THE LANGUAGE OF DREAMS
Here is a guide to the language of your dreams, although you must use your own emotional reaction to the dream experience as the most important guide.
What is most important when you are remembering your dream and trying to interpret it with your conscious waking mind, is the way you felt about what was happening. The dream is a reflection of your deepest feelings which you may not have been giving yourself permission to feel in your daily life.
Everything in your dream is you. Even when you are dreaming of loved ones or enemies or colleagues, it is an aspect of yourself in that person that you are dreaming about.
No matter how distant cultures like the Mayans, or the Cherokee or the Zulus have interpreted the symbols in your dreams, you are the expert in what they mean. The interpretations of various cultures may have been a part of your experience or your education and this could be significant.
In the final analysis it is you who is the expert in your own consciousness and you need to search your mind to ask why a particular symbol or sign is important to you.
VEHICLES : BUILDINGS : ELEMENTS : COLOURS : SOUNDS : ANIMALS : PARTS OF THE BODY : STAGES OF LIFE : NUMBERS
These are your physical body, and the type of vehicle indicates your feelings about your body.
A car: is a conventional means of transport for many people today. This would be a normal outlook on your body. What is happening to the car? Is it running smoothly? Do you feel comfortable in it? What colour is it? Is it large or small and how do you feel about that?
Engine trouble: could indicate a physical problem in your body that your subconscious is aware of but which you have not become conscious of yet. Where is the problem? What function does this have in the car? A problem with the petrol supply could mean that you are running low on energy or not eating the right food. A problem with ventilation could mean you are not breathing properly or taking time to breathe, or that you are pushing away love in your life.
A common childhood dream is that the child is supposed to be driving but the car is out of control. Children’s bodies change so fast that they often have this dream as they grow and imagine themselves trying to grapple with problems of the adult world that are beyond their strength or experience.
A lorry or a truck could mean that your body feels overweight or overburdened by things you are carrying for others.
A bicycle suggests you relish your freedom and independence but could also mean that you have been feeling that the path you have chosen is hard work and leaves you vulnerable. Are you confused between two objectives? Do you need to simplify your goals so that you can run more smoothly?
A collision with a lorry or truck could mean that you feel dangerously vulnerable in your present position. You need to rest and attend to your own needs in a situation that has created conflict with the needs of someone close to you.
A traffic jam can mean that you feel stuck and hemmed in by your perception of what other people want from you.
A boat would mean that emotional expression and communication are particularly important to you at this time. (See elements) What kind of boat is it?
A liner would reflect the sense that you share your life with many people and the nature of it is determined by the wishes of the group.
A canoe or a dinghy, by contrast , suggests that you feel in control of your own life as an individual and the dream may show you whether the choices you are making are the right ones for you. It depends in the nature of the water and how you feel about where you are.
Aeroplane Your spirit is soaring ahead of your body. Your thoughts may be moving faster than you can keep up with. You need to pay attention to one thing at a time to make sure you know how to land when the time comes. Enjoy the journey. You will go far, but make sure you stay in touch with ground control and pay attention to the mundane needs of life.
These also represent your body but reflect a sense of being stuck in your life.
A cathedral suggests you becoming aware of the importance of your physical self and the complexity and beauty of your body.
A tower block might mean that you feel stuck and also a long way away from a nourishing connection with nature or with your mother.
A neglected or damaged building would mean that your physical body needs attention but you feel unable to give yourself the nurturing you need.
A period building might mean that your ideas about how you should behave are derived from the culture that created the building you are dreaming of. Do you have strict notions about how you should behave as a man or a woman? Especially in relation to other features of the dream? Do these ideas prevent you from feeling free and able to do what you want with your life?
A walled city could mean that you are aware of the complexity of your mind but either unable to find a way to understand it ( if you are stuck outside the walls) or too introspective so that you cut off your relationships with other people and the physical intelligence of your body ( if you are stuck inside the walls.)
Earth This is your connection with nature and with mother. It is the source of all nourishment and matter and receives all our waste products, including our bodies and crumbling cities when we have done with them. Be aware of how close your connection to the earth is in your dream and the state of the landscape. If it is cold you could be lacking nourishing warmth in your life from your actual mother or from the other nourishing influences. If it is dry you could have made the relationship unemotional and functional. If it lush and warm and full of verdant greenery then it is a strong, loving and nourishing relationship that you can be grateful for.
