The meaning of Aggression in dream | Dream interpretation
Situations in which we attack others or are attacked by others represent a difficult time and a hostile environment around us.
It is possible that the dreamer is refraining from openly expressing negative opinions due to fear.
1. One dislikes someone.
2. Way of letting go of hidden anger present in reality.
Vision + Depth Psychology: Hitting or shooting somebody expresses anger that has not been acknowledged during the day. Dreaming about being murdered or attacked: the murderer (a certain person in your life) makes impossible demands on you.
If we can’t fulfill the wishes, demands, or expectations of others, we feel guilty and our unconscious often “lets off steam” by way of aggressive attacks. See Murder, Steam.
Aggression in a dream may indicate repressed sexual or ego needs, particularly if the dreamer is the primary aggressor. More generally, aggressive action in a dream often reflects a conflict in one’s life.
To dream about being aggressive represents stifled carnal desires. It also refers to some dilemma you are dealing with.
2. Mischievous (“of the devil”).
3. A phallus.
4. Magic (unicorn). ... New American Dream Dictionary
2. Proof of manhood or sexual abilities.
5. Permissive female sexuality. ... New American Dream Dictionary
2. Passion, love, romance.
3. Anger, aggression.
4. Embarrassment, even shame (blush).
5. Arguments. ... New American Dream Dictionary
If one sees the Divine Throne missing one of its attributes in a dream, it means heedlessness and innovation. Seeing the Glorious Throne of God Almighty in a dream may entail whatever good or evil destiny one may go through. Seeing the Divine Throne in a dream also means receiving a high ranking position or assuming a noble function, if one qualifies, or it could represent one’s wife, house, vehicle, victory over his enemy, writing poems, or doing good deeds for the one who sees it in its perfect, radiant and glorious manifestation. Ifone sees the Divine Throne, and ifhe sees God Almighty sitting on it in a dream, it denotes his faith, certitude, determination and correct religious adherence.
If one sees himself sitting upon the Divine Throne and his Lord sitting under it in a dream, and ifone qualifies for governing, then it means that he will oppress the religious scholars, show arrogance and spread evil on earth.
If one does not qualify for governing, then it means that he will become a disobedient son to his parents, oppose his teacher, rebel against his superior, issue a verdict without knowledge, commit aggression against others, or if he is ajudge, he will be an unjust one.
(Also see Allah; Carriers ofthe Divine Throne; Chair)... Islamic Dream Interpretation
The third of the four righteous califs) Seeing him in a dream means celebrating knowledge, being a godly person, friendship and love for others, lowering one’s wings before God Almighty and to the believers among His creation, and he represents a trustworthy leadership. Seeing’Uthman bin ‘Mfan in a dream also could mean facing the aggression of one’s enemy and losing to them by winning martyrdom. It also means having a great luck, prosperity, kinship with noble people, or being a pious and a religious person. One who sees ‘Uthman, God be pleased with him, in a dream will become a scholar.
If one sees him doing business in a dream, it means that one is seeking worldly profits, though he likes to adorn himself with a religious garb and titles but lacks true piety.
If one sees him besieged inside his own house in a dream, it means that he will persecute and oppress a great scholar or a man of God. Seeing him alive and dealing with people in a dream means being chaste, pious, reverent and earning the jealousy of one’s own circles.... Islamic Dream Interpretation
A helpful animal normally represents the instinctive self. Look at your feelings and beliefs about this animal.
An animal relates to your own natural and inborn instincts. Good omens of a base nature as long as they are not being violent.
If misbehaving, it is an indication of a party where people are lacking good manners and are demonstrating poor judgment. This is all a reflection of the patterns that need to be repatterened within you. Your belief system is drawing you to these situations and people. Animals represent your primitive, physical and sexual mannerisms and expressions.
A heard: prosperity. Animal instincts (or human nature), sex, aggression. Animals may also be healing agents (e.g.An alligator to a timid person) or entities. Black Dog Animals represent the dreamer’s animal instincts (or human nature), sex, aggression, paternal or maternal instincts, social status, etc.
The choice of animal, its color and location indicate how the instinct is regarded.
For example, a black dog in the bedroom means the dreamer’s attitude to sex is dominated by fear. Animals may also be healing agents (e.g.An alligator to a timid person) or entities **Animals: “Carl Jung said that all wild animals indicate latent effects (feelings and emotions that we do not readily deal with). They are also symbolic of dangers (hurtful and negative things) being “swallowed” by the unconscious.
The interpretation of the animal in your dream depends on your relationship with it in daily life. Animals represent the qualities in our character or specific aspects of our personalities. They could symbolize our more intuitive and instinctive parts, or they could serve as messengers for the unconscious. Please look up each animal individually by name. ... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
A bear is only aggressive when provoked, and as such times he is dangerous and deadly. Bears in dreams may represent a period of introspection and depression. However, this may be a part of a healing cycle, where the dreamer has retreated into himself in order to regenerate and in order to create something new and valuable in his life. Bears are highly regarded symbols in a variety of cultures and traditions, including the Native American tradition. Carl Jung said that all wild animals represent latent affects (feelings and emotions).
The interpretation of the bear in a dream may be influenced by your perception of it and by the events in the dream.
The bear may represent qualities in your character or specific aspects of your personality. Bears are usually associated with danger and aggression, but this is a very narrow view of this powerful dream symbol. ... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
The gun could symbolize the male sex organ, aggression, harshness, and fear. This dream may have sexual connotations, or your unconscious mind may be telling you not to harbor your negative feelings but express them more freely before they become explosive. On the more positive side of things, the gun could simply represent your need to protect yourself either emotionally or physically or both.
If the gun in the dream is used to hurt or kill you or someone else, please consider your current difficulties, hostile feelings or serious arguments, which you may have within yourself or with others. See Also: Shooting, Blood... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
The dream maybe encouraging you to get in touch with raw emotions and desires, to ponder upon them, and then to use them to transcend difficulties.... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
If you ever observed a rooster in a hen house you would notice that they are very aggressive, demanding, and territorial. This dream may be pointing to these characteristics inside of you or others.
A rooster crowing is a traditional wake-up call on a farm while in literature it is sometimes symbolic of some type of a warning.
