A warm yellow is the color of the radiant energy of the sun, enlightening and wanning at the same time.
Color Therapy: Yellow is a good color in cases of digestive problems, liver and gallbladder problems, diabetes, food allergies, low blood sugar, too much sexual energy, muscle tension and spasms, asthma, and depression.
Depth Psychology: Yellow is a symbol of your optimism, sunny disposition, the light, joy spirit, and your interest in new things. But it is also irritation, envy, extroversion, extreme motivation, and activity.... Dreamers Dictionary
Dreaming that you are walking through a beautiful landscape denotes better times after a difficult period. Many people cultivate the ability to wake up in dreams in order to gain information about the future. One method of achieving this is to imagine that you are in a time machine. The dream will come on in the calendar as you indicate, and your mind will receive relevant premonitions.... The Big Dictionary of Dreams
If the dream is pleasant it signals the dreamer’s agreeability for the direction of her future.
If it is uncomfortable it indicates fear and guilt for the way the dreamer is carrying out her life in the present. Some dreams come to us in the form of prophecies and it seems that they reveal future events to us. Other times, we have the impression that we had already dreamed of an actual event. However, it is hard to tell whether we dreamed of that particular event for sure.
It is advisable not to take these dreams as premonitions because, usually, the unconscious significantly distorts the information.... The Big Dictionary of Dreams
R... The Big Dictionary of Dreams
Its symbolism is related to premonitions and the ability of divination. The fruit that guards a secret treasure can be interpreted as the reward of risk and hard work.... The Big Dictionary of Dreams
Christianity and dreams
According to traditional Christianity, the purpose of dreams is to improve communication with God; this can be shown by the constant references in the Bible to communication through the medium of dreams between man and God, man and the angels, and between man and his higher self. The moral standards of the dreamer may be reflected in the clarity and degree of quality of their dreams.
Hinduism and dreams
Hindu dream interpretation puts great importance on individual dream images, and relates them to gods and demons. This belief that dream symbols may be universal as well as individual is similar to the more modern ideas put forward by Carl Jung in his theory of the ’collective unconscious’.
Islam and dreams
Dreams, according to Muslim scholars, are of three types. The first of these are sound dreams that are indicative of glad tidings. These can include premonitions of the future. A second type of dream is said to be evil and the result of Satanic whisperings or inspirations. A third type of dream can be termed as ’idle dreams’, and they are the result of eating unpalatable foods, the over-exercise of one’s imaginations, or experiences in life which might also be reflected in one’s dreams.
Judaism and dreams
Dreams have long been considered a legitimate form of divine revelation in Jewish mysticism and throughout Jewish history—from Hagar, Joseph and King Solomon to Sigmund Freud and beyond— Jews have honored their dreams and searched for their deeper meanings. Judaism takes dreams very seriously. In the Bible, we read of the dreams of the great people of Israel: Abraham, Jacob, Joseph and many of the prophets. Judaism is of the opinion that all prophecy, except for the prophecy of Moses, was transmitted to the prophets when they were in a dreamlike, almost catatonic, trance. The Talmud places heavy emphasis on the interpretation of the dream as the key to its fulfillment.
If a seemingly bad or frightening dream is interpreted positively, no ill effects from that dream will ever actually occur.
Other traditions and dreams
Oriental traditions concerning dreams are comparative and philosophical; the dreamer’s state of mind is thought to be of more importance than the predictive power of the dreams themselves.
Ancient Chinese philosophy holds that the soul is separated from the body whilst dreaming and that several levels of consciousness exist; the dreamer’s horoscope, time of year, and the individual’s physical condition are all taken into consideration when interpreting dreams.... The Element Encyclopedia
Sigmund Freud pioneered the use of dreams in therapy, bringing them to widespread attention, but many other approaches have been developed since then. The common feature for people who use dreams as therapeutic tools for physical and emotional healing is that dreams can empower them; they feel in touch with a powerful inner process that they believe is working actively for their own good.
Since time immemorial, people have created special places in which to sleep and dream. The dreaming chamber on the island of Malta is one example, but ancient dream temples can be found all over the world. These places were meant to ’incubate’ wise, deep dreams that would bring guidance and healing to the dreamer. Most of us do not have a dream temple located conveniently nearby; but the idea of receiving valuable, healing dreams is an appealing one, so here are four simple steps for creating a dream temple anywhere you like.
Find or create a special place for dreaming
For those of us fortunate enough to have more than enough rooms in our living space, the answer is simple: make one of those rooms— perhaps a guest room that is rarely used—into a dream place. Furnish it sparklingly, but make sure that the bed is comfortable. For the majority of us who don’t have a room to spare, we need to be a little bit more creative. Clear some space in a room in which you are comfortable and designate it as your dream place. All the time, keep in mind that you are preparing your sleeping space to facilitate your dreaming.
