A spiritual response is one that affects every part of our being and is a reaching out to whatever we deem the ultimate to be.
An instinctive response is often one drawn from us by a situation that has personal resonance.
Psychological / emotional perspective: If a response is needed or if a reply is given there must have been a question. This will often have been a subconscious one. In dreams it is unfortunate that we sometimes have one without knowing the other.
Material aspects: To reply is to respond, usually in words to a question or an action. In dreams any response we make should be carefully considered as to whether it reflects our feelings accurately in a waking situation.
• Or you’re running away from something literal in your life or perhaps an emotional or psychological issue. Revisit the dream and face what’s chasing you.
• By accepting who you are, exactly as you are, right now will help you make real progress towards your future and relieve some of the stress.... The Premier in Dream Dictionary
• Face your fears and explore what you’re feeling over emotional about. This can be a dream response to losing someone very close.
• It can also mean that you feel suffocated or dominated by someone in your life.... The Premier in Dream Dictionary
• All snakes shed their skin signifying transformation and regeneration. Look at what you need to change and let go of in your life and what needs to be reborn.
• Is there a “snake in the grass” in your life? Are you feeling venomous? If you’re terrified of snakes in real life you may dream of them in response to this phobia.... The Premier in Dream Dictionary
For example, clothing that is tattered or torn may signify that you feel emotionally shredded by an experience. You may also be expressing a "poor me" attitude.
For the hero, the horse cames him to his mission, perhaps over long distances, and thus it may signify the need to travel. A wild horse can represent unleashed and untamed power. Horses may also trot into your dream to indicate the need to stand your ground in a power struggle.
The quality of water often describes the situation of your emotions. Crystal clear, clean, adulterated, calm mostly provides strong insights about the state of your feelings.
If we are hurt or threatened we tense the pelvic and abdominal area. Vanessa wakes to just such tension, with a sense of her body being fragmented.
The opposite is to dream of waves of pleasure moving within us, which gives us a sense of integration within ourself and with the world.
In general the abdomen represents the potential of our fully active natural drives—hunger, longing to be held; desire to give of ourself.
If these are hurt, we tend to hold ourself back from active social expression or intimacy of feelings in relationships. Our abdomen is also our digestive ability, both physical and psychological. Stomach or abdominal dreams may refer to some dis-ease in the actual organs. We might not be able to stomach something we have met in the everyday world.
To vomit: a discharging of unpleasant feelings resulting from ingesting (hearing, reading, being told, experiencing) something unpleasant.
In her dream Vanessa was re-enacting the Hungerford disaster, and feeling the fear it engendered. Shot in the belly, sex; painful response to relationship. Idioms: bellyaching; have a bellyful; eyes bigger than one’s belly, have a strong stomach; turn one’s stomach; butterflies in stomach. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Feeling violated or exploited by an individual, a group, or a situation.
If you are the abuser in the dream, this may represent pent-up displeasure toward yourself or antagonism toward another.
A memory surfacing. Some abuse victims have uncovered their memories through dreams. However, caution must be issued here. Since this topic is widely covered by the media, what you experience in a dream can reenact some of these stories, engendered by your emotional response (fear, indignation, outrage, etc.).... The Language of Dreams
The details of the dream need to be considered before attempting an interpretation. Details such as who is cheating on whom and what are the circumstances surrounding this dream event, need to be established. At times people have dreams about cheating on their spouses as a response to a long and monogamous relationship.
The dream may be a compensation for boredom, monotony or unhappiness. On the other hand, the dream could be about you connecting to deeper parts of self, which is represented by a desirable person of the opposite sex. On rare occasions a person may suspect, or feel on some level, that their mate is not faithful but is not willing to admit this consciously. Thus, in the dream state the individual confronts his fears and from there may begin to deal with the situation on a conscious level. “The dream reveals the reality which conception lags behind.” Franz Kafka... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
If you committed it, be on guard against giving your confidence to new friends; if you resisted it, you will have some disappointing setbacks, but they will be temporary. Many people seem to have dreams about committing adultery or about their spouse committing adultery (cheating or being cheated on). In this dictionary there is a definition for cheating and here I will add a few more thoughts about this dream topic. Many dreams come from the private unconscious and are a reflection on thoughts, fears, desires or issues are a response to stressful or anxiety provoking situations.
The details of the dream need to be considered before attempting an interpretation. Details such as who is cheating on whom and what are the circumstances surrounding this dream event, need to be established. At times people have dreams about cheating on their spouses as a response to a long and monogamous relationship.
The dream may be a compensation for boredom, monotony or unhappiness. On the other hand, the dream could be about you connecting to deeper parts of self, which is represented by a desirable person of the opposite sex. On rare occasions a person may suspect, or feel on some level, that their mate is not faithful but is not willing to admit this consciously. Thus, in the dream state the individual confronts his fears and from there may begin to deal with the situation on a conscious level. “The dream reveals the reality which conception lags behind.” Franz Kafka ... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
The power of drives such as the urge to parenthood via sex might be shown as a horse which we are trying to control. More than anything else, though, our dream animal represents our powerful reactions to situations, reactions developed through centuries of human experience in frequently terrible situations. This aspect of ourself is rooted in the older portions of the brain.
The animal in our dreams has commonly been seen only as the sex drive.
A careful examination of animal dreams, though, shows this to be untrue.
The animal represents all our biological needs and responses, which include survival and hunger, reproduction; parental urges; need for exercise and rest; social drives, fear reactions, anger, urge to provide (for young and mate); home/nest building; territory protection, social hierarchy, etc.
If these aspects in an individual are damaged or traumatised, we see parents who have lost their natural bonding and caring for their child; individuals who have no sense of social status or responsibility, enabling them to be criminally violent; disturbed and misplaced sexuality. Dominating or attempting to kill out the animal in us can cause tension, depression and illness.
The common escape into dry intellectualism is a cause of internal conflict. Complete permissiveness is no answer either, our higher brain functions need expression too. So one of the challenges of maturing is how to meet and relate to our ‘animals’, and perhaps bring them into expression in a satisfying way. Such drives are fundamentally a push towards life.
It must be remembered that where sex or sexuality is mentioned, I am not simply referring to the sex act. I mean sexuality in its overall aspect, which includes the urge towards parenthood, and the love and caring connected with it. (Brain damage or certain drugs or chemicals can diminish the ‘human’ levels of function and only the animal and lizard levels are expressed.) Below are listed some common ways animals are used in our dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If seen in pairs, this represents male virility.
Lima beans specifically portend the end to a quarrel.
Among the ancient Romans and Greeks, beans were used for ballots.
A white bean was a positive response; a black bean was negative. What color are the beans in your dream?
Eating beans may act as a humorous counsel from your subconscious not to get “puffed up” so that your words don’t come out as hot air!
In the East, soybeans represent luck.
During the Middle Ages, lentils were eaten to control the temperament. How balanced have your emotions been lately?
