To see huge pieces of ivory being carried, denotes financial success and pleasures unalloyed. ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
2. To an agnostic, a question as to whether one should believe or not.
3. To an atheist, a symbol of one’s disbelief in god and religion.
4. A hint that though one does not believe in god, one might someday.
5. If one pictures oneself being cruciﬁed, one is making a huge sacriﬁce for someone else. ... New American Dream Dictionary
(Also see Bond’)... Islamic Dream Interpretation
The same is the case when a strong, red camel is seen.... Islamic Dream Interpretation
The date tree may be interpreted as an honorable Arab gentleman since date trees are mainly indigenous to arab countries. As for the walnut tree, it represents a non-Arab person since these trees do not grow in the land of the Arabs.
The same applies to birds.
If a bird is huge it symbolizes an Arab gentleman; a peacock represents a non-Arab gentleman.... Islamic Dream Interpretation
The date tree may be interpreted as an honorable Arab gentleman since date trees are mainly indigenous to arab countries. As for the walnut tree, it represents a non-Arab person since these trees do not grow in the land of the Arabs.
The same applies to birds.
If a bird is huge it symbolizes an Arab gentleman; a peacock represents a non-Arab gentleman.... Islamic Dream Interpretation
If small and many it means he will be afflicted with grief and sorrow.
If one or two, they represent one or two women from who he will derive benefit.... Islamic Dream Interpretation
If someone sees a hand mill in a house that is not accustomed to grinding its own grain or spices in a dream, it means adversities, defeat, or arguments. Ifone then grinds bread, or meat or honey with in the dream, it denotes a despicable character of the people of that house, their falsehood, affectation, lesbian or pervert nature.
If one sees a hand mill grinding stones in a dream, it means that he will be seized by terror. Ifone grinds barley or grains for food in a dream, it means solving the family’s problems, prosperity, recovering from illness, or refurbishing one’s business. Ifone sees a huge hand mill in the center of a town in a dream, it means war and destruction and especially if he sees it grinding rocks or emitting fire or sparks. Otherwise, it means a plague if the hand mill is grinding spoiled and moldy grains, mud, or spoiled meat.
If one sees the millstone tilted in a dream, it means rising prices.
If the hand mill is turning with nothing to grind in the dream, it means toiling aimlessly.
If the hand mill turns using a wheel in the dream, it means prosperity.
If one sees the hand mill turning and not grinding in a dream, it means travels.
If it turns for no useful purpose in a dream, it denotes the nearing of one’s death.
A pair of small hand grinders in a dream represent two loathsome partners that no one can correct or guide.
If one sees himself operating a millstone by hand in a dream, it means that he earns his livelihood following the required religious conduct, and earns his money from his own sweat.
A millstone in a dream also may denote loathsome actions.
If a prisoner sees a broken millstone in a dream, it means that he will be soon released, and if he is under a death sentence, it means that the judgment will be rescinded, or that he may die before the judgment is carried out. As far as the question of livelihood, the better looking and effective is the hand mill, the better are one’s earnings and vice-versa.
If one buys a hand mill in a dream, it means that he will get married, or that he will marry off his daughter, or that he will travel on business.
If the millstone is interpreted to mean a husband or a wife, then it represents respectful people.
A hand mill in a dream also means comfort, relief, evil, fight, dispute, wife, servant,livelihood, travels, gourmandism, or a woman who gives herself priority in everything.
(Also see Water mill; Windmill)... Islamic Dream Interpretation
The same applies to boulders and rocks.
The person who sees such a dream will attain honour and dignity.... Islamic Dream Interpretation
It is narrated that their king was bent on annihilating the Muslims.
For this, he prepared a powerful navy comprising of thousands of soldiers. At this point he saw a dream in which he saw himself mounted on an elephant while drums were beaten and trumpets were blown before him. When he awoke he summoned some of his clergymen and asked them to interpret the dream. They gave him the glad tiding of victory. He demanded proof from them for their interpretation.
The said that the elephant is the most powerful animal on land and mounting such a powerful animal means becoming the master of power and strength. And the beating of drums and blowings of trumpets are signs of happiness, ecstasy and victory. Also drums are only beaten in the presence of asking if there is some reason for happiness.
When the king heard this, he became both surprised and delighted. He then summoned some Jewish ulama and asked them for their interpretation. They also interpdreted the dream as a glad tiding of victory. He then called some Muslim ulamaa and demanded that they interpret the dream. They all pointed to an experienced aalim to respond to the king’s demand.
The aalim said to the king that he would interpret the dream only if he guaranteed their safety which he did.
The learned aalim interpreted the dream thus; “O king, I see no wisdom in your wanting to kill the Muslims and marching on them for this purpose. Please do not deploy your army for they will not return to you alive. They will be defeated and destroyed. And do not for one moment think that I give this interpretation because I am a Muslim”.
The king asked him for proof to which he replied that the Holy Book of Allah was the source for his proof. He quoted the verse: Have you not seen what your Lord had done to the people of the elephants. He recited the entire Soorah Feel.
The king said: “This is your proof regarding the elephants. What have you to say about the drums?” He recited the verse: And when the trumpet will be blowns, this will be a very hard day for the non-believers-not an easy one.
When the king heard this he became utterly shocked and perplexed since the shaikh’s explanation was rational and irrefutable.
To avoid embarrassment to himself he dismissed the sheikh and his colleagues saying that he would have believed him if he (the sheikh) were not a Muslim. But since he is a Muslim he is biased in his delivery of interpretation.
The Shaikh said: “You will soon find out for yourself, o king!”.
When the sheikh and his colleagues departed the king began to ponder deeply about what the sheikh had said. He became convinced and decided not to go ahead with his plans. When the clergy heard of this they approached him and urged him to go ahead with his plan. They reasoned with him not to believe the interpretation of the sheikh as he was a Muslim and a Muslim would obviously be opposed to king Muslims. They also sought his permission to kill the sheikh which he refused. They continued to incite him against the Muslim and urged him to go ahead with his plans. He had no choice but to accede. He deployed a huge army under the command of his son.
The two sides met in the middle of the sea.
For three days a fierce battle ensued between the Muslims and non-Muslims. One the third day the Christians army was defeated. Not a single person was spared. When the king came to learn about this, he called for the sheikh and admitted his folly before him. He then secretly accepted Islam at his hands and bestowed many of his favours on him.
It is said that he also learned the Holy Qur’aan by the Shaikh and this affair of the king became popular in Saqliyyah.... Islamic Dream Interpretation
The more strings there are to such a necklace the greater will be his trustworthiness and esteem and family.... Islamic Dream Interpretation
A stormy wind in a dream may represent calamities, destruction, or plagues.
A tornado in a dream means destruction or a calamity. On the other hand, wind in a dream may also mean pollination, good harvest, prosperity, victory, or success. However, winds in a dream also represent illness, rheumatism, sneezing, aching, or headaches, etcetera. Ifone sees the wind carrying him and transporting him from one place to another with no fear on his part, and if there are no clouds or darkness in the skies in the dream, it means that he may preside over people, should he qualify for that, or if he wished to do so, or it could represent his business success, or that he will liquidate his merchandise, should it be stagnant or unsalable.
If the winds lift someone who is seized by fear or tyranny, and if the winds carry with them dark clouds, or a cloud of dust in the dream, and if the person is travelling when he sees the dream, it means that he will face great difficulties.
If he is ill, then his illness will intensify, or it could mean that some higher order will persecute him, or perhaps ajudge will rule against him.
If one sees a huge tornado or a tropical storm carrying people, trees, homes, or cattle in the air to scatter them over its path of destruction, then it represents a major plague, or a calamity affecting that region. Poisonous winds or polluted air in a dream represent a feverish illness.
A stormy wind accompanied with thunder in a dream represents a tyrant.
If the wind carries someone from one place to another in the dream, it means that he may travel there, but he may never return to his homeland.
A gentle wind or a breeze in a dream represents grace and blessings for the people and the land.
A storm of dust in a dream represents destruction in the land. However, winds in a dream always represent tidings from God Almighty.
If the wind is not accompanied with a good witness or a cheering element in the dream, then it means cessation of blessings for that land. Ifthe wind is accompanied with a stridulous or a shrill sound in the dream, it means a severe punishment for that place.
If a general of an army sees himself leading his soldiers and is preceded by a stormy wind in a dream, it means that he will be victorious and that he will triumph over his enemy. However, if a storm faces him at his arrival to the battlefield in the dream, it means that he will lose his battle.
If one sees a storm uprooting the trees in his dream, it means that the government of that land will mass murder its own people.
A southern wind in a dream means illness, diseases, or death.
A southern wind is sometimes interpreted as rain and prosperity.
If one witnesses a slow moving wind in his dream, it means that he will consent to the actions of a group of evildoing people.
If the wind blows from a known direction in the dream, it means mercy and blessings, or that one may receive good news from that direction. Winds in a dream also mean asking for one’s needs, or fulfilling them.
