Ancient DNA related to power and sexuality.
Dreams about Greece represent philosophy, theatre, education, spirituality and morality. You are connecting with the consciousness of great scholars, Gods and Goddesses that have gone before you. See God, Goddess and Prophetic Dreams.
The meeting of two worlds: religious and mundane. This is the place where traditionally the gods are honored, offerings get made, and many rituals take place. So, look beyond the altar to see what appears on it, and what occurs around it, for more insight.
If a sacrifice appears before you, ask yourself what things need to be left behind so that you can get a fresh start. Alternatively, consider if you’ve been giving too much of yourself, and sacrificing personal needs in the process.
Approaching ail altar: Acknowledging an urgent need for outside assistance of some sort. We often go to our image of the Divine when we want answers to, or help with, particularly perplexing problems.
If you have hesitated to seek that help from friends or the Universe, now is the time for action.
Improved insight or visional*)’ capacity developing. In ancient Greece, a tripodal altar was used in many divinatory efforts (see Divination).... The Language of Dreams
The people of Epidaurus claimed their city was the birthplace of Asclepius. L.R. Famell suggests he was a hero who was elevated to a godlike status. See dreams and ancient Greece. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
How does this tool appear? Is it lopsided? If so, consider if you have been stressing certain things too much in your life, resulting in throwing everything else off kilter.
An alternative emblem for the zodiac sign of Libra, whose name literally means balance.
The counsel of this image is using perspective and fairness to reach a harmonious decision in whatever situation lies heavy on your heart.
The quality of living. In ancient Egypt, the souls of the recendv departed were weighed for worthiness on a scale against Maat’s feather. Maat was the Mother of All Truth. Similarly, in ancient Greece, Hermes weighed souls at the throne of Zeus, and among Christians, the archangel Michael assumed this role.
Equity especially in legal matters. In the Tarot, the Justice card carries a balance to ensure impartiality.
The amount of figurative weight you carry in terms of responsibility, burdens, etc.... The Language of Dreams
Victory, recognition, and success. Bay crowns were used in Greece to honor kings, priests, poets, and heroes.
Unrequited love. Daphne was changed to a bay laurel tree to keep her safe from Apollo’s pursuit.
Averting emotional storms. Anciently this herb was considered a good amulet to protect the home against damage from thunder and lightning.... The Language of Dreams
Stinging you: An unpleasant experience that literally left a “stinger” behind, often of an emotional nature.
At the hive: Community and socialization; knowing your place and function within a specific group; harmonious teamwork.
Flying from flower to flower: Gathering life’s nectar, enjoying sweetness wherever it may be found. Alternatively, a fickle nature.
Buzzing: A message; the ancients felt that bees carried missives direct from the gods themselves.
The priestesses of Delphi were called “Melissae,” which means bees, and they were often given honey cakes as an offering in payment for their visionary talents.
Hornet s nest: Trouble just waiting to happen. Don’t aggravate this situation or you will get stung.
In China, dreaming of a bee swarm is a lucky omen.
A ghostly visitor. Both Pliny and Aristotle believed that good souls could reincarnate as a bee.
The spirit of the Muse. In Greece, eloquent people were believed to have been touched on the lips by the Birds of the Muses (bees), including Sophocles, Plato, and Virgil.
Flying down a chimney—omen of death of figurative or literal nature.
In medieval Bestiaries, an emblem of honor.
In the Koran, the symbol of faithfulness, intelligence, and wisdom.
Folkloric: A portent of forthcoming profits, especially in your trade.
Queen bees represent the ancient Mother Goddess, and as such can symbolize your own mother, your maternal instincts, or your feminine nature.... The Language of Dreams
Personal growth, especially spiritual. In classical Greek and Roman philosophy, the butterfly’s transformation mirrored that of the ever evolving soul.
Esotericallv: Reincarnation, which may be literal or figurative.
If you see yourself emerging from the cocoon, this speaks of a new, beautiful beginning, and astounding positive changes.
The question of personal identity and uniqueness. In China, there is a story of the sage Hsuang Chou who dreamt of being a butterfly. During the dream, he had no awareness of Hsuang Chou, only the butterfly. WTien he awoke, this experience left him wondering. Was he really Hsuang Chou, or actually a butterfly dreaming of being Hsuang Chou?
In China, the butterflv also symbolizes a happy union, usually a marriage.
An excellent portent for any type of partnership, especially if the butterfly is formed out of jade (see Gems, Jewelry, Stones).
Missives from beyond: The Hopi Indians believe that butterflies carry the souls of the departed.
Swallowing a butterfly: In Ireland and ancient Greece, this signified pregnancy.
The ability to rebound and rejuvenate after a major setback.
If seen in its caterpillar form, it means you’re entering a stage of positive transformation.
If the creature is flying, you may soon receive news from friends afar.
For a young woman, this foretells happy love.... The Language of Dreams
Because of its red color, this is an alternative blood emblem.
Among Moslems, a symbol of perfect happiness, effective speech and depression’s abatement.
In ancient Greece, this represented having one’s wishes satisfied. Arabian: Take care, someone is trying to trick or deceive you.
In dream oracles, this stone warns of forthcoming misfortunes for which you should begin to prepare.... The Language of Dreams
Matters of love and commitment. In ancient Greece, cheese was used as part of traditional ivedding cakes.
As a visual pun, this may reflect a “cheesy” attitude or outlook.
Consider the type of cheese for more potential symbolism. Swiss cheese represents plans that have lots of holes in them, whereas Roquefort stands for something not smelling quite right (see Smells).