If the rooster in your dream is crowing, think about your current situation and if this dream is a wake-up call in regard to a situation in your life. See also: Chickens... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
If you were mesmerized and not afraid, then give your dream positive meaning and accept its message.... The Bedside Dream Dictionary
The word attack is also used in many ways, so might refer to an ‘attack’ of an illness, or ‘heart attack’. Can express the difference between feeling threatened by a work/relationship/sex problem, or feeling challenged by it in a way to stimulate creativity or research. Someone else being attacked: anger or aggression towards another. See fight; war. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The following example shows another aspect of bite: I had to get a large spider into a small dwelling. At one point it was like trying to get the spider into a narrow necked bottle, the spider was unwilling, and bit my finger. I was worried the bite might be poisonous, but it seemed all right’ (Alan P).
The large spider, small dwelling and finger refer to sexual intercourse. Alan feels fear of introducing his finger into the bottle because he might be bitten. So here the bite refers to the injection of fearful emotions, unwillingness, into his sexual impulse.
The spider often refers to the mother, and in fact Alan’s mother made him fearful of sex. So the bite is clearly to do with feeling attacked by anxieties or one’s urges. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If dreamer driving: being independent; self confidence; being responsible for one’s own life direction. With one other person: relationship with that person. Alone in vehicle: independence; making decisions alone; feeling alone. Crashing vehicle: self-desired failure, perhaps to avoid stress of responsibility and change; fear of failure; failure in relationship; argument—you may be on collision course with boss or panner, occasionally psychological breakdown threatened. Another driver: being passive; being influenced by the opinions or emotions of someone else, or one’s own secondary characteristics, i.e. anxiety or emotional pain may lead us to make many decisions and so may be the dnving force in our life, rather than what might be more satisfying. Driving carelessly: lack of responsibility, socially or sexually, need for more awareness. Reversing: sense of not getting anywhere; feeling that one is slipping backward; reversing a decision; change of direction. Overtaking: getting ahead. Overtaken: feeling of being left behind or not competing. Car body: dreamer’s body. Car torn apart, dismantled: stress; failure to care for one’s body; self destructive attitudes. Fuel: feeling drives, motivation; whatever has ‘fuelled one’s drive’. Old car, scrapped car: sense of old age, feelings about death. Car engine: energy; heart; central drive. Running over someone: killing’ some part of self through misplaced drive or ambition; aggression. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The example shows how we can be pursued by fears or emotions, and can either continue to avoid them or face them. We are, in a real sense, pursued by what we have created with our thoughts, emotions, action and inaction. What we are avoiding might be sexual feelings; responsibility; expressing what we really feel in public; our fear of death; sense of failure; guilt; emotional pain; grief, etc. We can never escape from ourself, so such feelings may pursue us through life unless we meet them.
Chased by opposite sex: afraid of love or sex, haunted by a past relationship. By animal: one’s passions; anger, natural feelings. By Thing or shadowy creature: usually past experience or trauma, a hurt from childhood. Chasing: something you are pursuing in life; something or someone you want; aggression. See follow. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
In general they indicate the stance or attitudes we use to meet other people or special situations such as work or danger, protection, such as might be given by our feelings of reserve, shyness, anxiety or aggressiveness in fending off sexual or other advances, clothes depict self respect and how we see ourselves in society—the difference between what we want and what we feel others want of us; our clothes, especially when we consider their colour, can also express our emotional condition and moods. Constance Newland gives the example of dressing in violet symbolising being inviolate sexually. Overdressed , unable to get clothes off: too cautious in relationships, difficulty in changing attitudes or self image; self protectiveness; avoiding intimacy.
Naked or see-through clothes: example: ‘I am at the doctor’s being examined.
It is always the same. I have all my clothes off and he examines me from the roots of my hair down to my toenails. I am just at the point where I am going to ask him for his diagnosis when he fades away’ (Miss L). Desire to be attractive and noticed, as in the example, where Miss L is enjoying an acceptable form of intimacy; being open about what you really feel; fear of other people seeing what you really feel, think and desire; anxiety about not being adequate socially, lacking ability to conform to social norm. See nude. Ragged or inappropriate clothes: feelings of inadequacy depressed feelings; rebellion against authority or society. Armour, protective clothing : defences against internal anxieties, past hurts and external intimacy. Other people’s clothes: the social attitudes and responses we have adopted from others. Children’s, teenage clothes in adult’s dream: youthful or immature attitudes or behaviour. Undressing: revealing one’s real character; move towards intimacy. Dirty, untidy clothes: difficult or grubby feelings; one’s inner condition, such as an untidy mind, or grubby feeling values. Worn out or old clothes: attitudes ready to be left behind; old habits no longer useful; feeling worn out, old or tired. Tight clothes: being too restricted in attitude; being tight emotionally. New clothes: change in attitudes; new feeling about self. Someone else’s clothes: could be feelings from that person; their attitudes, memories. Man in woman’s clothes: unacceptability of male role, with its connection with breadwinning, aggression, being cannon fodder in war, homosexual tendency; desire for mother. Woman in male clothes: unacceptability of female role, motherhood, housewife; lesbian tendency; desire for father figure. Clothing inappropnate to dream surroundings: attitudes or behaviour inappropriate to one’s situation. Changing clothes: altering one’s mode of behaviour, role or mood. Idioms: dress to kill; dress up. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
A dead body, death of someone we know: very often, as in the example, the death of some aspect of our outer or inner life. Our drive to achieve something might die, and be shown as a death in our dreams. Lost opportunities or unexpressed potentials in ourselves are frequently shown as dead bodies. All of us unconsciously leam attitudes or survival skills from parents and others. Often these are unrecognised and may be shown as dead.
Example: ‘During my teens I was engaged to be married, when I found a more attractive panner and was in considerable conflict. Consistently I dreamt I was at my fiance’s funeral until it dawned on me the dream was telling me I wanted to be free of him. When I gave him up the dreams ceased1 (Mrs D).
