Dreams Episode 5 Dream Symbolism

Hello friends!  Welcome back to Artful Living with Lynda Anne. Thanks for joining us today as we continue with part 5 of our series on dreams, what are they, why do we dream, what do our dreams mean? How do we interpret them? In previous episodes we’ve talked about how I began dream interpretation, we’ve discussed what dreams are, we’ve taken a historical walk down dream lane, and we’ve examined some different types of dreams. And we’ve talked about how to remember your dreams, so that you can interpret them. 

Today we’re going to discuss dream symbolism.  Dreams speak to us in a variety of forms.  We’re going to explore communication through symbolism and uncover tools to understanding the riddles. Finally, we will take everything we’ve learned so far in this series and put it all together.

But before we dive in, I want to take a moment to thank my monthly sponsors.  I really appreciate you and your support. Thank you so much!

Ok so let us dive into Episode 5 Dream Symbolism.  Now that you’ve got a dream journal entry full of details, you’re ready to begin interpreting.  You’ll need tools.  And by tools, I mean resources, more specifically sources.  As in references sources. You need to build a reference toolbox to help you interpret.

The more perspectives you can get the fuller and clearer the meaning of your dream will become. Dream symbols are like facets on a diamond; the more you look the more you see.  The same symbolism or theme can have multiple meanings and apply to different aspects of your life.

Dreams point out patterns in your world view or behaviors that are subconscious. Say for example you were overly controlling and uptight in every aspect of your life.  You may have a dream where you were at the top floor of an office giving a presentation and your clothes became unbearably tight. Next you find yourself on the roof of your home and cannot open your jar because it is on too tight. The office is you in your professional arena. The top floor is both your higher thinking or your mind and a pun for up. The tight clothes represent your exterior self, your interactions with others which are too tight. The jar is you. The house is you in your intimate arena – the roof your mind, and spirit, but it is also a pun for up and the jar is tight.  You are ‘up’ and ‘tight.’  The repeating them of ‘tight’ and ‘up’ are puns.  So, it is very beneficial to tell your dreams out loud.  When dream journaling, speak the details out loud and see if any puns or repetitive themes emerge. Following the too up tight dream, once you get the analogies and interpret the dream it is up to you to apply the lesson.  Ok so you’re starting to recognize you may be a bit too uptight.  What is causing you to take life so seriously and put so much pressure on all? This is the real point of dream interpretation.  If you stop at identifying the metaphors but fail to apply the message your mind will keep finding new ways to tell you the same message. Nobody wants to hear uncomfortable truths.  Nobody.  We dream journal so that we can see the repeating messages we keep ignoring.  Apply the message.  It is the final step in interpretation.  But before we get ahead of ourselves let’s get back to uncovering dream symbolism.

A great way to find puns or metaphors is to use dream dictionaries.  If you want to get good at interpreting your dreams you will need to build a set of tools – as is the case with any skillset.  With dreams those tools are the dream journaling tools we discusses in previous episodes of this series, and now you’re ready to add reference materials. 

Two of my favorites are just an example, not THE ones you MUST use.  Vary your sources and cross reference. We don’t have time to go over all my sources, so I just want you to know about these two because they are both very thorough and have unique benefits. These two sites proved very helpful in my learning.  I started using them almost twenty years ago!  They are:

  1. Dreammoods.com

– dream dictionaries, common dream themes, sample interpretations,

  • Tools to help you interpret

–  What to do with the information you received how to apply the information turn info to wisdom

  • Tools to help you process, synthesize, and apply

Themes to look for in your dreams:

  • Metaphors – figures of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable. a thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract.
  • Allegories – a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one. – a big word for a symbol
  • Puns – words which sound alike but have different meanings.
  • Animals – often guides but could be you
  • Houses – you the parts of the house represent you
  • Water – your spiritual condition
  • Numbers – numbers are complex and have specific meanings.
  • Colors – often reflect emotions
  • Characters / Guides – often repeat in many dreams
  • Common themes (falling, loose teeth, naked in public) – our collective conscious shares the same fears and hopes
  • Repeating themes within a dream – drive the point home – receive this as “I’ll say it again” or “Let me put it another way”

Now find YOUR meaning to each of the dream themes your recorded from your dreams.  If you dreamed of a cow, what color was it?  Where was it?  What was it doing?  Ask the Who What Where When and Why’s of each item.  Can you find more metaphors?  A color of the cow? Pink? Hmm…probably the color means something too. Brown? Hmmm…maybe just a cow. Or maybe the brown struck you somehow so always do check the meaning behind the color as well as the animal/character meaning.

