Most of us dream. But only a very small percentage of us understands that dreams hold much importance and opportunity for our self growth, improvement and self discovery. But many mystics of both Eastern and Western origins are aware of the fact that dreams hold a wealth of untapped knowledge. Because of its inherently vague nature, dreams and the art of interpreting them never entered mainstream sciences. Jungian psychology is the closest mainstream science that took dreams seriously.
This article is a concise description of the method of dream interpretation that I use. There are several points/guidelines to take note.
1. The dreams are often symbolic representations of what we are experiencing or are about to experience in the near future. I have found that my dreams often convey messages of occurrences that will most likely happen within a month or so.
2. Usually the people that we encounter in the dream symbolize the different aspects/characteristics of ourselves. For example: a woman may represent a feminine aspect of oneself even when one is male in the waking hours. Much of our repressed tendencies also tend to manifest themselves as characters in dreams as well.
Have you ever wondered why we sometimes appear and behave so differently in our dreams. Well, my take is that dreaming offers an outlet for us to be 'somebody else' that we never had the opportunity to be during our waking hours.
3. Often how we feel and the emotion we felt during the dream reveals and conveys much about the meaning of the symbols.
Intuition and the willingness to examine ourselves with brutal honesty are two very important factors for successful analysis.
Below is a list of commonly encountered symbols. In my opinion, we should always take into consideration the fact that symbols hold certain semantics and meanings that are specific to individuals. Thus the interpretations of symbols are not generic and therefore there can be no hard and fast rules with regards to dream analysis.
Common dream symbolism
Water- associated with emotion.
Ocean or any large body of water - often represents the subconscious mind. The state of the sea often is an indication of the emotional state as well
Eating/digesting- Trying to understand an issue/situation
Walking- associated with learning and assimilating.
Path, road or pavement- symbolizes life or spiritual Path/journey
House- symbolizes our self. Within the house, the various rooms could represent the various aspects of self.
Snake- symbolizes knowledge.
Tree and forest - subconscious feelings that governs our emotions
Bridge- a transitional phase or period of transformation / change
Below is an example of a dream and its interpretation.
Miss A was visiting a foreign country. She boarded a train that has a stop in a shopping complex that meanders through mountains and terrains. She remembered telling the train driver that she wanted to alight in the shopping center so that she can find her way home.
Instead of alighting at the intended destination, she alighted at a strange place. She had difficulty getting to her destination. She contacted her partner (boyfriend). Though they communicated through the phone, she was still stuck and lost in that unfamiliar place. By this time, she was starting to get depressed. In the moment of depression, she woke up from the dream.
Foreign country- unknown knowledge, new experience
Train- accelerated learning and understanding
Through mountains and terrains- ups and downs
Find the way home- spiritual path
Train-in-charge - guiding aspect
Her partner - male/ mental aspect
Queen shopping center station - an intermediate stage that must be attained.
Miss A is currently experiencing and/or learning something that is still unknown to her. It is something that is rather difficult for her to grasp and apply. She is/will be experiencing some feelings of ups and downs. However, if understood, the newfound understanding and knowledge could significantly accelerate her self-growth and discovery. However, for the time being, it is something not within her experience yet (as symbolized by alighting at a strange place instead of the designated station). When she tried contacting her male partner (which symbolizes using her mental reasoning), she was still confused and thus became depressed.
Well, that's all for a quick lesson in dream interpretation. I hope it is informative and beneficial.