If the death is of someone we know: frequently, as in the example, desire to be free of the person, or unexpressed aggression; perhaps one’s love for that person has ‘died’. We often ‘kill’ our partners in dreams as we move towards independence. Or we may want someone ‘out of the way so we do not have to compete for attention and love.
Death of oneself: exploration of feelings about death; retreat from the challenge of life; split between mind and body.
The experience of leaving the body is frequently an expression of this schism between the ego and life processes. Also death of old patterns of living—one’s ‘old self.
The walking dead, rigor mortis: aspects of the dreamer which are denied, perhaps through fear. Dancing with, meeting death or dark figure: facing up to death.
Example: ‘I dream I have a weak heart which will be fatal.
It is the practice of doctors in such cases to administer a tablet causing one painlessly to go to sleep—die. I am completely calm and accepting of my fate. I suddenly realise I must leave notes for my parents and children. I must let them know how much I love them, must do this quickly before my time runs out’ (Mrs M). This is a frequent type of ‘death* dream.
It is a way of reminding ourselves to do now what we want to, especially regarding love. Although the unconscious has a very real sense of its eternal nature and continuance after physical death, the ego seldom shares this. We have an unconscious realisation that collective humanity carries the living experience from the life of the dead.
The farmer roday unconsciously uses the collective experience of humanity in farming. What innovation he does today his children or others will learn and carry into the future. Idioms: dead and buried, dead from the neck up/down; dead to the world, play dead. See death and rebirth under archetypes. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If we are angry at our partner we may kick the cat or nag at the children instead of confronting the real target. Freud stated that in dreams we express what we usually censor, or would be censored socially, in terms of behaviour or sexuality, but often in a displaced way. What appears to be most important and full of emotion in the dream may, according to this statement, be really of least significance. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
For some people a dog was the only source of expressive love in their childhood, so may well depict this. Dor on lead: restrained or controlled urges.
The dog appears more often than other animals in dreams.
Example: I continue on my path, and suddenly the nettles disappear and the path is clear. Ahead the wall has curved round to face me, hut there is a gate in it, and I can see my dog waiting for me on the other side’ (Mrs MG). In the dream of this elderly woman the dog is leading the way through the experience of meeting death. Mythology has often shown the dog in this light, as an inner sense of knowing how to find transformation through death—or as the ravaging threat of death. Idioms: die like a dog; dirty dog; dog eared; dog eat dog, dog in the manger, gay dog; go to the dogs; let sleeping dogs lie; etc. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
For the somnium dreams Anemidorus gave a dream dictionary.
For example, he said abyss meant an impending danger, a dream of warning, and to see a candle being lighted forecasts a binh, to exhibit a lighted candle augers contentment and prosperity, a dimly burning candle shows sickness, sadness and delay. This last interpretation is taken from folklore of the times and, because dreams tend to use commonly used verbal images, was probably true. He maintained that a person’s name—that is their identity, and the family, national and social background from which they arose—has a bearing on what their dream means.
Plato (429-347 bc) said that even good men dream of uncontrolled and violent actions, including sexual aggression. These actions are not committed by good men while awake, but criminals act them out without guilt. Democritus said that dreams are not products of an ethereal soul, but of visual impressions which influence our imagination. Aristotle (383— 322 bc) stated that dreams can predict future events. Earlier Hippocrates, the ‘father of medicine’, discovered that dreams can reveal the onset of organic illness. Such dreams, he said, can be seen as illogically representing external reality.
Hippocrates was born on the island of Kos. On the island was the famous temple dedicated to Aesculapius, the god of medicine. There were about 300 such temples in Greece alone, dedicated to healing through the use of dreams. Hippocrates was an Aesculapian, and learnt his form of dream interpretation from them. In such temples the patient would ritually have to cleanse themselves by washing, and abstain from sex, alcohol and even food. They would then be led into what was sometimes a subterranean room with harmless snakes in—these were the symbol of the god. In the morning the patients were asked their dream, and it was expected they would dream an answer to their illness or problem. There are many attestations to the efficacy of this technique from patients. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If our mother is unable to develop a feeling contact with us, we may lack the confidence to meet our emotions.
Our maturation as a man or woman calls us in some way to meet and integrate our childhood desire, which includes sexual desire for our parent of the opposite sex, and rivalry with, mingled with dependence on, the parent of the same sex. Even a missing parent, the mother or father who died or left, is a potent figure internally.
An absence of a father’s or mother’s love or presence can be as traumatic as any powerfully injuring event. Our parents in our dreams are the image (full of power and feeling) of the formative forces and experiences of our identity. They are the ground, the soil, the bloody carnage, out of which our sense of self emerged. But our identity cannot gain any real independence while still dominated by these internal forces of our creation. Heraclitus said we cannot swim in the same river twice; attempting to repeat or compete with the vinues of a parent is a misapprehension of the true nature of our own personality. Sec individuation.
Family group: The whole background of experience which makes up our values and views. This background is made up of thousands of different obvious and subtle things such as social status; amount of books in the home; how parents feel about themselves; how they relate to life outside the family; whether dominant roles are encouraged; what nationality parents are; what unconscious social attitudes surround the family (i.e. the master and servant, or dominating employer and subservient employee, roles which typified England at the turn of the century still colour many attitudes in the UK). Simply put, it is our internal ‘family’ of urges and values; the overall feeling tone of our family life—security, domination, whatever it was, the unconscious coping patterns of the family.
Parents together in dream: our general wisdom, background of information and experience from which we make important decisions or gain intuitive insights. Parents also depict the rules and often irrational disciplinary codes we learnt as a child which still speak to us from within, and perhaps pass on to our own children without reassessment. These include everything from ‘Don’t speak with your mouth full’ to the unspoken Masturbation is unholy/
Dead parent in dream: the beginning of independence from parent; repression of the emotions they engendered in us, our emotions regarding our parent’s death; feelings about death. See dead people dreams.
Example: ‘My father was giving me and another woman some medicine. Something was being forced on us. I started to hit and punch him in the genitals and, when he was facing the other way, in the backside. I seemed to be just the right height to do this and I had a very angry feeling that I wanted to hurt him as he had hurt me’ (Audrey V). Hurting, burying , killing parent: in the example Audrey’s height shows her as a child. She is releasing anger about the attitudes and situations her father forced down her throat’.
