This blog goes along with Healing Thru Tarot Podcast Episode 39: Diving Into Our Dreams with The Tarot + A Review of Rose Inserra’s Books and Decks for Dream Analysis In this blog, I’ll discuss how to use the tarot to interpret dreams and I’ll review the dream books and dream reading cards by Rose Inserra that will help us analyze our dreams. I’ll also share a dream interpretation spread to help you interpret your dreams to uncover hidden messages and clues about life decisions, subconscious desires, and much more. So, let’s dive into the subconscious.
Did you know that the average person sleeps 25-30 years of their life and dreams 6 years of their lifetime? When you see this staggering number, you start to realize how important our dream life is. I’ve always been a vivid dreamer. Most nights I remember at least one to three dreams. I can often recall vivid, detailed narratives from my dreams, including the physical and emotional sensations that I felt throughout the dream.
Dreams are a window into our subconscious mind
We often are so busy in our daily lives that we don’t notice what’s going on under the surface. Our subconscious mind houses hidden fears, desires, and worries. By examining our dreams, we can pull back the curtain and explore what’s lurking underneath. Part of healing and living a more purposeful life requires that we do this inner work to truly understand ourselves and that includes facing our hidden fears. Dreams offer us that look into this hidden world, and it’s a vital step on our journey of healing, self-discovery, and personal growth.
The moon card in the tarot is related to dreams due to the connection with our subconscious mind and the fact that we sleep at nighttime, and the 9 of Swords represents sleep, nightmares, night terrors, and insomnia. If you pull these cards often in spreads, you might benefit from analyzing your dreams.
When starting dream work, I encourage you to start a dream journal and get into the habit of jotting down a few sentences each morning to summarize your dreams.
Below are some dream interpretation tips in case you’re thinking of starting dream work.
We all dream. Even if you don’t remember your dreams, I assure you that you are dreaming. Dreaming occurs during the 5th stage of sleep – the deepest sleep. This sleep stage is called REM which stands for rapid eye movement. We don’t remember all our dreams, but you may remember one or two a night, especially if you woke up during a dream. If you don’t remember your dreams, set the intention before bed to remember your dream the next morning.
In our dream state, our subconscious minds are unleashed and a flood of symbols float through our minds representing our deepest fears, struggles, doubts, and ruminations. And there are common themes of dreams that we all tend to have that reveal common fears and insecurities like dreams of having to repeat high school or certain classes, showing up on test day without preparation, falling, or being chased while running in slow motion. Most of us probably have recurrent dreams as well which become easier for us to interpret because they tap into very strong fears or worries or they consist of a theme we think about often.
Other things to note
Note your age during the dream. Were you a child, adolescent, or the current age you are now? Or were you older?
Note if this is a recurring dream. And estimate how many times you’ve had that same dream. Has it been 5 or 10 times, or more? Or is this a recent dream you’ve started to have repeatedly? For example, for decades I’ve had dreams about arriving at school unprepared for a test. And then I’ve had recurring dreams during the pandemic of being stuck out in public without a mask. So even though I’ve had the mask dream about thirty times – it’s a recent dream that just started the past 2.5 years but has become frequent whereas the school dream is one I’ve had for over 25 years. Those are important distinctions. They tap into different types of anxiety in different phases of life.
Note what you were thinking about before you went to sleep. Were you worried about anything in particular? Have you been dealing with a specific problem? Is there an issue you’re trying to figure out or a decision you’re mulling over? Your dream could offer clues and messages about these issues since that has been at the forefront of your mind.
Rose Inserra Dream Books
Rockpool Publishing sent over 2 of Rose Inserra’s fascinating books on dreams. Rose has studied and researched dreams for decades and is a dream analyst. Her books include Dreams, the Dictionary of Dreams, The Gift of Dreams, Sweet Dreams, and many more including the 2 books I’ll review here. In her books, she teaches us all about dreaming – why we dream, how to decipher the messages from our nightly dreams, and she explains collective dreaming, which we are starting to learn more about.
In her book, “Inside Your Dreams: An advanced guide to your night visions,” Rose provides us with a directory of common dreams such as animals, sex, anxiety, death dreams, and visitation dreams from loved ones and pets. My favorite part of the book is the section on dreaming during a worldwide pandemic. We are living in a history-making time, and I’m always fascinated when we can take a look at changes that impact global society as they are occurring in real-time. Here, she discusses collective dreaming and how she received messages describing very similar anxiety and contagion fear-based dreams over the past year and a half before finishing the book. Being OCD myself, I related to so many of these pandemic dreams that she detailed in that section.
