The meaning of Dropped in dream | Dream interpretation
Voided; a mistake which caused failure of purpose
If the beads are being strung or counted in your dream, you will receive money from an unexpected source.
If a bead is lost or dropped in your dream, you will have to cope with small setbacks and disappointments.... Tryskelion Dream Interpretation
The example clearly shows one aspect of what a plane means, being daring in a new area, taking risks in life, braving a new work area or relationship. Sometimes the plane in the sky represents us feeling threatened by something new or unknown, thus one dreamer dreamt of bombs being dropped from a plane when she was offered a new job which would take her into the public eye.
The crashed plane: can be anxiety bringing down our ambition or adventurousness; a loss of self confidence or mental equilibrium.
The plane journey: shows a move towards independence; leaving home or friends; success. Being grounded: sense of not getting anywhere and frustration.
An attacking aircraft: feeling attacked either by our own doubts and self criticism, or that of others. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
The words find, finds, finding, found occur 297 times. And the words connected with looking and seeing occur 1,077 times.
During our development or growth we ‘fall’ from our mother’s womb when ripe; being dropped by a parent must be our earliest sense of insecurity; we fall many times as we learn to stand and walk; as we explore our boundaries in running, climbing, jumping and riding, falling is a big danger, at times it could mean death. Out of this we create the ways falling is used in dreams.
Example: ‘I am sitting in a high window box facing outwards, with my son and a friend of his on my left. I feel very scared of falling and ask my son and his friend to climb back into the building. I feel too scared to move until they shift’ (Trevor N). At the time of the dream Trevor was working, for the first time in his life, as a full-time freelance journalist. His wife was out of work and his frequency of sales low enough to cause them to be running out of money.
The building behind him in the dream felt like a place he had worked nine to five —security. Falling was failure, getting in debt, dropping into the feelings of self doubt and being incapable.
In general, then, falling represents loss of confidence; threat to usual sources of security such as relationship, source of money, social image, beliefs; tension. Sometimes it is loss of social grace; losing face, moral failure—falling into temptation; coming down to earth from a too lofty attitude, sexual surrender.
Example: ‘I was on a road which led up to the hospital I was put in at three. I felt a sense of an awful past as I looked at the road. Then I was standing on the edge of a precipice or cliff. My wife was about four yards away near the road. I stepped in an area of soft earth. It gave beneath my weight and I sank up to my waist. I realised the cliff edge was unstable and the whole area would fall. I was sinking and shouting to my wife to help me. She was gaily walking about and made light of my call for help. I cried out again. Still she ignored me. I shouted again for her help. She took no notice and I sank deeper, the ground gave way and I fell to my death’ (Barry 1). Through being put in a hospital at three without his mother, Barry had a deep seated fear that any woman he loved could desen him. His fall is the loss of any sense of bonding between him and his wife out of this fear. His death is the dying of his feeling of love and relationship, and the pain it causes. Understanding these fears, Barry was able to leave them behind in later dreams and in life.
By learning to meet our insecurities (perhaps by using the last question in dream processing) we can dare more in life. This is in essence the same as meeting the fear of falling off our bike as we learn to ride.
If we never master the fear we cannot ride. Therefore some dreams take falling into realms beyond fear.
The following examples illustrate this.
Example: ‘Near where I stood in the school gymnasium was a diving board, about 20 ft off the ground. Girls were learning to dive off the board and land flat on their back on the floor.
If they landed flat they didn’t hurt themselves—like falling backwards standing up’ (Barry I).
The school is where we learn. Once we learn to fall ‘flat on our back’, i.e. fail, without being devastated or ‘hurt’ by it, we can be more creative. Going fast to an edge and falling: could mean overwork and danger of breakdown of health.
Example: ‘As I prayed I realised I could fly. I lifted off the ground about 3 feet and found I could completely relax while going higher or falling back down. So it was like free fall. I went into a wonderful surrendered relaxation. My whole body sagging, floating in space. It was a very deep meditative experience (Sarah D). Sarah has found an attitude which enables her to soar/dare or fall/fail without being so afraid of being hurt or dying emotionally. This gives a form of freedom many people never experience. This does not arise from denying or suppressing fears.
