Ina dream all objects and all people represent aspects of your self. The dream is all about us. It only appears as though the other objects are different from us. Eventually, we wake up and the Dream Body returns to its source–us. Perhaps this is a metaphor for who we are in our waking lives as well.
Remember that to be meaningful, these symbols need to resonate for you and should not be taken verbatim. These are symbols that appear frequently in my dreams and are not by any means all the possible symbols available to the dreamer.
Dream Books have been around for centuries (e.g. Almoli's Pitron Halomot—Interpretation of Dreams—was first published in 1515). Earlier versions of dream books tended to reflect a folk etymology such as with earlier Summerians and Jews if one dreamed of an Olive tree the interpretation would depend on whether the fruit was still on the tree ("you will advance in the world"), or after the olives had been harvested ("you will be beaten down." The idea coming from the manner in which olives are harvested e.g. the tree is shaken or beaten until all the fruit has fallen to the ground.).
Acknowledgment of the value of dreams can be found in all three of the "great" religions—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. All see dreams as communiques from God. For example in Islam there is a quote, "Dreams of the prophets are divine inspirations." One can also find 121 references to dreams in the bible, with seven of them in the New Testament.
Depending on the sect of each religion the interpretation of dreams is either encouraged or discouraged. There are sections of the Bible that discourage dream interpretation, considering it a vanity to do so (Ecclesiastes, Ch. 5, "dreams give wings to fools."), though there are many modern denominations that provide interpretative counseling regarding dreams and encourage the practice as a means of growing deeper in their faith and understanding of God.
Of course dream symbols are strongly affected by culture and subculture that includes religion and regional meanings. It is beyond the scope of this web to list all the possible meanings for many of the symbols included here, but feel free to add your own if these don't seem to fit.
A clue to dream meaning: The first part of dealing with a dream's meaning after having written it down is to separate out the various images and symbols and then look for themes and connections between these images. Go to the page labeled "How to interpret" for more clues.
For many of these symbols I've not designated whether it's the dreamer or another person displaying the action, or feeling. This is because all dreams relate to you, the dreamer, either in that the symbols describe some part of you or your relationship with others, but you are the central character in all cases.
Because I have for many years enjoyed exploring Celtic, Australian Aboriginal, and Native American symbolism, I have used some within the context of other more general symbols.
This is, of course an incomplete list, but will give you a flavor of what awaits you in The Dragon's Treasure. There are other symbols explored on the DreamDragon Blog as well.
abandoned: Isolation, feeling unwanted, anxiety about losing someone (e.g., loved one or a friend) or a part of you being left behind (see also cheat/cheating).
To dream that you are abandoned, suggests that it may be time to leave behind past feelings and characteristics that are hindering your growth. Let go of your old attitudes. A more direct and literal interpretation of this dream may be that you have a fear of being deserted, abandoned, or even betrayed. It may stem from a recent loss or a fear of losing a loved one. The fear of abandonment may manifest itself into your dream as part of the healing process and dealing with losing a loved one. It may also stem from unresolved feelings or problems from childhood.
Alternatively, the dream may indicate that you are feeling neglected or that your feelings are being overlooked. Perhaps the dream is a metaphor that you need to approach life with "reckless abandon" and live more freely. To abandon others in your dream, may suggest that you are overwhelmed by the problems and decisions in your life.
Some mystics have suggested that one needs to abandon their attachments to things, beliefs and ideas in order to see their true self; in order to see reality as it really is.
abduction: When it happens to you, it's feeling influenced or controlled by another person or event. When you abduct another, it could be your desire to control them.
aborigine or any native: Intuitive or primordial wisdom or self.
abortion: The loss of something new or something that has died, such as a relationship.
abyss: Great depth, profound, infinite. If you fear it or are about to fall into it, it might be the fear of losing control or failure or death. It can also represent the unconscious mind, or where the shadows of your personality lay. (see pit)
accident: Anxiousness, unexpected change. This is most likely not a harbinger of doom as in a precognizant dream. Where might you be avoiding change?
adolescent: Intense social and sexual issues. Where is your growth and development most intense?
advertisement: This could be a way of the dream to bring attention to something or you bringing attention to yourself.
affair: Surrendering, as in "What do you need to give in to?" It could also mean you are falling in love or be a statement about betrayal.
age: There are three stages here, each with their separate symbolism. Young: immaturity or part of you that is opening up. Middle age: maturity or where do you want to go now? And old age: wisdom. There are archetypes of the old man, old woman, and the child that give meaning to age as well. See archetypes.
airplane: Rapid movement across distance, perhaps the leaving things or people behind. Quick change. What kind of change are you in a hurry for? To add further meaning, note whether you are just boarding the plane, which might indicate the desire for change as opposed to being on the plane as being in the process of change. Note feelings here because they will tell you something about what is going on with you regarding the meaning. A crashing plane might indicate your concern about failure.
airport: Making changes or a desire for something different. It could also be a departure point for something new.
alchemist: An agent of change, magical messenger, conjurer of new things, transformation.
alien: Feeling of being an outsider or some part of you that you worry might be strange or different. Sometimes it may be speaking to some potential in you (you add the judgment of whether the potential is good or bad).
alone: Feelings of being isolated or loneliness. What part of you is isolated?
ambulance: Rescue or being saved. There is an emergency quality to this symbol, especially if combined with an injury. It may also be asking you to pay attention to some illness you are experiencing in your waking life.
anesthetic: Shutting out some pain, not willing to look at or deal with something? (see also door) Suppressing some emotion or something you're trying to avoid?
angel: Religious concepts or a guardian angel. What needs protecting? Sometimes it may be about your desire for guidance or compassion. The angel can be a guide to higher consciousness or an epiphany. It can be the symbol for self-realization. The angel can be a messenger, as was Gabriel who foretold the coming of Jesus and gave Mohammed the Qur'an. Angles gave most prophets their responsibilities. Angels can also symbolize the arbiter between your ego-self and your true nature.
anger: Anger can represent that you are repressing your anger about something or that your unacknowledged anger is causing health problems. Sometimes in your waking life, you may have the belief that it is not appropriate or safe to express anger. In dreams, you should allow its expression. This can help make it possible for you to be more assertive in your waking life. It can also provide relief for pent-up feelings.
C.G. Jung looked at people as though they had two distinctly different spirits; Spirit of the Times (that which you live in culturally and sub-culturally) and the Spirit of the Depths (the soul, or essence of who you are). Both the sleeping dream and the waking dream present emotional data that speaks to an imbalance in one's life. For example: it is often said that anger that has not been transcended and dealt with appropriately in one's waking life can become turned inward and create a feeling of depression. And sometimes this feeling of depression is a call from the Spirit of the Depths that one is becoming too dependent on the Spirit of the Times. One may need to trust more in the quietness of their soul than the sound and fury of the outer world.
animals: This is a huge category, and I will only be naming the few that I have come across. Animals in general can be speaking to your drives and feelings about events and people with the usual social controls lifted. I have had dreams with animals nurturing their young and have interpreted this to mean something about my parenting role or relationship with my children. Native Americans assigned Totem Spirits to a variety of animals with the nature of the animal representing the nature of the spirit. These totems would watch out over a person or group of people such as a family or tribe, sometimes for generations. Some people think that totems and spirit guides and witches familiars are very similar in nature.
Basically, animals in dreams represent our instinctual feelings. This extends to the waking life as well in that some therapists have a dog in the therapy room and watch the dog's reaction to the patient entering the room, or during a session, in order to get clues as to the patient's emotional state.
Alligator or crocodile: Feelings of being attacked or overwhelmed. Who or what else is in the dream may give some clue as to who or what is attacking.
Ass or donkey: The beast of burden. I have experienced it as a metaphor for how I have been behaving.
Bat: Intuition. Some, like the Australian aborigines see it as the spirit of death. Its black color often is seen as suggesting evil, the unknown, or the unconscious.
Bear: The danger of the unpredictable. Reclusive or something to do with hibernating or withdrawing, or being solitary.
Beast: An animal of no particular type. When it is threatening, it could be a fear or a hurt or even a person that is causing us pain. Sometimes beasts cause nightmares and we awaken. In this case, the fear may be so great that we cannot face it. If the nightmares are recurring, you might want to seek professional help in confronting what is hidden but perhaps wants to be known through the dream.
Bird: Freedom, to move beyond your limitations or the limitation of the job or relationship. It can also represent your imagination, such as a "flight of fancy." Birds can represent the idea of flying high to another level of consciousness or rising above something, as in "taking the higher ground" or as in escaping. A dead bird can be like a threat to freedom or your ideals while an attacking birds can be a threat to your opinions from others or from yourself.
In Celtic mythology, birds could be an omen and either the message or the messenger. In a Celtic legend, the goddess Deirdre dreams of the three great birds. They arrived bearing honey and left with blood, symbolizing treachery on the part of King Conchobar. In the Christian tradition, and especially through the early Christian Celts, the bird was seen as symbolizing the Holy Spirit.
Blackbird: Can represent the unconscious and its urges.
Raven: The mystical messengers in some Native American cultures that helps show the way and gives warnings. These cultures claimed that man communicated with interaction with nature such as birds (trees and other animals as well).
Chicken: Can often be linked with "being chicken" or afraid to do something. The male, or rooster, can represent strutting arrogance.
Crow or raven: Often linked with death or bad news.
Dove: Represents peace and the renewal of life in many mythologies. It also represents a love interest, as in a turtledove or lovebirds.
Duck: Represent amusement, or floating as in buoyancy or the ability to swim through or over feelings. The phrase, "water off a duck's back" suggests an ability to just let things go.
Eagle or hawk: Dominant male figure, power, majestic In the Celtic tradition, the eagle or hawk has stood for wisdom, visionary ability and royal dignity. In the book of Kells, the eagle is St. John and stands for the ascension to heaven, keeping its unwavering gaze upon the truth.
Owl: Wisdom, protector, messenger, and advisor. It has the ability to see into the dark, into the night, and the hidden worlds of your unconscious. European Celts saw the owl as representing the Great Mother.
Peacock: Pride and vanity or a desire to look better.
Phoenix: New growth, new beginnings, and transformation.
Sparrow: inner dignity and don't underestimate something that seems small or weak. It can also be a symbol for solitude, or being alone.
Swan: Dignity, grace, prestige, and beauty. Legend has it that the song of a pair of swans could heal the sick. There is also the metaphor, "Swan song", signifying one's last act before the end of something. There's also the idea of the ugly duckling when something that on the surface isn't so attractive, but inside is quite beautiful (see geode).
Vulture: Waiting for something or someone to die.
The natives of the North American Pacific Coast, saw the Raven as a hero, messenger, thief, and trickster and creator of the world (there's an Inuit story about how Raven brought the light into the world of darkness.).
The Raven is a symbol for solitude and an attribute of many saints whom the Ravens fed in the wilderness, i.e. St. Anthony Abbot, St. Paul the Hermit, and St. Benedict. God sent ravens to feed Elijah the Tishbite by the brook Cherith during a long drought (1 Ki 17:6; Lev 11:15; Deu 14:14). And the Rraven has long been a symbol of divine providence (Psa 147:9; Job 38:41; 1st Kings 12:16-17). Though many may remember the Lord's command to consider the sparrow and the lilies, but the words, "Consider the Ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them," are seldom revealed (Lk 12:24). In the Song of Solomon, the Beloved's locks are "black as a raven" (Song 5:11).
The Raven symbolizes wisdom, hope, brother/sister gratitude and affection, longevity, fertility, and death. It is still used as a symbol in modern magic, witchcraft, and mystery. In alchemy, it represents change and the advanced soul dying to this world. It is also considered the symbol of intuition.
The symbolic Crow is associated with the sun, longevity, beginnings, endings, change, bad luck, prophecy, Christian solitude, and death. As with the Raven it also is considered a messenger of the gods. Among ancient Greeks and Romans there were some who considered the Crow a bad omen and the raven a good one.
In the telling of myths and legends, the crow frequently took the place of the raven. The Irish war-goddess, Badb, often took on the shape of a crow. In classical mythology, this bird is an attribute of Cronus or Saturn and Athena, the goddess of wisdom, victory, and the arts.
Finally, the Crow is associated with motherly love and spiritual strength. It was believed that fairies turned into crows in order to cause trouble. In heraldry, a Crow was used to indicate a dark person such as a Moor or a Saracen. In Egypt, two Crows, like two Doves, were the sign of monogamy.
Among the Celts, the white Crow was the emblem of the heroine, Branwen. Her heroic brother, Bran, was pictured as a raven. In North America, the Kiowa Indians taught that the white Crow turned black from eating snake eyes.
Early Christians gave a more sinister look to white Ravens, suggesting that God turned them black because they were selfish.
This can also present itself as a Minotaur, the mythological character with the head of a bull and the body of a man. In this form you may be wrestling with your instinctual/aggressive/violent side of your nature. Within the beast may be deep unconscious hurts that may be driving you to lash out at others. This creature can also represent someone you're dealing with in your life who has a scary beast-like nature. Where the Minotaur is and what he's doing will give you some idea.
If it is in a labyrinth (where he would have been found in Greek myth) he might be symbolic of the fears you're experiencing in a life which seems to have never-ending twists and turns that aren't getting you anywhere and you feel lost and threatened.
Theseus and the Minotaur mosaic (click pic to enlarge)
Cat: The feminine aspect, the soft and yielding, independence.
Coyote: The trickster, as in the Navajo tradition. The trickster is one of the human archetypes as well (see archetypes).
Deer: Gentle, harmless, vulnerable, and easily hurt. Sometimes representing the soul.
Dinosaur: Basic urges; the old brain, or an old outmoded way of doing, or thinking about, something.
Dog: Aggression, loyalty, or unconditional love. The Celts saw them as protection animals, guardians and animals of the hunt.
A black dog could be something hidden—the unaccepted side of yourself (similar to the Shadow archetype and may very well be the Shadow, if the dog is a male in a male's dream or female in a female's dream). Winston Churchill called his depression "The Black Dog." It was this dog that he could sometimes master, but it could also turn on him and bite him.
Donkey: Can represent foolishness, or stubbornness–entrenched habits, or plodding. When riding it it can symbolize humility or a feeling of being less than. Perhaps you need to act less arrogant and get off your high horse?
Visions of animals imparting hidden knowledge has been around for some time. Remember the story of the donkey in the old testament where the prophet Balaam ignored his donkey who thrice darted off the road because it sensed a danger that Balaam could not (Numbers 22:21-34 NIV)? The instinct of the donkey opened its eyes to what stood in the road and its actions eventually helped to open the eyes of Balaam. Trust your inner animal as a guide.
Dragon: Sometimes associated with the vast foreboding unconscious. In the Celtic tradition, it was the protector of treasure and a powerful presence. Sometimes when two dragons are fighting, it can mean a struggle for power. Overcoming a dragon can mean to overcome one's fears.
In medieval europe people who secured a coat of arms from the king often used animals to represent qualities in themselves, the dragon represented a brave defender and protector. In the east a dragon motif on a family banner meant good luck and fortune.
A "paper dragon" can mean a false power.In the Chinese tradition Dragons bring wisdom(note the pearl of wisdom being offered by many Chinese Dragons). Click on scroll for more on dragons.
Elephant: Power and influence. That which we are not willing to face, as in "the elephant in the room." In India and some parts of Asia the elephant can be about burdens, or wisdom. They are water symbols–Ganesha, the bringer of rain
Fox: Similar to the coyote, i.e., a shrewd and clever trickster, or wisdom gained from experience.
Guinea Pig: Something being tested or tried out. Being used.
Humingbird: flighty, hovering, hyper about something.
