Michael Sheridan is a dream analyst and spiritual visionary, originally from Ireland and now based in Seattle, Washington. He is the creator of the popular dream interpretation website Aisling Dream Interpretation, which he has been running since 1997. He holds dream classes in Seattle and has recently started offering an online course which is open to anyone in the world with internet access. Michael is the author of the book, “How to Interpret Your Dreams,” which goes far deeper than simple dream interpretation and delves into the spiritual understanding of what life is all about and why you are here.
This week I had the pleasure of having a conversation with Michael. We met for coffee in a bustling Seattle café. Warm and cozy next to the fire, and amidst the chatter of afternoon patrons, we sat down to discuss our shared passions: dreams and spirituality.
A Spiritual Awakening Leads Michael to Dream Work
Amy Cope: How did you get started working with dreams?
Michael Sheridan: A very strange thing happened. I suddenly started seeing spirits. And I didn’t believe in them, I didn’t believe in life after death or anything like that. But it made me start researching. I didn’t see them all the time, but I saw them frequently enough. It was very scary for me. It wasn’t any pleasant experience at all. I had to figure out how to not see them. I didn’t realize at the time it was me doing it.
I was doing meditation. I led a team of nineteen people in software for Seimens. I used the meditation to focus on what I was going to do in the day and the directions we needed to take in software to meet our targets. It was all that meditation that awakened what I was seeing.
I was also lucky because if you just do meditation and nothing else, you end up in trouble. But I was doing a traditional style of karate at the time, so I was doing a grounding exercise. It’s a perfect formula.
It was seeing the spirits, and that rocking my world. Because then obviously there was life after death. Or else I’ve gone mad – that’s another possibility! So I sort of slinked off to psychic fairs and things like that. Which weren’t as popular at the time, people used to pick at me. Eventually I found somebody who told me how to stop the painful part of the experience of seeing them. Once that happened, it became an intriguing thing. It started me on the road anyway, where I ended up learning about dreams.
Once I hit dreams, I knew from the first night of the first course I did, this is something that resonates with me. There’s no question about it. That would have been 1991. Ever since then my passion for dream analysis has been exactly the same, if not more. And there are very few things that I would do in my life that I keep that passion for. So I feel really fortunate.
How Dreams Tell You Your Life Purpose
Amy Cope: Wow! That’s an amazing story. So you started from doing meditation.
Michael: From doing meditation, I had a spiritual awakening. I didn’t know what it was at the time because I didn’t know what was going on. But since then, I’ve done more controlled exercises.
I started teaching dream classes around 1993.
My favorite part of the whole thing is that dreams tell you why you’re here – what your life purpose is – and what spiritual abilities you have with you. And I love that whole part. Mainly because I had completely shut that off in my own life. So to find out that you’re a natural counselor, or a teacher, or you should be working with kids, or whatever it is you should be doing. Plus you learn you can also communicate with spirits, you can heal people with your hands, there all in there as well. That’s my favorite part.
I would be talking to people and saying “You have guardian angels in your life that are helping control that you take the right directions, that you take the right steps to get you where you need to be… to end up on the path you need to be on, etc…” They’re always there to help. But one of the things they won’t do is they won’t help unless you ask because they won’t interfere in anything you do.
My favorite part of the whole thing is that dreams tell you why you’re here, what your life purpose is, and what spiritual abilities you have with you.
And I’m looking at the participants [at my dream class], and I’m looking at the spirits standing behind them and the students are saying “there’s no such thing.” After a few years, I thought maybe if I try to show them how to see the spirits, they’ll see them. And I did that and it only took about five minutes, everybody saw them. And then when they sat down, it was total silence. It was like “Okay, now we want to hear more.” I now do that in all my classes.
Amy: Can you teach me?
Michael: Sure. Well, not here. We’d look funny. They’d be calling for the men in white coats [laughs].
How to See the Spirits Around You
Amy Cope: So what’s the process that you would do to teach people that skill?
