Meaning of Forgetfulness Of Dreams Dreams | Dream Interpretation
Dream interpretations were found from 1 different sources.
See science, sleep and dreams, fortress See house, buildings.
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My most popular requests for dream interpretation are by far, dreams about teeth falling out. Apparently this is quite disturbing to people who have this dream...they simply MUST know what it means! In my experience, a dream about one’s teeth falling out usually symbolizes that the dreamer is having a challenge getting their voice heard, or feelings acknowledged. This may be referring to their conversations with a particular person such as their significant other, boss or friend; or can be generalized for people who are shy; to include almost everyone they come in contact with. The dreamer needs to brush up on conversational skills, believe in the value of their own opinion, learn how to be less intimidated by aggressive people, and become more assertive in making their voice heard. Once they do that, this dream (which is a common recurring dream) should evolve, show improvement or disappear altogether.
Every person that appears in a dream is supposed to represent an aspect of One’s Self, and not actually be about that other person at all. Rather, it is a quality or characteristic about that person that your dream is focusing on, and how it applies to YOU.
Try to think about what aspect(s) this could be. It can be something you admire and wish to follow or incorporate into your own personality. It could be a more negative characteristic that you may dislike intensely in your waking life, but which is telling you something about yourself and your beliefs, judgments or attitude. It could be a call to alter your thinking in some manner, in order to be more open-minded and accepting of this aspect in others and your own personality, because it is hampering your spiritual growth & making life harder for yourself. The other person in your dream is always mirroring something back to you about YOURSELF.
Try to discover what that something is, and go from there. Once you get it through your head that the other person’s appearance in your dream is NOT about them, but really about YOU, then you will be much more successful interpreting your own dreams. This takes constant reinforcing - I still find myself wanting to think it’s about that other person instead of me.
usually represents freedom from the physical body, as we experience in sleep & while dreaming where we don’t use our physical bodies but instead use our mental & spiritual bodies to experience our dreams. Everybody seems to have a natural inclination to want to fly, unless that is changed by a fear of flying due to a frightening incident in his or her waking lives. Flying = freedom. This could mean a desire for freedom, an “escape” from restraints in your physical life (like a mini-vacation for the mind) or any number of possibilities. Tie it in with the context of your dream...what were you doing in your dream besides flying? How did it make you feel? Also, the type of flying I’m referring to here is the person flying on their own without an airplane or any aircraft at all. Airplanes & other aircraft are different symbols dealing with spiritual awareness, among other things.
This type of dream relates to your current “lesson in life,” and if you learn how to interpret it, you’ll find out how you are progressing...yes, folks, you’re still taking tests and getting graded! Our “true selves” are our souls, and not our physical bodies. You are a spirit / soul having a physical dream, not the other way around. Ever feel like your life is like a play, and you are acting out some role that you don’t even understand, even surprising yourself with your actions sometimes? Bingo! When we sleep, that proverbial “Veil of Forgetfulness” that prevents us from “cheating on the test” is lifted, and we are shown what type of progress we are making (or, GULP, not making) and given guidance on what to do next. We always have free will in our waking physical lives, though.
If we stubbornly refuse to finish our tests, then we have that right - but we are doomed to repeat it until we pass it. And each time we turn away from the test, the next time it will be more unpleasant until finally we are forced to acknowledge it’s importance for our growth. The things we consider vitally important in our waking physical lives are not nearly as important as the TRUE reason we are here, which is to overcome our shortcomings so that we may get closer to our Source / God / Higher Power. To avoid learning the lesson is like forcing your soul to a fate similar to the mythical Greek god named Sisyphus who was doomed to keep rolling a boulder uphill for eternity, only to watch it roll back down & have to repeat the same tedious hard chore again & again. That sounds like school to me! So pay attention to the messages in dreams about schools, and you may advance faster. Do you really want to repeat kindergarten again?
This is supposed to symbolize you in your waking life, in your physical body. Your physical body is used by the soul pretty much like we use a car...it’s driven for awhile and we give it gas / nourishment & repairs as needed until it stops running, and then we go back home. Pay attention to your car, which symbolizes your physical body. Are you behind the wheel, or is someone else in control? You want to be in charge of your life, naturally. What is the color & condition of this vehicle? Do you seem to be driving it the right way, on a safe road in good condition, or is the road rocky, winding, or suddenly ends at a cliff? That would signal that you need redirection. The bigger the vehicle, the more energy you may be successfully using for your daily lessons, depending on the context of your dream. Note all clues as to how you are faring, and make adjustments accordingly.
You drive a car, but typically you LIVE in a house/apartment. Dreams about a house symbolize a larger aspect of your Self, and the aspects of self, which make us whole. Each room is said to symbolize a different aspect of your Self, for example:
An Attic symbolizes your Higher Self, and your spiritual development & progress. Look at other symbols in the attic of your dream, and try to evaluate what they mean. Also pay attention to the feeling(s) you experience in your dream...is it serious, enlightening or what, exactly? All these things are clues for you.
A Bathroom would symbolize the need for cleansing / purging / elimination of something in your life that isn’t quite working, or that has served it’s purpose and now it’s time to move on.
If the food is plentiful, you have what you need.
If the cupboard is bare, time to go shopping for new nourishment, and you need to figure out what is needed for that “shopping list.”
A Dining Room is similar to the kitchen, but has more to do with immediate needs for supplying & utilizing nourishment, and less with the preparation or taking stock of those needs.
The Main Room or Living Room symbolizes your daily interactions with others, and often you will have other people appearing in your dreams in this room. Remember, they represent aspects of YOUR Self, and not themselves.
(See PEOPLE, above)
Bedrooms symbolize the unconscious mind aspect of your self, rest, dreams, sometimes and sexuality issues in your life.
The Upstairs symbolizes your spiritual awareness aspect of self, or the Higher Self that holds all the keys or knowledge to this life’s role you are acting out, and always has your higher good looked after, no matter how it might seem otherwise.
The Downstairs / Basement symbolizes your subconscious mind / aspect of self, which deals with habits, old coping skills, self-regulation, ego.
That’s usually the part of our Selves that makes us feel “torn” between knowing we should do one thing, and inexplicably ending up doing the opposite.
(Don’t you HATE that?)
Old belief patterns & fears have to be corrected, if that is the case. Tackle & overcome it, and you will feel much more peaceful about your life.
The Ground Floor of a house represents your daily agenda; what’s currently going on in your life.
Revisiting Old Houses from Childhood or Earlier Times: this points to issues that probably are resurfacing in your current life, and need to be looked at, analyzed, and healed so you can move forward and not backward.
If you find yourself repeating the same old tired mistakes, or dealing with the same old tired fears, chances are you will have this dream.
A Hallway symbolizes that you have reached an area that is necessary to journey through in order to get to the other side, and it may be a narrow path that has to be traversed with care and awareness.
If you have that “closed in, claustrophobic feeling” then you need to expand your awareness/open your mind to more possibilities for completing this phase of your journey.
This symbol points to emotional turmoil, as in a “whirlwind of emotions”; and / or rapid or sudden changes in your life.
It is a sign to “get a grip” on what is possibly spinning out of control & deal more effectively with your emotions. Meditation and finding some private “thinking time” for yourself might be a good idea.
Pink: the color of love in all its forms. Often used to show healing through love.
Red: passion or anger.
Black: the unconscious mind; void; death of the old.
Grey: fear or confusion. White: truth, “coming clean,” purity; can also be symbolic of death & new beginnings.
Green: healing, growth, newness.
Blue: spirituality; could be a metaphor for “being blue” (look at context of dream).
Yellow: peacefulness, hope (as in “sunny disposition”); could be a cowardice metaphor.
I am not a numerologist, but I will put a few basic numbers here
One: unity, completeness.
Two: balance of yin-yang principles, or male / female energies-either it’s needed or it’s achieved.
Three: (common dream symbol) the trinity of the Father, Son & Holy Spirit, and the 3 principles uniting in harmony, as in body-mind-spirit harmony. This dream has an important spiritual message for you - pay attention!
Newness or creation in your life, a new aspect of self is being formed and coming into being!... Common Dreams
To dream of acorns, and that you eat one, denotes you will rise gradually to riches and honour.
If you do not eat, and throw one on the ground, you will quickly get rich, but another will enjoy your property.
To dream that you have committed it shows great contentions and debates; but to dream you have resisted the temptation, shows victories over your enemies.
To dream you meet with an adversary, denotes that you will overcome some obstacle to your happiness—if you are a lover, you will conqu er some powerful rival, and be happy.
To dream you ride an ass, that bears your blows, and the more you beat, the slower his pace, denotes that you will be married to a virtuous industrious wife, but your passion will ruin her.
If the ass mends his pace under your blows, and throws you she will prove incontinent.
To dream you are at the altar, and receive the holy sacrament. is a very unfavourable omen, and denotes many heavy and severe afflictions.
To dream that you see it cloudy, and afterwards clear and serene, denotes one part of your lifetime will prove unhappy, the latter part the reverse.
To dream you are angling, betokens loose desires in the m ale; such as seeking opportunities of inveigling some innocent female.
To dream that you are in a passion and angry with any one, denotes you have many enemies ! if you are in love, be sure that some rival is slandering you to your sweetheart.
If you dream you see another in a passion with you; it is more favourable, if you are in love, your sweetheart will fall sick, and you will experience some weighty loss.
To dream you see angels, is a sure sign that some one is near you—if a woman with child dreams of them, she will have a good time, perhaps twins.
To dream of seeing apples, and they eat sweet and ripe, is a sure sign of prosperity, especially to virgins; if they should eat sour, it signifies much sorrow and unhappiness.
To dream that your apparel is proper and suited to the season of the year, denotes prosperity and happiness. To dream you are dressed in new clothes, is a favourable sign, and portends honour and succsss in your undertakings.
So dream you see a ghost, is very unfortunate: If it is of a comely aspect, and dressed in white, it shews deceit and temptation to sin; if you are in love, it is a sign of your not being beloved in turn, and that you are in the habits of friendship with one who is your most inveterate enemy.
To dream that your arms are withered and decayed, shows that the person will decline in health or fortune; if they appear to be more plump and grow strong, you will meet with unexpected prosperity; if your arms are broken, you will lose some dear friend by removing to a great distance, if your right arm is cut off, you will loose a near male relation, if the left, a female.
It is good always for a rich man to think or dream he is in authority.
To dream of bacon, denotes the death of some friend or relation, and that enemies will endeavour to do you a mischief; in love, it denotes disappointment and discontent.
To dream of eating barley-bread, betokens health and great comfort to the dreamer.
To dream you are in a boat on clear water, is very good, and indicates joy and prosperity.
To dream a bullock pursues you, beware of some powerful enemy, particular if the dreamer is a female: It a cow, a female is an enemy.
To dream you bathe, and the water seems clear, you are sure to prosper, everything will be well with you; but if the sorw. water appears muddy, you will be apt to meet with shame and sorrow.
To dream that you are in bed, implies that he or she will be married at the end of the month.
To dream you see a great quantity of loaves, denotes success in life. To dream that you are eating good bread, denotes many friends.
To dream they sting you, denotes loss of good character, and if you are in love, of your sweetheart.
To dream of dancing at a ball denotes that you will be addressed by a lover; the prospect will be a momentary pleasure he will become your husband to a certainty
To dream yourself or friend is buried, fortells a serious fit of illness.
To dream that you are in church, and that the parson and pulpit are in white, and that he preaches a sermon to your taste, you will soon be married.
If the parson is in black, and the congregation sing a hymn, it denotes grief.
If a man dreams of a cat, and he caress her, and she scratches him, his sweetheart is a spiteful termagant.
If a female dreams of a cat that acts similarly, she may rest assured that she has a rival.
If you dream the clock falls or breaks, it denotes danger, especially to the sick.
It is always better to dream of counting the hours of the forenoon than the afternoon.
To dream you eat cheese denotes profit.
To dream that you make a cake signifies joy and prosperity.
To dream of clear burning coals, denotes prosperity, especially in love; coals in their natural state indicate trouble and discontent; extinguished coals, announce the fall of fortune, or the death of some near friend.
To dream you are climbing a tree, and gain the top, you will rise to preferment, or your love will succeed; or if you dream you climb a very steep hill, foretells many difficulties in life.
To dream a candle burns bright and clear denotes a pleasing letter from your sweetheart; but if the candle’s blaze gets cull, you will be disappointed.
To dream of crowns denotes riches and honour.
To dream you are playing at cards, it denotes that you will soon be in love.
If you hold a great many court cards, if you are single, you will soon be married and happy.
To dream you are gathering ripe corn, promises you success in your enterprise, but if it is blighted or mildewed, you will be a great loser.
To dream of them denotes prosperity in life; if you have children they will all thrive, if you are in love your suit will be successful.
To dream you are in a dairy, skimming the cream off the milk, and that your sweetheart partakes of the cream, denotes him inclined to luxury. But if he drinks the milk, it is a sign of frugality.
To think yourself in the dark, is a token of affliction, and loss in trade; to get out of darkness, into sudden light, is a sign of rising to eminence, or of escaping out of prison.
To dream of death, denotes happiness and long life. To see him sink into the ground, is a certain death. The married to dream of death, implies a loss or second union.
If they fawn and fondle upon you, it is a lucky omen: if they are barking and snarling at you, then depend that enemies are secretly endeavouring to destroy your reputation; if you are in love be careful of your present sweetheart.
To dream of the devil denotes many troubles.
If he appears in fire immediate misfortunes will befall yau. A widow to dream of the devil, after she has buried a bad husband, is sure to have another—so widows, beware.
To dream you are dancing at a ball, or entertainment, fortells you will shortly receive some joyful news from a long absent friend : to the sailor, a pleasant and successful voyage, increase of children to married persons; and to those in trade, much business, and happy in marriage.
To dream you are drowning, or see another so situated, is good to the dreamer, and denotes that he will be preserved through many strange difficulties.
To dream you are in debt, and pursued by bailiffs, indicates that you will fall into some unexpected difficulties, or great danger.
To dream of an elephant, is a very fortunate dream it denotes an acquirement of riches, and happy wedlock.
To dream you see an eagle or a hawk perched, and they suffer you to caress them, you will be married to a military man, either a officer, serjeant, or private.
To dream you see others eating, is a bad omen. But if you dream you are asked to eat, and partake of those things you like best, some relief, perhaps will follow.
To dream of eggs, is honourable. whatever you are then about will succeed. To dream of broken eggs, if married, you will have no children. But to dream of eating them, you will have many.
If you see evil spirits in your dream, it is a sign of sickness, if you seem to exercise them, and they vanish, you will get over your difficulties.
To dream of an earthquake, warns y ou to be cautious and careful.
If you see houses tumble, your friend s will feel a shock, public confidence is lost, or some dire calamity will defall them.
To dream of flies or other vermin, denotes enemies of all sorts. To dream of killing them is a very good omen.
To dream of a fox is the forerunner of much difficulties, beware of some designing adversaries.
To dream you fall into the mire, and you are covered with filth, if a servant, you will lose your character through pilfering; if the dirt gets into your eyes, you will experience confinement, most likely be imprisoned; if you see clouds rapidly moving beware of transportation. To run and fall, then rise, and run again, is a sign that you have a litigious temper that will ruin you. But to dream you run without interruption, is a sign of indifference, and that you will accomplish your design.
To dream of fire, denotes happiness, health and marriage, and many children. To dream you see burning lights descending, as it were from heaven, is a very bad sign; it portends Some dreadful accident to the dreamer, such as being hanged, loosing your head, having your brains dashed out, breaking a leg, or other strange accidents—to the lover, it also denotes the loss of the affections of your sweetheart.—to the tradesman, bad success in business. To dream that you are burnt by fire, denotes great danger, and that enemies will injure you, to the sailor, storm and ship wreck.
To dream you make a sudden fort une, is a very bad omen.
If in your dream you are crossing newly ploughed fields, promises some unexpected misfortune from a person who has no children, if the fields are covered with corn, it denotes having children.
If you cut your finger and the blood runs, you will get money where you least expect it; if you do not see any blood you will have a quarrel or law suit for money which you paid before.
To dream you have any thing given to you is a sign that some good is about to happen to you; it also denotes that speedy marriage will take place between you and your sweetheart.
To dream of geese is the forerunner of good, they denote success and riches, also faithful sweethearts.
If you are walking in a beautiful garden, you will soon be advanced in fortune, if you are gathering the fruits of it, you will be happy in marriage, and have many children.
To dream of the gallows, is a most fortunate omen, it shows that the dreamer will become rich, and arrive at great honours.
To dream you see a grave, fortells sickness and disappointment, if you are in love, depend you will marry your present sweetheart.
To dream of seeing giants is ominous of good if you are in trade, you will have a great increase of business.
Dreaming o f hail, denotes grief and much sorrow.
To dream o f being hated, by friends or enemies, is an ill omen.
T o dream of travelling over steep hills, shows that you will encounter many difficulties. and enter upon some arduous undertakings; if you descend the hill easily, you will get the better of all your difficulties.
To dream of building a house is a very favourable omen; if you are in trade it denotes success, in love, that your sweetheart is good tempered and faithful, and will make you very happy.
To dream that you are hunting a fox, and that he is killed, shows much trouble through the pretensions of false friends, but that you will discover them, and overcome all their machinations.
To dream of infants shows trouble, and in health, except you see them playing, you may then expect to receive great satisfaction from a distant part.
Dreaming of ice is a very favourable omen; to the lover it shows your sweetheart is of an amiable temper, and faithful; to the tradesman, it denotes success and riches, to the farmer a plentiful harvest.
For one to dream he hurt with iron, shows he will receive damage.
To dream of keys is favourable, to a person in trade and to a sailor—they denote some gift, and that the dreamer will become rich.
To dream you give a knife, indicates you will have much contention; to give one to your intended, shows he will loose her; she will cut your acquaintance.
If you receive a letter in your dream, it betokens a legacy or presents; if you send a letter, you will shortly relieve a person who is in distress.
To dream you climb a ladder, denotes a happy marriage with the object of your affections, and that you will become by industry, rich, and settle your children happily.
To dream you are dressed in clean linen, denotes that you will shortly receive some glad tidings— if it is dirty, then poverty, a prison and disappointment in love, with the loss of something valuable
To dream of seeing a lion, denotes that you will appear before your betters, accumulate riches, and marry a woman of great spirit.
To dream you are buying meat, signifies that friends will step forward, and be of great assistance to you, and that you will overcome difficulties, and acquire great riches
To dream of paying money denotes success in you afairs, the birth of a child, or the gain of a law suit; if received, you will thrive.
To dream of seeing your mother, is a certain paognostic of some agreeable adventure being about to happen to you, and that you will hear from a friend at a distance.
To dream you hear delicious music, is a very favourable omen; it denotes joyful news from a long absent friend.
To dream of the moon is a very favourable omen, it denotes sudden and unexpected joy, great success in love, and that the dreamer is tenderly beloved. To dream of seeing the new moon is good for tradsmen, farmers, and lovers; it is the forerunner of success snd happiness. To handsome women it is a good sign to see a full moon, but not to ugly ones.
To dream of monkies is ominous ef evil, they announce deceit in love, unfaithfulness in the married state, undutiful children, malibious enemies, and an attack by thieves.
To dream of nakedness, denotes scandal of character, to dream you see a naked woman is lucky; it fortels that some unexpected honours await you.
To dream of being ridden by the nightmare, is a sign of sudden marriage, or to be domineered over by a fool.
To dream of eating oysters, indicates a coming of much w an t; to open oysters shews we stand in need of assiduity in our business.
To dream you are eating oranges, implies grief and wounds.
To dream of seeing fair and white cattle, shows virtuous inclination; to see fat or lean oxen, signifies present gain or misfortune.
To dream you are in an orchard, denotes that you will become rich by the inheritance of a good legacy— that you will marry much to your advantage.
To dream of seeing the stately oak, is a sign of long life riches, and great gain.
To dream you write on paper, signifies an accusation will be made against you.
To dream you are looking at any beautiful pictures, denotes that you will be allured by false appearances into some very disagreeable situation; if you are mrrried, be sure your partn e r deceives you, and prefers another; and that the person who estranged her affections is your most intimate friend.
To dream of falling into a deep pit, shows that some very heavy misfortune is about to attend you—that your sweetheart is false and prefers another—to a sailor, it forbodes some sad disaster at the next port you touch a t.
Dreaming of seeing a comedy, or farce, indicates sucmuch god, cess in business; to dream of acting in a play, seldom indicates much good.
To dream of loosing a purse, signifies good, if it be full; but bad. if it be emty. To dream of finding a purse, is a very favourable omen.
To dream you are quarrelling denotes that some unexpected news will reach you. and that your sweetheart is about to marry another.
To dream of being in a shower of rain, denotes great success in your undertakings, it is particularly favourable to lovers it denotes costancy, affection and a sweet temper.
To dream of seeing river water clear, indicates good but to dream of swimning in the sea signifies great peril and danger.
To dream of rats, is a sign of many enemies and that you are exposed to many dangers from pretended friends.
To dream you are reading scientific books shows approaching wisdom.
To dream you see a flock of sheep feeding, denotes success in life.
To dream you see the ground all covered with snow, is a favourable dream; to a young man; shows he will marry a virgin and have children.x
To dream you have a new pair denotes triumph over enemies
To dream you are swimming with your head under water shows that you will experience some great trouble, and hear some very unpleasant news from a person you thought dear. To dream you are swimming with your head above the water denotes great success in your undertakings, whether they be love, sea farming.
To dream you loose your teeth denotes the loss of some friend by death; and that troubles and misfortunes are about to attend you.
To dream you are in a tavern, feasting with friends, signifies joy and comfort
To dream you find a treasure, shows you will be betrayed by your bosom friends.
To dream you fall into the hands of thieves, shows loss and trouble.
Dreamimg of thunder signifies affliction to the rich; but to the poor repose.
To dream you are cutting down trees, forbodes heavy losses in business; to climb them, denotes advancement in dignity.
To dream o f being in hollow vaults, deep cellars, or at the bottom of coal-pits, signifies that you will match with a widow.
To dream you drink vinegar, indicates sickness.
To dream of eating victuals, signifies loss of money V ERMIM. To dream of being covered with vermin, such as lice, betokens long sickness, if the lice remain; bnt if you cast them off yon will be delivered of troubles.
To dream you are walking in a dirty muddy place, fortels sickness and vexation; to a lover, it denotes his sweetheart to be bad tempered and unfaithful; to the tradesman, it fortels dishonest servants and loss of goods by fire.
To dream you see or are walking in a field of wheat, denotes great prosperity and riches—in love, a completion of your most sanguine, wishes, and fortels much happiness, with fine children when you marry.
To dream of a wolf, signifies an avaricious, cruel, and despotic person; if you dream you conquer a wolf, you will conquer a designing enemy, who has long endeavoured to prey on you—to dream you are bitten by one, shows you will receive some injury from a pretended friend.
To dream you are cutting or chopping of wood, shows that you will be happy in your family, and become rich and respectable in life.
For a man while sick, to dream of wedding a maid, denotes death; if to a deformed woman, it signifies discontent; to a handsome person much joy.
To dream of drinking wine with absent friend, signifies a speedy meeting; but to be drinking it by yourself, indicates you will became a great drunkard; and if you do, you may depend on it, it will speedily prove your ruin.
To dream of war, denotes trouble and danger to all.
To dream you are drinking water, denotes great trouble and adversity in trade, loss of business and arrest.
To dream you are stung by wasps, signifies vexation and trouble by envious persons.
To dream of being at one is a favorable omen.
To dream you are buying or selling of wool, denoted prosperity and great affluence, by means of industry and trade; to the lover it is a favorable omen; your sweetheart is thereby shown to be of an amiable disposition, very constant, and deeply in love with you.
A man to dream that h e sees his wife married to another, it betokeus some change of affairs.
To dream of high winds, storms and showers of rain, shows you will be crossed in love.
To dream of yellow colour, denotes to the married women, great trouble from a female friend, and the loss of her husband’s affections. To the lover it signifies he will marry a virgin, who will give herself up to the first man she likes.
To dream you are young, fortels peace, delight, and fruition of your desire.
To dream of having to bear the yoke, denotes danger, if it be a woman, she will be ready and willing to obey her husband, and careful to govern her family.
An indication of the funeral of a very aged person, by whose death the dreamer will derive some benefit, or a protecting hand among the relations of the deceased person.
When you dream of zones, fortels much trouble and vexation; to the tradesman, imprisonment, and loss of goods; to the lover, unfaithfulness in his sweetheart, and disappointments in his undertakings.
The following is not a comprehensive list and they are not listed in any particular order, but they are 20 of the most common dreams that people experience.
This one would easily rank in the top five most common dreams. The house normally represents your life, and the circumstances taking place in the house reflect the specific activities in your life. These dreams may also reflect the church as well.
Individual rooms of the house may represent specific things. For instance, if the bedroom appears, the dream may have something to do with issues of intimacy.
The bathroom may represent a need for cleansing. The family room may be a clue that God wants to work on family relationships and so on.
These dreams often center on taking of tests. The tests may be for the purpose of promotion. Or you might find yourself searching for your next class-an indication that guidance is needed or a graduation has just occurred. You might be repeating a class you took before, possibly meaning that you have an opportunity to learn from past failures. High School dreams may be a sign that you are enrolled in the School of the Holy Spirit (H.S. = High School = Holy Spirit). There are limitless possibilities.
These are just a few examples. Interesting enough, the Teacher is always silent when giving a test!
These may indicate the calling you have on your life, the vehicle of purpose that will carry you from one point to another. Cars, planes, buses, etc., may be symbols of the type or even the size of the ministry you are or will be engaged in. That’s why there are different kinds of vehicles. Note the color of the vehicle.
If it is a car, what is the make and model? Observe who is driving it. Are you driving or is someone else driving? If someone else is driving, who is it? Do you know the person? Is it a person from your past? If the driver is faceless, this may refer to a person who will appear sometime in your future or that the Holy Spirit Himself is your driving guide.
Storm dreams tend to be intercessory, spiritual warfare-type dreams. They are particularly common for people who have a calling or gift in the area of discerning of spirits. These dreams often hint of things that are on the horizon –both dark, negative storms of demonic attack for the purpose of prayer, intercession, and spiritual warfare, as well as showers of blessing that are imminent. What kind of storm is it? Are there tornadoes involved? What color are they. Tornadoes can indicate change that is coming good or bad. Also tornadoes can indicate great destruction.
Flying dreams deal with your spiritual capacity to rise above problems and difficulties and to soar into the heavenlies. These are some of the most inspirational and encouraging in tone of all dreams. When awakening from a dram where you fly or soar, you often wake up feeling exhilarated –even inebriated- in the Spirit.
Ascending-type dreams are more unusual yet edifying. Remember, we are seated with Christ Jesus in heavenly places far above all principalities and powers.
These dreams indicate that you will be or are becoming transparent and vulnerable.
Depending on your particular situation, this may be exhilarating or fearful and could reveal feelings of shame. Note: these dreams are not meant to produce embarrassment but rather draw you into greater intimacy with the Lord and indicate places where greater transparency is required. These types of dreams often appear during times of transition where you are being dismantled in order to be re-mantled.
Often, these dreams reveal the need for wisdom. Are your teeth loose, rotten, falling out, or are they bright and shiny? Do you have a good bite? Are you able to chew your cud? Teeth represent wisdom, and often teeth appear to loose in a dream.
What does that mean? It may mean that you need a wisdom application for something you are about to bit off. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.
This kind of dream may indicate that you are being tempted to fall back into old patterns and ways of thinking. Depending upon who the person is in the dream, and what this person represents to you, these dreams might also be an indication of your need to renew your former desires and godly passions for good things in life.
Seeing a person from your past does not usually mean that you will literally renew your old relationship with that individual. Look more for what that person represents in your life – for good or bad. A person who was bad in your life may represent God’s warning to you not to relapse into old habits and mind-sets that were not profitable. On the other hand, a person who was good in your life may represent God’s desire or intention to restore good times that you thought were gone.
These dreams are not normally about the person seen in the dream in a literal sense, but are symbolic about something that is passing away or departing from your life. The type of death may be important to note. Watch, though, to see if resurrection is on the other side.
Normally these dreams are not about an actual childbirth but rather about new seasons of purpose and destiny coming forth into your life.
If a name is given to the child, pay close attention because that usually indicates that a new season in the purposes of God is being birthed. There are, of course, exceptions to this where an actual pregnancy and birth is going to take place.
These are cleansing-type dreams (toilets, showers, bathtubs, etc) revealing things that are in the process of being flushed out of your life, cleansed and flushed away. These are good dreams by the way. Enjoy the showers of God’s love and mercy and get cleansed from the dirt of the world and its ways. Apply the blood of Jesus and get ready for a new day!
These dreams may reveal a fear you have of losing control of some area of your life or, on the positive side, that you are actually becoming free of directing your own life.
What a substance you fall into in the dream is a major key to proper understanding. The outstanding primary emotions in these dreams will indicate which way to interpret them. Falling can be fearful, but it can also represent falling into the ocean of God’s love.
Chasing dreams often reveal enemies that are at work, coming against your life and purpose. On the opposite side, they may indicate the passionate pursuit of God in your life, and you towards Him. Are you being chased? By whom? What emotions do you feel? Are you afraid of being caught? Or maybe you are the one doing the chasing. Who are you chasing? Why? Again, what emotions do you feel during the chase? The answers to these questions and, particularly, the dominant emotions in the dream, will often help determine the direction of its interpretation. Often the Lord appears in various forms, motioning to us, saying, “Catch Me if you can!”
Most likely, these dreams indicate generational issues at work in your life –both blessings and curses. You will need discernment as to whether to accept the blessing or cut off the darkness. This is particularly true if grandparents appear in your dreams, as they will typically indicate generational issues.
Nightmares tend to be more frequent with children and new believers in Christ, just as calling dreams do. They may reveal generational enemies at work that need to be cut off. Stand against the enemies of fear. Call forth the opposite presence of the amazing love of God, which casts out fear, the fear has torment!
The snake dream is probably one of the most common of all the categories of animal dreams. These dreams reveal the serpent – the devil with his demonic hosts- at work through accusation, lying, attacks, etc. Other common dreams of this nature include dreams of spiders, bears, and even alligators. Spiders and bears are two other major animals that appear in dreams that show fear. The spider in particular, releasing its deadly poison, is often a symbol of witchcraft and the occult.
After snakes, the most common animal to appear in dreams is the dog. A dog in your dream usually indicates friendship, loyalty, protection, and good feelings. On the other hand, dog dreams may also reveal the dark side, including growling, attacking, biting, ect. Sometimes these dreams reveal a friend who is about to betray you.
These dreams generally reveal change that is coming. New ways, new opportunities, and new advancements are on the way. Similar to dreams of doors are dreams including elevators or escalators, which indicate that you are rising higher into your purpose and your calling.
Clocks or watches in a dream reveal what time it is in your life, or the need for a wake-up call in the Body of Christ or in a nation.
It is time to be alert and watchful.
Sometimes you may have a dream in which Bible passages appear, indicating a message from God. This phenomenon may occur in a number of ways: verbal quotes where you are actually hear a voice quoting a passage, digital clock-type readouts, and dramatizations of a scene from a Bible, just to name a few. Quite often these are watchmen-type dreams, dreams of instructions filled with ways of wisdom.... Common Dreams
Denotes knowledge, especially of a philosophical and metaphysical nature. Intensive study will favor the dreamer.
An elevated characteristic, like friendliness, compassion, or An elevated characteristic, like friendliness, compassion, or healing, is found in the dreamer’s life. A direct encounter with an angel indicates that you should strengthen said quality.
Strength and great achievement. The dreamer has power in a particular situation. If the arm appears wounded, it symbolizes that this power grows weaker.
Something is born, possibly a relationship.
Transition from one situation or point of view to another. The dreamer is experiencing a positive change in his life and attitude.
Divinity. Proximity of favorable events and good luck.
The dreamer cannot, or does not want to, see the truth about a part of their life. Dreams in which you are surrounded by darkness have the same meaning.
BOOK OR PARCHMENT
Knowledge is near.
It is the human soul. A candle that burns represents a strong soul; one that is dying little by little indicates a weakness of character.
A place to take refuge from a threatening or stressful situation.
Represents innocence and ingenuity, the desire to learn which benefits intellectual development. Sign of the importance the dreamer places on this virtue.
COFFIN, TOMB, OR CEMETERY
Something has died in the dreamer’s life. Everything will be fine if you accept it and move forward strongly.
A great change is coming in the life of the dreamer. It will be beneficial, but could bring a sudden loss of something, a disruption, or an unexpected turn.
Something has died and is rotting in your life. You should determine what it is and act immediately to “bury” it.
The dreamer is searching for greater satisfaction from life. This image is very positive and signifies inner growth and advancement.
Higher spiritual growth and transformation. If the ship moves quietly over calm waters, the dreamer will find little stress in their life. If the waves are rough, on the other hand, it foretells tensions.
CUP or CHALICE
Divine blessing; very positive if it is gold or silver. If it is broken, it means the blessing will be rejected.
Happiness and fun in the dreamer’s life.
DAGGER or WEAPON
Personal violence. Denotes that the dreamer is furious and holds feelings of aggressiveness inside.
A new start, either in a relationship or a job.
A new start, either in a relationship or a job.
The dreamer is ignoring the good advice of a friend or loved one. Indicates that you don’t want to hear a truth you are being told in real life.
Symbolizes the lower passions such as jealousy, resentment, or vengeance. The dreamer should remove these from their life as soon as possible.
Spiritual aridity in some aspect of the dreamer’s life. A way of avoiding it is to find a manner of achieving more productivity and spiritual wealth.
Absence of divinity and saintliness. Ignorance. The more darkness that appears in the dream, the less spiritual illumination the dreamer will have.
A barrier that can be overcome with willpower. Closed doors symbolize a lack of the right attitude when approaching a certain situation.
Peace in general; pacific resolution of a particular situation. DUST. Humility before the greatness of God. Associated with destiny. It reminds you that you should cultivate qualities of deference and submission.
DRAGON OR MONSTER
Demonic or spiritually negative forces, such as black magic or malevolence. The dreamer should avoid any matter in life related to such aspects.
Imagination and creativity. If it flies very high it represents a greater emergence of these qualities; an eagle nest is safe place to strengthen them.
The world is means of life, where all creatures must fight for their existence. Indicates that the dreamer has too many mundane worries.
Everything you do echoes and has repercussions in the hidden worlds. Dreams of this kind remind you of said spiritual truth.
Eternal wisdom, especially religious. The dreamer should seek this quality in their life.
A human eye represents that the dreamer has a correct judgment about some matter or situation. If the eye is wounded or blind, it means the opposite.
The dreamer is falling in a lower level of consciousness and feels negative emotions such as rage, pride, or fear. Without exception, it is a negative symbol.
Abundance and material blessing in the dreamer’s life. Money,
Abundance and material blessing in the dreamer’s life. Money, properties, and other possessions will increase.
Divine judgment of the imperfections and bad acts of the dreamer. Fire also indicates a need for exhaustive moral cleansing and self purification.
Divine order in the universe that translates to the dreamer’s life.
Freedom from mundane worries. Also means that you should use your imagination to experience a greater sensation of freedom when facing trivial problems.
A good emotional state, vitality. The more water that flows, the greater capacity you have to express positive emotions, such as gratitude and compassion.