In Switzerland, a cheese fondue portends unexpected guests, because the food is so tasty that it inspires visits!
Longevity of your achievements or ideas. According to Pliny, Zoroaster lived for 30 years on cheese alone.... The Language of Dreams
A symbol of wholeness, a magic defense against danger: whatever takes place within the circle has special meaning. Ghosts and demons always move in a straight line, meaning that the circle and everything that is round provides protection.
The saying is that the devil sits in the corners and cant stay in round places. Circles and everything round always means wholeness.
In ancient Greece, the circle symbolized immortality with no beginning or end, as in Ring. In alchemy, the stone of wisdom (lapis) is always depicted as being round.
According to Jung, the circle (archetype of the man- dala) is pointing out that you are on the path of being initiated into yourself. Jung considered the circle to be the primary vision, the oldest symbol of mankind, and also the wheel of the sun.
In a few rare cases, the circle also has negative meaning: the endlessness of the circle can indicate monotony and constant repetition. Freud properly characterized neurosis as a need to perform a certain behavior again and again. This going-around-in-circles may be addressed here and he a hint that the “vicious circle” must he broken for the sake of happiness.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
As the greeter of dawn, this was an alternative symbol of the sun in many cultures, especially that of Greece and Rome where many central gods were associated with solar imagery. Therefore, a cock crowing at dawn in a dream is a very fortunate sign of new beginnings and renewed hope.
The vigilance and courage necessary to experience a real awakening of mind or spirit.
In Japan, the cock represents a call to prayer. Perhaps this is a message to focus on spiritual matters for a while.
Buddhist: Passion and pride.... The Language of Dreams
Red cows appearing in a dream are a positive, hopeful omen of peace and plenty. In Persia, these represented the spirit of dawn, which is filled with renewed vitality and courage.
In Greece, an all-white cow was ail alternative symbol for the moon.
A natural source of nourishment (see Meat).
Among the Celts and people of Scandinavian heritages, an emblem of continued provision.
A sacred animal in India, representative of life itself.
The milk from cows is used to nourish kings and priests, so this dream may represent self-nourishment.
Among ancient Egyptians, Indians, and Scandinavians, the cow was an emblem of the Great iMother, and some psychological schools still ascribe this image as possibly being linked to your own mother (see Women).... The Language of Dreams
If belligerent or barking, this dream shows personal aggression and hostility.
Sleeping at your feet: Service, good friends, and gentle companions.
Good instincts. Dogs are believed to have a kind of second sight in judging people, or discerning spiritual presences (see Ghost).
Being bitten by a dog reveals quarrels between friends or family members.
Dreaming of a purebred dog, especially at a dog show, indicates a personal love of performance, possibly to the point of putting on airs.
Growling dogs warn of being surrounded by designing or unpleasant people.
A Cerberus (many-headed dog) counsels that you are trying to maintain too many loyalties, interests, or friends. When you spread yourself too thin, quality suffers.
Zoroastrian: Sagacity, vigilance, and fidelity. Consider how the dog is treated and where it’s seen for more interpretive value.
The afterlife: In Babylon, Greece, and Persia, dogs attended aspects of the great Goddess to the underworld where human souls slept, awaiting their next incarnation. This close affinity to death is why dogs are often credited with the ability to see spirits.
The ability to sniff out honesty and good character. In the Tarot, dogs sit at death’s gate to be sure the soul is properly prepared. Similarly, Egyptian mythology speaks of Anubis, the jackal-headed god, waiting in the underworld to judge newcomers with his nose. This is why the Egyptians packed their mummies in sweet spices!... The Language of Dreams
If one succeeds in touching the feelings and memories usually connected with a dream image, this becomes apparent because of the depth of insight and experience which arises. Although ideally the Freudian analyst helps the client discover their own experience of their dream, it can occur that the analyst puts to the client readymade views of the dream. Out of this has occurred the idea of someone else ‘analysing or telling us about our dream.
Carl Jung used a different approach. He applied amplification (see entry), helped the client explore their associations, used active imagination (see entry) and stuck to the structure of the dream. Because amplification also put to the client the information and experience of the therapist, again the dreamwork can be largely verbal and intellectual, rather than experiential.
In the approach of Fritz Perls (gestalt therapy) and Moreno (psychodrama), dream analysis is almost entirely experiential.
The person exploring the dream acts out or verbalises each role or aspect of the dream.
If one dreamt of a house, in gestalt one might stan by saying I am a house’ and then go on to describe oneself just as one is as the particular house in the dream. It is important, even if the house were one existing externally, not to attempt a description of the external house, but to stay with the house as it was in the dream. This is like amplification, except the client gives all the information. This can be a very dramatic and emotional experience because we begin consciously to touch the immense realms of experience usually hidden behind the image. When successful this leads to personal insights into behaviour and creativity. See dream processing; amplification; gestalt dream work.
dream as a meeting place Any two people, or group of people who share their dreams, particularly if they explore the associated feelings and thoughts connected with the dream images, achieve social intimacy quickly. Whether it is a family sharing their dreams, or two fnends, an environment can be created in which the most profound feelings, painful and wonderful, can be allowed. Such exposure of the usually private areas of one s feelings and fears often presents new information to the dreamer, and also allows ventilation of what may never have been consciously expressed before. In doing so a healing release is reached, but also greater self understanding and the opportunity to think over or reconsider what is discovered.
Herbert Reed, editor of the dream magazine Sundance, and resident in Virginia Beach, Va., initiated group dreaming experiments. It started because Reed noticed that in the dream groups he was running, when one of the group aired a problem, other members would subsequently dream about that person’s problem. He went on to suggest the group should attempt this purposely and the resulting dreams shared to see if they helped the person with the problem.