Jackal or hyena: The wild aspect of the dog, or a trickster like the coyote or fox; sometimes associated with death.
Lamb: Childlike and dependent, vulnerable, innocence.
Lion: Physical strength and strong emotions (especially temper), and power. The lion can also represent one's father or God. In the Celtic tradition, it was seen in warrior gatherings, and in the Christian tradition the Celts used it to represent St. Mark and power and royal dignity. Lions can also represent the emotion of pride.
leopard: Be who you are, you can't change your spots or that you need to. Powerful, strong.
Lizard: The basal quality of our actions and natures–instinctive, reactive (vs. thinking, or thoughtful), our animal nature.
Monkey: Foolishness or being ruled by impulse, mischievous. In India the monkey could represent Hanuman—a Hindu deity and devotee of Rama. His story can represent similar waking life allegory for the dreamer. This is true for all cultural images.
Mouse: Timidity, small fears, or worries.
Pig: Dirty, basal drives. Gluttonous, greedy.
Rabbit: Sexuality, luck, or insecurity. The Celts associated the rabbit with magic and to do something considered impossible as in to "pull a rabbit out of the hat."
Sheep: Conformity, a follower not a leader, just one of the herd, as in "the blind sheep."
Snake: Power of the kundalini, sexuality, energy, and the symbol of awakening as in higher self-realization. In the Celtic tradition, the snake's ability to shed its skin made it a symbol of rebirth. They could also stand for fertility due their large number of progeny. The Celts also used them to represent the creation process, and of course, they figure in the Biblical creation story as well. They are often seen in the ancient Celtic traditions as strongly associated with the healing cults. Note the Caduseus or the Rod of Asclepius, both of which represent the healing arts. Ouroboros, a snake biting its own tail thus forming a ring, can be seen as symbolizing something circular or cycling and self-contained.
In Arnhem Land in Northern Australia, the Aborigine tell of rainbow snakes or serpents that are the personification of fertility and rain. There is Yingara, the mother serpent and creator of all beings, and Ngalyod, the father serpent who transformed the land. These serpents guard the water holes and underground aquifers. In Africa, the Tonga, and Mashona people worship Nyaminyami, who is the serpent river god of the Zambezi who protects the waters of the river. His symbol is worn to protect against the forces of darkness and to attract wealth. Throughout the world, the serpent is often linked to protection and guardianship. In the Aztec and Mayan Mesoamerican cultures, the snake god quetzacoatl and kukulcan (the feathered serpent) respectively were gods of the priesthood and protectors of and communicators with the underworld.
Rainbow Serpent of the Aborigine Dreamtime
The concept of the cosmic serpent shows up across all cultures and is found in the air, in the water, and on the land, binding all the earth and its creatures together.
Here are some other interpretations that may be helpful:
Spider: The dark feminine force; organization and patience. Conflicts that you may feel caught in and any emotions that you may not want to get caught up in or deal with. "Oh what a tangled web we weave" reflects lies or deceptions woven by ourselves or others.
Toad: Something hidden in you. The deep unconscious, or the ugly part of ourselves.
Wolf: Can represent fear or be powerful male sexuality, instinct, and threat. The wolf can be the wildness in ourselves. In my dreams, he is always white, indicating clarity or purity. The wolf is a loyal guardian in my dreams and is usually depicted in its alpha or lead wolf form. Some would say that the wolf is my spirit animal. In some Native American tribes, the wolf is the "teacher" animal that teaches us about our inner nature and our intuitive sense and to listen to the still, small voice within.
For more on animals in dreams go to the links below:
archetypes: Carl Jung used this word to express something that he observed in human nature in terms of common themes in dreams. He perceived it as something in the psyche not personally created, but more a genetic bequeathment as in something from the collective unconscious. To see extended Archetypes pages, click here.
argue: Verbal conflict. Where do you hope for a resolution? If arguing in a dream between you and another person it could also represent an internal conflict.
armor: What you use to protect yourself emotionally.
army/military: Either internal or external conflict. Are you gathering your forces? Defensiveness, or aggressiveness, or your disciplined nature, or need for discipline.
arrest: Fear of being caught or a restraint of some kind. Consider the phrase, "arrested development"– being stuck emotionally, or psychologically.
arson: Destructive rage or clearing away anger.
artist: Creative aspect of self. What part of you is ready to be expressed?
ascending: Rising feelings; finding a different perspective; trying to get to your higher self.
ashes: Remains of an experience. What is finished for you?
athlete: Strength and skill; need to work on physical energy. High performance. Your competative nature, who are you competing with?
attack: Violent change. Feeling attacked with your own basal impulses, e.g., anger. Attacked by one's beliefs or point of view. Could also be a self-attack e.g. self-criticism (see soldier/warrior for information regarding PTSD and the effects and treatment for continuous trauma).
attic: The higher consciousness, or stored past e.g. stored memories, or feelings.
audience: Need for appreciation, or if you're in the audience, appreciating yourself, or watching some emotion, or some aspect of your life. Are you ready to make something public?
autopsy: Looking at something in you that has died or looking for something inside you that is hidden. Trying to figure something out.
avalanche: A catastrophic release of emotion. The triggering of some barely controlled feelings. (see tidal wave)
axe: What are you ready to chop away?
baby: Rebirth, the infant self. What is being born in you? New beginnings, new development,or something being developed. It can also represent feelings such as joy, curiosity, innocent love, vulnerability, and dependence.
back or behind: Privacy, a barrier, or repressed urges. When pushed or pushing back, it could mean being restrained or fighting back. The back of your body could represent the unconscious. What is happening that you cannot see? Is there something "happening behind your back"?
backyard, or backporch: A private place, a place where you hide your secrets.
bag: Small burdens, things that we carry around with us in a psychological way. As a handbag, it might mean something to do with your identity, just as with a wallet.
band: Might mean teamwork or camaraderie.
bandage: Protection; hurt feelings in need of healing. Covering up an emotional wound.
bandit: Could mean the threat of loss. What are you afraid to give up?
bank: Anything to do with money, financial issues, social power, or something you can count on. What can you count on? What do you want to keep safe? Banks may also have current day meaning based upon certain behavioral aspects of banks in the current environment that contribute to financial meltdown e.g. deceitfulness, greed and usury. These meanings are situationally specific and tend to wax and wane over time. If you were to suffer loss from a bank, the meaning for this image could then reflect that.
Banks are also places where we store things of value e.g. ideas, memories, beliefs, values, feelings. (see money, gold)
banquet: Recognition or a need for acknowledgment. Abundance. (see audience)
barbarian: A less controlled part of yourself, less refined aspect of yourself.
barn: The home to your animal nature.
basement: The unconscious. Similar to a cave. The instinctual you.
bath or bathing: A cleansing or release. What do you want to wash away?
bathroom: The place of cleansing or getting rid of something. What are you ready to let go of?
battle: A conflict or struggling with something or someone. Are you at war with something, someone, or with yourself?
beer: Or just alcohol in general means conviviality, as in where do you need to relax in your life? Your judgments about alcohol could also color the meaning of this image.
birth: New beginnings of life skills, projects, attitudes, or points of view. These may represent huge changes in your life and the death of old ways. Birth dreams for expectant mothers may be chronicling changes going on in them physically, psychologically, and emotionally. This may be true for their husbands as well as many men seem to have sympathetic physical experiences and frequently have their own issues regarding parenthood and the changes that their wives are going through. (see baby)
bay: Shelter, calm.
beach: Where the conscious and unconscious meet. It could also represent the body and soul–the physical self and the spiritual self i.e. the transition, or even integration, of the two.
blaming: What are you blaming? What are you blaming someone else for? Are you feeling guilty or feeling a failure? Are you feeling blamed?
blind: To lose sight of something or someone. Not looking at some aspect of self or other, concealing something from yourself or others. Something that you do not understand–cannot see, unaware/unconscious of.
bling: see gold under colors and sparkling. Ostentation, wanting to stand out or perhaps you should demure a little.
blood: The universal life within us, essence, life itself, and all peoples shared experience. To lose blood is to lose energy and aliveness. Losing blood can also be a symbol for depression.
boats or ships: Your journey through life with its rough and smooth places. The movement across deep emotions. The emotions that you are navigating. Note the roughness of the seas and the condition of the boat, for this may give you an indication of how you are doing on your journey at the moment. Missing a boat might be just a play on words for a missed opportunity. A sinking boat could be a sense of loss, or failure. This can be another symbol for depression (see blood).
body: This generally reflects your image of yourself and how you feel about that. Different body parts have different meanings: (see more detail below)
anus: What do you want to get rid of? Or what are you holding on to? (see feces)
arm: Strength, what gives and receives.
back: The unconscious. What you can't see, what's behind you (this can be a metaphor for the past as well).
bone: strength, if broken then a loss of strength. Burying a bone could refer to the hiding of something.
brain: Reason, the intellect, understanding.
breast: Nurturing, love or what needs loving.
buttocks: Humility. Are you being an ass? Do you need forgiveness?
chest/lungs: Breath of life, readiness to expand.
ear: Receptiveness, openness. What are you ready to listen to? If injured, what are you not hearing, or are not ready to hear?
eye: Vision, clarity, awareness, the soul or psyche. (see blind)
face: self-image, can hide the inner you. Hiding it can be about shame. Faceless could be about an underdeveloped self-image or also be about hiding. Are you "facing" the facts?
foot: stability, mobility
hair: self-image and thoughts. If washing, is there some part of yourself that you need to clean up, or are you trying to clarify some thought? Changing style could be about changing attitudes. Dishevled could be about confusion. To cut hair could be about the loss of power/strength.
heart: emotions, love, compassion, soul, passion, center
legs: support, motivation. When knocked out from under you, or lost or paralyzed, it could mean betrayal or a loss of confidence.
mouth: your hungers. What one says or has said. If full of worms or bugs it could refer to something bad one may have said and that you need to get out. If chewing, perhaps you're mulling something over.
neck: connection between body and mind, feelings and sexuality, feeling and intellect, spritual and earthly. Consider a "pain in the neck" as being an irritaion or annoyance.
penis: sexual appetite, power, drive, desire. To castrate could be the loss of appetite, power, drive and desire.
teeth: agression, ability to get what one wants. If broken or spitting out perhaps you trying to get something out (admitting to something), or there's a sense of loss, or change, loss of effectiveness. Perhaps you are "losing it"? False teeth may be about lies told.
tongue: can be about self-expression, saying what is deep inside of you.
"The eye with which I see God is the same with which God sees me."
This quote reminds me of a time when just after sunset I left work and headed down the hill to the parking lot. I had been worrying all day how I was going to deal with some very upsetting events when I passed a young man and happened to catch his eye. His eyes shown like stars and I had the distinct impression that I was looking at myself through his eyes! I was really taken aback and was going to say something when I noticed the eyes of people in cars passing by. They all shown with that same light! It was as though God were looking at me through their eyes. I began to tear when I realized that every one of us where looking at each other through God's eyes.
"Try another way of looking. Try you looking and the whole universe seeing."
Eyes were often painted on things to ward off the "evil eye". An exaggerated apotropaic eye was painted on Greek drinking vessels in the 6th century BC to ward off evil spirits while drinking. Fishing boats in some parts of the Mediterranean region still have stylized eyes painted on the bows. A Turkish budget airline has adopted the symbol (known as Nazar bonjuk) as a motif for the tailfin of its airplanes.
To see your own eyes in your dream might represent enlightenment, knowledge, comprehension, understanding, or intellectual awareness. Unconscious thoughts may be coming onto the surface. According to the ancient Egyptians the left eye was symbolic of the moon, while the right eye represents the sun (See the Eye of Horus). It could also be a pun on "I" or the self.If you dream that your eyes have turned inward so that you see the inside of your head, then it might symbolize insight and something that you need to be aware of. This dream may be literally telling you that you need to look within yourself. Trust your intuition and instincts.
If you dream of having something in your eye and you believe in the biblical admonition, ""Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?" then the symbol might indicate that you may be judging others without noting your own frailties. It might also mean that something is obstructing your vision, your clarity.
To dream that you have one eye, indicates your refusal to accept another viewpoint. It suggests that you may be one-sided in your way of thinking. To dream that you have a third eye, may symbolize inner vision, insight, or instinct. Perhaps you are seeing what others cannot. Or perhaps you should start looking within yourself and trust your instincts. To dream that your eyes are injured or closed, might suggest your refusal to see the truth about something or the avoidance of intimacy—You may be expressing feelings of sympathy, pain or hurt.
The Horus eye symbol is worn for protection and to ward off evil spirits. Horus´ left eye which has been torn out, so the myth goes, relates to the waxing and waning of the moon during which the moon appears to have been torn out of the sky before being restored once every lunar month.
(Click on the symbol to link on this symbol creator's website.)
The third eye of the Chakra that which leads to the inner realms of higher consciousness. It is the symbol of enlightenment in both Hinduism and Buddhism.
face: Your self-image, ego, and identity. If you're hiding it, you may feel shame or guilt. Other emotions can be read from the face as well. If your face has been injured you may be suffering some public injury or an attack on your reputation. Someone with two faces could mean that either you or some else are being untrustworthy and pretending to be what they are not.
fingers: Sensitivity and the ability to manipulate, physical and mental dexterity, they also can represent communication. If damaged or cut off it can suggest some anxiety about your ability to accomplish some task. Are you losing your grip?
foot or feet: Your grounding or "footing," your balance, or your contact with reality. Loss of your feet may have something to do with a loss of independence or mobility. To see dirty feet could be a self-image issue regarding some behavior. In India the feet are the holiest part of the body.
hair: Another part of your self-image, your sensuality. The cutting of any hair could have something to do with change. Dark hair may reflect dark thoughts whereas red hair may reflect incendiary, destructive, or flamboyant thoughts. White hair or beard could mean wisdom or experience.
hand: Can mean your self-expression or your "grasp" of situations. It can mean what you are ready to handle, whereas dirty hands can mean an unclean activity, the doing of some dirty work. To soil one's hands are to do something that you are not proud of.
head: Intellect, thoughts, intentions, or understanding. Celtic head cults thought that to own the head of someone was to inherit its abilities and essence to ward off evil.
heart: Love, emotions. Any damage to the heart may indicate having been hurt or even something physical that should be investigated.
knee: Flexibility; ability to bend.
leg: Support and motivation. Confidence and independence as in "standing on one's own legs." A loss of confidence may be when one "has their legs knocked out from under them."
mouth: Nourishment, means of expressing.
neck or throat: Connection between body and mind. "Up to your neck in something" means to be in trouble but still okay. The throat is quite vulnerable.
nose: Instinctive knowledge, intuition, curiosity. Wisdom, getting involved in something that may be none of your business (nosey).
paralyzed: A lack of confidence or hopelessness, overcome by fear. Actually awakening while still in REM sleep and unable to move. Sometimes the body hasn't yet overcome the motor paralysis that is natural for the body so that you don't act out your dreams.
penis: For males, this represents his drive in life, his yang power, and potency of expression. (see snake) For females it may have sexual connotations, or power symbolism.
shoulders: Burden, how strong you are to carry what life presents.
teeth: Power, independence; to lose teeth is to be weakened as in to lose power.
