Free and Professional Dream Analysis and What Dreams Mean
DREAMS FAQ - Frequently asked questions about dreams. Author Stase Michaels shares whether all dreams have a message, if dreams tell the truth, can a dream foretell the future, and more.
WHERE DO DREAM ANSWERS COME FROM?
Dream messages come from several different sources. One is the unconscious memory that stores information. Other answers come from your soul. You may be the master of your ship, but the soul is the ship's owner and occasionally has something to say about the direction of the journey.
Some believe guardian angels can whisper in your ear at night through a dream, and on occasion, even the Divine Voice comes through with a grace, healing or inspiration.
However, most dream messages come from your psyche, the part of the mind that never sleeps and has access to all sources of information. Acting as a best friend, your psyche guides you to become the best you can be and acts as the bridge between the waking and sleeping mind.
WHO IS THE BEST INTERPRETER OF A DREAM?
You are the best interpreter of your dreams. But like everything, it takes learning and practice. There is a dream alphabet with tried and true techniques that you need to know. At times, getting help from someone practiced in dream interpretation can be helpful to interpret your dreams though the goal is to get comfortable doing it yourself. The good news is that, like learning to drive a car, dream analysis is easy once you learn how to start the engine and steer!
CAN DREAMS PREDICT THE FUTURE?
Many people have dreams that relate to the future, which are called ESP Dreams. One way to think about ESP in dreams is to note that the future is made up of today's decisions. The part of the mind that is at work while you sleep, the pysche, is aware of all decisions and their potential consequences. Think of the psyche as performing "best guesses" based on your current decisions. Just as you can see the path of a ball you throw as it’s flying through the air and can "guess" where it will land, your psyche projects where decisions will land you ... if ... and only if ... you stay on your current course.
DO FRIGHTENING DREAMS HAVE A MEANING? Yes, even nightmares and frightening dreams have a helpful message. Most scary dreams come to help fix a character trait that could trip you up, so that frightening dreams act as a mirror for a flaw that is unpleasant. We want to believe we're wonderful and mostly, we are. But on occasion there is bad temper, laziness, being thoughtless, etc.. When a dream confronts you about what is not perfect, it feels like meeting the enemy in a deep, dark forest. Seeing a shortcoming feels like "Oops - a Scary Mirror" and frightens the ego which says: "Who, me?" We don’t want to believe anything negative about ourselves, so it scares us. A dream comes to help you fix it, to stop a negative from growing into something major that can later trip you up. For example, no one wants a bad tempered mate or employee. Though there are nightmares that can be literal, most frightening dreams are helpful. See list of 27 dream types.
DOES EVERYBODY DREAM?
Research in dream labs confirms that everyone does dream every night, about 4 - 6 times. Not everyone remembers their dreams. Many factors can interfere with dream recall: prescription medicines such as sleep medications, anxiety, lack of sleep, trauma, or merely lack of interest in remembering dreams.
DREAMS AND PROBLEM SOLVING
Dreams answer questions on your mind as you go to sleep. In fact, problem solving is the default stance of the unconscious, sleeping mind, which uses dreams to communicate messages. You may not even be asking a question directly, but because you are groping for an answer, the dream psyche treats it like a question. Like a night time Google session, it first investigates the topic from your unconscious storehouse of past and present experiences. It then sifts what it found and suggests a best direction or solution. This kind of night time brainstorming to help with problems is one of the main functions of dreaming.
SHOULD I USE A BOOK ON DREAM SYMBOLS - A DREAM DICTIONARY?
It’s better not to consult books on dream symbols because dream symbols relate to your personal, individual experience. For example, if you have a dog you love, when you see a dog in a dream it will represent "friendship", "loyalty", "playfulness", and so on. But if someone was bitten by a dog, when they see one in a dream, it will have negative meanings such as "danger", "pain", or "fear". The bottom line is that a symbol relates to your experience. Trust your own experience. If done well, a book on symbols will help you relate back to your own experience of it rather than give random, multiple meanings.
WHAT IF IT'S HARD TO REMEMBER YOUR DREAMS?
Experience shows that sudden movements can interfere with dream recall. Before jumping out of bed, take a couple of minutes to lie peacefully and get your bearings. While asleep, you are in a deep unconscious part of yourself. As you awaken, you edge closer to the conscious, awake, part. There are several hoops to jump from the deep in the unconscious before becoming fully awake. You also transition from the language of images to words. Tread the steps back into waking gently in order to retain dream recall. Dreams are like a deer in the forest, feeding quietly at sunrise. You want to sit and watch it a while, not startle it and make it run away.
Those few minutes between sleep and waking are called the "hypnopompic state". It is the in-between transition stage between sleep and waking. Some of your most creative thoughts and solutions arrive during this pre-waking time of day, so pay close attention.
Even if at first you don’t remember a dream, notice how you feel and what's on your mind. As you're doing so, a dream segment may pass by unexpectedly. In a relaxed way, savor it and go over what you remember. As you do so, you may suddenly remember other scenes and snatches, or even whole dream scenes. Go back over these, too. Once a dream is remembered comfortably, there's no point in lazing around any longer. It's time to get up and about, and of course, to write the dream down.
ARE ALL DREAMS MEANINGFUL?
