Preparing and Using Dreaming Stones
A dreaming stone can help you focus your dreaming energy.
I have had several requests for information about getting and using a 'dreaming stone'. The process is straightforward and can be adapted by the individual without much difficulty. I should preface this by saying not everyone should use a dreaming stone as a matter of daily practice, but for those people drawn to dreaming energy and having difficulty gaining lucidity, recall, or control in dreaming, this is a process which might help. A dreaming stone can help you focus your dreaming energy and control dreaming.
Dreams can also be stored in the stone, although I'm not a big fan of that use. Shamanically, stones of various types have been used over the eons for an enormous variety of purposes. Some shamans hold certain types of stones to be of particular value due to their intrinsic energy and properties. Stones have been used for healing, oracular work, dreaming, storage of energy of various types, and on occasion for chucking at the heads of stubborn students. Dreaming stones in particular seem to have come into use fairly early on as shamans labored to understand the dreaming world and gain a foothold there for their work. Dreaming stones charged by the shaman were used to treat night terrors, insomnia, and other ailments we now associate as sleep disorders.
Very often, shamans bestowed 'special' stones on their students telling them to keep them with them always and to sleep with them, especially. Some shamans explained why, others didn't. They are a rather taciturn bunch when considered as a whole. Depending on the nature of the stone and the charge of intent placed in it by the shaman, the student would often find their dreams changing significantly. These were often the first steps into disassociating reality for the student in ways that changed the essential nature of how they saw the world. The student would be given instruction on how to use the stone in dreaming once it became apparent they had associated with its energy. Sometimes the shaman would give contraindicated advice based on the student's experience in dreaming in order to create a conflict internally which could bring about an abrupt schism in their ability to use their awareness in a linear way. Today, most people use the concepts differently, but it is always good to keep in mind the essential energy of the practice has not changed.
As we go through the steps for finding, clearing, charging and using a dreaming stone, I will attempt to give brief explanations of why each step is important in order to use the stone for this purpose. In the end, though, explanations are only words; your own experience and energetic needs will dictate how ultimately useful you will find the practice.
Find a Stone
Finding a stone is the first step, of course. There are two ways to find them: go into dreaming and bring one out with you, or find one here and carry it in with you. I'd suggest finding one here and taking it in. Now, before you go trundling off to the local crystal or new age shop, stop and consider what shamans of yore would have been facing when searching for the appropriate stone. That's right - they didn't have a trusty sales person at the local rock shop to help guide them in the selection of a stone. They simply had to use their own intuition, training, and energy to locate just the right one. Considering the personal nature of the relationship between yourself and the stone, this is still the best method. Shamans can look at the energy of a stone and see whether or not it will or can be used for such a purpose. If you feel as though you aren't quite to that point yet, simply use your intuition, your feelings, while handling stones and looking at them. Some will feel oddly cold and distant, as though they resented you even picking them up. Others will feel warmer in nature, but still aloof from the desire to be put in your pocket.
Eventually, after having driven your friends and family to distraction with your stone quest and making them quite sure you have finally gone around the bend, you will find that 'aha' stone, the one that 'fits'. The feeling will be one almost of recognition, a feeling of warmth and connection, although in a petrified sort of way. Listen to your stone, they sing; if you listen, you can hear it. Now you need to ask your new friend an important question - don't forget to ask it - and that is, "Will you work with me, be my dreaming stone?" If the answer is yes you will find yourself putting it in your pocket before you even realize what's happened. Most stones that fall into this category will be of the appropriate size, ones that fit nicely into the palm of the hand and seem to nest there. Keep your eyes open while searching; the right stone could be anywhere, in your backyard, along the roadside, even in a flowerpot. The type of stone isn't important. What is important, however, is that it be comfortable with you and you with it.
Preparing the Stone
Now that you have found your new friend and gleefully rushed home with him or her riding in your pocket, you need to think about preparing the stone for use in dreaming. First, give your new friend a nice warm bath in plain water, washing off any muck until it's clean. Allow it to dry in a sunny spot, if possible, for a day or so. This allows the stone to become accustomed to the energy of the household, your space, before the rest of the process continues. Once it seems accustomed to the space, you will want to clear the stone and align its energy. Don't worry; this isn't painful to the stone. Get out some salt, sea salt is good, rock salt works; even table salt is fine, just as long as it's salt. Pour some of the salt into a small bowl or cup, then place the stone in it and cover it the rest of the way with salt. Wait twenty-four hours for the process to complete. The salt will clean the stone of extraneous energy; just like human beings, stones tend to collect energy from other sources as they go through their existence - and it has been a very long existence.
Once it is done with the salt bath, remove it and rinse it off gently once again. Now you are ready to align the stone's energy to your own in a particular way by heating it. Helpful hint: don't microwave your stone - that would be bad. Using the lowest heat setting possible on your stove or oven. Simply heat the stone by itself in a pan or pot until it is thoroughly warm. Once you are done, leave it in the pan to cool. It is important at this point that no one else touches or handles the stone in any way, except you. After this process, the stone is very 'open' to new energy and will glom onto whoever handles it before it is charged. When the stone is completely cooled, you are now ready to charge the stone for dreaming.
