What is a Dream Sign?
During the 80s a professor at Stanford university called Dr Stephen Leberge, conducted extensive research into lucid dreaming
. The research in this area of interest was seldom done, nobody took any merit from the brains state during dreams. Dr Leberge wanted to explore consciousness within sleep and went about finding ways to not only prove it was doable but was incredibly beneficial. The term "Dream Sign" was used by Dr Leberge to describe a noticeable red flag
during a dream that would "give the game away" as it were and help the dreamer to recognise the dream. This would help any wannabe active dreamer to realize he/she was in a Dream and could experiment with the virtual mental reality playground they were presented with. Now every Dream sign is unique to everyone as it is within your experience; your karma, your personality, your mood and memories play a huge part in your unconscious processes. These five common dreams signs are the most widely spoken about and understood by the lucid dreaming community and can help you to become lucid tonight - if you know what you are looking for:
1 Unusual physics
Have you ever dreamt that you were running and your legs began to feel like lead? You are jumping and spending an unfamiliar time in the air? Fighting a kung fu master whilst bounding on tree tops? Unless you are capable of these skills in real life, I would suggest that the experience felt unusual to you, right? Unusual physics is the perfect tell tell sign of dreaming, and in those moments you felt unable to move or had extra strength as per normal - a deep part of you was semi-aware and this critical awareness can be trained and harnessed.
How to use it
A very practical way to train yourself to become aware of these moments is to try it out in the waking life. I obviously don't mean jump off the top of a building and try and fly, but jumping is the perfect technique! Try jumping next time you are on your own (or surrounded by people if you don't mind awkward questioning) and expect
that if you are dreaming, you will float off the ground. This technique requires a huge amount of intent, and belief, but once you try it a few times, next time you dream the idea will come into your head and you will fly into the air like superman!
2 Interactions with Dream Characters
Now I call them Dream characters to install a sense of difference from the waking life characteristic of the person being protected in the Dream state. You may know the person, you may not, but it is important to differentiate the dream projection and the person because it created a higher level or critical awareness - if you are used to being around said person, you are more likely to notice them acting odd in the dream.
How to use it
Speaking with them, finding out what their "role" in the dream is can give you incredible insight into the dreams meaning and what lesson it can offer you. It will also stop you from resenting them in real life, because of actions you deem "they did" in the dream. I once had a girlfriend that dreamed I cheated on her. She was angry with me all day! I was even extra nice because I felt guilty!
3 Unusual Environments
Another common occurrence is finding yourself in an environment, or one that is familiar, yet different. If that seems to vague allow me to explain: You may find yourself at your primary school, your old place of work, an old gym or a childhood home you grew up in. Depending on the dream, you may have morphed to your younger self (but more about that in the next paragraph). If you have built the critical awareness to notice that you no longer visit these places, or live in them, you can spark lucidity in your dreams by just paying attention to your environment. The place you are in may not be familiar at all, alien in fact! But if you don't have the know-how to pay close attention to your surroundings, you will think there is nothing unusual about being on the rings of saturn in the dream state.
How to use it
Take extra note of the areas you frequently visit and those you do not visit anymore. Note these down in your dream journal when they arise in your dreams. Take special note of your childhood home, old school, or somewhere you frequently visited in your childhood - these places are teamed with strong childhood connections that play a vital role in how your mind creates the dream scape.
4 Role Play
Are you the Count of Transylvania? Genghis Khan? Homer Simpson? Obviously you are not in the waking state, but that didn't stop you from believing that you were those people in the dream! You wouldn't have questioned anything about your life running up to being any of those characters at the time, it would have all felt normal - day to day life as per normal. Building the critical awareness to realise you are not who you tell yourself you are in the day, is perhaps the most challenging of them all - but also the most powerful. Up until the point your are awake, who you "are" in the day doesn't play a huge role in your dreams. The point isn't to reinforce your "story" of the daily waking you into the dream, but to notice that believe that is all you are has as much merit as believing you are the queen of England in the dream.
How to use it
Throughout the day, retrace your steps every few hours, just a short summary to yourself of how you got where you were, what you are doing there and why. This will help you building critical presence of the now and help you question if you are in a dream or not.
5 The Deceased
If you have never had a dream of communication with a deceased relative or loved one yet, I can guarantee you will at some point in your life. We are all touched by the passing of a loved one at some point in our lives and it is a very strong experience that echoes throughout our existence. This does not have to be a morbid experience though! You may speak with them, ask them questions, or just listen to what they have to say. Ensuring that you know that this is a dream and that the person you are dreaming about is no longer with you in life. This will be another hugely powerful tool to help you lucid dream!
How to use it
Next time you experience seeing a deceased love one in the dream, make sure to note it in your dream journal. If you think to yourself who you would like to be visited in the dream and what you would ask them, this is a great tool to summon them to come to you. Don't be scared of them, make sure you realise that it is a dream, but at the same time respect the wishes of the projection and definitely listen to what they have to say! The most important factor to using your dream signs to lucid dream is keeping a dream journal - Without dream recall being strong, you will not have the situational awareness to detect an unusual occurrence and become conscious of your dreams!