The different people in our dreams, such as doctor, lawyer, business person or tramp, in general represent the different abilities, weaknesses or interests we have ourself. Even if we know the role model’, it still depicts that person’s quality or skill in ourself.
The only difference might be that our personal reactions to that particular doctor or schoolteacher, say, will also play a part. Roles often play an important part in our self image. Without an appreciated social role we may feel uncenain and ineffective. Maturity might require the acceptance that we are nothing, but can be many things. See baker; beggar; chemist; gardener, inventor; nurse; potter; victim; waiting.
Life’s roles: Shakespeare intimated that life was a stage, making dreams the theater of your mind. Here, you can act out various “parts” to literally walk in someone else’s shoes, try out options, or get different perspectives.
Sensing that you, or someone you know, have been putting on airs instead of being real with people.
The various important “characters,” “sets,” and “props” in and around your life.... The Language of Dreams
If you are dreaming that someone is acting, you may be dreaming about yourself.
The dream could be pointing out some of the roles that you play in life. Among the many roles we play are parent, spouse, lover, student, professional, etc.. We behave somewhat differently in each of those roles.
The actor in your dreams could be showing you how well you “play” some of your roles in life or how others perceive you.... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
2- We each are actors in our own play, so to see ourselves as actors suggests we may be using an artificial personality or not taking charge of our own destiny. We are being given the opportunity to create a new personality.
3- Wc each need to take responsibility for our actions and the act of living.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
If you are dreaming that someone is acting, you may be dreaming about yourself.
The dream could be pointing out some of the roles that you play in life. Among the many roles we play are parent, spouse, lover, student, professional, etc. We behave somewhat differently in each of those roles.
The actor in your dreams could be showing you how well you “play” some of your roles in life or how others perceive you. Also, to dream of either indicates happiness to follow.
If you take a liking to one you will find work coming that is very easy for you to accomplish.
If the actor or actress that you are dreaming of is deceased now, it indicates unhappiness and possible losses. Good news. Are you sincerely giving good news or are you trying to obtain approval, acceptance and/or recognition from those you are dealing with? If you meet with, or are entertained by one or more actors/actresses, you will be receiving good news. Also: Falseness, deceit, and trickery. Desire for Recognition If you see yourself as an actor/actress then you will be the bearer of good news.
If you meet with, or watch (as part of an audience), actor(s) then you will be the recipient of good news. ... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
If you dream of an actor/actress that you admire, then this dream is revealing qualities that you like most about yourself or that you aspire to embody.
If the actor/actress represents qualities that you dislike, then this dream is assisting you to embrace your shadow. See Famous, Celebrity and Integration Dreams.... Strangest Dream Explanations
If you see yourself being adopted by a group or family, this means acceptance among the people pictured, or self-acceptance with regard to your perceived roles and responsibilities to that group.
Seeing yourself alone waiting for adoption is an alternative type of desertion dream. Alternatively, this reveals insecurity about not being accepted or loved, or feeling totally out of place in your surroundings.
What exactly is being adopted? This symbol can represent an aspect of yourself— an idea or a characteristic with which you’re becoming more accepting and comfortable, thereby adopting it into your being.... The Language of Dreams
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 facade or charade. Tilings are not as they seem.
Various roles we play in life.
For example, someone who is an authority figure may be seen in a costume depicting a famous leader like Julius Caesar (see Icons).
Mimicry of various real-life scenarios as if in a play. This provides a safe medium for the expression of your perceptions.
Sustenance and support. Among ancient tribal cultures, costumes and masks served as a vehicle for sympathetic magic.
For example, if they needed crops to grow, they might dress as vegetation and perform a jumping dance to encourage that growth. So, what facet of your life does this costume represent, and how does it accent that facet?... The Language of Dreams
The rhythm of life, specifically the female’s.
To this day, many native peoples depict important life events in dance, and it often happens that a new situation is introduced during a dream in the form of a dance. Similar to Swimming.
Dancing with a partner refers to the roles people play in a relationship. Who was leading?
Desire for a partner; dynamic expressions within a relationship (playfulness).
According to Freud, all rhythmic body movements are a symbol for intercourse. According to Jung, a female dancer expresses the principal archetype of the female. See Ball (Dancing).... Little Giant Encyclopedia
Vision: Dancing by yourself: you would like more attention from a particular person.
If you are dancing alone as if lost in a dream: usually it’s a sign of being happy and in love—though sometimes only for a very short time. Being led to the dance floor, you will have to accept a certain situation, ev en if you don’t like it.
If you are dancing with a partner, who is leading? That would reveal the respective roles in a present or future relationship.
If a woman is dancing “rings” around her partner while he is moving slowly, she needs to stop trying to have things always go her own way.
If a man is dancing alone, he is dying to have a sexual adventure. See Ballet, Music.
