Dream Dictionary

Get App

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Terms for letter: D

D

Dreaming of the letter "D" shows a sense of failure or not measuring up to others in some way. This letter has associations with words like dark, death, depression and difficulty and might be a cryptic way of exploring a lack of fulfillment or ignoring how you are not happy. Its message is to 'dig' a little 'deeper' into something you may be 'dismissing' so you can make an adjustment. Tilted just a bit - and the letter "D" becomes a smile.

Back to top

Dad

Dad will appear in your dreams when you are exploring the influences that he holds over you. If he is driving the car - the dream can be showing how his influences are currently driving you. When he appears in your dream - examine his presence as your own judgements that can be either positive or negative. Similar to police appearing in a dream - dad can represent our own critical tapes. Since everything in the dream is representing the dreamer - it is not 'dad' that is the focus - but the aspects that you adopted from him.

Back to top

Dagger

A dagger, knife or other instrument that threatens to break the surface (of awareness) to cause pain or injury can symbolize fears of intimacy or the inability to allow for the expression of feeling. This type of weapon can also have sexual associations where the inability to control passion or lust can feel self threatening. See Weapons and Utensils.

Back to top

Dam

An unnatural structure erected to hold back water portrays the symbolic blocking or ‘holding back’ of emotions. The condition of the dam and the details surrounding this imagery can suggest whether the emotions demand release; the clues to what is blocking their expression, or the flood that may ensue should the dam break. See Water and Natural Disasters under Landscape and Scenery.

Back to top

Dancing

Dancing in a dream portrays integration, or two sides of you moving in unison. You explore aspects of yourself that are being portrayed by your dancing partner. For example, a woman dancing with a man might be ‘learning how to move in step’ with her Animus or assertive, aggressive ability to provide for herself. A man dancing with a woman is exploring the idea of moving in step with his Anima as he explores his sensitivity. Dancing with a frightening character can symbolize the integration of the Shadow or repressed side of the self that seeks integration. Dancing portrays graceful movement from a sense of balance and the idea of actualizing self expression. Dancing with Animals can symbolize integrating the emotion that the animal represents. See also Archetypes and Universal Characters.

Back to top

Danger

Dreaming offers a safe environment to explore difficult ideas. Even Nightmares are a positive sign that something powerful is stirring within you. The more frightening the dream, the more urgency the psyche feels in trying to bring awareness of conflict out into the open where it can be resolved. The idea of something appearing dangerous in a dream arises because of a transformative event that may have led to an ‘uncomfortable shift’ within you. Explore the symbol associated with the danger such as: Accident, Rickety Structures in Houses and Buildings, Attack or Being Chased, Intruder as the Shadow and also, Natural Disasters under Landscape and Scenery. The idea of danger is subjective and something only appears 'dangerous' in a dream because you are not facing it.

Back to top

Dark

To dream of being in the dark shows that you are 'in the dark' about the symbolism being explored in the dream. Something has yet to come into conscious awareness. If the same dream moves from night to day, it shows the issue moving into conscious awareness. See Placement and Perspective and Landscape and Scenery.

Back to top

Day and Night

The setting of a dream can offer information about present awareness. Daytime represents consciousness, or what you are aware of, while a dream in a night setting often suggests issues that you are not consciously facing. Explore the other symbolism as clues to what may need to be acknowledged and integrated. See also Placement and Perspective.

Back to top

Dead People

Like Burial and Coffin, a dead body appearing in your dream can represent two things: Either a side of you is not achieving expression or you may need to allow some aspect of a past way of being to 'pass on.' You can be 'haunted' by the idea that a side of you is not being expressed. Since you don't acknowledge this - it haunts you. See also Shadow and Death.

Back to top

Death

The idea of death is a complex symbol with many meanings. If you dream that your life is being threatened, the dream is exploring how you are letting go of a side of you that is no longer appropriate or that you must let 'pass on.' If you are committing suicide, it can symbolize self destructive tendencies or your willingness to allow some part of you to 'pass on.' If you are witnessing someone else being killed, you are not owning this transformative process that is required of you. Ask yourself how the death of this 'other person' might represent a side of you that needs to undergo some type of change or metamorphosis. Since all people in dreams represent sides of you, think of the adjective you would use to describe the person who has died and how it represents you. Many people dream of seeing a loved one who has died and comes back to visit, as a way of taking baby steps in the acceptance of this loss. Often, they will see the person who has passed on a television show or in some other media form as the idea of accepting the death makes its way into consciousness. See Advertisement, Murder, Corpse, and Attack and Being Chased.

Back to top

Decay

Something may be rotting as the image of the potential for ‘new life’ that is festering because it is not receiving proper care. You may need to prune away old growth to allow something new to grow in its place. New doors may be opening, while you remain focused on only loss. Somewhere within, you are recognizing that some part of you requires nourishment and care. Explore the symbol that is rotting as a representation of what may need to be released. See Food and Corpse.

