Dream Symbols: Understanding Reality Through the Language of Symbolic Meanings

Our dreams are not just random sets or sequences of events occurring during sleep. They have a discernible connection to reality, whether such a relation is rooted in our past, a reflection of our present or a prediction of our future. Dreams are rife with symbolism and symbolic images, or things which speak about us – and more aptly, to us – through the deepest recesses of our subconscious. These symbols take the form of living or nonliving things, sounds, visions, our own and other people’s actions which appear in our dreams as a mirror of our innermost thoughts and feelings, or a parallel conscience to guide us through life’s journey. Therefore, it is imperative that we uncover the meaning of our dreams so that our awareness could help us act accordingly and use our knowledge for our own good.

Brain PuzzleNot surprisingly, remembering and interpreting certain dream symbols can often result in revelations which were somehow already anticipated or expected by the dreamer. However, there are dream symbols which may be difficult to fathom, and a deeper understanding and analysis of life’s circumstances are needed in order to form a cogent connection to the dream visions themselves, especially when a dream is recurring. These symbols may reveal some deeply-rooted subconscious desires. They may be hiding repressed memories of long-forgotten traumas. Or they could be perceived as warnings based on dreamers’ previous life experiences and practical knowledge alerting them about upcoming unfortunate events, giving them ample time to steer clear of future dangers.

Although symbols represent perhaps the most important part of a dream, looking at a specific symbol in isolation would not be helpful in trying to uncover relevant meaning and significance of a particular dream. As with some words which can have many meanings, depending upon the context in which they are used in spoken or written form, dream symbols should also be interpreted in the context they appear in a dream. Dreamers must pay special attention to all notable attributes in the dream as these may help reveal, modify or put specific symbolic representations in their proper context and, therefore, provide more valid interpretation. For example, snow by itself seen in a dream, may indicate that the dreamer is a casual observer to people’s hardships and difficulties, regardless of his or her reactions to such situations. However, “melting snow” has an entirely different symbolic meaning. On account of an additional context describing the symbol, in this case the modifier “melting”, the symbolic meaning of “snow” is completely altered.

Dream CatcherInterpretation of dream symbols using discrete representations of objects, actions and events experienced in a dream can result in some broad ideas for interpretations, however, more detailed combinations of symbolic attributes pertaining to specific dream visions produce much better interpretation results. Many dream interpretation sources posit that symbols are what can be considered elements of the universal language for dream interpretation and often belie a more deeply-rooted and inherent meaning.

For this reason, readers need to understand that additional details associated with specific dream visions or dream stories can aid in context-specific dream interpretation. For example, eating an apple and seeing a rotten apple, although bearing the same object considered as a symbol, i.e. apple, in the world of dreams, are obviously two different dream events which will have separate context-specific interpretations. Similarly, dreaming about a river, as described by the dreamer in more than one setting or scenario, could represent a number of things. As for dreams which involve recurring symbols, readers may be wondering why such visions keep appearing like pesky flies in their subconscious state. In most cases, they symbolize problematic events which have gone unresolved, or tumultuous phases in their lives which have not been accorded a proper closure. Otherwise, these reminders might just be another collection of unaccomplished plans or unfulfilled dreams waiting to be realized.

Not all symbols contained in our dreams have the same connotations as they would have in the real world. Often, certain things which might be considered unfavorable in reality connote a completely opposite meaning as applies to the world of dreams. One example is when a person dreams about death. It does not follow that someone they know in real life would meet the same fate. Death in the dream could be indicative of a change or transformation. Since the notion of death implies “coming to an end,” it is often symbolic of new beginnings. So there’s the rub. For someone who does not bother to look deeper for the most commonly-interpreted meaning of this seemingly macabre symbolism, that person will likely be unjustifiably burdened with anxieties about some ominous event which would most probably never happen. Of course there are dreams whose symbolic meanings are exactly how they would unravel in real life. Dreams of this nature are either a form of self-affirmation or proof that dreams indeed do literally come true, and deservedly so.

