Active imagination, as developed by Carl Jung, is a technique for bridging the unconsciousness (dreams, fantasies) and the conscious mind by observing the images that freely appear in our mind in a state of “dreaming” that reflect our unconscious processes. Therefore, the first stage of active imagination is getting into a “dream-like state” where the unconscious can manifest itself through images that one should observe and take notes of without interfering as they unfold.
For example, a woman who had a dream about her father might be encouraged to write down all of the dream's contents without filling in any gaps, explaining any incongruities, or offering any analysis. In the second stage, one is invited to consciously interpret the dream's content by analyzing its meaning, which promotes a greater understanding of the self. The goal of active imagination is to access the unconscious mind, which is not exclusive to visualization. Active imagination can also be done using other activities where the unconscious mind can freely manifest itself, like automatic writing, dance, painting, or music.