A 19-year-old man dreamed he was going to a shopping mall to find his high school girlfriend that recently broke up with him. He went to a pet store where she worked in the dream. She was cleaning out an animal cage. She ignored him. Her back was to him and she focused on music that was blaring from a speaker.
Dream 197 Interpretation
Dreams that start out in shopping malls are typically announcing that the dream is going to be about how the dreamer was “mauled” in life, in this case by his girlfriend. It is important to remember that each character in the dream is a part of the dreamer’s psyche. The girlfriend in the dream is the part of his psyche or emotions that dealt with this girlfriend.
That it occurs in a store that sells domesticated pets indicated that the dream was about how she affected his affections and instincts. That it was in a commercial establishment implied that the dream was concerned about how it affected his business which was music. The setting of the dream often points to the part of the dreamer’s life that is being affected.
The dream is blatantly urging him to ignore her and get rid of the stuff (euphemism since the part of his psyche that dealt with her was cleaning feces from animal cages) about his instinctual sexual and affectionate feelings toward her. The dreamer was a drummer for a recording studio. The dream was urging him to focus on his music.
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A 34-year-old woman dreamt that she had a baby prematurely at twenty weeks past conception. The baby looked like a little man. He looked like a mentor and manager at work that she deeply admired and tried to emulate. The baby was wrapped in a blanket with the ends of the blanket stretched and tied so that the baby was encased in a stretched blanket which hung like a hammock above the incubator.
The baby was not doing well. Finally, the baby had convulsions and fell to the floor. A doctor she liked told her, “Don’t worry, that happens here all the time.” She then heard an overriding voice that sounded like the mentor she admired that said, “I found God and sobriety.”
Dream 195 Interpretation
This women’s mentor took another job and left her workplace about twenty weeks ago. She had to do all the work she performed before and fill in for his position as well. She barely knew enough to do all the functions of her transformed position.
Her being the mother of a 20-week-old baby symbolized the birth of her new work position which was twenty weeks old. She felt that her mentor left his position prematurely before she learned all the necessary functions. The baby represented her new work psyche which she felt had been “stretched and hung out to dry” (similar to the baby in the incubator.)
The good doctor was warning her that she was likely to crash if she continued on her chosen course. The overriding voice from her mentor was advising her to avoid being addicted to work (since he said he found sobriety) and to be more spiritual (he said he found God.) She decided to heed the words of her subconscious. She decided to spend less time at work, look for a new job and pursue her spiritual interests.
A 46-year-old woman dreamed that she was going to the bathroom. The bathroom was filthy. She saw the largest cockroach she had ever seen and felt disgusted. Someone was knocking on the bathroom door and telling her to hurry up. When she opened the door, her mother stomped on the cockroach and urged the dreamer to get on with her life.
Dream 193 Interpretation
The dreamer’s mother recently died. Her sister was the executor of the estate. Her sister arranged the way she administered the trust so that almost all the financial benefits went to herself. The mother was cremated. The mother indicated before she died that she wanted her ashes kept together and buried with a marker on the grave. The dreamer’s sister refused to spend any money on buying a marker for her mother’s grave. The disgust the dreamer felt in the dream toward the cockroach was exactly how she felt about her sister’s actions. The dreamer was totally disgusted that the sister who received all the financial proceeds after her mother’s death was now too cheap to buy a modest marker for her mother’s grave.
A bathroom in a dream is where you get rid of things you no longer need. The mother in the dream is the dreamer’s internalized mother introject. This emotional part of her was engraved in her subconscious by her mother. The dreamer’s mother is urging the dreamer to get over her disgust (hurry up and get out of the bathroom) in graphic terms (mom kills the cockroach in front of the dreamer). The dreamer verified that if her mother were alive, that is what she would ask the dreamer to do, i.e., “Come on dear and put this behind you now because it is not worth it and your sister is not going to change.”
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A 36-year-old man dreamt that he was on a raft with his brother who was two years older. There were other swimmers in the water who were quite relaxed. Suddenly a huge wave came that lifted the water level very high. Then another wave raised the water level even higher. He decided to land the raft at a nearby island where he went to a campground. He left the brother behind.