Something has died in the dreamer’s life; a job, a relationship, or even an important belief.
Precise and elegant decision that the dreamer should make. A very positive symbol.
Liveliness in attitude and beliefs. Reveals an excellent perspective and spiritual growth.
Generative capacity, the dreamer’s potent creativity.
The dreamer has gone astray, has diverted from the soul’s mission and his purpose in life. You must regain your spiritual orientation, above all.
Egomania, pride, and arrogance. The dreamer or someone close to them is behaving ungenerously.
Great ability to overcome and resist. The dreamer needs to develop other elevated qualities such as imagination or esthetic sense.
The dreamer’s life is full of vitality and good intentions.
Virility and sexuality. If it is thick and voluptuous, it denotes sensuality; the opposite if you lose it. Brushing your hair is a sign of vanity.
Each of the twenty-two letters has a specific meaning. In dreams, they indicate elevated communication.
Symbolizes the road or life journey. If it is well traveled, it means the dreamer enjoys a close relationship with others. If the opposite, it denotes loneliness.
The near future. A clear horizon represents good luck; a hard one, on the other hand, indicates problems.
Physical or emotional deprivation. The dreamer feels some
Physical or emotional deprivation. The dreamer feels some bodily or personal need unsatisfied.
The dreamer lacks balance in their life and soon could experience physical or emotional disorder.
Divine illumination. The more beautiful or brilliant it is, the greater the spirituality that will shine in your life.
The present path of the dreamer. If the setting of the dream seems strange, it indicates a new situation or challenges. The presence of companion is a good sign; their absence denotes isolation.
Power and divine judgment. Emphasizes the importance of these qualities in the dreamer’s life.
The taste of the transcendental soul. Whether consciously or not, we experience said condition in some aspect of life.
Submission and sweetness. A shepherd directing his flock signifies that you are taking special care with a certain situation.
Spiritual knowledge and wisdom. The Zohar speaks of a lamb of darkness, which is associated with evil and discord.
Resistance, especially in journeys by foot. Signifies that the dreamer has the strength necessary to successfully resolve a problematic situation.
Divinity, saintliness, and wisdom. This is a superior symbol.
Inability to resolve a certain situation, caused by yourself or by external circumstances.
Courage and spiritual strength. Traditionally, the lion also represents the Jewish community. The image of a lion nuzzling its cubs indicates that you give courage to others.
Sustenance of human existence. Indicates your worries about how to earn a living.
Ecstasy of the soul when it refers to a union with God.
Fantasy, intuition, and receptiveness in the soul of the dreamer. Traditionally, it is related to other hidden aspects of the soul, like imagination and creativity. Equally, it is associated with femininity. MIDNIGHT, however, represents a time of mystic study and contemplation.
State of spiritual satisfaction and happiness. Also associated with physical pleasure, well-being, or healing.
Place of divine inspiration and revelation. Indicates that the dreamer needs to find this place in real life.
Human speech and the capacity to create harmony or conflict. The dreamer should pay attention to the effect their words cause. The dreamer should pay attention to the effect their words cause. A wounded mouth symbolizes a lack of communicative skills.
Judgment and dark qualities. Night is usually associated with demonic forces and emotional negativity.
A place of rejuvenation and replenishment. Indicates the end of the feeling of spiritual sterility in the dreamer’s life. It is a positive symbol.
Dwelling of the divine. The dreamer should seek more consciously the sacred side of daily life.
Subtle, hidden forces in the life of the dreamer. Traditionally, the vision of this symbol was astrological and it was believed that it exercised a concrete influence on our daily experiences.
PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT
Exaltation and spiritual pleasure; also, experiencing the sacred through an esthetic activity.
Divine love and compassion. Her oneiric presence confirms the importance of these characteristics in the dreamer’s life.
Protection and divine security. A hopeful and encouraging symbol for the life of the dreamer.
The vital spirituality is flowing correctly. Soon a positive change or great experience will arrive.
Deception and malevolence, disguised as sincerity and attention. Warns that there is someone or something in your life that may be dangerous.
Gratitude. The act of singing, whether it is the dreamer or other people, means that you will soon have something to be grateful for and to celebrate.
The spiritual world; the intangible, pure, subtle, and mystic part of life. A cloudless sky signifies clarity; if it is clouded, it means there is confusion.
Ignorance, passivity, and withdrawal. In its most positive interpretation, it represents waiting without hurry. Falling asleep symbolizes loss of consciousness and acuity.
Character development and personal growth.
Blockage in the life energy, especially in the spiritual sense.
The force of change. To dream of this element means your life will undergo a complete metamorphosis. Hurricanes indicate that said change will be very violent.
Acquisition of knowledge, above all spiritual. It is a positive dream that indicates the dreamer is above all spiritual. It is a positive dream that indicates the dreamer is developing internally.
Will and intention. The sunrise represents the birth of something new in your life. The sunset indicates that some matter is ending. Traditionally it is also associated with masculinity and it’s most characteristic traits such as stubbornness—in a positive sense as well as negative.
Physical vitality. Losing teeth is a warning to the dreamer about their health.
Spiritual desire. Represents that the dreamer is not receiving the spiritual satisfaction they desire.
Physical manifestation of the divine. Indicates that the dreamer must be more conscious of the sacred side of their body.
Life and spiritual knowledge. A flowering tree also represents deserved success; a bare tree denotes a lack of achievement.
Impatience and too much hurry in daily matters. You need calm and balance to avoid the possibility of a serious fall.
Good luck in life.
The dreamer did not heed a very important message. It is necessary to pay attention immediately to any communication received in real life.
The dreamer is recovering clarity, acuity, and personal energy to complete some personal matter.
Pride and arrogance. This dream indicates that the dreamer must cultivate humility.
Spiritual compromise, possibly related to a field of study, training, or an effort in the long term.
The absence of civilization. A place of power and potential danger.... Dreampedia
This is a first glance at a quick method to analyze your dreams in five easy steps, as summarized below. Further details about each step follow in Chapters 3 through 7.
Discovering what your dreams mean is as easy as learning to ride a bicycle. Use these five steps to get your balance on a dozen dreams and you will be on your way to a lifetime of dream insights. Once you get into the rhythm, you can begin to see the meaning of many dreams in five minutes.
Note your feelings (1) during the dream and (2) as you wake up. Your emotional reaction to a dream is the first clue to what it means, and on occasion, your reaction is the most important clue. For example, if you see yourself lying in a coffin but you wake up feeling happy, the dream is not likely a prediction of your demise.
2: Story Line.
The story line is a generalized “restating” of the dream without repeating the actual details. It is not a summary. A summary merely extracts the main ideas using the same terms as the original story. To get the story line, you extract the main action and the end result of the dream without using the actual words. You replace the story’s original words with general terms like “someone” or “something.”
Clear as mud so far? The following examples will clarify what a story line sounds like. This step may take a smidgeon of practice, but since it is often a key turning point to finding the meaning of a dream, it is well worth the effort.
FOR EXAMPLE, a young man dreams that he is trying to catch a firefly on a warm summer night. He swats at the fireflies yet keeps missing; he chases one, but it gets away. Out of frustration he plunks down on the grass and sits quietly. As he relaxes, a firefly gets close and he gently catches it.
THE STORY LINE IS: “Frantic activity fails, but someone succeeds after becoming quiet.” Or “Someone gets what they want by staying calm and letting it come to them.” Each version of the story captures the gist of the dream, but there is no direct mention of the young man, a firefly, or sitting on the grass. Like a silhouette, the story line ignores the details and, instead focuses on the story generalizations and results. By doing so, what is important comes into focus.
3: Match the Story Line to an Area of Your Life.As always, the question is not “What does this dream mean?” The question is, “To what in my life (my actions, decisions, or relationships) or in me (my personality, attitudes, or emotions)—does the dream refer?” Like fitting a puzzle piece into the big picture of your life, determine what, in you, or in your life, may sound like the story line. Examine the story line gist you just put together as if it is an arrow pointing to a situation, a trait, or an attitude.
You can turn the story line into a question. That can help you see where the arrow points. For example, in the above dream about the young man and the firefly, the dreamer might ask himself, “Am I frantic in some area of my life?” Or “What issue could be resolved if I stay quiet instead of pushing?” Once the story line matches an area of your life, the message often clicks.
The brain is hardwired to visually record and remember your memories, thoughts, and events. As a result, most memories are “pictures linked to feelings,” which is important to note. Since the brain stores memories as images, it is no surprise that dreams—which are a by-product of the mind—also use pictures to communicate their message.
Dream symbols are pictures that relate to and are “linked to” memories and experiences such as graduating from school, receiving flowers, or a special exchange with a loved one. Because a dream symbol has an emotional link to your past, a symbol leaves an emotional footprint on your heart and can speak volumes. That is why—when you explore a dream symbol such as a flower or a piece of jewelery—you examine it in two ways. First, see how the image makes you feel, and second, check out what past experiences the symbol relates to, in your life. This two-pronged approach to dream symbols—the feelings a symbol evokes and the memory it relates to—is called “exploring your associations.” You examine the related emotions and you examine where, when, and how that particular image or scene touched your life. Like Hansel and Gretel leaving a trail of crumbs through the woods, that trail of your associations will lead you to what the dream symbol means.
For example, you see a red sports car in a dream and it makes you feel elated. Later, you remember that when you graduated from college, you fantasized about reaching the top of the corporate ladder and driving a sports car. In this case, the feelings and past memory of the red sports car relates to those early motives to achieve in career, and as a message, the symbol invites you to assess how far you have come to reaching your goals.
5: What the Dream Means.
By the time you run a dream through steps one to four, you have noticed your feelings (step one), created a story line and matched it to a real-life situation (steps two and three), and observed how its main symbols relate to your personal experience (step four). By that time or anywhere along the way, an “aha” moment often comes together to reveal the dream message.
Discovering what the dream is telling you is half of the game; the other half is to apply the insight. A dream is practical and useful—if and only if—you apply its insight. Step five is about applying what you get from the dream into your life. Whether the message invites you to change an attitude, explore career options, or expresses congratulations for a job well done, using a dream message is like building a solid house, one brick at a time. Every time you apply a new insight to your life, it is like adding a brick to a mansion you are creating. Its application helps you unleash your potential one step at a time and puts the odds in your favor of achieving success, peace, and happiness.... A Little Bit Of Dreams
What relationship is sustained between the average man and his dreams?
Then why is man not always able to correctly interpret his dreams?
If they relate to the future, why is it we so often dream of the past?
Why is it that present environments often influence our dreams?
What is an apparition?
How does subjectivity deal with time?
If that is so, why can’t you tell us accurately of our future as you do of our past?
Content-wise, the most dramatic finding was a direct correlation between age and frequency of dreams about death and dying. Dream content also changes among the retired (especially the institutionalized) elderly, who often experience dreams about lack of resources.
Finally, dreams among those who are dying often include the theme of life after death.... Dreampedia
A study carried out by Robert L. Van de Castle found a larger number of animal dreams in children than in adults. Dreams of a group of 741 children (383 girls and 358 boys) aged four to six- teen were examined for the presence of animal figures. The frequency for each animal figure at each age level was tabulated for girls and boys. Animal figures were present in 39.4 percent of dreams from the four- and five-year-old children. The percentage steadily dropped for each subsequent age grouping (six- and seven-year-olds, 35.5 percent; eight- and nine-year-olds, 33.6 percent; ten- and eleven-year-olds, 29.8 percent; twelve- and thirteen-year-olds, 21.9 percent; and fourteen- through sixteen-year-olds, 13.7 percent).
Boys had higher animal percentage figures at ages four through six (44 percent, versus 34 per- cent for girls), while girls had higher animal dreams at ages nine through eleven (36 percent, versus 26 percent for boys). Overall, animal figures appeared in 29 percent of the combined girls’ dreams and 29.6 percent of the combined boys’ dreams. There were more than three times as many animal figures in the dreams of children as there were in the dreams of adults. The seven most frequent animal figures for children were dogs (30), horses (28), cats (15), snakes (15), bears (14), lions (13), and monsters (e.g., wolfman) (13).
If the frequencies for all animal figures are considered, it is clear that children dream more frequently of large and threatening wild animals, while college students dream more often of pets and domesticated animals. Bears, lions, tigers, gorillas, elephants, bulls, dinosaurs, dragons, and monsters accounted for twenty-seven percent of the animal figures in children’s dreams but only seven percent of the animal figures in adult dreams. This collection of wild animals appeared more frequently (forty-four times) in boys’ dreams than in girls’ dreams (twenty-seven times). Several theorists have suggested that these large, threatening animals may represent parental figures in the dreams of children.
An interesting gender difference was found in the types of animal figures. Women and girls reported significantly more mammals, while men and boys reported significantly more nonmammals. This may indicate females identify at some level with other forms of life that nurse their young with mammary glands, and this identification is reflected in the type of animals that appear in their dreams.
The meaning of animals in dream ... Dreampedia
Some anthropologists, such as Kilton Stew- art, provided romantic idealizations of dream practices in non-Western cultures. According to Stewart, the Senoi of Malaysia reportedly lived a trouble-free life based on their reverence for dreams. Stewart, who lived with the Senoi in 1935, wrote that “the absence of violent crime, armed conflict, and mental and physical diseases ... can only be explained on the basis of institutions which produce a high state of psychological integration and emotional maturity, along with social skills and attitudes that promote creative rather than destructive interpersonal relations” (Stewart, p. 160—see Sources). According to Stewart’s study, the collective life of the Senoi centered around a complex dream psychology that served to integrate the community. However, his theory was soon seriously challenged, and anthropological research on dreams lost credibility.
Anthropologists have long been interested in cross-cultural experiences of dreaming and interpretations of dreams, concentrating especially on the latter interest, rather than focusing on the dream as an experience. With the publication of Dreaming: Anthropological and Psychological Interpretations (1987), edited by Barbara Ted- lock, anthropology emerged as a major field of dream research with important insights to con- tribute to the modern study of dreams.
According to the authors of Dreaming, which is a collection of essays based on fieldwork con- ducted among various peoples of Central and South America, the culture to which the individual belongs largely determines the social context in which the dream is narrated and how it is interpreted. Dreaming experience also reflects important beliefs about reality, death, the soul, and the boundaries between self and others. Thus, to achieve a good understanding of dream experiences of other groups, it is fundamental to fully understand their culture through the study of their language, their social institutions, and their psychological, philosophical, and religious beliefs.
Tedlock’s anthropological research indicates that many other cultures draw lines between more and less meaningful dreams. Also, as one might anticipate, in many non-Western cultures dream- ing has religious meaning, in that dreams reflect a culture’s spiritual beliefs, and may even create new religious imagery that can influence the individual’s as well as the whole society’s religious orientation.... Dreampedia
If we cannot meet our feelings of fear or emotional pain we are controlled or trapped by them. Sometimes we need the help of a professional therapist to meet what we fear, but many fears can be met by using simple techniques. See woljunder animal, dream processing, premenstrual tension. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Many anxiety dreams carry a message that your attitude to someone or something is unrealistic, or that you are heading in the wrong direction. If the dream keeps recurring, it’s a sure sign that you have unfinished ‘emotional business’ to resolve.
Here are some of the most common anxiety dreams, each of which has several potential meanings. The correct interpretation is the one that most accurately mirrors your inmost feelings about yourself and your situation.... Dreampedia
Archetypal symbols in our dreams, Jung taught, are especially important as they carry potent healing energy, enabling us to change on inner levels that bypass pure intellect. The unconscious mind actually‘speaks’ in symbols—symbols are its language—so we accomplish change most powerfully when we communicate with the inner self using archetypal symbols instead of words. Let us say, for example, that you have an exceptionally clear and vivid dream about a robed, bearded figure—a typical image of the wise old man—and he is floating outside the windows of your home. Since the home often represents yourself, the dream might make you aware that you are seeing wisdom outside of yourself instead of within. But the presence of the archetypal symbol also tells us that our higher self seeks to intervene!
Or let’s say you dreamed of a valiant hero or heroine rescuing you from extreme danger. You may be hoping to be rescued by someone in your waking life. Your dreaming mind is urging you to accept assistance if it is given to you; it may also be urging you to find the hero or heroine, in other words courage, within yourself. Or you might have an archetypal dream of a mother bear. In the dream, this archetype of the great mother might be cuffing her young or refusing to feed them. Such a scene would give you important information about how you are nurturing others or yourself. Perhaps you neglected your basic needs. In some way, you are not ‘mothering yourself’ in a healthy and beneficial manner; your higher self seeks to call this to your attention.
On the other hand, in a time of loneliness in your life, you might dream of being held and comforted by a great mother figure—and wake up from the dream feeling energized and ready to go on. The great mother in your dream, in a very real way,‘kissed it and made it better’. In looking at these two views of the mother, you can see the opposite sides that Jung pointed out were an essential aspect of all archetypes. It is through integrating this duality that you can become whole and at peace.... The Element Encyclopedia
It is also very common for pregnant women to dream about having the baby and these dreams are again often bizarre and disturbing; for example, dreaming about a baby that is born dead, malformed or with a monster’s head. It has been suggested that such anxiety dreams serve a purpose: they release a lot of unconscious tension and fear, allowing the mother to be more relaxed at birth.... The Element Encyclopedia
It is a quite commonly held belief that we only dream in black and white, but many people are able to identify tones of color in their dreams.
If this is the case, why is it believed that we only dream in black and white? It may be because dreams that appear to be black and white only appear so because the color is not relevant. This doesn’t necessarily mean, however, that such dreams are in black and white. Black and white is a function of television when the color information is removed, but the same is not true of the mind. For example, grass might not be green in a dream, but it’s not gray as it is in a black and white movie; the color simply is not relevant and your unconscious isn’t highlighting it. This non-relevance fools the conscious mind on waking up into concluding that, by implication, the dream must have been in black and white.
A black funeral may suggest difficulties in, or the need for a new approach to, a relationship or work issue, as the current approach is doomed. Or are you grieving for a phase or aspect of your life that has recently come to an end? As stated above, black often represents the death of new ideas, so could your dream be telling you to prepare for the transition? Black animals that appear in dreams are usually associated with notions of temptation, unconscious drives and urges, whilst black clothes and underwear are a symbol of hidden or unconscious feelings, or sexuality. A night dream scene shrouded in darkness may relate to a certain lack of direction in your waking life. According to traditional symbolism, black is also associated with wickedness, so if you are menaced by a person wearing black in your dream, could the dream be a depiction of your darkest fears. Do you worry that someone is a threat to you or are you your own worst enemy?
Keywords: the unknown, the unconscious, danger, mystery, darkness, death, mourning, hate and malice.... The Element Encyclopedia
Dreams are a universal feature of the human mind. Carl Jung even believed that visions in our dreams offer glimpses into universal archetypes, instinctive primordial images derived from a collective unconscious built into the very structure of the human brain. You might think, then, that even blind people could tap into this instinctive pool of primordial images and see them in their dreams.
There have been studies into whether or not congenitally blind people dream in visual images, but the findings have been mixed— some studies conclude that congenitally blind people do not dream in visual images, whilst other reports conclude that may do. The general consensus is that although people who are blind certainly do dream, their dreams are believed to be visual only to the extent that they can see, or could see before their blindness, in their waking life. People who are blind from birth are believed to have dreams that are primarily auditory, with their other intact senses participating to about the same degree that they do in a sighted person’s dreams. Such people are not thought to dream in visual images. People who are legally blind but are able to see blurs of movement, light and color would have a visual dimension to their dreams matching what they see when they are awake.... The Element Encyclopedia
In this experiment, Ulman attached electrodes of an electroencephalograph (a machine that records brain waves) to the person acting as the receiver. This person would then go to sleep in one room. The “sender” was placed in a different room. When the machine indicated the brain wave pattern that showed the receiver had fallen asleep, the sender opened a sealed envelope that contained a “target” image and concentrated fully on the picture in an attempt to influence the receiver’s dream.
Once, when Ulman himself was acting as the sender, his thoughts strayed from the target image and he began to think about the book Spartacus, which had been made into a movie. The person acting as the receiver dreamed about the movie! Although his results were not all this successful, experiences such as this convinced Ulman that dream ESP was deserving of more research. So in 1962, with Stanley Krippner, he opened a dream laboratory in Brooklyn at Maimonides Medical Center. Although the two men’s experiments continued to produce mixed results, Ulman felt the experiments proved at least the existence of dream telepathy, though not its reliability.
Having experienced instances of ESP in my own dreams, I must concur with the doctors about its reality. Here is an example of a precognitive dream from my own files:
We all dream several dreams a night and it’s been suggested that we each have 100,000 dreams over the course of our lives. So you might be wondering why you can’t remember a single one. Medications, alcohol, too little sleep and anxiety about the content of our dreams can all block dream recall.
We’re most likely to remember the dreams closest to awakening, but with a little effort you can boost your dream recall. In fact the more attention you pay to your dreams, by thinking about them, writing them down, working with them, the more likely you are to remember them. Keeping a note pad and a pen beside your bed and recording your dreams immediately on waking is one of the best ways to help your dream recall.
Some dreams fade quickly from memory, so it is crucial you capture them as soon as you can. Immediately on waking, write down your dream or dreams —even if this is in the middle of the night; don’t brush your teeth first or leave it until your alarm clock goes off. If you do that, you’ll probably forget all about it and will lose a valuable dream. If you record your dreams in words, you create permanent reminders that you can use to help you figure out what they are trying to tell you.
Later in the day, transfer the information to a dream diary, specifically set aside for your dreams. In this diary include: the date of your dream, any people involved, the moods and feelings expressed, prominent colors, numbers, or shapes, the problems and conflicts encountered, prominent symbols or stories, information about the dream landscape, whether it was past, present or future and, finally, how the dream ended.
With practice, you will soon get the hang of remembering and writing down your dreams. Use this encyclopedia to help you unlock the meaning of your dream themes and symbols, but never forget that the best book you will ever read about dreams is the one you write yourself: your dream journal.
Programing your mind for dream recall
Some dreams are so vivid you can’t forget them but many are so fleeting they can vanish without a trace. One way to make sure you remember them is to talk to yourself in a positive way. Before going to sleep tell yourself that you will remember your dreams on waking. Try this visualization technique.
When you feel sleepy, turn off the lights and settle down in your favorite sleeping position. In a relaxed way, think about your dreams. Breathe in for a count of five, and out for a count of ten. Repeat this, and then breathe normally. Now imagine you have just woken in the morning and, as you slowly move back into consciousness, you reach for your pen and write down your dream. Bring your attention to the present again, and feel comfortable, warm and sleepy. Tell yourself that in the morning you will remember your dreams.... Dreampedia
Like Freud, Jung believed in the existence of the unconscious. However, he didn’t see the unconscious as animalistic, instinctual, and sexual; he saw it as
more spiritual. Dreams were a way of communicating and acquainting ourselves with the unconscious. Dreams were not attempts to conceal our true feelings from the waking mind, but rather they were a window to our unconscious. They served to guide the waking self to achieve
wholeness. Dreams offered a solution to a problem we are facing in our waking life.
Jung viewed the ego as one’s sense of self and how we portray ourselves to the world. Part of Jung’s theory was that all things can be viewed as paired opposites (i.e. good/evil, male/female, or love/hate). And thus working in opposition to the ego, is the “counter-ego” or what he referred to as the shadow. The shadow represents rejected aspects of yourself that you do not wish to acknowledge. It is considered an aspect of yourself which is somewhat more primitive, uncultured, and awkward.”
He said, “Dreams are the main source of all of our knowledge about symbolism.” This means that the messages you receive from your dreams are expressed symbolically and must be interpreted to find their true meanings.
Jung says that rarely do the symbols in dreams have just one meaning. And when interpreting the messages in your dreams, he suggests going with your first hunch, relying on your intuitive abilities, before applying morerational methods of dream interpretation.
Perhaps one of the most fascinating dream theorists might be Edgar Cayce. Today, we would call him a psychic. When he was alive, he was a fascinating individual who, it appeared, could speak with the dead, make predictions about the future, and provide insight into areas where the normal person couldn’t go.... Dreampedia
For the lay dreamer it is more useful to put dreams into much broader categories such as psychological. ESP, body, sexual, spiritual and problem solving. In researching the data for this book, some special cluster of dream themes were noticed.
For instance a cluster was noted in women past middle age, they dreamt of walking in a town and losing their husband. Description of these clusters can be seen in son and husband under family; losing teeth under body; flying; secret room under house; dead people; individuation. See also dream as meeting place; dream as spiritual guide; dream as therapist and healer; sex in dreams; ESP in dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If you are a concerned parent, simply talking about the dream with your child can help dissipate the tension around them. Avoid the instinct to tell the child that it was just a dream and that dreams aren’t real, as this may discourage your child from confiding in you, or simply frustrate them because you don’t take it seriously. You may also have a child who dreams with their eyes open for a few seconds after the dream is over and they are awake. In general, such experiences are not signs of a disorder, but if you are concerned, talk to your doctor or a pediatrician.... The Element Encyclopedia
Perhaps the most common of all traveling dream is the one in which you miss your plane, boat or train. No matter how frustrating this dream is, it is actually trying to help you get what you want. Look closely at what you should have done in the dream to make your connection; if there is clearly something you could have done differently to ensure you were on time, your dream is encouraging a shift of emphasis, understanding or action in waking life.
Another common dream is taking the wrong bus, train or plane.
This dream is particularly common to people who have problems making decisions in life because they are worried about what other people think. Your dreaming mind is urging you to correct this tendency by focusing on what you think is right. Yet another common dream involves being on board a boat, ship or plane and the person in charge becomes unable to pilot or steer. You are suddenly called upon to steer. This dream suggests that you are about to be thrust into a position of authority and that others are relying on you. For dreams of crashes or disasters whilst traveling, see also DISASTERS.
Dreams of traveling to a safe harbor or haven highlight the need for comfort and security in waking life. Remember that the trials, frustrations and challenges that you face in the dream symbolize real- life impediments and emotions that are slowing you down or helping you along your way. When interpreting traveling dreams, always consider the reactions and solutions that the dream calls upon you to make to improve your dream journey. The necessary ingredient to encourage your progress is often a symbolic representation for the action or position in waking life that will be most beneficial to you.... Common Dreams
If you are feeling lonely and unloved, you may have a dream in which you are making love. Many dream analysts describe these night-time idylls as wish-fulfillment compensatory dreams. In classic Freudian theory, dreams are thought to be vehicles for wish-fulfillment. In dreams, the dreamer can develop and satisfy complex wishes and desires that would not be allowed to seep through to consciousness in waking life. Although this theory can be quite complicated, put simply it suggests that dreams reflect your unconscious desires. For example, if you are having financial problems, you may dream of winning the lottery.
If you are worn out after weeks of hard work, you may dream of sunning yourself on a beach without a care in the world.
If you are worried about the way you look, you may dream of being a supermodel.
Bear in mind, though, that compensatory wish-fulfillment is just one explanation for uplifting dreams; the meaning of your dream will always remain personal to you. However much a dream may appear to be wish-fulfillment, it is still important to consider its many layers of meaning. Jung’s theories about alchemy may also help you understand feelings of both intense joy and of sadness in your dreams.
In his classic 1944 text Psychology and Alchemy, Jung concluded that the ancient tradition of alchemy could help us make sense of a universally valid truth—that one becomes aware of new meanings within the unconscious by seeing them mirrored in the world around us. This is the psychological phenomenon of projection—the placing of unknown and unfulfilled desires onto other people and things—a process Jung believed was often at work in dreams.... The Element Encyclopedia
We can enter many dreams, then with a program such as Seeker or Masterfile, easily scan through them to see the frequency of dream themes. This approach to dreams—self insight through a series of dreams—is explained by Hall in The Meaning of Dreams. Important issues in our life and development occur as frequent dream themes, and are easily seen using a computer.
The program Brainstonn (Brainstorm Software Ltd) makes cross referencing dream symbols and associated comments easy. Using this program, if one dreamt of a tree and wrote one s associations, then six months later dreamt of a tree and entered this, the program instantly reminds you of the past reference to tree and can display it. Gradually a reference base of your own dreams and comments can be built up and quickly scanned. Such comparisons help to form a personality profile of yourself or others. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The few exceptions are usually very clear. Example: ‘My mother-in-law died of cancer. I had watched the whole progression of her illness, and was very upset by her death. Shortly after she died the relatives gathered and began to sort through her belongings to share them out. That was the climax of my upset and distress, and I didn’t want any part of this sorting and taking her things. That night I dreamt I was in a room with all the relatives. They were sorting her things, and I felt my waking distress. Then my mother-in-law came into the room. She was very real and seemed happy. She said for me not to be upset as she didn’t at all mind her relatives taking her things. When I woke from the dream all the anxiety and upset had disappeared. It never returned (told to author dunng a talk given to the Housewives Register in Ilfracombe).
Although in any collection of dreams such clearcut problem solving is fairly rare, nevertheless the basic function in dreams appears to be problem solving.
The proof of this lies in research done in dream withdrawal. As explained in the entry science, sleep and dreams, subjects are woken up as they begin to dream, therefore denying them dreams. This quickly leads to disorientation and breakdown of normal functioning, showing that a lot of problem solving occurs in dreams, even though it may not be as obvious as in the example. This feature of dreaming can be enhanced to a marked degree by processing dreams and arriving at insights into the information they contain. This enables old problems to be cleared up and new information and attitudes to be brought into use more quickly. Through such active work one becomes aware of the self, which Carl Jung describes as a centre, but which we might think of as a synthesis of all our experience and being. Gaining insight and allowing the self entrance into our waking affairs, as M L. Von Franz says in Man and His Symbols, gradually produces a wider and more mature personality’ which emerges, and by degrees becomes effective and even visible to others’.
The function of dreams may well be described as an effort on the part of our life process to support, augment and help mature waking consciousness.
A study of dreams suggests that the creative forces which are behind the growth of our body are also inextricably connected with psychological development. In fact, when the process of physical growth stops, the psychological growth continues.
If this is thwarted in any way, it leads to frustration, physical tension and psychosomatic and eventually physical illness.
The integration of experience.
which dreams are always attempting, if successful cannot help but lead to personal growth. But it is often frozen by the individual avoiding the growing pains’, or the discomfon of breaking through old concepts and beliefs.
Where there is any attempt on the pan of our conscious personality to co-operate with this, the creative aspect of dreaming emerges. In fact anything we are deeply involved in, challenged by or attempting, we will dream about in a creative way. Not only have communities like the American Indians used dreams in this manner—to find better hunting, solve community problems, find a sense of personal life direction— but scientists, writers, designers and thousands of lay people have found very real information in dreams After all, through dreams we have personal use of the greatest computer ever produced in the history of the world—the human brain.
1- In Genesis 41, the story of Pharaoh’s dream is told—the seven fat cows and the seven thin cows. This dream was creative in that, with Joseph’s interpretation, it resolved a national problem where famine followed years of plenty. It may very well be an example of gathered information on the history of Egypt being in the mind of Pharaoh, and the dream putting it together in a problem solving way. See dream process as computer.
2- William Blake dreamt his dead brother showed him a new way of engraving copper. Blake used the method successfully.
3- Otto Leowi dreamt of how to prove that nervous impulses were chemical rather than electncal. This led to his Nobel prize.
4- Friedrich Kekule tned for years to define the structure of benzene. He dreamt of a snake with its tail in its mouth, and woke to realise this explained the molecular formation of the benzene ring. He was so impressed he urged colleagues, ‘Gentlemen, leam to dream.’
5- Hilprecht had an amazing dream of the connection between two pieces of agate which enabled him to translate an ancient Babylonian inscription.
6- Elias Howe faced the problem of how to produce an effective sewing machine.
The major difficulty was the needle. He dreamt of natives shaking spears with holes in their points. This led to the invention of the Singer sewing machine.
7- Robert Louis Stevenson claims to have dreamt the plot of many of his stories.
8- Albert Einstein said that during adolescence he dreamt he was riding a sledge. It went faster and faster until it reached the speed of light.
The stars began to change into amazing patterns and colours, dazzling and beautiful. His meditation on that dream throughout the years led to the theory of relativity.
To approach our dreams in order to discover their creativity, first decide what problematic or creative aspect of your life needs ‘dream power’. Define what you have already leamt or know about the problem. Write it down, and from this clarify what it is you want more insight into.
If this breaks down into several issues, choose one at a time. Think about the issue and pursue it as much as you can while awake. Read about it, ask people’s opinions, gather information. This is all data for the dream process.
If the question still needs further insight, before going to sleep imagine you are putting the question to your internal store of wisdom, computer, power centre, or whatever image feels right.
For some people an old being who is neither exclusively man nor woman is a working image.
In the morning note down whatever dream you remember. It does not matter if the dream does not appear to deal with the question; Elias Howe’s native spears were an outlandish image, but nevertheless contained the information he needed. Investigate the dream using the techniques given in the entry dream processing. Some problems take time to define, so use the process until there is a resolution.
If it is a major problem, it may take a year or so; after all, some resolutions need restructuring of the personality, because the problem cannot disappear while we still have the same attitudes and fears. See secret of the universe dreams; dream processing. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
When someone close to us dies we go through a period of change from relating to them as an external reality, to meeting and accepting them as alive in our memories and inner life. In the next example the man has not only come to terms with his mother’s and his own death, but also found this inner reality. Example: A dark grey sugar loaf form materialised. This pillar lightened in shade as I watched. It didn’t move. I began to think it was Mrs Molten who died in 1956.
The feeling grew stronger but still the colour lightened. Then it bent over and kissed my head. In that instant I knew it was my mother.
An ecstatic joy and happiness such as I have never known on earth suffused me. That happiness remained constantly in mind for the next few days’ (Mr M). ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The same number of dreams were collected from people similar in age and social background, but not suffering depression.
The dreams were given code numbers, mixed and given to an independent judge. He was asked to look for any evident themes of self punishment, such as ‘I was waiting for my friends all night but they never turned up’, ‘my fiance married somebody else’. Such self punishing themes were found to occur with greater frequency in the depressives’ dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Clear and personalized messages Before jumping in to discover the hidden messages that filter into our dreams and appear in the dictionary in the second part, it’s best to keep in mind that not all oneiric thoughts can be analyzed with the same pattern. Therefore, psychologists and analysts distinguish between three classes of dreams:
In these dreams, death can mean many different things; for example, some psychologists interpret it as marking the end of a life cycle. This is why we insist on the importance of personalizing the dream interpretation.
Be that as it may, premonitions tend to be hidden in a symbolism that is difficult to decode, since it does not refer to past experiences. They are messages that try to warn us of dangers that face us on the physical or emotional plane. For this reason, eastern cultures have always valued them highly, as we will see later on. Satisfaction dreams Satisfaction dreams constitute the basis for the main theories of oneiric interpretation. They deal with those images in which we fulfill the desires that we cannot satisfy while awake. Therefore, this huge category includes everything from erotic dreams to the worst nightmares. In some cases, a certain satisfaction dream may repeat for years. This means that the person’s subconscious is warning them of the importance of something they may be trying to ignore. The part of this book dedicated to interpretation refers to this type of dreams.
Sexual dreams are not necessarily the result of accumulated sexual tension that needs to be released, but rather they usually refer to inner conflicts and hidden needs, or a desire to enjoy sex more freely.Sexual dreams There are dreams that have the capacity to excite us, intrigue us, make us tremble, embarrass us . . . These are the ones that we never, or almost never, share with others. These are erotic dreams that, generally speaking, have nothing to do with the social or sexual conduct of our waking lives.