To be free of the introverted restraints and ready made values gathered from our parents, at some time in our growth we may kill or bury them. Although some people arc shocked by such dreams, they are healthy signs of emerging independence. Old myths of killing the chief so the tribe can have a new leader depict this process. When father or mother are dead’ in our dream, we can inherit all the power gained from whatever was positive in the relationship. Seeing parent drunk, incapable, foolish: another means of gaining independence from internalised values or stultifying drives to ‘honour’ or admire father or mother.
Generally positive: authority; ability in the external world; family or social conventions, how we relate to the ‘doer’ in us; physical strength and protectiveness; the will to be. Generally negative: introvened aggression; dominance by fear of other people’s authority, uncaring sexual drive; feelings of not being loved. See father under archetypes; man.
Generally positive: feelings; ability in relationships; uniting spirit of family; how we relate to feelings in a relationship; strength to give of self and nunure; intuition. Generally negative: will based on irrational likes and dislikes; opinion generated by anxiety or jealousy; domination by emotions; lack of bonding. See Great Mother under archetypes; woman.
siblings and children
Whether brother, sister, daughter or son (see below in this entry), the most general use in our dreams is to depict an aspect of ourself. However it is almost universal to believe with great conviction that our dream is about the person in our dream.
A mother seeing a son die in her dream often goes through great anxiety because there lurks in her a sense of it being a precognitive dream. Vinually everyone at some time dreams about members of their close family dying or being killed—lots of mothers dream this, and their children live till 80. But occasionally children do die. Is the dream then precognitive, or is it coincidental?
Example: ‘I was walking along a rather dusty track carrying my younger son who would be around 10 months old and I was feeling rather tired. Suddenly I met a man who stopped to talk to me and commented I looked rather weary carrying the baby. He said, come with me and look over this wall and you will see such a sight that will gladden your hean. By standing on tiptoe I could just see over the wall and the sight I beheld took my breath away, it was so beautiful’ (Johan E). Here Johan’s son depicts the weight of responsibility she feels.
The beauty is her own resources of strength in motherhood.
Example: ‘I have just given binh to twins and they lay on the floor. We started to care for them. My mother took them to the doctor for his advice while I went to see my married sister who has two children. I met them there with the twins so that my sister could give her opinion on the babies. She had recent experience of childbirth and could tell us if the babies were good specimens’ (Miss E). Miss E has no children of her own, so she is uncertain of her own capacity to have and raise them.
The mother depicts her own mothering abilities, which seek confidence from an authority figure. Her sister is her own nearest experience of childbirth. So out of what she has leamt from observing her sister, she is assessing her own qualities.
Most often the family member depicts the qualities in ourself which we feel are part of the character of the person dreamt of. So the passionate one in the family would depict our passions; the intellectual one our own mind, the anxious one our hesitations. Use the questions in dream processing to define this. Having done this, can you observe what the dream depicts? For Miss E it would be questions regarding motherhood.
Example: ‘My daughter told me the only positive part of my work in a helping profession was with a woman who had turned from it to religion. There followed a long and powerful interchange in which I said she had as yet no mind of her own. She was dominated by her mother’s anxiety, and the medical rationalism of her training. When she had dared to step beyond her own anxieties to integrate the lessons of her own life, then I would listen again’ (Desmond S). Desmond was divorced and struggling with his own pain and guilt about leaving his daughter while still a teenager. His daughter depicts this conflict between his feelings and his rational self.
Oneself, or the denied pan of self, meeting whatever is met in the dream; feelings of kinship; sense of rivalry, feelings about a brother. Woman’s dream, younger brother: outgoing but vulnerable self; rivalry. Woman’s dream, older brother, authority, one’s capable outgoing self. Man’s dream, younger brother: vulnerable feelings; oneself at that age. Man’s dream, older brother: experience; authority, feelings of persecution. See boy; man. Idioms: big brother, brothers in arms; blood brother.
Feeling self, or the lesser expressed pan of self; rival; feelings about a sister. Man s dream, younger sister: vulnerable emotions; rival for love of parents. Man’s dream, older sister: capable feeling self; feelings of persecution. Woman’s dream , younger sister: one’s experiences at that age; vulnerable feelings, rival for parents’ love. Woman’s dream, older sister: capable feeling self. See girl; woman. Idioms: sisters under the skin.
One’s relationship with the daughter, the daughter, or son, can represent what happens in a marnage between husband and wife.
The child is what has arisen from the bonding, however momentary, of two people. In dreams the child therefore is sometimes used to depict how the relationship is faring. So a sick daughter might show the feelings in the relationship being ‘ill’.
In a mother’s dream: often feelings of suppon or companionship; feelings of not being alone in the area of emotional bonds; or one’s feeling area; responsibility; the ties of parenthood; oneself at that age; one’s own urges, difficulties, hurts, which may still be operative. Also a comparison; the mother might see the daughter’s youth, opportunity, and have feelings about that. So the daughter may represent her sense of lost opportunity and youth—even envy, competition in getting the desire of a man.
In a father’s dream: one’s feeling self, the feelings or difficulties about the relationship with daughter; the struggles one’s own feeling self goes through to mature, how the sexual feelings are dealt with in a family—occurs especially when she starts courting; sister, parental responsibility; one’s wife when younger. Someone else’s daughter: feelings about one’s own daughter, feelings about younger women.
Example: 1 am standing outside a supermarket with heavy bags wearing my mac, though the sun is warm. My daughter and two friends are playing music and everyone stops to listen. I start to wnte a song for them, but they pack up and go on a bus whilst I am still writing. I am left alone at the bus stop with my heavy burden of shopping, feeling incredibly unwanted’ (Mrs F). Such dreams of the daughter becoming independent can occur as soon as the child starts school, persisting until the mother finds a new attitude. See child; woman.
Extroverted self; desires connected with self expression; feelings connected with son; parental responsibility. Mother’s dream: one’s ambitions; potential, hopes; your marriage—see example.
Example: ‘My wife and I were walking out in the countryside. I looked around suddenly and saw my four-year-old son near a hole. He fell in and I raced back.