Frequently psychologists use Projective Tests such as "The House, Tree, Person" or the "Draw-a-Person" where a child draws certain standard objects and unconsciously "projects" their emotional patterns into the drawing. These projections, generally speaking, come from the same place as Dream Material. An effective reading of dreams can enhance the material gained by the use of the more formalized Projective Tests.
bomb or atom bomb: An explosive situation something that may cause fear; totally unexpected. An atom bomb is just more so in that the situation may be devastating.
book: Guidance, information, memory storage. Attitudes toward learning. Type of book will give more information e.g. fantasy. nonfiction, fiction, etc. (see library)
box: What are you hiding from yourself? To contain something, a way of keeping something safe or making sure something doesn't get out, such as an emotion or a secret. Opening it can be about you revealing some part of yourself (see gift).
boy: Developing yang power.
bragging: Might suggest insecurities. Perhaps you're not getting acknowledged enough or you're trying to get too much acknowledgment?
breath: The spirit and the measure of life. To take in something or to "breathe a sigh of relief."
bridge: Transition from one phase of your life to another. The connection between you and someone or something else. When building a bridge, you may be trying to find a way to deal with something or someone.
broom: (see sweeping)
burglar or intruder: Something unpleasant coming up from the unconscious or someone actually intruding into your life or stealing something precious from you. (see invasion)
burried: Something put to rest, something from the past. Something dead and gone, or not visible to the every day. (see cemetery and zombie for additional meaning)
bus: A shared journey, trying to get somewhere with the help of others. It can also refer to your giving up responsibility for the direction your life is going. At a bus stop could be a metaphor for waiting for something to happen in your life, rather than taking charge of it (however, if this is your only form of transportation then "the shared journey" aspect may be more appropriate).
butterfly: Transformation, a life change, or sense of freedom. It can also mean a "flighty" personality vs. being down to earth, other aspects of the dream should help to discern the meaning.
cage: Something is suppressing your expression, limiting your freedom. What feelings are imprisoning you? Perhaps resentment or anger. (see trapped or fence)
cake: A celebration or indulgence/sensual enjoyment.
calendar: The passage of time, or a reminder of something. Some peoples lives seem to be run, or controlled, by the calendar.
camel: Emotional or physical endurance, or survival. Often associated with the desert so it could symbolize lonliness, or barreness, or burdensomeness, in life.
camera: To record something or to take notice of something. How does this look to you? It may also be similar to the eye in that it can represent point-of-view.
cancer: Destructive growth, or something in your personality that is out of step with your image of self. Something that may be eating away your self-confidence. A loss of personal control.
candle: Illumination, enlightenment, or finding understanding.
The flame of the candle can represent life itself. Is the flame sputtering, has it gone out (may indicate depression or impending failure)? Has the candle melted down (impending change or a softening of a position)? A brightly burning candle may represent passion. There are also "old flames" (Your ex) and "burning the candle at both ends" (overdoing/overextending it). For some Christians it can represent a prayer.
car: Personal power, your motivating drives, ambition, personal mobility, or the power to direct your life. If someone else is driving, then they may be driving the direction of your life. A crashed car may indicate failure or self-destructive, or reckless, behavior if you are driving the car. Looking in the mirror could mean what you are seeing that you left behind. Running out of fuel could indicate weakening motivation. With your headlights off, you may lack awareness of what is happening in your life.
cards or gambling: Making a game of life and not taking it seriously. Taking a chance or a risk on something or someone. What do you hope to win?
castle:The noble self, hiding behind a fortification—emotional walls—to protect from hurt. (also visit:
castration: Limits to your creativity, or a denial of your power, or your sexuality. A fear regarding your sexual drive, or rejection especially by the opposite sex.
cat: The feminine aspect, the independent self. (See cat in the animal section.)
caterpillar: Life changes; getting ready to emerge as the new you.
cave: Hidden issues; things from the past. Has also been interpreted as female sexuality. An entrance to the unconscious mind. What is it inside you that you want to explore?
(see also the blog entry on caves and the underground for Aug 28, 2010)
caveman: The primordial aspect of self; in other words, what is basic to your nature.
cell phone: Accessibility, vital communication. Though it could also represent distraction, or a nuisance depending on other aspects of the dream. Also see telephone below.
cemetery: A place of endings, where things from the past are put to rest. Note any emotions associated with the dream cemetery. During Halloween it can be seen as the place where the dead and the living can come together. (see buried)
cesspool: Stored up negativity. Concealed negativity.
chain: What binds you or restricts you. What connects you with others.
chainsaw: What do you need to cut down?
chased: Avoidance–What we avoid chases us down, e.g., emotional pain, guilt, responsibility, love, or failure will pursue us until we deal with them. Does the same problem keep coming up again and again? What seems to be after you? Are you being bullied? If chasing; what are you pursuing?
cheat/cheating/cheated: Being dishonest with self or another person. Something that is not right or a betrayal of trust. It can also refer to a sense of abandonment, or not being attended to. Sometimes when there isn't enough romance in a relationship this image can show up.
child: Innocence, something within you developing. This may also be about your feelings or thoughts about your childhood and family relationships.
In many myths and religions it is a child that reunites Heaven and Earth (Man and God). This child is the archetype for paradise, heaven and the ancient Tibetan city of Shambhala—a sacred place where you can cross into another world. There seems to be an universal urge to seek paradise either in the form of spiritual growth and transformation or as in the case of Shambhala, a physical world of perfection.
To see either a child or heaven or paradise in a dream can suggest a seeking for innocence, or perfection of the spirit, or perfect happiness. You may also be trying to escape the difficulties that you're experiencing in life.
For an Active Imagining meditative exercise on reclaiming the child, click on the link below:
choke: conflict, repressing of some emotion, or something you want to say, but can't get out. Something strangling/stifling you.
Christ: A powerful dream symbol not necessarily connected with the historical Jesus. It is a powerful influence on one's personality. It can also represent one's universal connection (see archetypes).
church: Spiritual belief, moral codes. What is holy in your life? (synagogue, cathedral, or temple, mosque can be similar in nature). Also see synagogue below.
city: Culture, a civilized order, or one's interaction with the society he or she lives in. One's sense of community. If lost, you may be uncertain about your place in society or lost your direction or purpose.
cliff: On the edge of something, danger. It can also be a challenge to aspire. Sometimes the standing at the edge of a cliff is to face your fears.
climbing: Aspiration, growth, and achievement. What are you trying to get to?
clock: Measurement, or timing. A sense of urgency or plenty of time could be interpreted through clocks or watches. The ticking of a clock could represent your life passing by or the beat of your heart. A stopped clock may indicate the death of something or if it is racing, a sense of urgency. It can also be about the restrictions we place on ourselves i.e. by becoming a slave to time and thus being less creative and spontaneous.
closing: With a door, it could mean you have closed yourself off to something or someone.
clothing: The stance we take in social situations. It is our identity and our self-image. What we put on to the rest of the world (see face). It is also what we put on to hide our real selves as well as a cover up or a symbol for hiding something.
bathing suits: May suggest vulnerability.
blouse or shirt: May be about the upper versus. the lower body.
boots: Might indicate a power statement.
cloak: Might be magical protection.
coat: Might suggest the covering up of something.
dress: Related to the feminine self-image.
hat: Might have something to do with opinions or thoughts.
panties or underwear: May indicate the private self and your sexual identity.
shoes: Indicate one's grounding and connection with the world.
skirt or pants: Might suggest the lower passions.
suit: Suggests formality and professional identity
uniform: Suggests conformity.
veil: Would be mysterious or suggest something hidden or to be revealed.
clouds: Depending on whether it is a bright or dark day, they could either be uplifting or depressing.
club: Joining together, belonging.
coffin: What contains the end of something or someone, a reminder of your mortality. To put someone into a coffin might suggest that you want to get them out of your life.
coins: Something of small value; things of little concern.
cold: Missed warmth or holding back of emotion. There is a feeling of neglect in this symbol, as in "being left out in the cold."
colors: Emotions, especially when they are vibrant. The vitality of something or of the self.
black: Separation, the unconscious, evil, depression, the shadow side of the self. (see this link on the Black Dream)
blue: Depression if it is dark; intuitive awareness, almost spiritual in nature if it is light blue.
brown: Dullness, earthy, the material world.
gold: Valuable or significant.
green: Serenity, healing through growth.
red: Passion, vigor.
violet: Spiritual feelings.
white: Clarity and purity.
yellow: Lightness, vitality, hopefulness but also cowardice or cautionary, depending on context.
Color meanings are a bit iffy. You should be especially careful to interpret their meanings based on the resonance and meaning for you. Color interpretation is also cultural in nature.Jennifer Kyrnin has developed a cultural color chart that you may want to refer to. The above meanings are western in nature.
The Theosophist, C.W. Leadbetter also created a chart in his book, Man Visible and Invisible (1902) that doesn't seem to follow any of the current cultural or western definitions. A similar color chart was used to interpret Auras, or what the Theosophist's Annie Besant and Leadbetter described as "Thought forms" believing that thoughts are things, radiating vibrations and floating forms. These ideas were presented in their treatise, Thought Forms (1901). Though in all fairness their definitions were slanted toward his understanding of the spirit world and the concept of auras. My symbol interpretations tend to be somewhat more prosaic.
This is a modern version of a chromatic/music wheel created by Ani Williams called the Songaia Sound wheel.
Note that the musical scale is an ascending chromatic scale where the frequencies range from low to high on both the visual and auditory scale. The zodiac symbols don't follow a consistent pattern, however, in that there are many zodiac color wheels with all being different.This attempt to coordinate color and sound to affect an emotional state is nothing new, both Isaac Newton and Pythagoras created their own scale. There is a story that Pythagoras noted a young man bringing hot coals to the door of his lover's house so as to burn it down as retribution of her having scorned him. A man playing a flute nearby was playing an energetic little song that seemed to be spurring the young man on. When Pythagoras asked the flutist to play another song that was much more soothing, the young man seemed to come to his senses and removed the coals.
It is highly probable that the Greek initiates gained their knowledge of the philosophic and therapeutic aspects of music from the Egyptians. Pythagoras realized the emotional and therapeutic aspects of both music and color.
Newton's Color Wheel Newton's prismatic/music coordination schematic
Prisms break-up white light (sunlight) into the visual spectrum of red to violet. The rainbow in a dream can indicate better things to come, beauty amongst hardship, or a metaphor for "Chasing the rainbow" (going after the unattainable).
For more information concerning color in dreams click on this link to the Dream Dragon blog.
column: something that supports you, holds you up, or that you support. (see pillar)
comet: Impending change; birth of something new. It is also a messenger and an awakening.
compass: An attempt to find your direction in a situation or in life.
computer: Communication or the rational, unemotional mind.
concentration camp: A fear of differences an attempt to control what you fear or find distasteful, to keep these uncomfortable feelings out of sight.
concert: To work in harmony.
confusion: Inner discord or chaos.
constipation: The fear of letting go of something.
construction: Work on yourself.
cooking: The way one transforms the unpalatable to the palatable.
corner or cornered: No escape; trapped. Where are your decisions and choices leading you?
cottage: The familiar house of the self.
courtroom: The resolution of conflicts.
cowboy: Independence and romance.
crater: A memory of a past hurt.
crawling: A regressive movement that might suggest the taking of one's time.
crazy: As in a crazy person appears, you might be feeling threatened. As yourself, you might be thinking about controlling your behaviors. There is a loss of control element herewith perhaps an aspect of falling apart.
cripple: Being limited or disabled in some way.
cross: For millennia, the cross has been a symbol with special spiritual meaning. The cross has four points symbolizing the four cardinal directions, the four seasons, the four winds, the four archangels, and the four gospels.
The Celts saw it as representing the four quarters:
north; for wisdom and stability, winter, and death
east; for learning, knowledge, spring, beginnings, and youth
south; for passion, strength, and summer
west; for intuition, inner knowledge, emotion, endings, and autumn
This symbolism is also seen in the Native American medicine wheel. In Christian tradition, the cross can mean resurrection as it does with the Egyptian Ankh.
crown: To be chosen or recognized.
crying: A release or grief. Sometimes if held back during the day, the dream can act as a pressure release.
crypt: Feelings associated with death. A place of hidden forces and perhaps a connection with the unconscious. Things feelings or thoughts "buried."
crutch: A substitute for personal support. A sense of weakness or being incapacitated.
cup: Feminine aspect of nourishment. A cup, cauldron or the Holy Grail is a ritual object of feminine gender.
Bran's life-restoring cauldron and the Grail.
In physical essence the cup in ritual is often crescent shaped. This symbolism links it to the moon, another feminine aspect—the sacred vessel, the womb.
There are many symbolic references to the feminine, the Holy Grael being one of them.
Though descriptions of the Last Supper of Jesus speak of a cup in which Jesus poured wine and offered it as his own blood and that they should drink it in remembrance, the famous painting by Leonardo DaVinci shows no cup on the table, only a plate, or dish. Was the plate, or dish the original Grael? Whether a dish or cup, both might represent the feminine aspect of nourishment. It has a life restoring quality to it. The dish may also be seen as a sacred vessel that would also have a feminine aspect to it—the womb. In magik the symbol for cup/container is a crescent, that is the shape of the moon, another feminine aspect. The cauldron is the symbol for the goddess.
The Grail is the symbol of rebirth, perhaps even reincarnation—the passage from life to death and beyond.
To see a cauldron in your dream, may imply that you are undergoing some transformation, It could also indicate destiny or some magical, spiritual force. Consider the symbolism of what is in the cauldron and its importance.
To see a cup in your dream, might also represent love, nurturance and the womb. The cup may also signify healing, rejuvenation, and healing. Alternatively, it could indicate transcendence into a realm of higher consciousness. Is the cup half-full or half-empty? Do you see life from an optimistic or pessimistic point of view. To see a cup with a broken handle, suggests your feelings of inadequacy and anxieties of being unable to handle a particular situation. To see a broken cup in your dream, may suggest feelings of powerlessness, guilt and/or low self-esteem. Perhaps you feel unqualified or inadequate in dealing with a situation.
If the cup is a chalice, it could represent your need for spiritual nourishment. You are on a search, or quest, for your individual self and for a more meaningful existence.
curtains: You can either open them to reveal or close them to hide.
cutting: To sever connections with someone or some feeling or desire. (see knife, dagger, and sword)
dagger: Aggressiveness, anger, force, or hatred. Can also represent a penis.
dam: To bottle something up, to hold back.
damage: An injury or loss.
dancing: Feeling at one with someone or something or with yourself. In harmony with the world and ourselves. One's dance with life.
danger: Threatening change.
darkness or night: The unknown, secrets hidden, mystery, potential, or a place of fear. What is hidden to you?
dead people: Some person or aspect in your life that has died and you are dealing with it. Dealing with grief of the death a loved one or your own future death and its inevitability. What has ended in your life?
Death, suicide and murder could all fit under this symbol. Suicide and murder in a dream can symbolize the need for a conscious choice on the dreamer's part to make a change in their lives, their perceptions, reactions, and circumstances. It's the "active" ending of something. It is the symbol for actively overcoming something. "I need to symbolically kill who I am, or am being, in order to become what I want to be.