“Dreams manifest the desires that our consciousness does not express.” Sigmund FreudErotic dreams join other sensations that, in waking life, we probably wouldn’t relate immediately with sex. Therefore, these dreams, which could be violent, passionate, perverse, romantic, etc., tend to refer to inner conflicts and hidden emotional needs. Therefore they belong to the classification of satisfaction dreams.
On some occasions, they reveal a fear of intimacy or warn against certain relationships. In others, they illustrate situations and behaviors that we cannot normally exhibit. The dream represents everything through symbols or a strong sexual connotation. Its themes and languages, often dark, can confuse us or make us doubt because each individual has their personal symbols (just like with other types of dreams). It’s interpretation, therefore, should be performed according to the situation of the individual.
Dreams are escape routes for sexual impulses that social conventions repress; in erotic dreams everything seems permissible, so they are the best way to bring our most secret emotional desires to light. For Sigmund Freud, dreams manifested the desires that our consciousness does not express, and that was all.
Dreams contain valuable information about ourselves. But their meaning is often far from what it seems.
On occasion, erotic dreams illustrate situations and behaviors that we can’t experience in real life, whether it is due to social convention or our own beliefs. These sexual dreams act as an escape route for repressed impulses.Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to them because they contain valuable information about ourselves. However, their meaning is often far from what it seems. They may just as well symbolize tension in our daily lives as the desire to have a good time. Erotic dreams and fantasies Erotic dreams are also related to a person’s physical and emotional development. During puberty, for example, these kinds of dreams are very common. Others that are more unpleasant are related to episodes of abuse or sexual assault. In some form or another, almost everyone has had some type of erotic dreams because at the end of the day, they are natural occurrences that are part of our lives.
They deserve our time and attention. For example, it’s important to discover when they refer to sexual issues and when they refer to other aspects, because erotic dreams often bring us valuable clues about intimacy with a partner. If something is not right in the relationship, they probably indicate the path to resolution. There should not be any difference between the erotic dreams of men and women, just between different people. However, various studies done in the United States have demonstrated the opposite. While women usually have erotic dreams with someone they know and go all the way from flirting to coitus, men dream of anonymous kinky women that succumb to their fantasies. Obviously this is not always the case, but it is undeniable that a personal relationship is highly valued in the feminine psyche. The masculine, on the other hand, opts for pleasure and domination.
The education one has received, the latent sexism of the collective subconscious, and that of the media are all factors that dreams cannot bypass. These dreams can provoke even decisive, strong women to feel more vulnerable during dreams. Fortunately, as our customs are changing, the dissimilarities between masculine and feminine erotic dreams are gradually shrinking.
Finally, erotic dreams, like all dreams, can hide fears, anxieties, and needs that you repress due to inhibitive situations or a lack of time to face the problem. With the interpretation of erotic dreams, we can find many clues to understand our emotions better.
While men dream of anonymous kinky women succumbing to their fantasies, women usually dream of erotic encounters with men they know.Dreams of duality: masculine-feminine
In this way, when a man dreams that he is a woman, the message is not necessarily about a conflict of identity or sexuality; more likely it refers to a lack of attention to the more sensitive, intuitive side of his personality. Equally, when a woman sees herself as a man in her dreams, her subconscious may be appealing to her more energetic and rational side.
Dreams in which the left (feminine) or right (masculine) side of our bodies are hurt or immobilized (for example, an arm or leg) warn us that we are repressing or denying our masculine or feminine development. It is difficult for us to accept our duality and we reject this aspect that we don’t know how to express.
Dreams of houses
The great oneirologist of ancient times, Artemidorus of Ephesus (second century BC) said: “The home is us”; and the most recent research on oneiric content confirms it. Buildings in our dreams are a reflection of our personality. Therefore you must pay attention to all the details that appear, which give you reliable hints about your desires, fears, worries . . . Each place and element of the house refers to a personal aspect of the self; the kitchen represents our spiritual or intellectual appetite; the oven is the alchemic place of transformation; the basement represents the accumulation of riches; the bedroom, conjugal difficulties, etc.
However, dreams in which different rooms appear can also refer to different areas of real life. If, for example, you find yourself cooking in a kitchen, it may be a reference to a plan that you are “cooking up” in real life. If you find yourself locked in a dark basement, perhaps you feel guilty about something and think you deserve a punishment. Lying in a bed or on a sofa can be a sign that you need a break from your exhausting daily routine.
When the doors of the dream house are shut tight or covered with brick, or there are signs on doors to the rooms prohibiting entry, you should ask yourself what is blocking your evolution in real life. It may be part of your own personality or some basic inhibition.
The buildings in our dreams are a reflection of our personality. “The Splash” (David Hockney, 1966).Many people dream that they discover new rooms in houses that they know well. In general, this points to unknown aspects of their personality that are about to come out; but it can also indicate that they are ready for a new intellectual challenge.
The feelings that emerge when we find ourselves inside an oneiric building are very significant. If you feel brave and curious while exploring every nook and cranny of the house, it means that you are not afraid of what you may discover about yourself, you act assuredly, and face your problems with confidence. On the other hand, if you feel afraid it is a sign of inhibition and insecurity.
A pleasant, organized room reflects mental order and spiritual serenity. If it doesn’t have windows, it is a sign of isolation, fear, and insecurity. “La habitacion” (“The Room”) (Van Gogh, 1889).Nightmares and anxious dreams Nightmares are terrifying dreams that usually stay in our minds when we wake up. They usually occur during the REM phase and, on occasion, are so distressing that they wake you up and torment you for a few minutes. The fear is often accompanied by cold sweats, dry mouth, heart palpitations . . . and the sensation of having lived a terrible moment.
Sometimes, traumatic events that happen to us in waking life (an accident, a robbery, a sexual assault) revisit us in dreams. Our mind needs to free the tension caused by the event and it does it while our consciousness rests.
Worry dreams reflect subconscious doubts and fears about events in our lives that have been saved in our minds but not our conscious memory.These dreams typically disappear with time. If they persist, it may be a major trauma that requires professional help or, at least, and understanding friend to listen; talking about it is the first step to overcoming it.
Many cultures share the belief that nightmares are nothing more than malignant spirits that attack their victims in their sleep with terrifying thoughts. Some research on oneiric content concludes that these scary dreams are more common in childhood, and if they persist into adulthood it usually indicates a deeply rooted problem.
Research in sleep laboratories has demonstrated that often nightmares are triggered by a sudden noise, which detonates a distressing oneiric image. Therefore, for people who suffer from frequent nightmares, it is advisable to wear earplugs.
Dreams in which we feel worried about something are more frequent than nightmares, and sometimes the pressure we feel to resolve a problem in the dream wakes us up. Once awake, the oneiric worry may seem trivial compared to our real problems, however we should not ignore the importance of these dreams; their analysis will reveal areas of our lives that require attention or make us insecure.
Worry dreams reflect subconscious doubts and fears about events in our lives that have been saved in our minds but not our conscious memory. They deal with minor preoccupations that we haven’t consciously given attention to, but our subconscious has recognized.
According to Freud, dreams that generate anxiety or worry are the result of trying to repress an emotion or desire, usually sexual. Freud also highlighted the importance of finding the source of that worry in waking life, since these worries left unattended can degenerate into worse traumas.
To analyze this type of dream you must pay attention to all the elements that appear in the episode, since it is symbolically giving you hints about what worries us.
Dreams about angels are usually messages of inner exploration. In some oneiric episodes they appear as spiritual guides and protectors that try to show us a path.Dreams of inner exploration: forgotten babies and angels
Dreams about angels or spiritual entities tend to be messages of inner exploration. We see various examples collected in an “office of dreams.”
“I am in utter darkness. I am surrounded by silence and emptiness. Suddenly, a shape appears, white and slender, pure, almost surreal. The features of the face are erased. A pure oval, the svelte body, without a definable sex. There is only the impression of extreme sweetness and deep harmony; but this character causes me such an impression of abandonment that it seems like a cry for help. I wrap it in my arms and want to save it at all costs.”
This is a dream of protections, of contact with the invisible world. In this oneiric episode, the androgynous character is recognized as angelic. This fabulous vision is none other than the person’s angel showing him his ailment, found in the darkness.
In other dreams, angels appear as spiritual guides or personal guardians:
The cartoons of “Little Nemo” (Winsor McCay, 1905) always ended with the images of Nemo falling out of bed. His incredible stories revolved around his fascinating dreams.
“I had died on a golden carriage decorated with blue velvet; to my right, a feminine angel, all white, smiled at me . . . she held before me the reins of two white horses, while ahead of us, an unending path bathed in sunlight opened to us.”
One of the most pleasant and stimulating oneiric experiences is traveling to a far-off place and waking up with the sensation of having returned from a great vacation. Without a doubt, this often means a deep desire to travel that you have not been able to satisfy; but it can also hold other interesting readings.
On occasion, you remember precise details about places and settings you have never been to. This could be due to photographs, movies, or television reports that you’ve seen and that your subconscious has saved for some special reason.
These journeys coincide, sometimes, with moment in real life when we are about to begin something new (a change of job or location . . .). Just as the landscape and feelings of the dream can indicate our real emotions about this change, the circumstances of the trip are also revealing. If it is a bumpy trip in which it is difficult to get to your destination (because you lost the tickets or bags, or crashed the car . . .), the dream may be encouraging you to weigh the pros and cons of the situation, and warning you about obstacles ahead. Perhaps you are not mentally prepared for the change.
On the other hand, dreams about remote and exotic places are warning you that your lifestyle is claustrophobic and repressed, and that you need a change or to broaden your horizons.
The mode of transportation that you use to travel in the dream is very significant. If you travel in plane, for example, you should ask yourself if you have your feet firmly on the ground or, on the contrary, if you feel more comfortable “in the clouds.” Escapism in real life tends to appear symbolically in travel dreams. Trains are symbols of new and exciting opportunities; missing the train or letting it leave is a clear symbol of a fear of change—and the insecurity that goes along with this. The station, or point of departure, is a symbolic place of transformation. The predicament of not having a ticket or money to buy one is related to some type of deficiency. However, if you manage to arrive at the destination despite it all, the dream is reflecting a certain amount of self satisfaction.
Surrealism was a revolution. The world of the oneiric, the subconscious, the paranoid . . . become a new way of seeing and exploring life. Its influence is still seen today.... Dreampedia
THE ONGOING DEBATE. Though mystics have long seen dreams as a message from the soul, psychologists are not so sure. Researchers are divided. Some conclude that dreams have meaning, while others theorize that dreams are random images that have no intentional meaning or message. As the nature of scientific enquiry, the debate will continue.
DREAMS AS MEANINGLESS, RANDOM EVENTS. Those who see dreams as meaningless think that dream imagery is related to the random, spontaneous firing of brain cells (neurons), which fire like blinking lights that turn on and off. This process of brain cells turning themselves on and off is thought to be part of the brain’s housekeeping and upkeep. Proponents such as Francis Crick and Graeme Mitchson suggest that cells in the hindbrain (the lower brain stem) spontaneously activate cells in higher brain centers (the cortex), which creates the nightly imagery that we call dreams. They see dreams as meaningless. In this view, the images you experience at night are random events that happen because individual brain cells fire at random (turn on and off) during the night.
DREAMS AS MEANINGFUL. Those who hold the view that dreams do have meaning agree with those who hold the opposite view—that brain cells engage in spontaneous firing. However, they consider that fact irrelevant. Instead of a focus on individual brain cells, they theorize that, like a computer, the brain has the equivalent of built-in software (neuronal mechanisms) that enables the mind to process thoughts, feelings, and experiences. One such software-like neuronal package relates to dreaming.
These psychologists point out that the brain has other similar processes conducive to information processing, such as the ability of children to learn complex language patterns. Linguist Noam Chomsky describes language patterns as “deep” versus “surface” structures; these are complex grammar and language patterns that children absorb without coaching, no matter what their language. In Chomsky’s view, such an ability in children suggests that the brain has a built-in template related to language learning. Theorists who see dreams as having meaning, surmise there are similar brain templates associated with dreaming.
Researchers Aaron Greenberg and Milton Kramer concluded that dreams have meaning, pointing to studies that suggest dreaming is linked to maintaining emotional and psychological balance. Their studies on the dreams and sleep of traumatized war veterans and those with emotional disorders indicate dreams play a key role in regaining emotional stability. Their research revealed that story lines in dreams relate to actual events in a dreamer’s life and to actual needs in a dreamer’s life. In effect, Greenberg and Kramer independently concluded that dreams are meaningful.
DO DREAMS GIVE YOU A MESSAGE? Do dreams carry specific insights for dreamers? Apart from scientific debates and hypotheses, you can check out countless dream books and Web sites that describe the personal experiences of individuals who have experienced specific messages and meaning in their dreams. No matter what scientists may speculate or conclude, dream enthusiasts will continue to analyze their dreams.... A Little Bit Of Dreams
The reader will find, in many stimulating observations, and plenty of interesting material relating to our subject, but little or nothing that concerns the true nature of the dream, or that solves definitely any of its enigmas.
The educated layman, of course, knows even less of the matter. The conception of the dream that was held in prehistoric ages by primitive peoples, and the influence which it may have exerted on the formation of their conceptions of the universe, and of the soul, is a theme of such great interest that it is only with reluctance that I refrain from dealing with it in these pages. I will refer the reader to the well-known works of Sir John Lubbock (Lord Avebury), Herbert Spencer, E. B. Tylor and other writers; I will only add that we shall not realise the importance of these problems and speculations until we have completed the task of dream interpretation that lies before us. A reminiscence of the concept of the dream that was held in primitive times seems to underlie the evaluation of the dream which was current among the peoples of classical antiquity. They took it for granted that dreams were related to the world of the supernatural beings in whom they believed, and that they brought inspirations from the gods and demons. Moreover, it appeared to them that dreams must serve a special purpose in respect of the dreamer; that, as a rule, they predicted the future.
The extraordinary variations in the content of dreams, and in the impressions which they produced on the dreamer, made it, of course, very difficult to formulate a coherent conception of them, and necessitated manifold differentiations and group-formations, according to their value and reliability.
The valuation of dreams by the individual philosophers of antiquity naturally depended on the importance which they were prepared to attribute to manticism in general. In the two works of Aristotle in which there is mention of dreams, they are already regarded as constituting a problem of psychology. We are told that the dream is not god-sent, that it is not of divine but of daimonic origin.
For nature is really daimonic, not divine; that is to say, the dream is not a supernatural revelation, but is subject to the laws of the human spirit, which has, of course, a kinship with the divine.
The dream is defined as the psychic activity of the sleeper, inasmuch as he is asleep. Aristotle was acquainted with some of the characteristics of the dream-life; for example, he knew that a dream converts the slight sensations perceived in sleep into intense sensations (‘one imagines that one is walking through fire, and feels hot, if this or that part of the body becomes only quite slightly warm’), which led him to conclude that dreams might easily betray to the physician the first indications of an incipient physical change which escaped observation during the day. As has been said, those writers of antiquity who preceded Aristotle did not regard the dream as a product of the dreaming psyche, but as an inspiration of divine origin, and in ancient times, the two opposing tendencies which we shall find throughout the ages in respect of the evaluation of the dream-life, were already perceptible.
The ancients distinguished between the true and valuable dreams which were sent to the dreamer as warnings, or to foretell future events, and the vain, fraudulent and empty dreams, whose object was to misguide him or lead him to destruction. The pre-scientific conception of the dream which obtained among the ancients was, of course, in perfect keeping with their general conception of the universe, which was accustomed to project as an external reality that which possessed reality only in the life of the psyche. Further, it accounted for the main impression made upon the waking life by the morning memory of the dream; for in this memory the dream, as compared with the rest of the psychic content, seems to be something alien, coming, as it were, from another world. It would be an error to suppose that the theory of the supernatural origin of dreams lacks followers even in our own times; for quite apart from pietistic and mystical writers -- who cling, as they are perfectly justified in doing, to the remnants of the once predominant realm of the supernatural until these remnants have been swept away by scientific explanation -- we not infrequently find that quite intelligent persons, who in other respects are averse to anything of a romantic nature, go so far as to base their religious belief in the existence and co-operation of superhuman spiritual powers on the inexplicable nature of the phenomena of dreams (Haffner).
The validity ascribed to the dream life by certain schools of philosophy -- for example, by the school of Schelling -- is a distinct reminiscence of the undisputed belief in the divinity of dreams which prevailed in antiquity; and for some thinkers, the mantic or prophetic power of dreams is still a subject of debate. This is due to the fact that the explanations attempted by psychology are too inadequate to cope with the accumulated material, however strongly the scientific thinker may feel that such superstitious doctrines should be repudiated. To write a history of our scientific knowledge of the dream problem is extremely difficult, because, valuable though this knowledge may be in certain respects, no real progress in a definite direction is as yet discernible. No real foundation of verified results has hitherto been established on which future investigators might continue to build. Every new author approaches the same problems afresh, and from the very beginning.
If I were to enumerate such authors in chronological order, giving a survey of the opinions which each has held concerning the problems of the dream, I should be quite unable to draw a clear and complete picture of the present state of our knowledge on the subject. I have therefore preferred to base my method of treatment on themes rather than on authors, and in attempting the solution of each problem of the dream, I shall cite the material found in the literature of the subject. But as I have not succeeded in mastering the whole of this literature -- for it is widely dispersed and interwoven with the literature of other subjects -- I must ask my readers to rest content with my survey as it stands, provided that no fundamental fact or important point of view has been overlooked. In a supplement to a later German edition, the author adds: I shall have to justify myself for not extending my summary of the literature of dream problems to cover the period between first appearance of this book and the publication of the second edition. This justification may not seem very satisfactory to the reader; none the less, to me it was decisive.
The motives which induced me to summarise the treatment of dreams in the literature of the subject have been exhausted by the foregoing introduction; to have continued this would have cost me a great deal of effort and would not have been particularly useful or instructive.
For the interval in question -- a period of nine years -- has yielded nothing new or valuable as regards the conception of dreams, either in actual material or in novel points of view. In most of the literature which has appeared since the publication of my own work, the latter has not been mentioned or discussed; it has, of course, received the least attention from the so-called ‘research workers on dreams’, who have thus afforded a brilliant example of the aversion to learning anything new so characteristic of the scientist. ‘Les savants ne sont pas curieux’, said the scoffer, Anatole France.
If there were such a thing in science as the right of revenge, I, in my turn, should be justified in ignoring the literature which has appeared since the publication of this book.
The few reviews which have appeared in the scientific journals are so full of misconceptions and lack of comprehension that my only possible answer to my critics would be a request that they should read this book over again -- or perhaps merely that they should read it! And in a supplement to the fourth German edition which appeared in 1914, a year after I published the first English translation of this work, he writes: Since then, the state of affairs has certainly undergone a change; my contribution to the ‘interpretation of dreams’ is no longer ignored in the literature of the subject. But the new situation makes it even more impossible to continue the foregoing summary.
The Interpretation of Dreams has evoked a whole series of new contentions and problems, which have been expounded by the authors in the most varied fashions. But I cannot discuss these works until I have developed the theories to which their authors have referred. Whatever has appeared to me as valuable in this recent literature, I have accordingly reviewed in the course of the following exposition.... About Dream Interpretation
I shall begin by giving a short account of the views of earlier writers on this subject and of the status of the dream-problem in contemporary science; since in the course of this treatise, I shall not often have occasion to refer to either. In spite of thousands of years of endeavour, little progress has been made in the scientific understanding of dreams. This fact has been so universally acknowledged by previous writers on the subject that it seems hardly necessary to quote individual opinions.
The reader will find, in many stimulating observations, and plenty of interesting material relating to our subject, but little or nothing that concerns the true nature of the dream, or that solves definitely any of its enigmas.
The educated layman, of course, knows even less of the matter.
The conception of the dream that was held in prehistoric ages by primitive peoples, and the influence which it may have exerted on the formation of their conceptions of the universe, and of the soul, is a theme of such great interest that it is only with reluctance that I refrain from dealing with it in these pages. I will refer the reader to the well-known works of Sir John Lubbock (Lord Avebury), Herbert Spencer, E. B. Tylor and other writers; I will only add that we shall not realise the importance of these problems and speculations until we have completed the task of dream interpretation that lies before us.
A reminiscence of the concept of the dream that was held in primitive times seems to underlie the evaluation of the dream which was current among the peoples of classical antiquity. They took it for granted that dreams were related to the world of the supernatural beings in whom they believed, and that they brought inspirations from the gods and demons. Moreover, it appeared to them that dreams must serve a special purpose in respect of the dreamer; that, as a rule, they predicted the future.
The extraordinary variations in the content of dreams, and in the impressions which they produced on the dreamer, made it, of course, very difficult to formulate a coherent conception of them, and necessitated manifold differentiations and group-formations, according to their value and reliability.
The valuation of dreams by the individual philosophers of antiquity naturally depended on the importance which they were prepared to attribute to manticism in general.
In the two works of Aristotle in which there is mention of dreams, they are already regarded as constituting a problem of psychology. We are told that the dream is not god-sent, that it is not of divine but of daimonic origin.
For nature is really daimonic, not divine; that is to say, the dream is not a supernatural revelation, but is subject to the laws of the human spirit, which has, of course, a kinship with the divine.
The dream is defined as the psychic activity of the sleeper, inasmuch as he is asleep. Aristotle was acquainted with some of the characteristics of the dream-life; for example, he knew that a dream converts the slight sensations perceived in sleep into intense sensations (‰_÷one imagines that one is walking through fire, and feels hot, if this or that part of the body becomes only quite slightly warm‰_ª), which led him to conclude that dreams might easily betray to the physician the first indications of an incipient physical change which escaped observation during the day.
As has been said, those writers of antiquity who preceded Aristotle did not regard the dream as a product of the dreaming psyche, but as an inspiration of divine origin, and in ancient times, the two opposing tendencies which we shall find throughout the ages in respect of the evaluation of the dream-life, were already perceptible.
The ancients distinguished between the true and valuable dreams which were sent to the dreamer as warnings, or to foretell future events, and the vain, fraudulent and empty dreams, whose object was to misguide him or lead him to destruction.
The pre-scientific conception of the dream which obtained among the ancients was, of course, in perfect keeping with their general conception of the universe, which was accustomed to project as an external reality that which possessed reality only in the life of the psyche. Further, it accounted for the main impression made upon the waking life by the morning memory of the dream; for in this memory the dream, as compared with the rest of the psychic content, seems to be something alien, coming, as it were, from another world. It would be an error to suppose that the theory of the supernatural origin of dreams lacks followers even in our own times; for quite apart from pietistic and mystical writers -- who cling, as they are perfectly justified in doing, to the remnants of the once predominant realm of the supernatural until these remnants have been swept away by scientific explanation -- we not infrequently find that quite intelligent persons, who in other respects are averse to anything of a romantic nature, go so far as to base their religious belief in the existence and co-operation of superhuman spiritual powers on the inexplicable nature of the phenomena of dreams (Haffner).
The validity ascribed to the dream life by certain schools of philosophy -- for example, by the school of Schelling -- is a distinct reminiscence of the undisputed belief in the divinity of dreams which prevailed in antiquity; and for some thinkers, the mantic or prophetic power of dreams is still a subject of debate. This is due to the fact that the explanations attempted by psychology are too inadequate to cope with the accumulated material, however strongly the scientific thinker may feel that such superstitious doctrines should be repudiated.
To write a history of our scientific knowledge of the dream problem is extremely difficult, because, valuable though this knowledge may be in certain respects, no real progress in a definite direction is as yet discernible. No real foundation of verified results has hitherto been established on which future investigators might continue to build. Every new author approaches the same problems afresh, and from the very beginning.
If I were to enumerate such authors in chronological order, giving a survey of the opinions which each has held concerning the problems of the dream, I should be quite unable to draw a clear and complete picture of the present state of our knowledge on the subject. I have therefore preferred to base my method of treatment on themes rather than on authors, and in attempting the solution of each problem of the dream, I shall cite the material found in the literature of the subject.
But as I have not succeeded in mastering the whole of this literature - for it is widely dispersed and interwoven with the literature of other subjects -- I must ask my readers to rest content with my survey as it stands, provided that no fundamental fact or important point of view has been overlooked.
In a supplement to a later German edition, the author adds:
I shall have to justify myself for not extending my summary of the literature of dream problems to cover the period between first appearance of this book and the publication of the second edition. This justification may not seem very satisfactory to the reader; none the less, to me it was decisive.
The motives which induced me to summarise the treatment of dreams in the literature of the subject have been exhausted by the foregoing introduction; to have continued this would have cost me a great deal of effort and would not have been particularly useful or instructive.
For the interval in question -- a period of nine years -- has yielded nothing new or valuable as regards the conception of dreams, either in actual material or in novel points of view. In most of the literature which has appeared since the publication of my own work, the latter has not been mentioned or discussed; it has, of course, received the least attention from the so-called ‰_÷research workers on dreams‰_ª, who have thus afforded a brilliant example of the aversion to learning anything new so characteristic of the scientist. ‰_÷Les savants ne sont pas curieux‰_ª, said the scoffer, Anatole France.
If there were such a thing in science as the right of revenge, I, in my turn, should be justified in ignoring the literature which has appeared since the publication of this book.
The few reviews which have appeared in the scientific journals are so full of misconceptions and lack of comprehension that my only possible answer to my critics would be a request that they should read this book over again -- or perhaps merely that they should read it!
And in a supplement to the fourth German edition which appeared in 1914, a year after I published the first English translation of this work, he writes:
Since then, the state of affairs has certainly undergone a change; my contribution to the ‰_÷interpretation of dreams‰_ª is no longer ignored in the literature of the subject. But the new situation makes it even more impossible to continue the foregoing summary.
The Interpretation of Dreams has evoked a whole series of new contentions and problems, which have been expounded by the authors in the most varied fashions. But I cannot discuss these works until I have developed the theories to which their authors have referred. Whatever has appeared to me as valuable in this recent literature, I have accordingly reviewed in the course of the following exposition.... About Dream Interpretation
First, write down the dream as fully as you can. Second, write down all the symbols you can identify and the possible meaning beside them. Look them up; check an unabridged dictionary if necessary. Third, write out your interpretation. The following is a sample dream and its interpretation:
A woman was on a bus with a spiritual leader and members of a spiritual group. A man got on the bus wearing a dark coat and hat. He started robbing everyone. The woman had $600 in her wallet. She was lying in a sleeping bag. She wanted to hide her wallet but her left hand was asleep and she could not move.
Recording dream symbols:
The feminine part of the woman has a large capacity for growth. Many parts of herself are growth conscious and she is with or being led by her higher self. She has covered up or suppressed the strong, assertive part of herself. It is unknown to her. She allows people to take her energy without ever saying no. She gives her power away. The 6 is her guidance saying: look what you are doing. Be assertive!
She is afraid of losing her identity by being assertive and she is unable to do anything about it zipped up in her cocoon. She is unable to receive and allow others to give back to her. All her energy is going out, not returning. Her inability to receive is the main message of the dream.
Levels of Interpretation
A dream can be seen on many levels. There is a literal meaning which is usually not the correct interpretation. But it depends upon what you ask for.
For example, a woman asked that she be given insight on her marriage. She had tried many things to improve the situation, suggesting counseling, communication, and so on. In her dream she was shown herself and her husband in a desert, walking up to a trader selling phony wedding bands made out of tin. When she looked at her husband, his face was in a haze, distant. When they rode out of the desert and stopped at a little house for refreshment, she was greeted by a stranger who embraced her with a warmth and love that she immediately knew was missing in the relationship with her husband.
This dream could be interpreted that her masculine and feminine parts of self were not balanced, but she had asked specifically about the relationship. In this case the woman was working on balance within. As much as she did not want to hear it, she realized the relationship was not based on mutual love. It was not really a marriage, and no growth (desert) symbolized its present state. The series of dreams which followed indicated the same thing. She knew then that she had to leave.
This was a positive solution to the problem. Although some of the answers we receive may not be what we want to hear, they are always for our highest good. As soon as the woman was out of the relationship, she wondered what took her so long to see the situation and get on with her life.... Dreampedia
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Dream Interpretation & an A to Z dictionary of symbols and their meanings helps you make sense of your dreams and harness them to increase your creativity, solve problems, find life purpose, and obtain accurate personal guidance.
A to Z Dream Dictionary and Dream Interpretation will help you become an expert dream interpreter.
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The Dream Interpretation Dictionary: Symbols, Signs and Meanings brings a deep and rich understanding to a variety of images, signs, and symbols.
With our site learning more about dreams and dream interpretation, you will come to recognize the different types of dreams and be able to understand what is causing them without ascribing the wrong meaning to them.... Dreampedia
For the somnium dreams Anemidorus gave a dream dictionary.
For example, he said abyss meant an impending danger, a dream of warning, and to see a candle being lighted forecasts a binh, to exhibit a lighted candle augers contentment and prosperity, a dimly burning candle shows sickness, sadness and delay. This last interpretation is taken from folklore of the times and, because dreams tend to use commonly used verbal images, was probably true. He maintained that a person’s name—that is their identity, and the family, national and social background from which they arose—has a bearing on what their dream means.
Plato (429-347 bc) said that even good men dream of uncontrolled and violent actions, including sexual aggression. These actions are not committed by good men while awake, but criminals act them out without guilt. Democritus said that dreams are not products of an ethereal soul, but of visual impressions which influence our imagination. Aristotle (383— 322 bc) stated that dreams can predict future events. Earlier Hippocrates, the ‘father of medicine’, discovered that dreams can reveal the onset of organic illness. Such dreams, he said, can be seen as illogically representing external reality.
Hippocrates was born on the island of Kos. On the island was the famous temple dedicated to Aesculapius, the god of medicine. There were about 300 such temples in Greece alone, dedicated to healing through the use of dreams. Hippocrates was an Aesculapian, and learnt his form of dream interpretation from them. In such temples the patient would ritually have to cleanse themselves by washing, and abstain from sex, alcohol and even food. They would then be led into what was sometimes a subterranean room with harmless snakes in—these were the symbol of the god. In the morning the patients were asked their dream, and it was expected they would dream an answer to their illness or problem. There are many attestations to the efficacy of this technique from patients. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
You may well find that feelings of hostility or anger feature in these dreams because, along with deep feelings of sadness, there are also feelings of fury that the person you cared about has left you. You may have dreams that express how guilty you feel; for example, you may dream that you are once again tending your sick relative but your attention is focused elsewhere and you can’t make them feel comfortable; similarly, you may dream that you become sick yourself or try to prevent the death happening.
At some point, however, your dreams will begin to reflect the grief and awareness that your loved one has died. Perhaps you dream you are at a restaurant and suddenly realize you need to eat alone because your partner isn’t delayed. Such dreams are often characterized by deep sadness and tears, and it is quite normal to feel depressed after having one of these. You may find yourself revisiting earlier stages of your grief again at this time, and it is very common for dead people to come into dreams to let us know it is time to stop mourning. Even if your spiritual beliefs lead you to believe that the person who has died is still with you, you still need to go through the grieving and healing process, acknowledging all the good and bad feelings you had about this person and what their death means to you. Dreams can help you with this process and experts believe it typically takes around two years to fully pass through all the stages of grief.
But what if you are still having vivid and emotional dreams of a departed loved one ten years after their death? It’s possible that you are still holding onto feelings of love and anger. Perhaps you are stuck with your grief or are simply unable to process it. For example, you may dream that a loved one keeps turning up and shouting at you.
If you have always been taught that showing emotion is a sign of weakness, then such a harmful and narrow stereotype is interfering with the natural processes of grief. Your dreaming mind will therefore highlight the issues that are stopping you completing the grieving process and moving forward with your life.
If you find yourself unable to resolve ‘unfinished business’ and move beyond feeling stuck in the grief process, consulting a therapist could be helpful.
Bear in mind that that for which you mourn may not be solely your family, friends and pets. You grieve for what you have lost and your dreams may express your sense of loss concerning important objects, such as a home; important relationships, such as the end of a marriage; important projects, such as losing a job you loved; important dreams for the future, such as the loss of a baby due to a failed IVF attempt or miscarriage; and important feelings, such as the loss of trust if you have been the victim of a violent crime. Make note of whom or what you are mourning and try to ascertain which stage of grief you are in. Do your dreams reflect this and do they give you a suggestion for how far you might begin to accept the loss?... The Element Encyclopedia
Although there is some evidence that dreams may be able to reveal the future or events, they are perhaps best explained by anticipating what is likely to happen. For example, many dreams predicted the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. However, it must be remembered that President Kennedy was one of the world’s most well-known men and presidents are always vulnerable to assassination. Such dreams, as Jung put it, ‘are not more prophetic than a medical diagnosis or weather forecast. They are merely an anticipatory combination of possibilities which may coincide with the actual behavior of things but need not necessarily agree on every detail.’ Dreams of personal disaster are usually a common cause for concern; for example, a plane crash or car crash. However, such dreams are typically born out of apprehension.
Even though there is no scientific evidence that dreams can reveal the future, some dreams do seem to be genuine predictions. Just before his title fight in 1947, Sugar Ray Robinson dreamt he was in the ring with Jimmy Doyle. ‘I hit him a few good punches and he was on his back, his bland eyes staring up at me. Doyle never moved and the crowd was shouting, “He’s dead! He’s dead!”’ Robinson was so upset by the dream he asked Adkins, his trainer and promoter, to call off the fight. Adkins told him: ‘Dreams don’t come true.
If they did, I’d be a millionaire.’ In the eighth round, Doyle went down from a hook to the jaw. He never got up and was dead the next day.
If you are interested in this aspect of dreaming—whether you yourself have had predictive dreams or simply want to study the subject—it is vital to keep a detailed diary of your dreams.
If you do have a dream that seems to predict a serious event or important event, such as an explosion or a tornado, make a note, have it dated and witnessed, seal it in an envelope and send it to a reputable institution such as your bank with instructions to date it on arrival. See also Precognitive dreams entry in DISASTERS.... The Element Encyclopedia
It is believed that the soul, when it is freed from the physical limits of the body, can float at ease over everything that it desires to possess, whereas in the waking state it cannot. When dreamers awaken, they still preserve the memory of these fantastic pictures. If the dreamer has a blemished soul, the dreamer is continually deluded by dreams, whereas the dreamer is unde- ceived when the soul is pure.
Traditional Arab belief also holds that dreams are generated by the fundamental humors of the human body, and that individuals dream accord- ing to their temperaments. Certain Arabs com- pletely separate the faculty of perception from the visible body and believe that individuals, when asleep, can leave their bodies and contem- plate the world with a lucidity proportional to their purity, a notion supported by various verses of the Qur’an. ... The Dream Encyclopedia
The story of the SS Titanic is well known. On 14 April 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg and sunk in the North Atlantic, carrying with her more than 1500 lives. The lack of sufficient lifeboats has often been blamed as the leading cause of fatalities; experts will tell you, however, that there were hundreds of causes leading to the accident, including everything from faulty construction of watertight compartments to a failure to pay attention to numerous warnings of icebergs in the area. What is important here, however, is the huge number of accident dreams that foretold this disaster.