A gentle breeze in a dream, represents travel andjoy. Ifone sees the wind colored red in the dream, it represents a recalcitrant child.
(Also see Fan)... Islamic Dream Interpretation
The kangaroo is a strong and powerful animal. It has huge feet that it uses for mobility and self-protection. Your dream may have to to with issues of strength, freedom to move, and grounding. Additionally, since we are all intrigued with a kangaroo’s parenting style, this dream may be bringing up issues regarding your mother or your mothering. Superstition based dream interpretation books say that seeing a kangaroo in your dreams foretells unexpected and exciting trips. Also See: Animals... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
An orbiting planet could represent your ego.
It is traveling around the sun (i.e. soul) and the entire thing could be a huge circle that is You.
If this sounds like a very far out idea, well, it may be! However, if what Carl Jung said is true, all dream images bring us back to issues of self-identity and most evolved and profound understanding of self.... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
If the ocean waters were turbulent, and the whale in your dream was unpredictable or on the attack, considers the emotional environment in your every day life. Under such unpleasant dream circumstances, these large animals may represent overwhelming emotional or psychological issue and problem. See also: Dolphin... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
The influence these archetypes have upon our conscious self is varied. Panly they are supportive, as instincts are to an animal.
Some ancient cultures erected a pantheon of gods and goddesses. Many of these gods were expressions of archetypal themes, such as death, rebirth and womanhood.
A sheepdog has in itself, unconsciously, a propensity to herd animals under direction. Through the worship of gods, perhaps ancient people touched similar reservoirs of strength and healing. Without such, the individual might find it mcre difficult to face the fact that death waits at the end of their life, or to allow sexuality to emerge into their life at pube ty.
The dream of a girl suffering from anorexia shows her cutting off her own breasts with scissors. Here her developing sexual traits and urges are unacceptable to her. Perhaps she ‘cuts them off’ by not eating, thus preventing her body and psyche from maturing. In the past it would have been recommended that she give offerings to a goddess, thus aligning her with an unconscious power to adapt and mature.
Some of these archetypal patterns of behaviour, such as territorialism and group identity, are only too obviously behind much that occurs in war, and their influence needs to be brought more fully into awareness. But we must be careful in accepting Jung s descnption of the archetypes. In more recent years, through the tremendously amplified access to the unconscious made possible in psychiatry through such drugs as LSD, a lot more information about unconscious imagery has been made available.
It is possible thai certain synthesising aspects of the mind produce images to represent huge areas of collected experience, i.e. the Mystic Mother or Madonna representing our collected experience of our mother.
Whatever may be the explanation of these archetypal themes, they are imponant because they illustrate how we as individuals, and as human beings collectively, have been able to develop^ur sense of conscious identity amidst enormous forces of unconsciousness, collectivity and external stresses. Below are some common archetypal symbols and their associated images. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The life cycle of a bird has so many similarities with important human stages of maturity we frequently use it to represent oneself, as in the example. Pauline uses the bird to depict her own urge to be independent of her mother’s influence, opinions, likes, dislikes and decisions. Later in the dream her mother hands Pauline the ribbon to hold, suggesting an offer of independence. As soon as she lets go of the ribbon, a huge black bird attacks the ribboned one.
The ribbons are a reference to Pauline’s own girlhood. When she lets go of her girlhood, moving towards independent womanhood, she feels threatened by the internalised negative side of her mother, such as her possessiveness—the black bird. Internalised means all the standards, self controls she learned from her life with her mother, which she now carries within her even if absent from her mother.
General: Imagination; intuition, the mind; thoughts, our spiritual longings; expanded awareness—in this form, perhaps a large bird which can fly high. Because wider—or spiritual—awareness means looking beyond the usual boundaries of what we see, this may be painful. Hatching from the egg; our birth and infancy.
The nest: home; family environment; security, even the womb. Leaving the nest: gaining independence. Making a nest: home building; parental urges. Flying: rising above something; independence; freedom; self expression.
Freud said the bird represents the male phallus, and flying means the sexual act. Many languages use the word bird’ to mean woman. In Italy it alludes to penis.
The bird is also used to denote the sense of death and survival. Bluebird: especially represents the spint or soul after death. Baby bird: our own childhood, as in the following example.
The old lady is once more reference to the mother, to whom the bird is first connected before moving on to the difficulty of independence. Example: An old lady made room for me to sit at the end of one of the three seats of a bus. As we drove away a very large chicken-size baby bird flew in. It had short stubby wings and yellow down, but flew expenly. I believe it first landed on the lady and chirped squeakily. But in its squeaks it actually spoke, saying it had lost its mother. It sounded as if it were crying (Andrew). Idioms: charm the birds from the trees; a bird told me; bird has flown; bird in the hand, bird of ill omen; free as a bird, odd bird. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
What lies beyond death is conjecture, but the archetype of death we are considering is not completely about physical death.
It is about our observation of it in others; our conceptions of it gained from our culture and our impressions; the feelings which generate around our experiences and thoughts; our attempts to deal with our own aging and approach to death, plus what material the deeper strata of our unconscious release regarding it.
It is about how our sense of conscious personal existence meets the prospect of its disintegration.
Unless we can come to terms with what is behind the haunting images of death we meet in our dreams, we fail to live fully and daringly, we are too haunted by death lurking in the shadows of injury and the unknown. Images of death and the associated emotions, carried within for years, can have a negative influence on our health. Coming to terms means the courage to feel the emotions of fear or chill and discover them for what they are—emotions. They are certainly not death, only our feelings about it.
The differences shown in the two following examples illustrate the avoiding and the meeting. Example: 4So to get to the bedroom I had to jump across this gap. I tried to jump but missed and I fell and hit the bottom.
The next thing I remember was I was floating up. I looked down and saw myself lying face down with arms spread out and I suddenly realised I was dead. I was so frightened that I woke up. I had the feelings of fear of dying, but I felt no pain’ (Cath). Example: “Suddenly I was in a huge underground cavern. It was hundreds of feet high and as wide. It had two great statues in it, both to do with death.
The whole place overpowered me with a sense of decay and skeletal death, darkness, underground, earth, the end. I cried out in the dismal cave, “Death, where is your sting! Grave, where is your victory!” I immediately had the sense of being a bodiless awareness. I knew this was what occurred at death. Fear and the sense of decay left me’ (Andrew).
Summarising these and many other dreams, it is not only the accumulated images of death, but also bodilessness and loss of power and identity which bring so much fear. There are two antipodes of human experience. At the tip of one is focused self-determining self consciousness. At the tip of the other is unfocused void without identity. Strangely enough we experience both each day in some degree—the first while awake, the second when we sleep. Yet to face the second with consciousness feels like all the horrors of death and loss. Yet facing it is important, especially to the second half of life.
The symbols of rebirth are: the cave; an egg; spring; the tree; the cross; dawn; emerging out of the sea; the snake; the bird; a seed; arising from the earth or faeces; green shoot from a dead branch; phoenix; flame; a pearl; the womb. Rebirth is as difficult to face as death. It holds within it not just the memones of the struggles and difficulties of our own physical birth and growth, but also the challenge of becoming the unknown future, the dark possibility, the new.
The dream of Andrew in the underground cavern is an example of positive rebirth. After realising himself as bodiless awareness he emerges from the cave and finds himself near a tree. Example: ‘A tremendous jolt of power poured into me from the tree. I saw that we had arrived at a place where a line of trees, about a 100 yards in length, stood very close together in a slight semicircle on the top of a bank.
The trees had great spiritual power and the place was a holy temple. Two spiritual beings were there—an ancient Earth Being, and Christ’ (Andrew).
The next example is of a dream typical of meeting memories of physical birth. As can be seen, the experience is powerful enough to cause physical shaking. Example: All I can see of what I enter is a very narrow space with a light showing through. But immediately I enter I realise I have made a mistake for I am being forced swiftly through a dark, very narrow tunnel. I feel pain as I am dragged along and I hear loud banging noises which frighten me, but although they are loud they seem to come from inside my head. I feel terrified and breathless and very relieved when I wake before reaching the end of the tunnel. In fact as I write this account I am shivering” (female, anon). ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The overcoming of it means facing one’s fears of the vast power of such natural drives, and finding satisfying expression. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Occasionally shows information about actual nutritional needs or physical allergies. Also, to eat is to continue involvement in the fundamental processes of life, a celebration of interdependence.
To not eat: shows a conflict with the physical reality of one’s body and its needs, an avoidance of growth or change; an attempt to be isolated from others, reality, the whole. Avoiding cenain foods: expression of decision making in dealing with needs; food allergy. Giving food to others: giving of oneself to others, or nunuring some aspect of oneself. Eating objects or repulsive food: meeting objectionable experiences; trying to ‘stomach’ things which make you ‘sick’.
Example: 1 ran into a house and came face to face with a huge stag. I noted the open back door, whereupon he staned eating my leg. I was pushing against his horns and managed to stop him chewing me’ (Jasmine C). Being eaten : the first pan of Jasmine’s dream (not quoted) is obviously sexual. Being eaten therefore suggests she is being consumed by her sexual drive. Being eaten, especially if it is the face, also shows how our identity, or our fragile sense of self, is feeling attacked by emotions or fears, other people, or internal dnves.
