What's in a Name
Native Americans are big believers in the inspirations that dreams can hold, and they use intricate webs of wood, threads, and feathers, called dream catchers, to capture all dreams, good and bad. According to legend, bad dreams get trapped in the web and eventually burn up. Good dreams are stored in the dream catcher's feathers, where they stay until they can be dreamed again.
Ancient dreamers believed that their nighttime visions were inspired by external forces, which came to them in the dark to reveal destinies and warn them of potential dangers that lay ahead of them. Today, dreams are either seen as little more than a dumping ground for all of the excess neurological energy we create during the day (the scientific view), or as an important part of our psyches where suppressed emotions can find release and even resolution.
The visions and images seen in dreams can also provide inspiration for names, especially if you know how to interpret what it is that you're dreaming about! Many expectant moms report having vivid dreams about their children-to-be. Maybe one of yours holds the key to your baby's future.
We all dream, but some of us are better at remembering our noctural noodlings than others. Dream experts recommend capturing dream-inspired thoughts by keeping a pad of paper and something to write with at your bedside so you can immediately record any revelations when you awake.
To unlock the power of your dreams, you first have to be able to remember them. If you wake up knowing that you've dreamt but remembering few of the details, don't worry. Dream memory and recovery skills are easily developed. All it takes is the desire and discipline to do it.
Once they get the hang of it, some people even keep dream journals, where they can keep track of common themes and trends in their dreams. It's even possible to become so proficient at dreaming that you can be aware of having a dream while you're having it, which then allows you to actively guide or determine where your dream will go.
Having dreams where you're awake and aware that you're dreaming is also referred to as lucid dreaming. The term was coined by Dutch physician Frederick Van Eeden, who began studying his own dreams in 1896.
Once you're able to capture memories of your dreams on a regular basis, it's time to interpret the signs and symbols they contain. Psychoanalysis is not needed here – a good book on dreaming and dream interpretation is all you need to get started.
Linking dream symbolism to naming can test your creativity in ways you never dreamed of (pardon the pun!). For example, you may dream of a bear. What does a bear symbolize? Strength, endurance, power. Take a look at the names that symbolize these qualities. Another dream may focus on a specific experience from your past. The occasion itself may yield some naming clues, or even steer you away from a name you're considering.