Can Dreams Be Prophetic?

Quote Master

The title is a good question; I am not an interpreter as I have always wished to be. I can’t even remember my dreams in the latest years as I did in my youth.

Yes, the Master tells the truth. My brother Al had the talent of the interpretation, as one of my aunts; Rakhshi. When someone talked about her/his dream, they could analyse it so well that one could be agreed immediately.

Now I want to share here with you a great article by Dale M. Kushner  MFA, who is founder of The Writer’s Place, a literary center in Madison, Wisconsin. She has an MFA in poetry from Vermont College and has served as poetry editor for The Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling. It is much worthy to read.

Dale M. Kushnerundefined Transcending the Past

Can Dreams Be Prophetic? How might you tell if your dreams are predicting something?

Posted Feb 28, 2020

Prize Publcations/Public Domain
Cover of the last issue of The Strange World of Your Dreams (1953) by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby
Source: Prize Publcations/Public Domain

In September of 1913, Carl Jung, the great pioneer of depth psychology, was on a train in his homeland of Switzerland when he experienced a waking vision. Gazing out the window at the countryside, he saw Europe inundated by a devastating flood. The vision shocked and disturbed him. Two weeks later, on the same journey, the vision reoccurred. This time an inner voice told him: “Look at it well; it is wholly real and it will be so. You cannot doubt it.”

Years later, in his memoir, Memories, Dreams and Reflections, he recalls the event and his concern that he was having a psychotic break.

“I was suddenly seized by an overpowering vision: I saw a monstrous flood covering all the northern and low-lying lands between the North Sea and the Alps. When it came up to Switzerland I saw that the mountains grew higher and higher to protect our country. I realized that a frightful catastrophe was in progress. I saw the mighty yellow waves, the floating rubble of civilization, and the drowned bodies of uncounted thousands. Then the whole sea turned to blood.”

The following spring of 1914, he had three catastrophic dreams in which he saw Europe was deluged by ice, the vegetation was gone, and the land deserted by humans. Despite his awareness that the situation in Europe was “darkening,” he interpreted these dreams personally and feared he was going mad. However, by August of that year, his dreams and visions were affirmed: World War I had broken out.

Some fifty years earlier, President Abraham Lincoln had a prophetic dream. Three days before he was assassinated, Lincoln conveyed his dream to his wife and a group of friends. Ward Hill Lamon, an attending companion, recorded the conversation.

Library of Congress/Public Domain
“Abraham’s Dream! Coming Events Cast Their Shadow Before.” Lithograph by Currier & Ives (1864)Source: Library of Congress/Public Domain

“About ten days ago I retired very late. I had been up waiting for important dispatches from the front. I could not have been long in bed when I fell into a slumber, for I was weary. I soon began to dream. There seemed to be a death-like stillness about me. Think I heard subdued sobs, as if a number of people were weeping. I thought I left my bed and wandered downstairs. There the silence was broken by the same pitiful sobbing, but the mourners were invisible. I went from room to room; no living person was in sight, but the same mournful sounds of distress met me as I passed along. It was light in all the rooms; every object was familiar to me; but where were all the people who were grieving as if their hearts would break? I was puzzled and alarmed. What could be the meaning of all this? Determined to find the cause of a state of things so mysterious and so shocking, I kept on until I arrived at the East Room, which I entered. There I met with a sickening surprise. Before me was a catafalque, on which rested a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Around it were stationed soldiers who were acting as guards; and there was a throng of people, some gazing mournfully upon the corpse, whose face was covered, others weeping pitifully. ‘Who is dead in the White House?’ I demanded of one of the soldiers. ‘The President,’ was his answer; ‘he was killed by an assassin.’ Then came a loud burst of grief from the crowd, which woke me from my dream. I slept no more that night; and although it was only a dream, I have been strangely annoyed by it ever since.”  (Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, 1847-1865 by Ward Hill Lamon, published 1911.)

Two weeks later, on April 14, 1865, Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. As in his dream, his casket was put on view in the East Room of the White House and guarded by soldiers.

These are two chilling examples of dreams that occurred during periods of collective crisis which accurately predicted historical turning points. Do prophetic dreams occur more often during turbulent times? How does the dreamer know if a dream is to be interpreted personally and symbolically or as a warning for others and the world at large?

I asked these questions to Dr. Murray Stein, a renowned author and Jungian analyst at the International School for Analytic Psychology in Zurich, Switzerland. Dr. Stein replied that he had no statistics on whether people have predictive dreams more frequently in times of crisis than at other times. In his experience, one can’t know if a dream is precognitive until after the event. After 9/11, he told me, people reported precognitive dreams that foretold the disaster. He said people also reported that dreams foretold the financial crisis of 2008, which he called, “a black swan event.” According to Investopedia:

“A black swan is an unpredictable event that is beyond what is normally expected of a situation and has potentially severe consequences. Black swan events are characterized by their extreme rarity, their severe impact, and the practice of explaining widespread failure to predict them as simple folly in hindsight.”