The classic story of Jonah illustrates this, and shows how the conscious personality needs to develop a working relationship with the unconscious. Eaten by dogs, maggots: feelings about death. See food. Sec also dog under animals; individuation. Idioms: eaten away; eat din; eat humble pie; eat like a horse; eat one’s hean out, eat one’s words; eat out of one’s hand; eat you out of house and home; what’s eating you?; proof of the pudding is in the eating; dog eat dog. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The others were way ahead of me jumping the fences. I couldn’t catch up, and one fence I came to grew to a huge height and was like a steel barrier. I couldn’t get over it and felt a failure’ (Ron S). Ron had not done well at school, had not taken any particular training, had no steady relationship or children. In his late 20s, Ron looked at his friends, married with families and steady jobs, and felt a failure. From the dream he realised he was viewing life as a competitive race to succeed. This was stopping him from following his real interest, psychotherapy, which his family viewed as playing games. He could ride his horse into the fields and explore. He did, by going to Amenca, training, raising a family.
In general, failure indicates comparison; competitiveness; it sometimes depicts alternatives—failure is the alternative to success. So the failure might be ‘because’. See Is there a because factor in the dream? in dream processing; falling. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
A child is, figuratively, like a growing plant. It takes in lumps of external material and transforms them into its own being.
A child unconsciously either takes father or mother as its main model for structuring its behaviour and aims. But also, huge areas of our basic self revolve around mother and father. Even not having an available father leaves an enormous imprint in this archetypal area. Our father in our dreams therefore is most often the overall effect, habits, traits, which arise from our experience—or lack of it—of our father. Father is also the great figure of original authority and strength in our life. He therefore depicts our relationship with outside authority or power. Struggle or seeking to placate father: may show how we deal with authority.
Our baby or child self has no restraints and, in its relationship with father, at times felt urges which as an adult we might find hard to believe or accept. In our dreams we frequently release these urges. Killing father: expressing anger, getting rid of him so there is no competition for mother, gaining your own ability to make decisions and be independent. At some point we need to kill him inside us to claim whatever strength we can from our experience of him and become independent. Sex with father: for the woman fulfilment of childhood desires to possess; for a man desire to receive his love.
The father may not easily have shown his love, so the child becomes desperate to receive. Burying father most likely same as killing; or facing his death and one’s own independence. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Face: self image; concerns about how others see you; expression of or hiding of inner feelings and attitudes. Idioms: above one’s head; over one’s head; enter one’s head; get something into one’s head, go off one’s head, swollen or big head; head above water, head in sand, face the facts; face the music; face value; flat on one’s face; facelift; long face, poker face; blue in the face.
Ears: subtle information, rumours. Idioms: an ear for, all ears; reach one’s ears; flea in the ear, gain the ear of; ears burning; long ears; lend an ear, hear from; will not hear of, hearing things.
Eyes: how we see the world and ourself. Although eyes are not mentioned much in the collection of dreams used for data in this book, saw, see. seeing, look and looking, constitute the highest number of mentions. In a computer word count of 1,000 dreams, these words were mentioned 1,077 times. Feel, feeling, felt, came second, with 855 hits. So dreams are predominantly a looking at and seeing activity, in the sense of insight and awareness.
Eyes are used in many ways in dreams. As these quotes show, eyes can represent the soul or psyche in its many moods-—dark deep eyes; desperation in its eyes; shining eyes; impersonal eyes; staring eyes; eye to eye. Example: 4I saw a young soldier with a gun, but as our eyes met we were attracted to each other, and he put his arm round me’ (Pauline B). As the example shows, eyes can represent the state of a relationship. Lack of eye contact: avoidance of intimacy. Closed eyes: introversion or avoidance of contact; not wanting to see. Example: I was dimly aware of a biggish black bird that came down close beside us on the step and pecked at the baby’s eye, then it flew olf.
The eye was gone completely’ (Heather C). Heather’s dream shows the eye depicting the T or identity. In fact her sense of self was damaged in infancy.
In many dreams the eyes represent our understanding, or how we ‘see’ the world, our view of things or other people; also intelligence; our attention; our boundaries of awareness. Blindness: not being aware, not wanting to see something— usually about oneself. Loss of sight in right eye : not seeing what is going on in the outside world. Loss of sight in left eye: not seeing what you are really thinking or feeling; not aware of self, motives, behaviour, no ‘in-sight’. Idioms: I see; can’t you see; you must be blind; I saw it with my own eyes; all eyes, eye opener, evil eye; sheep eyes; one in the eye; turn a blind eye.
Mouth: pleasure area; our hungers, sexual pleasure. Also, because we speak with our mouth and tongue, they can represent what we say; a dream of our mouth being buttoned— button your lip—or sewed up could suggest that inwardly we regret having said cenain things and need to hold our tongue. Chewing: considering; mulling over something. Idioms: all mouth; a big mouth, nasty taste in the mouth; mouthwatering.
Nose: curiosity; intuition, as with ‘smell a rat’; penis. Idioms: have a nose for, nose out of joint; rub nose in it; up one’s nose.
Teeth: the ageing process as it relates to maturity. This is because we lose our first teeth as we leave childhood behind, and lose our adult teeth as we leave youthfulness behind. Also aggression; ability to ‘chew things over’. Bad tooth: a painful or rotten part of one’s feelings, life or relationships, angry or regretful words. Teeth falling out: example: ‘1 felt a tooth was loose and staned pushing it with my tongue. Then I took hold of it between thumb and forefinger and pulled it out. I felt okay about this, but then another tooth was loose, and another, and I pulled them out. Running to the bathroom I looked into the mirror, horrified and frightened. All my teeth were coming out. Not knowing how to deal with this I ran to my mother, showing her my mouth, empty now except for two teeth. My mother appeared not to see my lack of teeth, or notice my fear’ (Eve). Eve was 18 at the time of the dream. She explored it and found a fear of ageing and death. Also apprehension about maturing and facing independence and responsibility, loss of attractiveness. 1m Tofeeq, a Palestinian woman, told me that among the Arabs it is believed that if you dream of losing teeth it means your brother or son is in trouble. She had a dream in which three of her teeth fell out.
The next day she received a call from America to say her son had been shot in the head three times by a gunman.
A woman swallowing teeth: the throat and Eustachian tubes are like the uterus and Fallopian tubes, so can depict conception or fear of it. False teeth: lies told; false face; not keeping spoken promises. Idioms: show one’s teeth, get one’s teeth into; gnash one’s teeth; grit one’s teeth; teething troubles.
Tongue: speech, expression of what we feel; saying what is deep inside us, perhaps unknown to ourself; penis. Idioms: find one’s tongue; tongue in cheek; lose one’s tongue; sharp tongue; hold one’s tongue; forked tongue. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The area of our being we refer to when we say T, ‘me’ or ‘myself’ is our conscious self awareness, our sense of self, which Jung calls the ego.
The autobiography of Helen Keller has helped in understanding what may be the difference between an animal and a human being with self awareness. Helen, made blind and deaf through illness before learning to speak, lived in a dark unconscious world lacking any self awareness until the age of seven, when she was taught the deaf and dumb language. At first her teacher’s fingers touching hers were simply a tactile but meaningless experience. Then, perhaps because she had leamt one word prior to her illness, meaning flooded her darkness. She tells us that ‘nothingness was blotted out’. Through language she became a person and developed a sense of self, whereas before there had been nothing.
The journey of individuation is not only that of becoming a person, but also expanding the boundaries of what we can allow ourselves to experience as an ego. As we can see from an observation of our dreams, but mostly from an extensive exploration of their feeling content, our ego is conscious of only a small area of experience.
The fundamental life processes in one’s being may be barely felt. In many contemporary women the reproductive drive is talked about as something which has few connections with their personality. Few people have a living, feeling contact with their early childhood, in fact many people doubt that such can exist. Because of these factors the ego can be said to exist as an encapsulated small area of consciousness, surrounded by huge areas of experience it is unaware of.
In a different degree, there exists in each of us a drive towards the growth of our personal awareness, towards greater power, greater inclusion of the areas of our being which remain unconscious.
A paradox exists here, because the urge is towards integration, yet individuation is also the process of a greater self differentiation. This is a spontaneous process, just as is the growth of a tree from a seed (the tree in dreams often represents this process of self becoming), but our personal responsibility for our process of growth is necessary at a certain point, to make conscious what is unconscious.
Because dreams are constantly expressing aspects of individuation it is wonh knowing the main areas of the process. Without sticking rigidly to Jungian concepts—which see individuation as occurring from mid-life onwards in a few individuals—aspects of some of the main stages are as follows. Early babyhood—the emergence of self consciousness through the deeply biological, sensual and gestural levels of experience, all deeply felt; the felt responses to emerging from a non-changing world in the womb to the need to reach out for food and make other needs known. Learning how to deal with a changing environment, and otherness in terms of relationship.
