10/30/2013 11:51 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

The Light Side of the Top 10 Darkest Dreams

It's that time of year when the veil between worlds is thin.

"What worlds?" you ask.

The world of the so-called living and dead.

Halloween is the time to embrace the inevitability of death as a natural part of the cycle of life (if you are into Goth then you've already got this nailed... tattooed, or pierced).

For those of us non-Goths this might not be such an easy task. Think about it, we are not encouraged by the media to embrace death... no! We are encouraged to preserve an idealized "Teenage Dream" (ode to Katy Perry) and to "make it" in the land of the living. Yet, according to mystics and shamans (men or women of power and wisdom) if we can't embrace death then we can't fully live. This is why Halloween is such an important holiday to celebrate... in the light of day and in the darkest hours of our sleep.

Let's tiptoe back in time, shall we? Halloween has roots in the Celtic festival of Samhain (the Celtic new year) and the Christian holiday All Saints' Day. This was considered a time to honor departed loved ones, reflect upon the ending of cycles, and to honor the dark days of winter as a reminder to go inward to discover one's internal light switch. (Okay, they didn't have light switches back then... it was probably more like igniting ye olde inner torch.)

As one that has taken up residence on the Dreamtime Bridge between sleep and awake, I tend to pay attention to dream themes, in particular as they relate to the seasons and cultural and global events. From my experience the following are the most common Halloween dream themes and symbols that tend to rise up like bobbing apples from the collective unconscious to be acknowledged (or at least to make for some great ghost stories).

Read on for the top 10 scariest Halloween dream symbols... if you dare... mwhuahaaa.

10. Graveyard/Cemetery/Tombstone
Dreams of a cemetery/graveyard/tombstone represent a distinct change or the ending of a cycle, e.g., a relationship, business affair or significant chapter in your life. You may be grieving and moving through the bittersweet sorrow of missing your connection to a loved one, or you may be releasing a cherished attachment.

9. Black Cat
Contrary to most people's superstitions, a black cat does not inherently represent bad luck -- whether it crosses your path in real life or in a dream. Black cats are known as creatures that can traverse other dimensions. I personally believe that dreams of a black cat are a message for you to pay attention to your intuition and psychic abilities, as well as your feminine essence and sensuality.

8. Chasing or Being Chased
Dreams of chasing something or someone signifies that you believe that what you need is out of reach... perhaps you are being seduced by the thrill of a hunt for something/someone you think will make you more whole than you currently perceive yourself to be. If you are being chased you may be running from an undesirable aspect of yourself or from an adverse influence. My suggestion is, in your waking state, imagine that you confront who (or what) you are running from, ask it why it's chasing you, and negotiate closure. After all, what you resist persists.

7. Zombies, Monsters, and Ghouls... oh my!
Dreams of a zombie represent a part of you or someone in your life that is living on auto-pilot, being mindless, or controlled by the media or popular opinion to the exclusion of their own internal GPS. Dreams of monsters and ghouls (aka shadow creatures) symbolize your dark side (hey, don't shoot the messenger... every character in our dreams represents an aspect of us... the beauty and the beast, the fertilizer and the flower). Ghouls and monsters represent that which is unintegrated, rejected, or perceived as unacceptable and thus suppressed. Keep in mind that it is only a shadow creature until you've embraced it in the light of your awareness. Go ahead and embrace your inner Jason (without saying "Ewwwww!")

6. Witch/Old Woman
Although scary, an old witchy woman (aka crone) in a dream symbolizes great wisdom and empowerment. Often a witch or an old woman represents darkness, jealousy, or vindictiveness. A metaphysical interpretation of the crone, however, is that she is a primary instigator of spiritual growth that ushers someone who is stuck in unconsciousness to find their conscious power. Because the crone doesn't have a people-pleasing bone in her decrepit old body, she represents independence, freedom, authenticity and one who makes up her own rules. In essence, dreams of a witch signify your irreverent power and ability to create magic in your life.

5. Skeletons
Dreams of a skeleton can reflect the foundational structure of your business, relationships, or your belief systems in general. If the bones in the skeleton are strong and healthy, then so is your foundation. If the bones are weak or brittle, then it is time for you to strengthen your foundation from the inside out. If you have an eating disorder, this dream may be a warning for you to EAT and keep your food inside your body! Also, skeletons can represent secrets that are scratching at the closet door to be revealed.

4. Mask
Dreams of a mask are about honesty and can represent shame about your authentic self, fear that you are not good enough, powerful enough, or strong enough, and that you are unwilling to reveal the real you. Keep in mind that sometimes the wearing of a mask is a necessary step of evolution until your ego has integrated the power the mask symbolizes, at which point, the mask is no longer necessary. Masks also represent ancient symbols of power, evoking the medicine (qualities) of the Gods/Goddesses they represent.

3. Falling
Dreams of falling symbolize a feeling of loss of control, a lack of confidence, and that you are losing your step as a result of not having your feet firmly planted on the earth. This dream can symbolize that you are overwhelmed with the events in your life. Alternatively, this dream could be showing you that you are falling into a deeper, more profound aspect of yourself, asking deeper questions, and exploring the depth of your true nature.

2. Departed Loved Ones
When you dream about someone you love who has crossed over you might feel that you've actually had a visit with them... because maybe you have. Pay particular attention to the dream situation they come cloaked in and to the words they convey. These dreams are often literal, requiring a minimum of interpretation and a maximum of meditation. At the very least you can feel grateful for having a connection not only with your departed loved one, but with life beyond your five senses... and all that resides on the other side of the veil.

So, if you are having a dream starring any of the aforementioned dream symbols know that you are right on track with the season and perhaps being initiated into a deeper level of wisdom and perception. And if Freddy Krueger comes to call in your dreamtime, give him a kiss for me.

1. Death/Dying
Contrary to popular belief, dreams of death and dying ARE NOT A BAD THING! Dreams of death are very common in that it is the job of your subconscious mind to keep you alive and your dreams may be assisting you to process fears of death and dying. Keep in mind that Native Americans believe that the most powerful way to live is as if death were over your shoulder. If you dream of your own death then you may be contemplating the value and impact of your life. Dreaming of someone else dying is about transformation and change in your relationship with them, not necessarily a forecast of a literal death. You might also be venting out your fears of losing someone that you love. Often a dream of death represents the ending of a chapter in your life, and that a new cycle is about to begin. Allow this dream to inspire you to ponder what aspect of your life may be coming to a close, and how can you more harmoniously participate in the new beginning that is beckoning.

Sweet dreams... and happy Halloween!