Beans are unique in that they twine and grow counterclockwise. You may find similarly that your way of growing and changing is vastly different than those around you.... The Language of Dreams
For the urban shaman, the bear’s call may be to a profession in the healing arts such as massage therapy or reflexology. As an archetype, the bear pos sesses strength and a grounded connection to the earth.
The bear often represents the nurturing or mothering aspect that comforts and heals as the primary relationship early in life.
Thus, an angry bear can signify a response to the devouring nature of your own mother.... Ariadne's Book of Dream
For a woman, having larger breasts in a dream may remark on her desire to give more. Breast disease may be a response to feeling that you have given too much to others. Sore nipples in a dream also suggests that others have been sucking your energy and that you feel depleted.... Ariadne's Book of Dream
To dream of listening to a broadcast means we should be listening to the message that other people arc trying to get across.
2- Psychologically, the performer in us needs some form of self- expression.
3- Widespread spirituality.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
The dream also suggests that a wedding or birth is imminent. Seeing yourself as the cadaver: a great burden has been lifted, you will live to a ripe old age. See Skeleton.
Depth Psychology: A cadaver represents past issues that need to be dealt with.
The corpse you’re rigidly holding onto may be old conventions. Have your feelings for another person turned “cold”? Are you afraid of Death? Do you wish that someone else were dead? A rotten cadaver—in the context of other images in the dream—indicates that a current situation is at a “dead end,” but that something new will come along.... Dreamers Dictionary
To see an old bramble grown and forgotten cemetery, you will live to see all your loved ones leave you, and you will be left to a stranger’s care.
For young people to dream of wandering through the silent avenues of the dead foreshows they will meet with tender and loving responses from friends, but will have to meet sorrows that friends are powerless to avert. Brides dreaming of passing a cemetery on their way to the wedding ceremony, will be bereft of their husbands by fatal accidents occurring on journeys.
For a mother to carry fresh flowers to a cemetery, indicates she may expect the continued good health of her family.
For a young widow to visit a cemetery means she will soon throw aside her weeds for robes of matrimony.
If she feels sad and depressed she will have new cares and regrets. Old people dreaming of a cemetery, shows they will soon make other journeys where they will find perfect rest.
To see little children gathering flowers and chasing butterflies among the graves, denotes prosperous changes and no graves of any of your friends to weep over. Good health will hold high carnival. ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
The implication is that she has something special which she does not wish to relinquish.
If a man is being chased by a woman or that which he cannot identify then it is usually in response to his fear of being ‘consumed.’... Dream Meanings of Versatile
A live chicken may mean that there is a pecking order of dominance within a group that you are involved in; it could be a response to your feeling hen-pecked.... Ariadne's Book of Dream
In general they indicate the stance or attitudes we use to meet other people or special situations such as work or danger, protection, such as might be given by our feelings of reserve, shyness, anxiety or aggressiveness in fending off sexual or other advances, clothes depict self respect and how we see ourselves in society—the difference between what we want and what we feel others want of us; our clothes, especially when we consider their colour, can also express our emotional condition and moods. Constance Newland gives the example of dressing in violet symbolising being inviolate sexually. Overdressed , unable to get clothes off: too cautious in relationships, difficulty in changing attitudes or self image; self protectiveness; avoiding intimacy.
Naked or see-through clothes: example: ‘I am at the doctor’s being examined. It is always the same. I have all my clothes off and he examines me from the roots of my hair down to my toenails. I am just at the point where I am going to ask him for his diagnosis when he fades away’ (Miss L). Desire to be attractive and noticed, as in the example, where Miss L is enjoying an acceptable form of intimacy; being open about what you really feel; fear of other people seeing what you really feel, think and desire; anxiety about not being adequate socially, lacking ability to conform to social norm. See nude. Ragged or inappropriate clothes: feelings of inadequacy depressed feelings; rebellion against authority or society. Armour, protective clothing : defences against internal anxieties, past hurts and external intimacy. Other people’s clothes: the social attitudes and responses we have adopted from others. Children’s, teenage clothes in adult’s dream: youthful or immature attitudes or behaviour. Undressing: revealing one’s real character; move towards intimacy. Dirty, untidy clothes: difficult or grubby feelings; one’s inner condition, such as an untidy mind, or grubby feeling values. Worn out or old clothes: attitudes ready to be left behind; old habits no longer useful; feeling worn out, old or tired. Tight clothes: being too restricted in attitude; being tight emotionally. New clothes: change in attitudes; new feeling about self. Someone else’s clothes: could be feelings from that person; their attitudes, memories. Man in woman’s clothes: unacceptability of male role, with its connection with breadwinning, aggression, being cannon fodder in war, homosexual tendency; desire for mother. Woman in male clothes: unacceptability of female role, motherhood, housewife; lesbian tendency; desire for father figure. Clothing inappropnate to dream surroundings: attitudes or behaviour inappropriate to one’s situation. Changing clothes: altering one’s mode of behaviour, role or mood. Idioms: dress to kill; dress up. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
2- Clothes can often act as a protection against being touched. This protection may also be against having the real self violated. Clothes can conceal or reveal. In covering up nudity they conceal our perceived imperfections and, by implication, disguise our sexuality. In revealing certain parts of us our dreams may show in what ways we are v ulnerable. Getting undressed can suggest the shedding of old beliefs and inhibitions. Losing one’s clothes or being naked highlights our vulnerability and fears. Dressing inappropriately, e.g. wearing formal clothes on a casual occasion and vice versa When we find ourselves in this position in a dream, we are conscious of our own difficulty in ‘fitting in’ with other people. It will depend 011 the dream scenario whether we are surprised or distressed. and it is often the emotion that we experience which gives us the correct interpretation. We may be deliberately not conforming to others’ perception of us, or trying to conform too much in adopting a certain role.
The colour of the clothing is often significant (see Colour). Clothes being worn by someone to whom they do not belong There is confusion in the dreamer’s mind as to which roles are appropriate for each character.
A man wearing woman’s clothing The dreamer needs to be more conscious of their feminine side.
A uniform on a woman The dreamer is highlighting the need to be aware of the more disciplined and masculine side of their personality. Changing clothes We are attempting to change our image. Clothes that have been cut short We may be outgrowing former pleasures and need to look to pastures new for our entertainment. Pretty clothes We have much to appreciate in our lives. Clothes belonging to a particular person We are being reminded of that person, even though we are aware that they cannot necessarily be with us.
Various articles of clothing are believed to have certain symbolic meanings:
Coat/Shawl (and especially a cloak) A coat can suggest warmth and love, but also protection. This protection can be either physical or emotional, and particularly in the case of a cloak, can be the spiritual protection of Faith.
A sheepskin coat may emphasise this significance (also see Sheep in Animals). Fear of losing the coat can suggest the fear of losing faith and belief.
The coat may be too short, or not thick enough We may be fearful that our love, or the protection we have, is not adequate for our needs.
Gloves - also see individual entry The meaning of gloves can be ambivalent. They can represent covering and protecting oneself, but also ‘showing one’s hand’ and challenging the status quo.