Michael: Basically, I would have somebody stand against that wall. Get the lighting right – the lighting is important. And the color of the wall is important – it has to be sort of a pastel type of color. And then show people – describe where the aura is. And once they can see the aura, get them to focus on looking for spirits. Because it’s the same type of thing. But seeing the aura is very easy. Everybody can see the aura. Sometimes we get one person in the room who can’t see the spirits.
But initially, some people didn’t want to [see the spirits]. It would only take about 20 minutes, so people would step outside when I did that for the people who wanted to do it. Whereas now everybody wants to do it. So there’s definitely been a change in people’s perception of the spiritual world.
Amy: That’s amazing. I mean, I’ve seen my own aura, and I’ve seen other’s auras using a similar method. But I didn’t know you could go a step further than that.
Michael: I didn’t either. I mean, I didn’t know it would be so easy for others to see them. But it can be a profound experience because even if you’re a religious person and dreams are not religious at all. Spiritual is a complete non-religion. It’s still amazing for people because they then accept, Okay, they’re really there. As opposed to, I just read the words.
Finding your Gifts in your Dream: A Real-Life Example
Amy: One of things you talked about was that people can learn what their gifts are through their dreams. Can you expand on that?
Michael: Okay, give me a dream.
I relate to Michael my reoccurring High School dream that I’ve had for six years where I am back in high school and have two years left to graduate.
Michael: High school is typically a good one for dreams that are about your spiritual self. It’s your higher purpose or your higher self. School is also about learning about yourself in order to improve yourself, improve your life. So when you put the two together, it’s about learning something spiritual about yourself in order to improve your life.
[I ask Michael if I can expand on the dreams. I now relate four variations I have had of this dream occurring monthly over the past four months. In the sequence of these four dreams, I finally finish High School and receive my completed transcripts. Although this is a personal account, it serves as an illustration as to how you can use your dreams to discover your life purpose.
Through questioning Michael quickly rules out the possibility that my dreams were signaling I need another qualification.]
Michael: The fact that you got your transcript papers means now is the right time. When did you get that dream, just recently?
Amy: Yeah, that was about two months ago.
Time is irrelevant. It’s more of the sequence of events that is important.
Michael: And a teacher gave that to you, so it’s saying when it comes to spiritual abilities, you have a teaching ability. Whatever talent the person has in your dream, that’s what you’ve got. They don’t tell you directly, but by being there. Cause everything is an aspect of you in the dream, so that’s your teacher aspect. And that’s the completion part. So because that guide gave you the transcript, that’s exactly what you’re meant to do. So whether it’s teaching dreams or whatever, I don’t know what exactly, but spiritual teaching.
I would say your dream is saying that you’re going to be on the spiritual path, but the time wasn’t right. Even though they’re saying wait two years… time is really kind of irrelevant in spiritual terms. Time is irrelevant – It’s more of the sequence of events that is important. So if there was something you needed to do – something you needed to work on to eliminate some past condition that was holding you back or would taint how you would see something. Then they’re going to wait for that to be done before letting you loose in the field.
So if something happened before the dreams changed… and it could be anything. It could be something dawned on you – you know “gosh, I’ve been doing this all this time and I should really stop that.” Usually it’s something that when you look back you can tell. It might have seemed small at the time and unimportant, but when you look back you go – “Yeah, that was a paradigm shift for me. You know, I changed significantly.”
Amy: I think for me, as soon as I started working on this website, that was when the dreams changed.
Michael: There you go. And that’s really good. Even if you don’t know what they’re about – if you’re being told wait, wait, wait… And they’re serious when they say that. And then they say, “Okay, now you’re ready.” You know you’re on the right path. Cause they won’t let you go on the wrong one. That’s what I’m saying about the guides – they’re there to help you and to block you at the same time. Block you from doing the wrong thing, because that would be just no good to you.
Amy: That gives me more confidence now about what I’m doing.
