In Biblical tales those people that knew how to interpret dreams in an accurate fashion were revered as Prophets and regarded as people that spoke directly to God. Many different passages from the Bible speak highly of dream interpretation and how it influenced the life of our ancestors. From David to Joseph Biblical characters looked to dreams to answer questions of the past, present and future. If it were only Biblical stories that regarded dreams and their interpretation so highly we might be able to overlook what they have to say; however many North American First Nations bands place dreams into an incredibly important category of their own. Though a lot of the art has been lost over the years some band elders still give credence to the idea that the dream is reality and reality is the illusionary dream. Medicine Men of days gone by looked to dreams and their interpretation for information pertaining to everything from planting and hunting to birth-rights. The Medicine Man was second only to the Chief in recognition of power. The high office of power was also reserved for dream interpreters of both the ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks who used dream interpretation as a means of gathering information about their surrounding and what lay ahead of them.
Near the turn of the last century dream interpretation underwent a change of status as interpretation moved from mainstream to more psychoanalytical backdrops. Thanks to people like Freud and Jung who attempted to quantify and scientifically structure meanings dream interpretation slowly disappeared from everyday life and became a sort of pseudo-science. Though this loss from everyday life was most likely the opposite of what they intended it’s really only in the last 15 years where there’s been a resurgence in the interests of dreams and their interpretation. This new interest in dreaming is what is driving the now readily available dream dictionaries, which make interpretation a skill anyone can master.
Interpreting from Experience
Since dreams pull images, scenes and people from our own environment and experiences it is extremely important to realize the context in which each scene plays out. Though Freud’s method of dream interpretation relies heavily on a free association of ideas where each piece of the dream is interpreted independently of another we’ve tended to realize that an integrated association tends to give greater detail. What’s this mean – was Freud wrong? No. You can certainly interpret each major aspect of a dream and then see what they mean apart from each other. This method of free association tends to give you a general idea of the dream’s meaning, but does nothing for relating the details that may only appear when you put everything together. Since the resurgence in interest to interpretation we tend to incorporate more Jungian ideas into the mix where each aspect of a dream is interpreted and then how each piece associates with another is also analyzed. This whole dream interpretation (WDI) relies heavily on the experiences of the individual having the dream. For this reason the more information you know about the individual that you’re interpreting for the better, since you’re more apt to be able to draw the necessary parallels between their dream and their life’s experiences. It is also for this reason why it should be much easier to interpret your own dreams over someone else’s.
Interpreting the Dream with Example
Dream interpretation is a skill that anyone can master given time and is by no means psychic in nature. The interpretation of a dream only requires that you logically analyze the different aspects of the dream and associate them with the real-world experiences and life of the dreamer.
Important things to know about the dreamer:
1. What stresses are in their life right now?
2. What is their relationship status and family/friend structure like?
3. What goals are they striving for currently?
To begin the interpretation process of the dream you must identify the main them of the dream. Some dreams will have sub plots and side themes, but there will always be a major theme, or underlying cause to the dream. It’s important to follow the main focus of the dream because it is the driving force behind the experience and everything else will be a derivative of it. In order to identify the main theme of the dream you must strip away all the details and superfluous structures to find the start to finish goal(s) for the dream. The basis of the experience will then lead you in the direction you need to go in order to interpret the dream correctly.
In order to make the learning process easier for you I will include one of my own dreams and show how the interpretation process works with it. Pay attention to the differing aspects that I include with the dream as they will be important here as well in the second section of interpretation. Although I will interpret the dream before presenting any information on what the associations are I will include some basics further along to assist you and make suggestions where to find other information. The major aspect of interpretation is how to do it correctly, so that first and then the associations so you can do it yourself.
The Example Dream
Circling from above I survey the scene and find myself working on a new backyard deck with the Holmes on Homes team at my current home.
As I snap into first person we're suddenly not working on a deck, but instead playground equipment in the back of my old elementary school. I notice that we're on the southern section of the playing field which means we were building a new structure for the primary children (grades 2-3). I also make note that there are several new fences separating the junior kindergarten to grade one area from the primary area we're working on. Just over the long asphalt path (which has been newly paved) I notice a portable classroom, brown in colour, sitting with its door facing us at the equipment area. As we finish building the equipment we go inside.
When I went to the school the door we entered would have gone directly into a classroom, but instead we entered a hallway and from there we proceeded to the gymnasium. Just as we were sitting to watch a production of some sort on the stage of the gymnasium I was suddenly in a gym class of probably my grade six year and running out of the locker room ready to play. Mr. Sworik had out the tumbling mats, crash mats, and trampolines so we worked on those for awhile and then class ended and we all ran back to the locker room to change as would be normal for a gym class.
Upon exiting the locker room I was on stage about to put on an evening show. Sinikka, my deceased step-mother, was heading up the production but had taken her seat in the audience as I would be stage manager for the show. We had the lights and sound ready and began our production. It seemed to be a combination of theatrics, musicals, and psi - I have to say that the memory of it impresses me somewhat. Somewhere along the line I became involved in the show myself and was both making stage appearances and managing the production. Upon finishing the show the audience exited to the library for food and beverages. At this point several of my high school teachers made comments on the show and expressed satisfaction with the collaboration of efforts from their writing to the group's interpretation.