A hat is a symbol of wisdom and the intellect and also of protection. It can also signify both spirituality and sexuality, depending 011 the other aspects of the dream.
Pyjamas suggest relaxation and hence openness.
Raincoat A raincoat again holds the symbolism of protection, but this time against other people’s emotional onslaught. Very occasionally it may suggest some kind of wish to return to a womb- like state.
Shirt A shirt can suggest appropriate action, but also, as in a hair shirt, grief and pcnitencc.
Shoes signify our ability or otherwise to be grounded and in touch with everyday life.
Recognising shoes that we, or others, arc wearing in a dream are strange alerts us to an adjustment that needs to be made to our attitude to life. Lacing up shoes in a dream is supposed to be a well-known symbol of death as are shoes on a table. Tie A tie in can have several significances in dreams.
For some it can represent correctness and good behaviour, and for others, presumably because of its shape, it will signify the phallus.
When we dream of underclothes - whether our own or other people’s we arc considering hidden attitudes to self-image or sexuality.
Veil or veil-like garments (also see individual entry) When we, or others, are wearing a veil we are either trying to hide something, or arc only partially accepting knowledge about ourselves or our relationship to others.
3- Clothes can suggest spiritual protection.
For instance, certain types of clothes will highlight roles and status.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
The colour of the clothing is often significant. Clothes being worn by someone to whom they do not belong indicate there is confusion in the our mind as to which roles are appropriate for each character.
If a man is wearing woman’s clothing it shows that we need to be more conscious of our feminine side.
A uniform on a woman highlights the need to be aware of the more disciplined and masculine side of our personality.
If we are changing clothes we are attempting, or perhaps need to consider how, to change our image. Clothes that have been cut short indicate that we may be outgrowing former pleasures and need to look to pastures new for our entertainment, whereas particularly pretty clothes show we have much to appreciate in our lives.
If we are aware that clothes belonging to a particular person then we are being reminded of that person, even though we are aware that they cannot necessarily be with us.... Dream Meanings of Versatile
A dark cloud ahead may signify a dark mood of depression and might forebode a negative experience you had better prepare for. Cloudless skies may indicate a positive shift in mood and attitude. Stratus clouds may comment that you are “out in the stratosphere” or unrealistic about your expectations.... Ariadne's Book of Dream
A dead dog can come to represent the death of a fnendship, and the birth of a puppy can come to signify the amval of a new friendship.
A bite from a dog can be a response to an argument with a fnend. Dogs as guardians can signify the need for personal protection, or they may comment that you feel watched, as by a watchdog.... Ariadne's Book of Dream
The word computare is Latin, and comes from putare, to think. Neither is a computer anything like a human brain. But there are parallels. Christopher Evans, a psychologist, computer scientist and world authority on microprocessors, says the brain and computers are both information handling devices, taking impulses which in themselves mean nothing, like sound waves, and processing them. It is also his theory that both computers and the waking-brain function are taken off-line to re-program. Our behaviour responses and information bases need bringing up to date with any new experience and information that is relevant. In the case of the computer, off-line means having modifications made to programs, in the human it means sleeping and dreaming, the dream being the powerful activity of review, sifting and reprogramming. Thirdly, the brain and computer use programs. In humans, a program means a learnt set of responses, values or activities, such as walking or talking, but including more subtle activities such as judging social or business situations.
If, as Christopher Evans believes, dreaming is partly a period of revising and updating responses, insights and skills, then by working with the process one can make it more efficient.
The background for this statement is that many people have recurring dreams which change very little. Looking at this from the programming’ view, the attempt to revise is thwarted. But individuals can free such ‘stuck’ dreams by using dream processing.
Also, as some dreams are obviously a synthesis of experience and information gathered over a lifetime, the dream process is much more than a computing function which sorts new information and updates. It is also capable of creative leaps through synthesis and conjecture. J.B. Priestley’s dream of the birds (see religion and dreams) appears to be a massive synthesis of things observed over a lifetime. It also depicts a brain function like computer simulation, which takes information and forms it into an expenmental view of possibilities arising from the thousands of millions of separate bits of gathered data. See ESP in dreams; creative and problem solving dreams. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If they did I’d be a millionaire.* In the eighth round Doyle went down from a left hook to the jaw. He never got up, and died the next day.
The problem is that many such dreams felt to be predictive never come true. Often dreamers want to believe they have precognitive dreams, perhaps to feel they will not be surprised by, and thereby anxious about, the future. When the baby son of Charles Lindbergh was kidnapped, and before it was known he was murdered, 1,300 people sent ‘precognitive’ dreams concerning his fate in response to newspaper headlines. Only seven of these dreams included the three vital factors—that he was dead, naked and in a ditch.
Out of 8,000 dreams in his Registry for Prophetic Dreams,
Robert Nelson, who was sent dreams pnor to what was predicted, has found only 48 which bear detailed and recognisable connection with later events. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If we take away the images and events occurring in a dream and simply look to see what feelings or emotions are evident, the dream is often more understandable than if we try to interpret the symbols. Feelings in dreams are nearly always undistoned. We therefore do not need to interpret them, simply to acknowledge them and see if we can recognise where they occur in waking life.
The images in a dream may be the way we unconsciously pictorialise our flux of feelings and the play of internal energy flows.
For instance love or sexual drive can give rise to physical movement—as in sexual intercourse. Repression of sex or love also represses such physical movements, leading to tension and conflict, which might be presented in the drama of a dream.
Example: ‘I was with my wife, walking along a street, on holiday with her. But I felt awful tension. It was the son of stress I feel when I have turned off my sexual flow—as I have at the moment’ (Brian V). Brian can easily see the connection between the dream feelings and his everyday life, although sometimes we need to practise this. But the situation could as easily be expressed as a dream image of a blocked river.
The underlying feelings would then be less easy to grasp.
Example: ‘I was in a very ancient crumbling building, confronted by a large stone door, deeply engraved with many designs and creatures. I began to open the door and felt high feelings of anxiety. I realised this was an initiation and I must calm my feelings in order to pass beyond the door, i.e. if I were controlled by my feelings I would run away’ (Derek F). How we meet the emotions in our dreams illustrates our habitual method of dealing with them.
The feelings of anxiety in Derek’s dream were met and moved beyond, but this is unusual. This is because most of us change our direction as soon as there is a hint of fear.
The amount of nicotine and alcohol human beings consume suggests how poorly we meet anxiety. Going beyond fear or pain is an initiation which opens doors for us. We might now apply for the job, ask for the date, raise the issue, express the creativity, make the journey abroad, which anxiety previously kept us from. We see this in the next example: I had a ring on my marriage finger. It was a thin band of gold. I woke up frightened’ (Angela). Angela is not married and feels anxiety about the commitment.
Dreams give us a safe area to express emotions which might be difficult or dangerous to release socially. Anger in a dream may be expressing what we failed to express in a waking encounter, or it might be our habitual response. It may also be directed against ourself. Dreams also contain many positive emotions. Sometimes they present a new aspect of feeling which is life enhancing.