You are going to be welcoming dreams in a way that you don’t ordinarily do, so treat the experience as special from the outset. You might want to take a long bath. Make yourself comfortable. Eat lightly, if at all, for dinner. It’s probably best if you don’t consume alcohol or smoke the day before your dream incubation. As you go through your activities, keep in mind that you are preparing yourself to welcome dreams.
Focus on dreaming
Throughout your day, you are simply preparing yourself to be more receptive to dreams. Focus on dreaming.
If you have a particular issue in your life, you might tell yourself to ask for guidance in your dream.
This is not a one-shot exploration. Try it for a few days or even for a week—or for as long as you like. ... The Element Encyclopedia
A dream that seemingly includes knowledge about the future which cannot be inferred from actually available information is referred to as a precognitive dream. For example, you may dream of your friend being involved in a skiing accident, only to discover a week later that this has actually happened when your friend calls you to say they have broken their leg. Precognitive dreams have been reported throughout history; famous examples are the Pharaoh’s dream of seven fat and seven thin cows, and Bishop Lanyi’s dream of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the event that triggered World War I.
Most studies indicate that women report more precognitive dreams than men, while the frequency of precognitive dreaming declines with age.
Precognitive dreams tend to focus on the possibility of accidents or disaster. Though they are generally considered symbolic of psychological processes, some precognitive dreams and nightmares are intended as guidance or warnings on a very practical level. For example, if you were to dream about the brakes failing on your car, it might help to ponder whether you are figuratively having trouble ‘slowing yourself down’ in your life, however, it also wouldn’t hurt to check the actual brakes on your automobile in waking life. In the great majority of cases dreams about some kind of disaster or the death or murder of yourself or a loved one, warn of current behavior trends, courses of action, or decisions which may soon become detrimental unless you change them. There are however, extremely rare occasions when a dream occurs that does appear to accurately and inexplicably predict a future event; although this event may not always be about an important world event or news item and is more likely to be about normal every day events, such as who you might bump into on the way to work. How and why this occurs is unknown but if it does occur it could indicate potential psychic or clairvoyant ability in the dreamer.... The Element Encyclopedia
In his book Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, 1847-1865, Ward Hill Lamon relates a dream Lincoln had shortly before his death. In the dream, Lincoln heard a group of people mournfully weeping downstairs in the White House, but when he went to investigate, he found no mourners, although their desperate weeping continued. Upon entering the East Room he discovered a corpse wrapped in funeral vestments. Demanding of one of the soldiers stationed there, ‘Who is dead in the White House?,’ he received the reply, ‘The President. He was killed by an assassin.’ A day before the SS Titanic’s demise, a woman on the infamous ship dreamt of the horrible event that was to occur the next day. She told her husband, who scoffed at her worries and ignored her pleas. However, the dream so affected her that she secretly prepared herself the night before and had all her children sleep in their warm clothes in order to be ready at a moment’s notice. During the night, after the ship struck the iceberg, she and her children were rescued and escaped the sinking ship. Her husband, sadly, went down with more than 1,500 people.
In 1914, one hundred and twenty Newfoundland sealers were abandoned on an ice-floe in the North Atlantic during winter. The incompetence of the ship’s captain, and of other crew members, meant that the missing men were not noticed for two days and two nights. By the time they were rescued, more than half were dead. It was the worst disaster to strike the Newfoundland sealing community in many years. However, the disaster did not come without warning. One of the fiftyfive survivors later told of a dream he had two weeks before the disaster. According to Cassie Brown’s report on the disaster: ‘John Howlet had suffered a chilling nightmare weeks before. In his dream he was on a mountain of ice, lost and freezing. He was alone, terribly and frighteningly alone, but everywhere he wandered there were vague, indefinable “things” on the ice around him—things with no particular shape that he could make out. He found himself walking among those things, unable to find his way, wondering what they were and dreading them. In his dream he was counting, counting, counting…He was still counting the white mounds when he awoke, shivering and terribly depressed.’
Unfortunately, even this dream did not make him avoid joining the crew of the ship, Newfoundland, most of whom would be dead in a matter of days. It was only afterwards he realized that the bodies covered with snow were the white mounds from his dream.
In his autobiography, Jung recounts disturbing dreams and visions in 1913. In one vision he witnessed a monstrous flood covering Germany and realized a catastrophe was in progress. ‘I saw the mighty yellow waves, the floating rubble of civilization, and the drowned bodies of uncounted thousands. Then the whole sea turned to blood.’ Jung said he was perplexed and nauseated, assuming this vision was personal. It was not until World War I broke out a year later that he realized its collective nature. This irrational experience led Jung to conclude that each person’s unconscious possesses not only a personal, but also a collective, dimension.