Check multiple sources.  One source will tell you it is a certain bad omen, another will say you saw a cow recently, one more will say it is a metaphor for overeating, and on and on…that’s ok because it can be any or all those things.  A meaning will vary by culture, by personality, by life experience, so it is important to remember that no matter what the dream dictionaries say – what the symbol means to YOU is what the dream means.   

For example, if you dream of a black cat, some will say bad omen – nah! Only if you hate cats.  If you love cats or if your mom’s name is Kitty Black…you see the dream means what it means to you

Putting It All Together

Use a few methods and cross reference because it can be multiple things at once.  Dreams are all about Recycle Reuse Repurposing and efficiency. Some perspectives you might apply

  • Jung – everything is you – probably the most effective and consistently accurate
  • Freudian – unmet needs
  • Scientific – processing, moving storage of memories, a general dream
  • Prophetic – don’t get ripped up on “prophecies.” It usually isn’t all that dramatic. Consider the dreams more like predictors; it doesn’t have to be mystic or mysterious. It can simply be your subconscious predicting logical outcomes or picking up something we don’t want to see in someone else, or it could be you have prophetic gifts…don’t rule anything out. But do be discerning.

Why does it matter?

This is best explained with an example.  Consider a dream about a death or a funeral.  You wouldn’t want to jump to the conclusion that you or someone else is dying.  Maybe you binge watched Cold Case Files, or read about a classmate dying on Facebook yesterday, those circumstances would be generic processing dreams.  Maybe you ended a project at work or changed position.  That is one way death is interpreted.  Death is the ending of one thing and the rebirth of another.  Natural and not at all scary.  This would be a Jung style interpretation.  Maybe your dream died.  You weren’t picked for the third seat on the space shuttle.  That could be a Freudian interpretation.   Or maybe a loved one or guide in the spirit realm is trying to warn you about some bad seafood at the reception tonight. That would be prophetic.  It all depends on you and your circumstances.  Which feel(s) like the best fit with the puzzle pieces you have already uncovered in journaling and searching for metaphors?

Are there commonalities amongst the philosophies? Did you uncover similar messages – does any one thing, or a few things, feel right or stand out to you?

Don’t expect an immediate diving enlightenment every time.  It may come, but often you will have some pieces and clues, like a half-completed puzzle or a work of art in sketching stages.  If it doesn’t yet make sense don’t get frustrated.  It’s normal. Now that you have the pieces of the puzzle, let the dream and your data about it marinate.  Put it down and let it go.  Your subconscious will then be able to have a go at it.  Don’t be surprised if you get that ah-ha moment while shopping, driving, chatting, when you aren’t thinking about it.

Remember, nobody else can tell you what your dream means.  I can help you find the meaning, by recognizing patterns, puns, and metaphors as an expert can.  But what they mean is only determined by you. 

When it is interpreted accurately everything will fit like a frame and the puzzle pieces will come together; it will make sense.

Be sure to document your interpretation along side your journal of the dream.  The interpretations will help you uncover patterns in your thinking and world views. The more you interpret, the more data you will accumulate.  It will become familiar and second nature.  Much like tying your shoes you won’t be able to remember each step as presented in this series.  It will flow naturally according to your own unique style. In other words, you’ll become a master crafter at your own dream interpretating. And you’ll be able to help others with their problematic dreams too. 

It is a very useful skill in communications, spirituality, counseling, professional relationships, and personal relationships. And not many people take the time to master it so if you do, you will be a sought-out interpreter. 

So that’s all for today, and this wraps up our series on Dreams.  Thank you for coming along with us as we explored dreams, and dream interpretation.  Don’t forget to get a free dream interpretation on my website at www.lyndaanne.art

I want to again thank my monthly sponsors; you are so kind.  I appreciate you so much.  Thank you. 

Until next time, so long…