Dream Dictionary

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Notes about dream dictionaries.

The problem with many dream dictionaries is that they don’t have a clear conception of what a human being is when dealing with the dream symbols.   Human beings have two natures, one spiritual and one material.   I often refer to them as the true self and the ego.   The true self is a positive figure that is represented in the hundreds of possible virtues and capacities that people can have.    The ego is the animal heritage that tends to be selfish and protective.   It is where the negative emotions are.    The two nature work in harmony with each other so that when you experience a negative emotion, it is a signal to you that your true self is lacking in a specific virtue or capacity.  When you unleash the virtue from inside of you, then the negative emotion goes away.    Many symbols have two sides, a negative ego one and a positive true self aspect.   For instance, a dog can vicious, aggressive and territorial and it can be friendly and loyal.    A cat can be aloof, disconnected and it can be independently minded.    A human being in a dream can similarly represent both sides.  The major belief one needs to have is that your being is always trying to develop a new quality.  This is because it is the nature of human beings to grow and develop.

Since human beings are mostly the same with some small diversities,  most symbols are universal.  They are the same for all of humanity.     When you want to figure out a symbol’s meaning,  you can sit with the symbol in your mind and let it reveal itself to you.     Since dreams are trying to motivate and inspire us to change in a positive direction, it is good to be conversant with universal principles and values,  but not superstition and dogma.    When a symbol comes to you in a dream,  you can ask yourself what are the distinguishing qualities of that thing and then find the corresponding spiritual equivalent.      For instance, if you have a thief in your dream, you could say that a thief is trying to not be noticed and has a bad intentions to take what does not belong to them.   Those are some of defining attributes of a thief.    It lets you know that in the real world someone is trying to take from you something that belongs to you, but does not want to be seen.   It could be taking your authority away, your position, or your standing in the community.
All negative dreams are like a puzzle waiting for a solution.

Recurring Dreams:  Recurring dreams happen when there is an unresolved issue in one’s life.   Most people seem to have at least one major internal challenge that keeps coming back to them for most of their lives.   The dream happens as a reminder that the issue is still there and needs to be faced.   As you deal with the issue, it will fade for awhile and then return at a higher level of change work if needed.

Snakes: As with other animals a snake in a dream can either have a positive or a negative meaning depending upon the context of the dream.   Generally speaking snakes appear at the beginning of a change process because they have two unique qualities that need to happen if you are to take on a new change.  One is that they shed their skin which is like letting go of past hurts and sufferings, and the other is that they take the shape of the object they move over by being extremely flexible which is what you need to be if you are doing something new.   A constrictor is a different symbol than a poisonous snake.   Poisonous snakes often mean that there is insidious backbiting or gossip in the environment while a constricting snake could mean that you are not allowed to do the new changes.

Flying:  Flying happens in the air.  Air is one of the 4 elements which symbols the environment of the spirit.   It is usually goes with such virtues as enthusiasm, optimism, hope,  believing the impossible.    When you fly, it teaches you that you can break the rules of convention (gravity) to do the impossible, the things you thought were not possible before.    Flying allows you to feel free like a bird.   The purpose of the freedom is to do be able to act on new ideas or new ways or with freedom of action so that you can accomplish goals.  Often the problem with flying is running out of gas, starting to fly and then not being able to sustain it,   or having a hard time getting off the ground.

Mountains:  Mountains are symbols of majesty and challenges.   If you are hiking up a mountain, it is about having the virtue of determination, but if you are on top of mountain skiing down, then it is more about courage.   Sitting on top of mountain is about vision and sacredness.   The highest mountain in most cultures is considered the most sacred spot because that is where you get the most vision.   It is in the element of the earth which are virtues like perseverance, generosity, responsibility, reliability, trustworthiness, the solid virtues.

Animals:  The important thing to remember about animals in a dream is that represent qualities of both the ego and the true self.   For instance, a dog can be vicious and tear into things causing destruction or it can be a loyal companion representing close friendship.    Often when you are in the early stages of a change, an animal will come in,  such as a cat letting you know that you need independence.   It first often is negative and then later positive.   The key to analyzing a symbol that is an animal is to have the self discipline to analyze the distinguishing characteristics, that is, what sets it apart.  The distinguishing characteristics allow you to know what qualities you need.  Here are some examples.