The reported dreams often formed a more detailed view of the person’s situation. In one instance the group experienced many dream images of water. It aided the woman who was seeking help to admit she had a phobia of water and to begin thinking about learning to swim. In another experiment, a woman presented the problem of indecision about what college to transfer to and what to study. Her group subsequently said they were confused because they had not dreamt about school. Several had dreams about illicit sex. though, which led the woman to admit she was having an affair with a married man. She went on to realise that it was the affair which was underlying her indecision. She chose to end the affair and further her career.
Whatever may be underlying the results of Reed’s expen- ments, it is noticeably helpful to use the basic principles he is working with. They can be used by two people equally as well as a group—by a parent and child, wife and husband, businessman and employee. One sets out to dream about each other through mutual agreement. Like any undertaking, the involvement, and therefore the results, are much more pronounced if there is an issue of reasonable importance behind the experiment. It helps if one imagines that during sleep you are going to meet each other to consider what is happening between you. Then sleep, and on waking take time to recall any dream. Note it down, even if it seems far removed from what you expected. Then explore its content using the techniques in dream processing.
Example: My wife and I decided to attempt to meet in our dreams. I dreamt I was in a room similar to the back bedroom of my previous marnage. My present wife was with me. She asked me to help her move the wardrobe. It reminded me of, but did not look like, the one which had been in that bedroom. I stood with my back to it, and reached my hands up to press on the top, inside. In this way I carried it to another wall. As I put it down the wood broke. I felt it ought to be thrown away’ (Thomas B). Thomas explored the dream and found he connected feelings about his first marriage with the wardrobe and bedroom. In fact the shabby wardrobe was Tom’s feelings of shabbiness at having divorced his first wife. In his first marriage, represented by the bedroom, he always felt he was married for life. In divorcing, he had done something he didn’t like and was carrying it about with him. He says ‘1 am carrying this feeling of shabbiness and second best into my present relationship, and I need to get rid of it.’
dream as a spiritual guide Dreams have always been connected with the spiritual side of human experience, even though today many spiritual leaders disagree with consideration of dreams. Because dreams put the dreamer in touch with the source of their own internal wisdom and certainty, some conflict has existed between authoritative priesthood and public dreaming.
A lay person finding their own approach to God in a dream might question the authority of the priests. No doubt people frequently made up dreams about God in order to be listened to. Nevertheless, despite opposition, Matthew still dreamt of an angel appearing to him, Joseph was still warned by God to move Jesus; Peter still dreamt his dream of the unclean animals.
The modern scientific approach has placed large question marks against the concept of the human spirit. Study of the brain’s functions and biochemical activities have led to a sense of human personality being wholly a series of biological and biochemical events.
The results of this in the relationship between doctor and patient, psychiatrist and client, sometimes results in the communication of human personality being of little consequence. It may not be put into words, but the intimation is that if one is depressed it is a biochemical problem or a brain malfunction.
If one is withdrawn or autistic, it is not that there is a vital centre of personality which has for some reason chosen to avoid contact, but that a biochemical or physiological problem is the cause—it’s nothing personal, take this pill (to change the biochemistry, because you are not really a person). Of course we have to accept that human personality must sometimes face the tragedy of biochemical malfunction, but we also need to accept that biochemical and physiological process can be changed by human will and courage.
In attempting to find what the human spirit is by looking at dreams, creativity stands out.
The spiritual nature may not be what we have traditionally considered it to be.
An overview of dreams and how dreamers relate to them suggests one amazing fact. Let us call it the ‘seashell effect’. When we hear sounds in a shell that we hold to our ear, the noises heard seem exterior to oneself, yet they are most likely amplification of sounds created in our own ear, perhaps by the passage of blood. Imagine an electronic arcade machine which the player could sit in and, when running, the player could be engulfed in images, sounds, smell and sensation. At first there is shimmering darkness, then a sound, and lights move. Is it a face seen, or a creature. Like Rorschach’s ink blots, the person creates figures and scenes out of the shapeless light and sound.
A devil appears which terrifies the player. People, demons, animals, God and angels appear and fade. Scenes are clearcut or a maelstrom of movement and ill-defined activity. Events arise showing every and any aspect of human experience. Nothing is impossible.
If, on stepping out, we told the player that what occurred was all their own creation due to unconscious feelings, fears, habits, thoughts and physiological processes occurring within them, like the seashell effect, they might say ‘Good God, is that all it was, and I thought it was real. What a waste of time.’
Whether we can accept it or not, as a species we have created out of our own longings, fears, pain and perhaps vision, God, with many different names—politics, money, devils, nationalism, angels, an, and so on and on. All of it has flowed out of us. Perhaps we even deny we are the authors of the Bible, wars, social environments. Responsibility is difficult. It is easier to believe the source is outside oneself. And if we do take responsibility for our amazing creativity, we may feel ‘is that all it is—me?’ Yet out of such things, such fears, such drives, such unconscious patterns as we shape our dreams with, we shape our life and fonune, we shape our children, we shape the world and our future.
The shadow of fear we create in our dream, the situation of aloneness and anger, becomes a pattern of feelings, real in its world of mind. We create a monster, a Djinn, a devil, which then haunts and influences us. Or with feelings of hope, of purposiveness and love, create other forces in us and the world. But we are the creator. We are in no way separate from the forces which create our existence. We are those creative forces. In the deepest sense, not just as an ego, we create ourselves, and we go on creating ourselves. We are the God humanity has looked so long for.