Immediately after the Titanic sank in the North Atlantic, there were at least two dozen reports of people who cancelled their trip because of precognitive dreams they had about the sinking. No one knows how many had the same warning and ignored it, going to a death they could have avoided. There is one businessman that had the same precognitive dream of the Titanic sinking three times and chose to ignore the warning. He still intended to make the trip, until a sudden turn in business forced him to cancel.... The Element Encyclopedia
Edgar Cayce once said, “Dreams, visions, impressions, to the entity in the normal sleeping state are the presentations of the experiences necessary for the development, if the entity would apply them in the physical life. These may be taken as warnings, as advice, as conditions to be met, conditions to be viewed in a way and manner as lessons, as truths, as they are presented in the various ways and manners.”
Cayce believed that our dreams serve several functions. Somatic dreams - dreams referring to the body - are extremely important to be mindful of. Very often dreams will offer solutions to health problems. For example, one man was plagued with food allergies for many years, but was unable to find the source of his discomfort. Then one night he went to bed and he dreamed of a can of coffee. He quit drinking coffee and his symptoms disappeared.
Cayce also believed that deceased friends and family members do occasionally visit us in our dream state. These occurrences may offer direct communication with those people or allow us to resolve our feelings about their death. The person may also represent some aspect of themselves.
During the dreaming state of sleep, we experience the different levels of consciousness and receive input from the different realms of the spirit world. Through dreaming, we have special access to our spirit within. According to the Cayce readings, there is not a question we can ask which cannot be answered from the depths of our inner consciousness when the proper attunement is made.
A dream may be of a physical, mental, or spiritual nature and may deal with all manner of psychic manifestations. These include telepathy, clairvoyance, prophetic visions, out of body traveling, remembrance of past lives, communication with beings in other realms including deceased friends and relatives, spirit guides, angels, Christ, and even the voice of God. Dreams can also give invaluable information on the status of the body.
Cayce felt that there is no dimension of human life, whether social, financial, emotional or physical, mental or spiritual with which the dream may not on occasion deal. Dreams may encourage or reprimand, instruct or deceive, inspire or seduce, guide or confuse.
The potential for an immense array of experiences in consciousness is always there. What we actually receive depends upon our attitudes, motivations, the measure of our attunement, and the extent to which we have made applicable what was received in earlier dreams and in waking experiences.
The dream world is a strange yet fascinating place! There are several different kinds of dreams. Let’s look at those in our next section.... Dreampedia
Julius Caesar’s decision to cross the Rubicon is attributed to a dream in which he saw himself in bed with his mother (Mother Rome, the seers told him). His assassination was foretold in his wife’s Calpurnia’s dream. ‘She held him in her arms, bleeding and stabbed.’ Another Caesar, Caesar Augustus, is said to have walked the streets as a beggar because of instructions he received in a dream.
St Francis of Assisi founded the Franciscan Order because of a dream in which Jesus Christ spoke from the cross, telling him to ‘go set my house in order’.
Dante relates that the whole story of The Divine Comedy was revealed to him in a dream on Good Friday in 1300. When he died in 1321, part of the manuscript was lost. His son Jocojso found the manuscript after a dream in which his father showed him where to look.
Genghis Khan is reported to have received his battle plans from his dreams. He is also reported to have been told in a dream that he was a chosen one.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s famous poem, ‘Kubla Khan’, was written upon awakening from an opium-affected dream.
Robert Louis Stephenson believed that his best stories came from his dreams. He reported that the theme for Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was derived from a dream. He also reported other breakthroughs in his writing that came from his dreams. He suffered as a child from nightmares and learned to control his dreams to change the nightmares. He said he used his dreams to revise plays and stories while asleep.
Abraham Lincoln dreamt, days before his assassination, of great cries coming from the East Wing of the White House. When he investigated, he was told by soldiers on guard that they weeping for the president who had been assassinated. Days later, his body was held in state in the East Wing so people could pay their last respects.
Friedrich August Kekulé von Stradonitz was a chemist working on the chemical structure of benzene. He reported that he got fed up with his data, which made no sense interpreted as a ‘long string’ molecule. He was dozing in his comfy chair when he was startled by the image of a snake biting its own tail. He woke and worked out the mathematics of the benzene molecule as a ring rather than a long string.
Guiseppe Tartini (Italian violinist and composer) composed one of his greatest works, ‘The Devil’s Trill’, as a result of a dream he had in 1713. In the dream, he handed his violin to the devil himself, who began to ‘play with consummate skill a sonata of such exquisite beauty as surpassed the boldest flights of my imagination. I felt enraptured, transported, enchanted; my breath was taken away, and I awoke. Seizing my violin I tried to retain the sounds I had heard. But it was in vain. The piece I then composed...was the best I ever wrote, but how far below the one I heard in my dream!’
Elias Howe, the inventor of the sewing machine, wrote that he got the core idea, the breakthrough concept, from a dream. It was a nightmare. He had been captured by cannibals. They were preparing to cook him and they were dancing around the fire waving their spears. Howe noticed at the head of each spear there was a small hole through the shaft, and the up and down motion of the spears and the hole remained with him when he woke. The idea of passing the thread through the needle close to the point, not at the other end, was a major innovation in making mechanical sewing possible.
Niels Bohr reported that he developed the model of the atom based on a dream of sitting on the sun with all the planets hissing around on tiny cords.
Paul McCartney heard a haunting melody in one of his dreams, confirmed that none of the Beatles had heard it before, and wrote it down. It became the tune for the famous song, ‘Yesterday’.... Dreampedia
Here are some basic handwriting features that may help you interpret the message hidden in the handwriting in your dream:... The Element Encyclopedia
If we do not argue any particular theory, however, then perhaps we see dreams as having a much wider function.
The most primal drives observable are survival, growth and reproduction. Other urges, such as eating, social position, curiosity, are secondary.
The human animal appears to have survived and reproduced more capably after the development of self awareness, language and reasoning. With or without these, we remain an animal with a psychobiological nature. All animals are known to dream. All animals share a certain situation. They have an internal world out of which arises impulses (to eat, to mate, to avoid danger) and feeling reactions (anger, fear, anticipation). And they have an external world which confronts them with real survival dangers, sources of food, a mate, changes in environmental conditions.
A dream lies somewhere between these two worlds.
We can think of the human personality as being like a special son of cavity into which all these influences are dropped or are thrown. Physical sensations, internal drives and emotions, language, social rules, religious ideas; prompts to make decisions; news of war, massive media and advertising information, are all dropped in.
The cavity has to deal with it, but as it is a mixture of things, many of which are in opposition, some sort of balance has to be kept. But how? And it cannot be simply a matter of throwing out all of one sort or aspect of things. Eradicating the memory of criticism might make us more calm, but it would limit the process of psychological growth, which has survival value.
Dreams can be seen to be connected with our survival and self regulating process. Because this involves all aspects of oneself and one’s experience, one cannot give dreams a single definition. They probably have many secondary functions, such as an interface to balance the internal and external influences, to compensate between the inner needs and outer reality—a baby may miss its feed so, to cope with this primal need, it may dream of being fed. Traumatic or exterior dangerous events, which cannot be processed immediately, can be stored and dealt with (experimented with or abreacted) while asleep. In higher mammals, infant traumas can be stored and dealt with in sleep when, or if, a stronger ego develops.
To meet the loneliness and isolation of consciousness’ or fears of death, the dream can link the waking self with its unconscious sense of unity or God.
To meet survival needs of primitive human beings prior to rational thought, the dream probably acted as a computer, synthesising experience and information, giving rise to creative solutions to hunting or social situations, presented as sleeping or waking imagery. This may explain why many pnmitive people say skills such as farming, weaving, writing, were told them by a vision of a god or goddess.
If we realise that the dream is an end product of a process which produces it, it enables us to see that the process’ (the survival function which regulates, compensates, links, problem solves) can be accessed without meeting the dream. See sleep movements; dream process as computer; Adler; Freud; Jung. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The following list is merely a starting point, being far from comprehensive, but if any of these well-known figures appear in your dreams, try to find out why. They are such vivid and colorful examples of the potential power of good or evil in waking life that their appearance in dreamland should be taken extremely seriously as a powerful message from your unconscious.... The Element Encyclopedia
Write down your dream as soon as you remember it. Write down everything you remember, even if it doesn’t make sense. Most often, the parts that don’t make sense or are out of place are the most valuable. Every detail, even the minutest element in your dream is important and must be considered when analyzing your dreams. Look closely at the characters, animals, objects, places, emotions, and even color and numbers that are depicted in your dreams.
Ask yourself, “What does this remind me of?” Write down the first thing that comes to your mind. This will likely be the real situation in your life that is symbolized in the dream. What did that real-life situation make you feel like? If this is the same feeling represented in your dream, you’re on the right track. Often when there is more than one part to your dream (more than one story line) that usually means there are two things your subconscious is trying to tell you.
Remember that we have between four and seven dreams per night. If you wake up from a dream, write it down. Don’t roll over and go back to sleep. If you don’t write it down, you’ll never remember it in the morning! At the very least, you can jot down the basic premise of the dream and go back in the morning to fill in the rest of the details such as feelings, etc.
Suggest to yourself every night as you fall asleep, “I will remember my dreams.” Say this over and over. Your sub-conscious will act on this subtle suggestion. Practice keen observation in your dreams through self-suggestion prior to sleep. When a problem confronts you, you might want to ask by prayer for guidance to be sent to you through your dreams.
Trust your instincts! If something seems important, it probably is. Try not to let your logical side take over.
So you’ve got your dreams down on paper. Where do you go next? The next step would be interpretation.... Dreampedia
Every 90 minutes or so your eyes move rapidly around under your closed eyelids. At the same time your brainwaves become highly active, almost as though you were awake. It’s during this period of what is known as ‘Rapid Eye Movement’ or ‘REM sleep’ that you dream. In the early part of the night, which is when sleep is deepest, the REM periods are quite short, lasting only a few minutes at most. Towards morning, as your sleep becomes lighter, the REM episodes become longer. The last dream you have just before waking up can last for as long as three-quarters of an hour.
During REM sleep, your body is immobilized. This means that if you have a nightmare where you try to run away or cry out, you feel para¬ lyzed. People who walk and talk in their sleep usually do so between periods of REM sleep when the body is once again able to move.
Although some people have a natural facility for remembering their dreams, particularly those with emotional, creative or introverted personalities, few can bring back the whole experience whilst others recall little or nothing. Accurate dream recall is not easy. You learn it, as you learn any skill, by developing an interest, maintaining your enthusiasm and following a routine.
If you have a stressful lifestyle, try not to watch television late in the evening. Instead, spend a few minutes relaxing quietly and letting go of the day’s concerns. If you find it hard to switch off, light reading can be helpful and alcohol and coffee late at night should be avoided. They
are known to inhibit dream recall, as can sleeping pills. Keep a pen and a notebook within easy reach of your bed. Leave this special notebook open and write down the date as a signal to your subconscious mind that you intend to remember a dream.
As you start drifting off into sleep, tell yourself: Tonight Ishall have a dream and remember it in the morning.’ When you wake up, lie still and keep your eyes closed. Allow your mind to stay relaxed, drifting back until you recapture a fragment of a dream. Even a single image is better than nothing. As soon as you remember anything, write it down, however trivial it seems. Make it a habit to write something - even a note of the mood you woke up in is better than nothing. It’s important to do this first thing, before you get out of bed. The simple act of changing your position in bed can be enough to make a dream disappear without trace. A loud alarm clock can have a similar effect. Do remember that no skill is acquired overnight. Be patient and persevere.... Dreampedia
The dream she subsequently reported was ‘1 sit in a small dirty cafe holding a tremendous French newspaper ...
A woman with a strong Yiddish accent—L is Jewish—asks me twice, “Don’t you need anything?” I don’t answer . . . she comes a third time . . . I recognise her as my acquaintance. She holds a threadbare suitcase with a sticker on it that reads “For ladies only!” I leave the cafe with her . . . she hangs onto me which I find unpleasant but suffer it . . . Before her house she pulls out an enormous bunch of keys and gives one to me. “1 trust only you with it; it is the key to this case. You might like to use it. Just watch that my husband doesn’t get hold of it.” ‘ The dream contains several of the classical Freudian symbols of sex, such as the suitcase, the key and the phrase For ladies only’. Miss E had not, according to Schroetter, heard or read of Freud’s ideas.
Roffenstein, suspecting Miss E may have known something of Freudian ideas, chose ‘a 28-year-old, totally uneducated nursemaid of lower than average intelligence, who grew up and still lives in an uneducated milieu’. He suggested she dream of intercourse with her father. She reported: ‘I dreamt about my father, as if he had presented me with a great bag and with it he gave me a large key. It was a very large key. It looked like the key to a house. I had a sad feeling. I opened the bag. I snake jumped out against my mouth; I shrieked aloud.
More recent expenments are reponed by Woods and Greenhouse in New Wbrld of Dreams.
The suggestion was made to one subject that as a child she had wet the bed and her mother scolded her. That night she dreamt she fell into a pond in winter and her mother was angry.
An interesting aspect of these experiments is that another subject under hypnosis was told the dream and asked what it meant. Without hesitation she said. Oh, that girl must have wet the bed.’ This and other experiments suggest humans have an inherent, although perhaps unconscious, ability to understand the language of dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
It is also noticeably something which develops during childhood and reaches different levels of maturity during adulthood. Although it is our central experience, it remains an enigma—a will o’ the wisp, which loses itself in dreams and sleep, yet is so dominant and sure in waking.
In dreams, our sense of self—our ego, personality or identity—is depicted by our own body, or sometimes simply by the sense of our own existence as an observer. In most dreams our T goes through a series of experiences, just as we do in waking life, seeing things through our physical eyes, touching with our hands, and so on. But occasionally we watch our own body and other people as if from a detached point of bodiless awareness.
If we accept that dreams portray in images our conception of self, then dreams suggest that our identity largely depends upon having a body, its gender, health, quality, the social position we are bom into, and our relationship with others. In fact we know that if a person loses their legs, becomes paralysed, loses childbearing ability or is made redundant, they face an identity crisis. But the bodiless experience of self shows the human possibility of sensing self as having separate existence from the biological processes, one’s state of health and social standing. In its most naked form, the T may be simply a sense of its own existence, without body awareness.
Dreams also show our sense of self, either in the body or naked of it, as surrounded by a community of beings and objects separate from the dreamer, and frequently with a will of their own.
If we place the dreamer in the centre of a circle and put all their dream characters, animals and objects around them; and if we transformed these objects and beings into the things they depicted, such as sexuality, thinking, will emotions, intuition, social pressure, etc., we would see what a diverse mass of influences the ego stands in the middle of. It also becomes obvious that our T sees these things as outside itself in nearly all dreams. Even its own internal urges to love or make love may be shown as external creatures with which it has a multitude of ways to relate.
If we take the word psyche to mean our sense of self, then in our dreams we often see our psyche at war with the sources of its own existence, and trying to find its way through a most extraordinary adventure—the adventure of consciousness. One of the functions of dreams can therefore be thought to be that of aiding the survival of the psyche in facing the multitude of influences in life—and even in death.
See Individuation; dreamer. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The action of the hean on the other systems is obvious, and the influence of emotions on the organs is also becoming obvious. What is not so well established is the importance of the feedback occurring when we gain insight into our own functioning through understanding a dream. Although our being is already a self regulating system, the ability to turn consciousness inwards to make clear aspects of unconscious function appears to increase the efficiency of self regulation. This is shown in the first example of reptiles, lizards, snakes, where David finds a long-standing neck pain and goes through insight into its cause. In this way wc might be seen as a conscious organism which not only reprogrammes mental patterns or habits, but to some extent can renovate or change body efficiency as well. See dream analysis; dream processing; the Introduction. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Symbols in dream interpretation are just one piece of the puzzle. Each piece / symbol fits together and makes a complete picture. The entire dream tells the story, not just 1 or 2 symbols picked out of it, and each individual will have different nuances affecting the dream...such as daily influences perhaps integrating into the dream. For example: let's say you saw a movie yesterday about a vicious grizzly bear and it was frighteningly graphic, and then later that night you dreamt about a bear. This would be less meaningful than if you suddenly had a dream about a bear one night, without prior influences. That could be entirely different.
When interpreting dreams, the first thing everyone should consider is the typical universal meaning of the symbol / dream image. For instance, death symbolizes the end of something that's ready for change, and a new beginning. Most people start out highly resistive to changes of any sort, and see any upcoming change in their life as something foreboding and scary. Death dreams are usually about change.... Dreampedia
Most dreams are full of images: of people dead and alive, known and unknown, animals both domestic and wild, landscapes and buildings familiar and strange, or any number of other symbolic images such as jewelry, household things, clothing, and so on. A dream usually has some kind of a story line. You may find yourself on an adventure of some kind. You may dream of celebrities or other famous people either from the present or the past.
I once had a fascinating dream of visiting the president Woodrow Wilson, who had been in office during the time of World War I, long before I was even born. During my dream visit to the president, we talked of many things of a psychic and occult nature. I wondered what it meant. When I discussed this dream with my dreamwork partner, who was a good bit older than I and very knowledgeable about matters concerning the occult, he told me that Woodrow Wilson had held seances in the White House! At the time, I was just beginning my own studies of the occult and having psychic experiences on a regular basis.
Food is another symbol that often appears in dreams. The kind of food and how it is presented and eaten (if eating occurs) are matters for the dreamer to understand. Food dreams may relate to what you had for supper—or what you wanted to have and didn’t get. Or you may have food concerns, such as being on a diet to lose weight or trying to gain weight.
The number of symbols that the dream-mind can produce is practically endless, and most of these symbols are up for individual interpretation. Some, however, have universal meaning. We’ll discuss mostly the first kind in this chapter.
PERSONAL DREAM SYMBOLS
One of the best ways to get at the meaning of the symbols in your dreams is by free association. This is the method made popular by the psychologist Sigmund Freud. In this method, you simply go with the first thing that pops into your mind when the trigger word is given. Do the exercises presented on pages 48–50 in order to begin to get familiar with your own word associations.
AMPLIFICATION OF SYMBOLIC MEANINGS
Once you have identified a symbol in a dream, you can use the free association process to get at its meaning. If you don’t immediately get an associative thought about the dream symbol, work backward through your feelings and experiences with the symbol until you hit something that fits or makes sense. Suppose, for example, that you see a tiger in a dream. Do you like tigers or are they an object of fear? Maybe you saw a nature film recently about tigers and are concerned about their survival as a species. The important thing is to discover what a tiger means to you in the present, for the meanings of your symbols can change over time.
As you begin to work with your dreams on a regular basis and gain a high level of ability to recall your dreams (which we’ll discuss in chapter 5), you will become familiar with your own personal symbolic style. Most of us are influenced symbolically by the objects we are familiar with—such as religious symbols like crosses and pictures of saints or holy people—and also by our everyday life experiences. For example, if you have a pet of any kind, you are likely to dream about that animal. Of course, you may dream about animals even if you don’t keep a pet, and you may dream about wild animals. But if you dream of your own pet, it will have personal significance to you alone.
Sometimes you have a dream that seems to complete some unfinished business of the day—say you had a math problem you couldn’t solve and you dreamed yourself in a classroom with the solution written on the blackboard. Freud believed that dreams were “wish fulfillment” vehicles, and it is true that we can dream of things or experiences that we want (such as getting a date with a particular person) but dreams are much, much more than simple wish fulfillment. They are complex and multileveled, as you will realize by working steadily with your dreams.
“Then your I is no longer your mundane little self but the I of the Big Dreamer who is dreaming the whole universe.”
Fred A. Wolf, Physicist
Most dream symbols are not to be taken literally. You often need to do a bit of sleuthing to get at what the message of the dream symbol, or story, is for you. An example I read in one dream book was a dream of Bob Hope hopping on a pogo stick. At first, this seems nonsensical, but the dreamer was depressed and the dream was interpreted as “Hope springs eternal.” Here’s an example of a recent series of dreams of my own, concerning food.
Here’s another example along the same lines, but with a different twist—that of a lemon peel!
It is interesting to note that some types of dreams that we know to be quite common have never been reported from sleep labs (as least not as far as I have found in my research). One of these is the nightmare. It seems that people don’t want to tell their deepest fears to a sleep lab researcher. Another common type is the wet dream, so named for when a male ejaculates semen while dreaming (though females also have this type of sexual dream). It is interesting to note that most of the subjects in sleep labs are young male college students, whom one might presume to often have wet dreams. But these are, apparently, considered too private to dream when under observation.
Most dreams are not to be taken literally; just because you dream of someone dying does not mean the person will die. In fact, the literal interpretation of dreams can be dangerous and cause fear and anxiety. Also, dream books are not to be trusted. It’s worth repeating that you have your own set of inner symbolic meanings. What a cat means to me—an avid cat lover—and what a cat means to someone who hates or fears cats would be something quite different. Always remember that your inner symbol-producing mechanism is yours alone, unique. That being emphasized, there are a few symbols that can be considered universal, such as the ocean or water representing the unconscious processes.
The best way for you to learn to interpret your own personal symbol system is by continually paying attention to your dreams, writing them down, and doing your own interpretations. Dream interpretation is an art, not a science, and no scientific sleep lab can read the content or measure the meaning of dreams. Isis, the ancient Egyptian goddess queen, was believed to say “No mortal has lifted my veil,” and this can well apply to the scientific efforts to penetrate the mysteries of dream in sleep labs.
If you are just beginning to pay attention to your dreams, begin the process of interpretation by recording the symbols that appear most frequently. This applies especially to any recurring dreams or motifs you may experience. For example, I know that when my cat Fuzz (who’s dead now) appears in a dream, it means my heart center is the subject of the dream. Depending on the story line of the dream and what Fuzz is doing or how we are interacting, I can figure out what the dream message about my heart is.
“There are a lot of people on the planet right now who don’t think that dreams are important. Perhaps it is that attitude which contributes to the ill health of the planet as a whole. If so, it depends more and more on you, the Spiritual Warriors of your generation, to weave the dreams that can heal the planet.” Dr. Laurel Ann Reinhardt, “Dream Weaving,” in The Thundering Years by Julie Johnson
The world of dream and intuition is really not divorced from our everyday reality, not a thing apart. Most people today think their dreams have nothing to do with real life, but they are wrong. We are all multifaceted beings with complexities of which often we are hardly aware. Too many people operate solely on linear thinking (the standard modern-day mode that is taught to young people in schools) and aren’t aware that there are other ways to think and to obtain information. As Seth, the “spirit guide” that Jane Roberts “channeled” in a series of books “by” Seth, says, “You must change your ideas about dreaming, alter your concepts about it, before you can begin to explore it. Otherwise, your own waking prejudice will close the door.”
All of the many facets of our personalities are operating all the time, even when we aren’t conscious of them, just like our body chemistry goes on about its business when we are totally unaware of its functioning. Dreams can speak to parts of ourselves that we are ignoring, but we can’t get the benefit from them unless we pay attention and approach their symbolic messages with an open mind and trusting heart.
While the symbolism in dreams may require interpretation, when we have difficulty with it we must realize that its purpose isn’t to mystify us. As Dr. Jung says in his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections:
In working with your own personal dream symbols and motifs to decipher the meaning of your dreams, you may need to come at them from all angles. The following mind-mapping technique is especially helpful for those who function better using pictures and images, colors and drawings, than using a strictly verbal or writing mode.
As you practice interpreting your dreams and get more deeply into the process, it will become an enjoyable habit and you’ll soon feel like an old pro at the game. You will get better and better, and your confidence will start to soar. Even if you have only a scrap of a dream to go on, it can lead to fruitful ideas. Here’s an example from my personal files:
With a little skill, you’ll be able to start integrating your dreams into everyday life. We’ll get into this in the next chapter, where we discuss how you can use dreams for specific purposes. However, please approach the entire subject of your dreams, their interpretations, and how you can use them with an open mind and in a relaxed state. Getting tense over interpretation is counterproductive and will block your efforts to make connections.... Dreampedia
Every character, object and building in your dream is symbolic of a part of yourself and your life. This one principle alone changes your entire view of dream interpretation.
It is a common mistake for people to misinterpret the people and objects in their dreams as the real thing. This is a big mistake! If I dream of Aunty Pat throwing a cream pie in my face, I certainly do not have to fear visiting her for Thanksgiving!
It is symbolic and Aunty Pat is a picture of a part of me. If Aunty pat is an aggressive woman that tends to dominate others, then she could represent my will in this dream. Identifying the characters in your dream is the very first step to gaining an understanding of what your dreams are saying.
In fact just by identifying your dream category and then identifying the symbols, you will already have an idea of what your dream is speaking about.
This goes for buildings, animals or any kind of object in your dream. If you dream that your house is being broken down, you do not need to rush out and buy more insurance. Your house is just a picture of your life.
This opens up a whole new world to you! Many common symbols crop up in our dreams and I will give you some interpretations for them later on. In fact, in my DAV Symbol Dictionary, I supply a comprehensive list of all the characters and scenarios and their interpretations.
2. Good is Great. Bad is...well...bad.
Understanding what the characters in your dream represent is just the first step. It is also very important to determine if that character is playing a positive or a negative role in your dreams.
This alone can turn your interpretation right around. If I dream that my house is being torn down, it can be positive or negative. If your house is being torn down so that something bigger can be built, it means that you are in a process of growing spiritually and mentally in your life right now.
However if your house is being bombed by terrorists or torn down by a storm, it means that you are facing some severe attack in your life right now and that you are falling apart.
Do you see what I mean? In both cases...once again the house is a symbol of your life. It does not speak of your actual house and you do not need to fear a sudden invasion of terrorists ok?
3. Everything is About You
It’s your dream. It’s your life. It’s about YOU!
Another big mistake that people make is that they think if they dream of someone else that the dream is for that person. It’s a bit ridiculous actually. If you dream that your co‐worker falls pregnant, I would certainly not rush to them and announce the good news!
Not only will you be wrong, but every time you head for the coffee machine the other co‐workers might suddenly find a reason to be somewhere else...
Hmmm, I get the feeling that some folks reading this might have made this mistake a few times. Not to worry though! There is hope.
Keep in mind that because the characters in your dream are a picture of yourself, the dream is a message for you. These dreams are a depiction of what is going on inside of you right now and often also refer to events that happened in the past.
Either way, you are the star of this show and it’s all about YOU!
4. Identifying the Message
It is important to remember that an internal dream has a single message. If your dream has lots of characters and scene changes, then it is a garbage dream and does not have an interpretation.
By identifying the symbols in your dreams and determining if they are given in a positive or negative context, you are armed with everything you need to identify the message.
To show you how simple this is, I am going to take a few of the dreams posted on our Dreams and Visions forum and I am going to break it down for you.
I will be using the entries from the DAV Dictionary so that you can see exactly how to use it.... Dreampedia
Remember that only you can interpret your dreams. Many people have published “Dream Dictionaries” that describe what each part of the dream symbolizes. Actually, the same dream can have infinite meanings, depending on the person who dreamed it. The important thing is, what does it mean to YOU?
Interpreting dreams isn’t something you can pick up and become an expert at right away. It takes time and practice. First, keep the following things in mind:
Determine the subject matter of the dream. The location where the dream takes place is one of the best methods for doing this. When you have determined the subject matter take each of the phrases or words in the ‘I AM’ column and fit them into the following sentence.
When it comes to my (subject matter)
I AM (phrase or keyword)
Change the phrase or keyword slightly to force the sentence to make sense. If you cannot determine the subject matter apply the keywords to yourself in general. This exercise tells you how you feel or react to the subject matter of the dream. When you have done this read through the ‘I NEED’ column to learn what you must do to correct the problem. To get the meaning put each of the phrases or keywords into the sentence,
When it comes to my (subject matter)
I NEED (phrase or keyword)
Let’s take an example. Using the sentence ‘The dead woman lay on the cold hard slab’. The negative keywords are; dead, cold and hard. Women, in dreams, can represent emotions so in this case the sentences constructed would be
The meaning is obvious. With analyzing just one sentence from a dream we have learned a lot about the dreamer. Using this technique you now have all of the information you need to start interpreting your dreams. However it takes practice to be able to apply what you have learned. Be patient with your efforts.
Not all dream interpretations will be that cut and dried, but it is a way to remain objective when you are analyzing what your dreams mean and how best to put the messages they are conveying to good use in your life.
Keep in mind that Most dreams are * NOT * precognitive, and once one learns the subtle differences between a precognitive dream versus a regular dream, they are easily discernable and will put your mind at ease.
The first thing everyone should consider is the typical universal symbology of the dream images. For instance, death symbolizes the end of something that’s ready for change, and a new beginning. Most people start out highly resistive to changes of any sort, and see any upcoming change in their life as something foreboding and scary. Death dreams are usually about change.
The symbols and what they represent is the most fascinating part of dream interpretation. There are literally hundreds of them. We don’t have the space to address ALL of them, but we will touch on some of the most recurring themes in dreams as well as the symbols of those dreams and what they mean.... Dreampedia
If you have ever wondered why dreams often appear so difficult to make sense of, it is because the information they contain is presented in a different language; the language of symbols: of people alive or dead, known and unknown, animals both domestic and wild, landscapes and buildings familiar and strange, or any number of symbolic objects such as shapes, colors, signs, numbers, jewelry, food, clothing and so on.
These images are your own thoughts, feelings and ideas turned into a series of pictures like ordinary scenes in your daily life. For example, if you feel overwhelmed you may have a dream you are swimming but finding it hard to keep your head above water. If you feel confused you may have a dream when you are wondering about lost in a dark forest. The number of symbols and images that your mind can translate into dream pictures is practically endless.
Words just can’t convey the countless powerful feelings that symbols do. These symbols are often chosen from something that has caught our attention in waking life, triggering a memory, conflict or concern that resonates both in the present and in the past.
One tried-and-tested way to uncover the meaning of your dream images is by direct association. You simply go with the first thing that pops into your head when a trigger image from your dream is given. If you don’t immediately get an associative thought, try working through all your feelings about that image. For example, if you saw a caterpillar in a dream. Do you like caterpillars or do you find them a bit creepy? Try to discover what the image means to you right now, for the meanings of your symbols will change over time.
The more you work with your dreams, the more familiar you will become with your personal images. You’ll probably find that you dream the most about the things that you are familiar with every day: your family, your colleagues, your friends and your pet. Each time you dream about these familiar things they will have personal significance to you alone.
The great majority of dreams are not to be taken literally and you need to do a bit of detective work to get to the real message. Just because you dream that a friend is dying does not mean that he or she will die, but rather that they are going through a period of enormous change. In fact, interpreting dreams literally can be harmful. As pointed out earlier, you have your own set of unique dream images and symbols. If you love dogs, what a dog means to you and what a dog means to someone who can’t stand dogs will be very different. Always bear in mind that your dream symbols and images are unique to you.
Although the images and symbols in your dreams do need to be interpreted, their purpose isn’t to mystify you. They are simply trying to get their message across in the best way that they can. If you do find yourself getting tense, confused or frustrated when trying to interpret a dream, let it go. Dream interpretation is best approached with an open mind and in a relaxed state.
You don’t need to interpret every single dream you have. In the same way that some movies are more compelling and thoughtprovoking than others, some dreams, like those when you do fantastic things like flying into space or surfing in Hawaii, are simply to be enjoyed. You don’t always have to dig deep for meaning. It’s good to be aware that a dream might contain a message of importance, but don’t get obsessed with finding meanings for every single detail —just interpret what you can. Dreams, like life, are full of big and little stuff. Don’t sweat the ‘small stuff’.... Dreampedia
B Self-isolation, things hidden and not yet known.
C Matter that surrounds spirit, language, throat.
D Symbol for food and growth/development.
E Bridge between body and spirit, call for unity.
F Symbol for the outside and inner world, insight, hope, understanding.
G Weapon, staff, scepter—conquest and/or domination.
H Balanced, self-improvement.
I The human need for safety and severity.
J Adviser, admonishing or threatening index finger.
K Creative vitality, straightforward action, abundant energy.
L Reaching arm, striving for material and/or intellectual fortune.
M Mother, woman, fertility, creative energy.
N Masculine spirit stimulated by the feminine.
O The circle, insurmountable limits of fate.
P Mishaps, bad luck, accidents, disappointments, negative experiences.
Q The result of our action, our language.
R Male energy’, used to pursue our goals.
S Weapons, tools, techniques, and support.
T The cross, origin of your power/energy.
U The cup, the chalice, the passing of life/rime. Success, victory, the search for completeness.
W No specific symbols could be found, but possibly refers the ups and downs of life.
X The ten, checkmarks, crossing out.
Y The unknown, sometimes also sexual needs.
Z Risk decisions, lightning, electricity.... Dreamers Dictionary
Acid: This suggests a corrosive, negative influence in your life.
Adder: There may be a situation in which another person cannot be trusted.
Atom bomb: Fear that someone else might destroy your happiness.
Avalanche: A destructive force in your life.
Bad: If you feel bad in your dream, this suggests that something is off balance in your waking life and that your environment is not positive for you.
Barbed wire: Hurtful remarks are preventing you moving forward.
Bed wetting: Anxieties over lack of control in your life.
Behind: To be behind someone in your dream suggests that you feel inferior to them.
Bite: Being bitten or biting someone is a symbol of aggression or hostility.
Boar: Lust and gluttony.
Brutality: The darker, more animalistic side of your nature.
Burglar: Violation of personal space.
Choke: Inability to express yourself.
Crooked line: Insincerity.
Devil: Personification of the evil side of yourself.
Dirty: Not at ease with your body, or lack of trust in someone or something.
Drowning: Feeling overwhelmed.
Earthquake: Emotional upheaval.
Empty and failure: Lack of energy and enthusiasm.
Falling: Lack of confidence.
Gall: Feelings of bitterness.
Hole: A difficult or tricky situation; can also suggest emptiness.
Ice: Frozen emotions.
Immobility: Feeling stuck.
Leak: Losing energy.
Leper: Feeling inferior or unworthy.
Maggots: Impurities that can eat away at you; fears of death and illness.
Mantis: Something devious within your life.
Marsh: Feeling held back or bogged down.
Mist: Emotional confusion.
Noose: Fear of being trapped.
Obscenity: lower aspects of the self.
Parasites: Someone is attempting to live off your energy.
Poverty: Feelin g deprived of the ability to satisfy your basic needs.
Pus: Something which is festering and has gone bad in your life.
Sadism: Desire to cause harm to yourself or others.
Scar: Old hurts that have not been dealt with.
Sick: Bad feelings you need to get rid of.
Tar: Emotions have become contaminated.
Torture: Trying to come to terms with a great hurt.
Traitor: An aspect of yourself that is letting you down.
Trespassing: Intruding on someone else’s personal space; lack of healthy boundaries.
Unemployment: Not making the best use of your talents.
Vampire: Fear of the unknown and negative energy. War: Conflict.
Winter: Time in your life which is unfruitful. Wound: Hurt feelings or emotions.
X: An error or something of which you need to take notice.
Yawn: Boredom, but also a warning against aggression or abuse.... The Element Encyclopedia
WHY A DREAM TURNS INTO A NIGHTMARE. Most nightmares are simply mirrors of your internal fears and anxieties. Paradoxically, as the following reasons explain, it is those very fears and anxieties that “flip” a dream that is otherwise benign into a nightmare.
Think of a dream as a carriage transporting a needed insight about an important problem; the carriage is merely a vehicle for the helpful message. However, the topic of the dream terrifies you. The topic could be about a failing relationship or a career that is falling apart. Because of your terror, as you watch the carriage approach, the shadows of your fears make the carriage look scary. You do not notice the carriage is driven by your psyche, who approaches as a friend and just wants to help.