The hole was narrow but very deep. I could see water at the bottom but no sign of my son. I didn’t know whether I could leap down and save him or whether it was too narrow. Then somehow he was out. His heart was just beating’ (Richard H). Richard had argued with his wife in such a way he feared the stability of their marriage.
The son represents what they had created together —a child, a marriage.
The marriage survived, as his dream self-assessed it would. Death of son: a mother often kills off her son in her dreams as she sees him make moves towards independence. This can happen from the first day of school on. Example: T am on a very high bridge over an extremely wide and deep river with steep banks. My son does a double somersault over the railing, falls into the water. I think he is showing off. I am unable to save him. My son is 18 and has staned a structural engineering course at university’ (Joyce H).
The showing-off suggests Joyce feels her son is doing daring things with his life, and the relationship in its old form dies.
Father’s dream: yourself at that age; what qualities you see in your son; your own possibilities, envy of youth and opportunities; nvalry. Someone else’s son: feelings about one’s own son; feelings about younger men. Dead son: see dead people dreams. Sec boy. See also man; first example in falling.
Depicts how you see the relationship with your wife; your relationship with your sexuality; sexual and emotional desire and pleasure; how you relate to intimacy in body, mind and spirit; your feeling, intuitive nature; habits of relationship developed with one’s mother. Example: ‘My wife was trying to get me out of her life, and out of the house. It was as if she were attempting to push me into a feeling of tension and rejection which would make me leave’ (David P). Out of childhood experience, in which his mother repeatedly threatened to give him away, David was finding it difficult to commit himself emotionally to his wife. In the dream his wife represents these feelings, so he sees her—his anxiety and pain —pushing him to break up the marriage.
Example: I was standing with my wife at the end of the garden of the house I lived in as a child. We were looking over the fence to the rising meadow beyond. She said, “Look at that bird in the tree there.” On our right, in a small ash tree, an enormous owl perched. It was at least 4 feet high, the biggest bird I have ever seen. I recognised it in the dream as a greater hooded owl, which was not native to our country. I was so excited I ran into the house to telephone someone— zoo, police, newspapers?—to tell them about the bird. I cannot remember contacting anyone, but felt the bird was there in some way to meet me. Also it was hungry and looking at next door’s bantams. So I wondered what I could give it to eat’ (David P). This shows the positive side of David’s relationship with his wife.
The garden is the boundanes which arose from his childhood. But he is growing—the garden— and looking beyond them in connection with his marnage.
The amazing bird is the deep feelings he touches because he has a mate, like any other natural creature. Out of his mating he becomes aware of drives to build a home—nest—and give himself to his mate. These are natural and are a pan of his unconscious or spiritual nature.
The bird is a hooded owl which can see in the dark—the unconscious—because David is realising things he had never seen’ before.
The bird is masked, meaning putting the ego aside, which is a necessity for touching the wider dimension of life or the unconscious.
The hunger of the bird shows an intimate detail of what David has learnt from his wife. She had been working as a waitress and bringing home pieces of chicken for him, saved from her own meal.
The spiritual side of David wants to develop this quality of selfgiving, which his wife’s love had helped him see.
Example: ‘1 have been a widower since January 1979, having married in October 1941. I continually dream I am in London where my business was. I am walking the streets with my wife and suddenly I see her ahead of me in a yellow raincoat and hat. I call her and try to catch up, but suddenly she vanishes. In spite of calling and searching I cannot find her’ (Douglas G). This is a common theme dreamt by widowers or widows, disappearance of spouse. Douglas has ‘lost’ his wife. His dream shows the paradox of love after death of panner. His love is still there, years after her death. He is possibly still trying to love his wife as an externally real person. so his feelings can make no connection.
To meet what actually remains of his wife, within himself, he would need to face his own internal grieving, emotions, and all the feelings, memories, angers and beauty which make up the living remains of his wife within him. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Face: self image; concerns about how others see you; expression of or hiding of inner feelings and attitudes. Idioms: above one’s head; over one’s head; enter one’s head; get something into one’s head, go off one’s head, swollen or big head; head above water, head in sand, face the facts; face the music; face value; flat on one’s face; facelift; long face, poker face; blue in the face.
Ears: subtle information, rumours. Idioms: an ear for, all ears; reach one’s ears; flea in the ear, gain the ear of; ears burning; long ears; lend an ear, hear from; will not hear of, hearing things.
Eyes: how we see the world and ourself. Although eyes are not mentioned much in the collection of dreams used for data in this book, saw, see. seeing, look and looking, constitute the highest number of mentions. In a computer word count of 1,000 dreams, these words were mentioned 1,077 times. Feel, feeling, felt, came second, with 855 hits. So dreams are predominantly a looking at and seeing activity, in the sense of insight and awareness.
Eyes are used in many ways in dreams. As these quotes show, eyes can represent the soul or psyche in its many moods-—dark deep eyes; desperation in its eyes; shining eyes; impersonal eyes; staring eyes; eye to eye. Example: 4I saw a young soldier with a gun, but as our eyes met we were attracted to each other, and he put his arm round me’ (Pauline B). As the example shows, eyes can represent the state of a relationship. Lack of eye contact: avoidance of intimacy. Closed eyes: introversion or avoidance of contact; not wanting to see. Example: I was dimly aware of a biggish black bird that came down close beside us on the step and pecked at the baby’s eye, then it flew olf.
The eye was gone completely’ (Heather C). Heather’s dream shows the eye depicting the T or identity. In fact her sense of self was damaged in infancy.
In many dreams the eyes represent our understanding, or how we ‘see’ the world, our view of things or other people; also intelligence; our attention; our boundaries of awareness. Blindness: not being aware, not wanting to see something— usually about oneself. Loss of sight in right eye : not seeing what is going on in the outside world. Loss of sight in left eye: not seeing what you are really thinking or feeling; not aware of self, motives, behaviour, no ‘in-sight’. Idioms: I see; can’t you see; you must be blind; I saw it with my own eyes; all eyes, eye opener, evil eye; sheep eyes; one in the eye; turn a blind eye.
