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Mercury Retrograde Of Summer 2019: Checking In With Our Heart

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Mercury began the latest edition of its retrograde process on July 7th/8th, starting in Leo with the majority of it occurring in Cancer. It will last until July 31st in the Americas and August 1st elsewhere. In the weeks (and especially days) leading up to it we start to notice its influence as Mercury slows down and comes to a stop before moving the other way. This is known as the ‘pre-shadow’ period which began on June 20th.

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This retrograde occurs during eclipse season, following a Solar Eclipse also in Cancer and during a Lunar Eclipse in Capricorn. All of this happening in the same month indicates a period of readjustments and shifts in specific areas of our lives connected to these signs as well as how it all corresponds to our individual birth charts. You can read my latest eclipse article here and join my mailing list to ensure that you receive my next eclipse article and other future content.

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If you have read my previous Mercury retrograde articles, the first two sections of this article are nearly the same and you can skip to the third section if you don’t want to re-read all the general themes associated with these periods. The other sections are more specific to this edition of it.

Mercury retrograde is known for the problematic effects it often has on communication technology, transactions, motor vehicles, anything with moving parts, and commuting in general. Some people even get headaches near the beginning of it. We could experience some challenges, misunderstandings, and errors around our communications, numbers/details, and commerce, as well as changes, cancellations, or delays in our schedules. We may also feel more challenged when we are doing excessive analytical work without using our internal guidance.

Mercury Retrograde can also be a good time to revisit or redo tasks, projects, ideas, or anything else that was initiated in the past. It can give us a different perspective or shift in thinking that can help us to approach these things in ways we wouldn’t have done so before. This may also be a period of reconnecting with old friends, family, sometimes lovers, or others you haven’t seen in a while. However, many times when we reconnect with people during a retrograde, there can be some issues from the past that can come up and may need to be resolved.

The Deeper Purpose of Mercury Retrograde

Ultimately, Mercury Retrograde is a time for us to recalibrate and adjust specific areas of our lives as well as how we apply our minds towards these issues. It is a period in which we may receive important insights and see things in a new light. In most cases, it can be mildly transformational, but in some cases it can facilitate more major transformations depending on how it corresponds to your personal astrological chart.

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During and following the retrograde, certain areas of our lives can go through changes or shifts, or we can experience a reorientation of some sort which influences how we proceed over the coming months or in some cases, it can have a more long-term significance. In the 2 weeks afterwards, known as the ‘post-shadow’ period, we move forward with some sort of new awareness, adjustment, as well as new ideas and thoughts that have been seeded which will develop as time progresses.

The things that you have been doing or circumstances in the two to three weeks leading up to this period could determine how and where this energy plays out. It is also possible that there could have been changes or things that came up at that time which may go through a sorting out process. There could have been unknown variables, either positive or negative, that were either unseen or hadn’t been conceived yet, which may become apparent over the coming weeks.

The sign(s) and element(s) in which Mercury retrograde travels shows the energy we are re-orienting ourselves with. More importantly, if you are familiar with your natal astrology chart, than your house(s) or any planetary placements being affected will show more specifically what areas of life you will be experiencing its energy in. For the astrologically literate, it begins at 4’28 degrees of Leo  and will retrograde all the way to 23’57 degrees of Cancer, before turning forward again.

Occurring Mostly In Cancer and Partially In Leo, Part of a Water Sign Series

Mercury retrograde always happens in primarily one element for between 1-2 years. This is the second of a series occurring in water signs with the final one happening in the Fall of 2020. The water element is about emotion, feelings, sensitivity, intuition, and fluidity. This  period is about re-aligning ourselves with these qualities and expressing them in new or revamped ways.

This one is primarily a re-orientation of Cancer themes which is about nurturing, family, home life, comforts, security, maternal nature, caregiving, empathy, bonding and emotional connections with others. It is also associated with nostalgia and holding on to memories, especially those that are comforting. Cancer energy is also instinctual and protective yet can also be easily offended, moody, manipulative, vulnerable, insecure, smothering, too subjective, clingy, overly emotional, and attached to the past.

