Dream Interpretation Basics

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Reprinted with permission of My Dream Visions

Dream meanings are as individual as our personalities and provide valuable glimpses into our inner lives. Most often, dreams are close-up snapshots of a recent situation. Sometimes, a dream portrays a long-lost memory, possibly unearthing some unfinished business from the past. Remember that dreams often have a much deeper (and sometimes completely different) meaning than the obvious. This is why accurate intuition - your own or that of an intuitive dream expert - is needed to decipher the imagery and symbols of the subconscious mind.

If you choose to interpret your own dreams, you may find the following step-by-step process helpful:

  1. Upon awakening from your dream, before you open your eyes, replay the entire dream sequence in your mind. If you had more than one dream, do this for each one. This will help you remember more details.

  2. Write a description of your dream, including key symbols or events, and any emotions or physical sensations you felt during the dream or upon waking from it. It's helpful to have a written record of the dream to refer to during the interpretation process, especially if you are going to wait until later to interpret it. Also, the process of writing the dream description may help you remember more details.

  3. Make a quiet space for your interpretation process. Choose a quiet time and space where you won't be interrupted. If this isn't possible when you wake up in the morning, set aside a time later in the day and refer to the notes you wrote in step 2.

  4. Connect with your intuition. To do this, it's helpful to use a process such as a short meditation, an intention statement (such as "I call forward my highest inner knowing"), or a prayer (such as "I ask for Divine assistance with the interpretation of this dream, in the best interests of all concerned.")

  5. Review your dream and pay attention to any emotions you feel. Stay with the emotion - just feel it and follow it as it moves through you. Often, going with the flow of emotions is enough to reveal dream meaning.

  6. Think about any events, symbols, or physical sensations in your dream that stand out. Open your mind and explore what they could represent, again paying attention to any emotion you feel. Remember to explore obvious meanings, as well as less obvious ones. When you hit on the accurate meaning, you will likely have an "Aha!" feeling, you may feel a physical reaction, and you will just feel "in your gut" that it is the true meaning.

  7. One tool that is helpful in exploring the deeper meaning of a person, symbol, or physical sensation from your dream is to dialog with them. This dialog can take place either in your imagination or in writing. (For example, "ME: Why did you show up in my dream?" DREAM PERSON: "I represent your supervisor at work, and I am here to clarify some feelings you have about your work relationship," and so on.) Another way to apply this tool is to set up a dialog with your dream as a whole and see what information comes forward.

  8. If you are still not sure what the dream means, you can put it aside until later, discuss it with others to help stimulate your thought process, or consult an intuitive dream expert.