The meaning of Provoked in dream | Dream interpretation
A warning to avert the situation
For a woman to dream that fleas bite her, foretells that she will be slandered by pretended friends.
To see fleas on her lover, denotes inconstancy. ... Ten Thousand Dream Interpretation
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
Depth Psychology: A plain piece of paper represents either immaturity and lack of experience, or is a sign that you are open to new thoughts and opinions. Paper with print: expect to receive new instructions or spiritual insights that will be useful to you. See Leaf, Newspaper, Writing.... Dreamers Dictionary
To dream that fleas bite you, signifies that unkind rumors by false friends will slander your character.... My Dream Interpretation
If you are the victim of a bite, you may be burdened by a problem or going through a difficult time.
If an animal bites you, you should ask yourself what aspect of your personality that animal represents. (See MOUTH, TEETH, and JAW)
To dream of bite marks means you will suffer a loss because of your enemy. To receive a bite foretells jealousy and annoyance.... The Big Dictionary of Dreams
If you dream that you get to climb a cliff it is an omen of good fortune for all projects you want to start.... The Big Dictionary of Dreams
Otherwise, we would ultimately explode. Sometimes when we dream, we feel very strong emotions impossible to experience in real life. According to Jung, they come from the less developed part (the shadow) of our psyche.
Some superstitions recommend interpreting dreams by reversing the emotions provoked. If, for example, you dream that you are angry, it means that soon you will receive good news.... The Big Dictionary of Dreams
According to oneiric sources consulted, dreaming that you fall into mud means that someone has lied about you. Other dreams of this type predict economic losses.... The Big Dictionary of Dreams
This dream could represent your most intimate frustrations and feelings about the circumstances around you. Deep down, you fight because the situation you are living does not meet your expectations.
According to the guru Sathya Sai Baba, the inner struggle does not exist: everything is provoked by the mark left by the past on our lives. Reminiscence for yesterday creates apparent problems in the present and future.
It is a matter of letting love flow and worrying less. So, the fight that your heart carries out will diminish. Often, this guru says, it is all the product of an illusion.
Filming If the dream unfolds like a film that stars yourself, different conclusions may be drawn according to its genre: if it is drama, an unfortunate matter will depress you; if it is a comedy, however, you will experience pleasant surprises. To direct a film involves excessive zeal to control everything that goes on around you.... The Big Dictionary of Dreams
Gypsy people believe that dreaming that you are punished reveals the guilt you feel for having neglected your personal relationships.... The Big Dictionary of Dreams
If you can accept the part of yourself that is trying to find expression, you may be able to draw up a peace settlement. Anger, sorrow or pity are usually found in dreams about war; whichever of these emotions you feel will show the feeling or action in waking life that has provoked the dream.
The clue to the dream’s subject may be found in the identity of the opposing armies, or the landscape, in the soldier’s clothing and the course of the battle may be suggesting a similar action in waking life. Which army did you belong to? If it was a savage army, perhaps your dreaming mind is suggesting that your true allegiance lies with your instincts, but if you belong to a modern, sophisticated army, the dream may be telling you that your inclination is to follow the rule of your intellect.
If you witnessed the outcome of the battle in your dream, or admired the victorious army and its winning tactics, this may give you an indication of how best to resolve the conflict within yourself.
Although war and battle dreams may indicate disagreement between two individuals, they may also point to explosive disagreements between certain groups of people in your life; for example, disagreements in the workplace or differing opinions within the family. Your dreaming mind may be warning you that you will soon be entangled in that conflict and this is especially so if a battlefield features in your dream. The battlefield may indicate the area of conflict and your dream may be indicating whether you should take sides or act as peacemaker. A battlefield scene may also represent your working environment or a battle you are waging with yourself, such as the battle to give up smoking, the struggle to keep to a diet and so on.
If you dream of war, rather than simply a battle, different interpretations are appropriate. War has a more global effect that one-to-one combat or fighting, and this would suggest that you need to be more conscious of the effect your actions have on others. The outcome of war should be the establishment of order, and dreams of wars coming to an end can have a positive interpretation, suggesting that this natural process is taking place on an inner level.... The Element Encyclopedia
Revenge or retaliation is not advisable.
If red features in your dream, perhaps you should consider the tone that was being used. Lighter shades of red can be representative of excitement (especially sexual), passion, energy, and life. However, deeper or ‘weighed- down’ shades of red may be indicative of the overheated emotions of lust and anger, and the impulsive desire for revenge. Notice again how the ‘stop’ sign is red; red can thus be seen as a hint from your subconscious to stop acting in a particular way.
Because red is the color of blood, it may also denote physical strength, vital energy and the life force which, depending on the context of the dream, may be ebbing away or throbbing with life. A red heart may stand for deep-seated sexual energy or desire in waking life, red ears may suggest embarrassment or guilt, whilst a red nose is often thought to indicate an inquisitive nature. Red flames are believed to indicate the threat of danger, red wine is often linked to feelings of satisfaction and contentment, and a red rose is typically tied to the idea of romance and passion. Who was holding the red rose in your dream?
Other considerations to take into account include whether the red in your dream suggests being ‘in the red’ (in debt), or brings to mind a person who holds socialists beliefs (a red). It can also refer to a scarlet (sexually permissive) woman, or to waving the proverbial red flag at something, or someone, who provoked you. Keywords: danger, shame, sexual impulses, passion and urges.
Perhaps you need to stop and think about your actions.... The Element Encyclopedia
If you know the person or the sphere of life they represent, try to work out why you should be feeling intimidated by them in the real world.
