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Spiritual Visits in Dreams: Real Visits or Dreams?

Photo by Nadin Sh.

Last week, in a beautiful little cafe in Portland, a close friend and I were discussing dreams. He has deep and strong dream journeys, and he was describing one where he and a friend shared the same dream on the same night and, in the dream, they both spoke to the same person. He then wondered aloud if this dream person was a spiritual being or a figment of their… shared imagination.  

He turned to me and asked… How can you tell if someone in your dream is a figment of the dream, or if it’s a spiritual visit?

How can you tell if it was real… or just a dream?

So thinking on that, I wanted to lay out some situations here that differentiates spiritual visits from the rest of your dream life. Specifically, four things to watch for in your dreams that could be more than simply dreaming.

Scary Visits

(First of all, if you suffer from nightmares, you’ll find a helpful guide at the end of this tiny section. There was a time when many of my clients came to me with nightmares, so I wrote this guide for them/you.)

OK, to get this interesting one out of the way first, there are scary visits from spiritual beings who simply want to scare you. These beings are annoying and unkind, and they delight in tormenting you, which is easy with nightmares. Also getting into dreams is way easier than, say, throwing a dish across a room, and they have more facility for fanfare: Dreams are easily manipulated, and they can add the scary lighting, situations, tone, and sounds. They can do a lot with your dreamscape.  

What’s interesting here is that some beings use the same channels or frightening imagery for different people, almost like they have a palette to choose from. This is why I was able to tell a client about her dream and the “scary elevator,” before she mentioned it, which totally shocked her. (I am not kidding, she jumped in the chair and gripped the sides from surprise.) I wasn’t being psychic in that moment—I knew about it because I had been there and done that (and it was scary!).

Sometimes I wonder if there are dreamscapes in the collective unconscious that we all traverse in our sleep… without knowing that others are walking along the same coast, going to the same strange universities, and visiting, essentially, the same places. What if all of those people in your dreams are actually other dreamers, having their own unconscious journeys? Could be.  

Anyways, how to tell if this poltergeist is ghost or a bit of dream?

First, these annoying beings have their own, strong, and pointed personalities. Other people in your dreams come and go, and somewhat blend in with the background or story, while you are the main consciousness. Theses beings, however, have a very strong identity and they’re fixated on you. They are markedly separate from the dream world and they are looking at, and antagonizing, YOU. That’s how you can tell. Also, they seem way more real and alive than others in your dreams, and they’re not calm. And, well, the extremely creepy and scary vibe can give them away, too. They either come in terrifyingly, or they wait and create a super creepy vibe that you slowly enter as they wait for you. Ugh, I hate those guys. So annoying.

If you have problems with these kinds of beings, here is a nice little Sleep Guide that I wrote just for you!

So there’s that. Next!


OK, say you have a family member who just away, and then you had an incredibly vivid dream about them. That was probably real. Here’s what it could look like:

Say, in a dream, someone close to you, who has passed away, visits you on the street in front of your house. Suddenly, it feels incredibly real. The sunlight is super bright and the air is hot, you can see every detail around you, and it feels like you’re really standing there, in real life. Everything is in hyper-focus. And the person who comes into your dream looks and feels as if they’re real and distinctly separate from you. They’re focusing on you and are not engaging in a specific dream story; they’re somewhat separate from that. They may not be able to be in the dream for very long, and that’s OK. They made it and you got to see them.

Or, you’re in a dream story and your person suddenly shows up. Again, though, they seem separate from the story and they have their own identity about them. And for that brief moment when you see them, the dream again becomes very real, similar to waking consciousness, however brief.

These short visits are deeply special to us; treasured memories of visits from the deeply important people in our lives who are no longer with us here.

Visiting Friends in Dreams

Often friends in dreams can be your real friends, just visiting you to say hi. This often happens if you haven’t seen each other in awhile and your spirits want to catch up. Our friendships go beyond this life, and we’re friends with our people on a spiritual level, as well. If you haven’t seen a friend in a long time but then you spend hours together in your dream, that’s just you catching up. One fun thing to do after a dream like this is to text them and tell them about your dream. Usually they’ll say, “Oh, nice!” or something but, every once-in-awhile, they might say “I had a dream about you, too!” Trust me, this happens.

Future Dreams

Some of you might dream of the future. These future dreams are very much like the family visits: they’re VIVID. And they’re fast. You will be living your etherial dream life and then it will come into focus and something unexpected will happen. They’re as if your dream is suddenly imbued with reality but it’s a strange reality. Like, it seems like you’re awake but you’re at the Renaissance Faire (true story, this happened to me). This hyper reality is how I could always tell that I had a “future dream,” as a child.

Future dreams can predict events that have nothing to do with you personally, but are deeply important. A friend of mine had a dream about a plane crash the night before it happened and it was all over the news the next day. You may have experienced something like this, too.

These dreams can make you question the concept of free will. Since I have had future dreams that came to fruition months after the dream, it makes me wonder. I read somewhere the idea that we have a journey that we follow, but the path we take can be wonky, generally going in the direction we want, like stocks… Going up but with all sorts of dips and rises. So it’s a blend of free will while following a pre-planned theme or arc. Who knows?This is where you decide for yourself what seems right to you. Feel free to write me back and let me know your thoughts!

Precognitive Dreams Where YOU’RE the One Visiting Someone Else

I once dreamt of my friend’s engagement… as it happened (she was across the globe, awake while I was sleeping). I was there on the beach, I saw the sunset, I heart him whisper “Will you marry me?” into her ear, and saw it as if I was right there, in that special moment. At the time, I didn’t even know she was on vacation. Imagine both of our surprise when I texted her the next day about this “crazy dream.” Every single thing happened exactly as I dreamt it. Or, witnessed it…

To be honest, I feel a little like that dream was a bit intimate and I have no idea why I was there to witness it. We weren’t super close friends at the time. So… why? Maybe so one day I could write this note to you?

So what are YOUR dreams? I’m open to hearing or reading about any dreams you may have had, as I love hearing about them. If you have a special dream experience that you’d like to share, I’m all ears! Just respond here and let me know. It would be awesome to learn about your experience.

Big hugs to you,

  • Paige

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