Common Dream Theme:
Exam Dreams and What They Mean
Amy: How else can you garner information from your dreams?
Michael: If you have a dream when you’re back at University and re-sitting the exams. That’s a really common dream. And people have it periodically in their lives. They always wake up going “why do I keep having that dream?”
When you think about it, you’re allowed to do exams in college or school only when you’ve done all the material. So this dream is saying, “Look, you’ve completed all the lessons, all the learning that you have in this phase of your life, and you’re now ready to move into the next expanded phase. Which is going to be something different. And if it’s not a different thing, it will be the same thing, but you’ll have a completely different approach to it. So that’s you expanded, and you improving. So they’re a really good dream to have because you only get them when you’re ready to move into the next phase.
It doesn’t require much analysis because you can just look at what’s going on in your life right now as opposed to, what the is dream telling you it’s about.
But I know that’s the problem that most people have, when they look at their dreams – they’re going what’s this dream about, what’s the subject matter? Because they are specific – they’re about a specific area of your life. And it’s best if you can figure that out. They’re not all easy to do, but I enjoy the ones that give you a challenge to figure them out. If I can’t figure out what the symbol means, then I’ll channel on it and the guides will say, “This is what this symbol means”.
How Dreams Communicate About Your Health
Michael: So, I used to have a lot of dreams about strokes. Saying this is what is going to take you off the planet is a stroke. This was years ago. Your dreams tell you 20+ years in advance what you’re going to die of. Well… If you’re 80 it won’t be 20 years in advance. But they’re telling you whether you’re going to have a heart attack, a stroke, etc… Health is a big big thing in dreams. Even though it’s a huge portion of my website, it gets maybe 5% of the traffic. People aren’t interested in health unless they know of a problem.
People who have a sudden heart attack, for instance. There’s no such thing as a sudden heart attack. Their dreams have been screaming it at them for years.
So my dreams were saying: stroke, stroke, stroke, stroke. But when I work with dreams because it’s all female energy… stroke’s connected with the heart. So get the female energy flowing and in balance, then you eliminate the possibility of that happening. And then those dreams disappear.
That’s how you know whether you’ve solved an issue or not – the dreams go away.
The health aspect, when you’re doing the classes, it’s a good one. Because when you say to somebody that the dream says, “You’re anemic.” And then they can say, “Yes, I am.” Then it makes other people in the class sit up and say, “Okay, there is something to this.” Whereas, if I say, “You can channel, or you’re a counselor, unless they’re already working in the field, I could be saying anything. And while I know, the whole point is to get it across to people that this is their ability – it’s something they need to do and why you need to do it.
You’re dreams are going to say why you need to do it as well. You know we all have karmic debts – almost all of us have karmic debts. And using our spiritual abilities is how we’re going to repay those debts.
So you doing this is possibly you’re way of healing the world and paying off your own debts.
Embracing the Emerging Consciousness
Amy: You mentioned that there is a shift in consciousness happening on the planet. Can you explain how one would go about embracing the shift in consciousness?
Michael: What you’re doing.
Michael: That’s totally embraced it already. So, there’s no issue. You know there’s more to life than just what you can see and hear. It’s that. And it’s also the openness that comes with that… having that female energy flowing through you and knowing that things need to be adaptable and flexible and I need to listen, I need be compassionate.
Embracing the Shifting Consciousness:
The Importance of Counseling
Amy: What can people do, if they want to help make the transition?
Michael: If they’re reading [this] website, they’re already on track. It’s that… it’s just that… just be open.
Open to the fact that your life is designed and planned before you ever got here. Everything you ever need is going to come to you. You don’t need the male structures and everything else that we think we need in order to survive and get everything we need in our lives.
You know, I thought at one point I would become a counselor because that’s sort of what I do. Counseling, I think is one of the best ways to deal with past issues. But there’s lots of ways. Shamanism’s a big thing over here. They do lots of techniques and therapies for eliminating early childhood conditionings and things like that. And by eliminating that, it’s like taking off the veil.