This retrograde is also partially in Leo, and although the Cancer themes are stronger at this time, the qualities of Leo can be tied into this period as well. Leo is associated with self-expression, standing out, playfulness, children, heart centeredness, creativity, leadership, courage, pride, affection, and romance. It can also be very egotistical, pretentious, attention seeking/demanding, and pompous.

Mercury Retrograde Significant Dates/Periods

Below, are some of the dates and information for some of the major astrological configurations during this retrograde.

*The dates below are based on the Americas. The further East you are located you may need to consider it as the next day.

July 7th-9th Mercury begins its retrograde in Leo at 11:15pm Universal Time on July 7th while in a conjunction with Mars, Venus sextile Uranus. Mercury retrograde themes (mentioned earlier) and complications may come up more strongly at this time as Mercury changes motion. You may get more indication of some of the things that may be playing out for you over the next month based on how you feel or on what transpires.  Our thoughts, communications, and even commuting can be more assertive. In some cases there can even be more of an aggressive tone potentially and perhaps ego based conflicts. The best way to utilize this is to use our drive and revisit some sort of creative effort or form of self-expression. Issues or developments pertaining to romance, sex, or children may also come up for some people. Some of this energy can get triggered again on July 10th. From July 7th-8th it is also possible that there can be some positive surprises around relationships, or even connected to finances. This period can also be socially stimulating and can also be good for new types of fun experiences.

July 8th – 9th The Sun conjunct the North Node opposes Saturn at the South Node. Some of the themes of the previous Solar Eclipse are triggered. We can be pulled between the future and the past. There may be developments connected to how we need to move forward but we may have to deal with obstacles connected to behaviours or ambitions that ultimately are not serving us anymore yet may still play out over the coming months.. Emotional, family, or home related issues may be at odds with responsibilities or outdated commitments. We can face some limitations, restrictions, and may need to get realistic about something. Some people may have realizations of a need to take a more caring or personable approach in their life or regarding aspirations. Issues pertaining to status may be source of problems. This energy will still be in the backdrop until early Fall when it gets triggered again, and some of the themes can even continue until mid-late 2020.

July 10th-12th Mars square Uranus, Trine Chiron and Mercury Retrograde sesquisquare Neptune, Sun trine Neptune. This can reflect potential disruptions or changes that can also be tied into Mercury retrograde related complications. Some people can act more impulsive, rebellious, or get easily angered. It’s important to be flexible at this time and be cautious with decisions as we can be more easily confused or not see things clearly. It may also be harder to focus. However, this can also be good for actions that are innovative, unconventional, or holistically oriented. However, from July 10th-11th their will also be some nice Neptune aspects which can bring themes of compassion, empathy, inspiration, selflessness, and oneness. Our intuitions can be stronger than normal and it can also be great for creative and spiritual pursuits.

July 16th – 17th Lunar Eclipse In Capricorn Conjunct Pluto, Venus conjunct North Node opposite Saturn conjunct the South Node. This Lunar Eclipse has potential to be intense and stir up deep feelings and strong emotions. Issues around power, shadows, or hidden matters may come up. The themes of this Eclipse could have already begun to play out weeks prior and may still unfold over the coming months. Venus in Cancer joins the North Node while opposing Saturn near the South Node. We can face some obstacles around relationships, values, money, or aesthetic related. Developments around relations that can be beneficial for our growth may come up, however, they may be at odds with some limitations, negative behaviours, or issues pertaining to social status or responsibilities. I will be writing a separate article on this eclipse, you can join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it along with other content.

July 20th – 21st Mercury Retrograde conjunct the Sun, Venus opposite Pluto with the Moon triggering it. This is that halfway point of Mercury retrograde known as the ‘inferior conjunction.’ It can be a period of increased insights yet complications can also be stronger at this time depending on how you are applying yourself. Ideas and thoughts that are seeded now may develop over the coming months. Their can be some deep feelings, jealousy, possessiveness, obsession, power struggles, hidden matters, or other conflict in our relations. If so, there is also potential for it to be worked out and perhaps experience positive changes in some cases. This can also manifest as passion and trigger desires. This may also reflect a conflict or shift around values, and it would be wise to be cautious with finances at this time.

