dream dictionary

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Spirit - evil

An evil spirit in a dream can reflect a sense that someone you know in waking life is evil or has evil intent. The identity is often disguised because of an unwillingness to admit to the possibility in waking life. Location and other people in the dream may provide clues as to its identity.

Often, the sensation of an evil spirit in a dream is a product of sleep or REM paralysis, which is physical in origin, not psychological. Each night when we enter into REM sleep when dreams occur, our bodies temporarily become paralyzed. The reason for this paralysis during REM is protective. It prevents us from acting out our dreams. Occasionally when we wake up from a dream, though, our bodies can fail to release us from this temporary state of paralysis. When this happens, our mind is awake, but our body still is asleep! During REM paralysis, we are unable to move, to call for help, or even to take a deep breath of air. The paralysis of our body can be experienced as heaviness and weight. Because our minds still are not fully awake, we also can imagine (dream) that an intruder or evil spirit is in our room, on our bed, or even pressing down upon us, preventing us from getting up and escaping. The confusion and disorientation that results can be terrifying. Corroborating clues are that the dream is recurring and is always located in the bedroom.

In the Middle Ages, a dream of evil spirits was known as “incubus”—a momentary possession by an evil spirit. Today though, we know the culprit is much simpler. REM paralysis typically occurs when our bodies are tired. What’s the solution? Remind yourself that there are no intruders or goblins, and roll over and go back to sleep. Your body is tired, and wants to catch up on its rest. See sleep paralysis.

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