An earthquake suggests that you are finding your situation profoundly destabilizing and threatening. Look at the role your mother is playing in the situation in your dream. Could your dream relate to your relationship with her? The mother is the symbol of our connection with the earth Our relations with her condition our attitude to security and the way we feel about receiving the earth’s bounty. If you dream about a situation in which you feel betrayed of untrusting, this could point to a difficult relationship with your mother. See Root Chakra meditation.
Water This is the element of emotion and your childhood self. Look at the condition of the water. Is it clarifying and beautiful or is it heavy and threatening? Has it been held back and now threatening to break out like a tidal wave? This would point to a potential emotional flood that you have held back because you have feared its consequences. There are safe ways to defuse intense emotions. See Earth Healing meditation.
Water is the symbol of emotion in all its forms, from tears to ice to sea water.
The sea indicates a profound emotion that you need to get in touch with. Can you swim? If not are you frightened of your feelings? Have you been allowing them to seem more threatening than they would be if you faced them and acknowledged them? Are you looking at the sea from a distance? Are you aware of your feelings but detached from them? This can be a sign of have transcended some emotional difficulty, understanding its impact but moving forward.
Stream Is the water crystal clear? Does it flow around you? This suggests emotional fluency, being able to understand your feelings and use them to create clarity for yourself and others. If the water flows from you it may suggest it is time to communicate what you feel to others to clear something up. Or is the stream coming towards you? Is it time to listen to a feeling that someone is trying to express to you.
Ice suggests an old emotion that is getting in your way. Have you faced the situation in the dream before? What did this situation mean to you as a child and how did you react then? Look for the experience and your feelings about it rather than the details. If the dream is about rejection ask yourself what does rejection mean to me? Or is it failure that makes you feel guilty. Your dream can point eloquently to a problem that you create for yourself because of beliefs about a situation that you formed a long time ago. Your subconscious is suggesting that you hold the solution to the problem in your grasp if you can unlock the feeling that has been creating an obstacle for you.
Mist or cloud points to feelings or a situation that you have been avoiding, probably through fear. See Smoke below for how to deal with this.
Air Air is love and love gives you existence and energy. Literally. Breathing in the right chemical composition of air is part of the relationship you exchange on this planet with plants, feeding on the oxygen they expel as a waste product and nourishing them with the carbon dioxide you need to expel. This perfect balance allows you to exist, is processed in your lungs and causes your heart to function as a pump. The actions of the heart are the most powerful physical process in your body and the feelings of the heart create the most powerful effects you can have in your physical existence. So your relationship with air in your dream, as in life, is your relationship with love. Can you breathe easily? If not then you may feel you are being starved of love. Are you pushing air away?
Wind can mean that you feel you are being carried away by forces stronger than you. Is it a pleasant change, a fresh breeze, or is it a hurricane that threatens to sweep you off your feet. Give yourself some time to consider the situation you are getting in to. Use your rational mind to look at it objectively to see if you are really comfortable with the moves you are making now.
Fire Fire is the symbol of both death and renewal. It is an energy of change more decisive than either water or air. Is there something in your life you must let go of? Do you need to create space for a new idea or experience? Fire demands urgent attention.
Fire relates to the father and authority, just as the mother relates to the earth. Are you in conflict with your father or authority? Are you harbouring destructive anger about a situation?
Smoke suggests fear of an impending change that has been preventing you from looking at it clearly. This is a clear symbol that fear is standing between you and something you want to do. Your dream is telling you not to lose sight of your goal but to face the fear you have surrounding it with. Fear can be a positive sign. Treat it like a signpost showing you the way to go. You would not be afraid of doing something that isn’t important to you. Your fear is telling you to take this situation seriously and overcome the obstacles that you have put in your own way.
Dreams may be in colour or in black and white.
Black and white dreams reflect a lack of colour in your life, suggesting that you haven’t been stopping to perceive the richness of your environment. Do you feel that your life is predictable and boring? Use your imagination to put something you really want to do on your horizon. If your dream is black and white have you been deliberately shutting your eyes to more colourful possibilities. Do you have a belief that you have no options in your life or that you are not in control. You are the master of your own destiny, and your dream is pointing this out to you. Life brings you what you look for and your dream could be telling you to cast your net wider for more colourful possibilities.