A person who habitually felt at odds with her father and relatives experienced a dream in which she felt forgiveness for the first time. This was entirely new for her and led to a reconciliation with her family.
Some feeling states in a dream are subtle, and may be more evident in terms of the symbols than the feelings.
A grey drear environment suggests depression and lack of pleasure.
A sunny light environment with flowers and colour shows pleasure and good feelings.
A country landscape depicts quite a different feeling state to a smoky busy city street. We can define these for ourself using the techniques described under dream processing.
Whatever feelings or emotions we meet in our dreams, many of them are bound to be habitual responses we have to life. Where these habits are negative we can begin to change them by working with the dream images as described in the last question under dream processing. See love; hostility. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The fish may be the wisdom we have not yet brought to consciousness, regarding our personal journey in time and eternity. Fishing: creating a receptive state of consciousness which allows the deep insights or processes to become known; trying to find spintual nourishment. Eating fish: integrating our inner realisations; partaking of Christ. Eaten by fish: feeling threatened by the unconscious; threat of losing conscious or rational direction of life. Dead fish: non-expression of basic urges. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
A visitor and intended caretaker of your emotions.The frog, unless deformed negatively, removes the little irritations that interfere with your intuition and responses or reactions.Is the frog doing his job properly and acting in accordance with his duties?Are the patterns overcoming the frog? ... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
Dyeing hair in various colors may express the powerful attitudes you want to display to the world. Red hair may remark on a fiery and passionate expression of power. Purple hair represents spiritual power. Getting a haircut signifies having your personal power taken away and may be a response to a heated argument in which you felt criticized. Hair falling out in a dream may indicate an emotional response to losing power. It may also mean that you are nervous.... Ariadne's Book of Dream
2- Psychologically freeing the mind so it can ‘roam’ under its own speed allows hidden memories, images and thoughts to surface in such a way that we can handle the input when perhaps in real life we may not have been able to do so. We create a reality which suits an action, rather than creating an action which suits the reality.
For instance, an abused child may displace the activity into some kind of response that would be acceptable, not allowing the reality of the abuse to come through until such times as he or she was able to come to terms with it.
3- The hallucination that we experience in dreams can also be direct messages from the unconscious.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
A broken heart may be a response to the loss of a relationship.... Ariadne's Book of Dream
If it is a house created by the dream: one’s body and personality in all its aspects.
Inside the house: within oneself. Outside the house and garden: extroversion or the relationship with environment. Ground floor: practical everyday life; sexuality, hips and legs. Basement : unconscious: see basement, cellar. First, other middle floors: internal needs, rest, sleep, hungers; the trunk. Top floor, attic: thinking, the conscious mind, memory, the head: see attic above in this entry. Front of house: our persona, facade; social self; face. Things in house: aspects of one’s feelings and makeup. Other people in^ house: different facets of dreamer. Windows : one’s outlook! on life; how you see others: see larger entry on window below in this entry. People, things coming from downstairs: influences, fears, impressions from unconscious or passions, or from everyday worries. People, things from upstairs: influence of rational self. Attackers, intruders from outside: social pressures or response to criticisms. Repairs, enlargement, renovation: reassessment or change of attitudes or character; personal growth. Damage, structural faults: faults in character structure; hurts such as broken relationship; bodily illness. House falling down, burning: big changes in attitudes; leaving old standards or dependencies behind; sickness: see last example in falling. Cramped house: feeling of need for personal change; feeling restricted in home environment or in present personal attitudes. Kitchen: creativity; nourishing oneself; mother role; diet: see cooking. Living room, personal leisure; space’ to be oneself, everyday life. Dining room: appetites, social or family contact; mental or psychological diet. Bedroom: pnvacy, sex; intimacy, rest: see bed under furniture. Study, library: mental growth, mind. Larder: hungers, sensual satisfaction. Toilet: privacy, release of tension; letting go of emotions, fantasies or desire which we need to discharge: see toilet. Nursery, child’s bedroom: feelings about your children; one’s own childhood feelings and memories. Floor: basic attitudes and confidence; what supports you, such as health and good will of others. Ceiling: boundary of ideas or awareness. Row of houses: other people. See room; stairs; wall; attic in this entry. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
For woman, hunting in a dream may represent that she is husband hunting.... Ariadne's Book of Dream
The question held directs what information is taken from the enormous pool of memory.
A question might even call together scattered pieces of information which are then put together into a new composite, a new realisation. So the process is not only recall of existing memory, but also creative. It may also access skills, such as the ability to subtract one number from another. Because of these factors our conscious queries can influence the process of dreaming, causing them to respond. As dreams have access to our full memory, our creative potential as well as learnt skills, such response to concerns or queries are often of great value.
To make use of this, first consider the query as fully as possible while awake. Look at it from as many viewpoints as possible, talk it over with others. Make note of the areas that are already clear, and what still remains to be clarified. Just before going to sleep, use imagery to put your question to your unconscious resources. Imagine standing before a circle of gentle light—a symbol of one’s total self—and ask it for the information sought. Then, as if you have asked a question of a wise friend, create a relaxed state as if listening for the considered reply. In most cases, dreams which follow will in some way be a response to what is sought, though not necessarily in the way imagined. See dream process as computer; creativity and problem solving in dreams. ... 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
An idea of ‘reality’ in the sense of what is probable, and what would be dangerously out of norm, has been formed. We gather information in ways little recognised. How our parents relate to their environment and to other people is all recorded and leamt from, bringing about enormous ‘programming’ affecting how we act in similar circumstances.
As explained in the entry on the dream as spiritual guide, we have great ability in ‘reading’ symbols, ritual, an, music, body language, architecture, drama, and extracting ‘meaning’ from them. So we have immense stores of information from these sources. Work done with people exploring their dreams over a long period suggests that some of these information resources are never focused on enough to make conscious what we have actually learnt. Sometimes it is enough simply to ask oneself a question to begin to focus some of these resources. Such questions as what social attitude and response to authority did I learn at school? What feeling reaction do I get when I am in the presence of someone I know well? These may help to bring to awareness aspects of information gathered but remaining unconscious. These unfocused, or unconscious, areas of information can explain why we have apparently irrational feeling responses to some people or situations.
the body A lot of what we call the unconscious are basic physiological and psychological functions.
For instance in a modern house, when we flush the toilet, we do not have to bring a bucket of water and fill the cistern again.
A self regulating mechanism allows water to flow in and switches it off when full. This is a clever built-in function that had to be done manually at one time. Nowadays we have built into some dwellings fire sprinklers or burglar alarms. Through repeated actions over thousands or millions of years, many basic functions, or functions only switched on in emergencies, have been built into our being. We do not need to think about them, just as we do not have to give awareness to the fire sprinkling system or toilet each time we walk through a room or flush the toilet. They are therefore unconscious.