The recent outbreak of the coronavirus might be considered a black swan event, and perhaps we will soon hear about people who have had prophetic dreams of its manifestation.

Sothebys/Public Domain
Daniel Interpreting Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream (c. 1670) by Mattia Preti (1613-1699)Source: Sothebys/Public Domain

While there is no simple answer or proven method to discern whether a dream should be interpreted personally or more broadly, we can go about exploring its contents with both aspects in mind. For example, if I have a dream in which I am a child who has been put into a cage. I might ask: What aspect of me feels “caged” right now? Noting that I am a child in the dream, I might further inquire: Is there something from my childhood that is still confining and constricting me? I might try to estimate the age of the child in the dream and reflect back to when I was that age and try to remember if something significant happened then. Maybe my parents had begun to think about divorce at that time and I felt caged by their emotions. I might then inquire if there is something similar going on in my life right now, not necessarily a divorce, but an imminent disruption or the loss of a treasured relationship. When we go back into a dream to amplify it, each question generates other questions that can lead to deeply buried insights. (For a more complete explanation of Jung’s use of amplification as a technique, please see Michael Vannoy Adams’ description on JungNewYork

But what if I dream that I am a child that has been put into a cage, and a few days later, I discover that children of immigrants are actually being held in cages in detention centers? My dream, while personally relevant, would carry a collective, or more public meaning, as well. This collective meaning of the dream attests to the interconnectedness of our species, to our capacity for empathy (we see a horror on the news and we feel it enter us) and to the common values we share about the quality of human life.

If we had lived during the early part of the last century, or in an Indigenous culture, or in ancient Mesopotamia, we might examine our dreams for deep wisdom and as augurs for the future. These days we are more likely to look to neuroscience to understand our dreams. Neurobiology tells us that sleep is a complex neural activity of the brain that stays busy activating and deactivating complicated neuro-systems while we doze, including consolidating memories, regulating mood, restoring immune function, and many other important utilitarian tasks. But neuroscience tells us nothing about the meaning of dreams or why our dreaming life has carried significance for humans since we first walked the planet.

British Museum/Public Domain
Gilgamesh and Enkidu fight the Bull of Heaven. Gilgamesh cylinder seal, Assyria, c. 7th century BCE.Source: British Museum/Public Domain

About thirty thousand years ago, toward the end of the Paleolithic Era, our hunter-gather forebears descended into the subterranean darkness of caves to enact rituals of trance and dreaming. Recently, archaeologists and ethnographers have speculated that the artifacts found in the caves of southern Europe—bone flutes, whistles, and types of drums—and the now-famous discovery of cave wall paintings indicate that ancient shamans may have used these caves for ceremonial dream retreats (See in particular the work of David Lewis-Williams). We can speculate that the depictions of bison and large and small game along with scenes of hunting painted on the walls may reflect shamanic dream content. Perhaps the shaman ascended from his retreat having had visions about the abundance and location of prey, which would be crucial information for the clan.

Later human societies continued to transcribe their dreams. The oldest written dream recorded is in the Sumerian epic poem of Gilgamesh (2100 BCE). Not unlike King Nebuchadnezzar’s frightening dream in the Book of Daniel, Gilgamesh, the king of the Sumerian city Uruk, has violent nightmares about death, which shake him to the core and send him on his quest for immortality. But Gilgamesh cannot interpret his own dreams, and like many of the dreamers in the Old Testament, he is in need of an interpreter. How telling that from ancient times the one who receives the dream and the one who knows its significance are different people.

Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Nicholas Black Elk with his daughter Lucy Black Elk and wife Anna Brings White.Source: Wikimedia Commons, public domain

In some contemporary cultures, dreams are thought to be a way of receiving messages from the spirit world. A holy man or medicine woman, an elder or shaman is the receiver of the prophetic dream, which is given for the benefit of all and linked to the survival of the tribe or people. Black Elk, the holy medicine man of the Lakota Sioux, stated this when he said a dream is worthless unless it is shared with the tribe.

How can we relate to the dreams that pursue us? Are they simply the result of complex neurological activity and without real meaning, just as we know the moon is no enchanted sphere but a mere rock in space? What might we miss if we cast our lot with a viewpoint based wholly on the material world? Is it possible to consider the two worlds as being equally meaningful, the world of science and—to borrow the phrase John Keats used to characterize adventurers on the threshold of a new frontier—the world of “wild surmise”? Can we think of ourselves as vessels open to receiving wisdom through non-ordinary means? Can we be our own shamans?





