How to use active imagination

man in hammock

I’m going to share a common dream practice, done during the day for healing, obtaining a greater understanding and enjoying dreams further.

As developed by Carl Jung between 1913 and 1916, this is a meditation technique wherein the contents of one’s unconscious are translated into images, narrative or personified as separate entities. It can serve as a bridge between the conscious and the unconscious.

Using imagination helped many people to understand their inventions, get inspiration for works of art, get insight to sickness and healing, and solve various problems.

Work with dreams during the day.

The technique:

  • Find a place to lay down and relax where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Turn on meditation or shamanic drumming music. You can also have it quiet. Decide what makes you the most comfortable. A drumming track is my favorite, because the speed and rhythm of the beat guides the timing of the trip.
  • A sleep mask is helpful, to shut out the light. You’ll be able to visualize better.
  • After you’ve made yourself comfortable, go into your journey. It’s okay if you have trouble visualizing. Use all your senses to know that you’re there.
  • Be very creative about what comes. Each object can have a personality and meaning of its own. You can communicate with anyone and anything.
  • Go into the journey with a plan of what you want to know or explore.
  • When you come back, think about what you’ve discovered.
  • Determine if there’s any action to take in waking life. How can you satisfy your spirit? How do you want to honor your dream?

Reasons why this is helpful:

Get more information from a dream that you had. After analyzing a dream, you might have questions about a certain character, a scene or a symbol. Go back in with those questions. In the beginning, it might feel that you’re creating those answers. Whatever comes to you, it’ll be true and correct for you.

Work with a nightmare. I love using this technique for nightmares. When you are conscious, you know that you’re physical body is relaxing and safe. If you’ve previously discovered your spirit animal, ask for it to accompany you on this journey. While going back to it, you can ask questions that you want to know. You can learn more about the symbolism and find out what to do to resolve any issues. You’ve had a nightmare, because something in your life needs attention.

Further enjoy a wonderful dream. Did you wake up too soon? Maybe a dream that you had was too blissful to only experience once!

Did you wake up before finishing a story or a task? Go back to tie up loose ends. Sometimes this makes the energy of it more comforting.

This is a useful exercise

I hope you’ll make this a regular exercise to become a more powerful dreamer. Let me know if you try it!

Photo: Dane Deaner on Unsplash

Jolene Gentry


  1. Very interesting article, in-depth and useful to readers.
    Love the structure of this too, kept me interested and wanting to read on which for me is a key tactic, congrats 🙂
    Thanks for writing and sharing this with us all!

  2. When I was younger I used to remember my dreams vividly and I could go back into the same dream every night. Then I would go somewhere and it was like watching a film I knew everything that we would see and say. This stopped happening in my early 40s. Now I don’t seem to remember anything at all. Do you know any reason for this?

    • It’s wonderful that you had that ability. If it were me, I’d think back to what was happening in my early 40’s. It’s possible that there was an event that made you forget your dreams or feel that they are less important. You know yourself the best. Think about your life and resolve anything there. The most common reasons people are forgetful with dreams are not getting enough sleep, waking up to fast, putting other things first, being surrounded by people who don’t talk about dreams, not seeing the importance of them and not feeling worthy enough. The good news is that after working with yourself, you can dream incredibly as you did before. Let me know if you make progress.

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