Childhood—learning the basics of motor, verbal and social skills, the very basics of physical and emotional independence. One faces here the finding of strength to escape the domination of mother—difficult, because one is dependent upon the parent in a very real way—and develop in the psyche a satisfying sexual connection. In dream imagery this means, for the male, an easy sexual relationship with female dream figures, and a means of dealing with male figures in competition (father); see sex in dreams.
The dream of the mystic beautiful woman precedes this, a female figure one blends with in an idealistic sense, but who is never sexual.
The conflict with father—really the internal struggle with one’s image of father as more potent than self—when resolved becomes an acceptance of the power of one’s own manhood. Women face a slightly different situation.
The woman’s first deeply sensual and sexual love object—in a bonded parent-child relationship—was her mother. So beneath any love she may develop for a man lies the love for a woman. Whereas a man, in sexual love which takes him deeply into his psyche, may realise he is making love to his mother, a woman in the same situation may find her father or her mother as the love object. In the unconscious motivations which lead one to choose a mate, a man is influenced by the relationship he developed with his mother, a woman is influenced by both mother and father in her choice. Example: ‘I went across the road to where my mother’s sister lived. I wanted to cuddle her and touch her bare breasts, but we never seemed to manage this. There were always interruptions or blocks.’ (Sid L).
At these deep levels of fantasy and desire, one has to recognise that the first sexual experience is—hopefully—at the mother’s breast. This can be transformed into later fantasies/ dreams/desires of penis in the mouth, or penis in the vagina, or penis as breast, mouth as vagina.
For most of us, however, growth towards maturity does not present itself in such primitively sexual ways, simply because we are largely unconscious of such factors. In general we face the task of building a self image out of the influences, rich or traumatic, of our experience. We leam to stand, as well as we may, amidst the welter of impressions, ideas, influences and urges, which constitute our life and body. What we inherit, what we experience, and what we do with these creates who we are.
One of the major themes of individuation is the journey from attachment and dependence towards independence and involved detachment. This is an overall theme we mature in all our life. In its widest sense, it pertains to the fact that the origins of our consciousness lie in a non-differentiated state of being in which no sense of T exists. Out of this womb condition we gradually develop an ego and personal choice. In fact we may swing to an extreme of egotism and materialistic feelings of independence from others and nature.
The observable beginnings of this move to independence are seen as our attempt to become independent of mother and father. But dependence has many faces: we may have a dependent relationship with husband or wife; we may depend upon our work or social status for our self confidence; our youth and good looks may be the things we depend upon for our sense of who we are, our self image. With the approach of middle and old age we will then face a crisis in which an independence from these factors is necessary for our psychological equilibnum.
The Hindu practice of becoming a sanyassin, leaving behind family, name, social standing, possessions, is one way of meeting the need for inner independence from these in order to meet old age and death in a positive manner. Most people face it in a quieter, less demonstrative way. Indeed, death might be thought of as the greatest challenge to our identification with body, family, worldly status and the external world as a means to identity. We leave this world naked except for the quality of our own being.
Meeting oneself, and self responsibility, are further themes of individuation.
The fact that our waking self is a small spotlight of awareness amidst a huge ocean of unconscious life processes creates a situation of tension, certainly a threshold or ‘iron curtain’, between the known and unknown.
If one imagines the spotlighted area of self as a place one is standing in, then individuation is the process of extending the boundary of awareness, or even turning the spotlight occasionally into the surrounding gloom. In this way one places together impressions of what the light had revealed of the landscape in which we stand, clues to how we got to be where we are, and how we relate to these. But one may remain, or choose to remain, largely unconscious of self.
The iron curtain may be defended with our desire not to know what really motivates us, what past hurts and angers we hide. It may be easier for us to live with an exterior God or authority than to recognise the ultimate need for self responsibility and self cultivation.
To hide from this, humanity has developed innumerable escape routes—extenonsed religious practice, making scapegoats of other minority groups or individuals, rigid belief in a political system or philosophy, search for samadhi or God as a final solution, suicide. This aspect of our matunng process shows itself as a paradox (common to maturity) of becoming more sceptical, and yet finding a deeper sense of self in its connections with the cosmos. We lose God and the beliefs of humanity’s childhood, yet realise we are the God we searched for. This meeting with self, in all its deep feeling of connection, its uncertainty, its vulnerable power, is not without pain and joy. Example: ‘On the railway platform milled hundreds of people, all men I think. They were all ragged, thin, dirty and unshaven. I knew I was among them. I looked up at the mountainside and there was a guard watching us. He was cruel looking, oriental, in green fatigues. On his peaked cap was a red star. He carried a machine gun. Then I looked at the men around me and I realised they were all me. Each one had my face. I was looking at myself. Then I felt fear and terror’ (Anon).
The last of the great themes of individuation is summed up in William Blake’s words ‘1 must Create a System, or be en- slav’d by another Man’s; I will not Reason and Compare: my business is to Create.’ A function observable in dreams is that of scanning our massive life experience (even a child’s life experience has millions of bits of information) to see what it says of life and survival. Out of this we unconsciously create a working philosophy of what life means to us.
It is made up not only of what we have experienced and learnt in the general sense, but also from the hidden information in the cultural riches we have inherited from literature, music, art, theatre and architecture.
The word hidden” is used because the unconscious ‘reads’ the symbolised information in these sources. It is, after all, the master of imagery in dreams. But unless we expand the boundaries of our awareness we may not know this inner philosopher.
If we do get to know it through dreams, we will be amazed by the beauty of its insight into everyday human life.
In connection with this there is an urge to be, and perhaps to procreate oneself in the world. Sometimes this is experienced as a sense of frustration—that there is more of us than we have been able to express, or to make real. While physical procreation can be seen as a physical survival urge, this drive to create in other spheres may be an urge to survive death as an identity. Dreams frequently present the idea that our survival of death only comes about from what we have given of ourself to others. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The word juggernaut is from Sanskrit Jaganatha, lord of the world. Devotees formerly threw themselves under a huge can as it moved.
Generally, a machine represents the body’s automatic functions and drives, such as breathing and ageing; the mechanical forces of nature; habitual or mechanical behaviour. Intricate machine: brain or the thinking process in its mechanical habitual form, the habitual, almost mechanical fantasies we have or things we do.
Example: I am in charge of a life machine which keeps the world going. Unless I tend it all the time it may stop, and I am terrified. I hear a pulsating noise, or imagine I do’ (Mr P E). Here the machine represents the heart, and the dreamer’s anxious relationship with the body’s functioning and processes. Idioms: cog in the machine. See engine. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If one can imagine having a council of all living things, we would all have in common the drive to reproduce, and there would be huge links of understanding regarding care and rearing of young and perhaps of mate.
The unconscious seems to have a sense of this synthesis of all life, and the owl, representing it, speaks with this son of collective wisdom. See second example in wife under family; aura; dream as spiritual guide. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If detailed observations were made of the habits of ten people, one could predict fairly accurately what they would be doing for the next week, perhaps even pinpointing the time and place.
For instance some would never visit a pub, while others would be frequently there.
Because the unconscious is the storehouse of millions of bits of observed information, and because it has a well-developed function enabling us to scan information and predict from it, some dreams forecast the future. Such predictions may occur more frequently in a dream rather than as waking insight, because few people can put aside their likes and dislikes, prejudices and hopes sufficiently to allow such information into the consciousness. While asleep some of these barriers drop and allow information to be presented.
Ed Butler’s dream is about his work scene. Each detail was real and horrifying. Shonly afterwards, Rita was burnt just as in the dream. Example: ‘I was stanled by the muffled but unmistakable sound of a nearby explosion. While unexpected, it wasn’t entirely unusual—the high energy propel- lants and oxidisers being synthesised and tested in the chemistry wing were hazardously unstable. When I heard the screams I froze for an instant, recognising that they could only be coming from Rita, the one woman chemist in the all male department. I rushed to the doorway of her laboratory. Peering through the smoke and fumes I saw a foot sticking out of the surrounding flames. I was only in my shirt sleeves, unprotected, not even wearing my lab coat, but I had to go into the flames. I grabbed Rita by the foot and noticed with horror that her stockings were melting from the heat. I pulled her back into the doorway and tugged at a chain which released gallons of water on her flaming body. When satisfied the fire was quenched, even though my own clothes still smouldered, I ran for the emergency phone’ (from Dream Network Bulletin, June 1985).
Some precognitive dreams appear to go beyond this ability to predict from information already held. So far there is no theory which is commonly accepted which explains this.
A not too bizarre one, however, is thai our unconscious has access to a collective mind. With so much more information available, it can transcend the usual limitations when predicting from personal information.
