Dream Analysis part 2: Dream Interpretation
Dream analysis is understanding what your dreams are trying to tell you.
Now that you've taken the dream apart to see all its pieces, it's time to put it back together to see what picture the pieces form.
If you've missed the beginning of this article, start here with Dreamwork
Dream Analysis Process, Part 2
By now you probably have some ideas of what your dream is telling you.
If it's still seeming vague, or you want to delve deeper into dream analysis, here's a helpful technique . . .
Go back through your dream symbols and circle the associations or meanings that stood out most for you.
There may have been a tug or a feeling of "aha" or some emotional charge when you wrote it down or when you read it.
Now go back to your dream, and substitute these words for the keywords.
For example, you could read the sample dream as . . .
"My faithful companion and teacher is driving me (the willing student) to an unknown destination. I (the passive observer) find myself (the becoming-prepared) at the place of my action in the world, which is in a frozen stiff place, and I (the do-er) stand up to take action.
You can play with this as many ways as you like. Each version will yield a new facet of dream analysis for you to explore.
Levels of Dream Interpretation
Don't worry if you seem to uncover several different possible meanings of your dream. There are always multiple levels of meaning in any dream!
And if you don't find multiple levels . . . dig a little deeper.
Don't be misled into thinking that the surface level of dream interpretation is the real meaning... your dog isn't really capable of driving! And the second level may be more accurate, but that doesn't discount the third, fourth, fifth, etc levels of meaning.
Piecing Together The Dream Analysis
The only thing left to do is to write down in your journal what you think the dream is meaning.
Again, it's tempting to skip this step. You'll think that you'll remember it, and you rationalize that it's not important.
I speak from long experience when I say that over time you will forget. Writing it down helps to solidify it in your memory.
It also solidifies your understanding . . . when you have to put it into words, you will get much more clear on it.
Plus, you can look back on it in future years. From that perspective, you won't understand the dream in the same way. It can be illuminating to see how your perspective has changed.
And since dreams don't take place in a vacuum, but in an ongoing stream of Divine communication, it's incredibly helpful to be able to quickly look back over a series of dreams. You can get a feel for the process, this way.
The last step in dream analysis is following it through.
What! It isn't enough that you dissected your dream into atom-sized bits and put it back together again!
What good is getting a hand-delivered invitation from the Divine, if you're not going to go to the party? You've got to take action on what your dream analysis reveals.
There are two steps to that . . .
All of this fine work you've done, hours spent writing and exploring your dream, is absolutely meaningless unless you apply it to your life.
The test of any spiritual practice is how it changes you. If you're not going to use the information gleaned from your dreams to change your life, than you're wasting your time. It might be intellectually interesting, but it won't be meaningful.
In fact, it will simply be one more distraction from actually pursuing a spiritual life!
So how can you apply what you've learnt?
Act on it. When you're dreams point out a direction you need to go, take it. When they show you a character flaw, heal it.
If you can't apply it, then at least apply awareness of it. You might not be ready to quit your job or whatever, but keep aware of what your dreams tell you about it.
And ask them to help you be ready for whatever action is needful.
Say thank-you for your dreams, and the guidance they give you. This increases the communication and the clarity of your dreams.
And while saying, and especially feeling gratitude is important, talk is cheap. If you really appreciate the messages, act on them.
If you're serious about dreamwork, then you must act on the messages and you must be grateful for them. If you do this follow-through, you'll find the practice of dream analysis will be much more rewarding and powerful than you'd dared dream!
Summary of Dreamwork Method
- Record the dream
- Outline the highlights
- Fill in details & clarifying timeline
- Avoid assumptions, & be completely honest
- Sign & date
- Title your dream
- Jot down observations
- First impressions
- Current life issues
- Interpreting the dream
- Explore the symbols
- Understanding your dream
- Apply the lessons
With Brightest Blessings,
Dream Analysis part 2: Dream Interpretation