Premonitions, prophecies and precognition all refer to an experience, (dreams, waking thoughts, visions, etc.), which anticipate a future event that can’t reasonably be gathered from information available by usual means prior to the event. These prophecies (or premonitions or precognitions) come to us most often through our dreams and are no more paranormal than are dreams themselves.
Since ancient times the belief that dreams are either warnings or prophecies has been very common. The Talmud, the Hebrew sacred book of practical wisdom, reveals that the Jews gave great importance both to the dream and the interpreter of dreams. There are at least fifteen references to dreams and prophecies in the King James Bible, and this idea has also been supported by non-religious texts, by oral traditions and in books such as the Artemidorus Oneirocritica written around 140 AD.
There are a number of recorded instances wherein prominent individuals have had prophetic dreams that have impacted history in one way or another. In some cases, like with Abraham Lincoln, the dream was ignored with dire consequences, while others were more cautious and heeded the nocturnal message.
About two weeks before John Wilkes Booth fired the fatal bullet that struck Abraham Lincoln in Ford’s Theatre, Lincoln dreamt the details of his own funeral. In his dream, he entered the East Room of the White House where he saw a coffin lying on a platform. Soldiers, acting as guards, were stationed around it where a crowd of mourners were gathered. When Lincoln demanded to know who is dead in the White House, the soldier replied, the President. He was killed by an assassin. After Lincoln’s assassination, his casket was placed on a platform in the East Room of the White House where it was guarded by soldiers.
One of the most dramatic examples of prophetic dreams, and dreams that would have had the power to change the world if only they had been taken seriously and acted upon, was a dream recorded on the morning of June 28, 1914, by Bishop Joseph Lanyi of Grosswardein, in Hungary. The bishop dreamt the entire scene and details of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand and his wife. This dream is of considerable historical significance because the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand set off World War I.
In 1959, Rita Dwyer was working for an aerospace company as a research chemist when an experimental rocket fuel exploded in her lab. She was instantly engulfed in flames and would have died if it weren’t for the fact that a co-worker had had recurring dreams of the event and knew exactly what to do to save her life.
When the fuel exploded in Rita’s laboratory in waking life, step by step, her co-worker re-enacted his dream. Heroically, he ran into the blazing laboratory, grabbed Rita by the only part of her body not on fire -her foot- and dragged her to safety. She’s alive today only because her co-worker and friend remembered and took his dream seriously -and then acted on the information it contained. Had he dismissed the dreams, like so many do, his friend would not have survived.
Robert Van de Castle reported this heart breaking account in his book, Our Dreaming Mind: In October, 1966, in the Welsh mining village of Aberfan, a massive coal-tip slid down a mountainside killing 144 people, mostly school children. A young girl, Eryl Mai Jones, told her mother about a dream she’d had where she does to school but there’s no school there. “Something black has come down all over it.” “I’m not afraid to die,” She told her mother, “I’ll be with Peter and June.” When the huge slag deposit slid down on the school two days later, Eryl Mai, Peter, and June were among the 118 children crushed or buried alive.
In 1999 a then, sixteen year old girl, woke up from a dream one morning terrified. In her dream she had hit and killed a young boy while driving her car on a back road. The dream so disturbed her that she related it to her mother, who, as do most people, dismissed it as just a dream. A few days later, the girl was driving down a quiet rural road when she had a nagging feeling that she should put her seatbelt on and slow down. She ignored her intuition. However, only moments later a voice told her to put on her seat belt and watch her speed. The voice was so loud and so strong that she buckled her seatbelt and kept an eye on the speedometer.
Before she knew what had happened, she saw a tuft of brown hair in front of her car. Horrified, she watched and heard a seven year old boy roll across the hood of her car, fly over the roof and land on the asphalt behind her. She stayed with the child as he died. After thirteen years, the young lady, who now has a son of her own is suffering from PTSD and is terrified to let her child out of her site.
Had she taken the dream seriously, or heeded its warning, she may have made different choices. Perhaps she wouldn’t have driven down that particular road. Maybe she would have been more diligent and alert while driving. Or perhaps she might have asked someone else to do the driving for a while.