If you dream in colour then each one suggests a particular concern is dominant in your life
Red objects have to do with security, home , job, money, trust, survival and mother
Orange objects have to do with appetites for sex or food, and also childish emotional memories, your subconscious self
Yellow has to do with power or freedom, your logical thought and the way you feel you are perceived by others, so this concerns your sense of your social status or position within the family.
Green is to do with love, compassion for others and your closest relationships. So long as you proceed with this emotion in your heart, your actions will work out well for you. Have you been ignoring the feelings in your heart? Pay attention to the way your heart feels. It’s a built-in intelligent guide. Your personal sat-nav that never points you in the wrong direction.
Blue is to do with goals you set for yourself and asking for things that make you happy. It is also to so with self-expression, intuition and hearing. It could also be the voice of your spirit. Are you listening to yourself? Do you understand the message?
In the Buddhist tradition Blue is the colour of the medicine Buddha, and so it signifies healing energy.
Indigo is the colour of your spirit on its journey through this life. Do you have a sense of being in two worlds at once. Are you observing yourself making life changing decisions. Are you content with the direction you have taken? This is also the colour of empathy. Is it time to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes before you reach judgements or conclusions?
Violet is the colour of the father and has to do with authority of all kinds, from wordly guidance to higher wisdom. If you dream in this colour ask yourself what your father would do in this situation. Could there be a message from him that is important to you. Even if you cannot speak to your father your intuition will point you to an answer to this question. You can also consult ‘the authorities’: books or reference points that will indicate to you what people who have faced this situation have done. Do you feel divinely inspired in this situation/ Are you comfortable with your motivation?
White can be seen in two ways. In the sense of mist or fog covering something up, it is associated with fear. Have you been avoiding a situation? It won’t leave you alone until you face the feelings you have about it.
White is also the light of the universe, before it is broken up into colours by the object in the universe that reflect it. This white light represents wholeness, healing or creation. If you see someone or something surrounded by white light it’s a very auspicious sign, suggesting that the idea or object you dream of has divine protection
Gold suggests richness of all kinds, a sense of abundance and value attached to your ideas. It is the colour of angelic nature, suggesting that the dream object is essentially pure and that is where its richness is derived from.
Silver is the colour of the communicating spirit, sending messages out into the ether. Are you dreaming of getting important messages from someone or waiting for news? See the direction of the colour of silver. Is it coming towards you the dreamer, or is it emanating from you? You have a message to impart that can be of great value to others if the silver is emanating from you. The dream is telling you to have confidence in yourself and stick to the essence of your message until others understand it. Rejection simply means that others haven’t yet understood what you are trying to say. Make sure they can see or hear clearly.
Other colours: Use your own knowledge about how a colour is made to understand the significance of it if it seems to be an important part of your dream. Turquoise, for example, is a combination of blue and green and so indicates intuition or inspiration guiding the heart. This combination of inner intelligence with compassion or love is a sure sign that you are on the right path. Turquoise is highly valued by the Tibetans and is used as an integral part of the decoration of traditional head dresses. It suggests higher wisdom guiding your actions. In contrast Maroon, for example, can be made from red mixed with black. This colour in your dream indicates that there are issues to do with security or trust that you have been suppressing which are blocking you in your present circumstances.
Feel free to be creative with your own internal palette. The more you trust your judgement, the more you will be able to see guidance in the colours you dream.
If you are lucky enough to dream in sound then you may be able to pick out the notes. Each note has a vibration that corresponds to the colours, from middle C or Do for Red to Ti or B for violet. Perhaps your subconscious is playing you a tune in sound instead of colour, and you can refer the notes to the explanations for colour to interpret it.
Our fellow inhabitants of the planet have territories and diets that they like and have developed ways of living so that they secure what is best for them. When an animal appears in your dream, look for information about its way of living to understand its significance for you.
Look also for mythical or religious figures that have been associated with that animal because you will be aware of the implications of that association on a subconscious level. Your subconscious seems to know the stories your grandmothers and grandfathers told, as well as it records your childhood images. Whole families of animals, insects and plants who share the planet with you have messages to guide you if you allow yourself to watch and understand them. This is a guide to a few of the most significant.