As in all forms of literature, a dream can be summarized and shortened by determining the “crux of the matter,” or the central theme of the dream from which its meaning can be deduced. The gist of a particular dream, no matter how complex it may seem, can manifest in the most vivid recollections of symbols taken out of the dream and have a profound significance to dreamers that only dreamers can determine for themselves. To reiterate, paying close attention to the context in which these symbols are seen in the dream will help dreamers arrive at the closest and most commonly-assigned meanings and interpretations as provided by both traditional and modern dream interpretation sources.

To give readers some relevant examples, dreaming about a “baby” in general is a symbol of upcoming pleasant surprises and fortuitous occurrences. That sounds simple enough. To dream of a “crying baby” connotes major health problems or a sudden tragedy. That’s still quite straightforward. However, consider this next dream, “cuddling a crying baby in an effort to calm him down, to no avail”. This by all appearances is a complex dream vision which might require some analysis on the dreamers’ part to help them grasp the central theme, which would then aid them in determining the dream’s symbolic meaning.  Again, only the dreamers can decide as to which particular attribute or part of the dream they think is prominent or significant enough to help them zero in on that attribute as the central theme, or the context in which the dream vision might take its symbolic meaning and draw a widely-recognized interpretation.

Baby CarriageTaking the third dream sample a bit further, it is possible that such a complex dream vision could only be the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. For the sake of argument, and knowing that it would bring readers to a better understanding of symbolism and symbolic meaning, let us assume that one dreamer dreams of “cuddling a crying baby in a room full of countless other people who are doing exactly the same thing, i.e., each cuddling a crying baby, and all seem to be working in a collective effort to calm all the babies down, to no avail.” In analyzing this rather convoluted dream vision, dreamers will be guided by their own conscience, that is, an inner awareness of what part of the vision truly strikes a chord with them in order for them to decide that it is indeed the symbolic image they are seeking a specific answer for. The possibilities to narrow their inquiry to a searchable dream description are as divergent as “many babies,” “strangers taking care of babies,” “baby tantrums,” “room full of crying babies,” “room full of people cuddling crying babies,” and so on.

There is no denying that enormous efforts are placed in creating and maintaining online dream interpretation sources which are able to respond to the signs of the times, but admittedly, these answers are mere guideposts. They are there only to give directions and to light the way. Ultimately, it is the dreamer who creates his own destiny, he who unlocks the true meaning of his own dreams.

Taking Flight: Birds in Dreams and Most Common Meanings and Interpretations Related to These Symbolic Visions

Birds have always been interesting subjects in dream interpretation. They appear in many forms and assume different characters and roles, and we are anxious to know whether their presence in our subconscious state represents positive outcomes or portends misfortunes. Images of specific birds carry symbolic meanings which inspire either awe or dread. Take, eagles for instance. They are looked upon as creatures of grandeur and beauty. Their ability to soar high up in the skies  is legendary and has lent meaning to the expression “to soar like an eagle,” which is a centuries-old metaphor for self-confidence, pride and hope. Moreover, to dream of eagles is a sign of far-reaching ambition and strength of character.

Hawks and owls are steady gazers. Dreaming about these birds is an indication of deep awareness. Owing to their seemingly all-knowing, mind-penetrating gaze, these birds have become symbols of vigilance and have given birth to the term “hawk’s eye.”  In other dream encyclopedias, these birds of prey appearing in dreams could contain a warning to be mindful and cautions of the dangers which lurk nearby.

Bird on a treeCrows, for their part, have a notorious reputation for and are widely considered as bearers of trouble. Their presence in dreams is frequently a foreboding. Their color, menacing appearance and the fact that they are scavengers conjure up morbid images of suffering, disease and death. However, many sources of mythology and dream interpretation around the world also view crows as symbols of wisdom. As for ravens, the  meaning of a dream about these birds is ominous of betrayal and abandonment. It also suggests a string of misfortunes and the imminent danger of being subjected to other people’s abuse due to powerlessness and being helpless. In addition, a dream involving a raven perched on a tree branch could mean a symbolic death, which may indicate an end to a bad habit or a particular period in your life.