Research with animals in connection with rewards and conditioned reflexes has shown that by gradually leading an animal towards a certain performance by rewarding it each time it gets nearer to the goal, it can do the most amazing things. It can increase the circulation of blood to its ear, slow its heart, and in fact influence body functions which were thought to be completely involuntary. Where human beings have learnt to use some of these techniques—such as raising the temperature of an arm at will, or helping to increase the efficiency of the immune system—the actual processes still remain unconscious. In general, however, the body’s functions are thought to be outside our awareness, and so are one of the areas of the unconscious. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Depth Psychology: The jacket indicates the kind of affection you can give and receive.
The state of the jacket is a metaphor for your feelings. See Shirt, Pants, Clothes.
A jacket that is old, worn-out, or has holes means you have been emotionally harmed, but it also suggests that you are finally letting go of old, negative responses (throw the jacket away)!... Dreamers Dictionary
The presence of Kool-Aid in a dream may be a response to a sickeningly sweet situation in which you felt oversaturated by someone’s charm-... Ariadne's Book of Dream
The view of life as a dream is one that the lizard cames to the individual who needs to expand his or her thinking regarding the greater meaning of life. As the lizard is sometimes difficult to see, it reflects unseen dimensions of the world.
A chameleon, for instance, can represent maintaining a level of invisibility or may commcnt on being in camouflage. Its appearance can also be a response to not noticing the obvious. As a prehistonc reptile, a lizard may come to mention the need to explore your prerecorded history in order to greater understand your present attitudes and beliefs.... Ariadne's Book of Dream
How is the metal used in the dream? Are you building with it, and if so, what? For example, building a wall out of metal represents a very strong obstacle to intimacy.
As with crystals and gems, each specific metal has different symbolism:
• Copper: guidance and control
• Flint: durability and utility
• Iron ore: love, safety, and willpower
• Lead: foundations or delays
• Quicksilver: quick responses
• Steel: rigidity, hard-heartedness
• Tin: improved luck... The Language of Dreams
A mosquito may appear to advise that you stop letting others suck your blood. (See Insect.)... Ariadne's Book of Dream
A long neck may signify- high ideals.
A short neck may represent a stout or brave individual.
A whiplash injury may be a response ro a crippling clash with someone.
The neck may also represent crucifixion in that Jesus’ head hung down on the cross.... Ariadne's Book of Dream
The house only had two bedrooms, and the children’s room was directly opposite ours. Both of us had had the same thought—”Oh no, it’s the children again.” Much to our annoyance they had been waking in the middle of the night claiming it was morning and time to play. We had tried to suppress it, but here it was again.
As these thoughts went through our minds we heard the sound of feet clomping down the stairs. This was strange as the children usually stayed in their room. Brenda got up, determined to get whoever it was back into bed. I heard her switch the light on, go down the stairs, switch the sitting room light on, and I followed her via the sounds of her movement as she looked in the kitchen and even toilet—we didn’t have a bathroom. Then up she came again and opened the children’s door—strange because we had assumed it had been opened. When she came back into our room she looked puzzled and a little scared. “They’re all asleep and in bed ‘ she said. ‘We talked over the mystery for some time, trying to understand just how we had heard the door handle rattle then footsteps going down the stairs, yet the door wasn’t open. Also, the door handles on our doors were too high for the children to reach without standing on a chair. There was a stool in the children’s bedroom they used for that, yet it wasn’t even near the door when Brenda opened it.
Having no answer to the puzzle we stopped talking and settled to wait for sleep again. Suddenly a noise came from the children’s bedroom. It sounded like the stool being dragged and then the door handle turning again but the door not opening. “You go this time” Brenda said, obviously disturbed.
‘I opened our door quickly just in time to see the opposite door handle turn again. Still the door didn’t open. I reached across, turned the handle and slowly opened the door. It stopped as something was blocking it. Just then my daughter Helen’s small face peered around the door—high because she was standing on the stool. Puzzled by what had happened, I was careful what I said to her. “What do you want love?” I asked.
‘Unperturbed she replied, “I want to go to the toilet.” The toilet was downstairs, through the sitting room, and through the kitchen.
‘Now I had a clue so asked, “Did you go downstairs before?”
“Yes,” she said, “but Mummy sent me back to bed.” * (Tony C).
This is an unusual example of an out of body experience (OBE). Mostly they are described from the point of view of the person projecting, and are therefore difficult to corroborate. Here, three people experience the OBE in their own way. From Tony and Brenda’s point of view what happened caused sensory stimuli, but only auditory. Helen’s statement says that she was sure she had physically walked down the stairs and been sent back to bed by her mother. Tony and Brenda felt there was a direct connection between what they were thinking and feeling—get the children back to bed—and what Helen experienced as an objective reality.
OBEs have been reported in thousands in every culture and in every period of history.
A more general experience of OBE than the above might include a feeling of rushing along a tunnel or release from a tight place prior to the awareness of independence from the body. In this first stage some people experience a sense of physical paralysis which may be frightening (see paralysis). Their awareness then seems to become an observing point outside the body, as well as the sense of paralysis. Then there is usually an intense awareness of oneself and surroundings, unlike dreaming or even lucidity. Some projectors feel they are even more vitally aware and rational than during the waking state. Looking back on one’s body may occur here. Once the awareness is independent of the body, the boundaries of time and space as they are known in the body do not exist. One can easily pass through walls, fly, travel to or immediately be in a far distant place, witnessing what may be, or appears to be, physically real there.
Sir Auckland Geddes, an eminent British anatomist, describes his own OBE, which contains many of these features. Example: Becoming suddenly and violently ill with gastroenteritis he quickly became unable to move or phone for help. As this was occurring he noticed he had an A and a B consciousness.
The A was his normal awareness, and the B was external to his body, watching. From the B self he could see not only his body, but also the house, garden and surrounds. He need only think of a friend or place and immediately he was there and was later able to find confirmation for his observations. In looking at his body, he noticed that the brain was only an end organ, like a condensing plate, upon which memory and awareness played.
The mind, he said, was not in the brain, the brain was in the mind, like a radio in the play of signals. He then observed his daughter come in and discover his condition, saw her telephone a doctor friend, and saw him also at the same time.
Many cases of OBE occur near death, where a person has died* of a hean attack for instance, and is later revived. Because of this there are attempts to consider the possibility of survival of death through study of these cases. In fact many people experiencing an OBE have a very different view of death than prior to their experience.
Early attempts to explain OBEs suggested a subtle or astral body, which is a double of our physical and mental self, but able to pass through walls. It was said to be connected to the physical body during an OBE by a silver cord—a son of lifeline which kept the physical body alive. This is like the concept that the people we dream about are not creations of our own psyche, but real in their own right. Whatever one may believe an OBE to be, it can be observed that many people in this condition have no silver cord, and have no body at all, but are simply a bodiless observer, or are an animal, a geometric shape, a colour or sound (see identity and dreams).
The person’s own unconscious concepts of self seem to be the factor which shapes the form of the OBE. If, therefore, one feels sure one must travel to a distant point, then in the OBE one travels.
If one believes one is immediately there by the power of thought, one is there.
If one cannot conceive of existing without a body, then one has a body, and so on.
This approach explains many aspects of the OBE, but there is still not a clear concept of what the relationship with the physical world is.