Probably one of the best-established and most reputable cases of premonitions of disaster comes from the grim events that occurred on 21 October 1966 in Aberfan, Wales. On that day, 116 children and twenty-eight adults were killed when a large mountain of coal collapsed and buried a small section of the town of Aberfan, including an elementary school filled with children. The disaster touched nearly every family in the town and effectively extinguished an entire generation of children. After the disaster, the reports of premonitions began to flood in. The mother of one of the deceased students reported that her ten-year-old child (who died in the disaster) had a dream the night before which foretold the disaster. The child told her mother, ‘I dreamed I went to school and there was no school there.
Something black had come down all over it.’
The reports of precognitive dreams literally came from all over Wales and England. One lady had a nightmare that she suffocated in ‘deep blackness’. Another dreamed of a small child being buried by a large landslide. Another clearly saw a schoolhouse be buried by an avalanche of coal, and rescue workers digging frantically for survivors. Another woke up from a nightmare in which she was being buried alive. On the morning of the disaster, Mrs Sybil Brown woke from a dream in which she saw children being overcome by ‘a black, billowing mass’. Probably the clearest of the premonitions was reported by a man in north-west England who claimed that the night before the disaster he had a dream which consisted only of letters being spelled out in dazzling light: A-B-E-R-F-A-N. At the time, the dream had no meaning to him. Hours later, he would realize with horror what it meant.
An interesting phenomenon occurred in the aftermath of the terrorist plane attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and damaged the Pentagon on 11 September 2001: numerous people came forward with reports of vivid dreams they’d had of these disasters in advance. The dreams were filled with images that later took place: planes crashing into buildings, planes crashing on the ground, tall buildings collapsing, flames shooting out of buildings, people running covered in gray ash, and feelings of panic, mass death and war. These nightmarish dreams were so realistic that many people awoke from them in terror and sweat.
The question most often raised about precognitive disaster dreams is, if so many people dreamed in advance of these disasters, why could nothing have been done to prevent them? The answer is that most people who have precognitive dreams only realize that they have had them after the events the dreams foretold have taken place, and they see how their dreams matched the events. Other dreamers, especially those who have periodic or frequent precognitive dreams, usually do not dream enough specific details to know exactly what is going to happen, where, and when. Some may only have a sense of dread that ‘something terrible’ is going to happen, usually soon. For example, a dream that a tall building is collapsing would not have sparked the immediate connection that terrorists were going to fly planes into the World Trade Center on the morning of 11 September 2001. A dream analyst would more likely interpret the image dream within the context of the dreamer’s life, suggesting that the dream reflected emotional turmoil within the dreamer’s life.... The Element Encyclopedia
Dreams and their purpose
Consider dreams like home movies that each person produces in response to their daily experiences. These movies are meant to clarify certain situations and support the person. With sufficient knowledge, they can become a sort of spiritual guide, since oneiric thoughts are a window to the subconscious where, frequently, hidden feelings and repressed needs are stored without us realizing.
Even then, there are people who question the importance of dreams. Some scientists, for example, believe that the content of dreams is simply a random mix of the many electronic signals the brain receives. Others, however, find all types of messages in even the simplest dreams, and end up distancing themselves from daily reality in favor of oneiric activity.
Neither extreme is advisable. Each dream is undoubtedly a journey into the unknown, but, at the same time, modern psychology has allowed us to understand a good part of their structure. One of the conclusions drawn from the study of dreams confirms this: dreams can be a priceless aid to the imagination, but above all when it comes to solving problems. You just have to know how to listen to them, because their content tends to have a direct relation to the emotional challenges you are experiencing.
Each dream is a journey to the unknown with an implicit personal message. Although it is the content of the episode that determines our emotional state, dreaming in black and white indicates a possible lack of enthusiasm or nostalgia for the past. These dreams are an invitation to live with more intensity and enjoy the present.
Still from the film Viaje a la Luna (Méliès, 1902).
It is known that in times of crisis, our oneiric production increases significantly, both in quantity and intensity. Should we consider this “surplus” to be positive? Yes, as long as one makes an effort to remember and interpret the dreams, since, as we will see further on, they have a valuable therapeutic potential.
For example, if a couple is going through a critical phase, remembering and analyzing usually helps them understand the subconscious reactions they have to the situation. In other words, dreams are an excellent tool to get to the bottom of emotional conflicts. Knowing the causes is an essential step to resolving the problems, regardless of what course you take.
The English psychologist David Fontana, whose books have been translated into more than twenty languages, said it clearly: “In listening to my patients’ dreams in therapy sessions, I have observed how, often, these can take us right to the root of the psychologic problem much quicker than other methods.” Although, we shouldn’t fool ourselves: dreams are a mystery that can rarely decipher everything. But if a certain level of interpretation helps us understand ourselves better, what more can we ask for? From a practical point of view, our own oneiric material can be very useful.
In dreams, relationships with others are a recurring theme. The people that appear in our dreams, especially strangers, represent facets of ourselves that the subconscious is showing us.
