Your dreams are visual symbolic representations of the way you feel at the moment you are dreaming. Dreams translate your way of experiencing and interpreting reality into images and stories, so try to select the images that leave a lasting impression.
Symbols aren't just objects; they could be people, places, colours, numbers, even words. Ultimately only you are qualified to interpret the meaning of your symbols but some of the following techniques may be useful in trying to decipher what the symbols mean to you.
- Isolate the symbol you wish to understand
- Look up its definition in a dictionary. This can sometimes trigger associations that you might have previously overlooked.
- Look up its definition is a dream dictionary. A lot of these might be completely arbitrary but again, this is just to help you think outside the box.
- Don't take the meanings you find as final. Symbols mean different things to different people.
- Draw the image that interests you.
- Write a few lines (or even a story) about the feeling it inspires you with. This could give you fresh insights.
- Tell someone about the dream: putting the dream into words can bring out different aspects of it and the person who you are recounting it to may contribute with ideas of the their own.
- Look at myths, folklore or fairytales. Some symbols such as a snake, a witch or a dragon are often found in stories. Maybe a symbol you have dreamt has played a role in a story or a myth. This could inspire new ways of understanding what's behind the image.
- Use free association. This method was used by Freud for dream interpretation. Proceed as follows: think of the symbol, then allow your mind to wander through any words that come into your head and see where the train of thought leads you to.
- Use direct association. This method was used by Jung. He believed that thoughts and associations should always refer directly back to the symbol. Proceed as follows: think of the chosen symbol. Holding it in your mind write down all the associated ideas and images that come to you. You will find that certain themes recur and certain symbols become familiar.
- Finally my own method: Close your eyes. Tell the dream in the present tense to yourself (as if you were re-living it now) Imagine being the symbol. Describe yourself. What's your purpose?
Have fun! In time you will learn to understand your own unique dream language.
A note: if you have a recurring dream this is very likely to be very significant and important for you to explore. Recurring dreams present us with issues that we need to pay attention to. It is our subconscious 's way of telling us there is something we need to deal with.
If you have a dream that stays with you and despite all the above techniques you still are at a loss I can help you understand what your subconscious is trying to tell you by using hypnotic dreamwork. If you do not know what this is, have a look at my previous article
and feel free to get in contact with me by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org