Depth Psychology: The dream is either reflecting your present emotional balance or is a reminder to be more spontaneous. At times the dream, of course, also refers to sexual feelings and the need to have some fun and diversion. Frequent dreams about dancing might indicate you are too pleasure-oriented and lack seriousness.... Dreamers Dictionary
A person who doesn’t handle anxiety or stress can easily fail in work or in relationships. Many people do not enter a relationship because of the problems it poses. Dr Evans suggests that dreams are the means by which we both practise and update our programs of survival. Our experience of the day may question or enhance our behaviour stratagems for success at work or in relationships. Without the reprogramming occurring in dreams we would be stuck at one level of behavioural maturity. ‘As we gain in experience, as our input gets richer and more diverse, we modify our programs rather than replace them with a completely fresh set/ ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If our mother is unable to develop a feeling contact with us, we may lack the confidence to meet our emotions.
Our maturation as a man or woman calls us in some way to meet and integrate our childhood desire, which includes sexual desire for our parent of the opposite sex, and rivalry with, mingled with dependence on, the parent of the same sex. Even a missing parent, the mother or father who died or left, is a potent figure internally.
An absence of a father’s or mother’s love or presence can be as traumatic as any powerfully injuring event. Our parents in our dreams are the image (full of power and feeling) of the formative forces and experiences of our identity. They are the ground, the soil, the bloody carnage, out of which our sense of self emerged. But our identity cannot gain any real independence while still dominated by these internal forces of our creation. Heraclitus said we cannot swim in the same river twice; attempting to repeat or compete with the vinues of a parent is a misapprehension of the true nature of our own personality. Sec individuation.
Family group: The whole background of experience which makes up our values and views. This background is made up of thousands of different obvious and subtle things such as social status; amount of books in the home; how parents feel about themselves; how they relate to life outside the family; whether dominant roles are encouraged; what nationality parents are; what unconscious social attitudes surround the family (i.e. the master and servant, or dominating employer and subservient employee, roles which typified England at the turn of the century still colour many attitudes in the UK). Simply put, it is our internal ‘family’ of urges and values; the overall feeling tone of our family life—security, domination, whatever it was, the unconscious coping patterns of the family.
Parents together in dream: our general wisdom, background of information and experience from which we make important decisions or gain intuitive insights. Parents also depict the rules and often irrational disciplinary codes we learnt as a child which still speak to us from within, and perhaps pass on to our own children without reassessment. These include everything from ‘Don’t speak with your mouth full’ to the unspoken Masturbation is unholy/
Dead parent in dream: the beginning of independence from parent; repression of the emotions they engendered in us, our emotions regarding our parent’s death; feelings about death. See dead people dreams.
Example: ‘My father was giving me and another woman some medicine. Something was being forced on us. I started to hit and punch him in the genitals and, when he was facing the other way, in the backside. I seemed to be just the right height to do this and I had a very angry feeling that I wanted to hurt him as he had hurt me’ (Audrey V). Hurting, burying , killing parent: in the example Audrey’s height shows her as a child. She is releasing anger about the attitudes and situations her father forced down her throat’.
To be free of the introverted restraints and ready made values gathered from our parents, at some time in our growth we may kill or bury them. Although some people arc shocked by such dreams, they are healthy signs of emerging independence. Old myths of killing the chief so the tribe can have a new leader depict this process. When father or mother are dead’ in our dream, we can inherit all the power gained from whatever was positive in the relationship. Seeing parent drunk, incapable, foolish: another means of gaining independence from internalised values or stultifying drives to ‘honour’ or admire father or mother.
Generally positive: authority; ability in the external world; family or social conventions, how we relate to the ‘doer’ in us; physical strength and protectiveness; the will to be. Generally negative: introvened aggression; dominance by fear of other people’s authority, uncaring sexual drive; feelings of not being loved. See father under archetypes; man.
Generally positive: feelings; ability in relationships; uniting spirit of family; how we relate to feelings in a relationship; strength to give of self and nunure; intuition. Generally negative: will based on irrational likes and dislikes; opinion generated by anxiety or jealousy; domination by emotions; lack of bonding. See Great Mother under archetypes; woman.
siblings and children
Whether brother, sister, daughter or son (see below in this entry), the most general use in our dreams is to depict an aspect of ourself. However it is almost universal to believe with great conviction that our dream is about the person in our dream.
A mother seeing a son die in her dream often goes through great anxiety because there lurks in her a sense of it being a precognitive dream. Vinually everyone at some time dreams about members of their close family dying or being killed—lots of mothers dream this, and their children live till 80. But occasionally children do die. Is the dream then precognitive, or is it coincidental?
Example: ‘I was walking along a rather dusty track carrying my younger son who would be around 10 months old and I was feeling rather tired. Suddenly I met a man who stopped to talk to me and commented I looked rather weary carrying the baby. He said, come with me and look over this wall and you will see such a sight that will gladden your hean. By standing on tiptoe I could just see over the wall and the sight I beheld took my breath away, it was so beautiful’ (Johan E). Here Johan’s son depicts the weight of responsibility she feels.
The beauty is her own resources of strength in motherhood.
Example: ‘I have just given binh to twins and they lay on the floor. We started to care for them. My mother took them to the doctor for his advice while I went to see my married sister who has two children. I met them there with the twins so that my sister could give her opinion on the babies. She had recent experience of childbirth and could tell us if the babies were good specimens’ (Miss E). Miss E has no children of her own, so she is uncertain of her own capacity to have and raise them.
The mother depicts her own mothering abilities, which seek confidence from an authority figure. Her sister is her own nearest experience of childbirth. So out of what she has leamt from observing her sister, she is assessing her own qualities.