July 23rd-25th Mercury Retrograde conjunct Venus, Mars trine Jupiter. This can be a good time for connecting with others socially as interactions can be pleasant. Considering the retrograde, it can good for catching up with others that we haven’t seen in a long time and resolving any issues if there are any. In some cases revisiting any creative effort or aesthetic adjustment could make sense as well. This can also be a time in which we feel we have more energy or we are more confident and optimistic in how we apply ourselves. We may want to take action in a way that is expansive, explorative, and optimistic. However, keep in mind that in most cases it is best to wait to finalize any major decisions until after the retrograde is over unless your gut tells you otherwise.

July 29th-30th  Sun square Uranus, Near end of Moon Cycle and Mercury Retrograde. There can be surprises and disruptions during this time, so best to stay flexible and expect the unexpected. This can be good for doing things in a different and unusual way. However, considering it is near the end of the Moon cycle and retrograde, this energy is more conducive for some sort of release of separation from something than it is to initiate something new.
July 31st-August 2nd Mercury Transitions From Retrograde to Direct, New Moon in Leo with Venus Square Uranus, Trine Chiron. Mercury will slowly begin to move forward from August 1st onward. The areas of our lives that have been affected by this retrograde will start to become more clear and things will fall into place more easily as time progresses over the coming days and weeks.. However, usually the first 2-3 days afterwards can still feel like its retrograde and it’s usually best to wait until at least the 3rd day before finalizing decisions, agreements, etc.  The exact moment of the New Moon is less than an hour before Mercury ends its retrograde which brings an extra sense of going into a new and refreshed energy after what was experienced leading up to this. During these days, it is possible that we can also experience some surprises, shifts, or may want to liberate ourselves from a situation. There is potential for some sort of healing as well but we may also experience some instability. It can happen in different areas of our lives but it is likely that many people will experience this more around relationships, either socially or romantically. It can also be good for new and exciting experiences. We would also need to be cautious with finances as it can be a period in which we may experience loss or regretful impulsive spending.

I’m doing a Sale on Astrology Readings this month during the Eclipse and Mercury Retrograde Season. Find out how these eclipses, retrograde, and other astrological energies apply to you individually. 20% off shorter readings and 30% off longer readings. More information here.

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Consciousness

Are You Sure You Want To Cancel 2020?

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Many people have been wanting to cancel 2020 given all of the challenges that have arisen this year, but are these challenges not what we need to wake up?

  • Reflect On:

    Is humanity living in a way we are truly capable of? Are we really going to change and create a world where we can thrive if we all remain in 'normal' with our heads down just getting by? Perhaps we need a shake up!

A massive evolution in the way we think and live is long overdue, and now the environment is perfectly set for it to happen. Many call this process ‘raising collective consciousness.’ It’s no secret, 2020 has been a intense year, and you may have noticed that many are creating memes calling for the cancellation of 2020. This comes from the idea of ‘cancel culture’ which is an ideology whereby anything we don’t like, even if it’s only some of us, has to be shamed into cancellation as opposed to dealing with what it truly says about us and why we’re triggered by it. But more on this in a moment.

Deep down I imagine you feel it. What we are doing on a day-to-day basis in our lives feels limiting and it feels like we are capable of much more. This feeling comes from an innate desire within the deepest aspect of who we are, our soul, to continually evolve and expand as a being. It’s almost as if we begin to feel uncomfortable when we become stagnant and stop evolving or growing.

Right now, our current way of living societally and our current mass unconsciousness is causing us to push away that deep desire. We do this because we have become so identified with thought, that if a desire to shift or change comes up, and we cannot rationalize nor see how we can change, and in turn, we push that desire away to hold onto what we have grown comfortable with.

Thus, intensity and chaos have ensued in our world in an attempt to wake us up. Perhaps it’s time to embrace this desire for change. Do we really want our world to simply go back to normal? Was normal truly allowing us to thrive?

Ridding 2020?

A lot of people have been sharing the idea that we want to get rid of or cancel 2020 because it has been such a ‘bad year.’ I understand what train of thought can lead here, and I understand what way of being can lead here, but regardless, I feel it’s an important time to embrace what’s going on and ask big questions about what we’re doing as a collective – living life so disconnected from anything that deeply resonates with us. What we call ‘chaos’ has always been a potent tool for evolution, only, we often get in the way of that evolution by remaining asleep to what’s really going on around us, and continually pushing away that knowing that we can create meaningful change.

