After a brief hiatus no thanks to the flu, I'm back. Having had lots of free time to stare at the ceiling of my living room, being too tired to do anything all the while being unable to sleep, I spent time reminiscing on past magic I've tried.
I've always been a big lucid dreamer, striving to achieve greater lucidity and control while most are being lead from one dream to the next. Learning to go willfully wake and control my surroundings gave me a sense of power over a state that used to haunt me with sheer terror as a child. You see, I suffered from sleep paralysis and night terrors growing up. Preparing for bed often meant exhausting myself with prayers until I would drift off hoping that each night I would not be visited by shadowy beings.
As a teen I began to develop an interest in the occult. I can no longer remember the name of the book I found in a New Age store as a kid, but I remember the techniques I learned on how to gain lucidity in my dreams. The first lucid dream I experienced was so ground-breaking, that I no longer feared going to sleep at night, in fact, I couldn't wait for night to come so that I could go back to the dream world.
The first and most important practice I took on was keeping a dream diary. This is very important because it helps you to focus on images from the previous night that your mind might normal discard. Every time I would wake up, I would force myself no matter how tire, to recall every detail I could remember from the the dreams I just had. At first I was only able to write a couple of words, but after a few weeks of practice I was quickly writing detailed descriptions of everything that had transpired.
The second practice I began was to stop and check my hands. Once an hour I would stop whatever I was doing and carefully inspect my hands. This habit always works like a charm, because inevitably when I would ingrain myself with the habit I would stop what I was doing in a dream and check my hands to see something very bizarre in place of my hands. Immediately I would become aware of the fact that I was dreaming and gain lucidity.
Chanting was another powerful tool that I would quietly employ during my days to prepare me for sleep. I created a simple chant in high school that I still use to this day to create awareness while I am sleeping: Mind awake body asleep, controlling my dreams while I sleep. I would sometimes hear the chant echoing in my dreams and it would cause me to wake up from my dreams and gain control.
Finally, there was my nightly dream tea. It worked in two ways, the first way was to make sure that once asleep I stayed asleep (I have a form of insomnia that causes me to wake up throughout the night), and secondly it made my dreams more vivid and colorful. The recipe is as follows:
2 parts mugwort
2 parts chamomile
1 part lavender
1 part Valerian root
Obviously, you should consult with a doctor before trying out different herbs to make sure that you do not have adverse effects.
Generally, lucidity can easily be gained if you employ a bit of strategy. You may find that your dreams will gradually become more clear and the messages given to you by the spirits are more easily remembered. The best way to gain lucidity is to make it your primary goal each night, and once you gain it you should work to refine it and make it happen every night. Good Luck!