“If one will keep a dream diary regularly, he will be benefited beyond his expectations. It is recommended that he look back over his dreams at the end of each month. He will acquire the gift of cognizance or mentation. From this, he will begin to intuit and observe what his soul is saying to him.” Ann Ree Colton, Watch Your Dreams
It is helpful to keep a dream diary and a daily journal, as our daytime and nighttime experiences keep up a constant conversation in our subconscious minds. A friend of mine types all of her dreams into her computer, which is great because then you can use the “search” function to find recurring symbols in your dreams. When my children were little, we didn’t have personal computers, let alone laptops, so I got into the habit of hiding in the bathroom every morning, and writing my dreams in a spiral bound notebook.
In my dream diary, I always write the date and the day of the week, as well as what sign the sun and moon were in when I had the dream (for example, Sun Aquarius, Moon Leo). Also note special days and times, for example, full moon or new moon or Christmas or a wedding anniversary and so on.
The book, Watch Your Dreams, has several pages in which Ann Ree Colton describes the kinds of dreams that we have depending on what sign the moon is in. It can also be helpful to briefly note how you felt when you woke up from a dream (angry, happy, exhausted, etc.) When recording a dream, it is helpful to either underline the important symbols, or to jot them in the margin or at the top of the page. (Important symbols are usually nouns – “cat”, “car”, “house” – or actions “swimming”, “cooking”, “driving”.)
You could also use a highlighter to mark the important symbols in the dream. This practice will be helpful when you work on de-coding the dream, and will also help you determine the theme of your dreams when you look back over your dreams at the end of each month. Even though individual dreams may seem to have no relationship to one another, you will be amazed to discover a coherent theme when you read a month’s worth of dreams in succession. I also find it helpful to make little “dream drawings” in my dream diary, especially if I find it challenging to adequately describe what I saw/experienced in a dream.
If I have had more than one dream in a night, I leave space between each dream entry. After I record the dreams from the night, I look up the symbols in books I trust, and I briefly write down the meaning of the symbols in the spaces I’ve left between dreams. Looking up a few symbols right away and writing them down really helps to anchor and amplify what the dream is saying.