Most of what is rising to the surface right now, in terms of truths regarding current events, are all realities that people have been telling others about for years – and yet most of us just went on our merry way, heads down, living life as if none of it was happening. For example, elite child sex trafficking is one collective trauma being faced right now by many, and every day I hear of more and more people facing this reality, unsure of what to do about it as they feel despair. I cannot blame anyone for wanting to hide from this information. Life can be tough and very demanding simply to get by, so questioning our reality and why it is the way it is may not be at the top of our priority list. It may feel easier to just go on with our lives as if it’s not real, continually voting, putting these ‘corrupt’ individuals in power and accepting life as it is.

But if life is providing experiences that give us a chance to evolve beyond this old paradigm, is it perhaps time we listen? Can we truly just keep our heads down as we watch our collective uncomfort rise and mental health decline as our world no longer resonates with our being?

Just because the truth makes us uncomfortable, doesn’t mean we don’t need to address it, it just means we are avoiding it, and if we continue to choose not to look, it will ‘blow up in our face’ – just as it is right now.

May years ago people would ask me ‘Joe, do you think people will one day know about all that is going on behind the scenes?’ I said yes, there are collective truths and traumas people will HAVE to face, there is no avoiding it. This is why so many people are doing their inner work and becoming helpful members of the global community who will be able to help others through their emotional upheavals when more of this truth continues to come out, just like it is right now.

The human race has been oppressed for centuries. At the core, is the suppression of human consciousness. The less we know who we truly are and what we are truly capable of, the more we can be coddled and controlled into living lives that serve a few. The reality of this is coming to the surface.

So should we cancel 2020? Or embrace what it’s trying to bring up on a deeper level, and choose to focus on inner work, personal transformation ad collective transformation? This, as opposed to mentally and emotionally running around trying to say why everything is wrong and bad, will this truly bring about meaningful change?

We’re All Playing Roles

With that said, instead of looking at who the good guys are and who the bad guys are, I challenge others to think of it in terms of roles. What role are people playing for one another that allows us to question what’s going on, learn a lesson, and change? Do you want the world as it is today to continue in this manner? Do you feel we are capable of harmony and thrivability? What do you want the world to look like?

Viewing it in this manner will bring us to solutions as opposed to arguing about what the problems are from our political point of view. Staying within the paradigm of our current world, where we create sides, argue, and remain in a political landscape, will always create more separation and will limit our potential, won’t it? It’s time for a new perspective, a new way of looking at things, and in order for that to happen we must come to terms with what not paying attention has created in our reality.

When we live in this manner, are we living life fully? Or are we just getting by? Are we caught up in the future or the past, trying to live in those states? Or are we fully living now? Are we ready to move from a state of being where we are identified with our thoughts and ego constantly, and move to a state where we are truly who we are, our awareness, living fully?

This is what this transition is about. This is what 2020 is helping to bring forth: the necessary events and revelations that push us deeply to question our lives and society. Start dreaming again, start thinking outside the box. Whatever world you choose to plug into is the one we will actively create. If you feel humanity is capable of something different, or better, beyond just the changing of a president, then now is the time to truly put your intention and action into that.

It’s a potent time for change. Perhaps we don’t want to wish normal back into existence?

Explore this process more deeply here.

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Consciousness

Full Moon In Aquarius: Erratic Progression

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We are having a Full Moon in Aquarius on August 3rd/4th, it will appear the fullest on night of the 2nd in Western North America. This is the peak of the Lunar cycle that began with a New Moon in Cancer on July 20th/21st, as some of the themes mentioned in that article are still in effect.

The energies of a Full Moon are strongest in the days surrounding it yet its astrological configurations also play a part over the following two weeks. You may start to see its effects slowly build up after the New Moon prior to it.

Full Moons are a period in which we feel a push-pull between two opposing signs, in this case being the Moon in Aquarius and the Sun in Leo. It can play out as either a conflict, an integration, or some sort of dynamic playing out between the energies of both signs. The Moon reflects the expression of feeling and emotion while the Sun reflects the expression of ego and conscious self.

We may feel this opposition happening individually within us and/or we can also experience it play out around us with some people (or circumstances) expressing the Aquarius side and others expressing the Leo side. In some cases, Full Moons can also reflect/trigger some sort of change or release.