Dream 194 Interpretation
The brother consistently bullied him when they were growing up. Worse than that, his brother hit on two of his girlfriends when he was in his early twenties. The dream presents himself surrounded by his relaxed parts of the psyche while he tries to deal with his anger (his older brother). He is trying to deal with the emotional upset with his bullying brother that still irritated him and made it more likely that he would lose his temper.
Water is emotion. The two huge waves are the huge waves of emotion he felt after his brother tried to seduce each of his girlfriends. The dream, by the way it begins with relaxed bodies in the river (relaxed parts of his psyche), and by the way it ends with him going to a natural island campground and leaving the brother on the raft, is urging him to leave the anger behind and relax. The dream urged him to ride the waves of emotion out to where they can do no harm.
A 50-year-old woman dreamt that she was looking at a tree with a television set in it. The dream was showing her scenes of her vacationing in England where she was attending cultural events and admiring the English gardens. The television program switched to showing Bermuda and assured her that the heat would not bother vacationers. The dream shifted to her eating cookies her mother made for her when she was 7 years old.
Dream 193 Interpretation
A tree is a primary symbol of integration. A television is both audio and visual one way communication. She deeply enjoyed her vacations in England where she attended cultural events, and she particularly loved the English gardens.
The dream was communicating to her that it would be good for her integration as a person to go on a vacation that included cultural and garden events. She planned a vacation that included theater, artistic and botanic events. She often went to colder climates, but was not concerned about the heat in the South where she planned to vacation. The dream indicated that the heat would not bother her on her vacation to Virginia (which incidentally is at roughly the same latitude as Bermuda.)
Food in dreams usually represents what is nutritious for the dreamer. The dream ending with her eating her grandmother’s cookies reinforced the idea that a cultural vacation would be especially nurturing for her.
A 30-year-old man dreamt that he was looking at apartments in the town where he grew up. The first apartments were all desolate and decrepit and did not look fit for human habitation. He came upon an apartment complex which was well-built. As he looked up at the multi-storied complex, he saw bird men sitting in a row on a ledge. These half human, half bird men were just sitting there inactive, with an occasional ruffling of feathers.
The dream shifted to him being inside one of these luxury apartments. He remembered trying to go into the kitchen, but a bird man blocked his way. He was then surrounded by bird men in the living room. The bird men began eating him.
Dream 191 Interpretation
His early life was confusing to the point that he ran away from home when he was twelve.He lived on the streets, staying with friends, most of whom lived in apartments. The early run down apartments in the dream were an accurate depiction of his early life which, of course, had a major impact upon him.
The high-rise apartments are describing his more recent development. He was a complex person who wrote poetry that was quite good. Birds can represent freedom, and he was a very self-reliant and independent man. The birds are inactive early in the dream. Flight is often indicative of spirituality. His spirit not flying was ruffling his feathers.
He did not have a job that he could tolerate. He felt compelled to write, but had recently stopped writing because of depression. The dream is saying that he wants to create (the kitchen is a place of creativity), but he had writer’s block. Not writing was making him depressed, it was figuratively eating him up.
Dream 190: I’m Depressed to Avoid Being Aggressive
A 44-year-old man dreamt that he was sitting on a couch. Little wild, furry and aggressive creatures were trying to climb up the back of the couch. A high school friend was leaning over him and protecting him from the creatures. Every so often the friend slapped a creature so that it fell down the back of the couch.
Dream 190 Interpretation
The furry aggressive creatures represented instinctive aggression. He described the high school friend as chronically depressed. The dream is saying that he becomes depressed to avoid becoming aggressive. At work, he was very irritated by all the little squabbles he had to deal with in customer service.
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A 33-year-old man dreamt that he was relaxing in an open green field. He was lying on his back and looking up to the sky and the surrounding beautiful natural fields enveloped within shelter belts. Every so often a presence or force appeared above him. He was trying to figure out if it was a force associated with his beautiful girlfriend that he loved very much or whether it was a dark and insidiously evil force. In any case, he felt that it was a very powerful force.