Well-known writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson, William Blake, Edgar Allan Poe, and Woody Allen have had faith in this, acknowledging that part of their works have been inspired by dreams. The discoveries of Albert Einstein or Niels Bohr (father of modern atomic physics), among other celebrated scientists, had the same origin. In any case, these examples shouldn’t confuse us: no dream can tell you what path to follow through symbolic images without the intellect to decipher them.
Prosperity, precognition, and pronostics
What’s more, judging by some documented cases, we can even reap material gain from dreams. There is proof of some people that had premonitory dreams managing to earn significant sums of money thanks to their oneiric “magic.” The most spectacular case was in the fifties, when an Englishman named Harold Horwood won a considerable number of prizes betting on horses. His dreams transmitted clues as to the winning racehorse to bet on. Unfortunately, these types of premonitions don’t come to everyone. However, anyone has the opportunity to discover the greatest treasure of all—knowledge of one’s self—through their dreams.
We’ve all experienced the feeling of having lost control of our lives at some point. We might feel like others are deciding things for us or that we are victims of our circumstances.
Our “dream-scapes” contain valuable information about our desires and concerns; they could also function as a forecast of some aspect of our future. According to ancient tradition, dreaming of stars predicts prosperity and spiritual wealth. “Starry Night” (Van Gogh, 1889).
However, many psychologists disagree with this. That is, they argue that daily events are not coincidences but rather meaningful deeds that reflect the inner state of the individual.
Dreams and thoughts
According to these experts, luck is a pipe dream, something that does not exist, since that which we consider the result of coincidence is none other than the natural manifestation of our thoughts and attitudes. We are basically creator, not passive receivers or victims of the events that unravel in our lives.
An example that illustrates this idea perfectly is the story of the old man who threw rocks into the sea. One day, someone asked if he ever got bored of the simple game. The old pebble thrower stared at his questioner and gave an answer he’d never forget: “My small stones are more important than they seem, they provoke repercussions. They will help create waves that, sooner or later, will reach other other side of the ocean.”
What does this have to do with dreams? It’s simple: as we’ve just seen, we are the only ones responsible for our daily experiences, no matter how hard that is to believe. Therefore it shouldn’t be too difficult to take control of our lives; we just have to listen to the messages in our interior, that is, our oneiric thoughts, of which we are ultimately the authors.
In this way, thanks to dreams, our two existences—conscious and unconscious—can work together to make our lives more creative and free. An important part of this process is getting to know and understanding better the process of thought. One of the most beautiful and commonly used visualizations in yoga reminds us of this: “In the bottom of the lake of our thoughts is a jewel. In order for it to shine in the light of the sun (the divine), the water (the thoughts) must be pure and crystal clear and calm, free of waves (excitement). If our water is murky or choppy, others can’t see this jewel, our inner light...”
In the bottom of the lake of our thoughts is a jewel...
But it’s not that simple: it’s often difficult to discern the connection that unites wakefulness with sleep, between what we think ourselves to be and what our oneiric fantasies say about us. In any case, if our search is passionate and patient, constant and conscious, it will result in the discovery of our true Self. Therefore the interpretation of dreams cuts right to the heart of the message conceived by and for ourselves (although not consciously). It is important to learn to listen to them (further on we will discuss techniques for this) when it comes time to unstitch their meaning and extract the teachings that can enrich our lives.
The rooms in our dreams reflect unknown aspects of our personality.
In this way, when we have to make an important decision, we can clear up any doubts through a clear understanding of our most intimate desires. Although it may seem like common sense, this is not that common these days, since most people make decisions at random, out of habit, or by impulse.
The meaning and psychic effect of some deities in Tibetan Buddhism can be linked to the monsters that are so popular today.
Dreams allow creativity a free rein and free us from worry, sometimes resulting in surreal images that would be impossible in waking life.
Put simply, the idea is to find your true identity and recognize your wounds, fears, and joys through dreams. Never forget that the subconscious, although hidden, is an essential part of our personality. Dreams are fundamental for understanding the Self, since they are a direct path to this little-known part of ourselves. Their symbolic content allows us to recover repressed emotions and gives us a map to the relationships that surround us.
Nightmares that put us to the test
Sometimes the messages they bring us are not so pleasant and take the form of nightmares. However, although it may be hard to accept, these nightmares are valuable warnings that some aspects of our life are not
in harmony with our deepest Self and thus need our prompt intervention. Nightmares are proof that self discovery is not always pleasant. Sometimes it’s necessary to feel this pain in order to find out what you really are and need.
On the other hand, dreams give creativity a free rein because, when we sleep, we are free from our day-to-day worries. Therefore, even if you don’t consider yourself a creative person, keep in mind that all the scenes, symbols, and characters that appear in your dreams have been created solely and exclusively by you.
It’s often very helpful to record dreams in a notebook (we will explain how further on) in order to later analyze them and apply their teachings to daily life.
It is quite the paradox; the human being awakens their most intimate reality precisely when they are sleeping.
