Since I write a dream interpretation column for Paranormal Underground Magazine, I thought we could talk about how to interpret your own dreams. Of course, I'm happy to interpret your dreams for my column, as well. You can send your dreams (anonymously if you wish) to editor @ paranormalunderground.net (no spaces).
Why We Dream
We have different types of dreams.
Dreaming of Other People
One of the keys in dream interpretation is remembering this: every person you dream of in a symbolic dream is actually an aspect of yourself, so when you dream about another person, you are actually dreaming about yourself. If the person is someone you know, ask yourself which aspects of that person do you resonate with in your waking world. Or, which faults do they have you can barely stand? These might give you a clue to the aspect of yourself the dream is talking about. If it is someone you don't know, look for personality traits or features that may be telling you something about yourself.
The other thing another person might represent in your dream is an archetype. Without delving too deeply into Jungian psychology (which is a fascinating topic all of its own), Jung outlined major archetypes that represent aspects of self, desires, fears, etc.
The 12 Major Archetypes
Below are the main archetypes that appear in dreams.
So what should you pay attention to in dreams? Everything can be symbolic. Colors (wall colors, vehicle colors, etc.), numbers (such as a number of people or a number of items), objects in the background, landscape, thoughts and feelings, words....pretty much everything in your dreams may be symbolic. How people look, what they wear, if they have facial hair, if they wear glasses....The more detail you recall, the more likely the interpretation is to be accurate.
While sometimes a cigar is just a cigar (thank you, Dr. Freud), often objects in symbolic dreams mean something other than their literal interpretation.
Color is very important in dreams, so if a color stands out to you at all in a dream (whether it's a color of a shirt, the name of the color, or any other way a color might show up), it's probably meaningful.
When numbers appear in dreams, they come in various ways. You may actually see, speak, or hear a number. You might also note a certain number of objects - such as two people, four forks, etc. If a number sticks out to you post-dream, it is probably significant.
The information I've shared about dreams above is just the tip of the iceberg in dream interpretation. If you are really interested, I recommend finding a good dream dictionary. As far as online sources go, I find dreammoods.com tends to have information about symbols that resonates with me and most closely matches my own interpretations. Always look to your individual interpretations before you look to the collective conscious symbols. I find that many people actually do recognize what their dreams are telling them once they spend a little time thinking about it.
Last night I dreamed about playing dodgeball (which later morphed into field hockey and then some weird golf game), and everyone was divided into a yellow team or a purple team. I didn't get a jersey for either team, and the director of the game kept trying to give me a clear jersey (always great for showing off the bra or greeting your husband at the door when you come home). I wanted to be on a team - I didn't care which - and insisted that the director give me a team.
I discovered there was a blonde woman (her name was Annie) with short hair who had taken my jersey (that bitch!). She was on the yellow team, but she wanted the opportunity to be on either team depending on who was winning or losing. I was so upset at this injustice, and I tried to get her to give up my jersey, but she wouldn’t.
The director (who had short, dark hair) looked through all the colors and kept giving me colors that weren't either team. I kept insisting on being placed on one of the teams. Finally, she came up with a purple jersey, but it was more violet while the rest of the team was dark purple.
Then I went and joined the game, but realized what a slow freakin' runner I was. I was adept at playing, but I just wasn’t as fast as the other players. Two other teams had joined the game, and nobody was sticking to a team anymore - the teams (the other two colors were blue and red) were all intermingled. So instead, I found a cache of colorful golf balls buried in a hole in the ground and played with that. The cache was at the top of a hill, and I pulled up each colorful ball and tossed it down the hill to a green playing field.
Here are some of the symbols that showed up in my dream:
Here’s the process by which I interpret this dream.
1. I start by looking at the context of the dream, which is a ball game of some type. I desperately wish to participate. This gives me the overall theme of the dream – it tells me what the dream is about. It is being played on a field that is rough and rocky – with lots of hills, but there is a bright green, smooth pitch at the bottom of the dirt hills. In this case, the sport changes throughout the dream, so what is probably important is the field on which it is played – as well as the fact that there are balls in the game.