Most often the family member depicts the qualities in ourself which we feel are part of the character of the person dreamt of. So the passionate one in the family would depict our passions; the intellectual one our own mind, the anxious one our hesitations. Use the questions in dream processing to define this. Having done this, can you observe what the dream depicts? For Miss E it would be questions regarding motherhood.
Example: ‘My daughter told me the only positive part of my work in a helping profession was with a woman who had turned from it to religion. There followed a long and powerful interchange in which I said she had as yet no mind of her own. She was dominated by her mother’s anxiety, and the medical rationalism of her training. When she had dared to step beyond her own anxieties to integrate the lessons of her own life, then I would listen again’ (Desmond S). Desmond was divorced and struggling with his own pain and guilt about leaving his daughter while still a teenager. His daughter depicts this conflict between his feelings and his rational self.
Oneself, or the denied pan of self, meeting whatever is met in the dream; feelings of kinship; sense of rivalry, feelings about a brother. Woman’s dream, younger brother: outgoing but vulnerable self; rivalry. Woman’s dream, older brother, authority, one’s capable outgoing self. Man’s dream, younger brother: vulnerable feelings; oneself at that age. Man’s dream, older brother: experience; authority, feelings of persecution. See boy; man. Idioms: big brother, brothers in arms; blood brother.
Feeling self, or the lesser expressed pan of self; rival; feelings about a sister. Man s dream, younger sister: vulnerable emotions; rival for love of parents. Man’s dream, older sister: capable feeling self; feelings of persecution. Woman’s dream , younger sister: one’s experiences at that age; vulnerable feelings, rival for parents’ love. Woman’s dream, older sister: capable feeling self. See girl; woman. Idioms: sisters under the skin.
One’s relationship with the daughter, the daughter, or son, can represent what happens in a marnage between husband and wife.
The child is what has arisen from the bonding, however momentary, of two people. In dreams the child therefore is sometimes used to depict how the relationship is faring. So a sick daughter might show the feelings in the relationship being ‘ill’.
In a mother’s dream: often feelings of suppon or companionship; feelings of not being alone in the area of emotional bonds; or one’s feeling area; responsibility; the ties of parenthood; oneself at that age; one’s own urges, difficulties, hurts, which may still be operative. Also a comparison; the mother might see the daughter’s youth, opportunity, and have feelings about that. So the daughter may represent her sense of lost opportunity and youth—even envy, competition in getting the desire of a man.
In a father’s dream: one’s feeling self, the feelings or difficulties about the relationship with daughter; the struggles one’s own feeling self goes through to mature, how the sexual feelings are dealt with in a family—occurs especially when she starts courting; sister, parental responsibility; one’s wife when younger. Someone else’s daughter: feelings about one’s own daughter, feelings about younger women.
Example: 1 am standing outside a supermarket with heavy bags wearing my mac, though the sun is warm. My daughter and two friends are playing music and everyone stops to listen. I start to wnte a song for them, but they pack up and go on a bus whilst I am still writing. I am left alone at the bus stop with my heavy burden of shopping, feeling incredibly unwanted’ (Mrs F). Such dreams of the daughter becoming independent can occur as soon as the child starts school, persisting until the mother finds a new attitude. See child; woman.
Extroverted self; desires connected with self expression; feelings connected with son; parental responsibility. Mother’s dream: one’s ambitions; potential, hopes; your marriage—see example.
Example: ‘My wife and I were walking out in the countryside. I looked around suddenly and saw my four-year-old son near a hole. He fell in and I raced back.
The hole was narrow but very deep. I could see water at the bottom but no sign of my son. I didn’t know whether I could leap down and save him or whether it was too narrow. Then somehow he was out. His heart was just beating’ (Richard H). Richard had argued with his wife in such a way he feared the stability of their marriage.
The son represents what they had created together —a child, a marriage.
The marriage survived, as his dream self-assessed it would. Death of son: a mother often kills off her son in her dreams as she sees him make moves towards independence. This can happen from the first day of school on. Example: T am on a very high bridge over an extremely wide and deep river with steep banks. My son does a double somersault over the railing, falls into the water. I think he is showing off. I am unable to save him. My son is 18 and has staned a structural engineering course at university’ (Joyce H).
The showing-off suggests Joyce feels her son is doing daring things with his life, and the relationship in its old form dies.
Father’s dream: yourself at that age; what qualities you see in your son; your own possibilities, envy of youth and opportunities; nvalry. Someone else’s son: feelings about one’s own son; feelings about younger men. Dead son: see dead people dreams. Sec boy. See also man; first example in falling.
Depicts how you see the relationship with your wife; your relationship with your sexuality; sexual and emotional desire and pleasure; how you relate to intimacy in body, mind and spirit; your feeling, intuitive nature; habits of relationship developed with one’s mother. Example: ‘My wife was trying to get me out of her life, and out of the house. It was as if she were attempting to push me into a feeling of tension and rejection which would make me leave’ (David P). Out of childhood experience, in which his mother repeatedly threatened to give him away, David was finding it difficult to commit himself emotionally to his wife. In the dream his wife represents these feelings, so he sees her—his anxiety and pain —pushing him to break up the marriage.