Speaking of birds in general, it is interesting to note that in many cultures, a lot of superstitions and supernatural beliefs are built around these beaked, two-legged, feathered creatures.  For example, to dream that you are being pecked by a bird is a stern forewarning which could put you at great risk if unheeded. It is a clear sign that a person or a group of people may have villainous intentions against you. Therefore, this dream could be telling you not to be too trusting, or too open to others. Birds’ actions and behavior in our dreams directly affect our subsequent reactions and responses after waking up based on meaning and significance we previously learned from real-life or works of fiction. For example, many people report waking up shaking uncontrollably and drenched in their own cold sweat from a dream about being attacked by birds, as if in a déjà vu. Still reeling from such an ominous vision, they may have immediately recalled, with a fair amount of terror, having witnessed the exact same scene in a famous Hitchcock film.

Bird AttackWhen birds attack you in dreams, this vision could represent your fear of other people’s ideas and opinions. It also signifies that you are afraid to subscribe to, or at least have an open mind towards, other ideals, beliefs and ideologies. Moreover, this dream vision can represent an inner spiritual battle, as you may be assailed by a barrage of spiritual truths that could muddle your judgment and leave you more confused about what you truly believe in. In a quite literal sense, being attacked by birds could mean experiencing verbal abuse from others in real life.

In some cases, people picture themselves as birds in their dreams. It is usually good news. If you dream that you are a bird, or have birdlike features or qualities, you could be flying high with success, either in your personal life, your career or business. This vision can also be a symbol of your freedom, and the sky represents endless possibilities for you to explore. Otherwise, it can be a sign of your firm resolve to break free from the shackles that bind you. The bondage may refer to your emotional baggage or monetary debt. Much has been said about birds’ intelligence and unique abilities. They can weave complex nests and fly long distances. They can flit for hours and make incredible sounds. Some can even talk, or at least mimic human speech, which earns them a special category in the annals of avian taxonomy.
Human Face BirdsIf you happen to dream that you are having a conversation with a talking bird, both positive and negative interpretations can be gleaned from this experience. First, it could mean being on the verge of success with your current project or undertaking. On the other hand, it indicates a problem in communication, a language barrier, a point or idea “lost in translation.” This is particularly true when the bird in the dream is either indifferent or unresponsive. There are dreams in which characters appear with strange features combining human bodies and bird heads. What could dreams about these strange birds mean? Most likely, these chimeric images could be a portrait of a person’s ingenuity and inventive side. These symbolic visions could represent a phase in a dreamer’s life which may hint at an inevitable change or usher his or her complete transformation.

We can assign the meanings and symbols of birds according to their innate characteristics. We may look at doves as birds of peace, mynas as glib talkers, peacocks as beauty queens, nightingales as singing divas, sociable weavers as engineers, eagles as kings of the sky, the list could go on. No matter how we interpret birds in our dreams, they can either lift us up and turn our life’s aspirations to reality, or peck us back from our sticky sleep and claw us out of our flights of fancy.

Dreams about food and eating? Here are some common interpretation answers for these dreams.

Food as a source of nutrition and the way it is consumed can represent important symbols while we dream. Food and eating food can be a background theme in a dream, but it can equally constitute the central element or process experienced through subconscious visions. In terms of dream interpretation, the composition and appearance of food you are dreaming about can be an important clue in finding a meaningful and clear dream meaning. As an example, dreaming about your favorite food or recipe prepared or shared by someone you are closely connected with in your life can be a significant aspect in discerning what your mind is telling you about this particular person or the nature of relationship you may have with this individual.

Long TableDreaming about large amounts of food has always been treated by dream interpreters as a symbol of fertility, surpluses in food supplies and the resulting wealth and prosperity. It might be helpful to try to recall or find a reasonable explanation as to how so much food has ended up being in one place and how you or other people present in this dream regarded such an abundance of food. It may turn out that your perception of abundance and surplus can differ from what other people think of it. Commonly, more surplus and wealth can equally mean more headaches and responsibilities. So, if you saw yourself asking for more food in excess to what was already a copious amount, maybe you are looking for additional duties or concerned with too many responsibilities you may have.