Seeing things fall: sense of danger or change in regard to what is represented. Person falling: wish to be rid of them, or anxiety in regard to what they represent; end of a relationship. Child, son falling: see baby; son and daughter under family. House falling down, personal stress; illness; personal change and growth due to letting old habits and attitudes crumble. Example: ‘I was standing outside my mother’s house to the right.
The ground in front had fallen away.
The house was about to cave in. I felt no fear or horror. Instead I was thinking about new beginnings and the possibility of a new house’ (Helen B). Helen is here becoming more independent and leaving behind attitudes and dependency. See house; abyss; chasm. See also flying. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
If we do not argue any particular theory, however, then perhaps we see dreams as having a much wider function.
The most primal drives observable are survival, growth and reproduction. Other urges, such as eating, social position, curiosity, are secondary.
The human animal appears to have survived and reproduced more capably after the development of self awareness, language and reasoning. With or without these, we remain an animal with a psychobiological nature. All animals are known to dream. All animals share a certain situation. They have an internal world out of which arises impulses (to eat, to mate, to avoid danger) and feeling reactions (anger, fear, anticipation). And they have an external world which confronts them with real survival dangers, sources of food, a mate, changes in environmental conditions.
A dream lies somewhere between these two worlds.
We can think of the human personality as being like a special son of cavity into which all these influences are dropped or are thrown. Physical sensations, internal drives and emotions, language, social rules, religious ideas; prompts to make decisions; news of war, massive media and advertising information, are all dropped in.
The cavity has to deal with it, but as it is a mixture of things, many of which are in opposition, some sort of balance has to be kept. But how? And it cannot be simply a matter of throwing out all of one sort or aspect of things. Eradicating the memory of criticism might make us more calm, but it would limit the process of psychological growth, which has survival value.
Dreams can be seen to be connected with our survival and self regulating process. Because this involves all aspects of oneself and one’s experience, one cannot give dreams a single definition. They probably have many secondary functions, such as an interface to balance the internal and external influences, to compensate between the inner needs and outer reality—a baby may miss its feed so, to cope with this primal need, it may dream of being fed. Traumatic or exterior dangerous events, which cannot be processed immediately, can be stored and dealt with (experimented with or abreacted) while asleep. In higher mammals, infant traumas can be stored and dealt with in sleep when, or if, a stronger ego develops.
To meet the loneliness and isolation of consciousness’ or fears of death, the dream can link the waking self with its unconscious sense of unity or God.
To meet survival needs of primitive human beings prior to rational thought, the dream probably acted as a computer, synthesising experience and information, giving rise to creative solutions to hunting or social situations, presented as sleeping or waking imagery. This may explain why many pnmitive people say skills such as farming, weaving, writing, were told them by a vision of a god or goddess.
If we realise that the dream is an end product of a process which produces it, it enables us to see that the process’ (the survival function which regulates, compensates, links, problem solves) can be accessed without meeting the dream. See sleep movements; dream process as computer; Adler; Freud; Jung. ... 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
The sky was vivid pink and a peculiar aeroplane flew over. It was the shape of a cross’ (Mrs A).
The circle, the light, the shape of the cross and the big man, are all symbols of the Self. Our mind has the ability to view our experience as a whole, rather than in pans. What we sense unconsciously in this way is presented to the conscious mind as images such as UFOs or circles of light.
The ball of light or fire, this is a common waking experience as well as a dream image, which occurs when the person touches their sense of wholeness as described above. We see this mentioned in the description of Pentecost—the flame on top of the head—and may account for cases of people seeing flying saucers. See hallucinations, hallucinogens; satellite; dream as spiritual guide; unconscious. ... A Guide to Dreams and Sleep Experiences
To pick up a handkerchief that has been dropped is to pick up someone else’s troubles.
To blow your nose with a handkerchief means there will be news of sickness in the family.... Gypsy Dream Dictionary
Depth Psychology: Antlers are often a sign of marital or partner conflicts. In a man’s dream it usually indicates that he is afraid his partner is having an affair.... Dreamers Dictionary
Vision: For a woman, dreaming about falling is a metaphor for letting herself go. Falling means that you’re stumbling into an unpleasant situation. Feeling the act of falling, physically, is not a cause for alarm.
It is simply a case of “getting back into your body”—waking up too quickly It might also be a sign of low blood pressure. Falling into a ditch: your reputation will suffer. Falling over something: a certain matter is made clear to you. Stumbling without falling: things could have been a lot worse. Watching others falling: you’re going to unmask your enemies just in time. See Abyss, Fall.
