While the majority of our dreams focus on our self and our personal experiences, often containing important insight and guidance from our Higher Self, there are certainly some dreams that include direct communication from Spirit. The messages you receive from Spirit in your dreams can come from your spirit guides, angels, the Ascended Masters, or even a person who has passed away.
There are a few ways that you can know if your dream included communication from Spirit. The first sign is that your dream was significantly more vivid than your typical dreams and included sensory perception that isn't typical for you either. Some people dream in full colour, and if you do tend to see colours in your dreams regularly, then you will notice the colours in the communication dream were much more vivid or intense than usual. Often dreams do not include actual sensory information such as scent and taste, although sometimes our dreams include an impression that something smelled or tasted a certain way. When you truly taste and smell things in your dream it's a clear indication that your experience was more than just a dream.
Another sign that your dream involved a direct connection with Spirit is that a person or small group of people (whether you recognize them or not), made it extremely clear that they needed to communicate something important to you and were persistent if you tried to ignore them, and very persistent about telling you to remember what was said. The delivery of the message from a person who has passed on (especially someone you knew) is most often preceded by either a knock at the door or a ringing telephone, or you dream that you're in an unfamiliar place where you've suddenly discovered your loved one. In these experiences you are also conscious of the ideas that this person is dead or that you believed he or she was dead, and you are very surprised to see or hear from them. This often includes a feeling or a direct statement from the person that death is only a transition and a change of environment for the spirit. Sometimes you may dream of beings or creatures, real or imagined, rather than people but they communicate with you and demonstrate the persistence I mentioned.
When you have a dream that includes full sensory perception (or additional senses that are not typically included in your dreams) and communication from Spirit, you also wake up knowing that it was an important dream that means something and absolutely must be remembered. The first thing you should do is write down every single detail you can remember about the dream, whether it seemed significant or not. If you don't keep a dream journal yet, dreams with communication from Spirit are definitely a sign that you ought to be keeping a detailed record of your dreams!
Record all the details in the dream journal as soon as you wake up, to help preserve the memory of your dream. If additional details come to your mind throughout the day, jot them down and add them to your dream journal as soon as you have a chance. If you don't understand what the message was because it was incomplete or somehow obscured (such as receiving a letter or documents that cannot be read because they are damaged, blurry, or written in a language or code that you do not understand), you need to examine everything else that was included in your dream to help decipher the meaning. Dream symbolism is based on your personal associations and experiences, as well as some archetypes, and it is important to start by considering your personal impressions of each symbol, element and event in the dream before you explore what dream dictionaries and other dream experts have to say about what your dream means.
Receiving an incomplete or obscured message from Spirit can be very frustrating for you because you woke up with the overwhelming sense that you need to remember something very important, but you have no idea what it is! Sometimes interpreting the other elements of your dream still does not lead you to a clear understanding of the message being relayed, and in these situations you are sure to get additional dreams within the next few days that are connected to the first dream through symbolism and experiences, themes or events, and these follow-up dreams can help you to understand the message much better. It can take multiple dreams of this nature for the dreamer to grasp the complete message being expressed by Spirit, so remember to write down what you remember of your dreams whenever you remember a dream.
Your dream journal will be one of the most valuable resources to you in your spiritual journey because you will be able to spot trends and patterns in your dreams much sooner, and be able to benefit sooner from the insight and guidance that you receive from Spirit through your dreams.
Communication from a recently deceased loved one is most common after about six months from the time they crossed over. Unless there is a message of vital importance, your loved ones will generally step back to give you time to grieve and heal. If you are struggling a great deal with your grief, it is common for you to receive a dream message with assurance of the afterlife and well being of your loved one. These assurance and comfort dreams are communication from Spirit, but it could come from your spirit guides, angels or God rather than from your loved one.
Unless there is an urgent need, it is usually more important to your crossed over loved one that you heal and begin to move forward again before they attempt to communicate with you. If you receive dream messages from a crossed over loved one within the first six months of the death that are not assurance and comfort messages, refer to and rely on your dream journal. If you are unable to decipher the message yourself within a few days, I recommend that you seek an expert or a psychic medium because the message must be of an urgent nature for them to communicate it so soon. Try for a few days to interpret the message yourself though, because it is of great value to your spiritual evolution to experience direct communication from Spirit.