Yes. Even a single image or snatch has meaning. A man once recalled only the image of a large wooden wheel. At first it seemed meaningless. Then he remembered there was that kind of a wheel on the farm where he grew up. As a child, he sat next to it often, especially when he missed his mother who had recently died. When he had this dream, a good friend had recently died. He realized the wheel was reminding him that he was still mourning the loss of his friend, and that he needed to take time to be with those feelings. Even though it was just one dream image, the wheel brought him the message that he was once again sitting beside that childhood wheel, to mourn a loss.
IS THERE A MESSAGE EVEN IF YOU DON'T REMEMBER A DREAM?
You may not recall a dream, but you can wake up with a new idea, goal, perspective, or attitude. These are often remnants of a dream. If you wake up suddenly and jump out of bed, the dream disappears but the "gist" remains.
Did you ever wake up with a song playing through your head? Pay attention to the words which may contain a message. Treat your associations with the song as if it were a dream symbol. For example, does the song have a special meaning for you? When did you last heard it, and what was going on at the time? For example, if you last heard it at a wedding where you were happy, the song and words may relate to happiness in a current relationship and your secret desire to marry that person. But if you last heard it on the radio as you were breaking up in a relationship, the melody may suggest that a relationship may be in trouble.
DO DREAMS TELL THE TRUTH?
Yes, dreams always tell the truth, though you have to interpret the dream correctly. If the end result does not match what's going on in your life, the interpretation is not on the mark.
When analyzing a dream, it is important to put aside what you want it to mean. When first learning dream analysis, it's tempting to think you know what the dream means without working through suggested steps. That can lead to incorrect assumptions. Even if you think you know what it means, follow the easy Five Step Technique. You may be correct or be surprised to find a message tjat makes even more sense and leaves you happy to know the correct message.
For example, a dream of winning a lottery ticket is rarely about winning actual money (though sometimes it is). More likely, it reflects you as a winner in some other way such as career advancement or creating a harmonious relationship, or finding a new opportunity in some way. But if all you can think about is the money and expect to win a lottery, your interpretation would be incorrect and you would be disappointed.
CAN YOU JUMP TO THE WRONG CONCLUSION WITH A DREAM ANALYSIS? The answer is yes, especially when first learning dream interpretation. Jumping to the wrong conclusion can happen for several reasons. Your attitude is important. Before interpreting a dream, put aside preconceptions about what you think it means; it's important to want the truth. If you're not ready to deal with the truth, the meaning can escape you.
A common misstep is to focus on a single symbol and base the meaning on that symbol. While a symbol can contain the whole meaning of the dream, it does so indirectly. Focusing only on symbols can be misleading.
Another common mistake is that you may be too close to the topic of the dream. A topic that is important or emotional for you can make it difficult to see the subject in a new light. Step Two of the Five Step Technique is designed to create distance between the dreamer and the dream topic, to help avoid that error. To find the "Story Line" of the dream, summarize actions using general terms like "someone" and "something"; that is a way of backing off to see the whole picture and not get lost in the details which can lead to missing the intention and meaning of the dream message. Getting the story line, Step Two of the Five Step Technique, often creates a breakthrough insight!
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF A DREAM INTERPRETATION IS CORRECT?
A correct interpretation brings a positive shift in feelings or attitudes. When you get it right, there is an "Aha!"It can feel like a light bulb turning on, or a feeling of energy being released as if a burden lifts from your shoulders. It can bring a sense of peace or put a smile on your face as if a missing piece of a puzzle now fits. Something falls into place and you recognize it.
Proceed with caution if a dream is on a topic for which you have a serious bias. For example, you apply for a job and are convinced it is the one you want and nothing else will do. While waiting to see how the interviews turn out, you receive several dreams about getting ready to leave for a trip. But in the dream, you always miss the plane or train to get you there. The story line speaks of "A missed connection" or, "Something does not turn out as anticipated". However, because you want that job so much you misinterpret the dreams as "I am getting ready to go there, but am not there yet ". You miss a key point - the person in the dream does not arrive at the destination. The dreams hint that the job is not yours - it is not your destination.
To get the correct interpretation on issues that have a high emotional stake, stand back and dare to put aside any bias or wishful thinking. For a correct interpretation, use the easy Five Step Technique that lets you understand dreams in hours which gives true insights that amaze, as compared to general dream dictionary meanings.
CAN A DREAM DICTIONARY GIVE AN ACCURATE MEANING? No. A cookie cutter approach to dream analysis may be appealing, but the best part of a dream message is that it is uniquely tailored to YOU. It’s a personal, one-of-a-kind communication for you that does not apply to anyone else. A second fact is that dream messages use your unique image associations. Someone who was attacked by a dog and dreams of a dog associates it with pain and trauma, which becomes part of the dream message. However, if a dog is your best friend, in a dream, you associate it with loyalty, fun and friendship. That is how two dreams of a dog give a completely different message according to the dreamer's experience and symbol associations. Once you see the advantages of using the easy Five Step Technique to get your unique dream message, you won't want to consult a dream dictionary. There are shared dream symbol meanings such as a smile as a positive outreach or an altar as a symbol of worship. But, like it or not, in dream analysis, one size does not fit all. That's why dream dictionaries don't work.