Mouth: pleasure area; our hungers, sexual pleasure. Also, because we speak with our mouth and tongue, they can represent what we say; a dream of our mouth being buttoned— button your lip—or sewed up could suggest that inwardly we regret having said cenain things and need to hold our tongue. Chewing: considering; mulling over something. Idioms: all mouth; a big mouth, nasty taste in the mouth; mouthwatering.
Nose: curiosity; intuition, as with ‘smell a rat’; penis. Idioms: have a nose for, nose out of joint; rub nose in it; up one’s nose.
Teeth: the ageing process as it relates to maturity. This is because we lose our first teeth as we leave childhood behind, and lose our adult teeth as we leave youthfulness behind. Also aggression; ability to ‘chew things over’. Bad tooth: a painful or rotten part of one’s feelings, life or relationships, angry or regretful words. Teeth falling out: example: ‘1 felt a tooth was loose and staned pushing it with my tongue. Then I took hold of it between thumb and forefinger and pulled it out. I felt okay about this, but then another tooth was loose, and another, and I pulled them out. Running to the bathroom I looked into the mirror, horrified and frightened. All my teeth were coming out. Not knowing how to deal with this I ran to my mother, showing her my mouth, empty now except for two teeth. My mother appeared not to see my lack of teeth, or notice my fear’ (Eve). Eve was 18 at the time of the dream. She explored it and found a fear of ageing and death. Also apprehension about maturing and facing independence and responsibility, loss of attractiveness. 1m Tofeeq, a Palestinian woman, told me that among the Arabs it is believed that if you dream of losing teeth it means your brother or son is in trouble. She had a dream in which three of her teeth fell out.
The next day she received a call from America to say her son had been shot in the head three times by a gunman.
A woman swallowing teeth: the throat and Eustachian tubes are like the uterus and Fallopian tubes, so can depict conception or fear of it. False teeth: lies told; false face; not keeping spoken promises. Idioms: show one’s teeth, get one’s teeth into; gnash one’s teeth; grit one’s teeth; teething troubles.
Tongue: speech, expression of what we feel; saying what is deep inside us, perhaps unknown to ourself; penis. Idioms: find one’s tongue; tongue in cheek; lose one’s tongue; sharp tongue; hold one’s tongue; forked tongue. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
It is worthwhile considering who or what the dream suggests you feel hostile towards. In general the most powerful hostile feelings are towards parents, having been generated in infancy. These need to be met if one is to become an adequate sexual person in relation to an adult of the opposite sex and social authority. Unconscious hostility causes one to remain at a mystic or idealistic level of relationship with the opposite sex. causing difficulty in meeting the real individual. Meeting anger, aggression and hostility does not mean suppressing it or expressing it socially. Many of us have become, in the words of WV. Caldwell, the author of LSD Psychotherapy, ‘hostility cripples’. As human animals, anger and aggression are natural, but growing in a society which, although it practices the most terrible aggression at a national level, suppresses individual aggression, it is difficult for us to lead these urges towards maturity. Maturity in love is often talked about, but not maturity in hate. It helps if we can recognise whether we are repressing aggressions or hostility in our dreams.
If anger is felt but not expressed in a dream, then use the technique explained in dream processing, in which you carry the dream forward and express in imagination the emotions held back. This should begin the process of moTe expressive anger in one’s dreams, allowing the maturing of the aggression to begin. See Sunday school Christ under archetypes. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If the emotions felt are frightening or disgusting we call the dream a nightmare. One of the common features of a nightmare is that we are desperately trying to get away from the situation; feel stuck in a terrible condition; or on waking feel enormous relief that it was just a dream. Because of the intensity of a nightmare we remember it long after other dreams; even if we seldom ever recall other dreams, even worry about what it means.
As so many dreams have been investigated in depth, using such varied approaches as hypnosis, exploration of associations and emotional content, and LSD psychotherapy, in which the person can explore usually unconscious memories, imagery and feelings, we can be certain we know what nightmares are. They arise from six main causes.
Unconscious memories of intense emotions, such as those arising in a child being left in a hospital without its mother. Example: see second example in dark.
Intense anxiety produced—but not fully released at the time—by external situations such as involvement in war scenes, sexual assault (this applies to males as well as females, as they are frequently assaulted). Example: ‘A THING is marauding around the rather bleak, dark house I am in with a small boy.
To avoid it I lock myself in a room with the boy.
The THING finds the room and tries to break the door down. I frantically try to hold it closed with my hands and one foot pressed against it, my back against a wall for leverage. It was a terrible struggle and I woke myself by screaming’ (Terry F). When Terry allowed the sense of fear to arise in him while awake, he felt as he did when a child—the boy in the dream—during the bombing of the Second World War. His sense of insecurity dating from that time had emerged when he left a secure job, and had arisen in the images of the nightmare. Understanding his fears, he was able to avoid their usual paralysing influence.
Childhood fears, such as loss of parent, being lost or abandoned, fear of attack by stranger or parent, anxiety about own internal drives.
Many nightmares in adults have a similar source, namely fear connected with internal drives such as aggression, sexuality and the process of growth and change, such as encounter with adolescence, loss of sexual characteristics, old age and death. Example: see third example in doors under house, buildings.
Serious illness. Example: ‘I dream night after night that a cat is gnawing at my throat’ (male from Landscapes of the Night).
The dreamer had developing cancer of the throat. These physical illness dreams are not as common as the other classes of nightmare.
Precognition of fateful events. Example: My husband, a pilot in the RAF, had recently lost a friend in an air crash. He woke one morning very troubled—he is usually a very positive person. He told me he had dreamt his friend was flying a black jet, and wanted my husband to fly with him.
Although a simple dream, my husband could not shake off the dark feelings. Shortly afterwards his own jet went down and he was killed in the crash’ (Anon.).
Understanding the causes of nightmares enables us to deal with them.
The things we run from in the nightmare need to be met while we are awake. We can do this by sitting and imagining ourselves back in the dream and facing or meeting what we were frightened of. Terry imagined himself opening the door he was fighting to keep closed. In doing this and remaining quiet he could feel the childhood feelings arising. Once he recognised them for what they were, the terror went out of them.