Rose also tackles lucid dreaming, which I’m hearing people talk more and more about these days as people discover they can take control of their dreams while they are still in the dream state and change the script mid-story. This helps when you have recurring nightmares that can even cause you to fear going to sleep. I’ve used this technique with younger patients with frequent nightmares. Additionally, she provides dream rituals, techniques, and practices to help us with dream recall, to decipher the messages encoded in our dreams, and to master dream anxiety, which impacts a lot of individuals, especially at the current moment.
In her book, “Dreams: What Your Subconscious Wants to Tell you,” Rose reveals what dreams tell us about our health, she helps us write a script for tackling nightmares, she breaks down sex dreams, and she covers the differences between how men and women dream. But what listeners of this podcast would probably be most interested in are her detailed discussions on psychic dreams, pre-cognitive dreaming, archetypes that occur in dreams, the role of our shadow in our dream world, dream sharing, and the spiritual connection in dreams, especially how spirit guides, ascended masters, and past lives impact the content in our dreams. I found those sections the most captivating and enlightening.
I thoroughly enjoyed both books, especially using them alongside the dream reading cards. I’ll never look at my dreams in the same way again. There’s so much to learn from decoding our dreams daily. I highly recommend these books and the dream reading cards if you want to learn more about what your dreams have to tell you about your current path, fears, and messages from loved ones and guides that could easily get looked over if you jump out of bed and brush off the content of your latest dream. Thanks to Rockpool publishing for sending these items over for review. Links for all the books and decks discussed in this blog listed at the bottom of this blog post.
Here's an exercise you can use to explore a dream you've had!
Rockpool Publishing also sent over Rose Inserra’s Dream Reading Cards for me to work with and review. I worked with this beautiful and unique deck as I was preparing for this episode/blog, and I used these cards to help me interpret several recent dreams.
This deck is comprised of 52 cards. There are 22 themed cards that help to explain common dream scenarios like flying, test taking, romance, etc. Then there are 30 reading cards to help you uncover the messages from your dream that come from the subconscious mind through symbols within the dream. The guidebook helps to give you insight into what these messages could be conveying to you. It’s really easy to use the technique that Rose lays out for us. The cards are color-coded, which helps to keep the two categories of cards separate. The 22 dream cards are a lovely pinkish purple color, and the 30 oracle cards are a light blue color.
To use these cards to interpret a dream, look through the 22 dream cards and choose a few cards based on the major themes and images that you recall from your dream. These cards consist of themes like flying, falling, death, sex, school, or exams. These represent universal themes we all dream about. Rose then instructs us to lay the cards that we chose out in front of us and read the descriptions about these cards in the guidebook. Each dream card has 3 questions for us to consider related to that theme. She also provides us with a list of questions to answer about our dream - like what has been going on in our lives the past few weeks or questions about the emotions in the dream.
Once you have some understanding about the dream from this exercise, shuffle the oracle cards and choose a card for insight into the dream or pull a past, present, future spread that involves the themes of the dream. These oracle cards can help give us guidance on actions we need to take in our waking world and could offer some possibilities for future outcomes.
Example of dream analysis using these cards
I used these Dream Reading Cards to analyze a recurring dream I’ve had probably a hundred times over the past 25 years. In the dream I chose to analyze, I’m my current age, but I’m being forced to go back to high school to complete my senior year due to one class I missed. They sign me up for a full load of classes but don’t give me a schedule or tell me where any of the classrooms are. Of course, I’m behind because school started months ago, and I’m trailing behind everyone else on my first day. I find out there’s a major exam the next day, and I have no notes to help me prepare. And to top it all off I don’t know the combination to my locker. Such a frustrating dream!
To analyze this dream, I chose the School/Exams card from the Dream cards in the deck (shown above). The guidebook tells me that this theme reflects fears of inadequacy in certain areas, real-life frustrations preventing achievement or best results, performance anxiety, and pressure to perform. This card can also symbolize a time of great change where you are acquiring new knowledge. Next, I shuffled and pulled one oracle card to give me insight into this dream. The card I pulled was the healing card, which says to heal past wounds so I can help heal others. The interesting part is that the Rumi quote on the card is one I chose to include in my shadow work podcast miniseries, “The wound is the place where the light enters.” To me, this is a major clue to the meaning of this dream.