The second aspect of the human spirit demonstrated by dreams is consciousness.
The unconscious mind, if its function is not clogged with a backlog of undealt with painful childhood experience and nonfunctional premises, has a propensity to form gestalts. It takes pieces of experience and fits them together to form a whole. This is illustrated by how we form gestalts when viewing newsprint photographs, which are made up of many small dots. Our mind fits them together and sees them as a whole, giving meaning where there are only dots. When the human mind is working well, when the individual can face a wide range of emotions, from fear and pain to ecstasy, this process of forming gestalts can operate very creatively. This is because it needs conscious involvement, and if the personality is frightened of deep feeling, the uniting of deeply infantile and often disturbing cxpcrience is cut out. Yet these areas are very rich mines of information, containing our most fundamental learning.
If the process is working well, then one’s expenence is gradually transformed into insights which transcend and thereby transform one s personal life.
For instance, we have witnessed our own binh in some manner, we also see many others appeanng as babies. We see people ageing, dying. We see millions of events in our life and in others.
The unconscious, deeply versed in imagery, ritual and body language, out of which it creates its dreams, picks up information from music, architecture, traditional rituals, people walking in the street, the unspoken world of parental influence.
The sources are massive, unbelievable. And out of it all our mind creates meaning. Like a process of placing face over face over face until a composite face is formed, a synthesis of all the faces; so the unconscious scans all this information and creates a world view, a concept of life and death.
The archetypes Jung talks of are perhaps the resulting synthesis of our own expenence, reaching points others have met also.
If so, then Chnst might be our impression of humanity as a whole.
If we dare to touch such a synthesis of experience it may be seanng, breathtaking.
It breaks the boundaries of our present personality and concepts because it transcends. It shatters us to let the new vision emerge. It reaches, it soars, like an eagle flying above the single events of life. Perhaps because of this the great hawk of ancient Egypt represented the human spirit.
Lastly, humans have always been faced by the impossible.
To a baby, walking and not wetting its pants is impossible, but with many a fall and accident it does the impossible. It is a god in its achievement.
To talk, to fly heavier-than-air planes, to walk on the Moon, were all impossible. Humans challenge the impossible every day. Over and over they fall, back into defeat. Many lie there broken. Yet with the next moment along come youngsters with no more sense than grasshoppers, and because they don’t know what the difference is between right and left, do the impossible. Out of the infinite potential, the great unknown, they draw something new. With hope, with folly, with a wisdom they gain from who knows where, they demand more. And it’s a common everyday son of miracle. Mothers do it constantly for their children—transcending themselves. Lovers go through hell and heaven for each other and flower beyond who they were. You and I grow old on it as our daily bread, yet fail to see how holy it is. And if we turn away from it, it is because it offers no certainties, gives no authority, claims no reward. It is the spiritual life of people on the street. And our dreams remember, even if we fail.
For this is the body and blood of the human spirit.
dream as a therapist and healer There is a long tradition of using dreams as a base for both physical and psychological healing. One of the earliest recorded incidents of such healing is when Pharaoh’s ‘spirit was troubled, and he sent for all the magicians of Egypt and all its wise men; and Pharaoh told them his dream, but there was none who could interpret it’. Then Joseph revealed the meaning of the dream and so the healing of Pharaoh’s troubled mind took place (Genesis 41).
The Greek Temples of Asclepius were devoted to using dreams as a base for healing of body and mind (see dreams and ancient Greece).
The Iroquois Amerindians used a social form of dream therapy also (see Iroquoian dream cult).
The dream process was used much more widely throughout history in such practices as Pentecostal Christianity, shaktipat yoga in India, and Anton Mesmer’s groups (see sleep movements).
Sigmund Freud pioneered the modern approach to the use of dreams in therapy, but many different approaches have developed since his work. Examples of the therapeutic action of gaining insight into dreams are to be found in the entnes on abreaction, recurring dreams, reptiles.
The entry on dream processing gives information about using a dream to gain insight and healing. See also dream as meeting place.
A feature which people who use their dreams as a therapeutic tool mention again and again is how dreams empower them. Many of us have an unconscious feeling that any important healing work regarding our body and mind can only be undertaken and directed by an expert, the expert might be a doctor, a psychiatrist, psychotherapist, or osteopath. Witnessing the result of their own dream process, even if helped by an expert, people feel in touch with a wonderful internal process which is working actively for their own good. One woman, who had worked on her dream with the help of a fnend (non expert), said It gave me great confidence in my own internal process. I realised there was something powerful in myself working for my own good. It was a feeling of cooperating with life.’ One is frequently amazed by one’s own resources of wisdom, penetrating insight and sense of connection with life, as met in dreamwork. This is how dreams play a pan in helping one towards wholeness and balance.
The growing awareness of one’s central view of things, which is so wide, piercing and often humorous, brings developing self respect as the saga of one’s dreams unfolds.
There may be no hint of this, however, if a person simply records their dreams without attempting to find a deeply felt contact with their contents. It is in the searching for associated feelings and ideas that the work of integrating the many strands of one’s life begins. Gradually one weaves, through a co-operative action with the dream process, a greater unification of the dark and the light, the painful and transcendent in one’s nature.
The result is an extraordinary process of education. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
For the somnium dreams Anemidorus gave a dream dictionary.
For example, he said abyss meant an impending danger, a dream of warning, and to see a candle being lighted forecasts a binh, to exhibit a lighted candle augers contentment and prosperity, a dimly burning candle shows sickness, sadness and delay. This last interpretation is taken from folklore of the times and, because dreams tend to use commonly used verbal images, was probably true. He maintained that a person’s name—that is their identity, and the family, national and social background from which they arose—has a bearing on what their dream means.