Example: I was standing with my wife at the end of the garden of the house I lived in as a child. We were looking over the fence to the rising meadow beyond. She said, “Look at that bird in the tree there.” On our right, in a small ash tree, an enormous owl perched. It was at least 4 feet high, the biggest bird I have ever seen. I recognised it in the dream as a greater hooded owl, which was not native to our country. I was so excited I ran into the house to telephone someone— zoo, police, newspapers?—to tell them about the bird. I cannot remember contacting anyone, but felt the bird was there in some way to meet me. Also it was hungry and looking at next door’s bantams. So I wondered what I could give it to eat’ (David P). This shows the positive side of David’s relationship with his wife.
The garden is the boundanes which arose from his childhood. But he is growing—the garden— and looking beyond them in connection with his marnage.
The amazing bird is the deep feelings he touches because he has a mate, like any other natural creature. Out of his mating he becomes aware of drives to build a home—nest—and give himself to his mate. These are natural and are a pan of his unconscious or spiritual nature.
The bird is a hooded owl which can see in the dark—the unconscious—because David is realising things he had never seen’ before.
The bird is masked, meaning putting the ego aside, which is a necessity for touching the wider dimension of life or the unconscious.
The hunger of the bird shows an intimate detail of what David has learnt from his wife. She had been working as a waitress and bringing home pieces of chicken for him, saved from her own meal.
The spiritual side of David wants to develop this quality of selfgiving, which his wife’s love had helped him see.
Example: ‘1 have been a widower since January 1979, having married in October 1941. I continually dream I am in London where my business was. I am walking the streets with my wife and suddenly I see her ahead of me in a yellow raincoat and hat. I call her and try to catch up, but suddenly she vanishes. In spite of calling and searching I cannot find her’ (Douglas G). This is a common theme dreamt by widowers or widows, disappearance of spouse. Douglas has ‘lost’ his wife. His dream shows the paradox of love after death of panner. His love is still there, years after her death. He is possibly still trying to love his wife as an externally real person. so his feelings can make no connection.
To meet what actually remains of his wife, within himself, he would need to face his own internal grieving, emotions, and all the feelings, memories, angers and beauty which make up the living remains of his wife within him. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Psychologically the struggle for individuality should take place within the safety of the family unit. This, however, docs not always happen. In dreams we are able to ‘manipulate’ the images of our family members, so that we can work through our difficulties without harming anyone else (It is interesting to note that one person working on his own dreams can have a profound noticeable cffcct on the interactions and unconscious bondings between other members of his family). Almost all of the problems we encounter in life are reflected within the family, so in times of sUess we will dream of previous problems and difficulties that the family has experienced.
The Spiritual Triangle.
A group in which we feel safe.
Since relationships in the family- are so important, dreams containing family members can have extra significance. Some typical dreams are:
A man’s mother being transformed into another woman
A man’s first closc relationship with a woman is with his mother. Depending on the circumstances of the dream, such a transformation can be either positive or negative. It can be a sign of growth for him to realise, through dream, that he can let mother go. This transformation indicates some change in his perception of women (sec Airima).
A woman’s father, brother or lover turning into someone else Similarly, a woman’s first relationship with the male is usually with her father. She must learn to walk away from that relationship in order to progress onto fuller relationships. When she can handle her Animus (See Introduction), she is ready for that transformation.
A man’s brother or a woman’s sister appearing in a dream often represents the Shadow (See Introduction). Often it is easier to project the negative side of our personalities onto members of the family.
If this projection is allowed to continue, it can cause difficulty with family relationships in later life. Often the solution will present itself in dreams to enable us to come to terms with our own projections. “fhe pattern of aggressions between familv members is fairly typical, but oddly is often easier to work through in dreams than in everyday life.
Dreams about the family figure so prominently because most of the conflicts and problems in life are experienced first within that environment. It is as though a pattern is laid down which, until it is broken willingly, will continue to appear.
Confusion of family members e.g. mother’s face on father’s body suggests that we may be having problems in deciding which parent is most important to us. Family members suffering from injury or trauma or appearing to be distorted in some way may reflect the dreamer’s fear for, or about, that person.
A family member continually appearing in dreams or, conversely, not appearing when expected The relationship with that person (or the dreamer’s concept of that person) needs to be better understood. Dreaming of an incestuous relationship may indicate that the dreamer has become obsessed in some way with the other person.
The dream has occurred in order to highlight either the importance or the potential danger - of such a relationship.
Dreamer’s parents crushing the dreamer and thus forcing rebellion. This suggests that the dreamer needs to break away from learnt childhood behaviour and develop as an individual. Dreaming of a parent’s death can also have the same significance. When a parent appears in our own environment, we will have learnt to change roles within the parent/child relationship and perhaps will accept our parents as friends. Parents behaving inappropriately can indicate our need to recognise that they are only human, and not as perfcct as we had first perceived. Dreaming of rivalry with one parent When a child is first born, it moves through extreme self- involvement to an exclusive relationship, usually with mother. Onlv later docs he or she becomc aware of the need for a different relationship with a third person. Often this relationship causes the child to question his or her own validity as a person. When this question is not resolved successfully it may persist in the dream image of conflict with a parent. Dreaming of conflict between a loved one and a member of one’s family The dreamer has not fully differentiated between his needs and desire for each person. Learning how to love outside the family is a sign of maturity.