Making panic and rule! always the same.


image from The Times

As you already know, here in Italy we are in quarantine as Coronavirus seems to prefer our land to any other country in Europe. How could it be otherwise after all? We have been enjoying the most incredible winter ever, more like spring than winter, trees are already sprouting, why should the virus head to some more uncomfortable place? In the meanwhile from North to South we are panicking. Supermarket have been assaulted to stock up on food, drinks, masks and above all bottles of Amuchina (Purell), which currently cost more than white truffle. Some schools in the North have been closed as a precautionary measure, school trips forbidden and worst of all, there is the most serious danger that football games might be played behind closed door, right this year that my team S.S.Lazio is that close to win the League (after 20 years).


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The Delta Pearl 26 — Mesmerize


Exiting and Mesmerizing indeed 🧡🙏🥰💖

Teagan's Books

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Welcome back to the #steampunk riverboat, my chuckaboos!  

Sometimes a “random reader thing” comes from a comment that I just can’t resist.  That’s what happened when John W. Howell mentioned conundrum.

It’s been quite a while since this riverboat first left the dock.  Before reading this chapter, you might want to review Chapter 1 — Dance, or Chapter 10 — Cover.  Without further ado…  

All aboard!

The Delta Pearl

Chapter 26 — Mesmerize


Sunlight flashed into my eyes. An odd clicking caused me to look up into the sky. The fluttering sound of a bird came to my ears. I shielded my eyes with my hand. Then I spotted something brass colored as it streaked across the blue sky above the Delta Pearl.


I was happy to see the Captain’s clockwork owl. My joy quickly turned to concern. The…

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Twat is Twat, no doubt 😂😅👍🙏




Inspector Lestrade: “Good God Watson, the pair of you took your bloody time getting here. You only live around the sodding corner. What kept you so long?”

Dr Watson: “The reason for our ‘brief’ delay I’ll have you know was that Holmes insisted he finish The Times crossword puzzle whilst sat in the little boy’s room waiting for a number two to exit the departure lounge. The poor chap was smoking away on his trademark extra-long Cherrywood pipe at the time. It got that smoky in such a confined space that he couldn’t locate the loo roll, then there was the kerfuffle with the locked door. He’s not been his usual self lately. Nevertheless, here we are. What pray have you got in store for us this day, Inspector Lestrade?”

Inspector Lestrade: “If you had any common-sense and used your eyes you’d see right there in front of…

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Sacred Laws of Psyche: The Connection Between Synchronicity and Benevolent Consciousness


Matrignosis: A Blog About Inner Wisdom

“Since psyche and matter are contained in one and the same world, and moreover are in continuous contact with one another and ultimately rest on irrepresentable, transcendental factors, it is not only possible but fairly probable even, that psyche and matter are two different aspects of the same thing.” C.G. Jung, On the Nature of the Psyche, Collected Works Vol. 8, para. 418.

The sacred laws I’ve written about in the last five posts—correspondence, opposites, oneness, entropy, and change—come together in the Law  of Synchronicity. This is something you can easily prove for yourself.

6.  The Law of Synchronicity: Meaningful coincidences between our inner and outer universes occur more frequently with self-reflective practices like dreamwork and active imagination. Synchronicities are not products of “cause and effect,” but of an imaginative, heartfelt search for personal meaning which eventually produces what Jungian Monika Wikman calls, “a psychology of synchronicity instead of linearity.”

I get the…

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Fairy Tale Tuesday: Jack And The Beanstalk


Folklore Fun

Everyone loves a great fairy tale especially if it includes a trickster such as Jack, a Giant and magical beans. Jack And The Beanstalk is a childhood favourite of mine. I remember as a wee girl when I first heard this tale read to me, my eyes were big and round like the full moon. Giants always fascinated me same goes for dinosaurs. Beans, well not only being a healthy whole food they are fun to watch grow even more when they soar into the clouds. 🙂

Joseph Jacobs 1854-1916was an Australian author and publisher. He collected and wrote Jack And The Beanstalk from original oral folk tales. This particular tale was told to him in 1860. He wrote other collections of English, Indian, European and Celtic fairy tales. It seems this adventurous tale appeared earlier in The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean” in 1734 as…

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Little Red Riding Hood by Charles Perrault


Folklore Fun

Little Red Riding Hood is a European Fairy/Folk tale that originated in the 10th century centered on a young girl that was gifted a red cape crafted by her grandmother. Her kindly Grandmother becomes ill and the young heroine must deliver some cakes her mother had baked wrapped up and placed in a basket. Red Riding Hood must journey through the dark woods, where a very hungry wolf dwells seeking his next meal.

Other notable folk tales similar to Little Red Riding Hood is an Italian folk tale, The False Grandmother. Little Red Riding Hood was written in 1697 by Charles Perrault his french version is called Le Petit Chaperon Rouge. Later the Brothers Grimm wrote a similar tale called Little Red Cap or Red Riding Hood in the 19th century.

Red Riding Hood’s red cape crafted lovingly by her Grandmother and given to her Granddaughter a symbol of life…

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