Carl Gustav Jung, who dedicated his life to studying dreams, developed this metaphor: “People live in mansions of which they only know the basements.” Only when our conscience is sleeping do we manage to unveil some of the rooms of our magnificent house: rooms that may be dusty and inhospitable and fill us with terror and anxiety, or magnificent rooms where we want to stay forever.
Given that they all belong to us, it is reasonable to want to discover them all. Dreams, in this sense, are a fundamental tool.
How to remember dreams
At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Sure, dreams are really important, but I can’t use them because I simply don’t remember them.” That’s not a problem, there are techniques you can use to strengthen your memory of oneiric thoughts. Techniques that, when applied correctly, allow us to remember dreams surprisingly well.
The use of these methods is indispensable in most cases since people tend to forget dreams completely when they wake up. Why? Because, according to the hypothesis of Sigmund Freud, we have a sort of internal censor that tries to prevent our oneiric activity from becoming conscious material.
Sometimes the message of dreams turns unpleasant and takes the form of a nightmare...
However, we can laugh in the face of this censor with a few tricks. The most drastic is to wake up suddenly when the deepest sleep phase (REM phase) is just about to end, so that you can rapidly write all the details of your mind’s theater in your notebook. Waking suddenly will take this censor by surprise, stopping it from doing its job. The best time to set the alarm is for four, five, six, or a little more than seven hours after going to sleep.
If your level of motivation is not high enough to get up in the middle of the night and record your dreams, there are alternatives that let you sleep for a stretch and then remember what you dream with great precision.
First of all, it’s helpful to develop some habits before going to bed, such as waiting a few hours between dinner and going to sleep. Experts recommend avoiding foods that cause gas (legumes like green beans, raw vegetables, etc.) and foods high in fat.
You must also keep in mind that, like tea and coffee, tobacco and alcohol alter the sleep cycle and deprive the body of a deep sleep (the damaging effects of a few glasses on the body does not disappear for about four hours).
What is recommended is to drink water or juice, or eat a yogurt, more than two hours after eating, before going to bed. There are two main reasons for this: liquids facilitate a certain purification of the body, and because, most interestingly for our purposes, it causes us to get up in the middle of the night. As we said, this will catch the internal censor by surprise and allow us to record our dreams easily.
Relaxing in bed and going over the events of the day helps free the mind and foster oneiric creativity.
Yoga exercises, such as the savasana pose, are great for relaxation, restful sleep, and a positive outlook.
It’s important to surround yourself with an environment that stimulates oneiric activity. You should feel comfortable in your room and your bed. The fewer clothes you wear to sleep, the better. Practicing relaxation techniques, listening to calming music, or taking a warm bath a few minutes before getting into bed will help relieve stress so that you enjoy a deep restorative sleep.
There are good books on relaxation on the market, both autogenous and yogic; we recommend one of the most practical, Relajacion para gente muy ocupada (Relaxation for Busy People), by Shia Green, published by this same publishing house. However, the real key is to concentrate on remembering dreams. When you go to bed, go over the events of the day that were important to you. This way, you will increase the probability of dreaming about the subjects that most interest or worry you.
So, let’s suppose you’re asleep now. What should you do to remember dreams? First, try to wake up naturally, without external stimuli. If this isn’t possible, use the quietest possible alarm without radio. Once awake, stay in bed for a few moments with your eyes closed and try to hold your dreams in your memory as you gently transition into wakefulness. Take advantage of this time to memorize the images you dreamt. The final oneiric period is usually the longest and these instants are when it is most possible to remember dreams.
Remember that it’s best to write the keywords of the dream immediately upon waking. It is convenient to keep a notebook on the nightstand and reconstruct the dream during the day.
The dream notebook
Next, write in the notebook (that you have left beside your bed) whatever your mind has been able to retain, no matter how absurd or trivial your dreams seem, even if you only remember small fragments. This is not the moment to make evaluations or interpretations. The exercise is to simply record everything that crosses your mind with as much detail as possible. Giving the fragility of memory, it’s okay to start off with just a few key words that summarize the content of the dream. These words will help you reconstruct the dream later in the day if you don’t have enough time in the morning. Ideally this notebook will gradually become a diary or schedule that allows you to study, analyze, and compare a series of dreams. Through a series of recorded episodes, you can detect recurring characters, situations, or themes. This is something that’s easy to miss at first glance. One important detail: specialists recommend you date and title each dream, since this helps you remember them in later readings.
It’s also interesting to complement your entries with relevant annotations: what feelings were provoked, which aspects most drew your attention, which colors predominated, etc. An outline or drawing of the most significant images can also help you unravel the meaning. Finally, you should write an initial personal interpretation of the dream. For that, the second part of this book offers some useful guidelines.
While we dream, there is a sort of safety mechanism that inhibits our movement. Therefore, sleepwalkers don’t walk during the REM phase. This protects us from acting out the movements of our dreams and possibly hurting ourselves. Still from the Spanish movie Carne de fieras (Flesh of beasts) (1936).