A young woman told me she had experienced a recurring nightmare of a piece of cloth touching her face. She would scream and scream and wake her family. One night her brother sat with her and made her meet those feelings depicted by the cloth. When she did so she realised it was her grandmother’s funeral shroud. She cried about the loss of her grandmother, felt her feelings about death, and was never troubled again by the nightmare.
The techniques given in dream processing will help in meeting such feelings. Even the simple act of imagining ourselves back in the nightmare and facing the frightening thing will begin the process of changing our relationship with our internal fears. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
It is healthy to be able to allow a wide range of dream experience, from the holy to the deeply sexual; from outright aggression to tender love. In fact we gain an idea of the depth and broadness of our own soul—whether or not our psyche is narrow—from the range of dreams we experience.
If obscene dreams assail and worry us again and again, however, then there is a problem in the way we are relating to ourself and the exterior world. Psychotherapeutic counselling might help. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The positive aspect of the penis/masculinity is for him to demand his woman meets his maleness, his canng aggression, his sexual desire, with her own fiery energy and strength. In general, direct reference to sexual feelings, fears, or problems. As these can be quite complex several examples are given below.
Example: ‘So for the third time I held the woman and made love.
The woman’s vagina was like a flower, I don’t mean to look at, but in physical sensation. My penis felt like it was penetrating petals of flesh and touching with great pleasure a central receptive area I was left with the feeling of being able to make love again and again without any negative effects. It was a very positive and healthy feeling’ (John T). John is feeling confident about his sexual drive. Although a powerful drive, subtle feelings and fears have an intense influence not only on the pleasure of sex, but also the response of the physical organs.
The relationship with the penis and sex act in one s dream shows what fears, hurts or attitudes are influencing the sexual flow. See castration.
In a woman’s dream, one’s relationship with, desire for, a mate; relationship with one’s own male self—ambition, work capability, aggression, intellect; depicts the relationship with, genital sexuality with, one’s panner. As with Sally in the next example, the events in the dream define the problem or relationship. Example: ‘My lover Terry, myself and another woman are all on our bed.
The other woman seemed very sure of herself and kissed Terry in a very intimate way, he doing the same to her as I lay very near to both of them. Then Terry stuck his bottom in the air and staned to lick my chest and breast. I found myself licking around the penis, felt I was under some kind of pressure from both the other two to do so but didn’t feel too shattered as I did it with love for Terry, but I had a bitter taste in my mouth’ (Sally P). In talking about this dream Sally said she often struggled with what she wanted and what her panner wanted in sex. She might go along with his needs, but not find it palatable. Even if she did do it with some love, it might have a bad taste in her mouth*.
Example: T felt as if I were as one with Terry and I realised he was trying to make a journey into his mother s vagina, as his penis. Her vagina looked like a long dark tunnel and was threatening to him. I said, “You haven’t given your mother satisfaction and you say you will not.” Then he was really smashed up in body. Withdrawing into a garden with a high green hedge. I took a leaf from the hedge and began to pull it apan with my hands. Terry said, “Look what you are doing, teasing me.” I felt withdrawal wasn’t the way and staned to follow him, walking alongside the hedge. I said, “It feels like you are strangling me, so why don’t you do it and kill me?” (We have been going through a lot of sexual withdrawal, Terry saying his sexuality was his to do with as he wanted.)’ (Sally P). This second dream of Sally’s is a shrewd summing up of Terry’s sexual fears. In fact Terry suffered a great deal of anxiety about sex, and later uncovered the son of fear and desire to avoid giving his mother satisfaction in becoming a full blooded man shown in the dream. Our unconscious is a very capable psychologist, and while Terry in Sally’s dream represents her insights regarding him—and must not be seen as a statement of fact about Terry—such insights are often enormously useful in dealing with relationship difficulties.
Example: ‘Was in a house with my wife. Outside the door was something which wanted to come into her—an invisible being. We were frightened and it said “Do not be afraid, I want you to put your penis in your wife and wait for me to activate you. In that way you will form a body for me.” I woke and realised the dream was moving me to parenthood. Already having three children I realised this would mean another 20 years of responsibility. Nevertheless my wife and I made love. Two weeks later I dreamt my wife was pregnant with a son. In fact nine months later she bore a son’ (Nigel I). In this interesting dream sequence the penis is Nigel’s drive to be a father. See castrate; bed; knob; pole; reptiles; sausage; examples in flower and tunnel. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The apparently intuitive information in some dreams, when investigated, can be traced to an unconscious insight into the language of the living body. We all have this ability to understand body language, but it seems to be something which is inherited from past times before verbal language. It therefore remains a largely unconscious ability. In our dreams, however, it is a major factor in how the dream is structured.
If you cannot find a satisfying description below, imagine yourself making the movement or posture in the dream to see if you can define what the feeling quality is, or what you are saying non-verbally. It can often be of value to make the movement or take up the posture physically instead of in the imagination. By comparing the movement/posture with another one, it can help to clarify its quality.
Example: Marilyn was expenencing emotional pain connected with her impending divorce. Marilyn had dreamt of seeing a dinosaur standing in her path, devounng all who approached it. We explored it by having Marilyn find a body posture and movements which for her expressed the feeling of the dinosaur. In doing so Marilyn did not sense anger or aggression, but she did feel like a predator which always had to take to gain her own needs. This feeling immediately reminded her of her family life as a child. She remembered when she was sent shopping as a very young child of three or four; as well as buying what she had been asked, she purchased some sweets for herself. When she arrived home she was treated as if she had done a terrible thing, and that was where she began to feel like a predator. It seemed to her as if her own needs were always gained at the expense of someone else.
‘With this awareness, she could now see that the dinosaur standing iti her path clearly related to her present situation. Bargaining to gain a realistic share of the house and property jointly owned by her husband and herself, felt to her as if she were gaining her needs at his expense, like a predator. That made her feel so awful, she was almost ready to allow her husband to take all, leaving her without house or money to start again. Her awareness of where the feelings arose from, and the unrealistic pan they played in her life, allowed her to relate to the situation with less pain and more wisdom’ (from Mind and Movement, Tony Crisp). ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Modern humans face the difficulty of developing an independent identity and yet keeping a working relationship with the primitive, thus maturing/bringing the primitive into an efficiently functioning connection with the present social world.