The figure of a family member intruding in dreams suggests that family loyalties can get in the way within the dreamer’s everyday life. Rivalry between siblings in dreams usually harks back to a feeling of insecurity and doubt, possibly as to whether we are loved enough within the family framework.
Individual members and then- position within the family can symbolise the various archetypes. Thus, father can represent the masculine principle and authority; whereas mother represents the nurturing, protective principle. Brother As already stated, a brother can represent both feelings of kinship and of rivalry. In a man’s dream an older brother can represent experience and authority, while a younger brother suggests vulnerability and possibly lack of maturity. In a woman’s dream, a younger brother can represent a sense of rivalry, but also of vulnerability; whether her own or her brother’s.
An older brother can signify her extrovert self.
Daughter When the relationship with a daughter is highlighted in dreams, it often represents the outcome of the relationship between husband and wife. In a woman’s dream, the relationship with the daughter usually suggests a mutually supportive one although rivalry and jealousy can arise and needs to be dealt with. Sometimes this can safely be done in dreams. In a man’s dream his daughter may represent his fears and doubts about his own ability to handle his vulnerability.
Extended family (such as cousins, aunts, uncles)
Members of the extended family usually appear in dreams either as themselves, or as typifying various parts of ourselves which arc recognisible.
Father If the relationship with father has been successful in waking life, the image of father in dreams will be a positive one. Father represents authority and the conventional forms of law and order. In a man’s life father becomes a role model, whether appropriate or not. It is often only when the individual realises that he is not being true to his own nature that dreams can point the way to a more successful life. In a woman’s life, father is the ‘pattern’ on whom she bases all later relationships. When she appreciates that she longer need use this pattern. she is often able to work out in dreams a more appropriate way to have a mature relationship.
If the relationship with father has been a difficult or negative one, there mav be some resistance to resolving the various conflicts which will have arisen. Often this can be accomplished in dreams. Grandparents Grandparents appearing in dreams can highlight our attitude to them, but also to the traditions and beliefs handed down by them. It could be said that grandparents do not know whether they have clone a good job of raising their children until their sins and daughters have children of their own.
Husband/Live in partner
Crucial within the husband/wife relationship are the wife’s feelings about her own sexuality and intimacy of body, mind and spirit. Her view of herself will have been formed by her connection with her father, and any subsequent partnering will be coloured by that attachment.
If her doubts and fears about validity are not properly expressed, they will surface in dreams about the loss, or death, of her husband. They may also be projected onto other women’s husbands.
Mother A child’s relationship with mother is pivotal in its development. Largely it is the first relationship which the child develops, and should be perceived by the child as a nurturing, caring one.
If this does not happen, fears and doubts may arise. In a man’s life this may result in continually developing dependent relationships with older women, or denying his right to a relationship completely. In a woman’s life, her relationship with her mother will colour all other relationships. She may find herself pushed into nurturing the needy male, or in forming relationships with both men and women which do not satisfv her basic needs. There arc many ways through dreams of working through relationships with mother, and much can be gained by daring to take this step. Provided one has come to terms with this relationship, much material and spiritual success can be achieved.
Sister The sister in dreams usually represents the feeling side of ourselves. VVe have the ability to make links with that side of ourselves through being able to understand our sister’s personality. In a man’s dream if she is older, the sister can represent the potential for persecution, but also of caring.
If she is younger then she can epitomise the more vulnerable side of him. In a woman’s dream if the sister is younger, she can represent rivalry.
If older she stands for capability. Son The son in dreams can signify the dreamer’s need for self- expression and for extroversion. He can also signify parental responsibility. In a mother’s dream he may represent one’s ambitions, hope and potential. In a father’s dream he can highlight unfulfilled hopes and dreams. Wife/Live in partner The wife/husband relationship is based on how the man perceives himself to be.
If he has previously formed a good, if not successful relationship with his mother, he will attempt to prove himself a good husband through his dreams. He will experience potential loss and death of his partner in the same way as he experienced the ‘loss’ of his mother.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
For instance he may dream of his mother turning into his boss. This suggests he may have certain expectations as to how he should be treated. It can be a sign of growth for him to realize, through dreams, that he can let mother go.
A woman’s father, brother or lover turning into someone else similarly, a woman’s first relationship with the male is usually with her father or father figure. She must learn to walk away from that relationship in order to progress onto fuller relationships. When she can handle her animus she is ready for that transformation.
A man’s brother or a woman’s sister appearing in a dream this often represents the shadow. Often it is easier to project the negative side of our personalities onto members of the family.
If this projection is allowed to continue, and not understood, it can cause difficulty with family relationships. Often the solution will present itself in dreams to enable us to come to terms with our own projections.
The pattern of aggressions between family members is fairly typical, but oddly is often easier to work through in dreams than in everyday life. Confusion of family members (e.G. Mother’s face on father’s body) this suggests that we may be having problems in deciding which parent or person is most important to us. Family members suffering from injury or trauma or appearing to be distorted in some way may reflect our fear for, or about, that person.