Caution: Some Dream Analysts claim that thoughts of suicide in the waking state are symbolically similar to the sleeping state and can be analyzed in a similar manner. This may be partially true, however, if thinking of suicide progresses to frequently planning a suicide (even without acting on it), it can lead to what psychologists call "Ideation." These thoughts of suicide don't usually lead to actual attempts, but they can lead to gestures (without the conscious intention to die). These gestures, or "parasuicides" can, however, lead to accidental death or physical harm. A shocking statistic is that nearly half of all suicides began with suicidal gestures. Anyone spending too much time thinking about death should consider consulting a counselor, or should be referred to a counselor.
deaf: Need to work on communication, as in what do you fear to hear?
defecate: anger and hostilityreleased especially if it's spread everywhere. If on you then perhaps you are feeling "shit on" or feeling you're not worth a 'shit' i.e. low self-esteem. A feeling of being or having said something dirty, negative or undisirable. If you're trying to defacate and can't perhaps you are having difficulty letting go of something or perhaps you are too controlling. To find a bathroom covered in feces might suggest that there are some messy feelings that may need to be cleaned up. If it's a public toilet then perhaps you are worried how something may be looking to others.(see urinate)
deformity: Disappointment about yourself.
demolition: Major changes in life.
descending: Past traumas or just getting more down to earth and pragmatic about something. It can also mean a loss of status or importance.
desert: Being deserted, loneliness.
detective: Something being searched for. Something hidden that needs to be revealed, some problem to be solved.
detour: A change in your direction in your life.
devoured: Losing your sense of identity.
dictator: Are you being too inflexible, or is someone else?
dictionary: Do you rely too much on the opinions of others? Are you being too all knowing?
digging: Uncovering the truth (or burying it). How about the pun: "Do you dig it?"
dildo: Are you feeling unsatisfied or unstimulated with some part of your life?
dim: A lack of clarity on some situation. A judgment of intelligence.
diningroom: See House
dinosaur: An outdated idea, or way of being. If chased by one, are you feeling as if you're no longer needed?
diplomat: Need to approach someone, or some situation, with great care and tactfulness.
diploma: Successful completion of something. A recognition for something done, or done well.
directions: Giving or taking criticism, or accepting or being in authority. (see north, south, east, west)
director: Need to assume more control over a situation, or that you already are; is it enough, or too much?
disability: Lowered self-esteem? Lost your power or direction in life? What part of your body is disabled (see body)?
disappearing: If people are disappearing this could refer to your fears and anxieties of people leaving you, or dying. These people could also represent aspects of yourself that you have ignored and that are disappearing. If you're disappearing, are you being ignored, or overlooked?
disaster: Fear of change. (see ruins)
dissapointment: Real life dissapointments, or depression. Thwarted intentions, or expectations.
ditch: Being trapped or a means of escape, a means for "draining away" your emotions.
doctor: need for healing, an authority on such. Emotional or spiritual healing. Something needs patching up.
document: Something important about to be revealed, something discovered.
door: Transition point. With a large lock, it may indicate defensiveness or some hostility. A locked door also could mean that you are locking something or someone out of your life or closing yourself off from others. Locking could also be about your feelings of self-worth (what are you hiding?).
A very small door may be limiting access to yourself. An open door might represent accessibility and openness. See Dream Dragon Blog for an example. A broken down door could be about your defences being broken down, thus making you more vulnerable to something. The back door could represent your private life, the front door theefor might represent your public self, while going through the side door could be about escaping or avoiding.
Revolving doors could be about how your life is going i.e. around in circles. A doorbell ringing could be like a knock at the door i.e. an opportunity making itself known.
dragon: see under animals, above.
dreaming: Dreaming of dreaming might suggest your awakening to an inner reality. To be asleep in a dream might suggest that you need to wake up to something because you're not paying attention. Some people have wondered as to whether everything is but a dream—a projection of our consciousness.
drowning: Being overwhelmed by emotion. or circumstances. (see flod or tidal wave)
drunk: Being out of control, or shutting something painful out.
dwarf: an undeveloped part of the personality, unconscious forces, magical transformation.
dying: see death above.
Earth: One's roots; your connection with the physical world. (see tree roots)
earthquake: Soul-shaking insecurity. A breakdown of anything, such as relationships, attitudes, or points of view. Literally a "shake-up" of your world.
East (as a direction): Ancient truths, one's beginnings, the mysteries of the unconscious, renewal, enlightenment, source of life, birth, religious aspect, and wisdom. As with all directions, one might ask, "Where am I heading?"
eating: Satisfying your hunger and not necessarily with food—e.g., hunger for any of the hierarchy of needs.
egg: One's potential or any potential, what you may wish to develop as in the seed to something new. A cracked egg may suggest a failure to achieve potential, or if a chicken is being born, it could suggest the beginning of something new (see birth, pregnancy)
elastic: ability to adapt, if snapping back it may have something to do with "rebounding" emotionally or psychologically.
empty: What has gone? This can suggest a lack of something in your life (see death, or killing).
encyclopedia: knowlege, inner knowledge, collective wisdom, the Collective Unconscious. Consider the pun "Know it all" (smarty-pants or wise-guy).
end of the world: big and/or threatening changes or transitions in life. Anything that has the potential to change your life as you know it. For example, leaving home, menopause, moving from adolescence to adulthoo, having children, loss of a job or someone you love. This can show up as an 'end' to anything such as an end to a path or road (also look at trapped, death, west).
engine (or motor): a person's driving energy.
enemy: This is frequently a denial of something within yourself that you have a conflict with. A part of yourself that you have not accepted and are struggling with.
escape: Avoidance such as feelings, going around restrictions.
evil: urges that you may think are wrong, whatever seems to threaten (see the shadow and devil archetypes above).
exams: An ordeal or test, self-criticism, or a test of self-value.
exit door: A way out of something, like escape.
explosion or eruption: Sudden and violent change or an explosion of emotional material and its concomitant release of energy such as anger; social upheaval.
eye: Spiritual insight, as in "the eyes are the windows to soul." Used to depict good and evil, all-seeing. It can indicate seeing something unseen before or someone or thing watching. The early church in England used to place an eye above the entrance to ward off witches; Greeks created eye beads or amulets to ward off the evil eye.
façade: The image that you put on something, what you want the world to see (this can include the facade of a house, or building). It can represent the masks we wear to hide and protect ourselves. (see mask below)
face: One's identity and self-image. The mask we put on to the world. What we hide behind (see clothes and mask).
faceless: perhaps you are still searching for your identity or you aren't sure how to "read" someone else.
facelift: trying to change your identity or how you see yourself or how others see you. It can also suggest that you are feeling better about yourself.
facepaint: perhaps you're having trouble expressing yourself? What is painted could also reflect your mood in your waking life. (see tatoo and make-up)
fairy: A nature spirit, a realm beyond the every day. The Celtics included elves and fairies in their concept of the Otherworld, the world of a new beginning, paradise.
falling: Loss of power, confidence, social standing, or control or the fear of failure, maybe even moral failure. When your emotional crutches and distractions are taken away, there may be a sense of falling (losing your grip or emotional footing/balance. It can also suggest a "falling out" in some relationship).
family relationships: This could be about your internal value system. The father is the authority figure representing your ability to manage and control the external world. He can also represent the negative by being dominant and aggressive. Your mother might represent your nurturing, emotional side, and relationship sides, though the negative aspect of domination through emotions may also be present. Siblings, sons, and daughters often reflect aspects of ourselves. Grandparents in a dream may represent the role that traditions play in your life, though they may also represent the archetypes of the wise old man, or woman (see archetypes).
farm: The earthy and pragmatic part of one's nature and values.
fast: Being in a hurry, impatience, or efficiency. (see running)
faucet: The control of emotions by turning them on or off.
fear: How much does it run you? How much control of your emotions do you have? What are you afraid of? What runs you? Sometime fear can represent unexpressed love.
Anxiety, or fear is probably the most common emotion in dreams. All the events of the day that have vexed you can come up as fearful elements in the dream. Remember that every thing in a dream is an aspect of you. If you're being chased by some monster, it's yourself that you're trying to escape and given that you can't escape yourself you might as well confront this aspect and find out more about it.Start by defining the feeling so you can get clarity on what it is you're avoiding.
Sometimes going over the events in your life that may be generating your fears in the waking world can help to difuse the emotion attached to them. When working with both adults and children I used to have them relax into a meditative state and imagine that they were walking down a long, dark hallway. At the end of this hallway was a huge door of heavy wood and banded in iron. Imagine that behind the door there was the most frightening creature you have ever experienced and that you have to open the door and confront it head on. I then instruct them to grab the handle and pull hard, swinging the door wide. What's there? Be with it, don't run. Defiantly ask it what it wants. Go into conversation with it and see what you get.This exercise works well as a guided meditation so having a trusted confederate lead you through it helps.
feather: Often represent the powers or nature of the bird it came from, e.g., an eagle feather may be about strength, a crow/raven feather may be about the unconscious, the peacock feather about beauty and transcendence, and owl feather may be about wisdom.
fence: A social barrier or what you use to segregate. Feelings about territoriality. (see trapped)
feces: aspects of self or life that you may judge to be dirty/negative, repulsive, and and/or undesireable, or shameful. If the feces is everywhere then perhaps the problem is pervasive or that you need to rid yourself of it. If you're constipated it could be that you're being overly controlled, or controlling i.e. what is called anal retentive. (see defecate)
field: An open area away from people where you can be with your natural self. Freedom fgrom social pressure. A feeling state, or the general career you find your self in e.g. your "field" of interest. (see landscape)
fight (ing): Anger and frustration, a release of pent-up energy, violent resolution, or just fighting for something such as your honor or autonomy.
fire: Passion, spirit, energy, or cleansing. A desire to destroy or to be renewed. Desire to rid oneself of something hurtful to self or others.
I recently had a friend talk of a dream where there were "walls of fire" that stood in his way from continuing down a road. Some of these walls he could overcome, but one was intractable. The "Wall of Fire" could be an event or a person that has become an obstruction to your forward progress.
flood:Overwhelming emotion of any kind, such as negative emotions or fear (see also tidal wave, hurricane and water below). One can also be overwhelmed by circumstances and dream of floods.
flower(s): Jung saw the rose as representing the Mandala, a symbol of the unconscious self. He thought that dreams with roses were very spiritual in nature. Lilies might represent the Trinity or the Virgin Mary, Easter, rebirth, or royalty (as in the fleur di lis).
Flowers were used by mystics for metaphysical purposes. Lavender is a flower placed under a pillow to encourage dreams. Look to see what flowers mean to you in your daily life (love, sex, commitment, recognition, relationship, spiritual, sympathy, or celebration?).
The flower symbolism associated with poppies is beauty, magic, consolation, fertility and eternal life.
Tulips mean eternal life and are heralds of spring. Tulips also are symbolic of fame and perfection
. Foxglove flowers have both positive and negative symbolic meanings.They are said to sometimes hurt and sometimes heal. In the language of flowers, foxglove is associated with insincerity.
The morning glory is appropriately named, because the flower blooms in the morning and dies by the afternoon. Georgia O'Keeffe brought the calla lily to prominence with her series of close-up paintings of single calla lily flowers. She wanted the viewer to look closely at the fundamental form of the flower without any preconceived notions. Many of her paintings are considered by some to be spiritual in nature. The concept of "seeing" something with no preconceived notions is often the Eastern way of seeing somethings true nature. The idea that our judgments and expectations obscure reality
is discussed in The Dragon's Treasure. Also, her paintings of all flowers were quite sensual in nature.
"If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awake - Aye, what then?"
Flowers and their essences are often used to deal with depression (St. John's Wort), sleeplessness and stress reduction (Passion Flower, though Chamomile works well also). For the incubation of dreams Mugwort, Lavender, and Chamomile are the most frequently employed. They can be used as an oil, tea, or in a fresh floral display. Often Lavender is placed as a sachet under a pillow before sleep.
flying: Independence, sometimes hard fought for. The overcoming of obstacles. Freedom from being grounded in the ordinary or chaotic emotions of life.
Flying can also represent the gaining of spiritual insight, the transformation of conventional thought and eluding the limiting effects of gravity. The same could be said for helicopters and elevators—any vertical ascent may symbolize evolving spiritual issues. (see theDreamDragon blog, also March 10 of the same blog)
fog: Confusion; to obfuscate or hide from sight. Lack of clarity. Something to obscure or confused; mysterious. Is the fog frightening or oppressive? Why? Is there something in your life that you can't quite see that is bothering you?
forest: The world of the unconscious and strange yet magical forces of your inner nature. If lost in the woods, it could indicate your mental state of being lost, or confused, or being without direction.
"[A reader] does not despise real woods because he has read of enchanted woods: the reading makes all real woods a little enchanted."
fort: Defense or defended self. The need to defend, or consider the need to fortify (steel yourself, or to nourish yourself), or to add some suplement to your diet or life.
freeze: Emotional coldness or rigidity. To hold something rigid in time, or place.
frustration: real life frustrations, thwarted intentions, or expectations. (see anger)
funeral: Feelings about death. It could also be a health warning. The end of something. To bury the past.
furniture: Attitudes and beliefs from your childhood, your identity, what you show to others about you.
table: family unity–stable, or wobbly?
chair: take time and contemplate. If in a chair off to the side you may be feeling cast aside. To be offered a chair may to be offered help or advice; perhaps you should take it?
bed: your intimate self. If you can't find it are you having difficulties with your intimate self? If floating up from the bed you may be feeling disconnected from those around you. Do you need to tone yourself down? If wetting the bed you may be feeling out of control with some part of your life. Do you worry about being accepted?
lamp: guidance and hope, inspiration and/or enlightenment (I see the light!). If it's dim then you may be feeling a little overwhelmed and are having trouble finding your way. If in a religious dream a dim light could refer to the dimming or loss of ones faith.
gangster: A rule by force.
garage: This image takes on meaning when you explore what you feel when in your own garage both in the sleeping and waking dream.
garbage: Cleaning up and throwing away. What are you ready to give up or get rid of? Garbage could also refer to how you are feeling about yourself. Do you feel useless, like so much garbage?
garden: The inner self, the soul, and your personal attributes and their growth and development. With weeds, you may want to look at parts of your self that are disagreeable and need to be pulled out.
gas or gas station: What fuels or gives you energy?
gate: A threshold between things, events, and changes in your life.
A gate, or a door, can represent the passage from one part of your life to another, or between levels of maturity. Often teens that are about to graduate and enter adulthood have dreams of gates, or a ship that is about to leave port and embark on some journey. Basically, gates and doors suggest the transitions, or changes, in our life. They also are metaphors for our social, emotional, and psychological openness to others e.g. open or closed and thus may speak to the need for privacy, or to hide.
Some entrances represent boundaries, or limits, to be overcome. In the houses of our dreams doors are entrances to different aspects of our self e.g. feelings, attitudes, and beliefs–the rooms of the self. Some doors, or gates, lead to unknown spaces and thus represent an opening to the unconscious. People knocking at our door can be a metaphor for opportunities being presented, or for some new relationship, or experience. (see door above)
ghost: Things that haunt us. If the ghost is a person that you know, it could represent the influence they might still have over you or be giving to you. It can also refer to guilty feelings.
It could also be unfinished business from the past (see haunted house).
giant: Power; inferiority if you are small and intimidated by the giant.
gift: Acknowledgment, reward, acceptance.
girl: The yin aspect of self and the receptive, nurturing quality of self. Whereas a girlfriend is the feminine ideal. What qualities of the ideal are you willing to take into yourself?
glass: Could represent invisible yet real barriers between you and something, e.g., "the glass ceiling."
God and goddess: The divine masculine and feminine, e.g., creation and love. Men can be the god in their own story much as they are the hero of their story. For women, the goddess can represent that connection she has with all women. (See Sophia page)
government: What governs your actions? External control, regulation, and influence in your sense of well-being.
grave: Is something dead? What in you may have died?
Is there something you would like to bury, or keep hidden, or left in the unconscious?
greedy: Unfilled desires.
guard: Protection. Where do you need to be vigilant?
home: The center of your being, your spiritual self.
homeless: Spiritually deprived. The absence of security.
hose: The flow of emotions. It may indicate how well you communicate emotions.
hospital: Healing–need for, or the process of. Body, or mind healing, or the worries you may have about your health.
The meaning of this symbol can also be affected by your experiences with hospitals.
hostage: Imprisoned, controlled, as in "holding yourself hostage."
house: Your being, your self.
