With A Midsummer Night's Dream starting its Autumn tour, we asked Delphi Ellis, Soul Counsellor and TV Dream Expert, to give us a brief insight into what dreams really mean...
How did you become a dream expert? Is the ability to read dreams something that came from a natural, in-built skill or something that was honed through training and research?
I have worked therapeutically with dreams for over a decade but have studied the topic since childhood. I grew up in an environment where I was encouraged to talk about the dreams I'd had the night before and it's a subject which has always fascinated me. I would say that some of what I do is instinctive, and using my qualifications and training, I help my clients explore the dreams they've had until we reach an interpretation which makes sense to them.
How often do we dream?
We dream every night. If you're lucky enough to have eight hours sleep a night (most people don't), you can be dreaming up to five times during that period, every 90 minutes or so.
What might be the cause of someone having an especially vivid dream, like the one we are confronted with in Midsummer?
Vivid dreams can be caused by a number of things; nightmares can relate to past trauma or just happen because the bedroom is too hot. Medication, prescribed or otherwise can alter our states of consciousness and this can cause unusual dreams. Even "natural" sleep remedies can contain herbs such as valerian, which was used thousands of years ago to induce graphic dreams. The more powerful a dream though, the more likely you are to remember it and that's when the real magic begins - when you try to understand the message it contains.
If someone were to dream of fairies what might this suggest to you as a dream analyst?
Whilst at first you may think fairies could have a magical interpretation, the characters who appear in our dreams often relate to friends, family or relationships in our life at the time. We describe people today as "airy-fairy" or "away with the fairies" which might mean they're out of touch with reality. There is something very delicate, very precious about fairies though and it may be that someone nearby needs to be treated with the gentility they deserve.
What is the most common persistent dream?
Common dreams include losing teeth (often a fear of losing something important) and being chased, which often reflects something getting the better of us.
A common dream shared by some dancers is of them performing poorly or having the best show of their lives. What do you think these types of dreams mean?
Dreams can often reflect our anxieties or see our greatest wishes fulfilled. It would therefore be natural for anyone dedicated to their art or craft to be worried that they were going to "fail" or want to see them perform at their best.
Can you suggest any tips for remembering dreams?
Always keep a dream diary. Just setting the intention to record your dreams can be enough to remember them the next day.
Do you dream of being on stage, or being transported to a land of magic and mystery?