A family member continually appearing in dreams or, conversely, not appearing when expected shows that the relationship with that person (or our concept of them) needs to be better understood. Dreaming of an incestuous relationship may indicate that we have become obsessed in some way with the other person. We are searching for integration of their qualities within ourselves. Parents crushing us and thus forcing rebellion this suggests that we need to break away from learnt childhood behaviour and develop as an individual. Dreaming of a parent’s death can also have the same significance. When a parent appears in our own environment, we will have learnt to change roles within the parent / child relationship and perhaps will accept our parents as friends. Parents behaving inappropriately in dreams can indicate our need to recognize that they are only human, and not as perfect as we had first perceived. In tribal societies the rite of passage between childhood and adulthood is clearly marked, by initiation. Rivalry with one or both parents is highlighted in dreams when such a transformation is not properly handled and our feelings and emotions have not been given due validity. Dreaming of conflict between a loved one and a member of our family this shows we have not fully differentiated between our needs and desire for each person. Learning how to love outside the family is a sign of maturity.
The figure of a family member intruding in dreams suggests that family loyalties can get in the way within our everyday life. Rivalry between siblings in dreams usually harks back to a feeling of insecurity and doubt, possibly as to whether we are loved enough within the family framework. Dreaming of being adopted suggests that we feel out of place and in some way different to other members of the family. This dream often occurs as teenagers are growing towards maturity. Dreaming of having any family member e.G.
A brother – when we do not have one in waking life denotes our search for completion and ‘missing’ parts of our personality.... Dream Meanings of Versatile
Example: A film star I admire came and lay beside me in the night. He told me he loved me and would stay with me. I knew he was living with a woman who had borne his child, but he told me he was going to tell her he was leaving her. In the morning we walked along the road where I live, to tell the woman’ (Sharon). Sharon processed her dream and saw the film star as her own strength and determination to further her career as a dancer. Being 18 she was faced with the decision of whether to become a wife and mother—the other woman —or put those urges into her work. In her dream she chose to be fully involved in her dancing.
Famous people can be seen as social guinea pigs. Collectively we expose them to enormous amounts of money, sexual opportunity, drugs, alcohol, and tremendous social and commercial pressures. Then we examine every part of their life to see how well they cope. Millions then identify with the image they portray of how to deal with reality at its worst.
The famous person in our dream might therefore represent our coping mechanism. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
For instance, dark heavy material would suggest the possibility of depression, whereas brightly painted objects could testify to an upbeat mentality.
2- Sometimes the furniture which appears in a dream can highlight our need for security or stability; particularly if it is recognisable from the past.
Different articles can represent different attitudes:
Bed/mattress This can show exactly what is happening in the subtle areas of our close relationships. We can get an insight into how we really feel about intimacy; and sexual pleasure.
For some people the bed is a place of sanctuary and rest, where they can be totally alone. Carpet Often when carpets appears in a dream we are looking at our emotional links with finance.
The colour of the carpet should also be noted (see Colour). Chair A chair can indicate that we need a period of rest and recuperation. We may need to deliberately take time out, to be open to other opportunities and openings.
Cupboards and wardrobes may depict those things we wish to keep hidden, but may also depict how we deal with the different roles we must play in life. Table For a table to appear in a dream is often to do with communal activity; and with one’s social affiliations (also see individual entry and Altar).
3- Revered objects.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
1- When we dream of a hermaphrodite, we may be having uncertainties about our own gender, or about our ability to adjust to the roles played by our own sex. Interestingly, as we learn more about ourselves, we attempt to achieve a balance between the logical and the sensitive sides of our nature. This can appear as hermaphrodism in a dream.
2- As a child grows, he begins to understand that certain behaviour is appropriate or acceptable. This may mean that other natural reactions are suppressed and can surface later on. These may confuse the dreamer and be perceived in dreams as hermaphrodism.
3- Perfect balance.... Ten Thousand Dream Dictionary
To dream of a couple in love suggests that success is within reach.
To dream that your friend is in love with you indicates that you are romantically interested in your friend. You might have fallen in love with your best friend and cannot take your mind off the possibilities of taking your platonic relationship to a different level. Alternatively, the dream may also imply that you have come to recognize certain traits of your best friend and integrated them into your own character.
To dream that you are making love in public indicates a gush of sexual urges and desires. This might be a call to let go of certain inhibitions in expressing how you truly feel. Then again, your dream may be a reflection of how you see your own sexuality as it relates to political and social standards. You may be confused with your notion of relationships, sex, marriage, love, and gender differences/roles.... Dream Symbols and Analysis
The T walking down the steps is the active, fairly adventurous person Bernard sees himself as; the man following—a fnend—is a man Bernard knows who has sexual difficulties, and represents Bernard’s own sexual hesitations; the psychiatrist is Bernard’s therapeutic skill used in his own life, the male client is Bernard’s difficult feelings when dealing with groups of peo- pie—the public—which he is trying to expose’ or get to know and transform.