Dreams about fresh or freshly prepared food have can be interpreted as a sign of renewal or striving for a change. Examples can include visions of dining out with someone you know while replacing a routine family gathering at a dinner table, trying or tasting fresh food during which you experience pleasant sensations, delight and satisfaction. Harvesting food while dreaming is commonly referred to as an indication of unity with nature and a symbol of pride and sense of accomplishment about work well-done.

Spoiled food tells the dreamer about senseless and excessive spending, relying more on material rather than spiritual aspects of life, greed and irrational motives. In many cases, these dreams generate feelings related to self-worthlessness, underestimating own abilities and losing hope.

Resisting EatingAnother important aspect of dreams related to food and its consumption is the impact of food or food ingredients on your health: have you ever experienced a dream when you had to deal with problems related to obesity, bulimia, lost appetite or other food-related disorders? Have you ever found yourself resisting to consume something you do not like or when you forced to eat something you would never touch or smell? All these visions have various interpretations and every little detail can change dream meanings about your personal life or your relationship with people around you.

The way food is consumed and the environment it was consumed in can also be a rich source of meanings and figuring out what they may convey: do you remember from your dream if you were eating food alone, with a large group of people, during festivities or as part of a celebration? Was it a memorable moment or a routine gathering you had convince yourself to attend?

The availability or, conversely, scarcity of food in your dreams can reveal your current concerns with trying to attain something that is very important, but requires a lot of effort, time and energy to be spent in the process. Interpretation of dreams about food and eating can be a very interesting and engaging subject to explore using dream interpretation resources available online.

Dreams about money, wealth or inheritance: Dream interpretation sources to help find the answer to what these dreams mean

Money in various forms and under a multitude of circumstances are often present while we dream, these experiences ignite our interest in finding the answer to the hidden meanings they may contain. Different circumstances may be experienced in dreams, such as losing money, acquiring wealth or winning the lottery and suddenly becoming rich, spending money or owing money to someone, these visions can be a reflection of personal financial situation or desire and striving to become rich and independent.

Wealth and MoneyMoney as material or physical objects (cash, coins, etc) is usually a representation of having or gaining power and ability to control other people in real life, it can also point out the ability to be in control of your actions and competency in such aspects as work, social relations and certain niche in society. A very important element in finding the right meaning of dreams, which involved money, is paying close attention to the nature and circumstances as well as other people present in these dreams. You may want to recall your own role in these relationships involving money, were you giving money away, borrowing money, or maybe just looking at someone who had a lot of money in their hands?

Many people experiencing dreams about money or about suddenly becoming wealthy have acute desire to be rich(er) and are extremely unhappy with their current financial situation in real life. They want to be in full control of their spending habits and have ability to spend much more than they can afford spending at present moment. Some people will be experiencing dreams about handling money because they subconsciously want to learn better ways in managing their finances or eliminating situations from their lives which once led them to be in debt or if they are afraid they may get mired in debt because of their current life situation or financial problems.

When you experience visions of receiving or inheriting money – try recalling sources and circumstances surrounding this event. In most cases, dreams containing these symbolic representations may be an expression of being blessed with power, ability to thrive on good deeds and accomplish a lot in a short period of time. These dreams can be an indication of regaining emotional strength and personal growth and renewal, ability to establish lasting and meaningful relationships with people around you or win over worries and uncertainties which could be tormenting and haunting you for quite some time.

Couple Holding HandsMany of us are visited by visions and symbols in our dreams related to being rich and wealthy and trying or wanting to share this wealth with others around us, which can represent subconscious desire to help someone, not necessarily in a material sense, but spiritually or because we know we possess more knowledge or experience to be in such a role.

Losing money or trying to locate money you lost in a dream is a sign of lacking self-control and willpower, not only pertaining to the ways you handle money or how you budget your expenses, but can equally be applicable to dealing with emotional aspects in your private life.

What is your position in regards to shortage or abundance of money in your life, do you perceive not worrying about money as something normal or do you consider having lots of money as an important sign of being able to control life situations or have major influence on people who are present in your life?

In more generalized terms, money in dreams has always been connected to the person’s attempts to become capable to exert power and influence on others. At the same time, this person would be questioning on a subconscious level in a dream how to access this power and how to build on wealth.

