that there is a unifying energy to all life, and that we're part of an infinite and loving Universe.