Perhaps you have questioned yourself “what is the meaning of my dreams?” You then went on some kind of dream dictionary and tried to look it up, but ended up without an answer. The truth is, only you yourself can know what your dreams mean. Of course, some guidelines exist to make your dream interpretation easier.
We don’t dream without any reason. Few of them are to explain your problems, reduce stress, unfold feelings for others, relieve yourself emotionally, increase creativity, experiment in new environment etc.
When we go to bed, we cross the step from real world to our unconscious – a place we often ignore when we are awake. This unconscious world often may be scary or strange. However, facing it will bring light to your body and mind.
Greek philosopher Hippocrates noticed that it is possible to diagnose illnesses before they actually happen with a help of dreams. Apparently, dreams can indicate physical and mental strain before the actual symptoms begin. Do you dream specific dreams before any sickness too?
The dreams we dream talk with us in a quite different language. It’s the language of symbols, imagery and metaphors.
Symbols are more meaningful than words. They carry meanings which impact our soul, mind and emotions. Symbols represent abstract ideas and conceptions which are difficult to define by words. The language of unconscious is language of symbols. They represent something invisible and let us understand that something invisible.
Famous psychoanalytic Carl Jung has brought a term Archetype, which means imagery rising from our deepest unconscious. That imagery consists of various symbols which are common in many cultures throughout the history. These symbols often appear in dreams that are capable of changing our life. The main archetypes include:
- Persona (outer side of personality). This is the mask we wear while acting in various social situations. While dreaming, we may feel pained or misunderstood because we were repudiated or criticized. We care about not to confuse our act with personality which is under the mask.
- Shadow. It is our nature’s aspect which we want to avoid. It’s the aggressive and evil-minded side of personality which causes pain and cross-purposes. In dreams Shadow often appears as dark and ugly figure or a no-face intruder.
- Animus and Anima. In the dreams we meet the opposites of our archetype. Women meet their manly energy called animus, and men meet their anima. We all have manly and womanly aspects. One of our life journey goals is to accept them both and become harmonious personalities.
Predictive dreams. Dreams that inform about feature events are common all around the world. Belief in unnatural grasp of dreams is common to all the primitive cultures. Ancient Greeks saw dreams as the gates to the future and ancient Romans saw them as messages by gods and spirits. One of them was a predictive dream about death of Julius Caesar. I myself have two predictive dreams in my dreams journal. It is quite fascinating, because the events that are described there are very particular.
For thousands of years people were writing their dreams down and perfecting the art of understanding them. Nowadays many psychotherapists relay on dreams while trying to discover the reasons for restlessness and overcome stress. They can help you discover the meanings of your dreams but only a dreaming person himself can truly understand his dreams! One of the methods is to become aware of the connection between dream symbols and the real life.
By storing your dreams you will have the unique information that will help you analyze your night journeys.
Keep your Dream Journal besides the bed. Try to write down your dream immediately upon awakening. If you are in a hurry – jot down the main (tag) words. Don’t forget to add a title and date. Do not censure your dream. Write down all the names and conversations you remember. If you have a vivid visual stuck in your head from the last dream – obviously sketch it and describe it.[GARD align=”left”]
If you have trouble remembering your dreams – still try to write anything you feel or remember, let it be mood or any dream fragment. Before going to bed write down “I am going to remember my dreams” – have a strong intention.
As said before, only you can truly know the meaning of your dream… These questions may help you:
- What emotions did you feel during the dream? Horror? Pleasure? Anxiety?
- What was your mood after waking up from that dream? Misery, relief, irritation?
- What were the surroundings? Did you dream about your present living location or was it yours previous? Was it different country?
- Who were involved in your dream? Your family, co-workers, friends?
- How did you act during the dream? Aggressively, passively, insistently?
- What colors the dream was in? Bright or dark? Vivid or desaturated?
- What was the cause of your dream? Was it a TV series you saw that day, or was it a conversation with your friend?
- What do you think, the dream is trying to tell you?
Ways to explain your Dreams
Empty chair method. Dreams express suppressed our personalities. Every fragment of a dream somehow connects to a person. In a dream about highway, driving a car and a robber every fragment symbolizes an aspect of a dreamer. Start a dialog and try to get as much answers as you can.
Put an empty chair next to you. Imagine a dream fragment is sitting in it. Question and imagine what he would answer to these: why do you make me anxious? What do you want? Where do you come from? What can I do for you to stop bothering me? Answering these questions will help you understand that dream and unfold things that are not visible in life while awake.
Dream Incubation. Dream incubation was practiced among many ancient cultures. Incubatio means “a dream under the shelter” in Latin. A shelter usually was a special cave or shrine. Meditation and purification rituals were used.
In order to practice dream incubation at your own home, you should relax and prepare for a dream that answers your question. Have a shower and imagine cleaning all your day stress. Put on some clean sleeping clothes. Lay down and think of what do you want from your dream? Be specific. Write down that request or question. Keep thinking about it while falling asleep. Next morning write down your dream and identify how does it connect with your request/question.
Occurring dreams are very common and unfold our lifestyle.
When you will have a Dream Journal filled with 3 months old dreams, read it. You will notice that some themes are occurring. Try to look for models, i.e. dreams during stress, dreams during happiness. Dreams are repeating until you discover their meaning.
Nightmares are like demands to wake up. They warn us about upcoming problems or problems we have, but don’t want to face. Nightmares can also occur as post-traumatic stress result, when our psyche is trying to cope with disastrous effects. Bravely meet and conquer your nightmares. When you are awake imagine yourself dealing with them. Try to change roles with your nightmare object and try to explain the dream from it’s perspective. If you still can’t understand the meaning of the dream, be patient – some dreams are part of a longer process.
Some dreams are so vivid and expressive that they take your breath away.
These are the kind of dreams you never will forget. Famous psychoanalytic Carl Jung called these dreams mysterious, because tey were extraordinary and imperative. A dreamer often is prompted to act upon something. Carl Jung called those dreams the most bright jewels in the treasury of spirit. Few tips on how to recognize these epic dreams: they are different from all others, they motivate to look at your life with a new perspective, they calm you during big stress, they motivate you to work when it’s hard, they motivate you to dedicate yourself, they help to overcome loss, they inspire you and allude about meaning of life…
That is the end of part I to dreams interpretation. Remember, only you yourself can find out the hidden meaning of your dreams!
Based on the book by Brenda Mallon