Dreaming about inheriting money, especially if it was something unexpected, is an indication of ability to achieve surprising outcomes as a result of your efforts and hard work. Conversely, being left out from inheriting money or wealth may be warning you about the need in more critical and honest evaluation of your efforts and abilities when you try to accomplish or achieve goals you set for yourself in life.

Animals in dream interpretation: Personal relationship and connection to animals and impact on what these dreams mean

Animals in our dreams can be represented  by a wide range of various visions and symbols. As the long history of dream interpretation shows, dreams which include animals and animal symbols prove the true value and legitimacy of their interpretation. These dreams open up a new venue in looking at personal concerns and aspirations, they can explain and guide us through life circumstances and events important to us. Animals can behave and communicate with us in a variety of different ways in our dreams. In our dreams, they can help us solve problems, chase us, prey on us; they become able to talk to us or keep a company without any communication or exchanging words. Some people can easily get pacified or, just as equally, frightened at a sight of an animal in a dream. Often enough, animal images appearing in our dreams will be direct consequence of our individual life experience and personal values we acquire.

In order to interpret a dream which involved animals, you need to compare your attitude and personal vision toward this particular animal both when it appears in your dream and how you treat or regard this animal in your wake life. It is also important to keep in mind the way this animal behaves in your dream, so you can analyze how it relates to the way you would expect this animal to act or behave in reality. This is rather important because our perception of symbols and visions while dreaming and in real life can at times be quite opposite when compared to each other.

Dogs as AnimalsA good example here is a vision of a dog. This animal commonly referred to as man’s best friend and companion. Still, some people harbor insurmountable subconscious fear toward this animal. Dog symbols can carry completely opposite emotional meanings associated with them. Individuals dreaming about aggressive dogs and who are actually frightened by dogs in wake life maybe experiencing some type of a warning by dreaming about angry and aggressive dogs as their fear is manifesting itself on a subconscious level. The symbols contained in the dream can vary in attributes, such as where the dogs was seen, how big it was, how aggressive it behaved and so on. The extent of fear is emphasized by additional details accompanying the dream, so when looking for the best interpretation, special attention needs to be paid to details and descriptions in order to find the most relevant meaning of the dream being interpreted. In this example, dog’s behavior is the key to decoding the message contained in your dream: try to recall whether the dog was chasing you, or maybe it was more than one dog, or maybe you were chasing the dog?

Cow in PastureWe frequently dream about our pets and domesticated animals, even though we are not dependent on or thoughtful of domesticated animals compared to the past, when people heavily relied on cattle or farm animals to sustain their very existence. Domestic animals or grazing animals in your dream are often a symbol of prosperity and abundance as well as balanced living conditions in your household. Other sources, which are more dated, always attribute dreaming about domestic animals to prosperous and wealthy life and easily overcoming hardships related to food supplies and general way of maintaining household and providing for the family.

Less commonly, people dream about killing animals, whether intentionally, or in order to survive. Dreaming about killing an animal as a means of survival or for the purposes of subsistence is related to subconscious manifestation of personal survival or struggles in real life. Typically, these dreams are reflections of the sense of responsibility for actions of other people or the need to establish one’s authority and influence in life. Dreams, which involve visions of slaughtering animals (depending on the kind of an animal) without any apparent motivation or need for it, can represent attempts to cater to your desires and wants, projection of anger or dissatisfaction with a certain taboo or limitations dictated by society. Satisfaction of desire or releasing anger is a subconscious way of dealing with these issues, which results in scenes of you killing an animal.

Does the animal you are trying to kill in your dream represent a person in your life you know very well? Are you connecting the image of this animal with someone from your social circles when experiencing these visions?

Modern society places taboo on inhumane treatment of animals, therefore you may be experiencing an act of rebellion against societal norms when you are hurting or killing an animal.

Hungry or preying animals in your dreams can be a sign of misalignment between the way you think and socially acceptable norms of expressing thoughts and acting publicly. In a sense, by dreaming about a hungry animal you are subconsciously chasing after unfulfilled desires or trying to break through limitations society is placing on you.