The many cases of OBE which occur during a near-death experience also suggest it may be connected with a survival response to death; not necessarily as a way of trying to transcend death, but perhaps as a primeval form of warning relatives of death.
If there is survival of death, then the OBE may be an anticipatory form, or a preparatory condition leading to the new form. See hallucinations, hallucinogens. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The harder I try to move the worse it gets and I become very fnghtened. I can neither move nor wake myself up. Sometimes I feel as if I am leaving my body. But to deal with the fear I have learnt—it’s a recurring thing—to stop struggling, knowing that I will eventually wake’ (Susan Y). This is a common experience which may be due to the fact the body is paralysed during periods of the dream process; all brain signals to the voluntary muscles are inhibited. This is not sensed as a problem if we are unconsciously involved in a dream.
If enough self awareness arises in the dream state, then awareness of the inability to move may occur, along with the anxiety this can arouse. Another factor is illustrated by what Susan says—the harder she tries to move the worse it gets. Our unconscious is very open to suggestion.
If this were not so we would lack necessary survival responses. In a dimly lit situation we may mistake a shape for a lurking figure. Our body reactions, such as heartbeat, react to the mistake as if it is real, until we gain fresh information. Whatever we feel to be real becomes a fact as far as our body reactions are concerned.
The fear that one cannot move becomes a fact because we believe it. When Susan relaxes, and thereby drops the fear of paralysis, she can be free of it. This applies to anything we feel is true—we create it as an internal reality. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The positive aspect of the penis/masculinity is for him to demand his woman meets his maleness, his canng aggression, his sexual desire, with her own fiery energy and strength. In general, direct reference to sexual feelings, fears, or problems. As these can be quite complex several examples are given below.
Example: ‘So for the third time I held the woman and made love.
The woman’s vagina was like a (lower, I don’t mean to look at, but in physical sensation. My penis felt like it was penetrating petals of flesh and touching with great pleasure a central receptive area I was left with the feeling of being able to make love again and again without any negative effects. It was a very positive and healthy feeling’ (John T). John is feeling confident about his sexual drive. Although a powerful drive, subtle feelings and fears have an intense influence not only on the pleasure of sex, but also the response of the physical organs.
The relationship with the penis and sex act in one s dream shows what fears, hurts or attitudes are influencing the sexual flow. See castration.
In a woman’s dream, one’s relationship with, desire for, a mate; relationship with one’s own male self—ambition, work capability, aggression, intellect; depicts the relationship with, genital sexuality with, one’s panner. As with Sally in the next example, the events in the dream define the problem or relationship. Example: ‘My lover Terry, myself and another woman are all on our bed.
The other woman seemed very sure of herself and kissed Terry in a very intimate way, he doing the same to her as I lay very near to both of them. Then Terry stuck his bottom in the air and staned to lick my chest and breast. I found myself licking around the penis, felt I was under some kind of pressure from both the other two to do so but didn’t feel too shattered as I did it with love for Terry, but I had a bitter taste in my mouth’ (Sally P). In talking about this dream Sally said she often struggled with what she wanted and what her panner wanted in sex. She might go along with his needs, but not find it palatable. Even if she did do it with some love, it might have a bad taste in her mouth*.
Example: T felt as if I were as one with Terry and I realised he was trying to make a journey into his mother s vagina, as his penis. Her vagina looked like a long dark tunnel and was threatening to him. I said, “You haven’t given your mother satisfaction and you say you will not.” Then he was really smashed up in body. Withdrawing into a garden with a high green hedge. I took a leaf from the hedge and began to pull it apan with my hands. Terry said, “Look what you are doing, teasing me.” I felt withdrawal wasn’t the way and staned to follow him, walking alongside the hedge. I said, “It feels like you are strangling me, so why don’t you do it and kill me?” (We have been going through a lot of sexual withdrawal, Terry saying his sexuality was his to do with as he wanted.)’ (Sally P). This second dream of Sally’s is a shrewd summing up of Terry’s sexual fears. In fact Terry suffered a great deal of anxiety about sex, and later uncovered the son of fear and desire to avoid giving his mother satisfaction in becoming a full blooded man shown in the dream. Our unconscious is a very capable psychologist, and while Terry in Sally’s dream represents her insights regarding him—and must not be seen as a statement of fact about Terry—such insights are often enormously useful in dealing with relationship difficulties.
Example: ‘Was in a house with my wife. Outside the door was something which wanted to come into her—an invisible being. We were frightened and it said “Do not be afraid, I want you to put your penis in your wife and wait for me to activate you. In that way you will form a body for me.” I woke and realised the dream was moving me to parenthood. Already having three children I realised this would mean another 20 years of responsibility. Nevertheless my wife and I made love. Two weeks later I dreamt my wife was pregnant with a son. In fact nine months later she bore a son’ (Nigel I). In this interesting dream sequence the penis is Nigel’s drive to be a father. See castrate; bed; knob; pole; reptiles; sausage; examples in flower and tunnel. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: ‘I was outdoors with a group of people acting as leader. We were in the middle of a war situation with bullets playing around us. Maybe aeroplanes were also attacking. I was leading the group from cover to cover, avoiding the bullets’ (Paul W). Despite feeling attacked, either by external events, or from inner conflicts, Paul is using leadership skills to deal with his own fears and tendencies.
If a friend told us he had just had an argument with his wife and was going to leave her, we might sit down and counsel them by listening and helping them to son out the hun feelings from their long- term wishes. We might point out they had felt this way before, but it passed—in other words give feedback they had missed. In a similar way, our various emotions and drives often need this son of skill employed by ourself. This unifies us, leading to coping skills as in Paul’s dream.
Example: Walking alone through a small town. I was heading for a place that a group of people, in a street parallel to mine, were also heading for.
A person from the group tried to persuade me that the right way to get to the place was along the street the group was walking. I knew the street did not matter, only the general direction.
The person was quite disturbed by my independence. It made him or her feel uncenain co have their leader apparently questioned. I felt uncenain too for a moment’ (Ivor S).
A group of people, as in Ivor’s dream, can also depict how one meets the pressure of social norms. As social relationship is one of the most imponant factors outside personal survival—and survival depends upon it— such dreams help us to clarify our individual contact with society. Human beings have an unconscious but highly developed sense of the psychological social environment. Ivor’s dream shows something we are all involved in—how we are relating to humans collectively. Are we in conflict with group behaviour and direction? Do we conform, but perhaps have conflict with our individual drives? Do we find a way between the opposites? Much of our response is laid down in childhood and remains unconscious unless we review it.