He was the survivor of two disastrous divorces after short marriages where his wives were obviously using him for his wealth. He was in therapy because he found it difficult to trust his girlfriend whom he previously dated in high school. She was beautiful and talented and had played games with him dating wise in high school.
Their reunion was very different from what happened in high school. His girlfriend’s previous arrogance transformed to empathy because she suffered a previous emotionally abusive relationship. He felt he could trust her now, but was cautious because of their history in high school and his relatively recent divorces.
The dream indicated the progress he was making in psychotherapy. He recently was trying to relax more around his girlfriend. The scene of the dream told what happens when he relaxes about his girlfriend as it occurred in a beautiful natural scene where he was physically relaxed.
The image that appears above him is his shadow. Almost all major changes in psychotherapy involve the shadow. The dream was giving him an up close look at his shadow on his girlfriend.
He was subconsciously worried how his girlfriend would affect him if he allowed her to be predominant (above him) in his life. Lying down with stomach up is a classic submission pose among animals. That she was close enough to be considered on a par with his shadow verified the current depth of their relationship.
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As noted in my book (Chapter 34), the process of asking your dreams a question is called dream incubation. I usually recommend to people who they keep track of dreams and ask the same question for several nights and maybe up to a week. Over the course of a week, often the images that are produced may form a pattern that is helpful in discerning what the dreams are trying to convey.
The subconscious uses a strange kind of logic which I explained in my book. If your subconscious did a really good job, it many times is not recognizable what the dream is referring to. Keeping track of the dreams over the course of a week can give further information and illuminate what the images are trying to convey.
I recommend to people that on the first night they write the question they want to ask their subconscious three times to entrench the question in their subconscious. On subsequent nights you merely need to think the question to yourself internally before going to sleep. The most important thing, of course, is to write the dream the next morning no matter how fantastic or strange it may seem.
Using the rules in my book are likely to be helpful in interpreting the dream. It also often is helpful simply to tell another person the dream because having to put it in words may make some insights more obvious to you.
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A 42-year-old woman dreamt that she omnisciently viewed fran exceedingly large and beautiful tree that overshadowed a house. The house was just a framework and needed more work. An overriding voice exclaimed “This house needs to be built in the sun.”
A tree is a primary symbol of integration as its roots go deep, it is present before us, and it opens to the sky. A house can be a symbol of the dreamer as it is the framework from which one lives. This house was in the shadow of a woman who was integrated emotionally.
She recently was working for the first time in the last three years. She had increased her skills with a company that allowed her to grow in many areas, but her growth had stopped because she could not advance further.She had built her house of work (the house needed more work) on the basis of being an integrated and skilled worker.
Her present job was mostly a back office and supportive role. The subconscious voice was urging her to come out of the shadows and continue building her work in a more prominent and/or front office perspective. When you hear an overriding voice in a dream, your subconscious has decided to give the message to you blatantly. The voice is usually authoritative and demanding.
This overriding voice in a dream usually indicates the dreamer has not been listening to his or her inner voice. She decided to try to redefine her present work situation with her boss and to apply for jobs that were more likely to promote the growth of her front office skills if her present position could not be redefined to some extent. Her growth and integration overshadowed the work she was presently doing and she needed more opportunity.
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A 58-year-old man dreamt that he was in a very sterile and academic building shaving the hair off his feet and legs.
I asked him whether he had been overly logical lately because the dream was essentially telling him to cut out (shaving) being macho(shaving hair from legs is typically a feminine activity in the United States) with his logic (the university). He had recently been overly critical of a relative who was a simpleton, but who was a good worker. The dream implies that he should cut out kicking (legs) others with overly sterile and nonemotional logic.
A 44-year-old man dreamt that he returned to work after taking a leave of absence. During that leave, he attended therapy and felt that his consciousness was in a better place. When he returned to work he dreamt that he was on an upper floor when the skyscraper began to pancake like the buildings of the World Trade Center during 911. With each thud of another floor piling and pancaking on, he felt emotionally uncomfortable, but physically unhurt, even when the floor he was on completely collapsed.