One way of coping with an anxiety or fear is to distance yourself from it—to push it away. This is a normal reaction. Yet the very act of distancing yourself from a scary topic that a dream may address is what “transforms” a normal dream image into a scary one. It is like a tasty dish that curdles, and your fear curdles the dream dish.
THERE ARE ONLY FRIGHTENED DREAMERS. Though it is natural to run from what scares you, the very act of doing so is what often creates a nightmare. That is why one way of looking at most nightmares is to say, “There are no scary dreams—only frightened dreamers.” If we could put aside all of our fears, there would be few nightmares or frightening dreams.
WHAT CAUSES NIGHTMARES. Mild to severe stress tends to be the main underlying cause of most frightening dreams.
• Daily Stress. Daily stress that ramps up your feelings is the most common reason behind a nightmare.
• Out-of-Control Fear and Anxiety. Like a wheel spinning out of control, negative emotions can unbalance your perceptions and lead to nightmares.
• Emotional Dissonance. The daily push-pull between competing feelings or choices is called “emotional dissonance.” If making a choice feels so unpalatable and impossible that no choice seems right, the pressure can drive you to the edge. This form of extreme anxiety, related to difficult or impossible choices, often invites nightmares.
• Physical or Mental Imbalance. Conditions like fever or depression can produce bad dreams. When the condition passes, the nightmares may disappear.
• Traumatic Events. Repeated bad dreams can happen after a painful event that leaves you feeling vulnerable, such as losing a loved one or the loss of a home after a natural disaster. As the psyche tries to digest the pain, the mind may replay the event as a nightmare. Such dreams are the psyche’s attempt to digest the painful feelings while you sleep. As a person heals and increases their coping skills, the bad dreams lessen and eventually disappear.
• The Nightmares of Those with an Artistic or Sensitive Temperament. Highly sensitive and creative individuals tune in more deeply to the world’s pain and suffering, and as a result, they often report nightmares. A man at a seminar shared his constant nightmares about war scenes and mangled bodies, even though he lived a normal life and worked as a bus driver. Digging deeper, he began to see that he was tuning in to the daily pain that he saw on the faces of his passengers. Witnessing their distress gave his sensitive heart emotional indigestion, which he experienced as frequent nightmares.
• Traumatic Stress. Those with a medical condition called post-traumatic stress disorder, such as combat veterans or rape victims, can have nightmares that are different in content and structure to regular nightmares. Experiencing extreme forms of trauma can produce nightmares that are more severe and that disrupt sleep cycles, which regular nightmares do not. While researching the nightmares of combat veterans, I created presleep stories as a sleep aid that attempts to restore the normal sleep cycles of combat veterans; details are available at InterpretADream.com.
NIGHTMARES: THREE TYPES
Like other dreams, nightmares can be distinguished by their origin and purpose. The most common nightmares engage your struggle to grow in character and personality. A few bad dreams deal with specific life fears, and fewer still predict actual tragic events.
1: The Most Common Type of Nightmare
A NIGHTMARE THAT UNVEILS A NEGATIVE CHARACTER TRAIT. Facing an unpleasant truth about yourself is never easy. Everyone glosses over shortcomings like anger, acting stupid, or failing at something, and no one wants to face a weakness. As a result, when a dream holds up a mirror about a trait that does not jive with your “I am great” image, your normal reaction is to say, “That can’t be me.” In colloquial terms, such nightmares expose your blind spots, which is an unpleasant experience for everyone.
For example, a man had a nightmare about a raging bull charging through his grocery store and wondered if the dream was a warning that vandals would soon raid his premises. Since most dreams are about you—the dreamer, he came to see that the bull was a metaphor for his short temper when dealing with employees. Seeing himself as an out-of-control bull was not easy, but the image produced the desired effect. The man softened his attitude and as a result, the atmosphere at the grocery store became more relaxed and as a bonus, his sales improved.
When a nightmare acts as a mirror of a not-so-great trait, it invites you to grow into a better version of yourself. After an initial “ouch,” you realize that the dream is an ally, helping you correct what could cause problems down the road.
2: A Scary Dream That You Meet Less Often
FRIGHTENING DREAMS THAT PORTRAY ACTUAL, SPECIFIC FEARS. One of the functions of dreaming is to process your emotions. When a fear gets out of hand, a nightmare that relates to that fear is the equivalent of a pressure cooker’s safety valve that allows the hot steam to escape. In this case, the experience of having the nightmare, in and of itself, becomes an outlet for your exploding feelings.
Acting like an emotional digestion system, fear-processing nightmares let you experience a fear as an external picture that your mind can examine and label. A “see it, name it, and label it” nightmare helps you digest your fear, and as a result, whatever tied you up in knots begins to unravel. Such nightmares handle actual fears, one piece at a time, until they disappear. You may encounter a sequence of nightmares during a time of enormous challenge such as a divorce or the sudden loss of a loved one. Then one day, a morning arrives when you feel a sense of peace. You do not know why you feel better, but you know you have turned a corner. Your dream digestion system—that you experienced as nightmares—has done its work.
Nightmares that deal with true fears come with a bonus. A bad dream that relates to a painful issue can include an insight about how to handle what frightens you. A woman kept dreaming of a terrified young girl who walks to the edge of a murky black pond in the middle of the night. As she is about to fall into the deep black water, she sees a light in the distance and becomes aware that the light can lead her to safety. Upon discussion, those images brought back memories of the dreamer’s terror of being raped as a young girl. The light in the distance made her realize that she could resolve the unexpressed pain that had been festering for years. Thanks to the dream’s metaphor of a distant light as a place of safety, the dreamer became aware that she needed a counselor who could help her confront the emotional leftovers of her childhood trauma.
3: Actual Warnings—A Rare Type of Frightening Dream
FRIGHTENING DREAMS AS TRUE WARNINGS. Most scary dreams are stress-related, a few may tussle with your actual fears, while a miniscule percent can be actual warnings about something dire. Nightmares can warn you about the possibility of a real tragedy that may involve death, serious illness, or a natural disaster—whether in your life, someone around you, or in your community. Or sometimes they are warnings about less serious matters.
LESS URGENT, YET TRUE WARNING DREAMS. Before examining frightening dreams that are dire warnings, let’s take a look at dreams that address issues which are not life threatening, yet still urgent. For example, a dream may give you a heads up about how your words hurtfully impacted another’s feelings that you missed, and as a painful issue, it becomes cloaked in scary images. Or, a dream may point out what will happen if you keep eating three desserts a day; seeing what you look like in a dream, with an extra fifty pounds on you, can be pretty scary. Or, a frightening dream may point out a topic such as an unpleasant relationship, that you have put on hold, which now needs attention. Because these less urgent issues deal with topics that make you anxious, the warning dream can still be experienced as a nightmare. Such not-so-dire warning dreams touch upon intense topics that are not life threatening, but can still intensely shake you up.
DREAM EXAMPLE: A FRIGHTENING DREAM ABOUT A NORMAL ISSUE—MY DAUGHTER IS IN A CAR CRASH. A mother dreamed that her daughter was in a car crash, and from a distance, she watched as her child was taken to the hospital. Afterward, a doctor announced that her daughter was okay. The dream felt so intense that the mother woke up terrified, fearing for her daughter’s safety. The mother brought up her dream at a conference. A conversation brought out how, at the time of the dream, her only daughter announced that she was about to relocate because her new husband had been transferred to a job a thousand miles away. Since mom and daughter had never lived more than a few streets apart, the mother experienced a nightmare that registered her shock and distress at the news. Nothing terrible had happened. The nightmare simply registered the mother’s reaction to the sudden, unexpected news of being separated from her daughter.
A TRUE WARNING NIGHTMARE ABOUT A POTENTIAL TRAGEDY. Though extremely rare, a nightmare can be a warning about an actual tragedy as a type of ESP dream, as in the following example.
DREAM EXAMPLE: A NIGHTMARE AS A TRUE WARNING—MY DAUGHTER IS IN A CAR CRASH. Another mother had several dreams that showed her only teenage daughter getting into a car with friends, then seeing the car in a deadly crash. Each time she had the dream, she debated whether to talk to her daughter about safe driving with her teenage friends but decided against it. Sadly, the repetitive dreams turned out to be an actual warning and she lost her only daughter. Meeting this woman at a seminar, I marveled at the grace with which the mother had resolved to learn about dreams, and to use future warnings for herself and loved ones. That took great courage.
Only the divine hand can know whether a tragedy foreshadowed in a dream can be averted. However, no matter how a predicted event turns out, such actual warning nightmares serve a constructive purpose. On the one hand, they give a dreamer time to build up their strength and cushion the shock of the actual event, if it comes about. On the other hand, according to stories exchanged in dream circles, such warning dreams can, at times, avert the real danger.
True dream warnings about dire events are extremely rare. They have noticeable features like repetition, intense emotions and literal details.
For more examples of nightmares and frightening dreams of every kind, have a look at the e-library of dreams at InterpretADream.com which is searchable by keyword.... A Little Bit Of Dreams
MYSTIC EVENTS HAPPEN MORE FREQUENTLY DURING SLEEP. Mystic and spiritual experiences tend to occur at night for several reasons. First, logic is placed on hold as you sleep, allowing the mind and soul to explore deeper depths and recesses of awareness. Second, there are no demands, no need for food or drink, and no enticements from electronic toys. As you drift into a peaceful sleep, your unfettered spirit is free to confer with the soul and explore what else is out there. Can anyone prove that mystical events take place during sleep? No, but dream enthusiasts regularly record fascinating examples, like the following.
DIVINE GRACES OFTEN HAPPEN DURING SLEEP. Some dreams are not dreams; they are experiences of divine grace. Whether you actively seek a blessing or it arrives as an unexpected gift, the divine hand at times sprinkles love, healing, and transformation as you sleep. As the New Testament bible phrase goes, “Seek and you will find, ask and you will receive.” One way to recognize a dream that is a sprinkle of divine love is by the results. The dream brings a jolt of energy that leaves no doubt you have been touched by amazing grace. You feel a combination of shock, upliftment, joy, and transformation, though a precise description is beyond words, say those who have had this experience.
DREAM EXAMPLE 1 OF DIVINE GRACE IN A DREAM: CALL IF YOU NEED ME. A young woman drew on her deep faith as she struggled through a difficult job situation. Focusing on her work, she tried to keep a good attitude despite the constant bickering among her coworkers. However, by evening, she often collapsed into tears. One night she dreamed that she was flying through the air on a carpet. As a soft evening breeze flowed through her hair, the carpet landed on a mountaintop. A beam of light appeared from the sky, revealing a phone number in gold letters, one at time, with the numbers 777-7777. As each seven appeared, she was zapped with energy and joy. She felt as though her cup of love was overflowing, and then she woke with a start.
Recognizing seven as a mystical number in many traditions, she knew that God had smiled on her efforts to remain positive in a difficult situation. From that day forward, she sailed through her work days, shrugging off the discord. To her astonishment, within six months the troublemakers had left and were replaced by new associates who had kind and positive personalities. The unseen hand not only bestowed a healing grace on her, in a dream, but its effects also spilled over into her life, transforming a difficult workplace into a pleasant environment.
DREAM EXAMPLE 2 OF DIVINE GRACE IN A DREAM: JUST ASK. Over a one-year period, a man fervently sought to renew his spiritual path and experienced several dreams of amazing grace. These divine zaps encouraged yet shocked him, leading him to wonder if his night-time experiences were a fluke or could happen to anyone. One night, he prayed, “God, if someone seeks your favor, do you always respond? Are you really there?” That night a booming voice answered in a dream, “If you or anyone wants my help, you just need to ask.” Like a strong wind that makes its presence felt, the message left him uplifted and joyous beyond words.
The Great Spirit had answered his question, leaving no doubt that God invites anyone to communicate and to ask for what they need. Such graces are often remembered as dreams. Some dreamers recount a direct physical healing; others speak of emotional healing in a dream as an answer to their prayers. Dreamers with these experiences describe feeling embraced by a divine love so strong that their lives are permanently altered. Most have a hard time finding words for their experience. However, all agree that there is an astonishing healing effect of the “love that surpasses all understanding” which they experienced, and say that it does not dim with time.
NIGHT MEETINGS WITH THOSE WHO HAVE PASSED ON. Loved ones who have died often appear in the dreams of family members and friends. The body of the deceased loved one often appears younger, whole, and full of life. Some say hello, others simply smile. Such nocturnal contacts hint that life is eternal. The encounters feel real and bring joy and consolation to the dreamer.
If your heart remains connected to a deceased loved one, they may say hello in a dream communication soon after passing or sometimes, years later. Such a visit by a deceased love one is remembered as a dream and may be a response to your feelings of loss. The person visits to assure you they are still alive in eternity, and in spirit. Such across-the-veil meetings are consistent with teachings about heaven and the afterlife that most religions mention but do not describe in detail.
Many believe the next realm of life is not far away in time or space, which allows loved ones who have passed on, to drop by. Mystics suggest that a bond of love makes it natural for a departed loved one to touch base from time to time, and bridging the gap between from afterlife to the dreamer is easiest during sleep.
DREAM EXAMPLE OF A CONTACT WITH A DECEASED LOVED ONE: TREAT HER RIGHT. Most dream visits by the dearly departed are marked by few words, though on occasion the deceased person may speak up. A striking example came from a father who died suddenly, about two years before his beloved daughter’s wedding. A few weeks before her wedding day, the groom, who had never met her dad, told the bride’s family about a dream that startled him. He described a dark-haired man with high cheek bones who said, firmly, three times, and each time louder than the last, “Take care of my daughter!” By the third time, the young man stammered, “Yes, sir,” in response, in the dream.
The family laughed, recognizing the man in the groom’s dream as the bride’s father who had passed on. The dream brought back fond memories of how protective her dad had been toward his baby girl. Leaping across the veil, her dead father introduced himself to the groom. Though the husband-to-be was a fine young man, he reminded him that he wanted the best for his little girl. When there is love, family ties are eternal.
ASTRAL TRAVEL DURING DREAMS. Mystics claim that the soul can leave the body at night, during sleep, to take short jaunts. The experience is called “astral travel,” also known as astral projection or an “out-of-body” experience. During astral travel, the sleeping body stays put while the soul soars out into the world and beyond, remaining connected to the body via a mystical thin, silver cord. The silver cord allows the soul to find its way back to its sleeping body.
TYPES OF ASTRAL TRAVEL. Anecdotal accounts report astral treks that give glimpses of other heavenly realms. Or, they can be journeys related to near-death experiences whereby a person dies or comes close to dying, visits the afterlife, but revives and lives to relate their experience. Astral travel can also happen during sleep—as a dream that is a mystic experience—remembered as a dream.
ASTRAL TRAVEL DREAMS. Some dreams of soaring down familiar streets at night, high above trees or buildings, may be experiences of astral travel. Ditto for dream scenes of enthusiastic chats with friends or associates that continue conversations that may have begun earlier in the day or renew a friendship, as a chat between friends. Astral travel dreams often depict real streets, people, and places that you recognize, and when you return from such night travels, the body may feel a jolt as it lands.
DREAM EXAMPLE 1 OF ASTRAL TRAVELS: A NIGHT VISIT WITH A FRIEND. A young woman who was concerned about a friend’s health dreamed that she was flying through the air and hurtling over familiar city landmarks during the night. Fully aware of where she was, she soaked up the scene of glowing streetlights and deserted city roads. She arrived at her friend’s home. Watching as the friend slept peacefully, she was assured that her friend was okay; the dreamer had accomplished her mission. She then realized that she had been away from home for a long time and was separated from her body. The awareness made her wake up with a jolt, as if her soul had landed back in to her body with a thud.
DREAM EXAMPLE 2 OF ASTRAL TRAVELS: A NIGHT STUDY SESSION. Teachers with an interest in dreams report dream experiences of “night study sessions.” Such dreams depict conversations with enthusiastic students that are a continuation of a topic that began in class, earlier in the day. The dreams feel real, like experiences of astral travel shared by a group, spurred to gather once again because of a mutual enthusiasm for a topic.
DREAM EXAMPLE 3 OF ASTRAL TRAVELS: JOURNEYS TO DISTANT LANDS. Dreamers report jaunts to distant lands to visit loved ones for a brief soul connection. Such an experience is common among twins separated by distance, or between married couples where one spouse is on deployment in a distant land. Details of conversations that take place during such a night visit may be forgotten, but the intense awareness of the connection they made with a loved one remains.
UNCHARTED TERRITORY. Such examples suggest that astral travel can be initiated by a concern for a loved one, a shared enthusiasm, or a longing for a loved one. Such heart links may initiate astral travels that are remembered as dreams. Mystics have described such experiences for centuries, which leave some to wonder how much we have yet to learn about uncharted soul horizons.... A Little Bit Of Dreams
It is healthy to be able to allow a wide range of dream experience, from the holy to the deeply sexual; from outright aggression to tender love. In fact we gain an idea of the depth and broadness of our own soul—whether or not our psyche is narrow—from the range of dreams we experience.
If obscene dreams assail and worry us again and again, however, then there is a problem in the way we are relating to ourself and the exterior world. Psychotherapeutic counselling might help. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
A DREAM CHARACTER AS A MIRROR: YOU SEE ONLY YOURSELF.
The most common purpose of a dream person is to mirror your own behavior and traits.
DREAM EXAMPLE: MY SISTER BEHAVED BADLY. A woman dreamed of her sister having a temper tantrum. In real life, her sister was capable of a grand explosion or two. The dreamer noted how insensitive her sister appeared in the dream as she spewed venomous words, and she suddenly remembered the verbal mudslinging that she, herself, had engaged in with a co-worker, the previous day. She realized that the dream scene described her, not her sister. Though normally professional and constructive, the previous day she lost her cool and her dream mirrored how she had appeared to coworkers. The dream made her realize that a kind word would have gone much further to resolve the situation than anger. When you see someone behaving badly in a dream, take a breath and fess up. In the end, most of the people that you dream about signify parts of yourself.
TO SEE WHETHER A PERSON IN A DREAM IS A MIRROR OF YOU, PLAY THE “TWO PLUS TWO” GAME
A DREAM PERSON AS A MIRROR OF YOU. “Projection” is a psychological term that describes how easy it is to see—in others—what you hide about yourself. Take the driver on the highway who weaves in and out of lanes, shouting at others about driving too slow or being in the wrong lane. He notices others’ poor driving habits but is blind to his own. That is called projection. Instead of glaring at your own fault, you notice it in others.
Most people hate to admit to shortcomings like having a bad temper, eating or drinking too much, or not living up to their ideals. As you conveniently push away negative images of self in a dream, you let an actor “stand in” for you, to demonstrate the negative behavior that you hide from yourself. To further distance yourself from the flawed person that you don’t want to recognize as really you—the stand-in takes on the appearance of a family member, a friend, or a stranger.
To explore how a dream person can mirror you, try this exercise. It is named the “Two Plus Two” game because you select two qualities and two shortcomings in a main dream character and then explore those traits in yourself. This is how it goes.
1. SELECT A DREAM PERSON.
• Select a prominent dream character who appeared in a recent dream. Choose someone who confused you or stimulated an intense reaction.
• Without thinking too much about it, list two positive traits and two negative traits about the dream person.
• Even if the dream character is a stranger or a well-known person who you do not know, you still have a notion of what they are like from their actions, appearance, and body language. Base your selections on those impressions and your reactions to the dream character.
• If the person is someone you know, list their actual traits that come to mind.
2. COULD THIS BE YOU? After listing the dream character’s positive and negative traits, be bold. Examine the same traits in yourself. See which ones, if any, might apply to you at this time. Keep in mind that a trait may be relevant to you for only a limited time, or relate to you only in a specific situation. For example, you may normally be talkative, yet when troubled, you brood in silence. As a result, even though friends may describe you as chatty, a dream about a quiet person might portray you during a troubled phase.
3. BUT … WHAT IF THE PERSON IS NOT A MIRROR? After taking a good look, if you can sincerely conclude that the dream person’s traits do not match yours, the character may not be a mirror of your traits or actions. Examine the alternative options about what dream characters may represent, as listed below.
DETERMINE WHEN A DREAM CHARACTER IS NOT A MIRROR OF YOU
Most of the time a dream person mirrors your personality and actions. However, there are exceptions. When a dream person does not fit as a mirror, explore these alternatives.
Alternative 1 of a Dream Person Who Is Not a MirrorCHARACTERS MAY BE ACTING OUT A RELATIONSHIP DYNAMIC. Whether a dream relates to your relationship with a boss, an associate, family member, friend, or a love interest, people in dreams sometimes indicate how that relationship is going. Never ignore the story line; the story line is your first indication of who or what the dream is about. How characters behave in the dream plus the story line can unveil hidden motives, show how others see you, and reveal hidden agendas—yours and theirs.
When, in real life, you feel confused about a relationship, look for a dream that may mirror what is going on and shines a spotlight on the situation. A dream about a relationship can advise you how to handle others or invite you to tweak your own attitude or behavior.
Alternative 2 of a Dream Person Who Is Not a Mirror
A DREAM CHARACTER PORTRAYS AN ACTUAL PERSON. Once in a while a dream is truly about someone else. Such a dream may show the person acting and looking as they normally do. Or, it can be a metaphoric scene, but you recognize the topic and the qualities of the dream character as being related to someone else. A literal dream about another puts you in touch with their issues, reveals their talents, or gives insights about your role in their life. A woman who dreamed that a friend was contemplating suicide made a quick phone call. Thanks to the heads-up, the dreamer steered the friend back onto a positive track.
Alternative 3 of a Dream Person Who Is Not a MirrorA DREAM CHARACTER GIVES DIRECT AND CLEAR GUIDANCE. A man or woman in a dream may at times directly present the information that you need, such as a family member pointing out where you misplaced a lost object or a mechanic working on a car part that needs to be replaced in your car. When that happens, no interpretation is necessary. Sometimes only the thought is implied, yet even if no words are spoken, the dreamer knows the intent. Whether words are spoken, thoughts implied, or a dream character demonstrates the information visually, the guidance can be direct and clear.... A Little Bit Of Dreams
Our identity is given to us by the humans who raise us. This sense of self arises because we are treated as if we were a self. This, with language, is the creative matrix of our self awareness.
The giving of a name is therefore a miracle which acts as a nucleus around which the many mental connections can be made which form our self image. Perhaps this is why giving the name in baptism is seen as a holy rite in Christianity.
Our conscious personality can live without ever becoming aware of its connections with other lives except as it meets them in everyday affairs. That its existence has depended upon what was given by countless other lives—that humans constantly create each other, consciously and unconsciously, through the dynamic flux of communication—might never be realised. That one’s own life is also a part of this creative process, this sea of living consciousness, might never be known. Nevertheless, each individual life constantly takes pan in the collective, negatively or positively. This is not a mystical thing, but is plainly observable. From the point of view of dreams, if our life has given nothing in deed, in love, in rearing of children, in ideas or art, or in common humanity, we are dead—during life and afterwards. Giving and receiving, kinship and symbiosis, growth and decay are the fundamentals of the living process according to dreams.
At death, we face a very real end, a real death. There is no magical escape from this. All that we have been, all we have become, all we gathered and won is lost—finished. But the paradox occurs again. Dreams suggest that out of all we gave of ourself, out of all we received from the being of others, we are recreated in a realm of consciousness. This may mean that we continue as living influences in the lives of those who still live. But the suggestion is that something more than this occurs. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Ace of Hearts: Love and happiness; a particularly favorable card that indicates troubles lifting.
King of Hearts: A fair-haired man with a good nature; or a man with water signs predominating in his chart; fair, helpful advice. Affectionate, caring man. This man helps you out without much talk; his actions reveal his kindness and concern.
Queen of Hearts: A fair-haired woman with a good nature; or a woman with water signs predominating in her chart; kind advice. Affectionate, caring woman. This card can sometimes indicate the mother or a mother figure.
Jack of Hearts: A warm-hearted friend; a fair-haired youth; or a young person with water signs predominating in their chart; often points to a younger admirer.
10 of Hearts: Good luck; success; this is an important card that suggests good fortune after difficulty.
9 of Hearts: The card of wishes; a wish or dream fulfilled.
8 of Hearts: Unexpected gift or visit; an invitation to a party.
7 of Hearts: Someone whose interest in you is unreliable; someone with fickle affections for you; can indicate lovesickness.
6 of Hearts: A sudden wave of good luck; someone takes care of you or takes a warm interest in you.
5 of Hearts: Jealousy; some ill-will from people around you.
4 of Hearts: Travel; change of home or business.
3 of Hearts: Love and happiness; can also indicate emotional problems and an inability to decide who to love.
2 of Hearts: A warm partnership or engagement; a very favorable card that indicates strength and support coming from a partner.
Ace of Clubs: Wealth, prosperity, unexpected money; can also suggest mismanagement of money.
King of Clubs: Dark-haired, kindhearted man; or a man with fire predominating in his chart; a generous, spirited man.
Queen of Clubs: Dark-haired, confident woman; or a woman with fire predominating in her chart; she may give you good advice.
Jack of Clubs: A dark-haired or fiery youth; a popular youth who is good-hearted and playful; can also indicate an admirer.
10 of Clubs: Business success; good luck with money; a trip taken now may result in a new friend or love interest.
9 of Clubs: Achievement; sometimes a wealthy marriage or sudden windfall.
8 of Clubs: Work or business problems that may have to do with jealousy.
7 of Clubs: Business success, although there may be problems with the opposite sex; a change in business that may have been expected or earned, such as a promotion.
6 of Clubs: Financial aid or success.
5 of Clubs: New friendships or alliances are made.
4 of Clubs: Beware of dishonesty or deceit; avoid blind acceptance of others at this time.
3 of Clubs: Love and happiness; successful marriage; a favorable long-term proposition; a second chance, often in an economic sense.
2 of Clubs: Obstacles to success; malicious gossip.
Ace of Spades: Misfortune; sometimes associated with a difficult ending.
King of Spades: Dark-haired man; or a man with air predominating in his chart; an ambitious, perhaps self-serving, man.
Queen of Spades: Widowed or divorced woman; a woman with air predominating in her chart.
Jack of Spades: A youth who is demanding or jealous.
10 of Spades: Worry; bad news.
9 of Spades: Misfortune; a personal low.
8 of Spades: Temptation; danger; upsets.
7 of Spades: Advice that is best not taken; loss; there is some obstacle to success, and this indicates that obstacles may be coming from within you.
6 of Spades: Small changes and improvements.
5 of Spades: Opposition and obstacles that are temporary; a blessing in disguise; sometimes indicates a negative or depressed person.
4 of Spades: Small worries; problems; financial difficulties, personal lows.
3 of Spades: Breaks or conflict in relationships.
2 of Spades: Deceit; may also warn against possible infidelity or separation.
Ace of Diamonds: Change; a message, often about money, and usually good news.
King of Diamonds: Fair-haired or graying man; a man with earth predominating in his chart; a man of authority, status, or influence.
Queen of Diamonds: Fair-haired woman; a woman with earth predominating in her chart; a gossip.
Jack of Diamonds: A youth, possibly in uniform; a jealous person who may be unreliable; a person who brings news, generally negative, but relatively minor.
10 of Diamonds: A change in financial status, often for the better.
9 of Diamonds: A new business deal; travel; restlessness; a change of residence.
8 of Diamonds: New job; change in job situation; the young or the old may find love on a trip.
7 of Diamonds: An argument concerning finances or employment, generally expected to be resolved happily.
6 of Diamonds: Relationship problems; arguments; separation.
5 of Diamonds: Happiness and success; a change for the better; a birth, or good news for a child; a good time to start new projects.
4 of Diamonds: Financial upswing; an older person may give good advice.
3 of Diamonds: A legal letter; be tactful with others in order to avoid disputes.
2 of Diamonds: A business partnership; a change in relationship; gossip.... The Element Encyclopedia
In his book Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, 1847-1865, Ward Hill Lamon relates a dream Lincoln had shortly before his death. In the dream, Lincoln heard a group of people mournfully weeping downstairs in the White House, but when he went to investigate, he found no mourners, although their desperate weeping continued. Upon entering the East Room he discovered a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Demanding of one of the soldiers stationed there, ‘Who is dead in the White House?,’ he received the reply, ‘The President. He was killed by an assassin.’ A day before the SS Titanic’s demise, a woman on the infamous ship dreamt of the horrible event that was to occur the next day. She told her husband, who scoffed at her worries and ignored her pleas. However, the dream so affected her that she secretly prepared herself the night before and had all her children sleep in their warm clothes in order to be ready at a moment’s notice. During the night, after the ship struck the iceberg, she and her children were rescued and escaped the sinking ship. Her husband, sadly, went down with more than 1,500 people.
In 1914, one hundred and twenty Newfoundland sealers were abandoned on an ice-floe in the North Atlantic during winter. The incompetence of the ship’s captain, and of other crew members, meant that the missing men were not noticed for two days and two nights. By the time they were rescued, more than half were dead. It was the worst disaster to strike the Newfoundland sealing community in many years. However, the disaster did not come without warning. One of the fiftyfive survivors later told of a dream he had two weeks before the disaster. According to Cassie Brown’s report on the disaster: ‘John Howlet had suffered a chilling nightmare weeks before. In his dream he was on a mountain of ice, lost and freezing. He was alone, terribly and frighteningly alone, but everywhere he wandered there were vague, indefinable “things” on the ice around him—things with no particular shape that he could make out. He found himself walking among those things, unable to find his way, wondering what they were and dreading them. In his dream he was counting, counting, counting…He was still counting the white mounds when he awoke, shivering and terribly depressed.’
Unfortunately, even this dream did not make him avoid joining the crew of the ship, Newfoundland, most of whom would be dead in a matter of days. It was only afterwards he realized that the bodies covered with snow were the white mounds from his dream.
In his autobiography, Jung recounts disturbing dreams and visions in 1913. In one vision he witnessed a monstrous flood covering Germany and realized a catastrophe was in progress. ‘I saw the mighty yellow waves, the floating rubble of civilization, and the drowned bodies of uncounted thousands. Then the whole sea turned to blood.’ Jung said he was perplexed and nauseated, assuming this vision was personal. It was not until World War I broke out a year later that he realized its collective nature. This irrational experience led Jung to conclude that each person’s unconscious possesses not only a personal, but also a collective, dimension.
Probably one of the best-established and most reputable cases of premonitions of disaster comes from the grim events that occurred on 21 October 1966 in Aberfan, Wales. On that day, 116 children and twenty-eight adults were killed when a large mountain of coal collapsed and buried a small section of the town of Aberfan, including an elementary school filled with children. The disaster touched nearly every family in the town and effectively extinguished an entire generation of children. After the disaster, the reports of premonitions began to flood in. The mother of one of the deceased students reported that her ten-year-old child (who died in the disaster) had a dream the night before which foretold the disaster. The child told her mother, ‘I dreamed I went to school and there was no school there.
Something black had come down all over it.’
The reports of precognitive dreams literally came from all over Wales and England. One lady had a nightmare that she suffocated in ‘deep blackness’. Another dreamed of a small child being buried by a large landslide. Another clearly saw a schoolhouse be buried by an avalanche of coal, and rescue workers digging frantically for survivors. Another woke up from a nightmare in which she was being buried alive. On the morning of the disaster, Mrs Sybil Brown woke from a dream in which she saw children being overcome by ‘a black, billowing mass’. Probably the clearest of the premonitions was reported by a man in north-west England who claimed that the night before the disaster he had a dream which consisted only of letters being spelled out in dazzling light: A-B-E-R-F-A-N. At the time, the dream had no meaning to him. Hours later, he would realize with horror what it meant.
An interesting phenomenon occurred in the aftermath of the terrorist plane attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon on 11 September 2001: numerous people came forward with reports of vivid dreams they’d had of these disasters in advance. The dreams were filled with images that later took place: planes crashing into buildings, planes crashing on the ground, tall buildings collapsing, flames shooting out of buildings, people running covered in gray ash, and feelings of panic, mass death and war. These nightmarish dreams were so realistic that many people awoke from them in terror and sweat.
The question most often raised about precognitive disaster dreams is, if so many people dreamed in advance of these disasters, why could nothing have been done to prevent them? The answer is that most people who have precognitive dreams only realize that they have had them after the events the dreams foretold have taken place, and they see how their dreams matched the events. Other dreamers, especially those who have periodic or frequent precognitive dreams, usually do not dream enough specific details to know exactly what is going to happen, where, and when. Some may only have a sense of dread that ‘something terrible’ is going to happen, usually soon. For example, a dream that a tall building is collapsing would not have sparked the immediate connection that terrorists were going to fly planes into the World Trade Center on the morning of 11 September 2001. A dream analyst would more likely interpret the image dream within the context of the dreamer’s life, suggesting that the dream reflected emotional turmoil within the dreamer’s life.... The Element Encyclopedia
A dream that seemingly includes knowledge about the future which cannot be inferred from actually available information is referred to as a precognitive dream. For example, you may dream of your friend being involved in a skiing accident, only to discover a week later that this has actually happened when your friend calls you to say they have broken their leg. Precognitive dreams have been reported throughout history; famous examples are the Pharaoh’s dream of seven fat and seven thin cows, and Bishop Lanyi’s dream of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the event that triggered World War I.
Most studies indicate that women report more precognitive dreams than men, while the frequency of precognitive dreaming declines with age.
Precognitive dreams tend to focus on the possibility of accidents or disaster. Though they are generally considered symbolic of psychological processes, some precognitive dreams and nightmares are intended as guidance or warnings on a very practical level. For example, if you were to dream about the brakes failing on your car, it might help to ponder whether you are figuratively having trouble ‘slowing yourself down’ in your life, however, it also wouldn’t hurt to check the actual brakes on your automobile in waking life. In the great majority of cases dreams about some kind of disaster or the death or murder of yourself or a loved one, warn of current behavior trends, courses of action, or decisions which may soon become detrimental unless you change them. There are however, extremely rare occasions when a dream occurs that does appear to accurately and inexplicably predict a future event; although this event may not always be about an important world event or news item and is more likely to be about normal every day events, such as who you might bump into on the way to work. How and why this occurs is unknown but if it does occur it could indicate potential psychic or clairvoyant ability in the dreamer.... The Element Encyclopedia
The dreamer unravels the meaning of the dream by acting it out with the help of others.
The dreamer acts the main role of him or herself, and directs the helpers in the other roles. In dramatising and exploring the dream in this way, the obvious as well as the hidden meaning, associations and emotions are made clear.
To finish, the dreamer is encouraged to take the dream forward, altering it to what feels more adequate and satisfying. This gives the person opportunity to express and enact what was absent in the dream, and provides release from recurring dreams, and catharsis where necessary. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
REASON 1: A NON-MYSTERIOUS EXPLANATION OF ESP IN DREAMS. In my experience, most dreams that relate to the future are “best guesses” about a question or a decision that is on your mind. Since the future is built on today’s decisions, one way to think about ESP in dreams is that your dreams have the ability to reveal what path your current decisions are taking. For example, suppose you throw a ball down a hill. It is easy to guess whether the ball will hit a shrub, bounce on a boulder, or land in the stream. In the same way, your psyche, the part of your mind that is aware of all your decisions, lines up at the top of the hill and makes a best guess about where your decisions are heading. Such a best guess is accurate—if and only if—you remain on your current course.