Each room in a house may represent an aspect of your personality (see below). It may represent all our emotions, ideas, beliefs, and creativity. Basically it is our identity–who we think we are.
The condition of the house will provide clues as to your current state of well being e.g. a leaky roof may symbolize the need for better coping strategies; a house in ruins could suggest that a way of being is no longer useful to you, or a certain personality structure has broken down; a house on fire could be about passion, anger, or the need for an emotional cleansing.
apartment: A part of the total.
attic: Higher consciousness (spiritual self) or the stored past. Repressed thoughts. Your intellectual self. Goals and aspirations. A cluttered attic may suggest that you need to organize your thoughts better.
basement: The unconscious self.
bathroom: Place of cleansing or letting go.
bedroom: Intimacy and privacy.
ceiling: Your upper limits.
door: Access and mobility, threshhold to change (are you being invited in or shut out? Is the door open or locked? Is the door large or small, inviting or intimidating? These aspects of the door will help decipher its meaning.
diningroom: a quest to know something (to take it in); an important decision. If eating with others it can be your acceptance of others in your life, to eat alone might mean the opposite.
floor: Basic foundation of the self.
foundation: What you have built your life upon. How sound is it i.e. is it strong or crumbling?
kitchen: Nourishment, warmth spiritual nourishment, healing– the nurturing mother. It's also a place of creation and transformation.
porch: Where you meet the world. Where you are approachable.
roof: Protection (this includes our philosophy and beliefs that we use for protection). If caving in, then perhaps your world is caving in or you don't feel safe– perhaps there's a need for new coping stratedies (see ruins). If standing on the roof, there is a heightened awareness of something. A roof garden may suggest mental growth and development, insight.
room(s): a feeling state, aspect of yourself. If it's a room not seen before ( or an extra room) it may represent aspects of yourself (e.g. abilities, traits, or fears) unnoticed. Rooms without doors or windows could be about limiting access or parts of self that are shut off. It's also not unlike a womb.
stairs: Going higher, your aspirations. Going down, where you want to be grounded. Steps toward a goal.
wall: A defense barrier or something you may have partitioned off from yourself or the world.
window: What you are willing to see and allow others to see of you.
howling: Wounded feelings. A call for help. What has hurt you?
hunt: A quest.
hurricane: Destructive emotions. (tornadoes, tidal waves, floods, and tsunamies also fit in this category).
husband or wife: The yang or yin part of yourself.
hell: Feared emotions, threats, and misery. When you see hate all around, you may be projecting your hatred of self onto the outside world, thus creating your own hell.
identical twin: A reflection of yourself.
immobile: Terrorized. What is preventing your growth?
illness: Work on your well-being. Are you holding in some anger or resentment? Are you using sickness to gain attention? What old wounds need healing?
inheritance: Something of value from your past. Something gained through a relationship.
injection: Something being forced on you.
invasion: An attack or forceful intrusion. Made vulnerable, demeaned, overwhelmed.
An invasion dream can include any overwhelming circumstance, emotional or physical, that produces stress and anxiety. When one feels that who they are is drowning, or have become inconsequential, insignificant and/or inferior. This can be caused by too much stimulation over too long a period, or too little stimulation over too long a period.
There are those who believe there are people who can magically project their ideas into your dream by entering it themselves. Though I don't subscribe to this, T.V. commercials and movies are often designed to "plant" information and ideas into the subconscious which can then be processed through the dream's normal system of memory consolidation. Over time these images and suggestions begin to invade our conscious mind. They can be particularly noticeable during dreams. In this way advertisers and politicians have been 'invading' our dreams for years.
insects: Irritation, as in what is bugging you? The attributes of certain insects can be used to represent what is going on. For example, bees, though communal, are individually self-sacrificing. Spiders may indicate that you feel caught up in something, and fireflies can indicate inspiration, as in a light turning on.
invention or inventing: Your creative essence.
invisibility: Loss of self or being dispassionate and uninvolved.
iron: Steadfastness, strength, and endurance.
island: Solitude or wanting to be separate, or feeling lonely, or to escape something. Sometimes it represents the self rising out of the unconscious. One can isolate themselves by identifying too strongly with some belief, or group of people.
jade: Good fortune.
Also see the color green.
jailer: Anything that restricts self-expression, such as guilt or self-criticism.
jewels or jewelry: Things that you or your unconscious mind might hold dear, such as your honesty or the eternal aspect of self, your dignity.
journey: How you are feeling about your life.
judge: The inner critic or your conscience. Wisdom and decision making. A jury might indicate that you are in the process of making decisions or that you have made a decision but have not faced it yet.
jungle: Something coming up from the unconscious. This may have unrealized anxieties attached as well.
key: A solution, as in "the key to something." Or, what will give access to something or someone, such as the "key to someone's heart."
"To every man is given the key to the gates of heaven; the same key opens the gates of hell."
In short, beware the trickster (see archetypes).
kidnapped: Negative feelings might have taken you over. Confronting these feelings will help release you from their control.
kill or killing: Undermining or being undermined in your status, self-confidence, or effectiveness. The active killing could be you restricting some part of yourself or your development (this need not always have a negative meaning—some things may be better off dead or gone). Also ending something e.g. a relationship, a way of being, a personality trait, etc. The act is a symbol of inner conflict.
king: One's father and his approval, or disapproval. What are you ruled by? (see archetypes)
kissing: Affection and intimacy–a desire to be connected (see marriage).
kitchen: see house
knapsack: Past difficulties, feelings, or ideas about ourselves that we carry around (see luggage).
knife: The cutting of something e.g. out of your life, your wounding of self (self-criticism, a personal mistake), or another if a stabbing is included in the dream. Cutting yourself off from something. Cutting a rope could be about cutting yourself free from some bondage. Can be similar to sword (see sword).
knock: Opportunity, something trying to get your attention, a pun for not dimissing something without looking into it e.g. "don't knock it if you haven't tried it".
knot: A tangle of emotions or lies; dependencies as in entanglement; or tensions, as in "all knotted up."
laboratory: Exploring something; experimenting or examining options.
ladder: Reaching upward for something.
lake: The unconscious or the inner world of your feelings. This symbol has a more contained quality regarding your emotions than perhaps the ocean symbol has and perhaps not as deep in nature. In Celtic legend, the Lady of the Lake, as in the Arthurian tales, may represent your inner feminine power. She is a water spirit or spirit of your unconscious emotions. Like the goddess Dianna, she can be a huntress as well.
lame: Holding back or restricting or being restricted perhaps a loss of confidence. What seems to have caused the lameness?
lamppost: If there's a lamppost in your dream then perhaps some light needs to be shed on some dark situation or that there is a light to take you out of your depression.
landmines: This can represent some extreme stress and fear making mistakes. Emotions (or even ideas) that have the potential to explode.
landscapes: These can reflect attitudes or moods and what is beautiful within you. What attitude you meet life with. A gray and gloomy landscape may reflect self-doubts whereas a sunny landscape may reflect your optimism. It can also represent what's going on around you i.e. the general viewpoint of the people around you. How you present your outer self (see house, clothing). Your mental viewpoint.
What does the landscape mean to you?
language (strange or foreign to you): Whatever is in you that has as yet been put into words. Mysteries to be uncovered. Frustration with not being able to understand someone or to communicate. (see choke)
lawn: Controlled or even cropped growth.
lead: Something heavy on your mind or weighing you down, a burden.
leader: To be sure and confident of yourself. Is anyone following?
leash: Being controlled or controlling.
left (as in direction): Intuition, or in a political context, it could mean inclusive, accepting, and open, or whatever your definition of the left side of the political spectrum. The left hand might indicate the less dominant parts of yourself or the parts that you may be hiding, while the right represents the self-confident and dominant parts of your nature. A pun for being left out. Does the left hand know what the right is doing?
leopard: See animals
letter: Communication, news from someone. It might suggest an intuitive communication. Could this be a message from the unconscious? To tear up or burn a letter could be about letting go of past mistakes or memories. Consider the pun "let her".
library: Knowledge and search for knowlege and understanding. Studying a situation. Stored memories (see book). The collected memories and ideas of your personal unconscious, or of the world unconscious. If you can't find a particular book, then perhaps there's some part of you that's missing or underdeveloped.
lie or liar: Are you trying to deceive yourself or someone else? What are you hiding or hiding from? (see also mask)
lie detector: Loss of confidence, or loss of faith in someone or something?
light: One's vision, being awake as opposed to asleep, to have insight. When it is in the form of a lighthouse, it may indicate a warning (see sunrise). Clarity, guidance, finding a truth.
Besides insight, to see light in your dream, might represent illumination, clear mind, guidance, and plain understanding. Is the light being shed on a once cloudy situation or problem? You might also consider the color of the light (see colors above). To see a bright light in your dream, might indicate that you need to move toward a higher level of awareness and feeling.
Bright light dreams sometimes show up for those who are near death. To see soft or shadowy lighting in your dreams, might indicate feelings and thoughts from the primal aspects, or less developed parts of your unconscious. To dream that you cannot turn on the light, might suggest a lack of insight and perspective on a situation, or a feeling of paralysis with regard to what you need to do in a worrisome situation.
To see a glow in your dream, might symbolize enlightenment , or that new light has been shed onto a situation. You might have gained a fresh perspective and reached a welcome understanding.
To see an aura around you or someone else, might suggest that some important information is being given to you in the dream and you need to pay close attention to the message, or that you need to draw on this energy for strength.
To dream that you have a halo might signify that you are a perfectionist. It may also represent some significant spiritual development and supernatural energy.
Some say auras or light hallucinations in dreams can warn of an oncoming migraine. These auras can also indicate an on-coming nightmare.
lightning: A flash of insight; an awakening or epiphany. Note if you have fear associated with this.
little: Insignificant. Vulnerable.
lizard: Cold blood. Where do you need to show more warmth?
lost: Confusion, loneliness, being in a new and unknown situation. Being without direction. Some part of yourself is lost, or missing. To lose is similar to failing. It can also point to the need to regain what has been lost.
Love: The idealised inner self. Can be a statement about being loved, or not being loved and/or craving it. (see Dream Dragon Blog on April 25, May 1st and 3rd for more on the concept). Can be a statement about acceptance or acknowledged (see money).
luggage: The habits or problems that we carry around, such as emotions, grievances, and beliefs. (see suitcase)
lumber: What we have built out of, or in, our lives.
machine: The automatic systems of the body that need no thought. Mechanical behaviors, or ways of thinking that you or others may have.
magician: Command of the inner and outer worlds (see archetypes under wizard). The transformational part of your being. Magicians can also be masters of illusion. Are you trying to fool someone?
This symbol includes the Shaman, prophet, sage, trickster, doctor, wizard, sorcerer, sorceress, magician, conjurer, and king.
The Magician is also similar to the Alchemist—the agent of change, the magical messenger and transformer (of things, of ideas, of people). The Alchemist can represent our ability to transform our feeling state and our very nature. By bringing things to consciousness the Alchemist aids in their transformation in that you can only deal with something when you are aware of it, when it's out in the open (see the Shadow). C.G. Jung saw the experimentations of the Alchemists of the 17th century as the personification of the process of , or the reconciliation of opposites in order attain self-actualization.
The magician, sorcerer, or alchemist is the magical messenger and transformer (of things, of ideas, of people). He or she can represent our ability to transform our feeling state and our very nature (the gender can tell you what part of your nature is transforming or needs to transform).
By bringing things to consciousness the Alchemist aids in the transformation in that you can only deal with something when you are aware of it, when it's out in the open (see the Shadow). C.G. Jung saw the experimentations of the Alchemists of the 15th century and later as the personification of the process of Individuation, or the reconciliation of opposites in order to attain self-actualization and wholeness.
The Wizard is a father archetype and wise old man archetype—the wisdom, authority and strength of one's life.(see archetype above)
The Rider-Waite Tarot (below)-is the male power of creation, he can make things happen by the power of the word. He can be both a healer and a snake oil salesman.
The conjurer represents the ability of us all to change our moods and attitudes. In some Native cosmologies the Trickster was co-creator of the universe and even though his exploits might seem foolish, he gradually brings about transformation. In some ways Jesus can be viewed as the trickster.
The Shaman aids in connecting with the inner world—the unconscious.The doctor is the "restorer of opposites", or more precisely, the "restorer of balance."
Some of these symbols have dark meanings as well and can therefor be seen as the shadow—the unrecognized part(s) of ourselves. For example, the trickster can be seen as the least developed part of our personality and be seemingly crazy and unpredictable, or the "black magician" that sometimes symbolizes our selfish or negative ways that we may be using our power. A witch can conjure good or evil—bring light or darkness with her spells.
Questions to ask yourself if these symbols show up in your dreams: Are you wanting to change something, or someone? Are you experiencing, or have you experienced, transformation? Have you obtained something through trickery, or deceit? Are you trying to fool someone into thinking that something untrue is true? Has anyone been doing any of this to you? What mood, or attitude do you need to change?
The asking questions of a dream is an effective technique designed to get deeper as well as more pragmatic meaning from the dream. You may want to add your answers to your journal.
magic:If magic shows up in a dream, or someone performs magic, this may mean that you shouldn't believe what you see. That you may be trying to solve a problem through wishes (magical thinking—irrational acts designed to solve a problem) versus facing the problem squarely. Sometimes people resort to a religion, or a cult, or a belief system magically thinking that to follow its precepts will cure (rid) them of a problem. It can also mean a power that is stronger than you, or an unconscious force (a repressed memory?) trying to make itself known.
Sometimes the feeling of magic or something magical is one of awe, inspiration, grandeur, gloriosity, majesty, or the divine. This may be the soul's presence pushing toward the sublime, our drive to create, and an urge toward transformation and transcendence of the everyday.
The loss of a magical power in a dream could refer to a loss of 'magic' in your life, or just the loss of power in your life.
Is magic in a dream a symbol of a "higher Truth" or the symbol of the "charlatan?" Is someone trying to pull one over (trick) on you? Are you fooling yourself or seeking to transcend the ego-self?
maggots: A sense of illness in something or yourself. This may include unwholesome attitudes and thoughts that you may have.
magnet: Something that you are drawn to or repelled from.
magnifier: To make you more clear and conscious. To look at something more closely. Are you making something bigger than it is?
mail: News or guidance; basic communication.
make-up: Self-image, especially true with females, what you show the world or use to cover up yourself. Too much make-up may suggest a desperate cover-up. Consider also the pun to "make something up" e.g. a lie, a fib.
mandala: a map into our inner nature, from the conscious mind to the unconscious. Carl Jung saw it as an image representing the self and the wholeness within us. It expresses the fully Individuated person. It is said that the Mandala can be read like a dream so as to get some idea of one's progress in the march toward wholeness. (see the Mandala section in DreamScapes III on this website)
map: Used to clarify your direction in life and an indicator of guidance or needing guidance. (see Mandala above)
marriage: Commitment. A bringing together as one or a coming together of parts, such as the conscious and unconscious. The union of the anima and animus, a new beginning.
marsh: A feeling of being bogged down and of being held back.
