Scott Cunningham,
Sacred Sleep: Dreams and the Divine
(Crossing Press, 1992)

We spend (or should spend) eight hours out of every twenty-four sleeping. Sleep is the time for our unconscious to be most active. For those seeking a sacred connection, but unable to let go of their conscious selves in meditation, Sacred Sleep proves a useful and informative book.

The book is divided into three parts. The first section, Day, covers the history and mythology of dreams and sleep in varied cultures, including ancient Egypt, continental North America and Hawaii. Deities of sleep and dreams are discussed, as well has how sacred sleep was utilized in those cultures. This section gives the reader grounding in the history of sacred sleep, which might give the reader an idea of how she might also use sacred sleep and dreaming.

Section two, Night, discusses varieties of sleep and dreaming, as well as practical methods for telling the difference between sacred dreaming, lucid dreaming and ordinary dreams. Preparations and rituals for sacred dreaming are also explained, with clear, easy to follow steps, especially in the ritual section. The framework is loose enough for anyone to create their own private dreaming ritual. The preparations are simple, with frank replies to questions about drugs and alcohol, and their effect on sacred sleep.

The final section, Dawn, is about the morning after a dreaming ritual, and how to get the most of a night of sacred sleep. This includes tips on awakening (noisy alarms are not suggested), recording your dreams and personal interpretation of symbols. Divine dreams are also reviewed, including how to recognize a divine dream and what to do with that information.

The appendices are useful in their straightforward information. They list symbols, deities, natural techniques of getting to sleep, and spells for dreaming, making quick references easy.

I enjoy working with this book, and Cunningham's clear and friendly writing style makes him accessible to everyone, whether you are just beginning to explore your dreaming, or if you are experienced in meditation and journeying. Let your subconscious loose and dream true!

[ by Beth Derochea ]

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