Plato (429-347 bc) said that even good men dream of uncontrolled and violent actions, including sexual aggression. These actions are not committed by good men while awake, but criminals act them out without guilt. Democritus said that dreams are not products of an ethereal soul, but of visual impressions which influence our imagination. Aristotle (383— 322 bc) stated that dreams can predict future events. Earlier Hippocrates, the ‘father of medicine’, discovered that dreams can reveal the onset of organic illness. Such dreams, he said, can be seen as illogically representing external reality.
Hippocrates was born on the island of Kos. On the island was the famous temple dedicated to Aesculapius, the god of medicine. There were about 300 such temples in Greece alone, dedicated to healing through the use of dreams. Hippocrates was an Aesculapian, and learnt his form of dream interpretation from them. In such temples the patient would ritually have to cleanse themselves by washing, and abstain from sex, alcohol and even food. They would then be led into what was sometimes a subterranean room with harmless snakes in—these were the symbol of the god. In the morning the patients were asked their dream, and it was expected they would dream an answer to their illness or problem. There are many attestations to the efficacy of this technique from patients. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
American: Freedoms and liberties in which everyone deserves to share Soaring with an eagle: A type of flying dream.
Many solar gods are equated with this symbol (see Sim), giving the eagle associations with the lifting ot depression or a more conscious awareness.
Lofty ambitions that require great skill to achieve.
Jungian: Your father or another masculine authority figure.
Leadership skills. Among the Romans, this bird became a kind of totem for the emperor, who was thought to reincarnate as an eagle. Alternatively, this may also symbolize traditionally masculine characteristics like pride and fierceness developing.
An alternative lightning emblem. In ancient Greece, people placed eagles on temple rooftops to protect the building from lightning, as they felt this creature controlled the fire from the sky.
Riding on the back of an eagle represents a spiritual voyage, possibly an astral journey or OBE.... The Language of Dreams
Cracking open: Coming out of a shell and enjoying a more social existence. Alternatively, the hirth of new ideals or abilities.
Potential and fertility just waiting to be liberated from within.
Rotten: Something about this predicament “smells” bad, even though it mav outwardly appear quite good.
A fragile or delicate situation requiring diplomacy (e.g., “walking on egg shells”).
The creative force of the Universe becoming actively expressed in and through your life. In several mythological cycles including those of Egypt and Greece, the primordial cosmic matter is represented by an egg.
Folk medicine: If placed in the ground or broken into soil, this represents the waning of sickness.... The Language of Dreams
Spiritual purity and truth: In ancient Egypt, the soul was weighed upon death against the Plume of Maat, whose name means truth. Similarly, the Hopi regard the gift of an owPs feather as a means of helping the recipients be true to themselves. Less directly this may pertain to honesty in communications.
Lifting of guilt or burdens, or someone who is a truly free spirit (e.g., being Tight as a feather”).
Changeability: Feathers equate to the air element that shifts directions without any forewarning.
A prognostication: In ancient Greece, people used found bird feathers as portents of their travels and the future. Consider the feathers color, where it lands, and the type of bird from which it comes for expanded interpretations.... The Language of Dreams
A predominantly masculine symbol associated with the sun and intense passion. Native Americans additionally believe the condition of the fire appearing in the dream reflects your emotional nature. Is it burning out of control—or neatly tended?
Goodness over evil. Fire illuminates the darkness and chases away frightening shadows. Upon what areas of your life does this light shine?
Drastic transformation. This is the flight of the phoenix who must die in a nest of flame to be renewed.
Emotional devastation or a burning obsession. Look to see what exactly you perceive as burning.
Awareness and vision. Besides shedding light, fire was used as a divinatory tool in cultures ranging from ancient Greece to Tibet. Known as pyromancy, seers would stare at a flame source, watching for symbolic images to appear in answer to questions posed.
Elemental forces that must be tempered and controlled or they will destroy instead of empower.
Dramatics (being full of “flash and fanfare”).
Squelching: Ignoring or turning your back on the masculine nature, or resentment toward men. Alternatively, having a source of personal energy taken away.
Walking through a fire: Your reactions in the dream to this experience indicate how you are coping with a particularly heated situation.
Sitting amidst a fire: Being on the proverbial “hot seat.” Alternatively, a type of death dream in which the fire relates to the ancient pyres upon which bodies were burned to release the spirit.
Campfires: Simple pleasures, reveling in nature, remembering stories and experiences from youth (see Fables, Storytellers).
What’s burning here can be vitally important to your dream’s meaning.
For example, seeing a building on fire might indicate that you’re burning up your body’s resources / energy.
An attic fire can reveal someone whose mind is totally consumed by one topic. Dreaming of burning clothes symbolizes the desire to do away with societally designed images for a more honest self-representation.
Dreaming of a fire whose coals have grown cold is a very negative image. It represents trouble, despair, and possibly the loss of love among those people close to you due to a misunderstanding. Try to find a way to put a fresh warm ember into this situation.... The Language of Dreams
The dream may also be a challenge for either being too earthbound or taking flight into a greater dimension.
In Egypt, dreams of flying were interpreted as fleeing from difficulties. In ancient Greece and Rome, dreams of flying were seen as passionate love.
