The other day, on Tumblr (yes - you can find me on Tumblr) an anonymous user asked me:
"How can you tell when a dream is prophetic/psychic and not just a weird dream?"
Well this is a great question, so I answered them, and put the thought aside. Then, last night, I had a very long and complicated dream, one that was part symbolic, part mash-up of the week's events, and I woke up with an outline in my head for how to better address the question, and an understanding that I had to delve into the topic a bit deeper.
First, we need to set up the dichotomy here. I would actually argue that all all dreams are psychic. Also, all prophetic dreams are psychic. But not all psychic dreams are prophetic!
A Psychic Dream: One in which important messages are relayed to you about your state of being. These messages might be delivered from your subconscious, your higher self, angels, your guides, the universe, or whatever/whoever you want to give credit to.
Example: You dream that all of your teeth are crumbling and falling out of your mouth. You wake up and realize that you have been hitting the sweets a little hard, and you neglected to brush your teeth the night before. Maybe you should take better care of your teeth.
A Prophetic Dream: One in which a future event is relayed to you.
Example: You dream that a bridge collapses. Later that week, you see that a big headline for your local area is that a bridge has collapsed.
Recognizing a "Psychic Dream" is simple, because...pretty much all dreams are psychic. Like any message that is delivered to you primarily in images, some interpretation is going to be necessary to really uncover the meaning - just pay close enough attention and you'll find your meaning! Even those weird dreams that just seem like they're a composition of all the things you saw, and all the stuff you did, just swirled up inside your head and transformed into an ill-conceived movie. Yeah, those dreams? I am beginning to think that even they are important and are likely to have contained within them a message. And where there's a message being communicated to us outside of normal communicative conventions, some "psychic" sense is being exercised.
But how do you recognize a prophetic dream?
I hate to say it, but 90% of the time I have a prophetic dream - I only know it was prophetic when the-thing-I-dreamed-about actually happens. Sometimes the conversation goes like this. (What follows is a dramatization.)
Friend: So, here's something you should know: Blah blah blah.
Me: You already told me this.
Friend: No I didn't! We haven't talked in weeks. This happened yesterday.
Me: Here's the rest of the story: Blah blah blah blah.
Me: Oh. Wait. No. That was a dream. Ah.
It happened once that when I was young that I was watching the news, and learning for the first time that a dust storm in the middle east, halfway across the world, had deposited all kinds of dust into the upper atmosphere, and was then currently sifting down on my home town. The prior night I had a vivid dream about a dust storm hitting my house.
So what is the purpose of a prophetic dream if you don't know it's prophetic until it has come true?
There is still a point. If we’re getting prophetic dreams, I don’t believe it’s because we’re meant to do anything about them, or change the course of something ahead of time. I believe that they are just signals and validation that we’re opening up to our metaphysical (psychic) senses.
It’s easier to trust that my dreams are important if they actually tap into universal truths, and future occurrences. The prophetic ones are just validation that yes- this is real, yes- I should be paying attention. The same goes for you.
All that being said, the more you pay attention to your dreams, the more you will begin to notice that some dreams just feel different than others. Can you recall a time that you woke up from a dream and it haunted you? The imagery or the events lingered, where most dreams just fade away? Those are typically the dreams that are either prophetic, or are more important.
Another way to judge whether or not a dream is prophetic (before it comes true) is by examining the probability of the dream's events. For example, a dream about the moon crashing into the earth is more likely to be a reflection of my love for Majora's Mask, and my fear of catastrophic astrological disasters, than it is to be a prophecy.
But a dream wherein my car's brakes fail? Well, if I have a very old car, then maybe that's highly probable, and therefore also potentially prophetic. However, a dream like that could also simply be a message that I should pay more attention to the upkeep of my car. The brakes may never fail, but the dream sure got my attention and got me thinking that I should bring it in for an inspection.
See, probability is very tricky. And it's for this reason that I would either rely more on the feeling of the dream, or not worry at all whether a dream is prophetic or not. Because, like I said, the point is that we pay attention. Prophetic dreams that get validated are often just reassurances from the universe.
You know more than your five senses tell you.
And your dreams can communicate important information - if you give them a chance.