In some dreams, a group of people represent what is meant by the word God. This may sound unlikely, but the unconscious, because it is highly capable of synthesis, often looks at humanity as a whole. Collectively humanity has vast creative and destructive powers which intimately affect us as individuals. Collectively it has performed miracles which, looked at as an individual, appear impossible. How could a little human being build the Great Pyramid, or a space shuttle? The Bible echoes this concept in such phrases as Whatever you do to the least of one of these, you do to me. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
A smell can remind us of a particular situation or person. Odour attracts, repels, relaxes or offends, and so depicts feeling responses and intuition, and may summarise what we feel about a person or situation. Frequently in dreams a smell expresses an intuition of something rotten in one’s life if the smell is bad—rotten might mean ‘bad’ emotions felt in a relationship, a hunch or feelings about something, as in the example; memories. Good smell: good feelings; non-verbalised intimations or love.
Also explainable by the large number of idioms regarding smell. Idioms: on the right scent; throw someone off the scent; in bad/good odour with; odour of sanctity; smell a rat; smell of greasepaint; smells fishy; something stinks to high heaven; like stink; raise a stink; what you did stinks. See nose under body. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If the police are chasing you, it suggests that you may be feeling some guilt about something that you have done or have been thinking of doing.
The police could be addressing Karmic Law as well as the laws in our physical world.
If you are feeling that you can’t meet all of your obligations and fear repercussions due to an unmet commitment, the police may be an unwelcome sight. On a more positive note and depending on the details of your dream, the police could symbolize support and protection. Your emotional response to the dream will provide you with good clues to interpreting this dream accurately. Old dream interpretation books say that dreaming about police is an indication that you will obtain unexpected assistance with a current problem.... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
A cenain theme may have begun in childhood and continued throughout our life—either without change, or as a gradually changing series of dreams. It might be that the feature which recurs is a setting, perhaps a house we visit again and again, but the details differ. Sometimes a senes of such dreams begin after or dunng a particular event or phase of our life, such as puberty or marriage.
Example: ‘This dream has recurred over 30 years. There is a railway station, remote in a rural area, a central waiting room with platform going round all sides. On the platform mill hundreds of people, all men I think. They are all ragged, thin, dirty and unshaven. I know I am among them. I looked up at the mountainside and there is a guard watching us. He is cruel looking, oriental, in green fatigues. On his peaked cap is a red star. He carries a machine gun. Then I looked at the men around me and I realise they are all me. Each one has my face. I am looking at myself. Then I feel fear and terror (Anon.).
The theme of the dream can incorporate anxious emotions, such as the above example, or any aspect of experience. One woman, an epileptic, reports a dream which is the same in every detail and occurs every night. In general such dreams recur because there are ways the dreamer habitually responds to their internal or external world. Because their attitude or response is unchanging, the dream which reflects it remains the same. It is noticeable in those who explore their dreams using such techniques as described under dream processing that recurring themes disappear or change because the attitudes or habitual anxieties which gave rise to them have been met or transformed.
A recurring environment in a dream where the other factors change is not the same. We use the same words over and over in speech, yet each sentence may be different.
The environment or character represents a particular aspect of oneself, but the different events which surround it show it in the changing process of our psychological growth. Where there is no such change, as in the examples above, it suggests an area of our mental emotional self is stuck in a habitual feeling state or response.
Some recurring dreams can be ‘stopped’ by simply receiving information about them. One woman dreamt the same dream from childhood. She was walking past railings in the town she lived in as a child. She always woke in dread and perspiration from this dream. At 40 she told her sister about it.
The response was ‘Oh, that’s simple. Don’t you remember that when you were about four we were walking past those railings and we were set on by a bunch of boys. Then I said to them, ‘Don’t hurt us, our mother’s dead!” They left us alone, but you should have seen the look on your face.’ After realising the dread was connected with the loss of her mother, the dream never recurred. Another woman who repeatedly dreamt of being in a tight and frightening place, found the dream never returned after she had connected it to being in the womb.
Recurring dreams, such as that of the railings, suggest that pan of the process underlying dreams is a self regulatory (homocostatic) one.
The dream process tries to present troublesome emotions or situations to the conscious mind of the dreamer to resolve the trauma or difficulty underlying the dream.
An obvious example of this is seen in the recurring nightmare of a young woman who felt a piece of cloth touch her face, and repeatedly woke her family with her screams. Her brother, tiring of this, one night woke her from her screams and made her talk about her feelings. His persistence gradually revealed that she associated the cloth with the burial shroud of her grandmother. This brought to the surface grief and feelings about death she had never allowed herself to feel before.
The nightmare never returned. See nightmares; dream processing. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
• If a dream continues to repeat itself, it is worth exploring it’s meaning as it needs your conscious understanding and action in order to resolve something in your emotional make-up.
• Recurring dreams can be a trauma relieving response to the original event that triggered them.... The Premier in Dream Dictionary
1- The refrigerator is a symbol of preservation. In dreams this becomes self preservation and suggests we may be turning cold emotionallv or sexually.
To dream of rotten food in a refrigerator suggests we feel we may not be being sustained properly by those around us.
2- To dream of refrigerating leftover food indicates we are storing up resentment. This, in turn, will ‘cool down’ our own responses to love and affection.
3- Religious austerity can be pictured as a refrigerator.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
1- Reptiles in dreams link with our basic and instinctive reactions and responses. WTien there is a basic urge such as a need for food, sex, etc. - we sometimes cannot face it full on, but will symbolise it as a reptile.
2- When there is a need to understand why we do things, we first need to control our basic drives. Many reptilian dreams arc about control or management. Control of a crocodile would suggest some fear of an aggressive nature. Feeding a lizard or stroking a snake can be very simply interpreted.
3- With understanding of the basic urges and the way to manage them we can create a firm foundation. From there we can progress spiritually.... Ten Thousand Dream 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
If you dream of taking cover from the storm, your real life troubles should quickly blow over. Stay strong!... My Dream Interpretation
Revelatory dreams are more common to men than women. This may be because more men concern themselves with questions of what the universe is.
If the dreamer creates a mental or emotional tension in themselves through the intensity with which they pursue such questions—and we need to accept that often such intensity anses out of anxiety regarding death and one’s identity—then the self-regulatory process of dreaming might well produce an apparent revelation to ease the tension. On the opposite tack, research into mental functioning during dreaming, or in a dreamlike state as in research using LSD, shows that there is an enormously increased ability to access associated ideas, allow feeling responses and achieve novel viewpoints. Freud pointed out that dreams have access to greater memory resources and associated ideas. P H. Stafford and B.H. Golightly, in their book dealing with LSD as an aid to problem solving, say that this dreamlike state enables subjects to ‘form and keep in mind a much broader picture . . . imagine what is needed—for the problem—or not possible . . . diminish fear of making mistakes*. One subject says ‘1 had almost total recall of a course I did in thermodynamics; something I had not given any thought to in years.’
Although humans have such power to scan enormous blocks of information or experience, look at it from new angles, sift it with particular questions in mind and so discover new connections in old information, there are problems, otherwise we would all be doing it.
The nature of dream consciousness, and the faculties described, is fundamentally different to waking awareness, which limits, edits, looks for specifics, avoids views conflicting with its accepted norm, and uses verbalisation.
A nonverbal, symbolic scan of massive information is largely lost when translated to waking consciousness.
My experience is that the content of revelatory dreams is almost wholly lost on waking.