At this point I exited the gymnasium via a side exit and was walking home - not to my current home, but the route I would have taken to my childhood home when I attended that school. During the walk I met up with several of my current Pure Energist friends and while walking down a treed pathway instead of exiting back onto a roadway as would be normal I walked into the light and woke up.
Identify the Theme
Though this dream seems to have a lot going on with it we should be able to strip it down to its core theme. In this particular dream the theme is divided into three parts: Repair and create - play and learn - presentation and home. Taking those aspects into consideration and looking at my life and experiences I’m able to showcase that the theme of the dream is really just a normal day for me. This would mean only that the dream is showcasing a day in the life of and nothing more.
It is important to note that the great majority of dreams, in the realm of 95%, do not have any prophetic meaning and do not speak of the future. Most dreams will have to do with the present and past. Knowing this fact about dreams makes it easier to identify current and past associations of a person with the dream.
Free Association Interpretation
With the first aspect of interpreting a dream we identify major blocks, or chunks of the dream that obviously belong together as one piece and identify them independently of anything else that occurred in the dreamscape.
I purposefully recorded my example dream in chunks in my journal to make identifying globs that belong together that much easier. I highly recommend doing this sort of pre-emptive chunking in case you don’t remember the details of the dream later when you go to interpret it.
The blocks of the example dream are:
1. Building a deck
2. Building/repairing a playground at my former elementary school
3. Gym class
4. A play, or performance
5. The trip home
Generally Interpret the Blocks:
1. Sound financial decisions leading to prosperity and more time to enjoy relaxation and family.
2. Creation of interaction systems to better allow for interaction and understanding in public settings.
3. A reminder of the constant need to remain flexible and to have the discipline to improve myself while adapting to the complex situations that arise. A strong drive towards self control.
4. Stories of recent and in this case a few future events in my life though in a much more choreographed production. Showing plainly what was done and needs still to be done.
5. The protection and security of understanding what is to be done.
Whole Dream Interpretation
With WDI we take the generally interpreted blocks from the dream and look at how they associate with the main theme and then add in different aspects of the dream to flesh out the details that are available in the dream itself. Remember that this part of interpretation relies heavily on understanding the dreamer’s experiences and life, so don’t be afraid to ask questions if you’re doing interpretations for someone else.
1. Owning my own company I always need to ensure that my work goals and plans will create the income necessary to provide for my family while at the same time allowing me to balance myself with family time, so that my children can benefit from the strong family bonds that so many people miss out on in life and that will allow them to grow up to be well rounded, contributing adults. The general interpretation assures me that I am on the right track at this time.
a. Since I sometimes watch the television show Holmes on Homes I associate Mike Holmes as a trusted expert in the field of building. His appearance in my deck building project lends credibility to my being on the right track.
2. I have been working in the public eye for decades now; however recently I’ve been shifting my focus of teaching both psi and work aspects away from tried and tested methods to newer modes. Building new communication and interaction forms is difficult work not only because of the habits held from years of use, but also because some of the newer aspects feel foreign even if they do work well.
a. The school appearance shows that I am searching to ensure that I have enough knowledge and understanding to follow through with and make my new concepts work as they are supposed to.
b. The look around the schoolyard at this point adds nothing to the dream itself; however having recently visited the school after years of absence the fence lines that appeared in my dream showcase the school as it is now instead of how it was back when I attended the school. The change in school layout also reflects recent remodeling that’s been done to the school that I was consciously unaware of.
3. Self discipline is perhaps one of the hardest aspects of the self to moderate. As well keeping yourself motivated is a constant task and the gym class showcases this well. I constantly fight with my personal discipline since like anyone else I’d much rather being doing a host of other things besides working. The gymnastics aspect of the dream brings forth the need to practice in order to work through the complex problems that show up in life. It also means that being flexible and adaptable solves more issues than it creates. This comes together to remind me to be flexible and to learn to adapt quickly to anything that may seem complex since I will overcome it.
a. The mats and gymnastics are significant in this part of the interpretation but so is the trampoline which not only gives me the ability to jump far higher than gravity would normally allow it lets me bounce back from situations that might attempt to keep me down.
4. In this case a play is really just a story for me to watch and learn from. This play, though it isn’t included, presented some very useful information for my life. As a side note I’ve often commented that my life really could be a musical as you might see on television because of its many aspects.
a. The significance of seeing the lighting panel gives detail to the fact that this part of the dream is meant to give insight into my life.
b. Both directing and acting in the play serves to show me when something happened in the past/present versus how or what I should be doing in the future.
5. Walking home at the end of the day always was something I did with my friends and at one point during my walk I went down a path that was lined by 20ft bushes on both sides and after about 50 meters joined up with another street. The pathway took about 20 minutes off my walk home and was the easy and safe way home after a long day at school. Walking into the light may have meant only that I was waking up, but it also interprets into a feeling of security and understanding.
Overall the example dream Interpretation works itself very well into the questions that I constantly wonder as well as what I am doing, have been doing, and will be doing in my everyday life. Hopefully I’ve been able to showcase to you not only where dream interpretations bring their roots from, but also that a dream can be interpreted in different ways depending how much information you’re looking to get from them. Included with this section of Dream Interpretation is an appendix that includes some common interpretations and recommendations from me on books and websites that have interpretations to help you along.