One dreamer had a recurring dream every night for a week. In the dream her mother, who was deceased, paid a visit and told her that she would not see her brother and sister-in-law again and that they would not be “here long.” The dream was very disquieting and she wanted to warn her brother but her husband told her not to be so ‘silly.’ Two days after the last dream she picked up the local newspaper and on the front page were her brother and sister-in-law. They had been killed flying to Spain. The dreamer had had no idea they had even gone on holiday.
Although prophetic dreams can address anything from what you’re going to wear to work next Wednesday to a devastating earthquake, they’re generally classified into specific types or categories:
Apparitions: These are dreams wherein the dead appear in order to deliver an important message.
Clairaudient Dreams: These types of dreams involve hearing voices or sounds that are extremely distinct and clear. The voice seems to come from nowhere. You usually don’t know the source of the voice or sounds. It’s imperative that you pay attention to the message in this kind of dream.
Clairvoyant Dreams: These are dreams where you’re dreaming of something that’s happening in waking life at the same time as the dream.
Empathic Dreams: In these types of dreams you’re generally moved by an event in the dream but aren’t sure why. You experience clear and sympathetic feelings and sensations. You “feel” something is going to happen.
Telepathic Dreams: You’re able to connect to someone else’s thoughts through a dream. These dreams usually occur between close individuals.
Warning Dreams: As the description suggests, these dreams forewarn of impending danger, disaster or death. These types of dreams often give you the opportunity to alter the outcome.
In ancient Egypt several papyri have been discovered which relate to prophetic dream interpretation. They specifically note the appearance of ‘opposites’ in dreams. Thus, the suggestion is that to dream of a birth could refer to an imminent death. To dream of winning the lottery could signify a financial loss, etc.
In an ancient Indian book of wisdom, the Artharva Veda, dating from about 3000 years ago, it’s stated that the time of night that the prophetic dream occurs gives a clue as to when the dream event will transpire. A dream occurring early in the night, for example, will be realized later than one occurring near dawn.
Psi researchers have discovered that prophetic dream information often comes to us in the form of some kind of publication such as a TV or radio announcement, broadcast or news flash, in a newspaper, email, or nowadays, a text message, etc.
There will always be exceptions to the rules, but generally, I’ve found that most people report prophetic or precognitive dreams as being very sharp and clear. In fact, it’s often reported that the dreamer seems to be in the dream rather than just watching it. Colours are usually reported as being enhanced, crisp or bright. Sounds tend to be exceptionally clear and loud and the overall dream is often reported as being hard to distinguish from waking reality.
The best way to identify that you’re having prophetic dreams at all, and the most effective method for recognizing the elements of a precognitive dream is, as I’ve said many times before, to keep a dream journal. As you start recording and re-reading your prophetic dreams you’ll notice which elements are or aren’t present in them. By doing this, you’ll also encourage more prophetic dreams.
It’s sad that in modern Western societies, we have fallen into the habit of speaking of dreams as “only” dreams, as something less than real. The materialists of the Victorian era dismissed dreams as uncivilized yearnings and repressed desires never to be discussed in polite society. The reductionist scientists of our era try to convince us that dreams are merely the product of random neuronal firings or the brain’s way of cleaning out unneeded and unnecessary information picked up throughout the day. When I read research reports along these lines, I wonder how much time the authors have spent with their own dream journals.
More often than not, it takes something shocking or unbelievable to shake us out of our comfort zone and our entrenched belief systems. Many, many people refuse to accept that dreams are even “real,” let alone able to change our lives. Thousands of years of data have proved that they are. However, no amount of evidence, or anecdotes, or reports will ever change a hard-nosed skeptic’s mind. It takes a experience to alter concepts and beliefs, and this goes for dreams as well.
I believe that the majority of us have the ability to become practicing prophetic dreamers. We’re all capable of receiving life changing information and assistance from our dreams for ourselves as well as for other. However, we must be willing to set aside self-limiting beliefs and practice.