Full Moon In Aquarius Opposite Sun In Leo

We have been in Leo season since July 22nd and will continue until August 22nd/23rd. This is the sign of self-expression, creativity, love, affection, children, courage, vitality, passion, leadership, generosity, and playfulness. Ruled by the Sun, it is also about shining in our power and being in alignment with what really lights us up and gets us excited.

The negative expressions of Leo can be egotistical, self-absorbed, authoritarian, dramatic, stubborn, jealous, and hot-tempered.  As it is associated with seeking praise and attention, it can be demanding of respect and be boisterous without considering or caring about how others respond to that.

The Full Moon highlights and brings the energies of the opposing sign of Aquarius into this Leo backdrop. This is the sign of friends, networks, social dynamics, the group, the team, humanity, and being in the best interest of the collective. Associated with Uranus, it can be unconventional, idealistic, innovative, progressive, original, inventive, technological, reforming, and even revolutionary.

Negatively, Aquarius can be overly detached, aloof, unemotional, and very invested in the mind at the expense of the heart. Traditionally ruled by Saturn, it can also be unyielding when it comes to the ideas and perspectives that it has already decided on.

Both Leo and Aquarius have some similarities. They are ‘Fixed’ signs and therefore can both be determined yet stubborn. They are also both associated with originality and authenticity. In Aquarius, this comes from its unconventional and innovative Uranian attributes while in Leo it comes from being inspired by its Solar heart centred self-expression.

Full Moon Square Uranus, Sextile Chiron

The Sun and Moon are in a T-square aspect with Uranus bringing its energy strongly into the equation. This planet is associated with Aquarius and viewed as a modern ruler of this sign, therefore it emphasizes some of the Aquarian themes mentioned above.

This can also reflect an energy that is disruptive, unpredictable, erratic, nonconforming, and rebellious. It can be hard to focus and more prone to sudden changes, accidents, loss, or separations. However, it can also reflect liberation, breakthroughs, excitement, and is a good time to shake things up and try new approaches to things.

This Full Moon is in a supportive sextile with Chiron which shares unorthodox and innovative qualities with Uranus. Chiron is also about bringing healing and wholeness to a situation and is associated with personal growth. It brings a potential for integration, learning, problem solving, finding solutions, purpose, and the elevation of consciousness.

Full Moon Sextile Mars, Squaring Jupiter & Pluto During Pre-Retrograde Shadow

The Sun-Moon opposition is in a harmonious aspect with Mars which can bring an active, asserting, energetic, sexual, or even a competitive or fighting energy. Mars is also in its own sign of Aries as it slows down to go retrograde on September 9th/10th. We will be experiencing a period of adjustments over the coming months in how we apply Mars in certain areas of our lives depending on our personal birth charts. Some of the things that are happening this month, leading up to it, will contribute to that process.

At the time of this Full Moon, Mars is also in a tight square with Jupiter which has been building up in the days prior. It also moves towards a square with Pluto over the following two weeks. We may overextend ourselves during this time or do things in an excessive, overconfident, compulsive or obsessive way.

Conflicts around beliefs, perspectives, hidden matters, or abuse can also arise. As we get closer to mid-August the energy becomes more intense with an increased potential of power struggles. This aspect can trigger passion and is good for strategic actions. All of these factors mentioned in this section are cranking up Mars energy overall. I will be writing a separate article on the upcoming retrograde as we get closer to it, join my mailing list here to ensure that you receive it.

Mercury & Venus In Hard Aspects With Saturn, Venus Conjunct North Node

Mercury is in a tight opposition with Saturn. This can reflect thoughts or conversations that are cautious, hesitant, pessimistic, or limiting. We may experience delays or obstacles around commuting or communications with others.  The need to be realistic around certain issues may also come up.

Like Mercury, Venus has social qualities and is also in a hard aspect with Saturn, this one being a frustrating quincunx. It can be hard to integrate or juggle Saturnian areas of responsibilities, commitments, boundaries, discipline, and structures with Venus areas of friendships, love, pleasures, sensuality, values, money, attraction, or other things that are aesthetic related. We may need to be extra adaptable or make adjustments.