Depth Psychology: Dreams about falling are a sign of the fear you have of people taking the “reins out of your hand,” of losing control. Have you lost faith in yourself, lost your sense of self-worth? .Are you afraid that others—for whatever reason—are going to “drop” you? Are you losing your good reputation? Or: have you “dropped” an old belief or opinion?... Dreamers Dictionary
It is halal unless he exhausts himself in it just as Adam (pbuh) had exhausted himself. Whoever sees as if the sun darkened, dropped or blackened [then] adversity will happen in the world from a scholar’s death or a just authority or supporting affliction or someone of his fatherly side dies thus he crosses over depending on the dreamer’s situation / condition.... Islamic Dream - Cafer-i Sadik
To dream of falling shows a lack of confidence in our own ability. We may feel threatened by a lack of security, whether real or imagined. We fear being dropped by friends or colleagues.... Dream Meanings of Versatile
If you lost it, or were unable to locate it, an unexpected inheritance is indicated for you or someone close to you.
Baggage being roughly handled or dropped is a warning against incurring debts.
Having your luggage carried for you suggests happy changes ahead.
See also Travel*... The Complete Guide to Interpreting Your Dreams
If they were being strung or counted, it signifies the receipt of unexpected money.
Lost or dropped beads represent some small disappointment.
See also Jewelry and Rosary.... The Complete Guide to Interpreting Your Dreams
Be careful with your money.... The Complete Guide to Interpreting Your Dreams
A dream of very fancy knitting such as argyle or intarsia patterns predicts the renewal of an old friendship or the acquisition of a new, unusually interesting one.
Of course if you are in fact a habitual or very skilled knitter, the dream has no significance.... The Complete Guide to Interpreting Your Dreams
If you have dropped anchor you are in control of emotions and are stopping to assimilate or sort out your life direction before moving on.
If you have no anchor you drift from shore to shore without purpose and freedom to choose. But, anchors are temporary and should not be used to hold you back from venturing into new experiences and lessons.... The Dream Books Symbols
If you drop or smash things in your dreams, this indicates that you are letting go of—or need to let go of— some project, relationship, person or idea. Be sure to analyze the significance of what is being dropped or smashed. Another explanation for dreams of breaking things is that you are expressing some dismay or regret at how you let something slip through fingers.... The Element Encyclopedia
If you give birth to two or more babies, this may symbolize groups of ideas or personal talents. On the other hand, it could also suggest that you need to lavish extra care and attention on your ‘brainchild’ if it is to be a success; if the dream baby is premature, this message is stressed further.
If you are looking after someone else’s baby in your dream, it could indicate that in waking life you feel as if you have been left ‘holding the baby’ in some way. Did you enjoy holding the baby or feel panicked by the responsibility? If you felt anxious, maybe you are worried about the responsibility that has been placed upon your shoulders in waking life. Pay attention to the behavior of the baby.
If the baby is happy, this suggests that you are fulfilling the needs of your brainchild, but if the baby is distressed, this suggests that your idea, project or talent isn’t being developed or cared for.
If you lost or injured a baby in your dream, this can suggest a loss of confidence on your part and an inability to put in the hard work required to see a project to completion.
If you are the parent of a young baby and you have this kind of dream, it could indicate that you are finding it hard to cope with the demands and responsibilities of caring for a baby in waking life. Your unconscious could also be highlighting your sense of guilt about not being a perfect enough parent and your desperate need for time to yourself.
If, however, procreation in waking life is not at the forefront of your conscious mind, dream babies may be an expression of an unconscious counterpart trying to acquaint you with the baby, or your own inner child, within. This is an aspect of yourself that is dependent on others for financial or emotional support, or the part of you that longs to be reborn and relive your life again. Or perhaps this ‘baby’ is a part of the personality or aspect that has not been ‘born’ or expressed before.
If your dream baby is born with an adult body and a baby head, this suggests an approach to life that is still immature.
If your dream baby is born with a baby body and an adult head, it suggests adult intellect but emotional and sexual immaturity.
If the baby is beautiful, gifted or remarkable in some way, this represents the emergence of personal insight and previously unconscious elements of yourself.
A baby boy in your dream suggests the birth of a new phase of self- expression and new activities and achievements, whereas a baby girl suggests new aspects of feeling and relationships with others.