Charging the Stone
Those people who are not used to the weirdness of the shamanic may find the next step in the process a little bizarre. Find some private time to charge your stone. The process is one of connection through both will and intent. Take your stone in your hand and hold it up to eye level. Begin by talking to your stone, whatever you feel is appropriate. Feel for the response from the stone. It will be the same as when you first found it, but stronger now - more clear. Ask the stone to help you in your dreaming work and see if it agrees; if it doesn't at this point, then something has gone wrong. Either someone else has handled it after clearing, or you were mistaken when you first picked it up. If it doesn't agree, return it to the earth in some nice little out of the way spot and thank it for the time. We will assume that it has agreed with you, though, and continue on with the charging.
Holding the stone in your hand, at eye level now, rub your fingers across it, like petting a small bird. Clear your mind of thoughts, such as how silly this all is, and concentrate on a single intent. You may be seeking to remember your dreams only, or become lucid in your dreaming energy, or to calm recurring nightmares. Whatever the case may be, form a single intent around that purpose. Inhale a large breath and create/draw the intention to connect and fulfill that purpose with the stone. Use your breath to push the intent out of you physically and into the stone by blowing gently across the surface of it until you have completely exhaled. Your stone is now charged. You can either keep it with you, which is good if you are doing certain kinds of recapitulations, or you can leave it in a secluded spot somewhere in your space where others won't disturb it.
Once it is charged, you are ready to use the stone. When you go to bed at night, or day, depending on your schedule, take the stone and hold it in the same hand you had it in when you charged it. Reaffirm the intent internally and even externally by speaking to the stone, if you want. Then keep the stone in your hand as you fall asleep. Since stones don't really sleep in a human sense, it will tend to activate its energy along with the connection it has with you when dreaming activity occurs.
The stone can be recharged with the breath in the same way as before to handle other intents as you work with dreaming energy. You could, for instance, use it to store dreaming energy in to use in awake dreaming, or you could seek to have it travel into your dreams in order to lead you to certain areas of your dreaming energy. Or, if your partner snores and keeps you awake, just whack them with it - they already think you're bizarre anyway. :)
A charged stone is okay for other people to handle and look at, but try not to allow the interaction to go on for any length of time. And, if at any time, the stone becomes difficult to work with or begins to take dreaming energy in directions you don't want to go, simply give it back to the earth with your blessings and thanks. Most people never have this problem, though; many keep their dreaming stones for a lifetime with increasing good results at learning the intricacies of their own dreaming worlds.
Where do you put the stone when you sleep? Do you have to hold it? Where do you put it during the day? Can anyone else see it?
Hold it in your hand while you go to sleep. During the day, you can leave it under your pillow, or you can carry it with you. It doesn't hurt for other people to see your stone or even for them to handle it briefly if you are explaining about it, but in general I wouldn't offer it for inspection.
Is it possible to have two dreaming stones? Is it wise? I want to charge a second one with the intent of using dreaming energy to move my awareness in the 'normal' awareness, to exploit opportunities lost to fear.
You mean to use two at once?
Not at the same time.
Yes, two is fine - with different intents - that works. Keep the intent short and specific and different for each stone.
When I sleep with my stone, the dreams tend to be bizarre - not in a pink- flying-chicken way, but just weird. They feel very heavy - that's the best way I can describe it.
The stone is trying to help you recall. That's all it does. It's working in that sense, and the reason they are more bizarre is because this is the way they have always been. It's just your brain that dresses them up for you in script-like fashion.
But recall hasn't been a problem, if you mean normal dreams.
The previous dreams you were recalling may have only lasted seconds. The stone is starting to show you what's going on the rest of the night.
My arm felt like it was on fire in my dream, and I was holding my dreaming stone. I saw the stone in my dream. When I changed hands, the other arm seemed to catch on fire. So, I put the stone under my pillow.
It really is a reaction to using the stone. When they become active - I mean really connect in a way that is important in dreaming - you may feel different things from them. Sometimes it's physical, sometimes it's emotional. The burning is usually associated with actually moving in the dream.
Did I do the right thing, by putting my dreaming stone under my pillow? Or should I have held on?
I think it was okay, there really isn't a right or wrong. You did what you felt in the moment was proper, and I would go with that. For some reason, it was unsettling to you, so best to take a break and review. Now that you know the feeling, you can take that stone out, polish it up and take another trip. Each one you take makes the control better and the movement more sure. And when you bring something back, just bring it back. Whether it's a smell, sound or physical object, it is part of what you have intended and are trying to do.
My dreaming stone finally stopped jumping out of bed. Good thing, it's not frightened any more I guess. Three mornings in a row, I woke up with dirt or sand in my bed was that 'brought back' or was it the dog's gift? Just trying to verify sane from crazy because I'm still not recalling a lot.
I'm not sure there really is a difference between sane and crazy; sane is just what we all agree on.
You know how reason can say, 'blame it on the dog.'
Keep the dog off the bed for a night, and see if it still shows up.
Should I recharge the stone?
No, I wouldn't recharge it; I would refine my intent with it. Narrow it down more; be more specific, even to the point of just recall in order to get past this one hurdle.
So intend recalling more than bits and pieces?
Yes. Narrow it down; intend to recall one whole dream of the night.
How about focusing on finding the stone in my hand?
You can do both - they work together.