A cautionary sign while dreaming about animals is unnecessary domination or abusing animals, being superior to them, which is a sure sign of danger and immediate threat you could be about to experience.

The Dream World Is Yours When You Learn How To Lucid Dream

Crystal Power Magazine

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Many people haven’t heard about lucid dreaming, and that truly is a shame. A lucid dream is a vivid dream where not only do your senses feel alive almost like the dream is real, but you actually have control over your dream. While the ability to control and direct your dreams may seem like fantasy adventure or science fiction, the truth is that a little bit of practice and guidance is all you need in order to learn how to lucid dream.

The first step is conditioning yourself to be more “dream aware” or “dream conscious.” Don’t worry, this doesn’t involve anything too wild, in fact it’s really simple! Conditioning yourself means keeping a dream journal. If you suddenly wake up at night, immediately write down your dream, including as many details as possible. In the morning write down any you still remember.

This is conditioning your mind to see…

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Common interpretation and meanings related to dreams about trees or parts of a tree

Dreaming about a tree represents a symbol related to one’s personal life and individuality of the person experiencing this vision. The shape of the tree in a dream is a subjective representation and reflection of this person’s or someone else’s, who is very close to the person, life situation and personal existence with relation to other people’s lives.

Trees as dream symbolsA tree in a dream, depending on its kind and state can be a symbol carrying a lot of meanings, both positive and negative, which can be describing dreamer’s body conditions and state, indication about health and physical wellness, ability to grow both physically and intellectually, personal achievements and progress with work as well as connection to the genealogical tree and immediate family or predecessors.

A tree in a dream can also be a representation of how studying and acquiring knowledge is progressing and even how they might affect the life of a person who happened to dream about this symbolic image. It can equally be a simple way for subconscious mind to tell people about their life course and reflect their direct or indirect relationship with others around them (these meanings will largely depend on in what conditions a tree was growing and what kind of a tree shape it has been seen: large, small, a tree with stunted growth, a perfectly shaped or a dwarf tree, a dry or a dead tree).

Tree and bodyTree branches seen in a dream are a symbol of hidden abilities and secret desires or aspirations. Some sources describe dreaming about a tree trunk as an indication of problems related to the dreamer’s spinal cord and basic health conditions which need to be looked at more closely or with more attention. Upper branches and canopy of a tree in a dream point out our connection to the outer space, ability to express ourselves spiritually and find ways to be able to deal with everyday life while relying on a higher levels of cognition and striving for balanced and self-fulfilling future.

Tree roots in a dream are usually what they symbolize in a wake life, they represent basic needs for our existence, connection with ancestors and inner urge to care about humankind or certain people we communicate with on a everyday basis (family, close friends, co-workers or relatives). Tree roots can also be a sign or financial stability and independence, propensity to accumulate wealth and provide for our family.

Tree leaves with all their various shapes, colors and sizes and depending on what state they were seen while dreaming represent subconscious concerns and worries related to personal private life, something we have been going through recently and our current state of consciousness. It is important to note here that even small details in a dream related to tree foliage can affect interpretation of its meaning and help to uncover positive or negative message these dreams may contain.

Universal TreeThe overarching meaning related to dreams about trees can be described as development and growth in time, either for an individual or for relationships and personal connections this individual creates in his or her personal life with other people. Some dream interpretation sources make reference to dreaming about a “universal” tree, an entity which represents the universe we exist in and which carries a special meaning when our mind tries to grasp the fact they exist and learn more about cosmic forces or objects in space which perplex and astonish us by their magnitude.

Lastly, dreaming about trees under certain weather conditions or with seasonal patterns can also reveal a multitude of interpretations and symbolic meanings. Many dream interpretation sources describe dreaming about healthy trees with lush foliage as a sign of personal wellness and material wealth, while dreaming about dry trees stripped of foliage signify times of loneliness and hardship. Depending on a season (winter, summer, spring, autumn), dreams about trees are interpreted as symbols related to the beginning of a new relationship or exciting and fulfilling career or less promising or inspiring outcomes, such as periods of hard work and the need to choose priorities in life in order to succeed or being able to handle many things simultaneously.