So you’re doing a lot of things that you think you’re doing consciously, but your just reacting based on the way you reacted to it when you reacted to events when they happened first.
Counseling or therapy that helps you eliminate childhood conditioning is probably the best thing you could ever do.
The word itself is a clue. It’s a RE – ACTing. So you’re continuing to act the way you did. And most experiences you had – I’m taking about feeling here – most experiences you have that bring feelings, happen in childhood. So your initial reaction then is going to be a childish one. And the way we are as adults, let’s say is an immature response. But if you eliminate the effects of the original events the next time something happens, you’re going to look at it from a completely different perspective. And you’re going to act differently, because you’re now looking at it through mature eyes.
So counseling or therapies that help you eliminate childhood conditionings are probably the best thing you could ever do. But find a good counselor. Don’t find one with just a certificate. Cause it’s not the certificate that gives you the qualification. It’s whether your dreams say you have that ability. That’s what makes the difference.
I thought I would be a counselor and my dreams said “No, don’t.” That was one of my “wait.” I had a dream where I was reading newspaper headlines under the water. I’m standing there going, “Gosh, I can read the newspaper headlines under the water, before the newspaper’s out.” And what it was saying is I read the headlines in someone’s life and then I send them on to the counselor they need to go to. So I don’t need to be a counselor cause there’s plenty of counselors.
I have my skill. You have your skill. When you need something else, don’t try and add it to your umbrella. Just find somebody who’s good.
Michael’s Dream Work in Seattle
Amy: So, to sort of wrap things up a bit, how did you get started in Dream work here in Seattle?
Michael: When I first came to Seattle, I looked up Meetup and found dream groups. I did like you did and wrote to somebody… and didn’t get replies. But, I then joined a dream group and asked them if they wanted to do my class. I wanted to see if they would accept the way I look at dreams here.
So, I got those people on a class… the reason I picked them was because some of them had been doing it for years. And I wanted to see if that worked. I also wanted to understand the difference between Irish people and American people – because there are differences in how you say things and jokes you can get away with and things like that. So I did that – it worked out great. And I’ve done another class since and it worked out even better.
Amy: What are you doing now and what are your plans for the future?
Michael: Now I’m going to do an online class. But my intention is to just do classes.
“The World is Going to Become a Spiritual Paradise”
Amy: Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
Michael: There’s loads… we’ve hardly even talked about dreams.
The world is going to become a spiritual paradise. You won’t have all the suffering and all the horrible things that go on now. They go on for lots of reasons. And one of the reasons is that we have free will. If I’ve lived a horrible life where I’ve persecuted people, I can decide I want to come and live in some famine stricken part of the world. And in doing that I’m going to feel like I’m attaining for my previous sins.
So part of raising the vibration is to prevent that possibility. That it’s not a negative place that it can have bad parts where you can go to and do this to yourself. So that’s why, I kind of alluded to that when I said it depends on what your life purpose is. If you’re life purpose is to come here and punish yourself, you’re going to achieve that life purpose. Although somebody could wake you up and you can do whatever you want then.
How to Make Heart-Centered Decisions
We’re never been trained to use our heart to make a decision. If you have two choices, what you do is you imagine yourself a year from now having made the first choice. And then see how you feel. And your heart will tell you how you feel. And then you imagine yourself a year from now having made the second choice. And your heart will tell you how you feel. One will be a clear winner.
And the reason you do this, it’s kind of a trick. You’re not feeling how your heart will be in a year. You’re feeling how your heart is now. But by putting in the trick that imagining a year’s gone by, your brain can’t analyze a year ahead. So it sort of steps outside the picture and then you can feel what your heart is saying today. And it’s so simple. And it always is accurate. So your heart will say which choice you will be happy with. Cause its already telling you what you’ll be happy with. It’s the happy choice that’s the best one to make. That’s dharmic path.