Bear:  strength empowerment    Shark:  ability to bite into or go after new experiences   Ants: working as a team,  sacrifice for the whole  Dolphins: playfulness, joy    Lions: courage,  cunning       Birds: freedom     Turtles: patience with others    Fish: teaching    Monkeys:  agility

An extinct animal like a dinosaur means that the quality is no longer useful in today’s world.  For instance using power to make your way to the top is a destructive dinosaur like quality.  It needs to be replaced with a new animal like a rabbit that has the power of gentleness.   Gentleness in the corporate world was thought to be extinct, but it is making its way back in, while power mongers are become like dinosaurs.

People:   When you are closer to manifesting a quality and it is ready to be applied fully into daily life,  people start coming into your life the same way animals do in the dream.    The key question when a person comes into a dream is,” What quality does that person have that is really important for me to manifest in my life right now?”    If you have been working on being enthusiastic along with empowered,  you may have had dreams about horses and once you are feeling the two qualities working together, someone will come into your dream with those qualities.   How they act in the dream and how you feel will be the key to understanding what to do?   The advantage of people over animals is that they also have an association with time.   For instance, you may have a friend from when you were a teenager come into a dream.    The qualities that they have and the issues you were facing at the time are key to where you are going right now.   So you can pay attention to the qualities of the person and the time that person was in your life.

Water:   Water is a relational symbol.  This means that when you get water in your dream, it is about developing your relationships to a great extent.   What is important in water dreams is to analyze what type of water it is.   A tsunami is a lot different than a calm, clear mountain lake.   Here are a few examples.      Brook:  having your relationships flow gently            clear mountain lake:  reflecting with oneself      ocean: relationship with the Divine    large river:  flowing with others     bathtub:   healing one’s relationships      Huge waves like a tsunami:  inappropriate use of power in a relationship   Surfing on waves:  Being on the edge of human growth.  Developing the qualities most needed by humanity right now.   Muddy waters: impurity in relationships

Air:   Air symbols have a lot to do with the future.     Flying:  Freedom to go for your dreams/goals.     Running out of gas or not being able to get off the ground:  symbols related to not being able to go after goals or running out of energy.     Floating:   Belief that you can do whatever you set your mind to.    Falling:   not relying on grace, bounty.

Light/Fire:   Light and fire are symbols of the mind.    Enlightenment is the term we use for inspiration.  Seeing the light means allowing inspiration to come to you.   Too much light like getting too close to the sun or having your house on fire in a dream means that you are overusing your mind to try to force a solution.   Enlightenment requires patience and the realization that ideas come from the non-material to the material.     A candle allows the mind to calm itself, but a raging fire is too much heat in the brain.

Earth:   Earth symbols are about the qualities that we generally label as solid.   Reliability, responsibility, trustworthiness, generosity, and determination are a few qualities that are called for in earth symbols.   The desert, prairies, and mountains appear when you need earth qualities.   Desert: reliance on oneself in the face of being alone    Prairie:  generosity   Mountain: determination in the face of obstacles

Transportation:  Cars, planes, boats, trains, and bikes or by foot are symbols of how you get from one point to another in your life.   So when you have a goal, the means of transportation will give you clues about how to get to the goal.    Cars: usually about short term goals and their challenges. For instance, if you are passenger and the driver gets into an accident, it means that you have a lack of control about where your life is headed.  Someone else is determining your life and causing it problems.   Trains have the advantage of being a single track which are good in some circumstances unless you need options.   Planes are about the future, longer term goals.   Running out of gas could symbolize not having enough energy to get to long term goals.  Boats are how you get to the goals of a relationship, e.g. how to get closer to others.   You may be on a journey from one island to another meaning from having a relationship with another distant to getting closer.     Traveling by foot or by bike is about how to get the immediate needs met.   If you go to a country like Vietnam, they used to all have bikes because the country was just about getting basic needs met.  Now they are largely on motorcycles because they have moved to things like infrastructure and need for better schools.    Soon they will be flying more which is how they connect with the rest of the world to get higher needs met.

Houses:  Houses symbolize the self and the various things about the self in the various rooms.   Bathroom is where you purify yourself.   Window is where you get vision of possibilities.   Living room is where the self socializes with the family.  The bedroom is where you take rest.   The kitchen is where you feed yourself.  The basement can be about your lower nature and stairs could be about going to your higher or lower natures depending on the direction.   The back door is a symbol that means that being open and truthful are not available in the current situation.    The roof is your protection.

