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.
I dream so much! I always try to write down my dreams and I have found two online dream dictionaries that resonate with me and I always find the relevance of my dreams to what I most need to know, astonishing! I have many notepad files on my desktop just of dreams even. Having just woke up from a lovely dream in which I was chatting online to a friend (I don’t think that one holds any particular relevance, it was like a continuation of our conversation before I went to sleep) I’m feeling very light-hearted. I hope it was a pre-cognitive one, because he said we had plans to visit the set of Coronation street and the conversation was hilarious.
Thanks for this post Anna. Like Amy, I dream ALOT! They have often made no sense to me but recently I have noticed, when I think about them the next day I get a thought pretty quickly as to the meaning. Like you say, I realised that their isn’t really a generic dictionary that can explain their meaning, as each of us has a different relationship to everything (ie a snake may mean something completely different from one person to the next.) I think it is about trusting our own intuition, to what it means to us. Thanks for this post Anna, really informative as always. 🙂
Often times it’s not so much the details & events in the dream but the feeling within that dream that I remember. I could be doing a mundane chore and I would be flooded by a feeling that I recall having when I dreamt, even if it was years ago that I had a particular feeling in a dream. Sometimes, it’s recurring. I don’t really understand why this happens. It seems to be inexplicably random.
Several nights ago, I asked my spirit guides a question and wrote down my dream the following day. It wasn’t until I was doing some mundane thing like opening a drawer that it hit me what the dream meant. It was pretty amazing 🙂 Thanks for writing your posts. I look forward to them each time!
Thanks for this post, Anna. I have not taken the time to reflect on my dreams in quite some time, despite knowing how insightful they really are — your post is a timely reminder! I especially appreciated the exercise, which I eagerly did last night, with my pink post-it note question pasted on the wall right next to my pillow. Lately, I have been consulting others about the relationship I’m in, looking for external confirmation about my own gut feelings. But I filter them through past experiences/negative beliefs, essentially confusing myself, torn between what to listen to. The dream answered my questions, with the journaling this morning expanding the message on many levels – Of course! It has definitely helped boost my self-trust and confidence to discern between intuition versus ego. Mahalo 🙂
Several nights ago I had a dream in which I was at a dinner party, I left the table for some reason and while I was away my dinner plate was served and the woman next to me had eaten half of my food and I was very upset about it.
I knew this dream was connected to what I’d read in your recent Soul Realignment blog entry– especially the part about negative souls stealing Source energy from positive souls.
(I actually found that statement troubling because I also believe it is too much of a black and white distinction.)
I feel that my dream, however, was telling me that I am ignoring something. That there are people who will unconsciously or willfully steal from others and it’s important to be aware of this fact, especially because often the theft is hidden or subtle, not blatant like in my dream.
I’m finding the information in your blog to be very helpful. Thanks!
Very interesting post Anna. Since Erin told me I needed to work on my dream life I’ve been very interested in dreams. However I kept on getting frustrated with all the senseless bullcrap that seemed to come through. In the end I think I identify more with your reading where you told me I was a dream master and my dreams weren’t necessarily meant for me! I don’t know, I guess the best psychics make mistakes sometimes. Or maybe it wasn’t a mistake, but I know dream work isn’t flowing for me right now.
I’ll try that exercise though, it sounds like it could really work.
What do you think about lucid dreaming, is there much spiritual benefit to be gotten from that?
Keep up with the cool articles Anna :)))
Interesting post, Anna — I dream a lot, but don’t normally pay much attention to them. Unless they’re recurring dreams, and there are two times in my adult life where I had the same dream over and over for a fairly long period of time. In hindsight only, was I able to interpret those two dreams.
I’d love to hear your thoughts about recurring dreams; is it simply a case of my subconscious beating me over the head over and over again until I get it??
Andrew – I don’t really know much about lucid dreaming to be honest. I’ve had some lucid dreams but never experimented with it. I think Erin was right in what she told you about dreams being important for you except perhaps not in the way it was interpreted.
Hi Jeanne – I think recurring dreams are often significant in that way – that it is your subconscious telling you something over and over. I can’t think of any other meaning to them apart from that!
