Destination DreamspaceConfidently Follow Your Intuition By Unlocking The Clues From Your Dreams
MODULE 4: Dream Symbolism
Today’s lesson is an introduction to jungian archetypes and an overview of common dream symbols.
Before You Start:
- Have a pen and paper handy to take notes.
Welcome back! Last week you learned about the different types and categories of dreams and hopefully you’ve been able to identify a few of the dreams you’ve had yourself and post them in the Facebook group.
In today’s Lesson (#4), we’re going to continue expanding our knowledge about the dream world. In particular, we’re going to look at dream symbolism. At the end of the lesson, you’ll find several resources on dream symbols as well as a couple of extra informational sheets to help you learn a bit more about some common dream symbols.
Before we delve into dream symbols, specifically, I wanted to give you a little bit of background on where they come from.
Archetype: A recurrent symbol or motif
Psychologist Carl Jung described several archetypes that are based in the observation of differing but repeating patterns of thought and action that re-appear time and again across people, countries and continents. He believed that these universal, mythic characters – archetypes – reside within the collective unconscious of people the world over.
Jungian dream symbolism is based on the study of these archetypes and are considered manifestations of specific concepts.
Jungian dream symbolism is based on the study of archetypes and are considered manifestations of specific concepts.
That being said, there’s two ways to interpret a dream symbol:
- The universal definition
- Your own personal association with that symbol.
The interesting thing about dreams is that they have layers of meaning. It is entirely possible for both the universal meaning AND the personal meaning to be simultaneously appropriate.
Common Dream Symbols
Here are a few of the most common dream image symbols that you may encounter.
Water represents your emotional state. The state of the water is indicative of your emotional state. If the water is turbulent, for example, you may be experiencing some emotional tumultuousness. A tsunami may represent a sudden wave of overwhelming feelings. Dirty water could represent guilt, shame, or other “toxic” emotions. Snow or ice represents emotions that have been “frozen” or repressed.
Naked in public
Dreaming that you’re naked typically speaks to vulnerability and your comfort level with it. If you’re embarrassed to be naked, that could indicate that you are afraid of people seeing your true self. If you’re completely comfortable being naked in your dream, then you have no issues with emotional authenticity.
When this lesson is over, you’ll be able to download an info sheet with a list of the common dream symbols we talk about in this lesson and their meanings. You can also use the link I provide to a free online dream dictionary called Dream Moods. This free resource gets the job done, but if you want a more thorough source, check out the link to Dream Dictionary A-Z I provide below and consider purchasing it.
Dream symbolism doesn’t just come as images, it also comes in the form of:
- Words and phrases
- Songs and poems
- Deep conversations you can’t remember
If someone says something to you in a dream that sticks in your head, there’s often a hidden message there specifically for you.
Have you ever woken up in the morning with a certain song stuck in your head? This happens to me almost daily and there always tends to be messages in the lyrics that pertain to my dreams from the night before.
Rarely is anything you experience in a dream state insignificant, particularly if it stands out to you.
Taste, smell and touch can all be symbolic as well. If it’s a taste or a smell, consider what that particular symbol brings up in your mind – smell, after all, is one of the most powerful memory triggers. How something feels, physically, may be an indication of how it feels, emotionally. For example, something that feels hard may be an indicator of “hard feelings.”
Even where a dream symbol is located in relation to you can have significance.
- Masculine energy
- Giving of energy
- What is outgoing
- May signify what you need to let go of
- Feminine side
- Receiving of energy
- What is incoming
- May signify what you are resisting
Each individual color has it’s own symbolic meaning and associations form a psychological standpoint, as anyone who has worked in branding can attest. White, for example, tends to represent spirituality and purity whereas black represents mystery.
These colors also have cultural connotations – in some countries, white is the symbol of mourning, so white would carry an entirely different association to someone from that country than it would to someone in the west where black is the symbol for mourning.
Colors can also represent specific chakras, blockages and issues:
- Purple = crown
- Indigo = third eye/brow
- Blue = throat
- Green/pink = heart
- Yellow = solar plexus
- Orange = sacral
- Red = root
How Symbols Relate To Us
The characters in our dreams represent fragmented aspects of ourselves – personality traits that we wish we had, or that we are exhibiting as part of our shadow self.
Buildings represent the self and the various levels of the building represent different levels of conscious awareness. In particular, to dream about your home represents your own psyche. The room in the building has specific connotations, for example:
- Bedrooms – your sexuality
- First floor – the conscious mind
- Attics – your higher consciousness
- Basements – your subconscious
For example, I frequently dream about my parents house, in particular, my childhood bedroom. This setting can indicate that the things that are playing out in the dream are resultant from that time period of my life. The setting provides a clue of where to look. Dreaming of your parents house may indicate the part of yourself that was heavily influenced by your relationship with your parents.
When you’ve been tracking your dreams for as little as a week, you may start to notice patterns and recurring symbols.
Pay attention to these, as they carry an emphasized meaning. It could be repeated places, people, things, situations – it doesn’t matter. When you start to notice something that’s repeating, make a note of it. It will always clue you into an overarching theme – which is what next week’s lesson is all about!
Now it’s time to assign your homework for this week. Before our next lesson, pick a dream from your dream journal, pick out the major symbols and look up their meanings in one of the dream dictionaries I provided.
Write down how you felt in your dream in relation to each of the symbols. What’s the overall theme that appears?
Don’t forget to jump into the Facebook group and leave your feedback on other dreams posted there!
DREAM SYMBOL RESOURCES
- Pick a dream from your dream journal
- Pull out the major symbols
- Look up their meanings
- Write down what you felt in relation to each symbol during the dream
- What is the overall theme of these symbols?
- Go to the Facebook group, read the three most recent dream posts, and comment with your interpretation using your new knowledge of dream symbols.