There can be a foreboding quality to this as well.(see mud)
mary and joseph: or any biblical or religious figure consider first their meaning in the context of the religion. Secondarily these figures can represent certain aspects of yourself e.g. Mary and Joseph were the "caretakers" and "nurturers" of Jesus thus these attributes could also be identified with you in some way. They also were "chosen" for this task thus they can represent your own "chosen" status for some task.
mask: The face that we put on that we want the public to see (or a mask we wear to fool ourselves) but it also covers up what we are afraid to show. These show up in the waking dream as well. Masks can also provide the wearer with a new identity and a chance to try on something new or to take on the qualities of the mask, as in animal masks or the mask of the clown or some celebrity.
maze: Confusion; being lost, or an intricate problem. A gauntlet to be negotiated. Consider also the pun a-maze-d.
medicine: Healing (emotional, spiritual, physical)–the situation, feeling, and other objects in the dream might give you more information about what needs to be healed, or what has, or is, healed (see hospital, or doctor).
meeting: Relationship building. A coming together.
melt: A softening of your position on something or someone, including yourself.
merry-go-round: Thoughtless, boring, and meaningless repetition. Wanting to get off the merry-go-round of your life.
messiness: Disorder, chaos. Life or project in a mess, or the need to clean something up e.g. a mistake, a relationship. (see also feces)
microscope:Need to look at something more closely, especially something not seen, or noticed, to become more aware. or to see the finer detail, or finer print (see magifier)
military: Aggression and threat; organized and sanctioned violence. But for some, there may be an element of protection. (see also soldier, war, gun, enemy, fear, explosion, and attack)
In my case, having spent time in the Marines and combat in Vietnam (helicopters), military dreams often reflect my own experiences (feelings, memories) and thus symbolizes something more personal in my dreams (e.g. frustrations, out-of-control aspects (or need for control), suppressed fears, pride, freedom from restrictions, mustering courage, camaraderie, loneliness, struggle, fatigue, longing, or am I good enough?). For each of us every dream image has a personal aspect. All a dictionary can do is help to point you in a direction, especially if you haven’t a clue (which is often where I find myself with some of my dreams).
milk: A mother's love and nurturance and nourishment.
To milk something e.g. to squeeze out from a situation, person or circumstance all that you can, is another meaning. Many symbols can be metaphors or puns. If spilled it could symbolize a pun for "don't cry over spilled milk" e.g. what's done is done, the past is the past.
mine: Hidden riches. Hidden ideas and thoughts. Your unconscious self (see cave or basement).
minotaur: Or any human beast combination might speak to your acting on blind impulse somewhere in your life. The animal aspect of your nature. A Centaur (a human trunk with a horse body) might be referring to your bodily desires while the Minotaur may represent the more intellectual such as greed, selfishness, or self-protective natures.
mirror: Vanity, self-consciousness, looking at the image that you present to the world, a reflection of your identity, or what's going on in your life, or in you. Some think that mirrors are entries into the soul.
See the following blogs concerning the meaning of mirrors in dreams:
mistletoe: Symbol of love and the bearing of many children. Symbol of peace between enemies. Certain European Celts believed that children came from the male spirits of trees. Some Australian Aborigines believed that mistletoe contained the souls of children who could be reborn if a pregnant woman walked nearby. Mistletoe was also thought to be an energizing or healing plant.
molasses: see syrup
money: What you value. When found, it could be your finding of something valuable, and when lost, a loss of value or a feeling of inadequacy. Money can also be a metaphor for being loved.
monsters: Something that you are afraid of in yourself or another person. Negative forces within and without.
moon: Romance and love, a reflection of the inner self, your inner soul, intuition, and even irrationality, as in lunacy. The moon is also associated with your feminine aspects (see anima/animus in the archetypes section), moods and menstruation cycles.
Each phase of the moon can represent a phase of life e.g. a waxing crescent could be youth, the full moon could be adulthood while the waning moon represents old age. The number of moons in the sky can have significance as well. The moon can also represent ones moods and the cyclical nature of life or events in your life.
Meaning of the Moon Tarot: Mystery. Nightmares. Dreams—the fears that grow in the dark. Secrets. The Moon lights the gateway between the physical and metaphysical, the conscious and subconscious realms. The Moon suggests creativity and intuition.
See the December 24, 2010 entry on the Dream Dragon Blog for more detail re: Moon Meaning.
morning: New beginnings, a fresh start, or new or endless potential and promise (see sunrise or East–as a direction)
moth: Compulsive urges. Are you being lead to your destruction in the flame of something (See fire)? Do you feel compelled by some force?
mountain: ascending—aspiration; descending—the ending or "It's all downhill." A place of spirits (as in the Inuit (Eskimo) word: Torngat. These mountains are said to sing when the wind passes through them and gives the feeling of another realm.) The mountai top could be your intellectual, or spiritual aspirations as well as your achievements. Gaining another and/or higher perspective on something.
moving: Taking on a new start; a new life.
mud: Messy feelings; feeling stuck.(see marsh)
music: Harmony of expression; your creative side.
There is music in the Sound of the Universe—Aum
A mystical or sacred symbol of the religions of India. It is the primordial sound at the creation of the universe—the "seed" symbol in Buddhism and a symbol of God in Sikh theology. It is the transcendental state of the undifferentiated "I"—the background for all other states of consciousness.
This symbol, according to Vedic tradition, also represents the other three states of consciousness as well: Wakefulness, dreaming and sleeping without dreams.
Also see "colors" above. An 'Aum' chant used in meditation to focus, or still the mind can be found on the "Dreams and Meditation Page." Scroll down to the Tibetan Chant.
mute: To be speechless or not communicating something.
nail: Bonding. Connection.
naked: Vulnerable and exposed. To drop the façade.
narrow: Restricted, as in space or point-of-view.
native: The intuitive self. Your primordial self. That part of you that has natural wisdom.
needle: A piercing insight with the power to repair.
nest: Your emotional dependence on someone
night: Mystery, unconsciousness, inner awareness, or even danger.
nightmares: This is a special category and can't be fully described within the context of this dictionary. Please go to the following links for an in-depth look at nightmares:
Also see the section on nightmares on this website.
North (as a direction): The place of winter, the wisdom of age, completion, teaching, and service. As with all directions, one might ask, "Where am I heading?" (also see cross)
numbers: These can have personal as well as symbolic significance. A series of numbers can reflect a year, age, address, phone number, birth date, page of a book, etc.
Zero: The unconscious, the ultimate void and silence within us. The space between all words and thoughts. If you're into Tarot it's the first card, the "fool".
One: Yourself. Being alone or at one with everything. Unity. It is the beginning of everything, unless of course before the everything there was the nothing, and in that case, then zero is the beginning. But as zero it is also the end. In tarot it is the Magician who pulls the fool into the world. The Ace of Clubs in a deck of cards has sometimes been called the God Card. The ace (#1) is both 1st and last (the alpha and Omega), while the three lobes of the club represents the Holy Trinity (see #3).
Two: Duality, partnership, opposition. The need for unification?
Three: The trinity; the balance of opposites. Mind, body, and spirit as in the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Celts saw the triad as signifying something with interlocking and inseparable views, such as life, art, gods, social order, culture, concepts, and actions. Because three represents the balance of opposites, the Celts viewed the trinity as a symbol of strength. In the Celt traditions, there were many mutually supporting trinities, such as the mother, the mother goddess, and the goddess of war. Sometimes, as in the concept of the Celtic Triple Lunar Goddess, symbolizing the maiden, mother, and crone, or the waxing, full and waning moon, the number three can represent the three aspects of life. The Celts also used the Triskele (a pinwheel-like symbol with three conjoined spirals) to symbolize birth/death/rebirth.
From the ancient Greeks to the Romans, the Indo-europeans to the Celts of Gaul, England, Wales, Ireland, Spain, Saxony and Italy, the empires of China, Arabia, and the Northern Norse tribes the triune God and Goddess abound. The deity comes in the form of a trinity.
Four: The physical; stability and strength; the earth and its four compass directions. The Christian cross (see cross).
Five: The human body (note the five points created by the body by spreading your arms and your legs). It also unites all the previous numbers as in 1+4 and 2+3. It speaks to the five senses, and with the Celts, it was frequently seen in the pentagram or the pentacle and spoke to the mystical and used as a magical tool to keep evil away.
Six: Represents symmetry and the unity of the body and spirit. Star of David.
Seven: A week of days; the seven charkas; seven notes in music. The ancient Celts claimed that this number denoted value; it was an extremely important number. In the "Otherworld," all the houses had seven doors each leading to seven paths. Each door led to a room that contained seven cauldrons filled with meat. Some Celtic kings took a new wife every seven years. During the middle ages, there were the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, anger, and sloth. When most fortunate, one is said to be in seventh heaven.
There are seven wonders of the ancient world, seven visible colors in a rainbow, seven notes to a musical scale (do, re, mi, fa, so, la, ti), and seven levels of heaven, seven chakras, or energy centers in the body, and seven days of the week. Seven represents universal balance. (see colors above)
If you're a strong and devout follower of your religion the number 7 (or any number for that matter) can have specific meaning for you for example: There are 7 heavens and seven earths of the Qur'an. There are 7 long lived personalities in the pantheon of the Hindu religion.
Eight: Death and resurrection; eternity; the cosmic consciousness.
Nine: Childbirth (because of the nine-month gestation) and the beginning of something new.
Ten: A new beginning.
Eleven: The eleventh hour or the last minute.
Twelve: A complete cycle, as in a 12-month year.
Thirteen: A symbol for bad luck; there were thirteen who attended the last supper of Jesus of Nazareth.
One can also feel like a million or a million bucks.
nurse: Healing care and compassion or need for same.
obstacle: Something preventing or in your way. Criticism can
become an obstacle to you feeling good about yourself.
ocean: Vast and deep feelings, emotions. Overwhelming
emotions or stormy emotions, depending on the action of the
ocean or sea.
officer: Your attitudes regarding authority or your father.
oily: Slick, fawning, or fl attery in general. Indirectness.
oracle: Prophecy or what might be coming clear to you.
orchard: Being fruitful.
orchestra: The relationship between different aspects of
yourself or your partner or colleagues.
orphan: Isolation and loss of protection or connection with
your origins. There are also aspects of abandonment and being
unwanted or rejected and not belonging.
outer space: Transcending your personal reality. Exploring beyond the self, broadening perspective. Consider the pun, "spacing out" perhaps you need to concentrate or focus more. There's also the pun, "spacey" in that you've got your head in the clouds and need to get more grounded e.g. down to Earth (practical and focused).
oyster (or clam or any shellfish): Hard on the outside and soft
on the inside. What are you protecting in yourself?
packing: Leaving; looking to be more independent; making a
pain: A confl ict or problem; something that hurts you.
painting: Creativity, self-expression, intuition. As a decoration,
it could also represent the making of changes within yourself or
in your life-palace: The kingdom of the self?
paper: If blank it could mean an unexpressed idea or the
potential for something.
parachute: Rescue from failing.
paralysis: Resistance to change.
park: Your public self, controlled nature. What are you
controlling in yourself?
party: Celebration. If the party is for you, then perhaps it is
acclaim or recognition you are looking for.
passport or driver's license: Your identity and freedom of
movement. A passport might also indicate your desire to explore
something or to have an adventure.
passenger: Feeling at the effect of life and not intentionally
causing it. Depending on another person for your opinions and
pastor: See priest below.
path: Your life's direction. It's similar to journey.
pearl: Wisdom or tears indicating loss or sorrow. Transformation
of an irritant into something of value.
people: Look at how you relate to the people in the dream to
give some idea of how you are relating to others in general.
Their behaviors and actions are nearly always a reflection of
you. When you find yourself in a large crowd, it can be an
indicator of your involvement in an issue or in the society you
pet: Self-love, as in what about yourself do you care for?
phoenix: Rebirth and renewal, starting over. (See resurrection.) It's also the feminine aspects in opposition to the Dragon's masculine. The battle between the masculine and feminine archetypes is a struggle toward wholeness. One must learn to embrace both aspects within them in order to be a wholly functioning human being.
photographs: Storage of memories, your self-image, or past
experience. It can also mean a vision or your image of an event
or the world in general.
pig: Greedy and smart.
pillar: Something that holds you up, that supports you. Consider "pillar of the community".
pimple: A character flaw.
pit: Trapped in a difficult situation. Getting trapped in your
negative judgments and point-of-view. (see abyss)
plate: What's on your plate? What are you having to deal with
right now? If the plate is being shared then what are you having
to compete for? An empty plate might be symbolic of your
needs not being met.
plumbing or plumber: Emotional release It can even indicate
a health issue with regard to your internal plumbing such as the
colon, kidneys, bladder, or circulatory system.
poison: Something that will not be good for you. Destroying you sense of self, or reputation.
pool: What is going on inside you? If underwater: what have
position: Where you stand in life. Are you above it all, side by
side and thus equal to others or keeping up? Is something beneath
you. Are you close or distant to something or somebody? Are
you out in front and leading or in the back trying to catch up or
dealing with your past.
praying: Seeking help; surrendering of yourself.
pregnancy: What you may be ready to produce or give birth
to e.g. idea, goal, plan, or new way of being.
prehistoric: Primal urges, such as territoriality, or fear. Old way of doing things.
priest: (minister, pastor, rabbi, imam, guru, rinpoche, lama, zen master, etc.) The spiritual side of self. A nonsexual relationship. The keeper or interpreter of the word of God. A spiritual teacher. A leader into enlightenment. This image can also have some very strong symbolic meanings depending on your experiences with priests.
prison: Forced limitations. Punishment. Being controlled by
prostitute: promiscuity, ones own sexual value, have you sold out your values?
psychic: Expanded awareness.
puddle: Small but sometimes messy emotions.
puppet: Fear of being controlled, manipulated, or powerless.
pushing: Exerting your will or someone else's will being forced
on to you. Coercion.
purse: (or wallet) something valued and your sense of power and identity. The condition of the purse can relate to your self-image.
quest: Searching, soul-seeking, or adventure.
quicksand: Insecurity, loss of personal control, being mired in
query or question: I have seen this in my dreams as either me
or someone else asking a question. It has represented curiosity
or questioning of something believed or some alleged truth. If
an answer is in the dream, listen carefully.
race: Rivalry, competition, or being in a hurry.
radar: Intuition. Awareness, as in being on someone's radar.
radio: What pictures are you picking up from other people?
railroad: Life direction—is it on track? An accepted direction
for your life. If you have missed the train, you may be feeling
left out of something.
rain: A release of emotion or threatening, as in raining on one's
Rainbow: See color section above.
reading: Exploring alternate realities or as escapism.
recipe: Formulaic pattern.
redhead: Tempestuous and dramatic.
remodeling: Restructuring the house of the self.
resurrection: Awakening of your spiritual nature, an
right: As in direction: the dominant hand or right as in wrong.
Moving from right to left could be something moving from
being dominant to less dominant or indicate that that some is
ring: Representing a wholeness, the cycle of something, a
completion, or a pledge or commitment.
Note that this definition was the foundational theme of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."
