Dream Theories: Michael Harner's Core and Ariadne Green's 8 Precepts
Michael Harner's Foundation of Shamanic Studies recently released their Core Shamanic Theory of Dreams. Here's the first four principles:
FIRST PRINCIPLE: Spirits are real.
SECOND PRINCIPLE: Spirits produce dreams.
THIRD PRINCIPLE: These spirits have a variety of characteristics, along with different kinds and degrees of power, and differing preoccupations.
FOURTH PRINCIPLE: Spirits producing dreams can be: personal souls; helping spirits, including guardian spirits; or they can be non-helping ones, such as suffering beings or other intrusive spirits.
"Spirits are real" - Such an important principle and one I wouldn't have thought to add, but seeing it makes it obvious!
The last 6 principals can be found in the link above.
The Foundation now offers a course on dreaming. You can find the class schedule here.
Along similar lines, Ariadne Green has 8 dream precepts which have helped me a great deal in looking at my dreams. Here's 3 of them:
Precept 2: Every Dream Has an Intended Message
Therefore, every dream is communicates something valuable. Some dream experts will tell you a dream can have multiple meanings. However, that isn't exactly true. Certainly a number of associations, both objective and subjective, can be made about each dream's symbols that may eventually lead the dreamer to an accurate conclusion. But a dreamer can get steered away from the intended message if they apply too many associations to a symbol. Also, a dream's meaning is not coded information in an unintelligible language meant to trick the mind or ego. Dreams make sense.
Precept 7: Dreams Come From a Wise and Intelligent Source
One should not try to direct or control the dreaming process. Or do we need to feel controlled by our dreams? Dreams come from a wise and intelligent source. The subconscious is united with a higher creative intelligence ready to work out conflicts that erupt and disturb the internal world. Lucid dreamers sometimes consider the practice of controlling the outcome of a dream as mastering their subconscious. However, they may be defeating their dream's purpose by consciously redirecting a scene or producing a desired outcome. Forcing any action in a dream based on an ego-desired outcome may interrupt a greater creative solution. The outcome we want may not serve the balance of the dreaming life.
Precept 8: Wisdom Is Derived From Intuitive Dream Work
Wisdom is the product of intuitive understanding. Therefore, the messages in dreams are best deciphered with the intuitive mind rather than picked apart by an analytical process. Any dream dictionary is limited to the writer's general understanding of the language of the soul. Unfortunately, many dream dictionaries on the market offer outdated interpretations based on superstition and conjecture, such as a cat in a dream being a band omen. Dreams are best decoded with the help of someone close to you – an intuitive and compassionate friend with insight is far better than any dream dictionary. Some dreams require an expert to decipher them.
Image from Kronk84 on flickr