The next examples are all from Shirley G. Because of space, only three of the dreams are quoted. Nevertheless, they are typical of dreams which do not seem to fall into the category of precognitive dreams arising from unconscious scanning or information already known. Example: ‘1 set out to dream the winner of a horse race each day for a week. I was driving down a country road and suddenly saw a glimpse of Emmerdale Farm down a side road. Following day: chosen horse Emmerdale Farm came in first. 2 Was working in a room when a man popped his head around the door and shouted excitedly “John, John, your uncle’s here” and disappeared. I carried on working. Chosen horse: Uncle John. Came in first. 3 Was walking down a road, called into a house by a friend to have a chat. On the way out she opened the door and I saw a completely empty room except for a huge black fireplace. Door closed and I left the house. Chosen horse Black Fire—which I insisted would only be placed due to a fireplace. Came in 2nd.* See ESP in dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Modern humans face the difficulty of developing an independent identity and yet keeping a working relationship with the primitive, thus maturing/bringing the primitive into an efficiently functioning connection with the present social world.
The survival urge at base might be kill or run, but it can be transformed into the ambition which helps, say, an opera singer meet difficulties in her career. Also the very primitive has in itself the promise of the future, of new aspects of human consciousness. This is because many extraordinary human functions take place unconsciously, in the realm of the reptile/spine/lower brain/right brain/autonomic nervous system. Being unconscious they are less amenable to our waking will. They function fully only in some fight or flight, survive or die, situations.
If we begin to touch these with consciousness, as we do in dreams, new functions are added to consciousness. See The dream as extended perception under ESP and dreams.
Unconscious life or growth processes which can lead to transformation (the frog/prince story); the growth from childhood vulnerability—tadpole to frog—therefore the process of life in general and its wisdom. Frogspawn: sperm, ovum and reproduction.
Example: ‘My wife and I saw a large lizard on the wall near a banana. It was there to catch the flies.
The lizard turned so it was facing away from us—head up the wall. We then were able to see it had large wing-like flaps which spread from its head in an invened V. With amazement we saw on these flaps wonderful pictures, in full colour, of birds. In fleeting thoughts I wondered if the bird “paintings” were to attract birds, or were some form of camouflage. But I felt cenain the lizard had “painted” these wonderful pictures with its unconscious an’ (David T). Generally, a lizard is very much the same as a snake, except it lacks the poisonous aspect; awareness of unconscious or instinctive drives, functions and processes. In the above dream, the banana is both David’s pleasure and sexuality, while the lizard is the creativity emerging from his unconscious through the attention he is giving it—he is looking at the lizard. Chameleon: either one’s desire to fade into the background, or adaptability.
Example: A small snake about a foot long had dropped down my shirt neck. I could feel it on the left side of my neck Fearing it was poisonous and might bite me, I moved very slowly. At one point I put my head on the ground, hoping the snake would wish to crawl away. It did not. Then I was near an elephant I loved, and hoped it would remove the snake. It did not. Even as I slept I felt the snake was an expression of the attitude of not shanng myself with anybody except family’ (David T).
For months prior to the above dream David had experienced a great deal of neck pain. After discussing the dream with his wife, and realising much of his thinking and feeling was intumed, the pain disappeared. So the snake was both poisoner’ and ‘healer’. This may be why snakes are used as a symbol of the medical profession.
The Hebrew word for the serpent in the Garden of Eden is Nahash, which can be translated as blind impulsive urges, such as our instinctive drives.
So, generally, snakes depict many different things, but usually the life process.
If we think of a person’s life from conception to death, we see a flowing moving event, similar in many ways to the speeded up films of a seed growing into a plant, flowering and dying.
The snake depicts the force or energy behind that movement and purposiveness—the force of life which leads us both to growth and death. That energy —like electricity in a house, which can be heat, power, sound and vision—lies behind all our functions. So in some dreams the snake expresses our sexuality, in others the rising of that energy up our body to express itself as digestion—the intestinal snake; as the healing or poisonous energy of our emotions and thoughts.
Example: ‘I was in a huge cathedral, the mother church. I wanted to go to the toilet/gents. As I held my penis to urinate it became a snake and reached down to the urinal to drink. It was thirsty. I struggled with it, pulling it away from the unclean liquid. Still holding it I walked to a basin and gave it pure water to drink’ (Bill A). Here the connection between snake and sexuality is obvious. But the snake is not just Bill’s penis.
It is the direction his sexual urges take him he is struggling with. Out of his sense of love and connection with life— the cathedral—he wants to lift his drive towards something which will not leave him with a sense of uncleanness. Snake in connection with any hole: sexual relatedness.
A snake biting us: unconscious worries about our health, frustrated sexual impulse, our emotions turned against ourselves as internalised aggression, can poison us and cause very real illness, so may be shown as the biting snake. Snake biting others: biting remarks, a poisonous tongue.
A crowned or light-encircled snake: when our ‘blind impulses’ or instinctive or unconscious urges and functions are in some measure integrated with our conscious will and insight, this is seen as the crowned snake or even winged snake. It shows real self awareness and maturity. In coils of snake: feeling bound in the ‘blind impulses’ or habitual drives and feeling responses. Instincts and habits can be redirected, as illustrated by Hercules’ labours. Snake with tail in mouth: sense of the circle of life—binh, growth, reproduction, aging, death, rebirth; the eternal. Snake coiling up tree, pole, cross: the blind instinctive forces of life emerging into conscious experience—in other words the essence of human expenence with its involvement in pain, pleasure, time and eternity; the process of personal growth or evolution; healing because personal growth often moves us beyond old attitudes or situations which led to inner tension or even sickness. Snake in grass: sense or intuition of talk behind your back; danger, sneakiness. Colours: green, our internal life process directed, perhaps through satisfied feelings, love and creativity, into a healing process or one which leads to our personal growth and positive change; white, eternal aspect of our life process, or becoming conscious of it; blue, religious feelings or coldness in relations. See colours; anxiety dreams; death and rebirth, the self under archetypes; dreams and Ancient Greece; cellar under house, buildings; hypnosis and dreams; jungle; paralysis. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The sea, with its surface and hidden depths, lends itself to depicting this human experience of known and unknown regarding self.
The enormity of the sea is also a visible image of the enormity of our own inner world, most of it unknown, and also the relationship we have with the universe, which we exist in yet know so little about.
The sea holds vast treasures, curiosities, and our history—not simply because life emerged from the sea. or our blood is as salt as the ancient sea, but because so many ships and shorelines are now beneath the waves. Sometimes these can be recovered, and this depicts our remembering or making conscious.
Example: ‘My husband and I were standing looking at the sea’s surface. It was just falling night. I saw a mass of dark shapes, thought it would be a school of fish. Then we were looking at water birds, maybe ducks, again dark shapes as the light had almost gone. Then there was a hole in the sea, like a belly button, I was wondering what it was, how was it being made, was there something under the water? Something very big was coming up to the surface very close to me. It shot me to wake (Ginny Q). Ginny and her husband had been exploring the content of their dreams.
The image of the sea shows Ginny sensing there are enormous depths to her own being, and something big—a previously unconscious complex of insights and feelings—is becoming conscious.
So, generally the sea represents the boundary between unconscious and conscious; our processes of life and the ongins of our life; the wisdom, still unverbalised because locked in process rather than insight, of our existence; source of the huge life drives, such as that which urges us towards independence, mating and parenthood, a symbol of infinite energy or consciousness, in which human existence is only a tiny pan. Example: A small speed boat was at sea. But the sea dissolved anybody who fell in. One man fell in but held himself together as a blob of water and jumped back to the speedboat. I remember the words “The sea is a great solvent” (Tim P). Tim is aware of his unconscious sense of being a pan of the huge sea of life or energy. In it one might lose one’s sense of identity. In the end, identity is ‘held together’ by one’s own belief in oneself.
Going under the sea: bringing internal contents to consciousness; remembering the womb expenence; letting our ego surrender a little, looking at death.
If there is a sense of hugeness, depth: going beyond the boundaries of experience usually set up by our conscious self or ego. Waves: impulses, feelings and emotions, such as sexuality, anxiety, anger. Tide: rising and falling of feelings such as love, pleasure or sexuality; may refer to aging when going out; tide in our affairs. Example: *l am either standing at the edge of the sea or near, when suddenly enormous tidal waves appear in the distance and are coming closer. I know they will engulf me, I turn and run away. Sometimes they do overtake me, other times I wake up’ (Mrs AV). We can run from pleasure and wider insight, just as much as from pain or fear. Idioms: all at sea, plenty more fish in the sea, lost at sea. See beach; fish, sea creatures. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
This suggests that dreams are almost entirely about giving attention to, being aware of, being confronted by, considering or realising some aspect of the enormously wide range of experience which human consciousness meets. Therefore, whatever appears in the dream shows we are giving some thought to, feeling or confronting what is depicted. During each day we meet, in sensory impressions, in memory, in emotion, in thought, a huge variety of things.
It is therefore of great interest what comparatively few subjects our spontaneous dream response chooses to give attention to out of all the range. It seems likely these chosen areas are important to us.