Lucid Dreams:  To be lucid while dreaming means that you are aware of dreaming while you are dreaming.    Some people use it so that they can change the dream as they are having it.    I have always found that I am more lucid after I wake up so I go back into the dream when I am awake.   One of the dangers of working with a dream as you are having it is that you don’t get the full message of the dream.   However, it is analogous to trying to change a bad situation as you are living it.   Most of us are not very lucid when we are going through trying times like when a relationship is going sour.

Bugs:  bugs mean that something is bothering you.   When you have bugs in your dream, the question to ask is, “What is bothering me?”

34 Comments on “Dream Dictionary”

  1. Dear Richard,

    What does a recurring dream about losing your teeth (quite vivid that you feel it), whether a single tooth or all of them, mean?

    • Dear Elena,
      Teeth are what you use to chew things. In a dream they are for chewing on new ideas so that you can process them and then make decisions about them. If your teeth fall out, it means that you are having trouble chewing or processing new ideas. The best thing to do with new ideas is to take your time. Give yourself a lot of time to think.

  2. Hello, just looking for a little insight. Was awakened this morning by a strange dream. I can remember sitting at a football game with an unknown male when a male I knew walked up. Well by the time the known male walked up a touchdown was scored, I clapped and nodded in his direction to acknowledge him. I guess that wasn’t enough because he stepped onto the bleachers grabbed my arm and said…”you can’t speak” and before I could respond he took my wrist while dragging me down the bleachers full speed and releasing…..It was something like out of a movie. I didn’t fall but being thrown alone was enough to wake me up. If you have any insight on this dream it would be great. Thank you in advance

    • Dear Mica Shae,
      In the school culture where you live it seems as though certain males are threatened by the presence of unknown males. Typically the unknown ones come from outside of the school or outside of a particular group. They don’t want you to associate with the unknown one because they are afraid of being left alone. Instead of being positive and inclusive, they tend to act like brutes which actually worsens their situation even more. The appropriate response is to expand your relationships to as many people as you can outside of who you would normally associate with. In this way you learn to be comfortable and connected wherever you are in the world.

  3. Hello I was Wondering If You Can Help Me Out With My Dream , So iRemember Dreaming That IWas In The Bathroom iWent Number Two & Then When It Was Time To Flush iRemember The Water Started Coming Out The toilet . The Whole Bathroom Floor Was Wet & iWas In The Shower & My Kids Where By The Bathroom Door .
    It didnt Have A Bad Smell , iRememered Coming Out the Shower & Came To My Living Room & Then Remember That iHad To Go Clean The Bathroom Floor So iGot Toilet Paper & Picked Up The Pooped & Flush It Down The Toilet After That Everything Was Fine . The Floor Was Still A Bit Wet But Not To Much .

    • Dear Kimberly,
      When you have a toilet dream like this, it means that you are letting go of some negative energy that you were holding in for a long time. The letting go process for you is pretty messy and causes a flood of emotion that probably spills over onto others. If you just clean up the mess with others, you will be ok. The key to letting go of negative emotions is to do the process everyday in private or with the help of people who know what they are doing. Then you will not have a messy process or a big build up.

  4. Hello My Name Is Kimberly & iWas Wondering if you Can Help Me Out With The Meaning Of My Dream , Im Kind Of Scared Because My 3 Year Old daughter Was In It .

    Ok So iRemember That We Were In My Auntie House & She Was Showing Us A Ziplot Plactic Bag That’s She Came Up With But In inside The Bag It Had Glue & Fire , So After That I Remember Me & My 3 Year Old Were Sitting In Her Floor & That Ziplot Bag Fall & It Was On So My Baby’s Hair Caught On Fire .
    I Was Able To Turn It Off With My Hands But My Daughter Her Was Short Super Short & Before That Had Happen Her Hair Was Beautiful Currly From The Tips .
    So I Remember Taking Her To The ER & iParked The Car (Weird Thing Is That I Don’t Know How To Drive) So Anyways My Sister Was In The Waiting Room With My Daughter Waiting For Her To Get Called .
    And That’s All I Pretty Much Remember.
    I Really Hope You Can Help With The Meaning Please & Thank You .