According to Freud, they were dreams of sexual desire and erection (Freud dealt with this extensively). He saw dreams of flying exclusively as desire for sex. Some modern dream experts interpret flying dreams exclusively as a desire to get away from problematic sit- uations, or to cross one’s own boundaries. Some researchers believe that in our dreams we go back to preborn states, make contact with the state of birds, and realize our innate ability to fly. Another contemporary dream researcher, Jack Maguire, believes that most dreams about flying are just a sign that we want to recuperate and refresh ourselves.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
Egyptian: Rebirth or figurative renewal in some area of your life.
Shamanic: A messenger regarding matters of health. Alternatively, a charm against any figurative bad weather coming your way.
Transformation and perspective.
The frog prince of fairy tales reminds us that things are not always as they seem.
In China, frogs represent the ultimate Yin principle, healing, and business prosperity.
Ancient Greece: A portent of harmony between lovers.... The Language of Dreams
A warning to live unconsciously. Also “idiot” in ancient Greece meant the “nonpolitical” common man—in other words, those who were thought to be negative because they didn’t care about the community. In addition, today we use the expression “the idiot savant,” which raises the question: what does the idiot know?
Folklore: Unexpected fortune.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
Because of its primitive origins, many psychologists view this as an emblem of the Collective Unconscious or wild nature within.
In Egypt and Greece, an omen of luck.
African: Transformation and the ability to adapt to your surroundings. Here the lizard is regarded as a shape-shifter.
Lizards are very sensitive to land vibrations, and have very good hearing and keen eyesight, making them symbolic of awareness, especially psychically.
Impartiality and the ability to break away from various situations. When a predator pounces on a lizard’s tail, it is surprised to discover that the tail breaks off, leaving the lizard free and alive to grow a new one!... The Language of Dreams
Native American: The feminine power of water. Also gracefulness and playfulness.
Forgetfulness or lacking closure. Otters are known to take one or two bites from their food, then leave the rest behind when distracted by something else.
(see Bird, Feathers, Flying, Wings)
The ability to traverse the figurative darkness in your life.
As a companion and messenger to the Greek goddess Athena, an owl may presage new artistic abilities or the development of a warrior’s spirit.
A type of death dream. In Greece» dreaming of an owl foretold of death, the Vedic god of the dead sometimes sent owls as messengers, and the Celts associated owls with the god of the underworld.
Native Americans call owls the “night eagle,’” and consider them a symbol of silent observation with potentially deceitful motivations.
In Hopi tradition, the gift of an owl feather bestows truthfulness on the receiver. By accepting such a token in a dream, you accept yourself.
The ability to see what others are trying to hide from you, as the owl’s golden yellow eyes pierce the night.
Moving silently, or remaining silent in a situation. Owls are considered silent fliers.
Snow owls in particular are able hunters, representing the instinct to know where your sustenance lies, and how to effectively reach it.... The Language of Dreams
While these are sometimes considered phallic due to their shape, in ancient Greece pillars were regularly carved in the shape of a woman whose visage was modeled after a priestess of the Moon Goddess. In this form, pillars can emphasize the need to balance gender-specific outlooks, or to accept the traits you exhibit from the opposite gender as a building block to your whole personality.
What do these pillars uphold? If, for example, they support a temple roof, this implies having strong foundations and evidence for your beliefs. However, cracking and decayed pillars reflect a belief system that you have outgrown, but not left behind.
Ancient Egyptian: A hieroglyph called the Pillars of Horus was placed on the walls of homes to keep negativity away from the residents. Such symbols inscribed on your dream’s buildings may represent feelings of oppression or danger from which you wish to protect yourself and your kin.
A person’s best attributes that are worthy of recognition or honor (e.g., being a “pillar of truth” or “pillar of the community”).... The Language of Dreams
Eating the seeds of a pomegranate, according to American lore, foretells the fulfillment of one wish.
In Babylonia and Asia, this was a positive omen for maiTiages or any matters of commitment.
Because of the red juice of these seeds, they were an accepted substitute blood symbol in both ancient Greece and Judaic tradition.
Seeing a heap of pomegranates (or a lot of seeds) in your dream reflects upcoming prosperity. In Egypt, pomegranates were so valuable that they were sometimes used as a form of currency.... The Language of Dreams
Esoteric wisdom shared from the Collective Unconscious.
A good omen that portends achievement and financial gains.
Precision is needed in your evaluations to assure success. Scientists have shown the tremendous accuracy used in designing and building these great edifices; no less care should be taken with things you value.
In India, an alternative fire emblem. Similarly, in ancient Greece the pictograph of a pyramid could represent an idea or spirit that had fiery characteristics.
Mesopotamian: The meeting place between the gods and mortals. Edifices similar to pyramids were seen in Babylon at the core of the city around 3500 B.C.E. These buildings were called the Gate of the Gods. In your dream, such structures may represent a personally designed astral temple, where you can commune with your subconscious, your Higher Self, or the Divine.... The Language of Dreams
A cold, distant person who never seems to let the walls down. In Greece, people believed that quartz was actually petrified ice that never thawed.
Pure, flowing inspiration and energy, especially in a religious context. Tlie priestess of Vesta gathered fire from heaven using a quartz crystal for the sacred flame: of the altar.
The ability to gain energy’ or power from your present situation. Note that quartz crystal holds a natural “charge,” which is why it’s used in watches.... The Language of Dreams
If you change course and proceed gently, you can still reach your goal. Picking quinces off the ground: your partner uhas been around.” Seeing a rotten quince: a certain person is not worthy of your love.
Depth Psychology: In ancient Greece, a bride had to eat a quince, reminding her that married life is made up of the sweet and the bitter. This fruit, too, represents your erotic or sexual needs and desires. See Fruit.... Dreamers Dictionary
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 contradiction of blossom and thorn.