Looking at something implies our attitudes or response to what is seen. Being looked at by someone else in the dream suggests seeing oneself from a viewpoint which is not our norm. By actually attempting to stand in the role of the other person, as described in dream processing, we can become conscious of this different viewpoint. By standing in our own role in the dream, and actually taking time to consider what it is we are ‘seeing, and the impressions involved, we can ‘see’ or become aware of what the dream is getting us to look at regarding ourself. Idioms: from the look of things; look after, look askance at; look at; look before you leap; look blue, look down on; look for, look forward to; look into; look out, look over something; look small; look the other way; look up to; look for a fight; not like the look of; as far as I can see; as I see it; do you see what I mean; I’ll see about that; I see, see over something; overseer; see eye to eye; see life; see red; see which way the wind blows; catch sight of; get out of my sight, in sight of; lose sight of; out of sight, out of mind, second sight; at first sight. See searching. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Talking to individuals, these drives are often hardly recognised. Yet they are powerful enough when manipulated to gather huge armies of people who then march to their death. They are behind enormous hostility between neighbours and nations. Although irrational, and not in our best interest to be influenced by, millions of us are moved by them as if we had little will of our own.
The feelings behind them, although seldom acknowledged directly by our conscious self, are often raised to religious status.
The procreative drive, the election of leaders, the parental and child raising urges, are all to be seen in the Christian religion as the bones behind the robes and rituals. Why does Catholicism ban the condom and divorce, make a giant figure out of the Pope, worship a woman with a baby in her arms, if it is not based on these mighty urges and biological drives?
Dreams reveal that much of human life arises out of these patterns.
The patterns are in us unconsciously. We often venerate the norm’ of these patterns and raise them, religiously or politically, to a level of tremendous importance.
The problem is that many of these patterns are no longer serving us well. They are habits developed through thousands or millions of years of repetition. While they remain unconscious we find it difficult to redirect them or even admit to their influence in our life.
Thereare, of course, many other aspects of the unconscious, such as memories of childhood trauma, the dream process, the image formation process and sensory apparatus.
It is enough to begin with if we recognise that a lot of ourself and our potential remains unknown to us because it remains unconscious, or a pan of our unconscious processes. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
A woman swam in it and was going to enter tunnels leading away from it. As I watched I saw some huge crocodiles swim towards her. With great speed and confidence she swam away, obviously being able to match the threat’ (Laurie V). Laurie explored the dream and found the swimming expressed his growing confidence in meeting feelings which in past years had led to depression.
Generally, swimming shows confidence in dealing with the son of impacts, anxieties or emotions which cause some people to go under’, either in relationships, running a family or business, being able to meet the many influences, urges and thoughts in which we exist; expressive motivation, trusting oneself, life, and our sexuality. Swimming against cunent, tide: meeting opposition, either from within or others; moving against general opinions; feeling difficulties. Swimming underwater: taking awareness into what was unconscious. Swimming with other people: sharing common feelings, goals, etc.; connections with others. Diving in: taking the plunge in a new activity, relationship or way of life. Hanging about, not getting in: hesitation about a change or something new in life. Idioms: in the swim; swim against the tide; sink or swim. See pool. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: I am trapped in a small brick room with no way out. I shout for someone to help me. Then either a huge bird or creature with arms tries to catch me and I scream myself awake’ (Karen S). Karen had lived through a divorce, an unhappy love affair, the loss of a baby. In the dream the figure who comes after she has called for help might save her, but her fears make her reject it. Perhaps Karen’s feelings about men paint them as monsters. Whatever her past males may have been like, with such feelings it is Karen herself who is the prisoner and suffers loneliness. Trapped dreams can also depict feelings we have about work, about lack of opportunity, and so on. It must be remembered that the dream puts into images one’s own feelings about the situation, not the external thing itself. See imprisoned; cage; cell; wolj under animal; escape; holding. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: ‘I was leaning over the settee with my hands cupped under my chin looking out of the window.
The view was spectacular, in that it was as if the house was situated on top of a cliff overlooking a huge bay, shaped like a horseshoe, with the house in the middle. From the sea suddenly coming into the bay I could see three enormous whales making their way towards me. As I was staring in amazement they began to transform themselves and come up out of the water as three giant Viking-like figures. They were so huge that the water came up only to their knees and everything was moving so slowly, as they waded towards me. It was the most awe inspiring thing I had ever seen in my life’ (Sue B).
The bay, the beautiful sea, the (sperm?) whales/men show Sue touching the most primordial yet inspiring aspects of her own womanhood and urge to love. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The image points to inherited or early childhood experiences. In the end it is also a fascination with all that is huge and monumental; you either desire to be in command, or you’re in love with your own status.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
2- The germ of an idea is present. There is also a need for patience in dealings either with ourselves or others.
3- Life, fertility and immortality are symbolised by the acorn, as is the androgynous.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
Psychologically, most experience is translated into bodily feeling, and therefore becomes a rich source of symbolism in dreams. When emotions cannot be faccd in ordinary everyday life, they very often become distorted dream symbols.
Physical manifestation of an inner spirituality.
Different aspects of the body can have various meanings in dreams.
To dream of the upper part of the body is to link with the mind and the spiritual aspects of the charactcr, while the lower part of the body represents the instincts and emotional aspects of a character.
An adult’s head on an immature body, or a child’s head on an adult body is an indication that the dreamer needs to recognise the difference between mature thought and emotion.
If there is conflict between the upper and lower part, it indicates that there is disharmony between the mental faculties and instinctive behaviour.
The right side or hand being especially noticeable in dreams signifies we should take note of the logical side of our personality, whereas the left side or left hand indicates we need to be aware of our intuitive, creative side.
Body parts can have relevance as follows:
Abdomen, stomach, belly When the dream appears to concentrate on the abdomen, there is a need to focus 011 emotions and repressed feelings. Anus also see Excrement.
The young child’s first experience of control is as he or she gains control over bodilv functions. In dreams, the mind returns to that experience as a symbol of self- realisation and self-reliance and. more negatively, of suppression and defence. Such a dream therefore is indicating an aspect of childish behaviour or egotism. Arms We use our arms in all sorts of different ways. In dreams we may be defending ourselves, fighting or being held. We may also be showing passionate commitment. Back Dreaming of seeing someone else’s back suggests we should identify the more private elements in our characters. We should also be aware that other people may not at this present time - wish to share their thoughts with us. We may also find that we are vulnerable to the unexpected.
If we dream of turning our backs, we arc rejecting the particular feeling being experienced in the dream. Backbone If the backbone is particularly noticeable in a dream, we should consider the main support structure in our lives. Intellectually; we need to consider our firmness of character. Blood also see individual entry and Menstruation in M Dreaming of blood can have one of two meanings. It can signify that the dreamer feels on some level that a sacrifice is being made. This links into the ancient belief that the blood somehow contained the life of the spirit, and therefore spilt blood was sacred. It can also represent renewal of life through its connection with menstruation. Many- people fear blood, and thus a dream about blood can highlight the need to come to terms with these fears. On a more spiritual level it represents the blood of Christ.
Breasts also see individual entry Usually; to be conscious of breasts in dreams, indicates our connection with the mother figure and our need for nurturing. Such a dream can also indicate a wish to return to being an infant without responsibilities.
Constipation (in life as well as in dreams) Retention signifies an inability to let go of the past or of previous patterns of behaviour, literally to be uptight. Excrement I he dreamer may not have progressed on a subconscious level beyond a feeling that anything to do with bodily functions is dirtv and self-centred.
There may be an element of rebellion in the dreamer’s waking life. Playing with excrement can represent money and value, so playing with it in a dream can highlight anxiety about money, as well as fear of responsibility.
If the excrement is transformed into living animals, maybe rats, the dreamer is coming to terms with the fact that he is responsible for managing his own impulses. Excrement in its more spiritual meaning belongs to the realm of feelings and we may simply be trying to get rid of bad feelings. Those bad feelings can be turned into something worthwhile. Evacuation of the bowel usually highlights our need to be free of worry and responsibility, or possibly the need to learn how to be uninhibited. It can also signify the sexual act.
Eye Any dream to do with the eye is to do with observation and discrimination.
It is indicative of enlightenment and wisdom, protection and stability. It has a connection with the power of light and, in ancient times, of the sun- gods. Through its connection with Egyptian symbolism, the eye is also a talisman. Loss of eyesight signifies the loss of clarity and, depending on which eye, can be either the loss of logic (right eye) or the loss of intuition (left eye). Regaining the eyesight can indicate a return to the innocence and clear-sightedness of the child. Fat To dream of becoming fat is to recognise the need to widen the scope of our activities in some way.
If the dreamer is uncomfortable with his or her size it would indicate fear possibly of taking on too much responsibility or of not being adequate for a task. Hair The hair represents strength and virility. In dreams to be combing the hair is to be attempting to untangle a particular attitude we mav have.
To be having our hair cut is to be trying to create order in our lives.
To be cutting someone else’s hair may be to be curtailing an activity (it is possible that there may be some fear or doubt connected with sexuality).
To be bald in a dream is to perhaps recognise one’s own intelligence. Hand The hands are one of the most expressive parts of the body and signify power and creativity.