Eagle is a hunter, and suggests will and determination. It also flies high and detaches itself from a situation to get an overview and then swoops at speed when the time comes to act. It is an isolated bird, making its nest in inaccessible places, and does not seek company. If this bird is in your dream it suggests that wisdom and success come from behaving like the eagle. Great success is likely if you watch and wait for the right moment to achieve your goal. Consider also whether you have set yourself too much apart. Is the decision to detach yourself from other people’s way of life good for you?
Snake This reptile is associated with sexuality because of its sinuous movement. It reflects the power of your body and reminds you that spirituality is grounded in the essence of your nature and a human being. Snake can remind you to be subtle and to trust your appetites, as well as to acknowledge the power and intelligence of your subconscious. It is also associated with healing. Is there a need for healing in your body? Does the dream suggest a way of being that leads to healing? The symbol of Hermes, the Greek god of healing, is two snakes wound around a staff, suggesting a combination of snake with magic. Indian snake charmers could make cobras rise from their baskets to the sound of music, and the flaps around a cobra’s head are associated with the expansion of understanding that comes from spiritual practice. So the snake is associated with the body, healing and spirituality all in one. The process by which the body heals and grows is truly magical, and rooted in the subconscious. Is your dream telling you that you need to remember this?
Bear likes to withdraw to a dark secret place for a part of the year. The bear in your dream is suggesting that you need to reflect on your inner secrets and make yourself a safe place where you can consider them. A bear can be deceptive. The muscles of a bear’s face do not allow its expression to change when it is about to attack. Could you be facing a situation where a colleague or loved one feels threatened to the point where they attack? Look carefully at who the people in your dream remind you of. What feelings do you have about those people? Are you the bear who might attack? What are the circumstances that make you feel threatened?
Lion is proud and strong. Not for nothing is a group of lions called a ‘pride’. Lion is fierce in defending its territory and ruthless in maintaining its supremacy. You are dreaming of leadership qualities that you have or aspire to. Is the lion content with its position or pushing what it believes in too strongly? This could be a warning sign. Is there something that threatens your leadership? Or is your pride causing trouble and making you seem aggressive?
Rabbit suggest panic in the face of fear that has paralysed you. Do you have a tendency to hide from trouble, Has that stopped you from expressing what is important to you? You may have been feeling stuck, and it is time to recognize how you have created your own situation. Face your fear and it can teach you to move forward. See meditations and events for more guidance on this.
Elephant This animal is a sign of powerful wisdom and understanding that takes time to mature. Elephant foetuses stay in the womb for 24 months and emerge as complete miniature versions of their adult state. Elephants share problems and work together to overcome them. They are herd animals with strong rules for social conduct within the group. These rules of conduct are passed through the generations and orphan elephants who don’t have this education are often shunned by the herd. These elephants can use the power to be highly destructive. Look for where you stand in relation to your community. Do you need to listen to some piece of parental guidance? The Hindu God Ganesh, part elephant, part man, is the bringer of merriment, wealth and prosperity as well as the overcomer of problems. If you dream of elephants look to your community to help you solve a problem. Remember to ask for help and it will certainly come to you.
Dog Not for nothing is the dog ‘man’s best friend’. A dog teaches the value of unconditional love. He loves his master unconditionally and because of that his owner generally gives him everything he wants. Such is the nature of our relationship with the divine. The more we give and trust the more benefit we get from our environment. A dog teaches us that love comes first. By love and loyalty all his needs are met.
Cats roam more freely than dogs. They may find several households to feed them. A cat in your dream may be telling you to allow yourself a looser rein, or the opposite. Have you strayed too far? Unlike dogs, cats will remain wild in their habits, making offerings to their owner of half chewed rabbits or birds, despite relying on a daily feed. Can you relate this to yourself? Are you being catty for someone else’s benefit?
Crow This is the proverbial messenger, a guardian of dark secrets. Is there some message you need to listen to, or a code you need to break?
Mouse is a symbol of timidity and fear. Do you have something important to do or say that you feel inadequate for? How can you build your confidence? Your task needs to be completed and you are capable of speaking out as you know you must. Remember the mouse who freed the lion from the hunter’s net in Aesop’s Fables? Use your own special skills in this situation. Don’t try to emulate others. Handle the problem in your own way and you will overcome the most frightening obstacles.