    • Dear Kimberly,
      Your daughter’s hair in the dream represents her inner powers as a human being. She has a lot of special gifts that need to be developed, but there are others, especially relatives, who try to take those gifts away by their words and actions. You have to be very careful and protective of your daughter’s special gifts. You cannot let others set the gifts on fire (metaphoric fire) which will cause her to lose them. I don’t know what the gifts are but undoubtedly they will help a lot of people in the world.

  5. I have been having a reoccurring dream of mangoes. One was a really big beautiful fruitful mango true with plenty of juicy ripe mangoes just hanging there ready to be picked. I recall the sun shining so brightly behind this mango tree. On the floor were hundreds more beautifully ripened juicy mangoes. And there were piles of them! It was like I found a treasure but in mangoes. I had a similar dream a few nights later of a mango tree except this time there was just 1 juicy ripe mango. I remember trying to get in position to pick this mango but wasn’t able to so my brother in law picked it off the tree for me.

    • Hi April,
      Fruit from a tree is a symbol of the fruit you produce from the growth you make in your life. You have an issue with being able to pick the fruit and taste it. What does this mean? This mean that you cannot fully enjoy the fruits of your labor. This usually happens when there is some kind of guilt involved, like somehow it is not morally right to enjoy what you have done and taste it fully. You can change your belief to something like this. The Creator loves that you make efforts to grow and work hard and He also wants you to enjoy what you have worked so hard to create or do. Joy is an important spiritual quality because it gives us wings to do more.

  6. I have a reoccurring dream where I am being thrown about the room and being pinned againts the walls and ceilings before being thrown to the otherside of the room by an invisible force. I’ve had this dream on and off for over 10 years now, sometimes nightly sometimes months or even years can pass between.

    • Dear Merh,
      When you have a recurring dream like this, it means that the metaphor has actually happened in real life and continues to happen. It is not that you were pinned against the wall and thrown around actually, although that could be, but that it happens metaphorically. To solve it you should probably go back to when you were first being thrown around in your life by a negative force like someone else’s anger. Then you need to find the inner force, the positive force that allows you to have control over your life, treat you well, and get you on a fantastic path that will bring positive results. Now you are fearful of being thrown around metaphorically and emotionally. You may or may not be able to find that force by yourself. It may be beneficial to seek help so you can get where you really want to go.

  7. There was a lot more to the dream (I remember it was in depth and story like) but the only part I remember is a guy sitting on a couch with a girl (she looked like she was from the northeastern Asia) talking about her sexual conquests. He was asking her if she really slept with both sexes. He seemed surprised at her sexuality (bisexual) . She started rambling (I don’t remember what about she was just really sad and sounded afraid). She ends up talking about what what she’s done is wrong. At the end she shrieks in a demonic voice “it means you’re a dead girl aren’t cha”. This woke me up. The sentence stucture suggests she was talking to me. I’m scared. This was weeks ago and I’m still scared.

    • This is a response to Kendra’s dream,
      Hi Kendra, The dream starts out like a story but ends up as if you are in it or at least being talked to. The reason you get scared is because somewhere along the way you changed from being a listener or observer to being a participant. It is like the story takes over you. You get fearful that what she said is true.
      This is because you have a hard time in your life staying in a detached frame of mind about something, which is exactly what you need to be able to do here. Being detached means that you are still in your observing mind which allows you to think about things rather than get scared.

      • At the time of the dream I was stuffing with my sexuality and my mother is very conservitve. I was more than afraid of her finding out. Around that time I was also diagnosed with a mental illness. It was not a good time. I mostly want to know if the story had any significance. And maybe more elaboration on the detachment thing. The entire dream freaks me out. Not just being spoken to by a demonic bisexual female.

        • Kendra,
          The mental illness could be solved very easily is you knew how to replace the negative voice in the dream (which represents the negative in your head) to hearing really positive voices in your mind. You can do this by letting go of the dream and then imagining another type of vision where it is exactly the opposite of the dream. When you start with an amazingly positive voice of encouragement inside your mind, then the visions or possibilities that you generate will be positive and the action will follow easily. Now what you have is a demonic kind of voice in your head probably perpetuated by your mother which puts you into a huge amount of fear. What you need to do is to move the fear to enthusiasm. The twisted sexuality always comes when the voice in your head is negative and restrictive rather than positive and encouraging. The positive voice is what is needed. Then you can create your own positive story and act in it.