As we’ve seen, there are a series of techniques to remember dreams. This is the first step to extracting their wisdom. Now, given that oneiric thoughts are a source of inspiration for solving problems, wouldn’t it be great to choose what you dream about before you go to sleep? Rather than waiting for dreams to come to us spontaneously, try to make them focus on the aspects of your life that interest you.
How to determine the theme of dreams
Let’s imagine that someone is not very satisfied with their job. They’d like to get into another line of work but are afraid of losing the job security they enjoy. On one hand, they’re not so young anymore, they should take the risk to get what they really want. But they don’t know what to do. They need a light, a sign, an inspiration. In short, they need a dream. But not just any dream, a dream that really centers on their problem and gives answers.
However, if you limit yourself to just “consulting your pillow,” you won’t get the desired results. There is a possibility you will be lucky and dream about what you’re interested in, but more likely you will dream of anything but. If we are really prepared to dive into that which worries us most intimately, we can direct our dreams to give us concrete answers. Just like the techniques to remember dreams, the process is simple: before sleeping, we must concentrate on the subject of interest.
It’s also best to write in your notebook all the events and emotions of the day that were most important before you go to sleep.
Once your impressions and theme to dream have been noted, concentrate on the subject that most bothers you. Think about it carefully; propose questions and alternatives, “listen” to your own emotions. It’s best if all possible doubts are noted in the dream notebook. This way you’re more likely to receive an answer.
In order for it to be an effective answer, the question must be well defined. The fundamental idea of the problem should be summed up in a single phrase. Once you’ve reflected on the problem, it’s time to go to bed. But the “homework” is not finished yet. Before going to sleep, you need to concentrate on the concrete question. You need to forget everything else, even the details. Just “visualize” and repeat the question, without thinking of anything else, until you fall asleep.
Oneiric thoughts are a source of inspiration. Annotating and analyzing them carefully fosters a process of self discovery.
Writing a dream notebook
You should always have a notebook and pen near your bed to write down dreams the moment you wake up. Don’t forget to always write the date. What details should you include in this kind of diary? As many as you remember, the more the better.
Dreams are “signs,” messages from our subconscious, and the study and interpretation of them helps resolve the problems that worry us.
Nocturnal sleep puts us in touch with the deepest level of being, which allows us to approach our problems with a wider perspective. And induced dreams tend to be easier to remember than other oneiric activity.
When we dream, we enter a marvelous world that escapes the laws of spatial and temporal logic.... Dreampedia
Clear and personalized messages Before jumping in to discover the hidden messages that filter into our dreams and appear in the dictionary in the second part, it’s best to keep in mind that not all oneiric thoughts can be analyzed with the same pattern. Therefore, psychologists and analysts distinguish between three classes of dreams:
In these dreams, death can mean many different things; for example, some psychologists interpret it as marking the end of a life cycle. This is why we insist on the importance of personalizing the dream interpretation.
Be that as it may, premonitions tend to be hidden in a symbolism that is difficult to decode, since it does not refer to past experiences. They are messages that try to warn us of dangers that face us on the physical or emotional plane. For this reason, eastern cultures have always valued them highly, as we will see later on. Satisfaction dreams Satisfaction dreams constitute the basis for the main theories of oneiric interpretation. They deal with those images in which we fulfill the desires that we cannot satisfy while awake. Therefore, this huge category includes everything from erotic dreams to the worst nightmares. In some cases, a certain satisfaction dream may repeat for years. This means that the person’s subconscious is warning them of the importance of something they may be trying to ignore. The part of this book dedicated to interpretation refers to this type of dreams.
Sexual dreams are not necessarily the result of accumulated sexual tension that needs to be released, but rather they usually refer to inner conflicts and hidden needs, or a desire to enjoy sex more freely.Sexual dreams There are dreams that have the capacity to excite us, intrigue us, make us tremble, embarrass us . . . These are the ones that we never, or almost never, share with others. These are erotic dreams that, generally speaking, have nothing to do with the social or sexual conduct of our waking lives.
“Dreams manifest the desires that our consciousness does not express.” Sigmund FreudErotic dreams join other sensations that, in waking life, we probably wouldn’t relate immediately with sex. Therefore, these dreams, which could be violent, passionate, perverse, romantic, etc., tend to refer to inner conflicts and hidden emotional needs. Therefore they belong to the classification of satisfaction dreams.
On some occasions, they reveal a fear of intimacy or warn against certain relationships. In others, they illustrate situations and behaviors that we cannot normally exhibit. The dream represents everything through symbols or a strong sexual connotation. Its themes and languages, often dark, can confuse us or make us doubt because each individual has their personal symbols (just like with other types of dreams). It’s interpretation, therefore, should be performed according to the situation of the individual.