REASON 2: FATE AND THE DIVINE HAND. A less common type of ESP dream emerges from the soul or from the divine hand. This form of ESP dream sends shivers up your spine because it defies logic as it predicts what is beyond. J. B. Rhine, a modern researcher of paranormal phenomena, logged a famous example. He described how, years ago, a handful of children in a Welsh mining village pre-dreamed that their school would collapse under an avalanche. Several days later, the event happened.
REASON 3: YOU PRE-DREAM EVERYTHING OF IMPORTANCE. In the same vein, Virginia Beach’s famed mystic, Edgar Cayce, suggested that you pre-dream everything of importance that happens to you. Such dreams about the future that your soul portrays, may best be explained by what Shakespeare’s Hamlet said to Horatio: “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” Some things are yet beyond our ken.... A Little Bit Of Dreams
A cenain theme may have begun in childhood and continued throughout our life—either without change, or as a gradually changing series of dreams. It might be that the feature which recurs is a setting, perhaps a house we visit again and again, but the details differ. Sometimes a senes of such dreams begin after or dunng a particular event or phase of our life, such as puberty or marriage.
Example: ‘This dream has recurred over 30 years. There is a railway station, remote in a rural area, a central waiting room with platform going round all sides. On the platform mill hundreds of people, all men I think. They are all ragged, thin, dirty and unshaven. I know I am among them. I looked up at the mountainside and there is a guard watching us. He is cruel looking, oriental, in green fatigues. On his peaked cap is a red star. He carries a machine gun. Then I looked at the men around me and I realise they are all me. Each one has my face. I am looking at myself. Then I feel fear and terror (Anon.).
The theme of the dream can incorporate anxious emotions, such as the above example, or any aspect of experience. One woman, an epileptic, reports a dream which is the same in every detail and occurs every night. In general such dreams recur because there are ways the dreamer habitually responds to their internal or external world. Because their attitude or response is unchanging, the dream which reflects it remains the same.
It is noticeable in those who explore their dreams using such techniques as described under dream processing that recurring themes disappear or change because the attitudes or habitual anxieties which gave rise to them have been met or transformed.
A recurring environment in a dream where the other factors change is not the same. We use the same words over and over in speech, yet each sentence may be different.
The environment or character represents a particular aspect of oneself, but the different events which surround it show it in the changing process of our psychological growth. Where there is no such change, as in the examples above, it suggests an area of our mental emotional self is stuck in a habitual feeling state or response.
Some recurring dreams can be ‘stopped’ by simply receiving information about them. One woman dreamt the same dream from childhood. She was walking past railings in the town she lived in as a child. She always woke in dread and perspiration from this dream. At 40 she told her sister about it.
The response was ‘Oh, that’s simple. Don’t you remember that when you were about four we were walking past those railings and we were set on by a bunch of boys. Then I said to them, ‘Don’t hurt us, our mother’s dead!” They left us alone, but you should have seen the look on your face.’ After realising the dread was connected with the loss of her mother, the dream never recurred. Another woman who repeatedly dreamt of being in a tight and frightening place, found the dream never returned after she had connected it to being in the womb.
Recurring dreams, such as that of the railings, suggest that pan of the process underlying dreams is a self regulatory (homocostatic) one.
The dream process tries to present troublesome emotions or situations to the conscious mind of the dreamer to resolve the trauma or difficulty underlying the dream.
An obvious example of this is seen in the recurring nightmare of a young woman who felt a piece of cloth touch her face, and repeatedly woke her family with her screams. Her brother, tiring of this, one night woke her from her screams and made her talk about her feelings. His persistence gradually revealed that she associated the cloth with the burial shroud of her grandmother. This brought to the surface grief and feelings about death she had never allowed herself to feel before.
The nightmare never returned. See nightmares; dream processing. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
• If a dream continues to repeat itself, it is worth exploring it’s meaning as it needs your conscious understanding and action in order to resolve something in your emotional make-up.
• Recurring dreams can be a trauma relieving response to the original event that triggered them.... The Premier in Dream Dictionary
Although the following dreams can occur at any stage of your life, you may find that the focus of your relationship dreams shifts during your lifespan. In your teenage years, dream scenarios in which you are suddenly thrown together with someone to whom you are attracted are very common. The goal of the dream is to help you determine if someone is or is not interested in you in waking life. By the mid-twenties, however, relationship dreams move beyond initial attraction and begin to explore who is or is not right for us. This is the time when strangers, celebrities and friends tend to appear as dream lovers and partners. You may find the images shocking but it is important to bear in mind that the images are unlikely to represent the real person and more likely to represent qualities that you are evaluating.
During your thirties and forties, romantic dreams focus on explanations for why relationships may have disappointed in the past and offer dreams that can show you what to go after or avoid in the future. Dreams in which your current partner or lover is unfaithful are extremely common at this time; it is as if your dreaming mind is urging you to pay attention to your relationship, and secure or safeguard what you have.
During your fifties and sixties, dreams shift their focus onto things you have learned to value in your life. Past and present partners become shorthand symbols for the quality or experience you had with them. For example, your first lover represents passion and excitement or the partner who was unfaithful represents someone who cannot be trusted. Although you may dream of people from your past, your dreaming mind is using them as symbols to refer to your current relationships. From your seventies onwards, dreams are more likely to zoom in on the very nature of love itself to help you gain a deeper understanding of love and affairs of the heart.... The Element Encyclopedia
At its most fundamental, the human religious sense emerges out of several factors. One is the awareness of existing amidst external and internal forces of nature which cause us to feel vulnerable and perhaps powerless. Such natural processes as illness, death, growth and decay, earthquakes, the seasons, confront us with things which are often beyond our ability to control. Considenng the information and resources of the times, one of religion’s main functions in the past was the attempted control of the ‘uncertain’ factors in human life, and help towards psychological adjustment to valine rability. Religions were the first social programmes aiding the human need for help and support towards emotional, mental, physical and social health and maturity. Even if primitive, such programmes helped groups of people to gain a common identity and live in reasonable harmony together. Like a computer program which is specific to a particular business, such programmes were specific to a particular group, and so are outdated in today’s need for greater integration with other races. Religions also offered some sort of concept of and connection with the roots of being.
Example: ‘For two nights running I have dreamt the same nightmare. I am in a chapel walking down the first flight of several flights of steps when I hear loud noises behind me. I am told to run, being warned of the soldiers who ride the cavalry horses nght down the steps, and who run you over if you are in their way.
The horses are fierce and they absolutely race down the steps at the same time every day, and you literally have to lock yourself away in a nearby room which is a long way down the chapel. I ran into the room hearing the pounding of the horses’ hooves. It was a terrible pandemonium in that chapel. In the room were school children the same age as me and some perhaps younger’ (Maria H). Maria, who is 16, in describing her dream says she had recently been confronted with whether to have a sexual relationship with her boyfriend. Religion, represented by the chapel, is Maria’s way of locking out her powerful sexual urges. Many dreams show that religion, as a set of beliefs, is used as a way of avoiding anxiety in the face of life’s uncertainties.
For many people, the rigid belief system helps them to avoid uncertainty in making decisions.
Dreams also portray and define the aspect of human experience in which we sense a kinship with all life forms. This is the side of spiritual expenence through which we find a connection with the roots of our being. While awake we might see the birth of a colt and feel the wonder of emergence and newness; the struggle to stand up and survive, the miracle of physical and sexual power which can be accepted or feared. In looking in the faces of fellow men and women we see something of what they have done in this strange and painful wonder we call life. We see whether they have been crushed by the forces confronting them; whether they have become ngid; or whether, through some common miracle, they have been able to carry into their mature years the laughter, the crying, the joy, the ability to feel pain, that are the very signs of life within the human soul. These things are sensed by us all, but seldom organised into a comprehensive view of life, and an extraction of meaning. Often it is only in our dreams, through the ability the unconscious has to draw out the significance of such widely divergent expenences, that we glimpse the unity behind phenomena which is an essential of spiritual life, i.e. we all have a life, we breathe, we have come from a mother, so share a universal experience.
Example: To quote J.B. Priestley from his book Rain Upon Godshill: ‘Just before I went to Amenca, dunng the exhausting weeks when I was busy with my Time Plays, I had such a dream, and I think it left a greater impression on my mind than any experience I had ever known before, awake or in dreams, and said more to me about this life than any book I have ever read.
The setting of the dream was quite simple, and owed something to the fact that not long before my wife had visiied the lighthouse here at St Catherine’s to do some bird ringing. I dreamt I was standing at the top of a very high tower, alone, looking down upon myriads of birds all flying in one direction; every kind of bird was there, all the birds in the world. It was a noble sight, this vast aerial river of birds. But now in some mysterious fashion the gear was changed, and time speeded up, so that I saw generations of birds, watched them break their shells, flutter into life, mate, weaken, falter and die. Wings grew only to crumble; bodies were sleek, and then, in a flash bled and shrivelled; and death struck everywhere at every second. What was the use of all this blind struggle towards life, this eager trying of wings, this hurried mating, this flight and surge, all this gigantic meaningless effort? As I stared down, seeming to see every creature’s ignoble little history almost at a glance, I felt sick at heart. It would be better if not one of them, if not one of us, had been bom, if the struggle ceased for ever. I stood on my tower, still alone, desperately unhappy. But now the gear was changed again, and the time went faster still, and it was rushing by at such a rate, that the birds could not show any movement, but were like an enormous plain sown with feathers. But along this plain, flickering through the bodies themselves, there now passed a sort of white flame, trembling, dancing, then hurrying on; and as soon as I saw it I knew that this white flame was life itself, the very quintessence of being; and then it came to me, in a rocket burst of ecstasy, that nothing mattered, nothing could ever matter, because nothing else was real but this quivering and hurrying lambency of being. Birds, men and creatures not yet shaped and coloured, all were of no account except so far as this flame of life travelled through them. It left nothing to mourn over behind it, what I had thought was tragedy was mere emptiness or a shadow show; for now all real feeling was caught and purified and danced on ecstatically with the white flame of life. I had never before felt such deep happiness as I knew at the end of my dream of the tower and the birds.’
Some Nonh American Indians developed the totem out of similar processes. In one generation a person might learn to plant a seed and eat the results. Later someone might see that through fertilisation more food was produced. Still later someone found that by irrigating, still more improvement was made. No one individual was responsible for such vital cultural information, and the collective information is bigger than any one person, yet individuals can partake of it and add to it.
The totem represented such subtle realities, as it might in a modem dream; as Christ might in today’s unconscious. That older cultures venerated their collective information, and that modem humans seem largely apathetic to it, shows how our ‘religion’ has degenerated. Yet utilising the power of the unconscious to portray the subtle influences which impinge upon us, and building the information gained into our response to life, is deeply important.
With the growth of authoritarian structures in western religion, and the dominance of the rational mind over feeling values, dreams have been pushed into the background. With this change has developed the sense that visionary dreams were something which ‘superstitious* cultural groups had in the past. Yet thoroughly modem men and women still meet Christ powerfully in dreams and visions. Christ still appears to them as a living being.
The transcendental, the collective or universal enters their life just as frequently as ever before. Sometimes it enters with insistence and power, because a too rational mind has led to an unbalance in the psyche—a balance in which the waking and rational individuality is one pole, and the feeling, connective awareness of the unconscious is the other.
Although it is tempting to think of the transcendent as ethereal or unreal, the religious in dreams is nearly always a symbol for the major processes of maturing in human life. We are the hero/ine who meets the dangers of life outside the womb, who faces growth, ageing and death.
The awe and deep emotions we unconsciously feel about such heroic deeds are depicted by religious emotion.
See angel; Christ, rebirth and Devil under archetypes; church; evil; fish, sea creatures; example in whale under fish, sea creatures; heaven, hell; sweets under food; dream as spiritual guide. See also hero/ine; mass; masturbation; old; paralysis; colours; sheep under animals. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
There are many different reasons why dreams may be forgotten.
The most obvious is that we do not give enough attention to our dreaming process. When people become intrigued by what they might be dreaming, and develop a motivation to remember, they frequently start recalling several dreams a week. From this standpoint, the reason why some people have always remembered might be that they have always been either intrigued or anxious about their nightly dramas.
The way we rise in the morning has an effect upon this type of memory.
If our attention is immediately turned outwards on waking, there is little hope of recalling a dream unless it has great power, as might a nightmare. Spending a few moments leaving our mind open to memory aids recall. Any visual, or even muscular activity, will fill consciousness with new and powerful impressions which might obliterate the subtler impressions of dreaming. Rorschach suggested not opening the eyes, and remaining physically still. Tests also showed that passage of time, even a few minutes, between dreaming and attempting to remember causes many dreams to fragment and be lost. So any attempts to remember need one to record the dream quickly, by speaking it to one’s bedmate, using a tape recorder by one’s bed, or writing it down.
Some dreams have rather misty or fragmentary imagery and theme, while others are clear, concise and dynamic. These latter are more easily remembered. There may be times when we sleep with longer periods of wakefulness, perhaps due to feeling cold, or uncomfonable in a strange bed, which cause us to remember as we are nearer consciousness. Because dreams occur in cycles during the night, if something wakes us during a dream cycle the memory is easier, if only because less time has elapsed since occurrence. So another method of captunng a dream is to have one’s alarm gently sound prior to the time one usually wakes.
The last hour or so of sleep includes a long period of dreaming, so waking in this period with intent to remember can often capture the quarry.
Thereare also psychological reasons for forgetfulness. Dreams often deal with past areas of experience which we do not wish to remember, or would rather not be aware of.
If we find it difficult to feel emotions, or feel uncomfonable with them, it is highly likely we repress dream memory, as dreams have a base of high feelings. Experiments have shown that during dreaming our heartbeat, body movements and breathing frequently reflect intensified emotions. Also, research into what areas of the brain produce dreaming suggest that dreams may be from the ‘visceral brain’, which is largely non verbal.
If temperamentally we find feeling qualities a foreign language, connecting with a dream would need to be a learnt skill. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The next leap forward in understanding came when Aserinsky and Kleitman found rapid eye movements (REM) in 1953. In 1957 the REM were linked with dreaming. This defined sleep into two different observable states, REM sleep, and NREM (non-rapid eye movement or non-rem) sleep. Within NREM three different stages have been identified. These are defined by the different EEG patterns of electrical activity in the brain. They are measured by the height (amplitude) of the brain waves and frequency of up and down movement. There are also electrical changes occurring in the muscles (measured using an electro- myograph or EMG), and in movement of the eyeballs (measured using an electro-oculograph or EOG).
While awake the height is low and frequency fast. As we relax prior to sleep the EEG shifts to what are called alpha waves, at 8 to 12 cps (cycles per second). Stage one of sleep is the transition between this drowsy state of alpha waves to sleeping, in which theta waves occur, at 3 to 7 cps. In this first stage we experience random images and thoughts. This lasts about 10 minutes, followed by stage two, in which ‘sleep spindles’ occur which have 12 to 14 cps on the EEG. These last from 1/2 to 2 seconds, with K complexes following, which are slow large EEG waves. About half our sleep period is spent in this second stage of sleep. Deep sleep is reached when our brain exhibits delta waves, with 1/2 to 2 cps.
After approximately an hour and a half from falling into deep sleep, an exciting change occurs. We return to level two and REM occur. Suddenly the brain is alert and active, though the person is asleep and difficult to wake. This level has been called paradoxical sleep because of this fact. Voluntary muscular activity is suppressed and the body is essentially paralysed. Morrison has pointed out that, although the brain is transmitting full muscular activity messages, these are usually suppressed by an area of the brain in the pons. But bursts of short actions occur, such as rapid eyeball jerks, twitches of the muscles, changes in the size of the pupil, contractions in the middle ear, and erection of the penis. It may be that similar excitation occurs in the vagina. Also, autonomic storms’ occur dunng which large erratic changes occur in heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate and in other autonomic nervous system functions. These are the changes accompanying our dreams.
If we slept for eight hours, a typical pattern would be to pass into delta sleep, stay there for about 70 to 90 minutes, then return to stage two and dream for about five minutes. We then move back into delta sleep, stay for a short period and shift back to level two, but without dreaming, then back into level three.
The next return to stage two is longer, almost an hour, with a period of dreaming lasting about 19 minutes, and also a short period of return to waking. There is only one short period of return to stage three sleep which occurs nearly four hours after falling asleep. From there on we remain in level two sleep, with three or four lengthening periods of dreaming, and returns to brief wakefulness.
The average amount of body shifting is once every 15 minutes.
1- In undergoing 205 hours of sleep deprivation, four healthy males showed various physiological and psychological changes. Some of these were headache, lack of concentration, hallucination, memory loss, tremor and, in some, paranoia. In all cases one night’s sleep restored normal functioning.
2- One in ten people who complain of excessive daytime drowsiness suffer from sleep apnoea, which is a stoppage of breathing while asleep.
3- A condition called narcolepsy causes sufferers to fall asleep at inappropriate times—while making love, walking, playing tennis, working.
4- As we age we usually sleep less. Our REM sleep in particular decreases sharply. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Freud believed every dream is a wish fulfillment, and he kept this theory to the end, even though he gave up his initial idea that all dreams have a sexual content.
For Freud, the concept of wish fulfillment didn’t necessarily imply that a pleasure was sought, because a person could just as well have a wish to be punished. Nevertheless, this idea of a “secret” wish being masked by a dream remains central to classical Freudian psychoanalysis.
Freud said, “Dreams are not comparable to the spontaneous sounds made by a musical instrument struck rather by some external force than by the hand of a performer; they are not meaningless, not absurd, they do not imply that one portion of our stockpile of ideas sleeps while another begins to awaken. They are a completely valid psychological phenomenon, specifically the fulfillment of wishes; they can be classified in the continuity of comprehensible waking mental states; they are constructed through highly complicated intellectual activity.”
It was not until Freud noticed how allowing his patients to freely associate ideas with whatever came to mind, that he really explored spontaneous abreaction. Freud himself suffered bouts of deep anxiety, and it was partly this that led him to explore the connection between association of ideas and dreams. In 1897 he wrote to his friend Wilhelm Fliess:
‘No matter what I start with, I always find myself back again with the neuroses and the psychical apparatus. Inside me there is a seething ferment, and I am only waiting for the next surge forward. I have felt impelled to start writing about dreams, with which I feel on firm ground.’
This move toward dreams may have come about because in allowing his patients freedom to talk and explore the associations that arose - free association - Freud noticed that patients would often find a connection between the direction of their associations and a dream they had experienced. The more he allowed his patients to go in their own direction, the more frequently they mentioned their dreams. Also, talking about the dream often enabled the patient to discover a new and productive chain of associations and memories.
Freud began to take note of his own dreams and explore the associations they aroused. In doing so he was the first person to consciously and consistently explore a dream into its depths through uncovering and following obvious and hidden associations and emotions connected with the dream imagery and drama.
Obviously previous dream researchers had noticed how the dream image associated with personal concerns, but Freud broke through into seeing the connection with sexual feelings, with early childhood trauma, and with the subtleties of the human psyche. He did this to deal with his own neurosis, and he says of this period, ‘I have been through some kind of neurotic experience, with odd states of mind not intelligible to consciousness, cloudy thoughts and veiled doubts, with barely here and there a ray of light.’
Using dreams for his self analysis, Freud discovered that previously unremembered details from his childhood were recaptured along with feelings and states of mind which he had never met before.
He wrote of this period, “Some sad secrets of life are being traced back to their first roots; the humble origins of much pride and precedence are being laid bare. I am now experiencing myself all the things that, as a third party, Ihave witnessed going on in my patients, days when I slink about depressed because I have understood nothing of the day’s dreams, fantasies, or mood.”
Without this powerful and personal experience of working with his dreams, meeting emotions and fantasies welling up from the unconscious, Freud would not have so passionately believed in his theories regarding dreams and the unconscious.
Of course, like much of Freud’s theories, he related dreams to sex. One of his basic views of dreams was that the purpose of dreams is to allow us to satisfy in fantasies the instinctual urges that society judges unacceptable such as sexual practices. This was partly the reason for the enormous opposition and criticism that he met.
During the period of his early life, only men were believed to have powerful sexual urges. When Freud showed that repressed but obvious sexual desires were equally at work in women this created a social uproar. Perhaps his second finding in regard to sexuality surprised even him. During his analysis of women patients, sexual advance or assault by the woman’s father was often revealed.
Freud struggled with this, wondering whether the assault was memory of an actual event, or a psychic reproduction of it. He eventually came to the conclusion that hysterical and neurotic behavior was often due to the trauma caused by an early sexual assault by the parent. Where there was not evidence of physical assault, then he saw the neurosis as due to sexual conflict or a trauma caused by some other event. This conflict was often manifested through dreams. This led to Freud being rejected by university colleagues, fellow doctors, and even by patients.
Another expert in the field of dreams and dream interpretation was Carl Jung.... Dreampedia
Why do I dream of being intimate with people to whom I’m not attracted? There are several reasons for this.
If you honestly don’t find the person attractive in waking life, they may represent a quality or characteristic that is closely linked to a quality you are exploring or discovering within yourself.
If the partner is particularly unsavory, your dreaming mind may be encouraging you to say no to things that are not right for you.
Are dreams of my partner’s infidelity a warning sign? In some cases, yes, but in the majority of cases such dramas are metaphors for some kind of emotional abandonment or neglect; perhaps your loved one is showing more attention to the children—or to their job or hobbies—than to you.
Do repeated dreams of my first love mean I have not got over him or her? Your first love tends to be a symbol of romantic love in dreams but when they appear in your dreams, it is likely that your dreaming mind is using them as an emblem of love to help you work through your current relationship issues. In most cases, your dreaming mind is focused on current issues.
What do dreams of being back with my ex mean? Dreaming about your ex does not mean you want to be with them. Unless you are convinced that your latest ex is the ’one’, your dreaming mind is using them as an actor to represent your love interest. In most cases, such dreams suggest that you are going over old issues or relationship patterns, and that your dreaming mind is using such images to help you heal and move on to a more positive future. When any relationship breaks down, your dreaming mind will delve into memories, fears and hopes to help you unravel mysteries and gain understanding about what makes real love work. Your inner mind is constantly sorting through what works and what doesn’t work in a relationship, and it will refer back to past relationships to compare strengths and weaknesses and try to make sense of things.
If I have a perfect dream romance, does this mean the perfect partner will appear in my life? In you are single and you have a perfect romantic and sexual dream, this could be wish-fulfillment but it could also be your dreaming mind’s way of reminding you that love and passion are still out there and you should open yourself up to the possibility of romance.
If I have a bizarre or distressing dream about sex, does this mean I’m weird? Don’t interpret your dreaming according to how you judge it when you are awake, and try not to feel guilty. Instead, try to understand the dream and remind yourself that your dreaming mind will use sexual images—even graphic or shocking ones—as metaphors or opportunities to learn about yourself.... Common Dreams
The more you focus on the spiritual aspects of your waking life, the more likely it is that you will have a mystical, visionary or spiritual dream. The Tibetan dream yoga tradition, in common with other Eastern practices, encourages daily meditation and other self- awareness rituals to help clear the mind so that you may be open to receiving spiritual dreams during sleep.
Spiritual dreams are often categorized in several ways: Numinous dreams are dreams in which you can achieve practically anything, since you possess‘numen’, or divine power. Transpersonal dreams are those in which you go beyond personal concerns into a concern for the needs of all humanity. Transcendent and spiritual dreams are those in which you make contact with higher or divine knowledge; in such dreams, you might interact with angels, spirits, gurus or other divine messengers and learn profound lessons about ultimate human values, such as compassion, courage and selfdiscipline.
Scrooge’s dream in A Christmas Carol is a classic example of a spiritual dream. As was the case with Scrooge, a spiritual dream leaves you feeling inspired, motivated, filled with hope and at peace. Many dream experts believe that these special dreams have the ability to give your life new meaning and offer a higher perspective on life in general. Spiritual dreams stand out and are rarely forgotten. It is not uncommon to glean incredible insight from this type of dream, information that assists you in various areas throughout the rest of your life. Spiritual dreams are most likely to occur during the following periods in your life:
1. Before a significant change.
2. Before or during a shift in your perception about yourself and your life.
3. After a commitment to something meaningful has been expressed and is genuinely being pursued.
4. Following a major loss or change.
5. When becoming more aware of yourself, your circumstances, your life.
6. During emotional and spiritual breakthroughs, such as taking a class, attending therapy, practicing yoga or meditation.
7. During a recovery process.... The Element Encyclopedia
The dream of a righteous ruler or governor is considered to be an inspiration from God Almighty. The dreams of community leaders depend on their beliefs. The dreams of servants come true for their employers. Women's dreams may materialize faster than those of men. Sinners' dreams are a proof against them on the day of judgement, unless they repent before their death. The dreams of rich people are stronger than those of poor people. The dreams of rich people materialize faster than those of poor people. The dreams of poor people are slower when they connote benefits and faster when they connote adversities. Because of their innocence, the dreams of little children are truer than those of teenagers. This is because older children may be busy in their mischief and fulfilling their newly discovered desires. The dream of a drunk person has no ground. Shaikh Al-Karamani explains that "the dream of a scholar is truer than that of an ignorant person, the dream of a chaste person is truer than that of an unchaste person, the dream of a good person is truer than that of a bad person, and that the dream of an elderly person is truer than that of a younger person."
The meaning of a dream also varies depending on how people look in it, their dress, type of work they perform, status, or religion. To someone, the dream may mean glad tiding and mercy, while the same dream could mean the opposite for another person. One may wonder when he receives a gift in a dream, then the same gift reaches him in in wakefulness, or if he suffers an adversity in a dream, then the same adversity takes place in wakefulness. Another person may be promoted in his dream, then the same is conferred on him in wakefulness, or if one sees himself performing his pilgrimage to Mecca in a dream, then he joins the pilgrims' caravan in wakefulness or if one sees someone visiting him in a dream, then the same person arrives in wakefulness, days or hours later.
Finally, in pursuing what we have earlier explained, the elements of a dream are interpreted on the basis of three categories: 1- kind, such as trees, lions, or birds, etcetera, and; 2- specimen, such as the type and name of that tree (e.g. a conifer, a spruce, or a maple tree, etcetera), or what type of bird (e.g. a magpie, a pewee, or a condor, etcetera); and 3- characteristics, such as the nature, or inherent characteristics of a lion, a cat, a crocodile, or their habitat, etcetera.... Dreampedia
If you have been brought up in a particular faith, it is most likely that such dreams are instructing you to act in accordance with the moral standards of that faith. They may also be urging you to regard some waking problem in the light of your religious beliefs. A dream of a religious symbol may therefore be suggesting that a part of your life needs moral, as well as practical, attention. A dream featuring a religious leader tends to occur when there is an important moral decision to be made in your waking life. See also RELIGION.... The Element Encyclopedia
If it simply isn’t possible to interpret your dream this way, the next step would be to sit down with a pen and paper, think of your dream and begin to doodle. In some cases, the symbols that flow from your pen may relate to your dream or provide a point from which you can interpret it.
If this still doesn’t help, you can of course just let the dream go, but if the dream continues to nag at you, it is likely that it had something important to say. Many dream psychologists believe that there is no such thing as a meaningless dream, so if the images in your dream were so fantastic you simply can’t make sense of them, the following technique may help. Just before you go to sleep on the night after having a surreal dream, try to recall the symbols you had difficulty understanding; it is often the case that the dream you will have on this second night will contain the same message as the first dream, but perhaps expressed in symbols that are easier to comprehend. This technique is applicable with any difficult dream, not just dreams that contain elements of the fantastic or the surreal.... The Element Encyclopedia
If you do have happy, joyful dreams during the night remember how they feel and try to take some guidance from the dream.... The Element Encyclopedia
Another example of dream telepathy is called shared dreaming, in which people try to meet up with each other in dreamland or to dream of the same landscape.... The Element Encyclopedia
If you are an empathic or sensitive person and know you are prone to such dreams, you can easily recognize them to avoid confusion.... The Element Encyclopedia
Sleep is absolutely crucial for our physical, mental and emotional health and well-being. It is during sleep that we abandon conscious control of our physical body and the unconscious mind is allowed to roam free, giving rise to dreams.
Although we now know a lot more about dreams, their real purpose isn’t yet fully understood. It wasn’t until we approached the middle of the twentieth century, with the first electronic monitoring of the brain, that we began to get a clearer idea of the nocturnal adventures of the mind. For centuries it was thought that the purpose of sleep was to rest the body and the mind, but this reasoning was disproved when it was shown that both the body and mind are active during sleep. If sleep doesn’t rest the body or mind, then what is it for?
Sleep researchers may not yet have discovered the exact reason for sleep or dreams but they have discovered some fascinating things. For example, it seems that when we are asleep our brains are a bit like computers that are offline. This J. August Strindberg means they are not idle but are filing and updating the day’s activities. They take stock of your body and release a growth hormone to repair damaged tissues and stimulate growth, while the immune system gets to work on attacking any viral or bacterial infections that may be present. Some experts believe the brain also jettisons trivial information during sleep to prevent it becoming overburdened with unimportant information, but this explanation is perhaps too simplistic, as no memory can be totally eradicated.
The advent of space travel gave scientists the opportunity to prove that resting the body was not the main function of sleep. What they found instead was that prolonged periods of isolation decreased the need for sleep. In other words, the fewer stimuli received from people or external contacts during the day, the less sleep was required. It seems we have a sleep control center at the base of our brain linked with activity during wakefulness. When that gets overloaded we get tired, but if there have not been enough stimuli from the outside world, the sleep mechanism isn’t triggered. It seems, therefore, that boredom and lack of stimuli may account for many cases of insomnia. (Paradoxically, overstimulation also produces insomnia.)... Dreampedia
Freud, who greatly influenced the field of psychology, believed dreaming to be a ’safety valve’ for unconscious desires, but it was not until the 1950s that scientists were able to study sleep and dreaming and come to some of their own conclusions.
In 1953, Eugene Aserinsky of the University of Chicago noticed that the eyes of sleeping babies moved beneath their eyelids at certain regular intervals. This led to the discovery of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep periods, which occur at roughly sixty to ninety minute intervals throughout the night, and contain the dreams that are the most vivid and most often remembered. Since then, EEG recordings that monitor brain activity during sleep have been used to map the various stages of sleep. Scientists soon realized that the strange, illogical experiences we call dreams almost always occur during REM sleep. Whilst most mammals and birds show signs of REM sleep, reptiles and other cold-blooded animals do not. REM sleep begins with signals from an area at the base of the brain called the pons. These signals travel to a brain region called the thalamus, which relays them to the cerebral cortex—the outer layer of the brain that is responsible for learning, thinking and organizing information. The pons also sends signals that shut off neurons in the spinal cord, causing temporary paralysis of the limb muscles.
If something interferes with this paralysis, people will begin to physically ’act out’ their dreams—a rare, dangerous problem called REM sleep behavior disorder.
REM sleep stimulates the brain regions used in learning. This may be important for normal brain development during infancy, which would explain why infants spend much more time in REM sleep than adults.
Like deep sleep, REM sleep is associated with an increased production of proteins. One study found that REM sleep affects the learning of certain mental skills. People taught a skill and then deprived of non-REM sleep could recall what they had learned after sleeping, whilst people deprived of REM sleep could not.
Some scientists believe dreams are the cortex’s attempt to find meaning in the random signals that it receives during REM sleep. The cortex is the part of the brain that interprets and organizes information from the environment during consciousness. It may be that, given random signals from the pons during REM sleep, the cortex tries to interpret these signals as well, creating a ’story’ out of fragmented brain activity.... The Element Encyclopedia
Being chased or attacked
Many people dream of being pursued or attacked, although who or what is attacking or doing the pursuing varies from place to place. These dreams are a natural response to life stress; it could be that events are catching up with you or perhaps you trying to run away from something.
Being lost or trapped
In these very common dreams, you’re lost and feeling desperate. You may be buried alive or locked in a cage. You dream of not being able to move; you’re powerless to scream or breathe. Or you may feel desperate for the toilet and unable to find one. These dreams may occur when you feel confusion or conflict about how to act in waking life.
Being injured, ill or dying
Such dreams may involve deaths of famous people, your parents or children, a lover and even yourself. When you dream about an accidental death of any person, that person’s death symbolizes something in you that is no longer functioning.
It can also suggest new beginnings; out with the old and in with the new. Another common scenario under this theme is of teeth falling out or crumbling.
This might have a physical origin in people gritting or grinding teeth during sleep. Freud suggested that dreams of teeth falling out are related to fears of castration, but women have this dream as often as men.
Other psychologists believe the dream reflects anxiety about your appearance and how others perceive you.
Car or other vehicle trouble
An out-of-control vehicle is a fairly common nightmare among all people and ages, whether or not the dreamers actually drive. Such a dream may occur when the dreamer feels events in waking life are out of control.
House or property, loss or damage
In these dreams, your house is damaged or destroyed by fire, water or other causes. These dreams may surface because you feel that some valuable aspect of waking life is at risk.
Dreams about losing a wallet, watch or cherished piece of jewelry, such as a wedding ring, also fall into this category.
Meanings vary depending on what is lost or damaged. The flip side of this is that dreams about discovering new spaces or rooms in your home, or dreams about repairs or improvements are also common.
These dreams may occur when you feel that some valuable aspect of waking life is improving.
Poor test or other poor performance
You’ve probably dreamed of arriving for a test and found the exam has already started. Or you search fruitlessly for the examination room.
This is a common dream that can occur years after school or college; it usually occurs when you feel you are somehow being ‘tested’ in waking life. Some psychologists think the dreams can denote anxiety about sexual performance.
Falling or flying?
Falling is one of the most common dreams among people of all ages, and may be a reflection of feeling insecure, helpless or of having no support or solid grounding. Some people may actually fall from their beds during this dream.
Dreaming about drowning is less common, and often occurs when a person feels overwhelmed.
Dreams about flying, swimming or dancing are the flip side of falling or drowning dreams. Such optimistic dreams inspire, as the dreamer is lifted to spiritual heights or is filled with creative notions.
Pleasurable swimming may mean freely exploring your depths; dreams of dance may be a metaphor for moving freely through your life.
Being naked in public or inappropriately dressed.
This is a common dream scenario that occurs at all ages, even with children. The dreams involve feelings of exposure and vulnerability, and often include an element of embarrassment or shame.
On the other hand, dreams of wearing a special outfit may suggest you feel good about your body or your life.
Missing the train or connection
You rush to catch a departing bus, train, airplane or ship, only to find it has left without you.
These dreams reflect feelings that you are missing out on something in waking life.
Machine or telephone malfunction dreams are another variation on this theme, often occurring when you feel anxious about making an emotional connection or when you feel you’re losing touch with someone.
Natural or man-made disasters
You’re confronted with overwhelming floods, tidal waves, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, hurricanes, bombings or chemical warfare.
These dreams may depict personal problems raging out of control. Dreams of vibrant flowers, verdant hillsides or uplifting music that leaves the dreamer feeling inspired are the flip side of disaster dreams.... Common Dreams
The most inopportune time wherein dreams hardly have any significant meaning is during the winter season and when rain is imminent.... Islamic Dream Interpretation
The most inopportune time wherein dreams hardly have any significant meaning is during the winter season and when rain is imminent.... Islamic Dream Interpretation
Lucid dreams occur when you realize you are dreaming. “Wait a second. This is only a dream!” Most dreamers wake themselves up once they realize that they are only dreaming. Other dreamers have cultivated the skill to remain in the lucid state of dreaming. They become an active participant in their own dreams, making decisions in their dreams and influencing the dream’s outcome without awakening.
