Music and dreams

Sometimes I wake up humming a song. Sometimes I sing in me dreams. I wrote a mindfunda about it earlier (click to read it). But because one of my friends is a dreamer and a musician, I asked for his expert advice on the subject of music and dreams.

Music Dream Ceremonies

Todays Mindfunda is written by Travis Wernet, Dream Teacher, Author, Breath Worker and Unitarian Universalist Minister.
Travis has worked for 20 years offering online and local groups as well as workshops, ceremonies and private sessions based in “inner work”. He has a private practice and worked for 10 years in the Community Mental Health Field in California.
He has traveled co-leading musical dream ceremonies from Northern India to the Great Pyramids in Egypt and did a coastal tour of Australia. Sound, breath, dreams and music support learning from deep wisdom sources about what we don’t already know. Workshops featuring these practices have been presented by Travis at International Association for the Study of Dreams Conferences. He is a musician with three albums to his credit, and articles published in Dreamtime Magazine, Dream Network Journal and Depth Insights E-Zine.

Dreams and music have much more in common than we may realize. For one, any time we listen to a song or piece of music, we’re invited to enter the alternate space of reality that is evoked by the collage of sounds that are gathered there. You could say that when we listen to a specific piece of music, we’re seeking to create a certain kind of dream.
Both dreams and music arrive in a sort of invisible fashion. That is to say, even though we may become lucid in our dreams, and we experience them in a perceivable visionary state, there is something elusive and hard to pin down about our nighttime journeys. Music itself is experienced as a kind of spirit, due to its invisible nature.
Sound is heard – audible – and even though we know it exists, we don’t exactly see it. There’s a subtle connection here that shows similar qualities of each experience.
It’s been my experience in my work that certain kinds of sounds support, invite and honor our dreaming capacities. Ancient cultures have known this for ages, and this is why in most – if not all – traditional communal settings, music is a part of any ceremony or rite. Such activities help to “bring the dream alive” in a manner of speaking.
Folks who work with dreams often think of the experiences and content in the form of visual images. When we work with our dreams we also may become aware of certain mythic patterns that prevail within them, often referred to as “archetypes”. Just as images can symbolically portray deep and transpersonal, timeless forces of energy, so too might we receive and be influenced by these powers through sound. In other words, sound and the colors it creates may also be understood as an archetypal reality.
Listening to or making certain tones puts us in contact with the mythical forces of the cosmos. It’s been shown that the major archaic cultures in Greece, Egypt, and even ancient Ireland all had some form of dream incubation practice based on meditative ritual that involved sacred music. We know today that certain sounds produce very exact effects, in the body and I suspect, also in the psyche.
In the following piece of music, a song I co-wrote with internationally renowned producer Ben Leinbach under my musical moniker ‘Outlaw Dervish’, we intentionally sought to create a piece of music that could open the awareness to the depths and multiple realities of the psyche.
I invite you to listen just before going to bed at night, when you are perhaps already a little sleepy, and to play with this musical offering as a potent tool for your own dreaming incubations. You might consider using this when you are hoping to receive a particular dream in response to a specific question or request for support.

You can find the song and the full album at iTunes:
More info at



What is Mindfunda about?

My name is Susanne van Doorn, I am a Dutch psychologist, blogger and author. I have been working with psychology, dreams and mythology ever since I finished my study in psychology at Tilburg University. I made this independant site to share insights, and recent scientific articles about the brain, dreams, and mythology for use in your personal life.

This posting is categorised as Spirifunda:
psychology for everyday with a spiritual layer of meaning, searching for the soul. Our brains are wired for believe in magic. In a world filled with rationality, you sometimes need a little magic, a little “I wonder why”. Synchronicity, the insights of Carl Jung, the mythology used by Freud, the archetypical layers in the Tarot, the wisdom of the I Tjing, Shamanism, the oldest religion of humanity, all that information gets published in the Spirifunda section of Mindfunda.

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Music: what does it mean to you?

Without music, life would be a mistake 

I think music has a special meaning for us don’t you? We, Homo sapiens, made musical instruments as early as 75,000 years ago. Melody is emotion, communication, tunes unite; some say it even plays a key role in the evolutionary path we have undertaken. Sounds that are pleasant to us is tell us about our soul: our inner well being. We all know the magic: with some kind of music the words and the chords are just so good you forget everything around you: it resonates. Music is energy vibrating, just like we imagine our souls to vibrate.

Some say that dreams are messages from the soul. That dreams signify the highest well-being you can be. I don’t think that is true for all dreams. But I do believe that tunes in dreams speak from the soul. In one dream, I was singing, while in waking life I can not keep a tune.  I experienced music was all around in dreams. I was part of it. I was part of the song I was playing, being part of a cosmic experience. I never could find the right words to talk about those kind of experiences so I was so very thrilled to read David Levitin’s insights in his book “This is your brain on music

This is your brain on music Daniel Levitin

David is a neuroscientist and former musician. He is a pop musician, that is one downside of the book: he merely discusses classical music. I love music but my knowledge of classical music is limited. I listen to it, I like it or I tune into another channel. I only recognize the very famous classical music like Beethoven’s fifth.
With that notion aside: if you are interested in music, in the brain and in dreaming about music: this book will give you more insight.

It tells you about how music is very prominent in our species. Levitin proposes that music was important in our evolution and I tend to agree with him. Music unites tribes. If you think back about the slaves in America that invented the blues to vent out their grief, to unite against their oppressors, it just makes sense.
Music was the tool to unite the group without strong repercussions.

What does music in dreams mean? This book was able to shed light on that for me. Music in dreams can be about feeling united with my tribe: I can remember dreaming about making music together in the woods of Rolduc years before I became involved in dreaming and ecology, years before I knew there was going to be another dream conference at the same Dutch Convent called Rolduc in the south of the Netherlands.
Music in my dreams is also connected with my soul: when I was younger and away from my loved one I used to hear “our song” in my dreams to keep my flame burning.
Music in my dreams has also helped me to emancipate: not only by performing in my dreams but also by being uplifted by many people in a concert hall and being transported: the ultimate meaning of life: the way you transcend through time.

What are your experiences?


What your cd collection tells about your personality traits

Psychologist Sam Gosling wrote an interesting book about what your material stuff (your cd and book collection even your paintings and even your Facebook profile) tells about who you are. Snoop: what your stuff says about you:

Snoop: what your stuff says about your personality traits


personality traits
What your cd collection tells about your personality

Sam Gosling assumes that your stuff gives a clear indication about who you are. He analyses using the five traits that all people share. The Big Five personality traits are: Openness to experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism.
Art tells about how open and curious you are (I love paintings and there are three my bedroom wall). Books tell about your ambition (Oh my gosh, we had to buy three bookshelves to organize all my books!). People who hang quotes on the wall are bound to be a bit more neurotic than average (that would make a very good quote on a lovely t-shirt).

If you have different kind of music cd’s in your collection you are probably an open-minded character.  People who like punk are less friendly. People who have a high score on the friendliness scale of the Big Five test usually sit in the middle of the room were they work. Your Facebook profile page gives a reasonably good indication of your personality.

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