    • This is a response to Gopal’s dream.
      Gopal, Trees are symbols of growth as in inner growth. The atmosphere surrounding the trees (growth) seems to be very tranquil and positive. This means that for you this is the best environment for you to be in if you want to stimulate your inner growth. It is best to find this kind of environment to counter the outer more stressful world that doesn’t allow for growth.

  8. Jan,
    I am just going to reinforce what Rachel said. It was so brilliant. The mourners are there to feed on what happened to you or others so that they can exalt themselves over others as if they are so much better.
    The positive opportunity is to go for being uplifting to people in a positive way because that is what they really need.

  9. Thank you so much Rachael for your comments and thoughts. It does make sense actually and I can relate it to things happenening amongst members of my family. Your a star once again thank you. Jan, liverpool uk .

  10. Hi Jan,
    My name is Rachel and I read your dream of being at a wake where mourners were eating off the lid of a coffin. Recently I was giving some thought to the metaphor of corpses because of a reoccurring dream I had with many corpses in it. Richard interpreted that for me to mean that there used to be a lot of emotional carnage in my life (meaning people in my life were doing things which were not very beneficial for my True self to grow or that I was allowing things to happen to myself which were also not beneficial emotionally) and so your dream of the corpses is meaningful for me and I thank you for sharing it and opening it up for “anyone” to help you understand your dream. I can’t be sure that what I write will help you understand your dream but from what I understand of Richard’s approach to dreamwork is that when there are negative situations in the dream it is there to show a positive opportunity in your life, or a positive capacity in yourself. So it may mean that you can see around you how there is some emotional carnage around and that others actually “feed” on that, which is how things work in many cultures where people are competing for power over one another and not using compassion, unity and cooperation to work together. Many corpses being in the room which is usually designed for just one corpse may mean that you are seeing many examples of this type of behaviour around you. In that case, your True self is showing you this message in the dream because you have qualities to bring unity to others which you can call on and use more fully now.
    I do hope this was somewhat helpful. You can find my dream on corpses in the section on Free Dream Interpretation as well as his interpretation. It was just posted recently so you will find it by scrolling down to the very bottom to find the recent posts.
    Rachel from Canada

  11. Hi, I dreamed of being at a wake where mourners were eating off the lid of a coffin but there were other corpses in the room too….can anyone help me understand my dream please . Jan from Liverpool uk

  12. I am soooo much into dream interpretation that I come close to call it a certain kind of wisdom! Thank you for shedding new light into the world of dream interpretation. I believe when dealing with dream interpretation, we should take into account the individual’s emotional concerns and preoccupations as well as their past and future.

  13. what does it mean if a guy is hiking in the desert with a girl and she hurts her shoulder and he performs first aid on her .

    • When you are in the desert, it is an environment where there is very little water. Water is a relational element so being in a desert is being in a place where there are not a lot of supportive and loving relationships around you. Hiking with a girl in that environment means that the two are trying to making their way or go on their path in an environment where there is not a great deal of support. Shoulders are the symbols of places where you hold responsibility. When your shoulder gets injured, then your ability to handle responsibility is compromised. The partner giving first aid means that he is a very supportive and caring person. The issue is that the two do not have so much support from others around them.
      Hurt is an emotion that is a signal for a new door or new energy to open. In this case the new energy that is needed is to get your supportive energy from another source other than people around you. That support exists in the spiritual domain. You can think of it as if lots of souls are circling around you ready to support your goals and purposes, but they are in the invisible, not the visible realm. They can only operate, however, if you call on them to assist. They are ready to support you.

  14. This is fascinating! Thanks for sharing the symbols and the meanings of them in dreams! Thanks also for joining Virtues Connection Portland FB Fan Page! Love, Delaram

  15. hi about a week ago had dreams of snakes being thrown at me and turn from side to side missing me and one finially touch me a large one woke me up now this week had a dream where there where snakes and bugs all around me woke me up is there a meaning to this cause it really bugs me i hate snakes

  16. Dear Mr. Hastings,

    Thank you for your quick respond regarding my question about “flying”.
    Your answer made a lot of sense to me.
    All the best to you and thank you again! Elaine

  17. Dear Mr.Hastings,

    This is my first visit on your website. Thank you for your “Dream Dictionary” it is very helpful. I was wandering if you can indicate me about a dream that I am doing often. The dream is about: “I am teaching people how to fly”.

    Thank you very much and have a beautiful day! Elaine

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