Karri Allrich’s book A Witch’s Book of Dreams was something of a pioneer in the field of dreaming. When it was published in 2001 there were few other books on the market that married together dreaming with the spiritual. I purchased this book when it first came onto the market and have cherished it ever since for it sparked some incredible dreams for me. While I do not support all of the models presented in this book, I still find it to be a most helpful resource for the beginning dream worker.
The first half of the book contains chapters that educate and initiate the dreamer into the subconscious realm based upon Jung psychology. Allrich well explains the archetypes and uses real dream examples to introduce the language of symbols and animals in dreams to the dreamer. There are chapters about The Importance of Shadow Work, Nightmares, Beginning Dream Work and using tools such as the Tarot to aid in understanding the symbology of dreams. The idea that Allrich puts forward about the shadow is not something I personally believe or support but it presents a common belief among other dream workers that dreamer should at least be aware of.
The book has shamanic and Wiccan threads running through its pages with explanations of how to work with the moon and how moon phases affect our dreams. Allrich also explains how to cast a dream spell and the uses of association, active imagination, and automatic writing. Although I’m not Wiccan the information is helpful in starting someone off who has never worked with dreams before.
The second half of the book is dedicated to dream symbols listed in alphabetical order. Allrich derives her dream symbols from the tarot, archetypes and shamanism, which have made more sense to me than interpretations based purely on psychology. Allrich dismisses Freudian concepts of symbols and I whole heartedly agree; for example, snakes in dreams to Freud are strictly a phallic symbol indicating repressed sexual desires. This is certainly not my experience. I regularly dream about snakes and have come to see them as allies in the preparation for spiritual initiation, which is how this author also acknowledges their symbolism. The symbols that Allrich presents in the dictionary section of the book covers much of what the beginner would encounter. Each symbol is outlined with great explanations as well as questions to spark the dreamers mind of possible meanings for their own dreams. Symbols are cross referenced in a handy index making the dictionary easy and quick to use.
If you are just starting your dream journey and beginning to delve into dream work this book would be a helpful resource to add to your dream library.