Venus is also moving towards a conjunction with the Lunar North Node in Gemini in the days following this Full Moon. New relations, or developments around past relations, could have a fated quality that can bring growth and help us to move forward in a better or constructive way.  Our perception or approach to Venus ruled areas (mentioned in above paragraph) may evolve in a helpful manner.

Things To Consider

In what areas of your life should you try new approaches? What can you do to shake things up? What are some potential solutions for issues you are facing? How can you use your creativity in an innovative way? What are your relations with others pushing you towards? How can you be more of a team player? How can you better balance needs of self with the needs of the group?   What parts of your life are calling for originality and authenticity?

These are just some examples of themes that could come up during this period; however, there may be other variations of this energy playing out as well.  If you wish to do any sort of intentional release connected to what has come up at this Full Moon, it is best to do so anytime over the two weeks following when it is waning. The exact moment of this Full Moon is on August 3rd at 3:59pm Universal Time. You can click here to see what that is in your time zone.

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Consciousness

The Benefits of Keeping A Dream Journal

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Recently, scientists from Caltech university proved that an ancient species of jellyfish has a sleep cycle. All known mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish on planet earth sleep, but this finding means sleep does not require a brain, and is one of the most ancient evolutionary traits around. So, a very important one.

If sleep is so important, could dreams be too? Dreams aren’t given much importance in modern society. In fact, dream sharing is considered oversharing around most office water coolers. But there are big benefits to taking your dreams seriously, and to keeping a dream journal. Even the Ancient Egyptians were known to keep “dream books.”

Faster Problem Solving

Many studies show that a well-rested mind is a smarter one. Students preparing for a test, for example, scored better when they dreamed about the test beforehand. Every night when you dream, your brain processes and categorizes all the day’s events. Your brain needs to dream to make sense of your waking life. But sleeping is not all you can do. By taking the extra step to remember and interpret your dreams upon waking, you are telling your brain that dreams are important to you. As a result, your dreams will take on a much more educational and beneficial role in your life.

Overcoming Anxiety

Nightmares are no fun, but they serve a purpose. Even rats have nightmares! A bad dream can help reveal your innermost fears, and give you a way to cope with them safely. If you’re like most people, you forget your dreams whenever you wake up. A dream journal will help you develop dream recall, causing you to notice different dream patterns, including reoccurring nightmares. This will give you valuable insight into all the anxieties that are holding you back in life, and give you a head start on addressing them. If you are having a reoccurring nightmare about being fired from your job, for example, you should practice positive thinking at work and confront any workplace challenges you have sooner than later.

Opportunity to Lucid Dream

Lucid dreaming, or becoming aware during a dream, can be induced by dream journaling. Lucid dreaming is a relatively fun and healthy hobby that has its own set of powerful mental health benefits. Many lucid dreamers regularly converse with “spirit guides” that give them advice and predictions to be used in the real world.

Better Spiritual Awareness

Ancient Egyptians believed that dreams contained messages from the gods, and so kept a careful record of them. The Egyptians weren’t the first to come up with this concept, and certainly weren’t the last. Every culture, it seems, from the Greeks to the Native Americans, have had similar beliefs about dreams.

Modern day mystics, including the late psychic Edgar Cayce, often focus on dreams as a way to remember past lives. Unbelievably, scientists have proven that memories and dreams can be inherited, passed on from generation to generation just like eye colour.

Whatever your belief system, keeping a dream journal forces you into a daily habit of thoughtful reflection, making you more aware of your deeper, wiser self over time.

Deciding to keep a dream journal could be one of the easiest, yet more life-changing decisions you’ve ever made! Luckily, there are many resources online to help get you started with a dream diary. Here are some beginner’s tips for keeping a dream journal:
•    Write in your dream journal every morning after you wake up
•    Don’t worry about stylist things like grammar, punctuation, or spelling
•    Keep your dream journal next to your bedside
•    Focus on dreams that are reoccurring
•    Remember to bring your dream journal with you when you travel

Before radio, television, and the Internet, people relied heavily on the dream world for entertainment and guidance, and this may have helped them to be more in touch with their inner self and spiritual side. By keeping a dream journal, you too can learn to tune out the outside world and tune up our own inner, conscious self.

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