If the baby is crying, this indicates that your fundamental needs for love, support, comfort and happiness are not being met. Is there something distressing you at a feeling level that you are not acknowledging? If you drop a baby in your dreams, this suggests carelessness in dealing with your basic needs, especially as it concerns connection with others. It can also refer to a mistake or missed opportunity, or a feeling that someone has dropped or lost interest in you.
If the baby is smiling, this suggests a deep level of comfort, security and satisfaction.... The Element Encyclopedia
If you take your gloves off in your dream, this may suggest a desire for more honesty in waking life.
If you took your right-hand glove off in order to shake hands with someone, your dream reveals your real feelings for that person.
If you put on a pair of gloves in your dream, could it be that you are worried about revealing your hand? Or is someone in waking life behaving so unpredictably that you feel you have to treat them with kid gloves?... The Element Encyclopedia
If a dog appears in your dream, pay attention to whether it was aggressive or friendly. It is also important to consider what your waking feelings about dogs are, as this will have an influence on the interpretation of your dream.
If you love dogs and you enjoyed caring for or playing with your dog in your dream, then it may be a sign that you are in need of more fun and friendship in your real life. Alternatively, because dogs are traditionally thought to be loyal, dependable, faithful friends and protectors to humans, it may be that your unconscious was highlighting these qualities within yourself or a person you know. Perhaps you are longing to have a friend you can trust and on whom you can depend.
Dogs typically represent friends and companionship in dreams, so if you dreamed of taking out-of-control dogs for a walk with them all straining on a lead, perhaps you are finding it hard to fit into your current circle of friends; do you feel that you have little in common with them anymore? If your dog broke away from you or you dropped its lead in your dream, do you fear losing the trust or loyalty of your friends? If you are taking a dog for a walk and were holding the lead, this suggests that you might be restraining of your aggression towards a friend or someone else; if someone else is holding the lead, it may be that you are feeling attacked by someone you know.
If a dog was aggressive in your dream and you fear dogs in waking life, your unconscious may have been reflecting your waking fear. If, however, you love dogs in real life, such a dream may represent a friend who is about to turn on you in waking life—perhaps they already have.
The loud barking of a dream dog can signal the animal within you trying to break free. Perhaps you feel angry about someone or something and are close to exploding with rage; or is your bark worse than your bite? A dog barking happily shows that you are enjoying your social life. A friendly, happy dog shows that you have lots of good friends. A dog barking and snarling warns against enemies and if the dream dog is big and powerful, as well as friendly, it shows that you feel in need of a powerful protector.
If a dog bit you in your dream, could this suggest an ungrateful loved one or relative who is biting the hand that feeds? Since dogs are often associated with masculine energy, if you were attacked by a dream dog, such a dream might represent feelings about a man or a relationship with a man. The black dog figures quite frequently in people’s dream imagery. For some people it represents depression; for others, death.
If a dog appears in your dream you may also want to consider if your dreaming mind is speaking in puns. Do you feel ‘sick as a dog’ or are you ‘in the doghouse’, and so on? Although interpretations will vary, bear in mind that in general a dream of dogs usually has positive association.... The Element Encyclopedia
Most dreams are full of images: of people dead and alive, known and unknown, animals both domestic and wild, landscapes and buildings familiar and strange, or any number of other symbolic images such as jewelry, household things, clothing, and so on. A dream usually has some kind of a story line. You may find yourself on an adventure of some kind. You may dream of celebrities or other famous people either from the present or the past.
I once had a fascinating dream of visiting the president Woodrow Wilson, who had been in office during the time of World War I, long before I was even born. During my dream visit to the president, we talked of many things of a psychic and occult nature. I wondered what it meant. When I discussed this dream with my dreamwork partner, who was a good bit older than I and very knowledgeable about matters concerning the occult, he told me that Woodrow Wilson had held seances in the White House! At the time, I was just beginning my own studies of the occult and having psychic experiences on a regular basis.
Food is another symbol that often appears in dreams. The kind of food and how it is presented and eaten (if eating occurs) are matters for the dreamer to understand. Food dreams may relate to what you had for supper—or what you wanted to have and didn’t get. Or you may have food concerns, such as being on a diet to lose weight or trying to gain weight.
The number of symbols that the dream-mind can produce is practically endless, and most of these symbols are up for individual interpretation. Some, however, have universal meaning. We’ll discuss mostly the first kind in this chapter.