So, through this exercise, I worked out that without wounds or insecurities, there’s no healing that needs to be done. My life work revolves around healing. So, I must face challenges in life and overcome them in order to teach others how to heal. I work so hard to overachieve because I’m afraid to fall short in anything. The problem is I have so many interests that it has become impossible to master everything in a short period of time. And I’ve gone through a ton of changes over the past few years. I’ve waded into new waters of tarot, podcasting, and writing a new fictional book series all at once. All of these are new areas for me and require me to really stretch myself to learn all new technological skills for recording, editing, and polishing episodes for my podcast plus marketing my work. Writing requires a ton of skills – not just the creation of the story but also editing, formatting, and marketing. And then there’s tarot. You all understand how much of an undertaking it is to learn all the symbolism in the 78 cards and become proficient in it enough to teach it.
I see now why this is coming up for me because I do worry about whether I’m covering all bases and whether I’m putting out the best version of my book and podcast that’s possible. And being a perfectionist, it’s hard to deal with those insecurities that pop up. But this healing card tells me that this battle is one I’m meant to undertake to gain that experience, so I am a better teacher going forward.
I went ahead and pulled a past, present, and future card on this dream for more insight because that’s another way Rose suggests using the dream cards. (Shown above)
The creativity card in the past tells me that all of this came about because I was taking a risk to invite more creative pursuits into my life, therefore, I had many new avenues to explore, which is a good thing because it allows for growth.
Prosperity in the present position tells me to give and expect the universe to give back to me and to believe I’m prosperous already.
Nature/gaia in the future position tells me that I will become more connected and protected as I move forward in this new creative path. So, the overall message from this reading is to not worry so much about mastery. I’m doing my best and nothing’s perfect. I’m a work in progress, just like everyone else. All of these messages helped to put my mind at ease. Maybe this will be the end of this high school nightmare.
Dream Interpretation Spread
I will now share with you the 9 card spread I created to help you interpret your dreams. This spread helps to jog your memory of any possible clues that could help you interpret the meaning of the dream in question. Try this spread out with a recent dream that you want to pick apart or a recurring dream you want to explore to finally nail down the underlying meaning.
This spread also helps you learn insights from the dream, messages or symbols in the dream, and any actions you need to take to bring these subconscious messages into your waking life. Sometimes our dreams include messages from loved ones that have passed and could provide us with guidance on steps to take going forward in our waking life. The whole point of analyzing your dreams is to use that information to improve your life and heal so you can live a healthier and happier life. You can use this spread over and over to interpret as many dreams as you want.
I want to note a few examples of what certain tarot cards could mean in this type of spread. The 6 of cups could represent a past life and the Justice card and The Wheel of Fortune cards could be related to karma and again could be past life related. And the 9 of Swords and the Devil could represent fears that keep us up at night and that stop us from fulfilling our life goals. So, keep that in mind if you pull any of those cards in this spread.
If you throw this spread for yourself, I’d love to see the photo of your spreads. Please tag me on Instagram @healingthrutarot and please use #httdreaminterpretationspread
I have a second podcast episode coming up on November 14th that dives further into our dreams. In that episode, I’ll discuss healing with the dreamer archetype and the dreamers within the tarot, how to make our dreams work for us and how to use the Dreamer Keepers Tarot to help with dream interpretation. So, join me next time for part 2 of our dreamwork series.
Books and Decks shown in this blog or recommended: Rose Inserra's Dream Reading Cards, Dreams: What Your Subconscious Wants to Tell you, Inside Your Dreams: An advanced guide to your night visions
Link to Podcast Episode 39 on Anchor click here
And if you're looking for a good witchy book for an autumn read, my new book series, The Divining Sisters, is perfect for this time of year. Book 1 in the series, The Call of the Cards is available now as an ebook $4.99 and paperback $14.99 on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Find out more details on my novels on my author website author.heatherhardison.com
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These shadow work spreads include the hidden shadow aspects spread, breaking through resistance spread, shadow-related fears, self-deception, and the unconscious motivations spread and many, many more. See the full list of the 20 shadow work spreads below.
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