Fox is a survivor. He lives on the edge of society but keeps himself apart from it. Are you feeling excluded from a group or project that is important to you? Ask yourself if you would really like to a part of a group that you have been critical or unkind about. What is it that is keeping you on the outside? Could it be jealousy? If you find you are jealous of people’s good fortune, consider how to emulate them, rather than criticize them. What one human being can do it is possible for another to achieve.
Fish A spiritual signal of abundance, unless the fish is stinking, in which case you are being reminded that it is high time to get an old secret out in the open.
Horse This animal can carry you great distances and will take on your burdens. Are you looking for someone to lay your burdens on to, or do you feel that you have been carrying the world on your shoulders? Are you happy to be the horse, ‘do the donkey work’, in your life? This animal suggests travel is on your mind, so it is time to pay attention to your plans and check that everything is in place.
PARTS OF THE BODY
When you dream of parts of the body, think of what you do with them and whether there are any traditional sayings associated with them. For example a dream where you have a problem with your nose suggests you can smell trouble that might ‘put your nose out of joint.’
The face relates to the way you feel you are perceived by others and how comfortable you feel about that.
If you dream of getting your fingers trapped, you may be ‘fiddling while Rome burns’ or trying to ‘have a finger in every pie.’
A problem with a foot or leg suggests you feel you can’t walk away from a situation. It seems hard to believe that something so capable and complicated as our subconscious minds should speak in the simple language of old proverbs and sayings, but these are the words we hear from our earliest infancy and they form a deep strand of our outlook on the world. You need only experience this once to twice to recognize the old wives tales that form the DNA of your own belief system. Your dream may be pointing you to a situation where your childhood beliefs are getting in the way of something that is important to you now, so that you can resolve the tension in this situation and move forward.
STAGES OF LIFE
All the stages of our own lives are buried in our nervous system. It helps to think of a way a pearl develops, its parent oyster adding iridescent layers to the initial grain of grit. This resembles the way we bury our emotional experiences as we grow. We move on with our lives and overcome even the most horrible experiences. Such is our strength and our nature. We a made to grow. But these experiences never leave us. When we dream of other people in different stages of life, we are associated with an experience of our own at that stage.
Birth is a signal of new beginning, and the profound excitement and love that surrounds a new baby. The Balinese treat a baby with such reverence that they do not allow it to touch the floor for the first six months of its life, because as a divine being it’s not yet ready to mix with the dirt of human life. Think of what in your life is so precious to you at this time. Are you treating it with the care it deserves? Is there a new project that could emerge if you could provide a space for it?
Baby This is similar to birth but suggests a deep link that has already been forged between you and your project. Are you giving it room to grow? Is it demanding all your time. Have you understood the difference it will make to life and prepared for it?
Child The Hawaiians refer to the belly area of the body as the seat of the ‘child’. Jung called it the unconscious. This is the seat of your emotions, your subconscious driving motivation. Have you considered your emotional reaction to the situation you are dreaming about? If you try to push something forward using logic alone you will not succeed unless you consider what the plan means to you emotionally. How would you have felt about it as a young child? Your child is within you always and if you consult and consider your ‘child’ you will get full co-operation. Your unconscious feelings can be your friend or your greatest challenge. Make them your friend and you’ll go far.
Death Something has come to an end or is about to move into another cycle. What is it about yourself that you know you need to leave behind? Do you need to take action to make it clear that this part of your life is finished?
The language of numbers, or numerology, has fascinated many cultures throughout history. Most interpretations of their significance are based on Pythagoras’ system, but there can be very different interpretations of the same numbers if you look at Native American traditions. I believe the key difference arises from the essentially dual nature of matter. Anything that exists must also die. All matter is subject to decay at some point. This doesn’t make it any less wonderful or powerful. It is merely subject to change.
When a number is divisible by 2, it has a dual aspect. So, for example, it could be seen as an image of balance, or equally as an image of indecision or divided attention. When a number seems particularly significant in your dream, you have to consider its meaning for you from both ways of looking at it. That way you will be getting the most helpful message from it.