PERSONAL DREAM SYMBOLS
One of the best ways to get at the meaning of the symbols in your dreams is by free association. This is the method made popular by the psychologist Sigmund Freud. In this method, you simply go with the first thing that pops into your mind when the trigger word is given. Do the exercises presented on pages 48–50 in order to begin to get familiar with your own word associations.
AMPLIFICATION OF SYMBOLIC MEANINGS
Once you have identified a symbol in a dream, you can use the free association process to get at its meaning. If you don’t immediately get an associative thought about the dream symbol, work backward through your feelings and experiences with the symbol until you hit something that fits or makes sense. Suppose, for example, that you see a tiger in a dream. Do you like tigers or are they an object of fear? Maybe you saw a nature film recently about tigers and are concerned about their survival as a species. The important thing is to discover what a tiger means to you in the present, for the meanings of your symbols can change over time.
As you begin to work with your dreams on a regular basis and gain a high level of ability to recall your dreams (which we’ll discuss in chapter 5), you will become familiar with your own personal symbolic style. Most of us are influenced symbolically by the objects we are familiar with—such as religious symbols like crosses and pictures of saints or holy people—and also by our everyday life experiences. For example, if you have a pet of any kind, you are likely to dream about that animal. Of course, you may dream about animals even if you don’t keep a pet, and you may dream about wild animals. But if you dream of your own pet, it will have personal significance to you alone.
Sometimes you have a dream that seems to complete some unfinished business of the day—say you had a math problem you couldn’t solve and you dreamed yourself in a classroom with the solution written on the blackboard. Freud believed that dreams were “wish fulfillment” vehicles, and it is true that we can dream of things or experiences that we want (such as getting a date with a particular person) but dreams are much, much more than simple wish fulfillment. They are complex and multileveled, as you will realize by working steadily with your dreams.
“Then your I is no longer your mundane little self but the I of the Big Dreamer who is dreaming the whole universe.”
Fred A. Wolf, Physicist
Most dream symbols are not to be taken literally. You often need to do a bit of sleuthing to get at what the message of the dream symbol, or story, is for you. An example I read in one dream book was a dream of Bob Hope hopping on a pogo stick. At first, this seems nonsensical, but the dreamer was depressed and the dream was interpreted as “Hope springs eternal.” Here’s an example of a recent series of dreams of my own, concerning food.
Here’s another example along the same lines, but with a different twist—that of a lemon peel!
It is interesting to note that some types of dreams that we know to be quite common have never been reported from sleep labs (as least not as far as I have found in my research). One of these is the nightmare. It seems that people don’t want to tell their deepest fears to a sleep lab researcher. Another common type is the wet dream, so named for when a male ejaculates semen while dreaming (though females also have this type of sexual dream). It is interesting to note that most of the subjects in sleep labs are young male college students, whom one might presume to often have wet dreams. But these are, apparently, considered too private to dream when under observation.
Most dreams are not to be taken literally; just because you dream of someone dying does not mean the person will die. In fact, the literal interpretation of dreams can be dangerous and cause fear and anxiety. Also, dream books are not to be trusted. It’s worth repeating that you have your own set of inner symbolic meanings. What a cat means to me—an avid cat lover—and what a cat means to someone who hates or fears cats would be something quite different. Always remember that your inner symbol-producing mechanism is yours alone, unique. That being emphasized, there are a few symbols that can be considered universal, such as the ocean or water representing the unconscious processes.
The best way for you to learn to interpret your own personal symbol system is by continually paying attention to your dreams, writing them down, and doing your own interpretations. Dream interpretation is an art, not a science, and no scientific sleep lab can read the content or measure the meaning of dreams. Isis, the ancient Egyptian goddess queen, was believed to say “No mortal has lifted my veil,” and this can well apply to the scientific efforts to penetrate the mysteries of dream in sleep labs.
If you are just beginning to pay attention to your dreams, begin the process of interpretation by recording the symbols that appear most frequently. This applies especially to any recurring dreams or motifs you may experience. For example, I know that when my cat Fuzz (who’s dead now) appears in a dream, it means my heart center is the subject of the dream. Depending on the story line of the dream and what Fuzz is doing or how we are interacting, I can figure out what the dream message about my heart is.