A nightmare is a disturbing dream that causes the dreamer to wake up feeling anxious and frightened. Nightmares may be a response to real life trauma and situations. This type of nightmare falls under a special category called Post-traumatic Stress Nightmare (PSN).
Nightmares may also occur because we have ignored or refused to accept a particular life situation. Research shows that most people who have regular nightmares have had a family history of psychiatric problems, bad drug experiences, people who have contemplated suicide, and/or rocky relationships.
Nightmares are an indication of a fear that needs to be acknowledged and confronted. It is a way for our subconscious to make up take notice. “Pay attention!” We’ll have more later in the book about nightmares and steps you can take to overcome them.
Recurring dreams repeat themselves with little variation in story or theme. These dreams may be positive, but most often they are nightmarish in content. Dreams may recur because a conflict depicted in the dream remains unresolved or ignored. Once you have found a resolution to the problem, your recurring dreams will cease.
Healing dreams serve as messages for the dreamer in regards to their health. Many dream experts believe that dreams can help us avoid potential health problems and help us to heal when we are ill. Our bodies are able to communicate to us through our dreams to “tell” us that something is not quite right with our bodies even before any physical symptoms show up. Dreams of this nature may be telling the dreamer that he/she needs to go to the dentist or doctor
Prophetic dreams also referred to as precognitive or psychic dreams are dreams that seemingly foretell the future. One rational theory to explain this phenomenon is that our dreaming mind is able to piece together bits of information and observation that we normally overlook or that we do not seriously consider. In other words, our unconscious mind knows what is coming before we consciously piece together the same information.
Signal dreams help you how to solve problems or make decisions in your waking life.
Epic dreams (or Great dreams) are so huge, so compelling, and so vivid that you cannot ignore them. The details of such dreams remain with you for years, as if your dreamt it last night. These dreams possess much beauty and contain many archetypal symbology. When you wake up from such a dream, you feel that you have discovered something profound or amazing about yourself or about the world. It feels like a life-changing experience
You might be wondering what exactly is going on in your head when you dream.... Dreampedia
The Final Stage... The Element Encyclopedia
If you dream of burying a dead body, you may be aware that you have killed someone, although you may not remember why or how. Your concern in the dream is to bury the body before someone makes a terrifying discovery and exposes you. Despite the horror of what you have done, the main issue in your dream is not the fact that you have killed someone but your desire to cover your tracks and avoid discovery. The dream is all about your need for acceptance and to rid yourself of things that are undesirable in your life. The person you have murdered represents what you would like to get rid of; that is why there is no remorse in the dream and the panic in the dream indicates your fear that people will recognize your anxiety. The teenage years are all about deciding what is or is not acceptable or desirable in your life so, not surprisingly, this dream is most common at that particular time. The things you want to bury can include parental expectation, childish hobbies or activities and so on.
During your teenage years you are very likely to dream of meeting a celebrity and becoming their close friend. This kind of dream focuses on the importance of feeling accepted and admired within your peer group. It is not uncommon for a teenager to dream about the death or funeral of one or both parents. Such dreams are not predictive, being simple reflections of the death of the past and the beginning of a new parent-child relationship.... The Element Encyclopedia
A Practical Goal
The practical goal of dream interpretation, as I see it, is to find the value in each dream so you can then apply it to improve yourself and your life. A dream’s value may be profound and life changing, or as simple as the realization that eating sweets too close to bedtime can trigger nightmares. Whatever the content of a dream, you can learn from it. So as you explore your dreams, keep the following objective in mind:
Find the value in your dreams.
Quotation: Nancy Wagaman. “The Curious Dreamer’s Dream Dictionary”... Dreampedia
1: GET ENOUGH SLEEP. If tired, you are less likely to remember a dream. If necessary, catching up on sleep over the weekend can be a great way to improve dream recall.
2: GIVE YOURSELF A PRESLEEP SUGGESTION. If you are new to dreams or having trouble with recall, before falling asleep, tell yourself in a relaxed manner that you will remember your dreams. Giving yourself a presleep suggestion informs your psyche that you are ready and willing to communicate. However, if doing so feels intense or scary, you may not be ready to investigate your dreams, even if their messages are positive and helpful. There is no rush; wait until the thought of understanding your dreams feels comfortable.
3: MAKE IT EASY. Keep paper and pen handy. If you don’t have time to record the full dream, jot down the gist and add the specifics later.
4: RECORD SOMETHING. If you do not recall a dream when first starting out on your dream journey, note the feelings, ideas, or new thoughts that hover as you wake up. These may be remnants of a dream message and recording them can help with future dream recall.
5: MOTIVATION. Be eager to remember your dreams. Your psyche needs to get the message that you are ready and willing to hear its messages, and enthusiasm will start the ball rolling.
6: STAY RELAXED AND FIND SOME DOWN TIME. If you have not worked with your dreams before, taking a few minutes of quiet time for yourself each day can help forge a path to your psyche. Anything that allows you to unplug from intense daily activities will work. A short meditation, music, a walk in nature, or a creative hobby can help synchronize your outer and inner parts.
7: APPLY WHAT YOU GET. Once you have a dream and zero in on its meaning, apply the message. Like taking advice from a good friend, dream advice will keep coming if you listen to it.... A Little Bit Of Dreams
Dreams and their purpose
Consider dreams like home movies that each person produces in response to their daily experiences. These movies are meant to clarify certain situations and support the person. With sufficient knowledge, they can become a sort of spiritual guide, since oneiric thoughts are a window to the subconscious where, frequently, hidden feelings and repressed needs are stored without us realizing.
Even then, there are people who question the importance of dreams. Some scientists, for example, believe that the content of dreams is simply a random mix of the many electronic signals the brain receives. Others, however, find all types of messages in even the simplest dreams, and end up distancing themselves from daily reality in favor of oneiric activity.
Neither extreme is advisable. Each dream is undoubtedly a journey into the unknown, but, at the same time, modern psychology has allowed us to understand a good part of their structure. One of the conclusions drawn from the study of dreams confirms this: dreams can be a priceless aid to the imagination, but above all when it comes to solving problems. You just have to know how to listen to them, because their content tends to have a direct relation to the emotional challenges you are experiencing.
Each dream is a journey to the unknown with an implicit personal message. Although it is the content of the episode that determines our emotional state, dreaming in black and white indicates a possible lack of enthusiasm or nostalgia for the past. These dreams are an invitation to live with more intensity and enjoy the present.
Still from the film Viaje a la Luna (Méliès, 1902).
It is known that in times of crisis, our oneiric production increases significantly, both in quantity and intensity. Should we consider this “surplus” to be positive? Yes, as long as one makes an effort to remember and interpret the dreams, since, as we will see further on, they have a valuable therapeutic potential.
For example, if a couple is going through a critical phase, remembering and analyzing usually helps them understand the subconscious reactions they have to the situation. In other words, dreams are an excellent tool to get to the bottom of emotional conflicts. Knowing the causes is an essential step to resolving the problems, regardless of what course you take.
The English psychologist David Fontana, whose books have been translated into more than twenty languages, said it clearly: “In listening to my patients’ dreams in therapy sessions, I have observed how, often, these can take us right to the root of the psychologic problem much quicker than other methods.” Although, we shouldn’t fool ourselves: dreams are a mystery that can rarely decipher everything. But if a certain level of interpretation helps us understand ourselves better, what more can we ask for? From a practical point of view, our own oneiric material can be very useful.
In dreams, relationships with others are a recurring theme. The people that appear in our dreams, especially strangers, represent facets of ourselves that the subconscious is showing us.
Well-known writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson, William Blake, Edgar Allan Poe, and Woody Allen have had faith in this, acknowledging that part of their works have been inspired by dreams. The discoveries of Albert Einstein or Niels Bohr (father of modern atomic physics), among other celebrated scientists, had the same origin. In any case, these examples shouldn’t confuse us: no dream can tell you what path to follow through symbolic images without the intellect to decipher them.
Prosperity, precognition, and pronostics
What’s more, judging by some documented cases, we can even reap material gain from dreams. There is proof of some people that had premonitory dreams managing to earn significant sums of money thanks to their oneiric “magic.” The most spectacular case was in the fifties, when an Englishman named Harold Horwood won a considerable number of prizes betting on horses. His dreams transmitted clues as to the winning racehorse to bet on. Unfortunately, these types of premonitions don’t come to everyone. However, anyone has the opportunity to discover the greatest treasure of all—knowledge of one’s self—through their dreams.
We’ve all experienced the feeling of having lost control of our lives at some point. We might feel like others are deciding things for us or that we are victims of our circumstances.
Our “dream-scapes” contain valuable information about our desires and concerns; they could also function as a forecast of some aspect of our future. According to ancient tradition, dreaming of stars predicts prosperity and spiritual wealth. “Starry Night” (Van Gogh, 1889).
However, many psychologists disagree with this. That is, they argue that daily events are not coincidences but rather meaningful deeds that reflect the inner state of the individual.
Dreams and thoughts
According to these experts, luck is a pipe dream, something that does not exist, since that which we consider the result of coincidence is none other than the natural manifestation of our thoughts and attitudes. We are basically creator, not passive receivers or victims of the events that unravel in our lives.
An example that illustrates this idea perfectly is the story of the old man who threw rocks into the sea. One day, someone asked if he ever got bored of the simple game. The old pebble thrower stared at his questioner and gave an answer he’d never forget: “My small stones are more important than they seem, they provoke repercussions. They will help create waves that, sooner or later, will reach other other side of the ocean.”
What does this have to do with dreams? It’s simple: as we’ve just seen, we are the only ones responsible for our daily experiences, no matter how hard that is to believe. Therefore it shouldn’t be too difficult to take control of our lives; we just have to listen to the messages in our interior, that is, our oneiric thoughts, of which we are ultimately the authors.
In this way, thanks to dreams, our two existences—conscious and unconscious—can work together to make our lives more creative and free. An important part of this process is getting to know and understanding better the process of thought. One of the most beautiful and commonly used visualizations in yoga reminds us of this: “In the bottom of the lake of our thoughts is a jewel. In order for it to shine in the light of the sun (the divine), the water (the thoughts) must be pure and crystal clear and calm, free of waves (excitement). If our water is murky or choppy, others can’t see this jewel, our inner light...”
In the bottom of the lake of our thoughts is a jewel...
But it’s not that simple: it’s often difficult to discern the connection that unites wakefulness with sleep, between what we think ourselves to be and what our oneiric fantasies say about us. In any case, if our search is passionate and patient, constant and conscious, it will result in the discovery of our true Self. Therefore the interpretation of dreams cuts right to the heart of the message conceived by and for ourselves (although not consciously). It is important to learn to listen to them (further on we will discuss techniques for this) when it comes time to unstitch their meaning and extract the teachings that can enrich our lives.
The rooms in our dreams reflect unknown aspects of our personality.
In this way, when we have to make an important decision, we can clear up any doubts through a clear understanding of our most intimate desires. Although it may seem like common sense, this is not that common these days, since most people make decisions at random, out of habit, or by impulse.
The meaning and psychic effect of some deities in Tibetan Buddhism can be linked to the monsters that are so popular today.
Dreams allow creativity a free rein and free us from worry, sometimes resulting in surreal images that would be impossible in waking life.
Put simply, the idea is to find your true identity and recognize your wounds, fears, and joys through dreams. Never forget that the subconscious, although hidden, is an essential part of our personality. Dreams are fundamental for understanding the Self, since they are a direct path to this little-known part of ourselves. Their symbolic content allows us to recover repressed emotions and gives us a map to the relationships that surround us.
Nightmares that put us to the test
Sometimes the messages they bring us are not so pleasant and take the form of nightmares. However, although it may be hard to accept, these nightmares are valuable warnings that some aspects of our life are not
in harmony with our deepest Self and thus need our prompt intervention. Nightmares are proof that self discovery is not always pleasant. Sometimes it’s necessary to feel this pain in order to find out what you really are and need.
On the other hand, dreams give creativity a free rein because, when we sleep, we are free from our day-to-day worries. Therefore, even if you don’t consider yourself a creative person, keep in mind that all the scenes, symbols, and characters that appear in your dreams have been created solely and exclusively by you.
It’s often very helpful to record dreams in a notebook (we will explain how further on) in order to later analyze them and apply their teachings to daily life.
It is quite the paradox; the human being awakens their most intimate reality precisely when they are sleeping.
Carl Gustav Jung, who dedicated his life to studying dreams, developed this metaphor: “People live in mansions of which they only know the basements.” Only when our conscience is sleeping do we manage to unveil some of the rooms of our magnificent house: rooms that may be dusty and inhospitable and fill us with terror and anxiety, or magnificent rooms where we want to stay forever.
Given that they all belong to us, it is reasonable to want to discover them all. Dreams, in this sense, are a fundamental tool.
How to remember dreams
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Sure, dreams are really important, but I can’t use them because I simply don’t remember them.” That’s not a problem, there are techniques you can use to strengthen your memory of oneiric thoughts. Techniques that, when applied correctly, allow us to remember dreams surprisingly well.
The use of these methods is indispensable in most cases since people tend to forget dreams completely when they wake up. Why? Because, according to the hypothesis of Sigmund Freud, we have a sort of internal censor that tries to prevent our oneiric activity from becoming conscious material.
Sometimes the message of dreams turns unpleasant and takes the form of a nightmare...
However, we can laugh in the face of this censor with a few tricks. The most drastic is to wake up suddenly when the deepest sleep phase (REM phase) is just about to end, so that you can rapidly write all the details of your mind’s theater in your notebook. Waking suddenly will take this censor by surprise, stopping it from doing its job. The best time to set the alarm is for four, five, six, or a little more than seven hours after going to sleep.
If your level of motivation is not high enough to get up in the middle of the night and record your dreams, there are alternatives that let you sleep for a stretch and then remember what you dream with great precision.
First of all, it’s helpful to develop some habits before going to bed, such as waiting a few hours between dinner and going to sleep. Experts recommend avoiding foods that cause gas (legumes like green beans, raw vegetables, etc.) and foods high in fat.
You must also keep in mind that, like tea and coffee, tobacco and alcohol alter the sleep cycle and deprive the body of a deep sleep (the damaging effects of a few glasses on the body does not disappear for about four hours).
What is recommended is to drink water or juice, or eat a yogurt, more than two hours after eating, before going to bed. There are two main reasons for this: liquids facilitate a certain purification of the body, and because, most interestingly for our purposes, it causes us to get up in the middle of the night. As we said, this will catch the internal censor by surprise and allow us to record our dreams easily.
Relaxing in bed and going over the events of the day helps free the mind and foster oneiric creativity.
Yoga exercises, such as the savasana pose, are great for relaxation, restful sleep, and a positive outlook.
It’s important to surround yourself with an environment that stimulates oneiric activity. You should feel comfortable in your room and your bed. The fewer clothes you wear to sleep, the better. Practicing relaxation techniques, listening to calming music, or taking a warm bath a few minutes before getting into bed will help relieve stress so that you enjoy a deep restorative sleep.
There are good books on relaxation on the market, both autogenous and yogic; we recommend one of the most practical, Relajacion para gente muy ocupada (Relaxation for Busy People), by Shia Green, published by this same publishing house. However, the real key is to concentrate on remembering dreams. When you go to bed, go over the events of the day that were important to you. This way, you will increase the probability of dreaming about the subjects that most interest or worry you.
So, let’s suppose you’re asleep now. What should you do to remember dreams? First, try to wake up naturally, without external stimuli. If this isn’t possible, use the quietest possible alarm without radio. Once awake, stay in bed for a few moments with your eyes closed and try to hold your dreams in your memory as you gently transition into wakefulness. Take advantage of this time to memorize the images you dreamt. The final oneiric period is usually the longest and these instants are when it is most possible to remember dreams.
Remember that it’s best to write the keywords of the dream immediately upon waking. It is convenient to keep a notebook on the nightstand and reconstruct the dream during the day.
The dream notebook
Next, write in the notebook (that you have left beside your bed) whatever your mind has been able to retain, no matter how absurd or trivial your dreams seem, even if you only remember small fragments. This is not the moment to make evaluations or interpretations. The exercise is to simply record everything that crosses your mind with as much detail as possible. Giving the fragility of memory, it’s okay to start off with just a few key words that summarize the content of the dream. These words will help you reconstruct the dream later in the day if you don’t have enough time in the morning. Ideally this notebook will gradually become a diary or schedule that allows you to study, analyze, and compare a series of dreams. Through a series of recorded episodes, you can detect recurring characters, situations, or themes. This is something that’s easy to miss at first glance. One important detail: specialists recommend you date and title each dream, since this helps you remember them in later readings.
It’s also interesting to complement your entries with relevant annotations: what feelings were provoked, which aspects most drew your attention, which colors predominated, etc. An outline or drawing of the most significant images can also help you unravel the meaning. Finally, you should write an initial personal interpretation of the dream. For that, the second part of this book offers some useful guidelines.
While we dream, there is a sort of safety mechanism that inhibits our movement. Therefore, sleepwalkers don’t walk during the REM phase. This protects us from acting out the movements of our dreams and possibly hurting ourselves. Still from the Spanish movie Carne de fieras (Flesh of beasts) (1936).
As we’ve seen, there are a series of techniques to remember dreams. This is the first step to extracting their wisdom. Now, given that oneiric thoughts are a source of inspiration for solving problems, wouldn’t it be great to choose what you dream about before you go to sleep? Rather than waiting for dreams to come to us spontaneously, try to make them focus on the aspects of your life that interest you.
How to determine the theme of dreams
Let’s imagine that someone is not very satisfied with their job. They’d like to get into another line of work but are afraid of losing the job security they enjoy. On one hand, they’re not so young anymore, they should take the risk to get what they really want. But they don’t know what to do. They need a light, a sign, an inspiration. In short, they need a dream. But not just any dream, a dream that really centers on their problem and gives answers.
However, if you limit yourself to just “consulting your pillow,” you won’t get the desired results. There is a possibility you will be lucky and dream about what you’re interested in, but more likely you will dream of anything but. If we are really prepared to dive into that which worries us most intimately, we can direct our dreams to give us concrete answers. Just like the techniques to remember dreams, the process is simple: before sleeping, we must concentrate on the subject of interest.
It’s also best to write in your notebook all the events and emotions of the day that were most important before you go to sleep.
Once your impressions and theme to dream have been noted, concentrate on the subject that most bothers you. Think about it carefully; propose questions and alternatives, “listen” to your own emotions. It’s best if all possible doubts are noted in the dream notebook. This way you’re more likely to receive an answer.
In order for it to be an effective answer, the question must be well defined. The fundamental idea of the problem should be summed up in a single phrase. Once you’ve reflected on the problem, it’s time to go to bed. But the “homework” is not finished yet. Before going to sleep, you need to concentrate on the concrete question. You need to forget everything else, even the details. Just “visualize” and repeat the question, without thinking of anything else, until you fall asleep.
Oneiric thoughts are a source of inspiration. Annotating and analyzing them carefully fosters a process of self discovery.
Writing a dream notebook
You should always have a notebook and pen near your bed to write down dreams the moment you wake up. Don’t forget to always write the date. What details should you include in this kind of diary? As many as you remember, the more the better.
Dreams are “signs,” messages from our subconscious, and the study and interpretation of them helps resolve the problems that worry us.
Nocturnal sleep puts us in touch with the deepest level of being, which allows us to approach our problems with a wider perspective. And induced dreams tend to be easier to remember than other oneiric activity.
When we dream, we enter a marvelous world that escapes the laws of spatial and temporal logic.... Dreampedia
For example, if you are chased in your dream, this will show a sense of insecurity. Dreams Interpreted, each page reveals the fantastic meanings of quotidian objects and occurrences that surface in your reveries. Make a note of it when you wake up so you do not forget your dream.... About Dream Interpretation
Once upon a time not so long ago, an inventor was struggling with a major problem. His name was Elias Howe, and for years he had been trying to solve this problem, so that he could complete a machine he was building—a machine that would in time change the world. He was missing a small but vital detail, and, try as he would, he just couldn’t figure it out. Needless to say, Howe was a very frustrated man. One night, after another long day of fruitless work on his project, he dreamed he had been captured by fierce savages. These warriors were attacking him with spears. Although in the dream he was terrified he would be killed, he noticed that the spears were unusual looking: each one had an eye- shaped hole at the pointed end. When Howe woke up, it hit him like a brick: he had actually dreamed the answer to his problem. His nightmare was a blessing in disguise. He immediately saw that the eye of the spear could be an eye in a sewing needle, near its point. Elated with the discovery, he rushed to his laboratory and finished the design of his invention: the sewing machine. The rest, as they say, is history.
The list of what dreams can do for you seems endless. We’ve touched on a few of these benefits of dreaming in the preface and introduction. Now let’s go into a bit more detail. I want you to get really excited about your own dream potential. And, once you realize the possibilities, I think you will.
The history of dreams is filled with stories of famous people who have called on their dreams for help, or who have received help unexpectedly from their dreams. Here are a few more interesting stories to illustrate the point:
The physicist Niels Bohr, who developed the theory of the movements of electrons, had a dream in which he saw the planets attached to the sun by strings. This image inspired him to finalize his theory.
The great Albert Einstein reported that the famous theory of relativity came to him while he was napping—a good reason for taking frequent naps!
Author Richard Bach, who wrote the bestseller Jonathan Livingston Seagull, was stuck in a writer’s block after writing the first half of his now-famous novel. It was eight years later that he literally dreamed the second half and was able to complete his book.
Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman told reporters that his classic film Cries and Whispers had been inspired by a dream.
Another writer, the well-loved British author Robert Louis Stevenson, was quite dependent on his dreams for ideas that he could turn into sellable stories. Stevenson has related in his memoirs that after a childhood tortured by nightmares, and his successful efforts to overcome them, he was able to put his dreams to work for profit.
A born storyteller (though he started out as a medical student), he was accustomed to lull himself to sleep by making up stories to amuse himself. Eventually, he turned this personal hobby into a profession, becoming a writer of tales like Treasure Island. He identified his dream-helpers as “little people,” or “Brownies.” Once he was in constant contact with this inner source, his nightmares vanished, never to return. Instead, whenever he was in need of income he turned to his dreams:
At once the little people begin to bestir themselves in the same quest, and labour all night long, and all night long set before him truncheons of tales upon their lighted theatre. No fear of his being frightened now; the flying heart and the frozen scalp are things bygone; applause, growing applause, growing interest, growing exultation in his own cleverness . . . and at last a jubilant leap to wakefulness, with the cry, “I have it, that’ll do!”
Stevenson wrote his autobiography in the third person, not revealing that he was the subject until the end.
Stevenson further states that sometimes when he examined the story his Brownies had provided, he was disappointed, finding it unmarketable. However, he also reported that the Brownies “did him honest service and gave him better tales than he could fashion for himself,” that “they can tell him a story piece by piece, like a serial, and keep him all the while in ignorance of where they aim.”
Stevenson’s Brownies are a perfect example of dream helpers just waiting to be called upon. A particularly famous example of the work of Stevenson’s Brownies is the tale The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. As he explains:
I had long been trying to write a story on this subject, to find a body, a vehicle, for that strong sense of man’s double being, which must at times come in upon and overwhelm the mind of every thinking creature. [After he destroyed an earlier version of the manuscript . . .] For two days I went about racking my brains for a plot of any sort; and on the second night I dreamed the scene at the window, and a scene afterwards split in two, in which Hyde, pursued for some crime, took the powder and underwent the change in the presence of his pursuers. All the rest was made awake, and consciously, although I think I can trace in much of it the manner of my Brownies.
Although Stevenson did the “mechanical work, which is about the worst of it,” writing out the tales with pen and paper, mailing off the stories to publishers, paying the postage, and not incidentally collecting the fees, he gave his Brownies almost total credit for his productions.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a British poet, was accustomed to taking a sedative derived from opium (legal in those days). One afternoon after taking a dose he was reading and fell asleep over his book. The last words he read had been, “Here the Khan Kubla commanded a palace to be built.” When Coleridge awoke some three hours later he had dreamed hundreds of lines of poetry, which he immediately set to writing down. The opening lines of this poem—one of the most famous of all time—are:
Unfortunately for posterity, after writing only fifty-four lines of the two to three hundred he had dreamed, Coleridge was interrupted by a caller, whom he entertained for an hour. When he returned to complete the poem, he had lost all the rest of what he had dreamed! In his diary he noted that it had disappeared “like images on the surface of a stream.” Even so, he had written a masterpiece. This true story, however, emphasizes the need to record dreams upon awakening, a subject we will take up in chapters 5 and 6.
Not only artists and writers give their dreams credit for their ideas and inspirations, but many scientists as well (as we saw in the examples of Bohr and Einstein). Psychologist Eliot D. Hutchinson reports numerous cases of scientists receiving information through dreams and says of dreams that “by them we can see more clearly the specific mechanism of intuitive thought,” and that “a large number of thinkers with whom I have had direct contact admit that they dream more or less constantly about their work, especially if it is exceptionally baffling . . . they often extract useful conceptions.”
I personally can attest to this statement, as it mirrors my own experience writing books. For example, when I began work on this book about dreams, I noticed that my dream production immediately doubled; and I have had Stevenson’s experience of “little people,” whom I call my “elves,” and whom I write about extensively in my book for teens called Teen Astrology, telling about how they came to my rescue when I was quite stuck (see chapter 9, pages 249– 252 in that book).
One of the most astonishing as well as fascinating stories is that of Hermann V. Hilprecht, a professor of Assyrian at the University of Pennsylvania in the late 1800s. It seems to be a characteristic of those who receive dream help that they have recently been working long and hard and are frustrated. In Hilprecht’s case, he was working late one evening in 1893, attempting to decipher the cuneiform characters on drawings of two small fragments of agate. He thought they belonged to Babylonian finger rings, and he had tentatively assigned one fragment to the so-called Cassite period of 1700 B.C.E. However, he couldn’t classify the second fragment. And he wasn’t at all sure about the first either. He finally gave up his efforts at about midnight and went straight to bed—and had the following dream, which was his “astounding discovery.”
Hilprecht dreamed of a priest of pre-Christian Nippur, several thousand years ago, who led the professor into the treasure chamber of the temple and showed him the originals, telling him just how the fragments fitted in, all in great detail. Although the dream was long and involved, Hilprecht remembered it all and in the morning told it to his wife. In his words: “Next morning . . . I examined the fragments once more in the light of these disclosures, and to my astonishment found all the details of the dream precisely verified in so far as the means of verification were in my hands.”
Up until then, Hilprecht had been working only with drawings. Now he traveled to the museum in Constantinople where the actual agate fragments were kept and discovered that they fitted together perfectly, unlocking the secret of a three-thousand-year-old mystery by means of a dream!
How did this happen? Clairvoyance? Magic? Who was the priest? How was it that Hilprecht seemed to make contact in a dream with someone who had lived so long before him? We will never know the answers to these questions; but we do know from the professor’s own words that this is exactly what happened to him. (It makes you wonder whether Professor Hilprecht was in the habit of paying attention to his dreams!)
No doubt one of the most famous dream sources of scientific discovery was experienced by the German chemist Friedrich August Kekulé, when he was attempting to understand and model the molecular structure of benzene. Like Professor Hilprecht, Kekulé had been searching for the answer for many years and was totally immersed in the problem. He told of a dream he had while he napped in front of his fireplace one frigid night in 1865:
Again the atoms were juggling before my eyes:
My mind’s eye, sharpened by repeated sights of a similar kind, could not distinguish larger structures of different forms and in long chains, many of them close together; everything was moving in a snake-like and twisting manner. Suddenly, what was this? One of the snakes got hold of its own tail and the whole structure was mockingly twisting in front of my eyes. As if struck by lightning, I awoke.
This dream led Kekulé directly to the discovery of the structure of benzene, which is a closed carbon ring. A dream had presented a realization that served to revolutionize modern chemistry. Later, reporting his discovery to his colleagues at a scientific convention in 1890, he remarked, “Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, and then we may perhaps find the truth.” Not the sort of comment one generally expects from a scientist!
Here is the story of another scientist. Otto Loewi, who won the 1936 Nobel
Prize in Psychology and Medicine for his discovery of how the human nervous system works, credited this discovery to a dream. Prior to Loewi, scientists had assumed that the body’s nervous impulses were the result of electrical waves. However, in 1903 Loewi had the intuition that a chemical transmission was actually responsible. But he had no way to prove his theory, so he set the idea aside for many years. Then, in 1920, he had the following dream:
The night before Easter Sunday of that year I awoke, turned on the light, and jotted down a few notes on a tiny slip of thin paper. Then I fell asleep again. It occurred to me at six o’clock in the morning that during the night I had written down something most important, but I was unable to decipher the scrawl. The next night, at three o’clock, the idea returned. It was the design of an experiment to determine whether or not the hypothesis of chemical transmission that I had uttered seventeen years ago was correct. I got up immediately, went to the laboratory and performed a simple experiment on a frog’s heart according to the nocturnal design:
Its results became the foundation of the theory of chemical transmission of the nervous impulse.
Interestingly, Loewi had previously performed a similar experiment, which combined in his dreaming mind with the new idea, creating the successful result. This is an excellent example of the ability of dreams to combine with previous dreams, or with actual events, to produce fertile new ground.
These are some of the stories of famous people who have used dreams to solve problems, enhance creativity, and even make money and win important prizes. They are all evidence of the vast human ability to make use of dreams. As you draw upon your own dream life and develop skills in both dreaming and interpreting your dreams, you will become an advanced teen dreamer. Think of your dreams as a school where you are continually learning new skills and developing new aptitudes, reaching ever higher levels of achievement.
As you pay conscious attention to your dreams, and then use your dream symbols in your waking life, you will be integrating yourself, creating the greatest artwork of your life: your whole and unique Self.... Dreampedia
YOUR OUTER LIFE. As you go about your day, you carry out your roles as a parent, sibling, friend, student, doctor, bus driver, teacher, social worker, etc. Each role defines what you do, but does not define who or what you are.
YOUR INNER LIFE. While engulfed in daily routines, your mind conducts a silent, ongoing and internal dialogue as it matches up your immediate experience with what you think and feel. These inner-to-outer “matchups” may leave you feeling conflicted or feeling at peace. So many matchups get tacked on to your silent background bulletin board, that these memories of your daily experience pile up, and, like a stack of papers, they will eventually need to be sorted and filed.
THE PSYCHE AS A SILENT PARTNER. So much of your experience takes place during this silent, inner dialogue. Because this inner dialogue is a private conversation with yourself, ninety percent of what you think and feel remains unshared, even with your best friend or spouse.
THE PSYCHE KNOWS ALL, CONNECTS ALL. The part of you that does fully share in your inner conversation is the psyche. As your total inner self, the psyche blends your inner and outer lives and is the process that defines you as you. As your silent autopilot, the psyche is the “I” and “me” that is aware of all your thoughts, feelings, and actions. It acts as your main interface between yourself and the world, and acts as the best friend who has your interests at heart. The psyche represents the distilled thoughts and feelings that you arrive at, after sorting out all the inner chatter. Some call it the “inner voice.” It is the traffic cop that filters what goes in and out of your brain and the administrator that later sorts and files your daily input of matchups between inner and outer lives.
The psyche is composed of:
• Mind, logic, and intellect.
• The awake, conscious part of you that steers your daily activity.v• The unconscious and unaware part of you that bubbles with hidden urges, concerns, thoughts, and feelings.
• The ideals, goals, and standards that comprise the “inner rules” by which you live your life.
• And when mobilized to do so, the psyche can connect you to your soul and act as a gateway to the divine.
COPING IN THE FAST LANE: LIFE MOVES TOO FAST. Whether you are caught up in work or play, most folks are constantly on the go and have little time to sort out what each day throws at them. With little time to think at the end of a long day, what happens to the overload of problems and concerns that you posted on your inner bulletin board?... A Little Bit Of Dreams
Native American Indians believed that dreams were sent by the Great Spirit, to act as a guiding light for your soul and prevent it from becoming lost in the darkness of ignorance. Losing touch with them would be disastrous, as you would then be unaware of your true path in life and become depressed or ill.
The eminent psychologist Carl Jung also believed in the healing power of dreams, many years of clinical experience convincing him that most of our problems are the
result of losing contact with our deepest instincts. He observed that there is a way of gaining access to the age-old wisdom hidden in each of us deep within the unconscious mind. That way is through our dreams.
Nowadays, doctors are well aware of the link between our state of mind and physical symptoms. Stress is a major factor in ill-health, whilst suppressed
feelings like rage or resentment can also disturb the body’s equilibrium and create dis-ease. Our dreams are nature’s way of helping us to maintain a balanced outlook. They usually contain helpful messages about the emotional adjustments we need to make from day to day. If we take these seriously, we avoid nurturing unrealistic attitudes and prevent the build-up of stress or toxic emotions.
Sometimes you may develop an illness if you secretly feel unable to face up to something and have a need for someone to take care of you. Your dreams can reveal your hidden agenda and suggest a way for¬ ward. In helping you to focus on the underlying cause of your symptoms, they enable you to participate in your own healing process.
Your dreams can further your emotional well-being by helping you to understand how your feelings and attitudes affect other people, often at a subliminal level, and can therefore create or destroy relationships. If someone has let you down, for instance, your dreams may reveal that, subconsciously, you expect people to disappoint you - and, sooner or later, that is exactly what they do. Once you wake up to the fact that relationships don’t have to turn out this way, you can transform your life.
Whether you need more confidence, to have better relationships, or the courage to make the correct decisions, your dreams can guide you through even the most difficult situations and help you to become the person nature always meant you to be. I hope this Dream Encyclopedia will inspire you to find out more about one of your most precious, yet most neglected natural resources - your dreams.... Dreampedia
What happens when we sleep?
Why do we sleep? The answer is not as simple as it seems. We sleep so that our body can rest, we think at first. However, science has not been able to prove concretely that sleep is necessary for physical recuperation of the body. Experiments performed on rats have proven that when deprived of sleep, these animals die.
But human nature is not as simple as that of rats. Everyone knows people who barely sleep. The most extreme case, published in some scientific magazines, is that of a man who claims not to have slept since contracting a serious illness. In a similar vein, some individuals with a highly developed spirituality are able to remain conscious all night. We’re not referring to a student during exam time drinking coffee or taking stimulants to stay awake more than twenty-four hours straight. We’re talking about people who can achieve advanced levels of relaxation through deep meditation.
It is known that anxiety and lack of concentration increase considerably after a night or two without sleep. One theory related to sleep affirms that we sleep to conserve energy. However, another suggests that we rest to conserve our food stores, since when we lose consciousness, we repress the hunger mechanism.
How much do we sleep?
Sleep at different ages
In the course of his life, a person has, on average, 300,000 dreams. As we age, both the time we spend sleeping and the time we spend dreaming decrease gradually.
Newborns sleep almost all day, alternating hours of sleep with short spells of wakefulness. By one year of age, they sleep fewer sessions but for longer in total: they have cycles of 90 minutes of sleep followed by another 90 minutes of waking time. Gradually, the child will sleep more at night and less during the day. By 9 years of age, most need between 9 and 12 hours of sleep a day.