J.R.R Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings)
riot: Loss of individuality.
river: The feelings that flow through you. The events of your life
flowing by. Are there any rapids, or is it smooth and tranquil?
road: See path.
rocket: Breaking free of restrictions or self-imposed limits.
roller coaster: The ups and downs of life.
rose: Goodness, beauty, and integration.
rowing: Trying to get somewhere.
ruins: Some part of you, your life, or a goal, both physically or emotionally that is in ruins. Some aspect of yourself that needs to come to an end, has come to an end, or that you no longer need. To see a castle in ruins could be refering to your sense of protection is in ruins (see roof). (see http://thedreamdragon.blogspot.com/2012/06/houses-in-dreams.html for more on the meaning of ruins)
ruler: to manage others, to 'lord' it over them (see also king), to take the 'measure' of someone or thing e.g. to evaluate them. Not measuring up to some expectation or standard (of self or others).
running: Rapid movement. Trying to get somewhere fast; impatience. Running away could be about avoiding something or someone, while running toward could be about 'chasing' after something e.g. trying to achieve something or become something (this of course can be seen both positively and negatively).
rusty: Deterioration or negligence. Aging. My uncle used to call
his old age "the rust years" as opposed to the golden years.
safari: Confronting your instincts. Freedom from confinement
and or civilization.
sailing: How are you dealing with and navigating life? Note
wind, choppy seas, whether you are sinking, marooned, or in a
calm sea etc. (See boat and ocean/lake.)
sale: An opportunity or a bargain. What is or is not in reach?
salesman: Someone trying to influence or con you.
sand: Insecurity or barrenness.
sandpaper: Abrasive or something you might to rub away.
satan: Things in the inner and outer world that you may fear
or you think are out of your control. Something or someone
adversarial or confrontational as in an attacker or accuser.
scar: A healed wound.
school: What do you need to learn? Discipline and
science: Understanding, creative and rational. Perhaps looking
at yourself analytically.
screwdriver: Working on a connection.
seasick: Emotions that make you sick.
secretary: The other woman. The practical, ordered, and
business-like supporter. Where do you need to get organized?
seed: A beginning, potential growth.
senility: Declining abilities.
sewing: Joining together, repairing, and restoring. A new
attitude being created.
sex: Look to see what the setting is where the sex takes place
and what the drama is surrounding it. Is it in an affair or
exhibitionistic? Sex in a dream can speak to the challenges that
face you in your life and how you are dealing with them.
Frequently, sex in dreams is speaking about your relationship
with yourself. For example, lust can suggest that somewhere in
your life you are not fulfilled. A longing for a sexual relationship
that is not being acknowledged in your waking life may show
up in your dreams. Absence of sex in dreams may be seen as a
loss of adequacy or self-esteem.
shack: An undeveloped part of yourself.
shadow: The unaccepted and sometimes rejected part of
shark: Is there a powerful notion threatening?
shield: Defense, protection, closing off your vulnerability.
ship: How you are navigating the emotional waters. (See
shooting: Destroying/killing some aspect of yourself. Anger,
defense against something or someone
shower: Trying to get clean.
shrine: A sacred place within yourself.
skeleton: Something not fully developed, in the planning stage (at the barebones stage). It can also mean death, transformation, or change. They can also represent"skeletons in your closet", are you hiding something?
skull: Can mean death, or represent evil, or even the secrets of the mind. If talking to you it could be those aspects of yourself that you've rejected and are keeping hidden. Eventually, in order to maintain mental health and the sense of free-will, one has to learn to deal with these repressed aspects, or feelings.
skin: Your connection with the inner and outer world. Protection;
line of defense against hurts.
sky: Limitless freedom. Your potential and possibilities as in, "The sky's the limit" e.g. your hopes for something (especially if it's green). A red colored sky can signify danger, or something coming to an end, or just dawning. If the sky is falling, this can be about dashed hopes, or dreams, or some failing project, or even pessimism.
skunk: are you driving people away and turning them off? It can also express fear, especially if you imagine smelling it, or express a suspicion of something not seeming quite right, or of a lie. Is there some unexpressed anger?
smoke: Impending, or a warning of, danger, unseen as yet.
shovel: Looking into something, investigating, digging into
something. Unearthing something. If used while digging a hole, perhaps you are digging your self into a hole e.g. getting into something over your head?
slaughterhouse: Sacrificial death of something, martyrdom.
sleeping: Unaware of something. You need to be more conscious of what's going on around you. (see dreaming)
slime: Unclean emotions, untrustworthy.
snake: See animals.
soldier/warrior: Things, ideas, or people that we may be in
conflict with. It can mean a confrontation, challenge, or being
extremely defensive regarding something inside yourself or in
the waking world.
A Celtic warrior can be seen as representing the wild, less
organized side of yourself, and a Roman Soldier represents the
more disciplined side of your character or aspect of self.
Soldier:Things, ideas, or people we are in conflict with. It can mean a confrontation, challenge, or being extremely defensive regarding somthing inside yourself or in the waking world. (added as an addendum from pg.254 of the book.) War: Violent resolution...are there parts of you in conflict? (pg. 262) These are included here to show that there is diagnostic value to dreams.It may also be possible to identify mental disorders such as PTSD (also referred to as "Shell shock", and "Battle fatigue") through the adjunct analysis of dreams. In as much as dreams can also provide information on healing, attention to dream patterns could also be helpful to the therapuetic process.
The recurrence of this kind of dream and extreme anxiety symbolically represented within the context of the dream (e.g. storms at sea, etc.) can also add to the the diagnostic pattern.
According to Expert pages.com, "These recurrent images of the trauma intrude upon the victim's sleep in the form of disturbing dreams and nightmares. Unlike normal dreams, which utilize symbolism to conceal from consciousness the dreamer's actual life conflicts and concerns, PTSD dreams are often literal representations of the traumatic event. The starkly realistic presentation of the dreamer's traumatic experience reflects the psyche's inability to master, process and integrate these overwhelming stimuli, through the disguising processes of sublimation and symbol formation.
Acting Or Feeling As If The Traumatic Event Were Recurring (Includes A Sense Of Reliving The Experience, Illusions, Hallucinations And Dissociative Flashback Episodes, Including Those That Occur On Awakening Or When Intoxicated).
NOTE: Though alcohol, marijuana and cocaine tend to suppress dream recall, Barbiturates, anti-psychotics, sleeping pills and anti-anxiety pills drastically reduce dream recall as well. High stress itself will also make it more difficult to recall as will drugs to reduce that stress.
In short, the use of dream material in the diagnosis and intervention of PTSD may be negatively affected through the standard use of pharmaceuticals to deal with the symptoms of the trauma. (see: Taylor, Jeremy, Where People Fly and Water Runs Uphill, Warner Books, New York, 1992, Page 87)
Note: In young children, trauma-specific reenactment may occur.
The victim frequently feels a sense of deja vu as if reliving the experience, sometimes in the form of illusions or hallucinations, frequently when in physiologically altered states of consciousness such as those induced by alcohol, drugs or sleep. Young children may actually re-enact the traumatic events in their play behavior, alone or with others."
It has also been found that the intensity of dream material is affected by whether the person who has sustained the trauma had Life Long Nightmares (LLNM) prior to the trauma, or experienced them only after the trauma, see: ["A comparison of lifelong and posttrauma nightmares in civilian trauma sample:, Joanne Davis et al., Univ. of Tulsa ,Dreaming, Vol. 21, No. 1, pgs 70-80.]
•The modern "psychodynamic method" of therapy (not the old Freudian methodology) where one explores their feelings at some depth and thus expands their awareness of self has shown to be a quite effective therapeutic technique in PTSD as well. Again, exploring the unconscious projections of dream material can be a useful adjunct to this kind of intervention. However, what is often the intervention of choice, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) that is used to change the negative thoughts and flashbacks associated with PTSD, shows limited success for the short term,but is not necessarily the best choice for the long haul. http://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2010/01/psychodynamic-therapy.aspx
•Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing (EMDR) is a technique where rapid bilateral eye movement while reliving an emotional trauma can cause a competing demand in one's working memory, thus attenuating the vivid imagery that often accompanies PTSD trauma recall (For a good overview, see: "Bilateral Eye Movements, attentional flexibility and Metaphor Comprehension" by Don Kuiken, et al, Dreaming: Journal of the Association for the Study of Dreams, V. 20, No. 4, Dec 2010, pg 227-247) There is some recent research that questions whether eye movement is necessary to produce the results that can be gained by just reliving the trauma event. (see reasearch summary at PTSD Support Services.net June 15, 2011).
•Writing one's feelings down in a journal as though you were writing a letter to a well-loved and trusted confidant can also be extremely helpful as can talking with others who share similar experiences. As with most disturbances of the inner self one size does not fit all. Several approaches should be tried.
•The ancient Greeks used to treat some disorders at dream incubation centers called Asclepions. Here all diseases, or wounds whether of the body (soma) or the mind (psyche) were treated as spiritually affected. Because whatever affects the body affects the mind and vice versa, everything was considered psychosomatic.
Dream images can be treated through the therapeutic process of imagination either through the animating process of Carl Jung's "active imagination", or through the Dream Tending process championed by Dr. Steven Aizenstat.
For more on the frequency and treatment of PTSD in the military click on the following link:
spark: an idea, a new beginning, a new love–something new growing into something much bigger.
sparkling: if something is sparkling perhaps it's a signal to pay attention. How about the pun "all that glitters is not gold" e.g. don't be fooled by all the glitter of something. A feeling of joy, or happiness or desire for same. Something of value (see gold) (see also spark).
sparrow: see birds under animals
sphere: Completeness, wholeness. If it is a ball, it could
represent competition as in, the "ball is in your court."
spiral: Actions and behaviors that repeat over and over in your
life. Also "spiral out of control."
square: Stability, down-to-earth.
stalker or stalking: Most likely, you are being stalked by a
negative part of yourself trying to make itself known. If the
stalker is of the same gender as the dreamer, this could be the
shadow archetype making itself known. This could refl ect a
problem in your life wanting to be recognized.
starvation: Something within yourself or in your life that is
not being attended to.
statue: A rigid representation of something, yourself,
stealing: Taking something under false pretenses. Cheating
yourself or others. Look to see why the thief is stealing is there
something in you that is cutting corners because of some unmet
stick: Expressing anger or threat. They can also be phallic
symbols representing power (see gun). Various sticks, such as
walking sticks, wands, daggers, and swords, have all been used
suitcase: perhaps you need a change of scenery? Is this where you keep your life organized and together?
summer: growth, knowledge, expanding the realm of understanding, freedom, leisure, warmth of feeling.
summit: ambitions and goals, or a new perspective on something. (see mountain)
sumo: are you throwing your weight around?
sun: Vitality and warmth; life's energy. It could also represent
the light of God. Time periods of your life e.g. morning=the early years, midday=the middle years, and sunset=the waning years.
sunburn: an emotional problem or situation that should no longer be avoided. An urgent matter.
sundial: does something seem not quite real?
sunrise: might indicate new beginnings
whereas a sunset suggests closure and completion. Jung
thought of it as a symbol for divinity and the unity of self as in
representing the ultimate wholeness of people.
sunset: Wanting to quit or rest, the end of something. But also an opening to a new beginning (also see West below).
superhero: great ideas and talents, hidden abilities or desire for same. Sometimes this image is compensating for a lack in your waking life. Maybe you are taking on too much in your life?
supervillain: the negative aspects of yourself.
surfing: the ups and downs of life, or some emotional relationship. Conquering something that is qoverwhelming. Also consider the phrase "wipe out" that suggests that all is not going well. If all is calm and you're just riding the light swells perhaps you are just going with the flow.
surgery: perhaps something negatrive needs to be removed from yourself, or your life. Does something need to be fixed or healed? It may also be a metaphor for opening yourself or if you're about to go into surgery–a reflection of that and your concerns.
surprise: something has caught you off guard? Are you willing, or ready, to confront something from the subconscious?
survey: are you assessing some situation or your abilities? Are you being tested?
survivor: you hope to be able to survive something–look on the bright side of some situation.
sushi: raw emotions, or your spiritual side acknowledged.
suspicious: intuition, or hunch, about something, or insecurities. Have you been left in the dark about something, or are you unprepared?
s.w.a.t team: something may need careful handling. Some part of your self may need protection or trained intervention.
swamp: perhaps the repressed dark aspects of yourself. Are you feeling swamped at work, or in your life? Swamps can also be metaphors for some adverse conditions or suggest that you are trying to attain some goal through some messy means.
swan: see birds under animals.
sweating: are you sweating something out–anticipating and worried? Some overwhelming anxiety, or stress? Or do you need to struggle more with something e.g. work harder at it? Sweating can also be a cleansing symbol i.e. getting rid of something unwanted, or the need to "cool off".
sweaters: can be about warmth and love.
sweeping: clearing the mind or your life of something. Alternatively, are you sweeping something under the rug e.g. ignoring or denying something that you should be dealing with?
swimming: Controlled movement through your emotions,
e.g., confidence or lack of same in dealing with your emotional
sword: Symbol of great courage, strength, ambition, and power or the love of truth,
and if one lives by truth nothing of any lesser value can hurt
you. This is the promise of the magic swords, Caledfwich,
Caliburnis, or Excalibur, that the bearer will not die from any
It is also a tool to do battle with something and a symbol of
social power. It can also represent threat hanging over you, as
in the Sword of Damocles. The sword can also be an instrument
of magic, as in the singing sword. A sword may also symbolize
the cutting or "severing" something from something else or
from your self. (see knife) It can also be a phallic symbol such as with a knife or a gun.
In the Tarot the Sword is also the symbol for creativity and original thinking. One can "Cut to the chase" (as in get to the point), or be "Cutting edge." It represents strength and ethics. It is basically male in energy, though there is a Queen of Swords that represents sorrow that can be overcome by reason and thought. This card also represents profound clarity.
Rider-Waite Tarot of the minor Arcana of Swords
sympathy: the need to be more sympathetic, or the need for more sympathy?
symphony: can be about harmony and cooperation, or the need for it. It can also refer to spiritual and/or emotional upliftment. As with every image your attitude toward symphonies can also give you clues to the meaning.
syringe (hypodermic, shot): may be about health issues or worried. The need to innoculate (protect) yourself from something or someone. Injecting more excitement into some issue or your life. It can also be phallic (see sword).
synagogue: need for more spirituality in your life and/or are looking for a place of refuge. As with any religious symbol look at your own relationship with it including your own prejudices, or judgments. (also see church)
syrup: are you in a sticky situation? Are things moving too slowly?
table: A place of activity, e.g., nourishment, communication.
tank: Aggressiveness, armored protection of the self. Using anger as a defense... against what? Hurt? Fear?.
tatoo: sense of individuality and uniqueness. The desire to stand out and be noticed or attended to. Something that has left a lasting impression. (see facepaint)
taurus: stubborn, persevering, strong will power. (see bull in the animal section)
taxidermy: giving new life to something thought dead and gone, or being stuck in the old and unwilling to let go.
tea: satisfaction and comfort with some situation. Calmness. To be making tea might suggest that you need more calmness in your life.
tea leaves:look past the superficial and onto a deeper level unless you don't believe in divination, then this may reflect a judgment that something is nonsense or fake.
teacher: seeking some advice or guidance. You may need to learn something new. Your relationship with and judgments about the teacher in the dream will help to determine their meaning.
tears: healing. Compassion. Spiritual cleansing but can also represent pain your life. If you're causing someone to cry in the dream perhaps you need to rethink your behavior towards that person or people in general.
teasing: are you not acting appropriately or taking something seriously? Is there something in your own character you're not happy with and are teasing someone else in the dream with?
teen: (assuming you are not a teen) Are you acting inappropriately? Is there an aspect of yourself that still needs developing? Does the teen reflect you at around the same age– what was happening then that still needs to be dealt with or that still seems to be happening now?
teddy bear: Trust and need for emotional comfort. Loving
something that cannot hurt you.
telephone/cellphone: need to communicate. A broken phone might suggest that some communication has been lost.
telekinesis: (transporting yourself to other places) Moving to a higher level of consciousness or that you need to or that you aren't using all your potential.
telepathy: do you need to pay more attention to what people are trying to tell you? Perhaps you need to connect more or better with people. Note what you are communicating to another person telepathically (or what they are saying to you)– this might help you to say what needs to be said to someone in your waking life.
telescope: Used to look at something more closely. It could also refer to looking at something beyond your normal experience, as in 'otherworldly.' (see microscope)
temple: A sanctuary of the soul. A church can represent this as well. Your spiritual self including feelings and beliefs and the forces both within and in relayionship to the outside world.
temperature: hot=warm feelings, passion or if very hot, then perhaps painful feelings. Consider the phrase "hot blooded". Cold=held back emotions lrelated to fear, or shame, or hurt. Consider the phrase, "cold shoulder" or "cold feet". An iceburg or ice in general could refer to being cold emotionally and/or sexually. If trapped in ice it may refer to a deadening of feeling or a feeling of being paralyzed and/or frozen in time e.g. not growing or evolving.
terror: Extreme fear and loss of trust; an inability to face these emotions.
terrorist: Violence created out of frustration, thwarted intention, and an inability to cope. This could also mean extremist views and lack of human caring (due to extreme attention to the ego-self.).