Okay so if dreams are another reality; then do the other people in your dreams share that reality with us? I mean some people I dream about all the time that I have only met maybe once and I don’t really know them. Do my dreams affect them in some way? Or vice versa.
I also remembered something today. When I was a young teen I dreamed that an aquarium of snakes got into my bed. In the dream the snakes were beside my bed in the aquarium. I am terrified of snakes. What would that mean?
Any help is appreciated on these issues.
I had a dream recently, which was very interesting to me. It occurred at separate times. There was series of different dreams, but before lying down, I did some meditations, in which, i began hearing random statements of which I cannot remember, and seeing random people. I know these statements heard, had something to do with these people I saw. Once I lay down, i found myself unable to fall directly to sleep, but rather, continued hearing voices speaking, and having random images pop up in my mind. There came something to my bedroom door, my heart began to race, then I told it to go away, I calmed down, and fell to sleep…
During this “dream”, I was sitting in this room, it wasn’t well lit, as I recall, nor was it too dark, and there was a table, and across from me was this man, who throughout the entire thing, changed form, yet it was the same voice, and same person. It shifted from a man, to a woman, and at one point, I got a clear look at him, and it appeared to be my father. Anyway, we would chat, back and forth, talking about some mission (My life’s purpose), and then some offhanded statement would be made, and into a dream I would enter, when I left said dream, I was back in this room, chatting… This continued the whole of the night, with several dreams. It was as though we both turned and watched a movie for a while, then discussed it, except, this voice was with me in those instances.
To expound the oddness of some of the cryptic things said, coupled with the fact that I can’t remember anything other than the basic nature of the conversation, (Mission chat), I remember the last thing said, “Sienna Miller is back to her old ways…” and with that, I woke up, fully revitalized, as though I had slept peacefully all night, though, it was only a total of about 4 hours.
Great read. always good to see a fresh independent insight into why we dream.
i have had a lot of dreams, when i dream they are very vivid and i remember everything right down to the smallest emotional or physical feelings. most of my dreams are filled with fear though and i can’t figure out why. I have had dreams about being trapped in a small space and demons or evil things what ever they were trying to do god knows what to me.
i had a dream once, this black haired, pale girl i have never met before pulled me into my room, my bed was on its side and a few others i never saw before were hiding behind we joined them. she was terrified as was everyone else. she told me we were the only ones left and he was coming, he would be here soon we need to get out. we tried to make a run for the next bedroom when we saw him in the door but she screamed and then there was a bright light and a ringing sound.that is only half of it /: not quite sure what this means but a lot of my dreams are like this.
i dream alot, very vivid sometimes confusing dreams, one that bugs me is a lot of my dreams had my dad, in them, we really didnt get along when he was alive, and its at the house we grew up in, where he raised us, i can’t get what ever that means, and a very scary vivid dream a very big snake, big and green with black eyes, he was so big that when he slithered in my face one of his eyes was bigger than me, he came right in my face, i was scared but i had something in my hand and i stabbed it in that one eye that was right in front of me, my dream ended i woke up after that.
I dreamt about two weeks ago about this guy I fancy, who is a year younger than I, and I was getting rather close to him. However, when I held his hand, I was holding the hand of a child! I was like what the?!
I interpreted this as the fact that I usually go for older guys, not younger, and I’m a little insecure about what I will experience as criticism and shunning from peers because he is younger. I’m not sure though. He also had a broken arm and was rather frazzled looking.
When I dream, I get two distinct types of dreams. One where it’s like you are like the lens of a camera, moving down a street, driving a car, playing out a scene etc. The other is where Shapes and Symbols take shape, like they are far off then move closer until you can make them out. Almost like quite literally coming out of the ether. Lately, I have been able to interpret these shapes/symbols and know in advance events which in fact turn out to be true. Many of these dreams foretell events, many of them relating to close family. Usually I see shapes with no facial definition but I can tell if they are Male or Female, these are often accompanied by numbers. Right now they almost always are associated with something which will happen to these people. When do these occur? Nearly always just as I am coming out of deep sleep, but lately I have been able to bring them to me before I go to sleep. Would appreciate your views / feedback.