The average for an adult is between 7 and 8.5 hours. But after age 70, we return to the sleep phases of childhood and sleep fewer hours continuously.
There are arguments that even claim we have slept since ancient times in order to appear a less tasty snack for nocturnal predators (when we sleep, our body looks like a corpse).
There are theories to suit everyone, but we shouldn’t forget the fundamental: for almost all of us, sleeping is a relaxing and pleasant experience that lasts between six and eight hours each night, an experience that is utterly necessary to “recharge the batteries” of our bodies.
It’s no coincidence that we choose nighttime to sleep. In the darkness our vision is reduced, the world becomes strange, and as a result, our imagination runs wild. Our minds remain occupied with images (that is, dreams). At night, our eyes don’t work, but we have a need to create images. If for some reason we are deprived of sleep, the following nights our dream production increases, since we spend more time in the REM phase (the period of sleep when oneiric thoughts are most active). Therefore it seems evident that we need dreams to live.
Some ancient civilizations believed that dreaming served, more than anything, to be able to dream. They were convinced that oneiric activity wasn’t the result of sleeping, but rather the reason for it. Some scientists, however, don’t share the theories of our ancestors when it comes to the reason behind our dreams.
There is a scientific school of thought that asserts that oneiric thoughts are simply a neurophysiological activity that comes with sleep. According to this theory, when we sleep we generate spontaneous signals that stimulate the sensory channels in the mind. The brain transforms these signals into visual images and induces the dreamer to believe that he is living real experiences.
Up to that point, perfect. But, why do dreams have such an interesting narrative? Why do they so often express metaphoric language? Why do they narrate stories that directly affect us? There is no concrete or scientific answer to these questions.
Percentages of REM sleep
Cold-blooded animals never dream; the cold temperatures at night cause them to hibernate and all their vital functions, including the brain, slow down. Only when the sun comes out or the temperature rises to an acceptable level do they recuperate all vital functions. The only cold-blooded animal that has shown signs of dreaming is the chameleon.
On the other hand, we know all warm-blooded animals dream, since REM-phase activity has been detected in all of them. Birds dream only about 0.5% of the time they spend asleep, while humans dream up to 20% of the time. There are exceptional cases, such as that of the Australian platypus, that never dream.
Other theories suggest that dreams serve to eliminate unnecessary facts from memory, since we can’t store everything that happens every day. According to this thesis, at night we erase the “archives” we don’t need, just like a computer. The sleeping mind tests the process of erasing in the form of dreams, which would explain why they’re so difficult to remember. There are obvious limitations to this theory if you keep in mind that, occasionally, oneiric thoughts work creatively (they go beyond the information that we give them). These don’t have much to do with the merely “hygienic” function that the aforementioned scientific community claims. Often, dreams don’t eliminate the useless leftovers of daily experiences. Quite the opposite: they give them a surprising new shape, so when we wake up, we can reflect more deeply on their meaning.
The phases of sleep
Even though we don’t realize it, when we sleep at night we pass through four different phases of sleep. Each phase is distinguished by the deepness of sleep. That is, when we are in phase 1, it is a fairly light sleep; during phase 4, we reach maximum intensity.
When we go to sleep, we enter a period in which we gradually pull away from the exterior world. Little by little, our sleep deepens until finally (phase 4) our breathing slows and becomes regular, our cardiac rhythm slows down, and our body temperature decreases. Therefore the body’s metabolism also reduces its activity.
More or less an hour after falling asleep, your body has already gone through the four phases. At this point you begin to go back through the levels until you return to phase 1. This brings along an increase in respiratory and cardiac rhythm. Parallel to this, brain waves once again start to register an activity close to that of consciousness. You are therefore in a moment of transition, demonstrated by the fact that at this point the body tends to change position.
All signs indicate that any noise might wake us. But that’s not the case: since your muscle tone has been reduced, this is actually the moment when it’s most difficult to regain consciousness. At the same time, your eyes begin to move behind your eyelids (up and down and side to side). This ocular phenomenon, which anyone can observe easily, is known as the REM phases, which stands for “rapid eye movement.”
Certain areas of the brain are associated with different functions and human skills, translating external sensory stimuli into a well-organized picture of the world. In dreams, those same stimuli produce different reactions. If a sleeping person hears a sound or touches something repulsive, those stimuli will probably be integrated into their dream before they wake up.
The REM phase
The REM phase is particularly important for those interested in dreams. All studies indicate that during this brief spell (from five to ten minutes) we typically experience the most intense oneiric activity. Some of these studies, done in a sleep laboratory, have observed that eight out of ten individuals relate very vivid dreams when woken up right at the end of the REM phase. These periods alternate at night with what we could call non-REM phases, that is, periods when no ocular movement is registered.
How many times do we reach a REM stage at night? It is estimated that each cycle is repeated four to seven times. As the hours pass, each phase gets longer. This way, the final REM stage might last twenty to forty minutes. On average, an adult enjoys an hour and a half of REM sleep each night, although for older individuals it may be less than an hour and a quarter. Babies, on the other hand, remain in the REM phase for 60 percent of the time they spend asleep.
In any case, let’s make this clear: not all dreams are produced during this period. It has also been demonstrated that humans generate images in other stages. However, these are dreams of a different quality, since during the non-REM phases, our oneiric activity tends to generate only undefined thoughts, vague sensations, etc. Nothing close to the emotional content that characterizes dreams produced in the REM phase.
The oneiric images produced in the most intense phase (REM) are more difficult to remember. One method to remember them consists of waking up just after each REM phase.
As we’ve commented already, those who wish to read their dreams have to first do the work of remembering them. If we want this work to be 100 percent effective, we can use a method that, although uncomfortable, almost never fails: wake up just after every REM phase. If you want to try this method, set your alarm (without music or radio) to go off four, five, six, or seven and a half hours after falling asleep. You can be sure that if you wake up just after one of the REM phases you go through each night, you will enjoy vivid memories.
This is the process used in sleep laboratories, where oneiric activity is studied through encephalographic registry of electrical brain activity.
The people in the study—who are volunteers—sleep connected to machines that register their physiological reactions (brain waves, cardiac rhythm, blood pressure, muscle activity, eye movement, etc).
At certain points during the night, these reactions indicate that, if you wake them, they will be able to tell you what they dreamed. This is because the phase that produces the most intense dreams (REM) is characterized by a physical reaction easily observed: the rapid movement of the eyes of the dreamer.
With this method, sleep laboratories can collect proof of precisely
when subjects are dreaming. And given that oneiric images are difficult to remember, the lab techniques have been a great advance in dream research. Some experts assert that thanks to the scientific advances of the second half of the twentieth century, we have learned more about sleep processes in the last fifty years than in all the history of humanity.
What do we dream?
A wide study done in France on the subject of dreams produced these results:
Hypnagogic images: between waking and sleep
As we’ve seen, throughout the night our sleep is divided into four distinct phases. But what happens just before we sink into the first phase? Are we still awake? Not exactly. In the moments when our mind decides between wakefulness and sleep, we begin to lose contact with the world around us, without the characteristic physiological changes of sleep.
This intermediate point has been called the “hypnagogic state” by psychologists. This is a period when, despite the fact that we’re not asleep, our brains generate images that can sometimes be very beautiful. In some ways, these images rival those found in our dreams.
Hypnagogic images of great visual beauty evaporate like bubbles when we wake up and are barely remembered.
However, the hypnagogic state cannot be considered a truly oneiric state. Among other reasons, the scenes produced in this phase are unrelated to the episodes with a more or less coherent plot that characterize dreams.
In the hypnagogic state we produce unrelated images that hardly connect to each other and that, unlike dreams, are not linked to our daily experiences. This phenomenon occurs not only before sleeping but also in the moments before waking up, when we are not yet conscious enough to be aware of them.
Sometimes, before falling asleep we also experience a curious sensation of floating or flying, or we may see very sharp scenes, with a clarity comparable to that of real visual experiences. These types of images, like dreams, evaporate like bubbles when we wake up and we barely remember them, which is a shame because their beauty slips from our minds. In any case, unlike oneiric thoughts, the hypnagogic state is little use for understanding the messages our subconscious wants to send us, and we should value it more for its beauty than its transcendental content.
Salvador Dali, painter of dreams.
To remember them you must not lose consciousness during the apparition. That is, you must observe the process of the hypnagogic state without falling asleep. It seems simple but it is not, because you must submerge yourself in sleep while the mind remains aware of the events happening in its interior. With a little luck, we can see some of the marvelous “paintings” of our private museum.
The surrealist artists of the 20s and 30s knew all about this. This is how Salvador Dali, fervent lover of hypnagogic scenes, turned to what is known as “the monk’s sleep.” He went to bed with a large iron key in his hand. With the first dream, the key would fall to the floor and he would wake up suddenly. In his mind he recorded the hypnagogic images he would later transfer to the canvas in his masterful style.
The seven “chakras,” or centers of subtle energy in the ayurvedic hindu medicine (1).
The nadis according to Tibetan tradition (2).
The meridians of traditional Chinese medicine (3).
If you have difficulty retaining the hypnagogic state, try centering your attention on a concrete point. For example the “third eye” of the yogis (that is, between your eyes), in the area of the heart, or in the top of the head. These three positions are, according to the philosophy of yoga, the centers of subtle rather than physical energy in the human body. You need a place to direct the mind. Another trick to hold attention without effort is to think abstractly about the name of the object you wish to see. This doesn’t mean you have to “create” the images; you just have to induce its appearance during the hypnagogic state. Entering through meditation is also very useful and beneficial.
Sometimes, the hypnagogic scenes are not as pleasant as we would like, but we must confront them in order to strengthen our ability for self-control. If they persist, try following the previous advice. Think abstractly about the name of what you want to see, resisting the temptation to construct it in a certain way from the conscious mind.
The main advantage of the hypnagogic state is that it brings us progressively closer to our deep Self . . . and all that helps to understand and better benefit from dreams.
The same subject can have very different meanings depending on the circumstances and personal situation of the dreamer.... Dreampedia
In remembering your dreams, you will have an increased knowledge about yourself, bring about self- awareness and self-healing. Dreams are an extension of how you perceive yourself. They can be a source of inspiration, wisdom, and joy.
You don’t have to interpret your dreams in order to solve your problems. But just as there is the saying that “Death cures cigarette smoking,” you might find that listening to your dreams may help you solve your problems before you run out of time.
Dreams are always “true”—it’s just that what they mean isn’t always what we think they mean. Sometimes a dream gives a warning of danger, but if you pay attention to the dream and change your ways the danger won’t necessarily happen. And most often a dream’s meaning will be metaphorical, not literal.
For example, a woman may dream that her husband is having a sexual affair, but it would be a mistake to conclude that her husband is really having an affair. The dream is simply providing the woman graphic evidence that she somehow feels betrayed by her husband. Once she acknowledges that feeling, she can then start examining her life consciously—and honestly—to find out why she feels betrayed and what she needs to do about it.
All dreams essentially tell us one important thing: “Wake up!” That is, just as you must wake up from a dream to remember it, the dream itself is telling you to “wake up” to the truth that you try to hide from others—and from yourself.
Of course, there is a positive as well as a negative side to remembering and interpreting your dreams.
The negative side is that you may come across a side of yourself that you really don’t like or are afraid to know about. You may discover that you aren’t (always) the “Miss Goody Two Shoes” or “Mr. Nice Guy” that you profess to be during the day. You may discover that your childhood was not all ice cream, roller-skating and amusement parks. You may end up shedding light on dark places and recall secrets long repressed. This can be scary stuff.
The positive side is that you go through a metamorphosis or catharsis and become -- you. You become the “you” that you were always meant to be. You will become truer to yourself and therefore, you will find that you are happier.
Learning to recall your dreams may help you become a more assertive, creative person. In remembering your dreams, you are expressing and confronting your
feelings. Remembering your dreams can help you come to terms with stressful aspects of your lives.
But this may be easier said than done. Five minutes after the end of the dream, half the content is forgotten. After ten minutes, 90% is lost. Dreamers, who are awakened right after REM sleep, are able to recall their dreams more vividly than those who slept through the night until morning.Obviously, remembering your dreams is vital to interpreting them. So, how can you better remember your dreams?... Dreampedia
Example: ‘We walk around, go upstairs, and I notice a staircase leading to a room or rooms. It goes up square, about eight steps in a flight, but round and round—spiral. I am scared by them, don’t want to go up, but am curious. We move in and nobody but myself has really taken any notice of the stairs. Nobody has been up . In one dream I try to go up but the children are scared for me. They plead, ‘Don’t go up Mum, just forget them”. Then I wake. In the next dream I wait till they are asleep. Half way up_ I am terrified but have to go on. Then I wake. Next dream I got up there. Then I woke’ (Ann H). Ann’s dream theme recurs, so is important to her. In marking just some of the words we see that the ‘up’ or go up’ is important. Childhood fears hold Ann back for a while, but she dares to climb.
If we look at the entries for climb and stairs, we see they depict taking steps towards exploring the unknown, daring to explore one’s potential or opportunities.
By marking the words in this way we might also highlight certain statements otherwise hidden in the dream. Particularly watch out for the connections with the word T, such as I want, I do, I will, I have, I know, I cannot, etc. Example: ‘1 want to withdraw.’ I was full of sadness but was trying not to show it.’ ‘1 felt keyed up and ready to fight.’ Taking such statements out of context and looking for connections with everyday feelings oi situations often throws considerable light on the dream.
If what you realise is then considered in connection with the plot of the dream, the viewpoint your unconscious has on the situation might become evident.
For instance, the statement ‘I felt keyed up’ occurred within a classroom, and helped the dreamer understand the anger generated at school. See amplification; plot of the dream; the comments on dream processing in the Introduction; dream processing; postures, movement, body language; settings; symbols and dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The most effective way to work with dreams is to keep a dream journal. Date each entry as you go along, for you will begin to see patterns and recurring themes as the weeks go by. If you do not understand an important dream message, you will be given more dreams trying to get the same point across. So do not worry about losing a big lesson; you will be given the message again and again until you finally get the idea. The most important thing in learning to remember a dream is your intent to do so.
Before going to sleep sit on the side of your bed (if you lie down you may fall asleep before you finish the process), take several deep breaths and relax. Then say to yourself, “Tonight I want to remember a dream and I will remember a dream. As soon as I awaken I will write it down.” Then go to sleep with a pad and pencil beside your bed, expecting to remember and write down a dream as soon as you open your eyes. If you prefer, record your dream on a cassette tape recorder.
When you awaken, whether at 3:00 a.m. or right before getting up the next morning, immediately record any impressions, images, or feelings about the dream. If you do not usually remember dreams, you may have only a vague sense about it: a feeling of frustration, uplift, concern, peace. Just write down whatever you sense in the waking moment. If you have good recall of most of the dream images, put down everything in as much detail as possible: people, vehicles, scenery, objects, colors, shapes, numbers and so on.
If you do not immediately write down the dream, you will lose it. Do not think that you can go back to sleep and remember it later. You are in an altered state of consciousness, that half-awake half-asleep state when you first open your eyes. Until you learn to build bridges between levels of consciousness, you will not be able to recall your dream once you are fully awake. That is why you tell yourself you will remember and write down the dream.
By continuing to practice this technique of writing down material, bringing it back from superconscious to conscious mind, you are learning to bridge the gap between levels of consciousness.
You dream all during the night, but often your best teaching dreams occur between 3:00 and 5:00 a.m. or right upon awakening. Of course, if you are working the night shift and sleep during the day, your dream schedule will be adjusted to your biological rhythms. But dreams can come at any time whether during a nap in the afternoon or a catnap after dinner.
Using Dreams for Problem Solving
Even if you do not consciously use dreams for problem solving, you no doubt have had the experience of waking up in the morning with a clear and simple answer to a problem. You may not even remember a dream, but you know what to do in the situation at hand. This technique has been used for centuries to get insight. The conscious mind can struggle and wrestle with a problem, but when it is released to the superconscious mind, the greater infinite resources of consciousness, the answer effortlessly appears.
Deliberately programming your dreams for answers to problems, however, is taking even more control of the dream state and letting it work for you.
To use dreams for problem solving, again sit on the side of your bed before going to sleep. Take several deep breaths, relax, and bring the problem to mind. Whether it concerns relationships, career, health, inspiration for a creative project, or whatever, go over in your mind all the different parts of the problem that seem relevant. You have already thought about it, reflected upon it, but you are not sure which is the best direction, or the most positive solution. Feel into the problem as well as mentally reviewing it. Now mentally repeat, “Tonight I will have and remember a dream containing information for the solution to this problem. The problem concerns . . . (and briefly describe it as objectively as possible). I will now have this dream, and will recall, understand, and record it upon awakening. I open myself to the highest possible insight and guidance.” Then go to sleep, completely releasing the situation from your mind, resting in the expectation that you will receive the answer.
As soon as you awaken write down everything you can remember. Write down any general sense of the dream, feelings, impressions, as well as images. You may awaken with a clear recall of a dream which, upon analysis, gives a very definite answer. You may awaken with a strong sense of just knowing what to do. Or, sometime during the day, something in waking reality may trigger an image or impression from the dream, and you have your answer.
You may recall a dream that you cannot seem to figure out. Just record it, and continue the process the following night.
Avoid telling yourself that the process is not working, however. It is working; you just do not yet understand it. So if you do not have the answer you want upon awakening, do another little relaxation before starting your day. Suggest to yourself: “I have completely released this problem or situation to a higher wisdom within me. This answer is now presenting itself to me. I am open and receptive.” Then dismiss the concern from your mind. Holding on to it or worrying about it will block your insight. If you do not get the answer during the day, repeat the programming pro-cedure again before going to sleep. You should have the answer to any problem within a three day period.
Some people have said to me: “But I have tried to program dreams and it just did not work.” There may be a variety of reasons. First, anything that affects the chemistry of the body significantly—alcohol, drugs, barbiturates, Valium, sleeping pills—may completely botch dream recall. Your dreams will not be clear if you are able to remember them at all. A full meal right before going to sleep also affects dream life in a negative way.
Second, it is important to be relaxed when programming or asking for a dream. Do deep breathing and relax your body. Still the conscious mind enough to focus on the programming technique. Feel the desire to problem solve or get insight from your dreams. Don’t just mouth the words. You want the feeling of the heart center but the detachment and clarity of the third eye, so you are not reacting emotionally. Love yourself for creating the situation. It is a valuable teacher. Love yourself for now desiring to resolve and move beyond it. Love all persons involved for helping you learn and get to know yourself. When you approach problem solving through love, the answers are more readily available to you.
Third, ask yourself, “Do I really want to know what is best? Or am I trying to dictate the answer? Am I really open to the best and highest solution, or am I blocking my receptivity through fear?” Sometimes we ask for things that we really do not want to know. Particularly if the problem involves a decision over a major transition—leaving a relationship, changing jobs, taking self-responsibility—we may not really want to hear it. Ask, and you shall receive. But the asking must be an honest, open asking.
Finally, you may not be asking the right question. Questions should always have to do with insight into self, not how to change or manipulate others. If you are asking how to get your spouse to stop drinking, you are starting in the wrong place. Instead, realize that it is his or her responsibility to change, and all the love and support in the world may not be enough to help. The question should be: why have I created this situation for myself? What in myself needs to be changed to enable me to have a love-filled, joyous life? Through a need to be needed, a martyr syndrome, poor self- image or a number of other things, you may feel stuck in a situation. You can be assured of only one thing: with genuine self-insight the situation will change. You may have to leave it, you may not. But above all you must desire wisdom, not limiting ideas about self and others.
Remember the greatest thing we can do for another is to honor his or her inner power to make decisions and choose the kind of life he or she wants to live. We are all free to make our own mistakes. That is the only way we learn. When you are too concerned with shaping up someone else’s life, you can be sure you are copping out on your own lessons. If you are saying to yourself, “If so and so would just change, then I would be fine,” that is handwriting on the wall that you are avoiding self-responsibility.
So, ask for insight into self. Release others to learn their own lessons. You certainly can pray for others and send them love. But do so in the way that you are honoring their higher self, giving them the energy and freedom to make their own decisions, to determine their best life path, whether or not it may include you and your expectations and desires.
Kinds of Dreams
There are six basic kinds of dreams, and often you will remember snatches from several of them. As you begin to work with dreams more and more, you will recognize the differences and determine the value each is offering you. I call these different dreams clearing house or clutter, teaching, problem solving, precognitive, prophetic or visionary, and outside interference.
These dreams clean out the input from the day, sorting through mental and emotional clutter, rerunning experiences. Often the mind is still running a mile a minute when you first try to go to sleep. You are worried, anxious, stressful. These dreams begin the process of releasing useless concerns and integrating helpful ones. They help body and mind begin to relax.
If you meditate before going to sleep, stilling and focusing the mind, the clutter dreams are usually unnecessary. If you practice briefly rerunning the day in your mind, blessing, releasing and forgiving self and others, you are ready for a higher level of awareness in the dream state. Also, your energy will be higher and your dreams will be clearer.
You usually have one important teaching dream a night. This gives you information on problems you are facing, or shows you higher teachings from advanced levels. You are prepared for what is going to happen during the next 24 hours. Often a dejâ vu experience is remembering what the superconscious mind stored in the subconscious memory back during the dream state. You already knew you were going to say something in a certain way, or that a particular person was going to do or say something. Most dreams are concerned with what you are presently going through and how best to deal with situations and relationships.
You may find yourself sitting in a classroom, giving or hearing a lecture, or walking with a teacher in some beautiful surroundings. You may be hearing information you never knew before and have good recall of it upon awakening. Many discoveries and inspirations have come from higher levels of these teaching dreams.
These are dreams you have programmed or asked for. You may be seeking insight on understanding a difficult relationship, solving a scientific mystery, or asking for the plot of a new novel. All knowledge and information are available to you when you learn how to tap it. Learning how to program dreams and understand their messages is one of your most valuable inner resources.
This dream gives you a glimpse of something in the future. It is different from the cieja vu experience, because precognition is usually concerning someone other than yourself. Precognition means foreknowing. There is a special sense or feeling to the precognitive dream. As you learn to recognize it, you will know which images are symbolic and which may happen to be literal precognitive events. It is a psychic level phenomenon.
Most precognitive dreams are given to awaken people to expanded dimensions of the mind. Often non-meditators will have them, for then they are forced to ask how they know such and such about a particular person. The mind, of course, is not bound by time. Hopefully these dreams direct your attention inward so that you become more interested in developing and learning about the inner self.
Prophetic or visionary
This dream comes from the highest level of the soul. It is a message from God or the God-self and concerns spiritual growth. It comes from the mystical level of awareness. It may have a personal message or may contain a universal truth. The vision is on a much larger scale than you commonly associate with dreaming. It has a totally different quality of awareness about it. You know you are awake, aware, yet also realize you are in the dream state. Prophesies of old and mystical teachings have come through the visionary level of consciousness. A vision has many qualities within it: insight, understanding, expansion, realization of the oneness of all life, power and love. I may have only one vision a year, but it is always worth waiting for.
This dream is produced when something in your physical environment is causing enough disruption to get incorporated in your dream story. For example, you dream you are very hot and awaken to find too many covers piled on top of you. Ringing phones, barking dogs, cold feet on your back—anything can be a part of the dream, with no real message from the superconscious or higher self.
Also, if you fall asleep watching television or listening to the radio, any or all of that information can affect your dreams. It is always best to sleep in a quiet, restful environment. There is enough blaring into the subconscious throughout the day without adding more to it during your sleep time.
Indigestion or a full bladder also affects dream images. Just be aware when interpreting dreams that you may be picking up such outside interferences.
Anatomy of a Dream
Dreams often present themselves in three steps. First they give the time reference for the problem, situation or program you are running. For example, if you are shown a house you lived in when you were a child, the house represents an old program or awareness of self that started way back then.
Second, they will show you how the problem is manifesting itself now in your life and present awareness—what is surrounding it.
Third, they will present the solution to the situation, or how to learn from and move beyond the program or problem that is limiting you.
Most teaching dreams will follow this format. If you remember seeing a car, house, school or person of your past, that is usually part of the first phase of the dream.
Understanding Dream Symbols
The most curious thing about dreams, perhaps, is they speak to us in symbols. These may seem strange, but once we understand the meaning they are much clearer than our usual way of attempting to communicate with ourselves and others.
Why, you may ask, do I have to go through all the symbology in dreams? Wouldn’t it be easier just to get the straight message? Communication among people is difficult at best. So many things are open to misinterpretation because of blocks and perceptual filters.
My guidance has said that dreams are given symbolically because once you know your own symbols you cannot mistake the message. You will know instantly what is being given to you and you will understand it totally. Actually symbols are like shorthand and are much easier to interpret than verbal conversation.
Working with dream symbols might be compared to playing the piano. When you first begin you are certain that this has to be the most awkward and complicated thing you have ever undertaken. But after a routine of regular practice, your new skill becomes a natural, flowing easy part of your life. Or, take the computer industry. If you do not understand computer language, it all seems foreign and difficult. If you hear someone speaking a language different from your own, it is the old ‘it’s all Greek to me” feeling. If you speak, read and write Greek, however, it is another story.
So think of working with dream symbols as just learning another language. They are a higher, more accurate, more integrative level, that enables you to become aware of self as an interdimensional being.
The Starting Point
There are primary dream symbols which usually have the same meanings. A good place to begin is to realize that everything in the dream is you. You are the producer, writer, actor and director. People in the dream usually represent qualities within yourself you have projected on to them. Male and female figures represent your own masculine and feminine energies. A child represents your child part, an aged person an old part of self, either one that is wise or a part that is dying because you have outgrown it. Animals represent feelings you have about specific animals or the characteristics associated with them; for example, a wolf is danger, like the wolf in sheep’s clothing; a fox is cunning and craftiness.
A house, building, store or other structure is you. If it is large, it indicates great potential and awareness of opportunities and/or inner resources. If the rooms are cluttered, you obviously are not keeping your house in order. If some of the rooms are dark, they are parts of the self you do not know or understand. The attic or upstairs represents the spiritual self, the ground floor the physical or everyday self, and the basement the sexual or subconscious self. The various rooms and how they are decorated and arranged indicate that particular aspect of your life; bathroom—cleansing, eliminating, releasing; dining room—nurturing, fellowship, and so on.
Any vehicle—a car, plane, spacecraft, boat—also represents the self. It is your mode of traveling or being in the world. A car is your physical vehicle and indicates how you are traveling in everyday life. Going backwards, downhill, the wrong way? Got a flat tire? Are you speeding ahead in perfect control? A boat or ship is your emotional vehicle and lets you know what is going on in your emotional life. Are you being tossed upon the seas of life, going up and down? Are you in dry dock? Are you at the helm? Do you have an anchor?
An airplane or any airborne vessel is your spiritual vehicle, and if you are on your way to the airport, you know you are preparing to take off to new spiritual understanding.
A motorcycle or bicycle means you need balance in your life.
Water represents the emotions, fire is purification, air is the spiritual self and earth is the physical self (or degree of grounding).
Once you begin to recognize a few basic symbols, then you begin to look for colors (you do not dream in black and white), clothes, people, scenery, objects, sizes, shapes, numbers, words, letters and so on. Everything has its own significance. Fences or road blocks indicate that creative thinking is needed to get beyond a particular problem that is now facing you. The kind of road on which you find yourself traveling represents how smooth or rough your journey is at present. If you are on a freeway it is easy going. If a bumpy road you are getting there but it is a little rough at present. If you are paving a road you are making your way easier for the future.
Any symbols given to you—whether in fantasy, meditation or guided imagery—are all the same. They are coded messages from self to self. When you “get the picture,” you understand the situation.
You Are The Final Word
Remember that you are always your own best interpreter. You are the final word on the meaning of a symbol for you.
Do not be so gullible that you eagerly accept another’s interpretation. This is giving away power and neglecting the refinement and trust of your own inner resources. If the symbol in the dream dictionary does not feel right, look it up in an unabridged dictionary. Often meanings are there you have never considered before, and a little bell will ring in your head when you read one of them. The definitions offered in this book are generalized and if they do not apply to a specific situation, you need to keep looking, reflecting, and meditating upon a symbol until it reveals its true meaning to you. And by working them out, they become so simple that you know you are always being guided by your own higher self or the God within you.
Common Types of Dreams
Nothing is off limits in the dream state. We are open to experiencing all levels of self, all fears, frustrations, suppressed images, unknown territory, visionary insights. We will become more comfortable with all dream images when we learn to welcome them, whatever they are, as symbolic messengers of self.
There is no such thing as a bad dream symbol. The most grotesque or frightening dreams have the most positive insights once they are worked out. Remember, dream images are just trying to get your attention, so do not resist them. Seek to recognize the insight so you can move on to more joyous awareness. Many people have the following common types of dreams:
A dream known to most all of us is the nightmare. It is one of our most valuable teaching dreams because it shows us a fear that has been blown way out of proportion or something we have suppressed that is affecting us negatively. Often we do not remember the happy dreams. But the frightening ones will make more of an impression and we will be more inclined to work them out.
For example, a man had a recurring nightmare that a large rat was eating away at his neck. He would awaken screaming and clawing at his neck to remove the rat. Upon analysis, he discovered that the neck represented the throat chakra. He was not verbalizing his needs, and the suppression was gnawing away and resulting in self-destructive behaviors. The rat was an insecure part of self that was betraying him. We must always nurture the inner self, taking care to verbalize and express what it is that we want and need. After he began to take assertive steps to resolve these problems both at work and in his personal relationships, the rat dream no longer continued.
Whether earthquakes, flood, fire or tidal wave, a disaster indicates a sudden change in some area of your life. A flood means an emotional upheaval and an earthquake means a big rearrangement in your affairs. They usually indicate turning points or opportunities to take advantage of a new direction. See specific disasters in Part II.
Sex is a big part of many dreams, and usually has little to do with the literal meaning of intercourse. Usually it indicates learning to balance the male and female polarities of our being. Remember that each one of us is both male and female, manifesting itself in a particular body.
To have sexual intercourse in a dream represents a merger of energies. If having intercourse with a man, it is a merger of masculine energies within the self; with a woman it is a merger of feminine energies. If you are a female (or male) and dream of making love with another female (or male) you actually know, it represents taking within the self qualities you associate with the particular individual. Making love with a member of the same sex usually has nothing to do with homosexuality.
Also, having intercourse in a dream with members of your family does not indicate a desire for incest. If making love with your father or mother, it represents a merger of wiser, nurturing qualities of the masculine or feminine self; with a son or daughter, an integration of the more childlike or youthful qualities of self. Remember all persons in the dream are an aspect of you.
A sexual dream accompanied by an orgasm may indicate a need to release and balance physical energy, and this is a way the body has of restoring equilibrium. We must remember that we are physical, sexual beings and this part of the self needs to be honored.
If you find yourself in a costume, it usually represents a past life. It may be that a problem you are facing now was the same one you were dealing with in another time and place. Remembering and understanding the dynamics of the costume dream will help you gain a perspective on whatever is presently confronting you.
The direction in which you are traveling indicates whether you are on the right track. If you are going up in a dream—up a mountain, up a road, ladder, staircase, elevator, whatever, you are going in the right direction. If you are going down, it is the wrong way. If you are going both up and down, your energy is scattered and you need to get centered. Going around in circles speaks for itself. If you are going to the right, you are following the path of intuition and guidance. To the left is the intellect and reason.
One man asked if he should participate in a conference and got a dream showing him riding on a down escalator, so steep that he had to heave his briefcase in front of him in order to hold on. Wrong direction, not in support of his study and projects at hand. Another example: a woman was considering the purchase of a certain automobile. She was shown the car sitting down at the bottom of a hill, and she had to walk down crowded streets to get there. She did not buy the car, and a much better offer came up within a few days.
Flying dreams are great fun, and usually mean you are consciously out of the body. If you can gain control of a flying dream you are free to go anywhere you like. You may think yourself in different places in time/space and instantly be there, or you may transcend dimensions. If you are flying around and then start losing altitude or think you are going to crash, it simply suggests that you have a fear of exploring higher dimensions and breaking out of limits. Try again the next night.
If you dream you are falling, you are probably having a bad landing coming back into the body. We all leave the body at night. If you jerk as you are dozing off, it is a bad exit. If you wake up and cannot move or talk, it means you are half in and half out of the body. We cannot move until we are totally in. Think yourself down to your feet. This will ground you.
We leave the body at night, or transcend physical awareness, to be taught and trained. The physical or third dimension is illusion; the dream state is reality. Through meditation and working with dreams you will never fear death as you will experience the fourth dimension and be as comfortable there as you are in the third dimension here.
Nothing in a dream is obscene once you understand the meaning. Nothing is meant to insult you or offend you, but to get you to look at a level of self or limitation that you have avoided. Work it out and usually you will find a great deal of humor behind it.
Like a movie rerun, there is a message you are not seeing. Recurring nightmares mean that you have not dealt with a particular fear. Recurring fence or barricade dreams mean there is a limit you imposed upon yourself that you have not yet recognized and removed. These are most important to write down and work out. Once you get the message they will stop.
Snakes frequently appear in dreams, and are power symbols. They represent the kundalini energy, or life force. One woman dreamed that a snake entered her lower body and moved up through the body trunk to the throat. The snake stuck in her throat, and she started choking. She awakened horrified. At first glance this does seem a bit unnerving, but actually it was a perfect explanation of what was happening in her life. The kundalini power is housed at the base of the spine. So the snake enters her body and begins to move upward. As we awaken energy it moves up through the various chakras. Her energy was flowing well until it reached the throat center, and there it stopped, causing choking. She was blocking energy in that center, and not verbalizing her needs and feelings. She was choking off communication because of fear and a poor self-image. This dream explained that her inner power was alive and well, and through releasing the blocks in the throat center by verbalizing and not suppressing she would get past present limitations in relationships with others.
When you dream of coins or dollar bills, it represents changes coming into your life. Small coins, small change. Lots of bills, big changes.
These dreams concern how well we are taking care of our inner garbage. Are we letting go of unneeded thoughts and experiences? Are we releasing the past so that we are able to live fully in the present? Difficulty in elimination or constipation indicates suppression. Diarrhea suggests forced elimination whether ready or not, and we are out of control in the process. A stopped up toilet means you are not releasing, flushing out negativity and wastes.
I had a dream with three stopped up toilets sitting out in the open. This was letting me know that I had to clean up my act mentally, physically and emotionally. I was now aware of things to do, priorities to establish, because the toilets were totally exposed for all to see.
Blood and Guts Dreams
Blood in a dream means loss of energy. If you are being stabbed, note the area of the body and check the corresponding chakra to see how you are losing energy. If you are being murdered or are murdering someone else, you are killing off a part of the self. This may be an aspect no longer needed, or a part that you are failing to nurture that is still valuable to self-growth.
A death means the ending of the old and making way for the new. A death seldom means a literal death. Rather it suggests the dying of a part of self necessary in the process of growth and regeneration. It may also mean you are dead inside and need to awaken feelings and sensitivity. So check carefully the symbols in the dream to get the message.
Chase Dreams. If you are being chased, or trying to run away from something, you are avoiding looking at a problem. If you cannot get your legs to move or are moving in slow motion, you will soon have to confront the fear you have been avoiding. When you are being chased, you are putting yourself through unnecessary anguish and pain. Remember to turn around and confront whatever aspect of self is chasing you, make peace with it, and the drama will end.... Dreampedia