Generally, a man depicts an aspect of self—even in a woman’s dream—depending on the activity and character of the man in the dream. Any indication whatsoever in the dream gives a clue to what aspect of self. In the example, the character of the friend, the role of the psychiatrist and the feelings of the client indicate which aspects of Bernard s character are being dealt with. Therefore a man trying to rape a woman would be her fears about sex; a homosexual would depict those feelings; a businessman, one’s work or business abilities; a loving man, one’s feelings about love, and so on.
Older man: father or one’s accumulated experience and wisdom; perhaps even wisdom from the unconscious if man is white haired or holy. Wild, ape, half animal man: urges which have not yet been integrated and socialised, usually pertaining to sexuality in today’s social attitudes or natural social feelings at odds with present attitudes.
Man in woman’s dream: in general, a woman’s ability to question conventional behaviour and social habits; her strength to look with insight into her own life and change it thereby—but not her feeling values, emotions and intuitions, her creative or business ability in the world, and power to be competitive and challenging, her defence against just knowing’ out of the power of her emotions and inbuilt prejudices. Man she knows or loves: feelings, worries about relationship. Dreaming the man is looking at other women or leaving is usually fears about same. Two men: might be a triangle.
Idioms: man to man; be a man; front man; hit man; make a man of; odd man out; right hand man. See family; woman; and other entries pertaining to particular roles or age. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The roles that we play in life such as parent, student, or worker. On the other hand, masks can be a symbol of pretentiousness.
If you are wearing a mask, look inside and check if you are being sincere in your presentations, or if you are hiding something and pretending to be something you are not.
If other people are wearing masks, it suggests that you may be concerned about their genuineness ... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
The roles that we play in life such as parent, student, or worker. On the other hand, masks can be a symbol of pretentiousness.
If you are wearing a mask, look inside and check if you are being sincere in your presentations, or if you are hiding something and pretending to be something you are not.
If other people are wearing masks, it suggests that you may be concerned about their genuineness.... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
Integrating or ordering recent experiences.
A fastidious personality expressing itself through your dream.
Exactly what’s being put in order in the dream may hold tremendous import.
For example, if detailing a pantry, this might be a situational dream (being hungry) or
it might reveal a latent fear of going hungry. On the other hand, organizing a closet speaks of different life roles and which ones are most important (see Clothes).... The Language of Dreams
If putting on pants or changing your pants, plays a major part in your dream you may be questioning your role at work, home, or in any other area of life.
The physical look of the pants, who is wearing them, and the emotional content of the dream will give you clues to its meaning.
If your were trying to cover up your genitalia, then the dream may be bringing up sexual issues.... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
2. Relationship between the dreamer and parents.
3. Approaching change, often in aspects of life or personality (if dreaming of being a parent when the dreamer is not).
4. Good luck and prosperity. ... New American Dream Dictionary
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
If you dream of acting in a play or watching a theatrical production, then this represents objectivity in your ability to witness the roles you play in life. This dream may be reminding you that you are the writer, director and star of this show, so if you don’t like the direction that the play is headed, then you have the power to change it.
If you dream of playing, as in a child at a park, then this represents that you are in touch with your creativity, freedom, and unique expression.
If someone is playing a game, such as chess or checkers, then you are becoming aware of the aspect of you that can be strategic and manipulative in your desire to win. Consider the feeling tone of this dream. See Stage and Script.... Strangest Dream Explanations
Example: I was walking up a steep hill on a sunny day when my husband came running down the hill with blood pouring from his right arm. He couldn’t stop running. As he passed me he called to me for help. I was happy and peaceful and ignored him. I calmly watched him running fast down the hill, then continued on my way’ (Joyce C). Out of the infinite number of situations Joyce could have dreamt about, this was the one produced. Why? There are many factors which appear to determine what we dream. How events of the day influenced us; what stage of personal growth we are meeting—we might be in the stage of struggling for independence; problems being met; relationships, past business such as childhood traumas still to be integrated. And so on.
If Joyce had dreamt she and her husband were walking up the hill the whole message of the dream would have been different.
If we can accept that dream images are, as Freud stated, a form of thinking, then the change in imagery would be a changed concept.
If the language of dreams is expressed in its images, then the meaning stated is specific to the imagery used.
In processing our dreams, it is therefore profitable to look at the plot to see what it suggests. It can be helpful to change the situation, as we have done with Joyce s. Imagining Joyce walking up the hill on a sunny day, arm in arm with her husband, suggests a happy relationship. This emphasises the situation of independence and lack of support for her husband which appears in the real dream. Seeing our dreams as if they were snatches from a film or play, and asking ourself what feelings and human situations they depict, can aid us to clarify them. As a piece of drama, Joyce’s dream says she sees, but does not respond to, her husband’s plight.
Our internal ‘dream producer’ has an amazing sense of the subtle meanings of movement, positioning, and relationship between the elements used. And some of these are subtle.
A way of becoming more aware of what information our dream contains is to use visualisation. Sit comfonably and imagine yourself back in the dream. Replay it just as it was. Remember the whole thing slowly, going through it again while awake. As you do so, be aware of what it feels like in each scene or event. What do the interactions suggest? What does it feel like in the other roles? We can even practise this with other people’s dreams.
If we imagine ourself in Joyce’s dream, and replay it just as she describes it, we may arrive at a feeling of detachment from the husband.