If the individual explores the dream while awake, however, and dares to take consciousness into the realm of the dream, then the enormous waves of emotional impact, the massive collection of details, the personality changing influence of major new insights, can be met.
The reason most of us do not touch this creative process is in fact the same reason most of us do not attempt other daring activities—it takes guts. See creativity and problem solving in dreams. ... 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
2- A shell carries within it so much symbolism. It can be seen as a magical symbol which holds within it the power of transformation.
The spiral of the shell suggests involution and evolution (going inwards and coming outwards).
The ability to shelter is also symbolised, and being a receptacle it also links with the feminine, emotional side of nature.
3- Spiritually a shell is a miniature representation of the process of life and death.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
2- There is a basic side of nature which needs to look up to some- dung and this can be represented in dreams by a statue. Sometimes this statue is representative of an idea or concept rather than a person. Much can be gained by identifying what the statue stands for.
3- Spiritually; as we progress, we come up against the knowledge that we have given value lo something - for instance, a relationship that no longer has significance. It is ‘dead’ and therefore solidified.
If the statue comes to life again, it can be rescued.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
2- Psychologically we have the ability to ‘warm up’ a situation, and to melt coldness away.
If we arc aware of coldness within ourselves, on an emotional level we need to discover what the problem is or was, and why we have reacted as we did.
3- A spiritual thaw would suggest the ability to come to terms with old barriers and to become warm and loving.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
A flat tire may arrive as a response to a big emotional issue that deflated you and stopped your progress temporarily.
A flat tire on the right-hand side might reflect trouble related to the masculine side of the personality, which is associated with reason or logic. One on the left side symbolizes that an emotional issue may have wounded your feminine side or intuitive and receptive nature. Back tires relate to emotional issues of the past, and front tires signify more recent issues. Therefore, a flat left rear tire would metaphoncally represent a big emotional issue from the past that affects your intuition.... Ariadne's Book of Dream
• Dented vehicle: Going out and finding that your vehicle has been dented may come as a response to an event that “dented” your self-esteem. It could come after a personal insult that caused you to feel degraded.
A huge dent may have even damaged your reputation.
• Recreational vehicle: On the open road, this vehicle may represent an early retirement from work. It may signify a desire to travel and see the countryside. It points to a leisurely lifestyle and thus may mention “Take your time and enjoy a little scenery.”... Ariadne's Book of Dream
The vulture picks the meat down to the bone to reveal the power in having examined something down to its internal stnicture or the bare bones.
A vulture may come to liberate you from the fear of death and, in shamanistic terms, to reduce the personality to its original structure.
The vulture also signifies respect for all the dead who have passed on to other levels of evolution.
The appearance of a vulture in a dream may be a response to someone who is taking advantage of what another has accomplished. (See Birds.)... Ariadne's Book of Dream
2- Water also represents cleansing, being able to wash away the contamination that we may experience in everyday life. In baptism, water is a cleanser of previously held ‘sins’, often also those inherited from the family. Entering water suggests beginning something new. Deep water signifies either being out of depth, or entering our own subconscious.
3- Spiritual rebirth The Life-force.
Water appears so often in dreams as an image, with so many different meanings, that it is possible only to suggest sonic probable ones. Thus, being immersed in water can suggest pregnancy and birth. Flowing water signifies peace and comfort, while rushing water can indicate passion. Deep water suggests the unconscious, while shallow water represents a lack of essential energy. Going down into water indicates a need to renew one’s strength, to go back to the beginning, while coming up out of the water suggests a fresh start.
To be on the water (as in a boat) can represent indecision or a lack of emotional commitment, while to be in the water but not moving can suggest inertia. Other images associated with water are:
Bathing suggests purification.
Canals svmbolise the birth process.
Dams, islands and other obstacles are conscious attempts to control the force of the water, and therefore our emotions. Diving represents going down into the unconscious, or perhaps trying to find the parts of ourselves which we have suppressed. Drowning highlights our ability to push things into the unconscious only to have them emerge as a force which can overcome us. Floods represent the chaotic side of us, which is usually uncontrollable. This side requires attention when it wells up and threatens to overwhelm us.
Fountains suggest womanhood, and particularly the Great Mother (see Introduction).
A lake, like a pool, can signify a stage of transition between the conscious and the spiritual Self. When come upon unexpectedly it can give us the opportunity to appreciate and understand ourselves.
To be reflected in a pool indicates the dreamer needs to conic to terms with the Shadow (see Introduction). We must learn to acccpt that there will be a part of ourselves that we do not like very much but, when harnessed, it can give much energy for change. Rivers or streams always represent the dreamer’s life and the way that he is living it. It will depend on the dreamer’s attitude as to whether he see his life as a large river or a small stream.
If the river is rushing by we may feel that life is moving loo quickly for us.
If we can sec the sea as well as the river, we may be aware that a great change must occur or that attention musl be paid to the unconscious within.
If the river is very deep we should perhaps be paying attention to the rest of the world, and how we relate to it. Crossing a river indicates great changes.
If the river causes fear we are perhaps creating an unnecessary difficulty for ourselves.
If the water in the river appears to be contaminated we are not doing the best we can for ourselves.
Sea or ocean The sea very often represents cosmic consciousness, that is, the original chaotic state from which all life emerges. Inherent in that state is all knowledge i.e. completedness, although that may be obscured by our fear of the depths. We do not fear that which we understand.
A shallow sea suggests superficial emotion.
The waves in the sea represent emotion and lust.
A calm sea suggests a peaceful existence, while a stormy sea signifies passion, either negative or positive.
To be conscious of the rise and fall of the tides is to be conscious both of the passage of time and of the rise and fall of our own emotions.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
To be on the water (as in a boat) can represent indecision or a lack of emotional commitment, while to be in the water but not moving can suggest inertia. Going down into water indicates a need to renew one’s strength, to go back to the beginning, while coming up out of the water suggests a fresh start.... Dream Meanings of Versatile
The following idioms give indications of the meaning. Idioms: sunny disposition; things don’t look so bnght; things will brighten up; it never rains but it pours, like living under a cloud, things are a bit rough/stormy/overcast. See rain; flood; cloud; snow; lightning; thunder. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Weather also can indicate our internal responses to situations. If. for instance, there was a storm in our dream our emotions would be stormy, perhaps angry and aggressive.
If we arc watching a very blue, unclouded sky, we may be recognising that we have the ability to keep the situations that we are in under control. We do possess the ability to control internal moods and emotions which may not have been possible in the past. Being aware of the weather would indicate that we need to recognise that we are part of a greater whole rather than just individuals in our own right.
3- Different types of weather maybe symbolic of a spiritual response.
The dreamer requires an answer to a question, for example (see Wind).... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
If we are watching a very blue, unclouded sky, we may be recognizing that we have the ability to keep the situations that we are in under control. We do possess the ability to control internal moods and emotions that may not have been possible in the past. Being aware of the weather would indicate that we need to recognize that we are part of a greater whole rather than just individuals in our own right.... Dream Meanings of Versatile