Dreams are escape routes for sexual impulses that social conventions repress; in erotic dreams everything seems permissible, so they are the best way to bring our most secret emotional desires to light. For Sigmund Freud, dreams manifested the desires that our consciousness does not express, and that was all.
Dreams contain valuable information about ourselves. But their meaning is often far from what it seems.
On occasion, erotic dreams illustrate situations and behaviors that we can’t experience in real life, whether it is due to social convention or our own beliefs. These sexual dreams act as an escape route for repressed impulses.Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to them because they contain valuable information about ourselves. However, their meaning is often far from what it seems. They may just as well symbolize tension in our daily lives as the desire to have a good time. Erotic dreams and fantasies Erotic dreams are also related to a person’s physical and emotional development. During puberty, for example, these kinds of dreams are very common. Others that are more unpleasant are related to episodes of abuse or sexual assault. In some form or another, almost everyone has had some type of erotic dreams because at the end of the day, they are natural occurrences that are part of our lives.
They deserve our time and attention. For example, it’s important to discover when they refer to sexual issues and when they refer to other aspects, because erotic dreams often bring us valuable clues about intimacy with a partner. If something is not right in the relationship, they probably indicate the path to resolution. There should not be any difference between the erotic dreams of men and women, just between different people. However, various studies done in the United States have demonstrated the opposite. While women usually have erotic dreams with someone they know and go all the way from flirting to coitus, men dream of anonymous kinky women that succumb to their fantasies. Obviously this is not always the case, but it is undeniable that a personal relationship is highly valued in the feminine psyche. The masculine, on the other hand, opts for pleasure and domination.
The education one has received, the latent sexism of the collective subconscious, and that of the media are all factors that dreams cannot bypass. These dreams can provoke even decisive, strong women to feel more vulnerable during dreams. Fortunately, as our customs are changing, the dissimilarities between masculine and feminine erotic dreams are gradually shrinking.
Finally, erotic dreams, like all dreams, can hide fears, anxieties, and needs that you repress due to inhibitive situations or a lack of time to face the problem. With the interpretation of erotic dreams, we can find many clues to understand our emotions better.
While men dream of anonymous kinky women succumbing to their fantasies, women usually dream of erotic encounters with men they know.Dreams of duality: masculine-feminine
In this way, when a man dreams that he is a woman, the message is not necessarily about a conflict of identity or sexuality; more likely it refers to a lack of attention to the more sensitive, intuitive side of his personality. Equally, when a woman sees herself as a man in her dreams, her subconscious may be appealing to her more energetic and rational side.
Dreams in which the left (feminine) or right (masculine) side of our bodies are hurt or immobilized (for example, an arm or leg) warn us that we are repressing or denying our masculine or feminine development. It is difficult for us to accept our duality and we reject this aspect that we don’t know how to express.
Dreams of houses
The great oneirologist of ancient times, Artemidorus of Ephesus (second century BC) said: “The home is us”; and the most recent research on oneiric content confirms it. Buildings in our dreams are a reflection of our personality. Therefore you must pay attention to all the details that appear, which give you reliable hints about your desires, fears, worries . . . Each place and element of the house refers to a personal aspect of the self; the kitchen represents our spiritual or intellectual appetite; the oven is the alchemic place of transformation; the basement represents the accumulation of riches; the bedroom, conjugal difficulties, etc.
However, dreams in which different rooms appear can also refer to different areas of real life. If, for example, you find yourself cooking in a kitchen, it may be a reference to a plan that you are “cooking up” in real life. If you find yourself locked in a dark basement, perhaps you feel guilty about something and think you deserve a punishment. Lying in a bed or on a sofa can be a sign that you need a break from your exhausting daily routine.
When the doors of the dream house are shut tight or covered with brick, or there are signs on doors to the rooms prohibiting entry, you should ask yourself what is blocking your evolution in real life. It may be part of your own personality or some basic inhibition.
The buildings in our dreams are a reflection of our personality. “The Splash” (David Hockney, 1966).Many people dream that they discover new rooms in houses that they know well. In general, this points to unknown aspects of their personality that are about to come out; but it can also indicate that they are ready for a new intellectual challenge.
The feelings that emerge when we find ourselves inside an oneiric building are very significant. If you feel brave and curious while exploring every nook and cranny of the house, it means that you are not afraid of what you may discover about yourself, you act assuredly, and face your problems with confidence. On the other hand, if you feel afraid it is a sign of inhibition and insecurity.
A pleasant, organized room reflects mental order and spiritual serenity. If it doesn’t have windows, it is a sign of isolation, fear, and insecurity. “La habitacion” (“The Room”) (Van Gogh, 1889).Nightmares and anxious dreams Nightmares are terrifying dreams that usually stay in our minds when we wake up. They usually occur during the REM phase and, on occasion, are so distressing that they wake you up and torment you for a few minutes. The fear is often accompanied by cold sweats, dry mouth, heart palpitations . . . and the sensation of having lived a terrible moment.