The two hands contrasted with each other, a different object in each hand There may be some conflict in the dreamer between his belief and his feelings.
A hand on the breast signifies submission. Clasped hands indicate union or friendship, while clenched hands suggest a threat. Folded hands suggest deep repose, or a state of rest.
The hands covering the eyes generally represent shame or horror, while hands crossed at the wrists suggest that one is being bound.
The open hand represents justice and the laying on of hands signifies healing and blessing particularly if the hand is placed on the neck.
The hands placed together is an indication of dcfencclessness, while placed in someone else’s is an indication of a pledge of service. When the hands are raised this can indicate either adoration, prayer or surrender; if the palms are turned outwards a blessing is being given, while when they are raised to the head the dreamer should give a great deal of thought and care to his situation. Washing the hands suggests innocence or rejection of guilt, while wringing the hands signifies grief.
A huge hand, particularly from the sky suggests that one has been ‘specially chosen’.
The right hand is the ‘power’ hand, while the left is passive and receptive. Sometimes in dreams the left hand can represent cheating. Head The head is considered to be the principle part of the body. Because it is the scat of the life force, it denotes power and wisdom.
Dreaming of the head suggests that we should look very carefully at the way we deal with both intelligence and folly.
To dream of the head being bowed suggests supplication. When the head is covered we may be covering up our own intelligence or acknowledging somebody else’s superiority.
A blow to the head in a dream can indicate that we should reconsider our actions in a particular situation. Heart The heart is the centre of the being and represents ‘feeling’ wisdom rather than intellectual wisdom.
It is also representative of compassion and understanding. Heel This suggests the part of ourselves which is strong but, at the same time, vulnerable. Jaw The jaw often is representative of our self-expression. It also, on a more esoteric level, suggests the opening to the underworld. Kidneys The kidneys are organs of elimination, therefore to dream of them is to be aware of the need for cleansing.
Knees The knees are symbolic of prayer and supplication, and of emotional commitment. Limbs Whether it is partly to do with some kind of cellular memory and the growth process that takes place is uncertain, but in dreams anv limb can be taken to mean sexuality and fears associated with gender issues. Being dismembered can be taken in its literal sense - we are being torn apart. Sometimes this can suggest the need to restructure our lives and begin again. At other times it can indicate that there is a way in which we arc being threatened to the very core of our existence. Liver The liver is representative of irritability and suppressed anger.
Lungs In Chinese medicine the lungs represent grief. They are also involved in decision-making. Spiritually, the lungs are the seat of righteousness, and the source of thoughts concerning the Self. Mouth The mouth represents the devouring, demanding part of ourselves. It can also stand for the receptive side.
The circumstances of the dream may give a clue to the correct interpretation. Sometimes the mouth can svmbolisc the feminine side of our nature. Nose The nose in dreams can stand for curiosity, and also for intuition.
Penis Dreaming of a penis either one’s own or someone else’s usually highlights the attitude to penetrative sex.
Skin Skin in a dream stands for our persona or the facade we create for others. Hard, tough skin shows we have crcatcd a tough exterior, and are trying to protect ourselves.
Stomach -see Abdomen in this section Teeth Popularly, teeth are supposed to stand for aggressive sexuality although more properly they signify the growth process towards sexual maturity. Teeth falling or coming out easily indicates we arc aware of going through some form of transition, similar to that from childhood to maturity, or from maturity to old age and helplessness.
If one is anxious about teeth dropping out il suggests there is a fear of getting old and undesirable, or an anxiety about maturing. In a woman’s dream, if the teeth are swallowed this can signify pregnancy.
Throat Dreaming of the throat denotes awareness of our vulnerability and also of the need for self-expression.
Thumb Dreaming of a thumb suggests awareness of how powerful we are.
The thumb pointing upwards represents beneficial energy, poiting downwards is negative. This latter was used as the death signal for Roman gladiators. Tongue The tongue in dreams often signifies our ability to know- when to speak and when to remain silent. It may also be to do with our own understanding of information that we wish to pass on to other people. We may have deeply felt beliefs we wish to share. Another explanation that is much more basic is that of the symbolism of the serpent and the phallus, and hence sexuality. Urine Urine in a dream often indicates our feelings about emotional control. We may either yield to emotion or bottle it up. How we deal with urine often also tells us a great deal about our own sexuality.
Vagina Most often, dreams of the vagina are to do with one’s self image. In a woman’s dream, il highlights her receptivity. In a man’s dream it suggests his need to be penetrative, both mentally and physically. Womb The womb represents a return to the beginning. We all have need of basic security and shelter, and perhaps to do away with responsibility. Dreams of the womb can signify our need to satisfy those requirements. On a slightly more esoteric level the womb represents our connection with the Great Mother or Mother Earth (see Introduction). Dreams of returning to the womb suggest our need to reconnect with the passive, more yielding side of our nature. We may need a period of self-healing and recuperation.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
1- When we dream of monsters or prehistoric animals we arc touching into very basic images which have the power to frighten and amaze us. Because thev are considered to be so large, we need to be aware of whether it is their size or their power which is frightening. Urges as basic as this can threaten our existence, by either their size or power.
2- We are in touch with an archaic or outmoded part of ourselves. Remembering that the dinosaur is extinct, and that for most people they are perceived as fossils, such a dream can recognise the part of ourselves that has become set in stone.
3- We all have within us a chaotic past which has been a huge part of our lives. Spiritual progress dictates that we understand that this part can be changed and our present selves can grow from that ability to change. Old standards have to break down.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
2- In order to disentangle the various types of ‘information’ which each character brings to the dreamer, it is often necessary to decide what or who each one makes us think of. That way we will reveal the deeper meanings and connections.
An individual from the past could link us with that period of our lives and with specific memories which may, or may not, be painful.
A neighbour or close associate usually appears in a dream to highlight a particular quality in that person. Somebody else’s mother, father, brother etc. may suggest our own family members or possibly jealousy. Sometimes, rather than trying to decipher the meaning of the dream it is enough to look at what bearing the dream character’s actions have on the dreamer’s everyday life.
To interpret why the dreamer has adopted a particular role we would need to know a little bit more about his lifestyle. When there is some conflict within the dreamer between love and aversion for a particular person, we are more likely to dream about them.
Often in dreams there may be a noted difference between two of the participants to illustrate two sides of the dreamer’s thoughts and feelings. Similarly; there maybe a marked contrast in the way the dreamer handles a situation with two of his dream characters.
It is as though two options are being practised. Composite characters As with composite animals, the composite character will emphasise one characteristic or quality in order to draw the dreamer’s attention to it.
The fact that it is not just one person emphasises the many-faceted human being. Every- character who appears in our dreams is a reflection of a facet or part of our own personality and can often be better understood if we put ourselves in the position of that person. Adolescent To dream of oneself as adolescent focuses on our undeveloped side.
Dreaming of an adolescent of the opposite sex usually means dealing with a suppressed part of our development.
The emotions associated with adolescence are very raw and clear and such emotions arc accessible often only through dreams. There may be conflict over freedom. Ancestors Our customs, ways of behaving, morality and our religious feelings are all handed down from generation to generation. When we become conscious of our ancestors in a dream we are focusing on our roots. We may- understand ourselves through our relationship with the past. Authority Figures (such as magistrates, teachers etc. also see individual entries) Our concept of authority is first developed through our relationship with our father or father figure. Depending on how we were treated as children, our view of authority will be anything from a benign helper to an exploitative disciplinarian. Most authority figures will ultimately lead us back to what is right for us, although not necessarily what we might consider good for us. Authority figures in dreams initially appear to have power over us, though if worked with properly will generate the power to succeed. Dreaming particularly of police can indicate a kind of social control and a protective element for us as members of society. Often a policeman will appear in dreams as one’s conscience. We may feel that our wilder, more renegade side needs controlling.
Baby To dream about a baby which is our own indicates that we need to recognise those vulnerable feelings over which we have no control. We may be attempting something new.
If the baby is someone else’s in the dream, we need to be aware of that person’s ability to be hurt, or that they may be innocent of something. Psychologically we are in touch with the innocent, curious side of ourselves, with the part which neither wants nor needs responsibility.
Dreaming of a baby can indicate that, on a spiritual level, the dreamer has a need for a feeling of purity.
Boy To have a dream about a boy- shows the potential for growth and new experience.
If the boy is known he reflects recognised qualities in the dreamer. Psychologically, we may need to be in touch with ourselves at that age and with the innocent youthfulness and enthusiasm that a boy has. We are contacting our natural drives and ability to face difficulties.
Boyfriend To dream of a boyfriend, whether present or former, connects with the feelings, attachments and sexuality- connected with him.
To dream of having as a boyfriend someone whom you would not anticipate, indicates the need to have a greater understanding of the way you relate to men. Consideration may need to be given to the loving, nurturing side of masculinity. We are still searching for the ideal lover.
