This nightmare banishing dream pillow was pretty much built "on the run" while chatting with a friend of mine who had been suffering from terrible nightmares for a few nights, leading up to her waking up screaming and feeling like she couldn't breath. After listening her needs, this is what I wrote for her:
The dream pillow has "two layers". The inner one will be the pillow itself, with the herbs. The outer one is the "pillow case" for this inner pillow.
To begin with, you'll need to choose symbols that will be embroidered or painted on the outer pillow, the pillow case, as well as colours for the symbols. The symbols should denote Strength and Protection, the symbols used and their colours should arise from your own personal symbology and correspondences - they should speak to *you*. You can add other symbols according to your own needs and insights.
The pillow's final size should be 11" x 11cm. This strange mixture of measurement units is because the idea is to use the number 11. Here, 11 denotes both the pentagram and the hexagram, it's the number of the Goddess and also refers to one's Great Work. The purpose is to banish disturbing nightmares and these nightmares can indeed interfere with one's Great Work, especially when they're making you too tired to Live.
Cut four pieces of the fabric, large enough for you to be able to get that 11" x 11cm pillow from. Put two of the pieces aside for a while and start working with the other two - the pillow case.
Embroider or paint the symbols you chose with your chosen colours on both of the pieces (right side of the fabric). If you painted the symbols, let the paint dry out completely before starting to sew and if you're using fabric paints, iron the paint as per instructions. Then, sew the pieces together with the right sides in. Leave the other 'short end' unsewed. This is where you will slip the the inner pillow inside the pillowcase. Turn the allowances on this short end in and sew in place. You can attach ribbons to the sides of the opening in order to tie it and keep the inner pillow in place. You can also sew the opening close when the pillow is ready, but ribbons make it much easier to change the inner pillow if needed.
The next step is sewing the inner pillow. Make it a little bit smaller than the pillow case. Sew the sides, right sides of the fabric in, leaving a couple of inches on one side for turning the pillow seams in and then stuffing it. Turn the seams in.
For this nightmare banishing pillow, I chose the following herbs for choosing from: Lavendar, mugwort, hyacinth flowers, anise, cedar, rosemary, valerian, hops, marjoram, dittany of Greece, garlic, thyme ... Do take your allergies into consideration and don't use anything that might trigger your allergies!
Use approximately 50% lavender, with a dash of rosemary and anise. With others, make a nice and even blend. Remember, you should be able to sleep on that pillow! Mix the herbs gently, without using iron / metal bowls or servers.
It is better not to use: Sage, as it may cause haunting feelings in your dream. Tansy, as it can *cause* nightmares. Other species of Artemisia than the above-mentioned mugwort, or laurel, as they can cause dreams with fears. You might want to remove these from your sleeping quarters as well. Use the herbs as herbs, not as oils. While some instructions do mention oils in dream pillows, oils can have too strong a scent and they may stain.
Fill the inner pillow. It is supposed to be rather flat, not round. Sew the hole you left for filling and put the inner pillow inside the pillowcase you made earlier. Tie the ribbons or sew the pillowcase shut.
While preparing the pillow, concentrate your thoughts on what the pillow is meant to do. That is, the whole preparing process is good old fashioned Witchcraft and the pillow itself a kind of spell wrapped in cloth :-)
You're not supposed to just lay your head to sleep after making the pillow. You should be preparing yourself for the forthcoming night, sleeping and dreaming. Before falling asleep, perform a banishing ritual of the type you are most familiar with. The purpose of this is to sleep inside a 'circle', within cleansed space.
If you can, perform the ritual in your mind instead of going around or on your bed. That is, your mind is doing all the necessary work, while your body is resting on the bed.
Include the whole of your bed and a little bit of its surroundings to the area you are cleansing. If your bed is next to a wall, pull it out a little bit so that there's some space between the wall and the bed. Otherwise you might be taking a little bit of your next door neighbour's apartment inside your circle.
After the banishing, relax your whole body and - sweet dreams!
While I'm writing this English translation, my friend has slept two nights after making her pillow and doing the banishings. She said she has had no nightmares at all (although she can't really remember her dreams, nightmares were absent) and she's had more than double her normal sleep.
Hopefully, somebody else could find this useful as well!
copyright © 2002 Faerie K.