The Big Keys to Interpreting a Symbol in a Dream

In this post I want to tackle the challenge of how to get meaning out of the things you see in the metaphoric world of dreams. Dream dictionaries have their place, I suppose, but in the 30+ years that I have been dream interpretations, I have rarely opened them, and found them mostly disappointing.

  1. Defining characteristics. Each object or action in the world has a defining characteristics that helps us differentiate one thing from another. If we did not have differentiation, everything would just be one big bright light. When the sun’s white light breaks through the prism of the earth’s light, then we see the whole spectrum of color such as blue or green or red. Without the prism we wouldn’t see the great diversity. When I am faced with a new symbol that I have never seen in a dream, I ask myself what are its defining elements? What makes a bear different than lion, or even one room different than another in a house.
  2. Taking your time in the beginning. When symbols first started coming to me, I used to write the thing down and then figure out what was unique about them. Doing a search on the internet is often helpful especially with animals.
  3. Make the spiritual world connection. If you think of flowers in general as being defined by their beauty, then having them in a dream allows you see that you need to work on your own inner beauty or how you see the beautiful spirit in others.

Here are some examples.

Bear: A bear is characterized by its size and strength.

Inward meaning: Inner strength or empowerment

A ship in a storm: This is characterized by the intensity of the weather coming at an object that is much smaller in size.

Inner meaning: Being steady or steadfast in the facing of overwhelming tests or difficulties

A dark alley: This is a narrow path where it is difficult to see where you are going

Inner meaning: There is a path that is limited and negative.

Try some of the following:




Spider Web

In the next post, we will look at behaviors that go with the symbols.

Counseling Work with Richard Hastings

1 Comments on “The Big Keys to Interpreting a Symbol in a Dream”

  1. Thank you for sharing your recent thoughts and tips, I appreciate reading them. This post is great! I’ve long wanted to understand dreams and how to interpret them.

    Beat regards

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