A change in floors represents a change in consciousness. For example, a person going up ten floors in a skyscraper implies that his consciousness improved in major ways. He felt that he had reached a considerably higher level of consciousness during his leave from work and his work in therapy. When he returned to work, he found many of the same old habits that caused him trouble in the past resurfaced. The pancaking of the floors was a warning of how his consciousness was collapsing at work. That he was physically unhurt during this whole process showed that the dream believed he could repair the damage.
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A 35-year-old man dreamt that one of his high school friends who later became an alcoholic jumped off a cliff into a river. The dreamer then jumped off the cliff and found himself in murky river water. He saw a liquor bottle at the bottom of the river whose neck was stuck in the bottom of the river. The part facing up was without a bottom and was a circle which was very sharp. He touched the circle with the palm of his right hand. The sharp glass etched a perfect round and luminous circle in his palm.
Dream 185 Interpretation
The dreamer was struggling with substance abuse. He recently was getting into major trouble every time that he drank. The dream was issuing a stern warning that he was falling off the same cliff his alcoholic friend experienced and was in murky emotional waters as a result. It warned that he would go to the bottom if he reached for the bottle.
The right goes with consciousness and hands are used to do tasks. The dream warns that his ability to carry out tasks would be hurt (cut) if he drank. The round and luminous circle warns that substance abuse literally held the key to the fate of his soul.
The circle emblazoned on his palm was representative of his soul because it has no beginning and it has no end. The dream was saying that the fate of his soul was in his hands. Hands are used to do things and the dream was using cut hands to emphasize that drinking would affect his ability to carry out tasks.
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Dream 184: Sacrificing an Instinct for Higher Purposes
A 36-year-old woman dreamt that Inca Indians were capturing sheep for ritual sacrifice.
Dream 184 Interpretation
The classic South American tribe with religious overtones ensures that archetypal forces are in play. After hearing this, I asked her if there was a habit she was trying to give up. The basis of this question was that an animal part of her, an instinct, was being sacrificed. An animal instinct or habit was being given up. She replied that she was giving up eating meat and becoming vegan. Her subconscious mostly approved and saw her giving up meat as equal to a religious sacrifice.
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A 64-year-old woman dreamt of three trees. Then she saw herself and a friend she had as a teenager looking at maps in a geography book. This high school friend was very similar to the dreamer when she was a teenager.
The friend was extroverted and fun to be around. The dreamer was extroverted prior to the death of her father when she was twenty-six. The dreamer fell into depression and dysthymia after her father’s death.
Dream 181 Interpretation
The three trees at the beginning are significant. The number three is the number of change as three people in a relationship makes for an unstable situation. Trees are a primary symbol of integration as trees are with us on earth, open to the sky and send roots deep under ground representing the union of spiritual, physical, and subconscious realms. The dream announced at the outset that it was going to be about changes she could make to feel more integrated within herself.
The good friend who was the same age as her was really a doubling of the dreamer. When the dream wants to emphasize something, it gives you two or three of the same. Her friend represented her social and extroverted self which was missing in action since her father died.
She and the friend looking at maps in a geography book was advice to travel, in this case since the dreamer recently bought a passport for no conscious reason. When one does something that seems inexplicable, it is an sign that the subconscious is at work. The dream and her inexplicable purchase of the passport were telegraphing the message that travelling might help her return to the cheery extroverted part of herself.
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Is this a dream of a visitation from a loved one in a dream like “The Sixth Sense” movie or is the dream symbolic? In what follows, it is usually more comprehensive to consider the dream to be both:
Dream 203: Take Care of Your Little Boy
A 34-year-old man dreamt that his recently deceased mother was hugging his son who was six years old. The mother was nodding approvingly toward the dreamer as she hugged his son.
Dream 203 Interpretation
The dreamer noted that this dream seemed almost real. So real that we could classify this dream as a vision dream. Mother in the dream was his mother introject since each character in a dream represents a part of the dreamer’s mind at the first level of dream interpretation.
If we look at this dream symbolically, his emotions were giving approval as to how he was taking care of his son because the mother introject is often the foundation of emotions. The dreamer recently stopped negative activities and dedicated himself to being a good father to his son. His subconscious approved.
Mom would be proud. If we consider this to be a vision dream, then it simply is what it is. Which one is it?
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