"These extremists unconsciously project their own fears and obsessions onto a similarly uptight, self-righteous masculine deity of strict rules and uncompromising sternness. What they fail to see is that a God who lacks mercy is not an authentic, moral God; it is simply a flawed God-image arising from a fearful, self-important ego. A religion that lacks compassion is not an authentic, moral religion; it is simply a collection of stern man-made doctrines. Likewise, a person who cannot accept her or his own flaws or forgive the flaws of others is not an authentically moral person, but simply a stiff and fearful puppet. Authentic morality is not exclusive, restrictive, inhibiting, or judgmental. Authentic morality, like authentic religion, is always freeing, accepting, merciful, and compassionate."
test or exam: An ordeal. Living up to some standard. Critique of self or of some personal value. Or, if by a medical doctor, some concern over health.
thanksgiving: When Thanks, or Thanksgiving shows up in a dream it is often about acknowledging someone, or your self, or accepting some aspect of some person within your own self.
Thanksgiving represents togetherness, reunion, resolution, a sense of community and perhaps even a reflection of the connections you have made in your life.
theater: Observing the play of life or your own thoughts, e.g., wanting to take center stage?
thirst- An inner need, unmet satisfaction.
thunder-Withheld emotions being strongly released like in an outburst.
tidal wave- A huge release of emotional energy that takes you over (overwhelms), as in a new love, or a tragedy. Tsunamis fit here as well.
tied up: tangled feelings, tension. A tie between you and someone else e.g. some kind of relationship. Consider someone's apron strings e.g. being dependent on someone especially a mother figure. See also web below and knot above.
time of day: the passage of time in general, age, or aging. Daylight might represent our conscious self whereas darkness may represent our unconscious self. See also "clock" above.
toilet-Released feelings, letting go of something or flushing away some attitude or behavior or dependency. Of course, as in many of my dreams, it may just be the body saying that you need to wake up and go to the bathroom.
toy- Often reflects childish attitudes, but can also reflect a playful, childlike part of yourself.
tramp or bum- The complainer, that part of you that wants other people and outside circumstances to be responsible for what you have not done in life. "Life owes me" attitudes.
trapped: trouble breaking free of something, the past, old fears or attitudes. Social pressures or someone restraining your free expression, a lack of opportunity or need to create an opportunity. Something holding you back. (see cage)
treasure- The wonder or value of life, self-realization and wholeness, integration, spiritual reward and fulfillment.
trees- The structure of your inner being your self-portrait, how you see yourself psychologically e.g. your connection with the family and your past as in your roots. Dead roots could mean a disconnect or unresolved issue with an childhood experience. The branches become your aspirations, but also vulnerability as in, "Out on a limb".
Trees can represent your personal growth. The roots and trunk have been seen to represent the divine nature of man with the branches as separate parts of this nature. Leaves because of their temporary nature might correspond to the personality.
Dead branches might suggest a loss of the ability to achieve your dreams or to seek satisfaction in some aspect of life. Fallen leaves might indicate a sense of losing your ability to hide your feelings or thoughts. Scars on the trunk might reveal traumatic physical or psychic experiences.
The Celts saw trees as representations of deities and as mediators between the world of the sky and the earth they lived on. Sometimes trees were seen as an entrance into the "Otherworld". It has been said that the Cornish King Arthur entered Avalon after he died through an opening in a tree. Druids were said to believe that hollow oaks were the haunts of spirits. There is an old English rhyme that goes "Turn your cloakes, for fairy folks are in old oakes" meaning that when you turn your cloak inside out the fairies could not use their magic and distract you from your journey. Rowan (mountain ash) and yew were also sacred trees to the Celts. A Hazel tree was said to be associated with fairies and in Ireland it was called the "Tree of wrath" or a fairy fort. If you stirred your preserves with a hazel stick it would prevent the fairies from stealing it.
The Oak has often figured in my dreams, but not always with the same meaning. I have watched many majestic oaks succumb to what is being called, "sudden oak death" and despair every time that I see the initial signs that yet another oak has fallen prey to this deadly blight for once infected there is no hope.
The phrase, "For how the mighty have fallen" comes to mind as I think about what is happening with the oak. Dreams about sadness and loss, hopelessness and inevitability show up as oaks in my dreams these days even though in some dreams the oak still represents the majestic, the noble and powerful.
In the Celtic tradition The Welsh word for Druid is Derwydd that translates to "Oak man". Trees in general were often seen as entrances to the "otherworld" as well.
trespassing- "Are you not respecting someone's personal boundaries? Is this happening to you or are you observing someone else doing it to another, or to you?"
tunnel- Pathways into the unconscious. These are sometimes reminiscent of the birth trauma. In some dreams I feel almost claustrophobic and in near panic when I find myself going through a tight tube-like space.
Sometimes getting through a tunnel represents something such as an idea, a memory or a hidden emotion trying to work itself to consciousness (you might use contextual clues to see what is trying to work its way out, as in, "what in you is trying to be born?")
umbilical:Dependence on others for your needs an emotional tie. Some psychics and Shaman talk about the psychic umbilical i.e., where you are emotionally or psychically tied to, usually the place of your birth.
umbrella: Something to protect against the elements e.g. difficult feelings or circumstances, or anything not wanted from the unconscious.
under: Who you are inside and beneath the social mask that you wear.
under or underground: The hidden part of you. Depending on the dreamers physical orientation in the dream you may be feeling less than or suppressed or above others, feeling superior. In the underground you may be looking at your unconscious depth that you have been ignoring.
Celts and other pagan cultures saw the underground as a place akin to the otherworld, or the origin of all beings (native Americans, Australian aborigines imagined that the world was born through the underground).
Caves, holes and man-built underground chambers in the earth were often seen as entrances or transition points to the otherworld and as a means of contacting the spirit and energy of the underworld. Irish Celts saw caves as a place where the transmigration of the soul took place.
underwater: You may be submerged in your own emotions right now. Sometimes breathing underwater is symbolic of returning to the womb– a place free from responsibilities, where you are tally cared for. (see water)
underwear: to see yourself in your underwear can be about a loss of self-respect or an aspect of you that is private. If you are standing in your underwear in public you may be feeling exposed and vulnerable, perhaps with your secrets revealed (this is even more true if you aren't wearing any underwear). Seeing someone else in their underwear could suggest that you are seeing them for who they really are. Torn or dirty underwear could be about feelings of inadequacy or are feeling critical about yourself (perhaps your feeling inadequate sexually?).
undressing: could be about revealing yourself or discovering something hidden. To undress someone else is to get to know who they are e.g. to understand them better.
unemployed: a lack of self-worth or feelings of insecurity i.e. that you aren't good enough– you need to use your fullest potential. Perhaps you're afraid that you aren't going anywhere in life.
unicorn: Magical consciousness. Union with the spiritual and animal nature. It is also sometimes representative of Jesus indicating his dual nature of the divine and the animal.
uniform: need to belog and be part of a group. Need for greater self-discipline or perhaps that you are conforming too much or too little.
universe: endless possibilities. Need to look at the "big picture".
unprepared: perhaps you're feeling some anxiety and fear associated with some up and coming task? A lack of self-confidence or that you won't measure up?
unwrap: to unwrap something is to reveal some potential. You may be revealing some hidden talents or if you're wrapping, then perhaps you are covering up the real you, the real gifts you have to offer.
up: As in ascending: Climbing to higher attainment or as a metaphor e.g. An "uphill struggle." Moving out of some depression? Or the dream may be compensating for feeling 'down'.
upholstering: are you renewing or updating your self-image or alternative;ly "covering up" something?
upside down: Confusion as in "Everything turned upside down".
upstairs: to be in touch with your higher self or some higher understanding i.e. rational thought and objective thoughts (see attic under house). You may also hold your self in high regard.
urinate: The release of tension or feelings that have been held back. A release of negative memories or thoughts or feelings. Perhaps you are "pissed off" about something unless of course some is urinating on you then perhaps you are feeling burdened by what they are dumping on you. If you are urinating on yourself are you on the verge of an emotional outburst? To urinate all over the place or to see urine all over the place it could represent bottled up emotions that desperately need to get out and be released (see feces or defecate).
valley: Down-to-earth or sometimes a metaphor for being depressed.
vampire: Sexual relationship fears and eater of our life force. I have noted that there are people who just by their presence in a room seem to suck the energy out everyone.
vanishing: Loss of awareness or loss of a loved one.
vault: the womb, or memories, unmaterialized wisdom.
vase: a womb, something contained, or something on display.
vehicles: Movement and power in that.
veil: A mystery, hidden as in a veiled threat.
veteran: A survivor. Could also be someone who represents duty.
victim: That part of yourself that you beat up.
virus: a hidden attack. Hiden anxieties, or other feelings that infect you and may keep away from others. If it's a computer virus, then perhaps someone has attacked you/put you down, or undermined your work or credibility. A destructive aspect or process in you.
vitamin: concern about health or vitality.
voice: your inner voice or personality perhaps trying to be heard. If you've lost your voice or it is being hushed, then perhaps someone or yourself is preventing you from expressing something?
void: something missing in life or in you. Fear of losing something or failure (see abyss) . Because a void is the symbol for nothing it may also be "everything"– confronting it may be healthy emotionally.
volcano: Erupting emotions.
volunteer: Willingness to offer the self.
vomiting: Anything poisonous to your well-being (making you feel bad, or bad about yourself) can be represented as throwing it up to get it out of you– to discard some toxic point-of-view.
voting: Choosing, taking a side or position. Depending on your point-of-view, it could also represent a feeling of futility.
waitress or waiter: To be of service or to resist being servile.
wall: A barrier or partition, defensiveness. A way of maintaining control. A crumbling wall might indicate disintegrating control or a deteriorating sense of safety.
wallet: see purse
war: Violent resolution of conflict. "Are there parts of you in conflict?"
warrior: See soldier
warning: Something needs your attention, something you need to bring to consciousness.
water: Emotions. If your entering then you may be going into strong feelings, deep water will find you looking deeply into you unconscious. One can drown in their own emotions. See also flood,tidal wave, and underwater. How deep is the water, how is it contained?
weather: Your moods and emotions. (see also moon)
web: an entanglement or sticky situation e.g. caught up in something. Consider the phrase, "Oh what a tangled web we weave!" i.e. the telling of lies or half truths. Webs can be both supportive or negative. Consider the phrase, "the web of life". See also Knot and tied up above.
weeds: Non contributing growth that is choking out more nourishing growth. Is it actually a flower as in "One man's weed, is another man's flower?"
weight: Burden or responsibility. As in something weighing you down.
well: A way at getting to your deepest resources of life. Transcendent wisdom. This image could also be about contained emotions. Also see water.
werewolf: Repressed instincts or uncontrollable instincts.
west: An ending. The direction from which darkness comes; the unknown, the subconscious and the place of self-discovery. One might ask of any of the four directions, "Where am I heading?" It is also where the sun sets as in an end to something (see also dead people.)
whale: Power of your unconscious. To be swallowed by a whale might suggest being consumed by your shadow self.
wheelchair: "Where do you feel a loss of power?"
widow: Fear about a relationship's break-up. Isolation.
wife: The yin aspect of yourself. A sign of commitment, a unity of opposites.
wind: What can move you or hidden influences. Overwhelm if very windy. The wind could be your own spirit. Native Americans thought of it as a spirit that one could talk to or call upon in need. It could also indicate a change in your life either positive or in the case of the "Ill wind", negative (see storm) Tibetan and Nepalese Buddhists speak of the Windhorse that flies their prayers up to heaven (the multicolored prayer flags seen blowing in the wind in most Buddhist areas are called the Windhorse). see this link: http://www.thedreamdragon.blogspot.com/2012/05/riding-wind-horse-confluence-of-two.html for more on the Windhorse.
The Windhorse, or Tibetan [Buddhist] prayer flags.
Mode of contact; Seeing and being seen. Absence of windows might indicate withdrawal or even hostility to the outside world.
winter: Emotionally cold. A quiet period before the development of something new.
witchcraft: Fear of the manipulation of reality or something controlling you.
wizard: Mastery of power. Desire to gain more power? This can also be seen as an archetype (see wise old man under archetypes above).
wolf: See animals
woman: The feminine aspect of yourself. In male dreams, the animus (see archetypes).
wreck: Rejection, something that prevents your progress. Out of control with your emotions as in "he is just a wreck".
worm: Feeling insignificant.
wound: Hurt feelings. Need for healing?
x: something forbidden. An x on a map might suggest that your goals are in sight or a place where you need to uncover (reveal, divulge) something.
x-rays: Something unconscious influencing your life. Seeing inside something. Feeling not fully protected, exposed.
xerox: A copy, not the real thing.
y: as a letter, or as a y in the road: Decision making time, a path to choose (similar to a fork in the road.)
yacht: wealth, luxury, abundance, recreation.
yak: uniqueness or "talking too much"– 'yakking'.
yantra: emerging consciousness and cosmic energy. Something mysterious and spiritual (see mandala) a map to the unknown and spiritual awakening?
yard: If it's well kept it could mean your orderliness, if not, then the depth of your disorderliness, or how out of control your life is. (see backyard). (see ruler)
yardstick: can represent both the unyielding and acceptance. It's also a way to take "the measure" of something e.g. to evaluate it. If you're being threatened with it perhaps it refers to punshment or feeling punished?
yelling: An emotional release.
yes: When you say yes to anyone in a dream, you are saying yes to yourself. "Are you just saying yes so as to be agreeable?"
yesterday: The past, former, the before time.
yin/yang: This is somewhat like anima/animus though Jung saw them as unconscious motivators and the Eastern concept is somewhat more broad. This represents the balance of the female energy, yin, and the male energy, yang. Jung would have supported the concept of the need for balance between these two psychic opposites. I usually view any imbalance between male and female characters in terms of their energy as an imbalance indicator.
Symbols where the object is split in half and separated can represent yin/yang imbalance. In the waking dream, groups with only one or two males or only one or two females tend to under-represent the yin/yang energies of the under-represented gender and can throw off the balance of the group. This often affects the creativity of the group as it would with the individual. (see anima/animus in archetypes)
youth: Immaturity or full of energy. The young you.
yurt: A type of dwelling often associated with back to nature or in primative cultures (see house)
zero: Signifying nothing, or of no worth. The unconscious, the void, the silence. It can be the space between sounds, or musical notes, that allows their individuality to be heard.
zigzag: Indecisive or ambivalent. Avoidance. Your erratic behavior.
zombie: Living dead. Something refusing to die, or stay buried (a memory, a fear, a feeling). Something without free will being controlled by basal emotions. Is something eating at you? If being attacked, are you feeling overwhelmed by some forces out of yiour control?
zoo: Controlled and ordered wildness. If there are animals, see above "animals." Out of control as in "this place is a zoo".
zoo keeper: Are you about to lose control over some part of your life or your self?
zoomorphism: If you're changing into some animal, are you becoming less civilized in some part of your life or giving in to your animal nature e.g. primal desires, or urges?
 From Working with Fairies by Anna Franklin, 2005
 As found on page 73 of Druids: Their origins and history by Lewis Spence, 1949