If you didn’t recognize the person, it is possible that they represent aspects of yourself about which you are in denial or from which you are trying to escape; such an interpretation is particularly likely if they are of the same sex and their appearance repulsed you. The attacker may have been your shadow, representing your dependence, neediness, jealousy, greed or lust. Your unconscious is encouraging you to come to terms with this quality within yourself and deal with it.
If a monster, animal or anything nonhuman was chasing you, this symbolizes internal fears rather than external threats. Such creatures generally represent your aggressive animal or instinctual nature which you need to learn to control. Not knowing who or what is out there in the darkness trying to get you is a classic anxiety or frustration dream often experienced if you are about to begin therapy; the anxiety is provoked by your realization that the therapist might reveal unexamined areas of yourself. Whoever or whatever your pursuer symbolizes, remember that they represent a challenge you need to face in order for it to be neutralized. As with dreams of pursuit, if you are drowning or struggling to breathe in your dream, you may be experiencing feelings of panic and uncertainty in waking life. Such a dream also alerts you to areas of your unconscious that need to be confronted.... 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
If you are running from a murder in your dream, it depicts something you feel threatened by in waking life.
If you are the murderer, this may express intense emotional hurt towards someone, typically parents; the murder itself will be a symbol of the killing of the emotional bond or a warning that you are on an emotional ‘knife’s edge’. Dreams in which you kill someone may also point towards an internal conflict, especially if you harbor no ill will towards your dream victim in real life, or indeed if they were a stranger or an animal.
If someone provoked you into killing them in your dream, this may tell you what it is about yourself that you need to kill off. Animals symbolize aspects of your instinctual nature in dreams, so if you killed a cat, dog or any other animal in your dream, ask yourself what that animal represents within you.
If someone is trying to kill you in your dream, your unconscious may be alerting you not to a physical threat but to a real emotional or professional threat that someone poses to you.
If you were unable to identify the dream killer, your unconscious may have been suggesting to you that you are being victimized in waking life by a person, a group or an organization.
Dreams in which you are choking or strangled suggest conflict or indecision, as when you choke on your words. They can also suggest repressed emotions, or emotions or memories struggling to be recognized. Because it is associated with the element of water, drowning indicates a sense of being overwhelmed by difficult emotions or problems.
If the symbol of the guillotine appears in your dream, you may be afraid of losing self-control or of losing contact with a part of yourself or someone you value. The guillotine also represents severance of some kind, so what is it that you need to cut out of your life? If someone is poisoned in your dream, this refers to attitudes, thoughts and behavior patterns that are not good for you.
If you commit suicide in dreams, it may depict a sense of hopelessness; perhaps you have been working too hard lately and haven’t been taking care of your health. Or do you feel a desire to retreat from life’s problems or suffer from feelings of failure? It may also be a sign of repressed anger concerning relationships or business.
If someone else is committing suicide in your dream, this could be a sign that you want them out of your life.... The Element Encyclopedia
People with anxiety disorder might also experience what experts term “night terrors”. These are actually panic attacks that occur in sleep.
It is especially difficult to remember these types of dreams since they conjure up terrifying images that we would just as soon forget.
In poetic myth, the Nightmare is actually a “small nettlesome mare, not more than thirteen hands high, of the breed familiar with the Elgin marbles: cream-colored, clean- limbed, with a long head, bluish eye, flowing mane and tail.” Her nests, called mares’ nests, “when one comes across them in dreams, lodged in rock-clefs or the branches of enormous hollow yews, are built of carefully chosen twigs lined with white horse-hair and the plumage of prophetic birds and littered with the jaw-bones and entrails of poets.”
Thus, in a pagan world of myth and blood sacrifice, the Nightmare was a cruel, fearful creature. Our modern word nightmare derives from the Middle English nihtmare (from niht, night, and mare, demon), an evil spirit believed to haunt and suffocate sleeping people. And so, in today’s world, when we speak of a nightmare we mean a frightening dream accompanied by a sensation of oppression and helplessness.
The blood-thirsty aspect of the mythic Nightmare, however, can give a good clue about nightmares in general, for in psychodynamic terms nightmares are graphic depictions of raw, primitive emotions such as aggression and rage that have not been incorporated into the conscious psyche. Thus we tend to encounter these “ugly” aspects of our unconscious lives as terrifying dream images in whose presence we feel completely helpless.
Nightmares are quite common in childhood because this is a time of our emotional development when we all have to come to terms with, well, raw, primitive emotions such as aggression and rage.
Traumatic nightmares can also occur as one of the many symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Repetitive, intrusive nightmares following a trauma often contain symbolic themes that mirror the original trauma and relate to threat to life, threat of abandonment or death, or loss of identity.
Therefore, traumatic nightmares need to be treated differently than other dreams. It’s not enough just to “know” intellectually the psychological reasons why you have these nightmares. An event is traumatic because it disrupts your previously secure—and illusory—sense of “self.” And so, to heal from a trauma, you must take the initiative to make conscious changes in your life to accommodate the traumatic shattering of your illusions about life and identity.
Some believe that nightmares have a physiological nature as well. Edgar Cayce believed that Nightmares, which bring with them an inability to move or cry out, usually indicate the wrong diet. To end the nightmarish dreams change your diet.
We found a technique online that can help people who suffer from recurrent nightmares. It is not meant to be a cure-all. It is just a suggested treatment to deal with frightening nightmares. The idea is to use this therapy every night until the nightmare has been resolved. It is called Imagery Rehearsal Therapy.
Here are the steps of Imagery Rehearsal Therapy:
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