“There are a lot of people on the planet right now who don’t think that dreams are important. Perhaps it is that attitude which contributes to the ill health of the planet as a whole. If so, it depends more and more on you, the Spiritual Warriors of your generation, to weave the dreams that can heal the planet.” Dr. Laurel Ann Reinhardt, “Dream Weaving,” in The Thundering Years by Julie Johnson
The world of dream and intuition is really not divorced from our everyday reality, not a thing apart. Most people today think their dreams have nothing to do with real life, but they are wrong. We are all multifaceted beings with complexities of which often we are hardly aware. Too many people operate solely on linear thinking (the standard modern-day mode that is taught to young people in schools) and aren’t aware that there are other ways to think and to obtain information. As Seth, the “spirit guide” that Jane Roberts “channeled” in a series of books “by” Seth, says, “You must change your ideas about dreaming, alter your concepts about it, before you can begin to explore it. Otherwise, your own waking prejudice will close the door.”
All of the many facets of our personalities are operating all the time, even when we aren’t conscious of them, just like our body chemistry goes on about its business when we are totally unaware of its functioning. Dreams can speak to parts of ourselves that we are ignoring, but we can’t get the benefit from them unless we pay attention and approach their symbolic messages with an open mind and trusting heart.
While the symbolism in dreams may require interpretation, when we have difficulty with it we must realize that its purpose isn’t to mystify us. As Dr. Jung says in his autobiography, Memories, Dreams, Reflections:
In working with your own personal dream symbols and motifs to decipher the meaning of your dreams, you may need to come at them from all angles. The following mind-mapping technique is especially helpful for those who function better using pictures and images, colors and drawings, than using a strictly verbal or writing mode.
As you practice interpreting your dreams and get more deeply into the process, it will become an enjoyable habit and you’ll soon feel like an old pro at the game. You will get better and better, and your confidence will start to soar. Even if you have only a scrap of a dream to go on, it can lead to fruitful ideas. Here’s an example from my personal files:
With a little skill, you’ll be able to start integrating your dreams into everyday life. We’ll get into this in the next chapter, where we discuss how you can use dreams for specific purposes. However, please approach the entire subject of your dreams, their interpretations, and how you can use them with an open mind and in a relaxed state. Getting tense over interpretation is counterproductive and will block your efforts to make connections.... Dreampedia
A study carried out by Robert L. Van de Castle found a larger number of animal dreams in children than in adults. Dreams of a group of 741 children (383 girls and 358 boys) aged four to six- teen were examined for the presence of animal figures. The frequency for each animal figure at each age level was tabulated for girls and boys. Animal figures were present in 39.4 percent of dreams from the four- and five-year-old children. The percentage steadily dropped for each subsequent age grouping (six- and seven-year-olds, 35.5 percent; eight- and nine-year-olds, 33.6 percent; ten- and eleven-year-olds, 29.8 percent; twelve- and thirteen-year-olds, 21.9 percent; and fourteen- through sixteen-year-olds, 13.7 percent).
Boys had higher animal percentage figures at ages four through six (44 percent, versus 34 per- cent for girls), while girls had higher animal dreams at ages nine through eleven (36 percent, versus 26 percent for boys). Overall, animal figures appeared in 29 percent of the combined girls’ dreams and 29.6 percent of the combined boys’ dreams. There were more than three times as many animal figures in the dreams of children as there were in the dreams of adults. The seven most frequent animal figures for children were dogs (30), horses (28), cats (15), snakes (15), bears (14), lions (13), and monsters (e.g., wolfman) (13).
If the frequencies for all animal figures are considered, it is clear that children dream more frequently of large and threatening wild animals, while college students dream more often of pets and domesticated animals. Bears, lions, tigers, gorillas, elephants, bulls, dinosaurs, dragons, and monsters accounted for twenty-seven percent of the animal figures in children’s dreams but only seven percent of the animal figures in adult dreams. This collection of wild animals appeared more frequently (forty-four times) in boys’ dreams than in girls’ dreams (twenty-seven times). Several theorists have suggested that these large, threatening animals may represent parental figures in the dreams of children.
An interesting gender difference was found in the types of animal figures. Women and girls reported significantly more mammals, while men and boys reported significantly more nonmammals. This may indicate females identify at some level with other forms of life that nurse their young with mammary glands, and this identification is reflected in the type of animals that appear in their dreams.
The meaning of animals in dream ... Dreampedia