The rose plays the same role in the West that the lotus plays in the Orient. Both blossom, producing many thousands of petals, and represent the highest stage of consciousness.
The rose is often a symbol of the self. As a well-known symbol of love, it points to the dreamer’s feeling of security and suggests that he should be more open to love.
The Greek word rodor for rose came from the ancient Greek word for “flowing,” which may have been coined to convey the flow of fragrance from this flower. But this never-ending flow of fragrance from the rose also shortens its life, causing it to wilt rapidly. Because this magnificently flowering, fragrant blossom wilts so fast, it is also considered a symbol of death.
The rose also points to the world beyond, which is the reason that the Catacombs in Rome are decorated with garlands of roses.
The rose also is the harbinger of death in the Oraclesy and it is reported that a few days before their death, bishops would find a white rose on their chair.
The belief in the death-announcing rose has influenced customs in England and Germany, where people have been reluctant to bring roses to a sick person. And if a rose bush produced a green rose—that is, when the petals turned green—as English folklore had it, a family member would die.
It is not only in England that the rose is connected with death. As far back as ancient Rome, every year a festival of the roses was celebrated where the dead were honored. Graves were decorated with wreaths made from roses.
Since time immemorial, what happens in the presence of the rose is not talked about. In antiquity, when a rose was suspended above the table, the meal was taken “sub rosa,” as it was called then, which means that absolutely nothing from the conversation was repeated after the meal.
The early Christians took up this symbolic tradition: the presence of a rose indicated that silence was to be observed when heathens were among them.
The rose as the symbol for silence continued into the 18th century, when, for instance, wooden roses were carved into the woodwork of the confessional and roses were also included in the stucco of the halls of the court.
The rose, like the lotus, is considered the perfect flower, which is one of the reasons why the Christian Church declared it to be the image of wisdom. This was instrumental in the rose becoming a symbol of Christ. Mary is also depicted as a rose, but a rose without thorns, because in Christian symbolism the thorns of the rose indicate sin, and Mary was free of sin.
The rose has something very mystical about it. Praying the rosary is considered meditation.
The Sufis pray with a drop of rose fragrance dabbed on the area of the “third eye,” because it is said that the rose cleanses and strengthens the spirit. In ancient Greece a wreath of roses was already thought to strengthen the mind.
The Roman Emperor wore a wreath of roses for the same reason. Romans wore wreaths made from roses during decadent outdoor feasts, because they hoped the roses would minimize the effects of too much drinking.
The rose as the image of a clear mind was also known to the alchemists, who connected the rose to the idea of deliverance. In Dante’s Paradiso the small group of saved sinners is pictured in the form of a white rose above which angels circle like bees. That the way to salvation is possible only through love is perhaps the most important lesson of the rose, the flower originally dedicated to Aphrodite, goddess of love. But that the rose also symbolizes flesh and blood is seen in the fact that Dionysus also claimed the rose to be his.
Time and again we hear about a rose bush that never stops blooming; about rose branches in a vase that for 70 years produced white blossoms; and about how the food for the poor that, in the basket of saints, is transformed into roses.
For those interested in the magic of the rose, we might also mention the Pentagram of the Rose.
If you connect the center of each petal with the center of the petal that comes after the next, you will form a pentagram, the foot of the Druids, the old magic figure that Faust wanted to use to overcome Satan.
The Greeks considered the long-lived, five-leaved rose bush, with the imprint of a pentagram, to be the symbol of the cycle of the Cosmos, which, according to Aristotle, is determined by the five elements (fire, water, earth, air, and ether). Also, the Rosicrucians see the rose as a symbol of hidden wisdom, using it as a symbol in their cross.
The color of the rose is also important.
A wilted rose is a sign of a relationship gone bad. According to Jung, the rose is always the symbol for wholeness, representing, in the form of the mandala, a symbol for the order of the world.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
Old, torn shoes symbolize snares along the path, or long, hard roads traveled to obtain your heart’s desire. These can also reveal a tendency to always fall back on what’s comfortable and known to you, instead of taking risks.
Boots are protective, so this dream may portend some rough footing’ ahead for which you should prepare.
Wearing unusual shoes in a dream may indicate a need to see things differently. Try looking at this situation from another perspective (e.g., “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes”).
The kind of shoes seen in the dream can reveal how you walk through life.
For example, seeing baby shoes means that you’re very unsure of things, and compensate by moving slowly. Ballet shoes can disclose a person who either tiptoes through difficult situations, or someone who has unique grace and mobility.
Trying on shoes represents testing various options until you find the perfect one (e.g., “if the shoe fits, wear it”).
Yearing new shoes symbolizes change and transitions with which you may not be totally comfortable yet.
In Egypt and Greece, shoes were part of fertility rights, which is how they became part of marriage rituals today. So, the throwing of a shoe or seeing numerous shoes following behind you in a dream represents productivity or abundance.
Small shoes symbolize virginity, or being naive about worldly matters, as in the storv of Cinderella.... The Language of Dreams
A symbol of the dark feminine and deception, it also represents wisdom and cunning. Almost every woman dreams about serpents at least once in her life, which could mean fear of a rival or of the male gender.
The serpent stands for physical drives.
If something is not right in that area, snake dreams appear.
The image of the serpent may also refer to the “water of life,” since it comes from inside the earth where the healing springs originate.
The Caduceus, the staff of Aesculapius, a symbol of the healing arts, shows two serpents winding around it. In the sacred temple of Aesculapius, serpents crawled on the floor of the sleeping halls. They were said to induce healing dreams.
