Lucid Dream Techniques
Step 3: Dream SignsWe all have occasional "recurring" dreams. On a subtler level, after you've been recording your dreams for a while you'll start to notice certain "themes" recurring. These are your Dream Signs - the clues that you are probably dreaming.
Once you have a few weeks of dreams recorded in your Dream Diary, sit down quietly and reread it all the way through. Make a note of all the recurring themes and images you come across. You'll probably be surprised at how many there are.
You might find it useful to sort these Dream Signs into categories. What categories you use is entirely up to you - the whole business of lucid dreaming is very personal. You might have "people, places and things", or "actions and emotions", or any other organisation.
Common Dream SignsSome signs are common to many dreamers, others will be intensely personal. Here are a few very common dream signs:
• Difficulty reading words
This has already been mentioned under Question Your State
• Flashing lights
Flashing lights are an easy dream sign to spot and you can buy lucid dream induction devices which make use of these).
• Ill-defined light sources
Excluding flashing lights, the ambient light in dreams usually seems to come from nowhere. There's always enough light to see by. In fact turning light switches on and off rarely works in dreams. That leads on to:
• Problems with mechanical objects
Mechanical objects either don't work or work in an overly simplified or complex manner. For example, the cord from electrical devices either runs directly into the wall without a plug or goes via a spaghetti-laden junction box that looks like something from a 1950s SF film!
• Dead people
Very often the dead are alive in our dreams. If you find a particular person appearing frequently then this is a good Dream Sign to note. Obviously you won't see that person in the "real" world, however you can train yourself to question your state every time you think of them.
Personal Dream SignsHere are a few of my own personal dream-signs:
• Running for a train
This is a standard "anxiety" dream of mine. Usually I am on one platform of the station and the train is about to leave from another platform the other side of the station.
• Lost shoes
For some reason I frequently realise in a dream that I have lost a shoe - usually only one not both!
Lucid dreams for me sometimes include birds. Dreams like this often begin as unpleasant ones, possibly a result of early exposure to the Hitchcock film "The Birds"! Lucid dreaming allows me to take control of an otherwise unpleasant experience.
The best Dream Signs are actually those that also occur in "real" life. That makes it easier to train yourself to recognise them.