Before I launch into this topic of interpreting dreams, remember that not all dreams are created equal. Some dreams are meant to be unraveled and interpreted and some are not. So, first I’ll talk about the different dreams you can have and which ones are worth interpreting.
Why We Dream
When we dream, we visit the astral planes around this planet. There are said to be seven positive and seven negative astral planes. We are supposed to visit the positive astral planes when we’re asleep for a number of reasons, here are some of them:
Reason #1 : To stay connected to Spirit
The astral plane is not in the ether (i.e. the ‘other side’) but it’s not in this plane either. In a way, it’s like a half-way house between the spiritual and the physical. When you leave your body at night and visit the astrals, you experience what it is like to be alive but not in a body (a bit like how it is after death!)
Because the astral plane is like a half-way house between heaven (the ether) and Earth, dreams are an important part of our spiritual life – something that keeps us connected to spirit.
Therefore dreaming is an easy way for spirit to get a message to you.
If it’s really important that you receive a message from spirit about something, you’ll get a really clear and obvious one in your dreams – it won’t be cryptic. The message could come through an experience or understanding that you integrate while you’re in the astral plane or it could be a message that comes through words or even song lyrics.
Reason #2: To Expand your perspective, change your vibration and get a change of scenery, energetically
As I mentioned, there are seven positive astral planes. There are many astral ‘places’ that you can travel to and learn in.
I personally feel like I travel in my dreams because when I wake up, I can feel completely different, like I’ve come back from a long trip away.
You ARE travelling while asleep, but just in the non-physical. And those dreams can renew you and transform the landscape of your reality, making you feel different when you wake up.
Reason #3: To Serve Others
I’ve mentioned the concept of ‘dream masters’ once before in an article I wrote – Why People Dream. Dream masters are souls who participate in the learning experiences of others in the astrals. If you have lots of dreams with souls in it whom you don’t recognize, they are probably dream masters who have shown up to play a role in your dream so that you can take or learn something from the dream experience. Maybe you’ve had one of those learning experiences in a dream where something ‘clicked’ for you when you wake up and you just ‘get it’.
If you are one of these dream master souls who participates in the learning experiences of others (about 25-30% of my Akashic Record reading clients are) then you will have many dreams that are not meant for you to learn from. In fact, you may not remember them for that reason. But when you do remember your dreams they may seem to make no sense to you or they may seem irrelevant to you.
How to Interpret Dreams
I’ve learned from doing spirit guide coaching that dreams are usually meant to be interpreted even if they seem cryptic sometimes. As I mentioned before, the more urgent the message, the clearer the symbolism will be. But some of the messages do become clearer if you do some unraveling.
A dream is basically your subconscious (or spirit) painting a picture, made of many brush strokes. What will it paint and add in, and why? Everything in the dream landscape is there for a reason – including what happened, the backdrop, the people in it and the symbols. (But really, if nothing in it has any meaning for you, don’t bother assigning any – it was probably not a dream that was meant for you.)
When you have a dream that you want to interpret, in your journaling or exploring, you can examine:
This is the most obvious part of the interpretation.
What actually happened? Look for another layer of symbolism in the dream. For example, there are many connotations and layers of meaning to the verb ‘fall’. If you fall in a dream, what are you falling for? Or whom? Is it a case of pride comes before a fall? Look at each verb that you write out as an action in the dream.
Also, watch out for your own ‘inner language’ of symbolism…
If you and I both look at a picture or a tarot card, without knowing what the meaning of the card is, we will both hone in on and draw different things from the imagery of the card or picture, depending on our past experiences. There is no universal language of symbolism that applies to everyone.
Different symbols mean different things to different people.
To me, whales are sacred, as are dolphins. Cockroaches to me symbolize fear and inspire disgust. Doing exams means not having enough time for something or feeling under pressure. The ocean means the vast unknown that I haven’t explored. I’ve come to notice that having my teeth fall out is usually an anxiety dream. Depending on your personal experiences, all of these symbols may mean something entirely different to you so there probably isn’t that much point looking them up in a dream dictionary, especially not the old-fashioned dream dictionaries that think everything comes down to death, ruin or sex.
Settings and Backdrops
Certain settings can crop up in dreams over and over and each backdrop is significant. It adds a whole different overtone to the dream if it’s set in the road where you grew up or somewhere in the past, doesn’t it? Sometimes dreams will be set in a completely unknown setting which lends an air of possibility or something futuristic to them. Some dreams feel like they already took place in the past.
Look also at the feeling and mood of the dream, as this is significant. My dreams are rich in strong emotions. Sometimes the mood can be very subtle and sort of in the background.
The funniest thing about my dreams is that when I get a clear message, Spirit will hammer it home even further by adding the perfect song which further reinforces the message. It’s actually funny how creative I am (or how creative spirit is) with the songs. When I listen to music, for some reason I pay a lot of attention to lyrics and always remember lyrics of songs (more than the tune) so this is probably why I get lyrics in my dream which apply perfectly to the message I am already getting in the dream.
An Interesting Exercise for Inducing Dreams
Several weeks ago, when I was training a student to develop her abilities, the Spirit Guides gave the following exercise to pass on to her. It’s so simple I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it before.
- Write a question on a post it note and leave it next to your bed.
- Ask your Spirit Guides to send you a dream that answers the question just before you wake up.
- When you wake, make sure you explore the metaphors and messages within the dream by journaling about it soon after – this is one half of the process.
This is an interesting exercise to do because you often get a dream in response to it. So, you can interpret your dream in the light of what you asked, which makes it easier to interpret and narrows down the area of life that it can relate to.
I tried this out several weeks ago and asked ‘Where am I going in my career, long-term?’ It was not a question I particularly needed the answer to at that time, but I was obviously feeling some sort of uncertainty that day to have asked it.
The dream I had just before waking was definitely relating to career, but not exactly answering my question.
Here’s what happened:
In the dream, I was standing outside the Akashic Record with a girl I had never met before. The Akashic Record looked a bit like this in my dream. (Everything in it was made of marble.)
This girl was my student and I was supposed to show her around the Akashic Record. It looked like an old museum in the Akashic Record and we kept going up to ledges that were high up. Whenever I got close to a ledge, I got dizzy but instead of me falling, when I got dizzy, my student would teeter on the edge of it and nearly fall. In the end, she did fall a long way onto the marble below and I was certain she was dead but when I got down there, she was actually alive and fine. I then went to have dinner with her and her family but I couldn’t look them in the eye because I let their daughter fall in the Akashic Record and I felt guilty.
This dream was clearly not a relevant response to ‘Where am I going, long-term, in my career?’ but it addressed the question of ‘What is holding me back in my career right now?’
I got this dream just as I started doing a new coaching program for developing intuition, with a dozen new students. I discussed this dream with one of my blogger friends and I realized that I was thrilled AND freaked out at the same time at all this responsibility of teaching in this area for the first time.
I also know I have a tendency to take on responsibility for other people’s experiences which is a big life lesson for me and also probably the biggest thing that holds me back in the area of career. So, remember that in response to asking a question, you may get an answer to another, perhaps more pressing question in your life, instead.
The next blog post will talk about dreaming about the future.
(Edit 1/06/2011: you can find that article here: Precognitive Dreams – Are You Dreaming of the Future?)
What have you been dreaming lately?
If you don’t usually dream, try out the exercise above and see what happens.