According to 2nd century dream interpreter Arte- midorus, dreaming about serpents indicates healing and the return to vitality. It is also a symbol of immortality (shedding of the skin—rebirth).
The “Midgard-serpent” and the “Ferris wolf’ in Norse mythology threaten the gods as the world comes to an end.
The serpent is also the symbol for secret wisdom and the revelation of the hidden. Snakes are quick, attracted by fire and the birth of energy.
A snake steals from Gilgamesh (hero of the Sumerian epic) the herb of immortality, while he is taking a bath in a pond. In Greece, Gaia, the goddess of the earth, produces two half-serpents called Titans, who do battle with Zeus.
For the Gnostics of late antiquity, the serpent symbolized the dark, deep, and unfathomable side of God.
The serpent is also a symbol of Kundalini (the yogic life force). In ancient Greece, serpents were even honored publicly, because they were believed to be ghosts of the dead.
Snakes appear suddenly, out of the unknown, creating fear. It is impossible to have a meaningful communication with them; they are secretive and fear-inducing, as is the unconscious. Their poison is sin, their wisdom transformation and deliverance. According to Early Christian imagination, when a snake was attacked, it would only protect its head.
According to Freud, a phallic symbol. According to Jung, the image of the snake means that something important is taking place in our unconscious; it may be dangerous or healing. See Eel.... Little Giant Encyclopedia
Ancient Grecian and Egyptian, and Native American: Fate and our ties to all times and all peoples. In Greece, Arachne spun the thread of peoples lives. Egyptians had Neith, who wove the world, and the Pueblo Indians have Spider Woman, who created the world from two strands of thread (see Web).
Feeling trapped in someone’s well-executed snare.
Creating connections that help you to finish a goal. Note that the line of networking here may not be direct, even as the spider’s web may take unexpected turns.... The Language of Dreams
The masculine nature. Many ancient gods were affiliated with, or represented as, the sun, including Apollo in Greece and Ra in Egypt (see Icons, Men).
Noontime: A fullness of conscious awareness or rationality. You can trust that your current course of reasoning is “right on” (see Time).
Sunrise or sunset: Beginnings or endings, respectively. Each stage of the sun equates to phases in our own life, situations, or relationships, sunrise heing birth, and sunset representing death.
Increasing physical energy or mental activity.
An omen of good fortune. Many cultures regarded the sun’s presence at special occasions as a sign of divine favor and blessings.
The egoic, conscious, intelligent aspect of your mind, versus the intuitive, feeling portion, which is lunar (see Moon).
Sunburn: Getting figuratively “burned” by a man, or feeling resentment toward men in general. Alternatively, too much use of the logical mind causes neglect of the instinct, leading to fiery times.... The Language of Dreams
The triune nature of humankind as body-mind-soul; and the triune nature of many divine figures (Father-Son-Holy Spirit; Maiden-Mother-Crone).
Stability 7 . Three legs gives the tripod or cauldron greater strength.
In ancient Greece, the number representing fate. External, powerful forces are at work here, whose source is wholly or partially unknown to you.
If the number appears on a die in the dream, this portends excellent luck (e.g., “three is a charm”).
Oracular experts claim any dream that repeats itself three times will come true.
Jung felt this number represented some type of incompleteness, like a table that’s missing one leg.... The Language of Dreams
Traditionally an emblem of purity. In fairy tales, the unicorn becomes a mount to only chaste maidens, and befriends only those who are pure in spirit.
The horn of this creature is an alternative phallic emblem. It is also considered the most potently magical part of the animal—the “magic” in this sense being the seed of life (sperm).
If the horn of the creature is dipped into water, this represents the purging of some type of poison, be it emotional, physical, or spiritual.
In Greece, an alternative emblem for the moon goddess, and as such reflects a predominance of the intuitive nature in your decisions and interactions.
In China, this is a most beneficent dream. Here, the unicorn symbolizes the perfect balance between Yin and Yang, and all five elements in harmony (earth-air-firewater- ether / void). Seeing one indicates goodwill and kindness toward you from others, as well as the presence of gentle, wise companions.... The Language of Dreams
Time’s cyclical movement, especially the seasons. In India, Kali ruled the Time Wheel that fixed life and death for all things. In ancient Greece, the 12 zodiacal houses are fixed around a wheel.
Native American: The medicine wheel that symbolizes everything’s equality.
If one part of the wheel is ignored or broken, the entire thing doesn’t function right.
A mandala that equates to the cosmic model or pattern that maintains congruity of life- death-rebirth, beginning-middle-end-return on both intimate and universal levels. It is thereby a vital representation of the rede “as within, so without.”
The power of fate and destiny.
The Etruscans and Romans both had goddesses whose domain was the wheel of time and fate. In the Tarot, there is also the WTieel of Fortune that marks the succession of human and universal affairs.
A source of control and regulation (see Car).
A cycle that the psyche sets into motion, resulting in internal change, or external events.... The Language of Dreams
Drinking fully of life’s nectar; living each moment to its fullest.
Celebration, and reasons for same. Also, hospitality being offered and accepted.
In ancient Greece, wine and the god Bacchus were one and the same. Bacchus was somewhat of a mischievous and randy figure, who may represent unrepressed sexuality, liberation, and the power of nature.
Red wine is an alternative blood emblem, as seen in Christian communion rites.
The spirit ot truth, or as the Romans said, “in vino Veritas.” It is interesting to note that in Mesopotamia the goddess Saki personified the vine and epitomized the revelation of truths.
Among the Norse, an emblem of taking care of things that you value.
The deceased had to drink all the wine they had spilled before being allowed to enter Valhalla, their version of paradise.... The Language of Dreams