Sometimes, traumatic events that happen to us in waking life (an accident, a robbery, a sexual assault) revisit us in dreams. Our mind needs to free the tension caused by the event and it does it while our consciousness rests.
Worry dreams reflect subconscious doubts and fears about events in our lives that have been saved in our minds but not our conscious memory.These dreams typically disappear with time. If they persist, it may be a major trauma that requires professional help or, at least, and understanding friend to listen; talking about it is the first step to overcoming it.
Many cultures share the belief that nightmares are nothing more than malignant spirits that attack their victims in their sleep with terrifying thoughts. Some research on oneiric content concludes that these scary dreams are more common in childhood, and if they persist into adulthood it usually indicates a deeply rooted problem.
Research in sleep laboratories has demonstrated that often nightmares are triggered by a sudden noise, which detonates a distressing oneiric image. Therefore, for people who suffer from frequent nightmares, it is advisable to wear earplugs.
Dreams in which we feel worried about something are more frequent than nightmares, and sometimes the pressure we feel to resolve a problem in the dream wakes us up. Once awake, the oneiric worry may seem trivial compared to our real problems, however we should not ignore the importance of these dreams; their analysis will reveal areas of our lives that require attention or make us insecure.
Worry dreams reflect subconscious doubts and fears about events in our lives that have been saved in our minds but not our conscious memory. They deal with minor preoccupations that we haven’t consciously given attention to, but our subconscious has recognized.
According to Freud, dreams that generate anxiety or worry are the result of trying to repress an emotion or desire, usually sexual. Freud also highlighted the importance of finding the source of that worry in waking life, since these worries left unattended can degenerate into worse traumas.
To analyze this type of dream you must pay attention to all the elements that appear in the episode, since it is symbolically giving you hints about what worries us.
Dreams about angels are usually messages of inner exploration. In some oneiric episodes they appear as spiritual guides and protectors that try to show us a path.Dreams of inner exploration: forgotten babies and angels
Dreams about angels or spiritual entities tend to be messages of inner exploration. We see various examples collected in an “office of dreams.”
“I am in utter darkness. I am surrounded by silence and emptiness. Suddenly, a shape appears, white and slender, pure, almost surreal. The features of the face are erased. A pure oval, the svelte body, without a definable sex. There is only the impression of extreme sweetness and deep harmony; but this character causes me such an impression of abandonment that it seems like a cry for help. I wrap it in my arms and want to save it at all costs.”
This is a dream of protections, of contact with the invisible world. In this oneiric episode, the androgynous character is recognized as angelic. This fabulous vision is none other than the person’s angel showing him his ailment, found in the darkness.
In other dreams, angels appear as spiritual guides or personal guardians:
The cartoons of “Little Nemo” (Winsor McCay, 1905) always ended with the images of Nemo falling out of bed. His incredible stories revolved around his fascinating dreams.
“I had died on a golden carriage decorated with blue velvet; to my right, a feminine angel, all white, smiled at me . . . she held before me the reins of two white horses, while ahead of us, an unending path bathed in sunlight opened to us.”
One of the most pleasant and stimulating oneiric experiences is traveling to a far-off place and waking up with the sensation of having returned from a great vacation. Without a doubt, this often means a deep desire to travel that you have not been able to satisfy; but it can also hold other interesting readings.
On occasion, you remember precise details about places and settings you have never been to. This could be due to photographs, movies, or television reports that you’ve seen and that your subconscious has saved for some special reason.
These journeys coincide, sometimes, with moment in real life when we are about to begin something new (a change of job or location . . .). Just as the landscape and feelings of the dream can indicate our real emotions about this change, the circumstances of the trip are also revealing. If it is a bumpy trip in which it is difficult to get to your destination (because you lost the tickets or bags, or crashed the car . . .), the dream may be encouraging you to weigh the pros and cons of the situation, and warning you about obstacles ahead. Perhaps you are not mentally prepared for the change.
On the other hand, dreams about remote and exotic places are warning you that your lifestyle is claustrophobic and repressed, and that you need a change or to broaden your horizons.
The mode of transportation that you use to travel in the dream is very significant. If you travel in plane, for example, you should ask yourself if you have your feet firmly on the ground or, on the contrary, if you feel more comfortable “in the clouds.” Escapism in real life tends to appear symbolically in travel dreams. Trains are symbols of new and exciting opportunities; missing the train or letting it leave is a clear symbol of a fear of change—and the insecurity that goes along with this. The station, or point of departure, is a symbolic place of transformation. The predicament of not having a ticket or money to buy one is related to some type of deficiency. However, if you manage to arrive at the destination despite it all, the dream is reflecting a certain amount of self satisfaction.
Surrealism was a revolution. The world of the oneiric, the subconscious, the paranoid . . . become a new way of seeing and exploring life. Its influence is still seen today.... Dreampedia