If we stand in the husband’s role we may feel a great need which is not responded to as we go down hill fast*. In this way we gather a great deal of unspoken’ information from dreams.
Looking at our own dreams in this way can be more difficult, simply because we do not always want to see what is being said about ourself. See amplification; dream processing; postures, movement, body language; word analysis of dreams; settings. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The dreamer unravels the meaning of the dream by acting it out with the help of others.
The dreamer acts the main role of him or herself, and directs the helpers in the other roles. In dramatising and exploring the dream in this way, the obvious as well as the hidden meaning, associations and emotions are made clear.
To finish, the dreamer is encouraged to take the dream forward, altering it to what feels more adequate and satisfying. This gives the person opportunity to express and enact what was absent in the dream, and provides release from recurring dreams, and catharsis where necessary. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
For example, you may be attached to your role as mother, student, teacher, provider, and are ignoring and squelching other important roles within you.... Strangest Dream Explanations
To find yourself in a strange room that is elegant and well-furnished signifies sudden success.
A strange room that is empty or badly furnished could suggest legal or financial troubles.
If the room was very tiny, it symbolizes a lucky last-minute escape from a bad mistake.
To see a dark, eerie or confining room suggests that that you feel trapped or repressed in a situation.
To see a very brightly lit room means you will solve a problem by learning to look at it in a new way. It is a sign that you should trust your instincts.
To dream that you find a secret or hidden room suggests that you are developing new strengths and taking on new roles. You may be growing emotionally.... My Dream Interpretation
Example: ‘1 am back at school on the first day of the new school year. At this point it can vary slightly, but I always feel out of place, usually because I am older than the other girls now or—most common—because my uniform is incorrect and it is time for assembly—I went to a very strict convent school. There is always some feeling of panic and quite often loneliness’ (PH). PH is still uncomfortable about who she is as a person.
The influence of the school years still nags at her, that she ought to be other than she is. Not having a nature that easily conformed, she was led to feel isolated and an alien.
Places in school: particular abilities we have. Library, our knowledge and learning ability; stored information. Gymnasium: taking risks in learning something new; daring; physical health. Classroom: study, relationship with authority.
Example: ‘In the bathroom area, a school class was being held, so I had to wait for my bath, steam would be bad for the books. I didn’t have any soap with me but I was going to wash my hair and could use the shampoo’ (Leonie K). Leonie is getting rid of attitudes or a self image developed at school, shown as shampooing her hair.
The new attitudes of letting off steam would not have been acceptable at school.
Idioms: of the old school; tell tales out of school, old school tie; well schooled. See schoolteacher under roles. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If this area is damaged or suppressed, humans or animals make full muscular movements in connection with what is dreamt. He observed that cats would stalk, crouch and spring at imaginary prey. These very imponant findings suggest a number of things.
The unconscious process behind dreaming, apan from creating a non-volitional fantasy, can also reproduce movements we have not consciously decided upon. This shows we have at least two centres of will which can direct body and mental processes. Christopher Evans, linking with the work of Nicholas Humphrey at Cambridge University, sees the movements of dreaming cats as expressions of survival ‘programs’ in the biological computer. These ‘programs’ or strategies for survival need to be replayed in order not only to keep in practice, but also to modify them in connection with the influx of extra experience and information. In the human realm, our survival strategies and the way we relate to our social, sexual, marriage and work roles may also be replayed and modified in our dreaming.
Such movements are not linked simply to survival or social programs’.
An important aspect of dreaming is releasing painful emotions or trauma, and moving toward psychological growth. Also, the process producing these movements does not keep strictly to the realm of sleep. It is observable that many muscular spasms, ticks, or unwilled waking movements arise from this source—the will’ of the unconscious—attempting to release trauma or initiate a necessary programme of psychological growth. That such dream’ activities as spontaneous movement or verbalisation should occur during waking would appear to suggest that a dream must occur with them. Research shows this is unlikely. It does however show that a dream may be imagery produced to express this mental, muscular, emotional ‘self regulation’.
The imagery may not be necessary if the process is consciously experienced.
Because the self-regulatory process produces spontaneous movements, emotions and verbalisation, it is likely there is a connection between it and many ancient religious practices such as pentecostalism, shaktipat in India, subud in Indonesia and seitai in Japan. These are forms of psychotherapy practised by other cultures. They create an environment in which practitioners can allow spontaneous movement and fantasy while awake. Because consciousness is then involved, and can co-operate with the self-regulating or healing activities of the unconscious, such practice can lead to better health and utilisation of unconscious functions.
The older religious forms of this practice relied on belief systems of spirits or gods. Once the connection between these practices and the dream is realised, much in them which was obscure becomes understandable. In my book Mind and Movement I explain the connection between the dream process, self regulatory healing, extended perception and waking consciousness. See abreaction; sleep walking; dream as therapist and healer. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
To dream that you are laughing or clapping in a theater means that you want to have fun now, instead of concentrating on future success.
To dream about a fire in a theater indicates that you are gambling when taking on fresh endeavors.... Dream Symbols and Analysis
2. Issues concerning one’s sexual identity.
3. A message from one level of consciousness to the next regarding the handling of a situation or relationship; may suggest the need to alter one’s views or behavior. ... New American Dream Dictionary