One Unity. The indivisible. Immune from the rules of time and space this number reminds you that you are one with everytihing and yet also a unique part of the absolute whole. It reminds you of the benefits of focus and dedication, as well as suggesting to you that guidance is at hand if you need it. All of creation is one your side if you see yourself as part of all of creation. Ask for help and you will get it.
Two This is the essentially dual nature of mater, the yin and the yang, the light and the dark. You may need to take a more balanced point of view or you may need to consider the other side of an argument that you have been ignoring. This number is reminding you to look carefully at an alternative point of view.
Three The unity of body, mind and soul. This number denotes the highest wisdom available to humankind, understanding through reflecting on the blessing of human life within the context of all creation.
Four Full square is a grounded and balanced position. This number underscores your present convictions but is also reminding you that you may have become stuck in your thinking. Four does not easily move.
Five this is the number of new beginning and adventures. It is moving toward change, taking the four square position into new territories.
Six Are you in a couple? You should remember to see your partner as a divine being like yourself. This number points towards union with your soul mate, each of you recognizing the freedom of the other but remaining united.
Seven This number refers to all the colours of the rainbow, the notes in an octave and the vibrations of the different centres of energy in your body. It suggests that you consider your body as an instrument of immense possibility and pay attention to areas where you have not been giving it your attention.
Eight is the number of wealth and prosperity. It denotes stability producing riches and good fortune.
Nine is triple trinity, a number of creativity in its highest sense. It refers to the love within families, between parent and child and denotes spiritual riches.
Ten This number returns to the unity of one. There is nothing beyond the infinite. This is a reminder of the power of the universe and encourages you to see yourself in the context of your divine self.
Eleven Double digit numbers carry the meaning of the digits within them but also the single digit that they can be reduced to by adding the numbers together. So 11 refers to the power of the creator, but also as 2 suggests some tension between your will as an individual and your present situation. How can you harmonize your desires with the situation you find yourself in/ what lesson can you learn from things that haven’t been going your way. You need to return to balance and accept the downs while expecting that what you want will ultimately be what you experience.
Twelve This is a number of triumph of the balanced position, working in harmony with the forces around you. It suggests success in your goals.
Thirteen This number suggests a happy return to stability through considering all your needs as an individual. As a human being you need security and well as intellectual and spiritual food. Have you taken this into account in your plans? Are you in danger of being swept off your feet?
Fourteen The sign of stability in harmony with the forces of the universe leading to new departures or adventures. You may have been feeling stuck and be ready for something new in your life. This number suggests that it is just around the corner if you are not already embarked on it.
Fifteen Blessings for new adventures. Your plans seem to be aligned with helpful influences. Have you been consulting possible sources of help or have you been keeping your plans to yourself? It is time to share them, taking into account the effect they will have on other people. When you do this you will find you get support and encouragement and it feels as though your plane is blessed.
Sixteen this relates to projects you share with other people. Take care to build the foundations strongly and make sure that everyone who participates is comfortable with the arrangements before you begin. This means that your ideas will take off to the benefit of everyone concerned. Make a list of who could be affected by what is on your mind. How can they participate?
Seventeen Something is leading to a new establishment that can be powerful and wealthy but may also seem overwhelming. Do you feel small within an organization? Can your ideas bring about change? Find a way to express what you need within the balance of the context where you work.
Eighteen This number indicates isolation. Have you been feeling excluded or lonely? Have you been looking to break into a field that already seems crowded? Don’t give up your efforts because it is only a matter of time before they are recognized. Be true to yourself and understand that rejection just means they haven’t understood what you have been trying to say..yet.
Nineteen A number tending towards blissful peace and unity. Remember the power of the group and inolve as many people as you can in your plans. You never know where help will come from but someone will recognize that your creative impulse is useful to the whole community that you live in.
Twenty This number suggests vacillation, leading to weakness. Be prepared to make mistakes. You can learn more from your mistakes than from not making them. If you don’t carry through your ideas and continue to doubt you perpetuate a situation that causes your energy to stagnate. This is not creative and the universe is continually creating. Make sure you give it your unique contribution.
For Twenty one refer to two, one and three. Interpret the number as a stage en route to change and make sure that you use the wisdom of each number about your situation to guide you to the result which is the fusion of both.