Welcome to the Order of the Sacred Star! This Pagan/Wiccan group, based in Winnipeg, Canada, is committed to teaching the Craft to all those who wish to learn. Our goal is to provide a complete and fulfulling learning experience. Our public classes are offered through the Winnipeg Pagan Teaching Circle.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dream Interpretation and Symbology

There are many different opinions regarding dreams and their interpretation. Some swear by the various dream dictionaries that can be found, both online and in the bookstore. Others consider these frivolous and limited in their helpfulness. The best approach is probably somewhere in between.

Interpreting the Symbols in Dreams

Even with the most respected of dream dictionaries, almost all of the symbols found within its pages have various meanings and interpretations. Some symbols will even have contradictory meanings, leaving the seeker perhaps even more confused than before they picked up the book.

This being the case, it is perhaps not a good idea to rely solely on any type of dream dictionary. In the end, the interpretation of dream symbols can only be done by the dreamer. The most important factors are the dream, the symbol itself, and intuition.

Beginning with a dream dictionary is probably a good idea, at least to start. Look up the interpretation of a particular symbol. However, instead of taking this information literally, it is perhaps best to use this as a jumping-off point, so to speak. Take the book’s definition and, if it doesn’t seem just right, adapt it to suit what does feel right; this feeling is intuition, and should be obeyed when interpreting dreams. If the book definition goes completely against intuition, it's generally believed that it's best to go with one's intuition instead.

People in Dreams

Seeing people in a dream — even familiar people — does not necessarily indicate that the dream is about that particular person in terms of its meaning. In general, principle characters in a dream actually represent an aspect of the dreamer's personality, tendencies or another aspect of self.

In this manner, an argument with another person, no matter who it is, usually represents an inner conflict. On the other hand, interactions with people in dreams can also indicate inner harmony. It is the form of interaction that is important here, not necessarily the individual people involved.

Types of Dreams

Dreams are a combination of extremely complex symbols, both connected and independent. For the most part, dreams are analytical in nature, meaning that they are a way for the higher self to give its input on everyday life. These dreams analyze interactions with the world, including, but not limited to interactions with the environment and other people.

Some dreams are therapeutic. The percentage of therapeutic dreams varies from person to person. Those people suffering from an inferiority complex will, of necessity, have more therapeutic dreams than a truly strong, confident person. Of course, someone with a feeling of superiority will also have therapeutic dreams, though of a different sort. Therapeutic dreams are the higher self’s way of attempting to overcome character defects.

Prophetic Dreams

Most dreams are not prophetic in nature. The percentage of dreams that are directly concerning the future in a prophetic fashion is perhaps 5% for most people. Many people assume that a dream that seems to concern the future is a prophetic dream. Generally speaking, this is a mistake.

There are a number of ways to determine if a dream is perhaps prophetic. Some of these are:
  • Dreams that are in full color and exceptionally clear;
  • Very easy to remember; if the dream is easily forgotten, then it wasn’t likely prophetic;
  • Clear messages are delivered, perhaps even dates; and
  • Dreams are structured, with a definite beginning, middle, and end.
Dreams that follow this pattern should be recorded in detail. It can later be determined if they were, indeed, prophetic in nature. It's believed that prophetic dreams are often a communication from the "higher self" that's intended to prepare the dreamer for what is to come. For instance, a prophetic dream can lessen the shock of a potentially traumatic event.

Recording Dreams

The most important part of interpreting dreams is probably recording them in the first place. It is difficult to attempt a thorough dream interpretation if there is no source, and dreams tend to fade with time. Therefore, it is best if the dreamer keeps a journal next to the bed. Immediately upon waking, the dreams should be recorded, even if it’s the middle of the night.

Interpreting dreams should be mainly a matter of intuition. While book definitions can be helpful in the matter of dream interpretation, it is important to remember that these are merely suggestions. They are not rules.

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