The survival urge at base might be kill or run, but it can be transformed into the ambition which helps, say, an opera singer meet difficulties in her career. Also the very primitive has in itself the promise of the future, of new aspects of human consciousness. This is because many extraordinary human functions take place unconsciously, in the realm of the reptile/spine/lower brain/right brain/autonomic nervous system. Being unconscious they are less amenable to our waking will. They function fully only in some fight or flight, survive or die, situations.
If we begin to touch these with consciousness, as we do in dreams, new functions are added to consciousness. See The dream as extended perception under ESP and dreams.
Unconscious life or growth processes which can lead to transformation (the frog/prince story); the growth from childhood vulnerability—tadpole to frog—therefore the process of life in general and its wisdom. Frogspawn: sperm, ovum and reproduction.
Example: ‘My wife and I saw a large lizard on the wall near a banana. It was there to catch the flies.
The lizard turned so it was facing away from us—head up the wall. We then were able to see it had large wing-like flaps which spread from its head in an invened V. With amazement we saw on these flaps wonderful pictures, in full colour, of birds. In fleeting thoughts I wondered if the bird “paintings” were to attract birds, or were some form of camouflage. But I felt cenain the lizard had “painted” these wonderful pictures with its unconscious an’ (David T). Generally, a lizard is very much the same as a snake, except it lacks the poisonous aspect; awareness of unconscious or instinctive drives, functions and processes. In the above dream, the banana is both David’s pleasure and sexuality, while the lizard is the creativity emerging from his unconscious through the attention he is giving it—he is looking at the lizard. Chameleon: either one’s desire to fade into the background, or adaptability.
Example: A small snake about a foot long had dropped down my shirt neck. I could feel it on the left side of my neck Fearing it was poisonous and might bite me, I moved very slowly. At one point I put my head on the ground, hoping the snake would wish to crawl away. It did not. Then I was near an elephant I loved, and hoped it would remove the snake. It did not. Even as I slept I felt the snake was an expression of the attitude of not shanng myself with anybody except family’ (David T).
For months prior to the above dream David had experienced a great deal of neck pain. After discussing the dream with his wife, and realising much of his thinking and feeling was intumed, the pain disappeared. So the snake was both poisoner’ and ‘healer’. This may be why snakes are used as a symbol of the medical profession.
The Hebrew word for the serpent in the Garden of Eden is Nahash, which can be translated as blind impulsive urges, such as our instinctive drives.
So, generally, snakes depict many different things, but usually the life process.
If we think of a person’s life from conception to death, we see a flowing moving event, similar in many ways to the speeded up films of a seed growing into a plant, flowering and dying.
The snake depicts the force or energy behind that movement and purposiveness—the force of life which leads us both to growth and death. That energy —like electricity in a house, which can be heat, power, sound and vision—lies behind all our functions. So in some dreams the snake expresses our sexuality, in others the rising of that energy up our body to express itself as digestion—the intestinal snake; as the healing or poisonous energy of our emotions and thoughts.
Example: ‘I was in a huge cathedral, the mother church. I wanted to go to the toilet/gents. As I held my penis to urinate it became a snake and reached down to the urinal to drink. It was thirsty. I struggled with it, pulling it away from the unclean liquid. Still holding it I walked to a basin and gave it pure water to drink’ (Bill A). Here the connection between snake and sexuality is obvious. But the snake is not just Bill’s penis.
It is the direction his sexual urges take him he is struggling with. Out of his sense of love and connection with life— the cathedral—he wants to lift his drive towards something which will not leave him with a sense of uncleanness. Snake in connection with any hole: sexual relatedness.
A snake biting us: unconscious worries about our health, frustrated sexual impulse, our emotions turned against ourselves as internalised aggression, can poison us and cause very real illness, so may be shown as the biting snake. Snake biting others: biting remarks, a poisonous tongue.
A crowned or light-encircled snake: when our ‘blind impulses’ or instinctive or unconscious urges and functions are in some measure integrated with our conscious will and insight, this is seen as the crowned snake or even winged snake. It shows real self awareness and maturity. In coils of snake: feeling bound in the ‘blind impulses’ or habitual drives and feeling responses. Instincts and habits can be redirected, as illustrated by Hercules’ labours. Snake with tail in mouth: sense of the circle of life—binh, growth, reproduction, aging, death, rebirth; the eternal. Snake coiling up tree, pole, cross: the blind instinctive forces of life emerging into conscious experience—in other words the essence of human expenence with its involvement in pain, pleasure, time and eternity; the process of personal growth or evolution; healing because personal growth often moves us beyond old attitudes or situations which led to inner tension or even sickness. Snake in grass: sense or intuition of talk behind your back; danger, sneakiness. Colours: green, our internal life process directed, perhaps through satisfied feelings, love and creativity, into a healing process or one which leads to our personal growth and positive change; white, eternal aspect of our life process, or becoming conscious of it; blue, religious feelings or coldness in relations. See colours; anxiety dreams; death and rebirth, the self under archetypes; dreams and Ancient Greece; cellar under house, buildings; hypnosis and dreams; jungle; paralysis. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Example: ‘The Devil was trying to force me to make love to a girl. I wanted to leap off the tower and fly away, but it was high, and I was frightened I would fall’ (Quentin C). Quentin is 15 and facing his emerging drive of love and sex.
The woman in the tower is here his idealised relationship with the opposite sex. Actual intimacy is threatening and he wants to ‘fly’ from it but feels this would be failure.
The Devil is his own life pushing to grow, but felt as threatening. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If we shoot or stab someone or something, we need to consider what part of ourself we are turning our aggression upon.
If we kill or injure a recognisable person, we may be harbouring the desire to hurt or kill that person, even if only in reputation. All weapons can represent male sexual drive or aggressive sexuality.
The situation in which the action takes place: defines what the weapon expresses. Ineffective weapons: feelings of inadequacy.
A work tool used as a weapon: our skill or authority turned against ourself or someone else, as might happen if a doctor got sexual favours through his position. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
Folklore: A warning that an enemy is arriving.... Little Giant Encyclopedia