Carers such as nurses, nuns etc. This suggests the more compassionate, nurturing side of ourselves. Often it is that side of us which has been ‘called’ or has a vocation. Usually there is, for men, a non-sexual relationship. Child (who could be one of the dreamer’s own children) Dreaming of a child gives us access to our own inner child. We all have parts of ourselves which are still child-like and curious. When we are able to get in touch with that side of ourselves we give ourselves permission to clarify a potential for wholeness which we may not previously have recognised. Crowd Crowds in dreams can indicate how we relate to other people, particularly in a social sense. They may indicate how we can hide ourselves, or indeed how we hide aspects of ourselves and do not single out any one attribute. We may also be attempting to avoid responsibility.
A huge crowd suggests information which we may not be able to handle. Dictators (Hitler, Stalin etc.) If the dreamer has had an overbearing father, a known dictator may appear in dreams as representing that relationship. Emperor or Empress - see
Authority Figures and also King and Queen Ethnic minority Any aspect within ourselves which is out of the ordinary or different can manifest in dreams as a member of another race.
Girl When a girl of any age appears in our dreams we are usually attempting to make contact with the more sensitive, innocent side of ourselves. Those qualities of intuition and perception may be somewhat undeveloped but can be made available.
If the girl is known to us we probably are aware of those qualities, but need to explore them as though we were approaching them from the girl’s point of view.
If she is unknown, we can acknowledge that a fresh approach would be useful.
Girlfriend When a girlfriend or ex-girlfriend appears in a man’s dream there arc usually issues to do with masculinity and femininity involved. There may be fears to do with sexuality.
If a girlfriend appears in a woman’s dream, there can either be a concern about her in the dreamer’s mind, or she (the dreamer) needs to search for and find qualities belonging to the friend in her. Hero or any heroic figure falso see Archetypes) In a man’s dream the figure of the hero can represent all that is good in him, the Higher Self. In a woman’s dream he will suggest the Animus (see Introduction). When the hero is on a quest We are struggling to find a part of ourselves which is at this time unconscious (also see Quest).
It is important that the darker forces are vanquished but not killed since they cannot be totally annihilated without harming the Wise Old Man (see Introduction). In other words, our eventual integration still needs the challenge of the negative.
The hero’s failure may be brought about inadvertently We all have a weak point through which we can be attacked.
To have such a dream indicates that we are not paying attention to the details in our lives or to that part of ourselves we tend not to have developed. We may be being warned of an element of self-neglect.
The death of the hero can often suggest the need to develop the more intuitive side of ourselves, to be born again to something new.
A conflict between the hero and any other dream character suggests a basic disharmony between two facets of our own character.
The hero often appears in dreams as an antidote to some hated external figure within the dreamer’s everyday life. High Priest, Astrologer, or anyone with similar esoteric knowledge (also see Archetypes and Authority Figures in this section) Any character within our dreams who appears to have knowledge of magical practices or similar types of knowledge is usually first introduction to the Higher Self.
It is as though we can only become privy to this deeper knowledge by meeting our teacher first. Inadequate Person It is a lot easier to confront our own inadequacies in the dream state where we are safe. Often this is the first opportunity we have to meet the Shadow (See Introduction). We ignore this aspect of ourselves at our peril and cannot afford to dismiss such an image when it appears. We must acknowledge this dream figure as a reflection of ourselves in order to deal with a learnt sense of inferiority.
If we do not. we are continually faced in life by our own sense of inferiority.
Intruder (also see individual entry and Burglar) The intruder in a woman’s dream is often a personification of her own Animus (see Introduction). In a man’s dream it characterises his Shadow (see Introduction). In either case it suggests the need for a change in attitude in order for the dreamer to be able to have a full and meaningful relationship with himself. King Almost invariably a king appearing in a dream represents the father or father figure.
A personality such as an emperor may- indicate that some of the father’s attitudes arc alien to the dreamer, but should perhaps be accepted. When the king is old or on the point of dying the dreamer will be able to reject outworn or old-fashioned family values. Ministers of all Religions (also see Authority Figures in this section and Archetypes) Ministers of all religions hold a special placc in the dream hierarchy; since their authority is given to them not by man alone, but to all intents and purposes by God or an ultimate power. There is therefore an ‘otherness’ about them. Man Any man appearing in a dream shows an aspcct or facet of the dreamer’s character in a recognisable form. Each of us has a repertoire or portfolio of behaviours, some of which are acceptable and some of which arc not. In dreams those behaviours and characteristics can be magnified so that thev are easily identified, often as personalities. By working with the characteristic, more energy and power becomes av ailable. Even when we are threatened by a negative character trait, we can still access room for improvement.
A man in a dream can identify the Shadow for a man, and the Animus for a woman (see Introduction).
An older man (if the man is white-haired or holy) can represent the innate wisdom we all have. Such a person can also signify the father in dreams. When a large man appears in our dreams we arc usually appreciating the strengths, certainties and protection which our basic beliefs give us.
A man in a woman’s dream signifies the more logical side of her nature. She has, or can develop, all the aspects of the masculine which enable her to function with success in the external world.
If the man is one she knows or loves she may be trying to understand her relationship with him.
An unknown man is generally that part of the dreamer’s personality which is not recognised. In a woman’s dream it is the masculine side of herself, and in a man’s dream it is the Self (see Introduction). Old People (also see Man and Woman) In dreams, old people can represent either our ancestors or grandparents, hence wisdom accrued from experience.
If the old person is male depending on the gender of the dreamer he will stand for either the Self or the Animus (see Introduction).
If female then she will signify the Great Mother or the Anima (see Introduction). .’Ml father figures, or representations of the father, will often appear old as if to highlight their remoteness.
A group of old people often appears in dreams. Usually this signifies the traditions and wisdom of the past - things sacred to the ‘tribe’ or family. Older people usually stand for our parents even though the dream figures may bear no relationship to them. Pirate Dreaming of a pirate suggests there is an aspcct of our personality which destroys our emotional connection with the soul.
Prince (Hero) and Princess (also see Archetypes) These figures represent those parts of ourselves, or others, who exist by right; that is, those aspects which have been brought into conscious awareness and authority. As the hero has taken responsibility for his own journey, so the prince and princess take responsibility for the lives they live.
Queen (Not only the present queen, but a historical one such as Victoria) This usually represents the dreamer’s relationship with his mother, and thus with women in authority generally. Stranger (also see Shadow in Introduction) The stranger in a dream represents that part of ourselves which we do not vet know. There may be a feeling of awe or of conflict with which we need to deal before we can progress. Twins (including the mirror- image of a figure in the dream) (also see individual entry) Twins in a dream can suggest two sides of our personality.
If they arc identical we may be recognising our ambiguous feelings about ourselves.
If not identical they suggest the inner self and the outer reality. Twins may also signify our projections into the world of our own personalities. Woman In a woman’s dream a woman, such as a family member or friend is often representative of an aspect of her own personality, but often one she has not yet fully understood. In a man’s dream such a figure denotes his relationship with his own feelings and with his intuitive side. It mav also show how he relates lo his female partner.
A goddess or holy woman signifies the highest potential for working with the Greater Good that the dreamer has. Oriental women appearing in dreams usually suggest the mysterious side of the feminine. In a man’s dream such a figure will often reveal his attitude to sexuality; while in a woman’s dream it will reveal more about her own intuitive transcendent jx)wers.
An older woman mostly represents the dreamer’s mother and her sense of inherited wisdom.
An unknown woman in dreams will represent either the Anima (see Introduction) in a man’s dream, or the Shadow (see Introduction) in a woman’s.
It is the qualities of surprise and intrigue which allow us to explore further the relevance of that figure. We can gain a great deal of information bccausc the figure is unknown.
3- When we begin to work spiritually with ourselves, there is a gargantuan store of knowledge which can be worked on, and with, to enhance our lives.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
2- Psychologically we probably use about 10 per cent of our available energy. Those Titanic forces which can arise in dreams are those parts of ourselves that arc untamed and untameable. W hen used properly they are the ability to create a world of our own.
3- Our will and urge to achieve our spiritual goals may be symbolised by the appearance of Titans in a dream.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
Standing at the edge of: Your own subconscious, things you’ve long buried, hidden talents, or other matters that often get overlooked.
The abyss goes on seeminglv forever into darkness, and can be very frightening, even as discovering your own true nature can be frightening until you take the first step.
Experiencing spontaneous inspiration for a new project, as if it comes out of nowhere. Alternatively, a limitation to be overcome.
Ancient meaning: Tlie primordial womb; a deep cavern of fertility and the gate of life through which we all pass.
Real or perceived dangers.
The size of the abyss indicates how “big” you believe the hazard to be. Alternatively, following a route that goes nowhere, or one that may eventually prove self-destructive.
A bridge appearing across: Personal, dramatic changes in lifestyle or beliefs that imply some risk.
For example, if you’re thinking of getting married, the risk might be vulnerability- or failure.
Unseen or unrealized potential. In Greek mythology, the black abyss gave birth to all cosmic matter. Similarly, in the Tarot, the Fool stands near the edge of a huge cliff before starting on his path toward enlightenment.... The Language of Dreams