Dream Interpretation: What Does Your Dream Mean?

About Dream Interpretation

When you dream, your subconscious mind uses symbols to communicate ideas to your conscious mind.

Freud, Jung, Adler, and others believed that the thoughts we have when we are awake affect the content of our dreams.

Your dream might indicate how you are feeling at a particular time in your life.

If you dream that your teeth are falling out you could be worried about growing old.

Your dream could be making you more aware of your emotional state.

Dreaming that you are falling could mean that you are feeling insecure and helpless. Dreaming of a spider can imply that you are feeling creative. 

Your dream could be warning you about something you may have not noticed in waking life.

If you are afraid of snakes, a dream about a snake might be a warning for you to watch out for a danger that has slipped by you unnoticed.

A dream can identify a wish. Catching a fish can symbolize success.

Perhaps you have been hoping for a job promotion. It can also reveal fear.  If you dream someone is chasing you, you may be worried about being in a dangerous situation.

Our dream dictionary contains the symbols that commonly appear in dreams and their possible meanings.

Because your dreams are personal, the meaning of your dream will depend heavily upon your culture and your personal experiences.

A turkey may represent gratitude to someone from a country where Thanksgiving is celebrated, but it may not have the same meaning for someone from another country. 

A snake may not represent a danger to someone who works at the reptile house at the zoo. A church in a dream might have a different meaning for a Christian than for an atheist.

Because the meaning of a dream symbol can differ from person to person, our dream dictionary provides a variety of interpretations for each dream symbol. When using this dictionary, you should think about what is happening in your own life, and what is important to you.

Although dream interpretation depends on the individual, Jung believed that because all human beings share some innate biological tendencies, some dream symbols mean the same thing to everyone.

These symbols appear not only in dreams but also in old stories, such as fairy tales. Jung called them “archetypes.” 

An example of an archetype is the wise old man or father figure.

When you attempt an analysis of your dreams, it is important to remember that the things that you see and experience in your dreams are only symbols.

You should rarely take them literally.

For example, a dream about death or about someone dying could represent a change in your life – the ending of something old and the beginning of something new. 

It probably does not mean that somebody actually is dying or going to die.

Some dream dictionaries and dream interpretation sites will tell you that your dreams can predict the future.

They cannot.

However, your dreams may allow you to see clues that have been stored in your unconscious mind. Your conscious mind will then put these clues together to help you understand how events will unfold in waking life.

While dreams cannot help you predict the future, they can help you have more control over what happens in your future. 

For example, once you understand that a dream about drowning can mean that you are feeling overwhelmed by your emotions, you can try to find out what events in your life are causing you to have such a strong emotional reaction.

You can then do something about them.

Understanding your dreams can help you to understand yourself better, and so take action to improve your life and the lives of those around you.  

How to interpret your dreams

A good way to start with is to get a blank book or notebook for recording your dreams. This will help you to organize your dreams and interpretations.

Keep your dream journal and a pen next to your bed.

When you wake up in the morning, write down your dream and try to be descriptive.

Also, give a name to your dream, and decide what category this dream falls into: nightmares (scary images, violent scenes), precognitive dreams (may come true), etc.  

Step 1:

The first understanding of your dream is to read what you wrote and determine if there is a literal translation. For example, a pregnant woman dreaming of eating meat may literally have a need for more protein. But if you see a giant shark, it may be a symbolic dream. The majority of dreams are symbolic, but it is necessary at first to work out a simple literal meaning.  

Step 2:

Write down your feelings about the dream. Did the dream leave you feeling anxious, joyful, concerned, serene, angry, frustrated, confused, or something else? To understand this step, think of watching a movie: a person always walks out of the cinema with some feeling of inspiration, dissatisfaction, angriness, etc. From these sentiments starts your dream interpretation. A person who dreams of being naked in public might wake up feeling awkward about other people seeing his/her nudity, it may be interpreted as being insecure about yourself.  

Step 3:

Circle or highlight the words you believe to be symbolic. Keep in mind that the verbs or actions can also be metaphorical. For each circled/highlighted word ask yourself “What does this mean to me?”. Remembering a personal association with the symbol will give you a feeling of recognition, and the meaning of the dream will become clear.  

Step 4:

If you are confused, you may want to look up these symbolic words in our dream dictionary. Sometimes, just becoming familiar with the exact definition of the word will make its meaning clearer.  

Your dreams are your private connection to your subconscious mind and to your spirit. Often, dreams complete a story over several nights. Even seemingly unrelated dreams may be the way of your subconscious mind to get some important information through to you. If you don’t interpret a dream correctly, or don’t remember it, and it contains an important message, you may have another dream communicating the same message in a different way. As your dream presents new images and settings, the meaning can become more clear.  

What does your dream mean?

Once you have your dream on paper, the next step is to understand its meaning. Although all words and images are often familiar, the language of dreams is almost always metaphorical and symbolic, not literal. At first look, our dreams can seem bizarre, but nothing in dreams is weird when you understand the true meaning.  

Friends and experts can analyze your dreams, but to a certain extent, their interpretation will be the reflection of themselves. Only you know what the symbols in your dreams represent to you. However, we all share some common experiences, and certain dream elements or symbols seem to have the same or a very similar meaning to all people across cultures and generations.

About Brandon Hall

Hi! I am Brandon. Writer and content creator for PA, specializing in phenomena that is sometimes beyond normal scientific understanding. My mission is to help guide people seeking answers in a positive and enlightening way.

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