Back to top

Deep

To dream of deep water in which you cannot clearly see the bottom shows both the unknown potential within you and your fear of activating this power. A deep hole can symbolize feelings of being in a rut at the same time that it can suggest feelings associated with the mother. Whenever the idea of 'deep' appears in a dream, it is a good exercise to meditate on the imagery and actively explore what 'lies below the surface.' This type of dream is often associated with the activation of unconscious information as it seeks to have expression. See Water and also Placement and Perspective.

Back to top

Deer

A deer is associated with gentleness and the idea of the soul. It can be a message about what is 'dear' in life and the need to find it. See Animals.

Back to top

Defecate or Excrement

In the same sense that you ‘chew' on experience to 'digest’ it, and ‘eliminate’ past experience and perspectives, seeing excrement can symbolize how an outlook that was originally nourishing, may need to pass. Dreaming of defecation is a sign that something you are holding onto needs to be released. To defecate in public can be a symbol of how peer pressure or conformity is forcing you to be something you are not. You may have anger and resentment that cannot be expressed because of how others would view you for doing so. The negativity or repulsion that is often associated with excrement shows how the unconscious has rejected what you are holding on to, in a way that moves you to release it. Associated with another character or animal can suggest the side of you is being eliminated, such as feelings/emotions (animal) or the characteristics you associate with this person. Often you will dream of Water leaks later on, as a representation of how releasing has allowed feelings (water) to seep and renew consciousness. See Animals and Houses and Buildings.

Back to top

Defend

The symbolism that you feel the need to defend can offer insight into the area of your life that you are currently protecting, sometimes in an unhealthy way. Territory can suggest what you have built or ‘earned’ as in your public identity, career, family or position in life. The idea of protecting something can either suggest recognizing its importance in your life, or seeing how protecting it has trapped you in your growth. If you are protecting a wall, then you need to consider why you would need to erect a structure that can only leave you trapped. Perhaps you are fearful or afraid of intimacy and change. See Weapons and Utensils, Houses and Buildings, and Purses, Wallets, Luggage, Jewels and Keys.

Back to top

Defense Mechanisms

Habitual behavior or the ‘trained’ mental and emotional responses that protect the psyche are called defense mechanisms. In your early years, you are like a sponge, absorbing incoming information to understand the person that you are becoming. Sometimes the feedback you received was positive and at other times, it may have been negative. Just like the other mechanisms in your body, the psyche has a way of protecting itself from pain by employing defensive measures. It can block any incoming information that causes you to feel ‘uneasy.’

At some point in your life, a type of subconscious net began to both trap beliefs within the unconscious, while rejecting anything that goes against what you were trained to believe about yourself. A defense mechanism can be as simple as the psyche’s ability to block emerging or transformative ideas. It can be as complex as how it attempts to work through difficult or repressed emotions by leading you to confront them through difficult experiences or through dreaming. These are situations that hold a 'certain fascination for you,' because they embody an opportunity to overcome what you are repressing. In this case, you tend to attract the situations that you need, while these are the very situations that you would also, rather avoid. The more you ward off this transformative aspect of the psyche, the more these issues will become the symbolism of your dreams and daily experience. Abreactions, like the Freudian slip, show the power of the psyche in its desire to break free of repression.

You spend two-thirds of your life building belief structures that are disassembled during the one-third of your life that you spend dreaming. The human body was designed to take in, process and release energy. While it also has the ability to store energy, this energy will still find ways of dissipating. See Dream Basics and Dream Processing.

Back to top

Deformed

Deformity is a message that something isn't constructed quite right. It can also signify that one aspect of your life is thriving at the expense of something that is being undermined or 'malnourished.' Any symbol that is deformed, or constructed in an ‘unusual’ way, offers clues to that part of your nature that is undeveloped, or expressed unnaturally. If it is something in nature, it can suggest unnatural growth or a type of protectiveness that is holding you back. A deformed body part can have associations with the body part used as a symbol -see: Anatomy and Body Parts.

Also see: Animals, Houses and Buildings and Landscape and Scenery.

Back to top

Delivery Truck

A delivery truck ties together the idea of moving forward with carrying baggage. Special delivery can signify being given insight about how thoughts become manifestation. Any package that is delivered can provide clues to what you are carrying around in thought and action that contribute to your experiences. You may dream of a moving van when you are having difficulty letting go of past resentments.

Back to top

Demolish

Just as you ‘construct’ your belief structures, you may also need to tear them down. If you are dreaming of demolishing something, chances are you are protecting something that is no longer necessary in terms of who you are becoming. Demolishing a wall can symbolize moving toward less constricting ways of interacting. Demolishing a car can symbolize a change in motivation or direction. Seeing a building being torn down can represent how self-limiting ideas are being transformed. Something being torn or broken down is usually a representation of outworn aspects that are undergoing transformation. See Build and Defend

Back to top

Demons

Similar to dreaming of Aliens, you are disowning some aspect of yourself that you have either associated with being ‘evil,’ or you are having a hard time 'identifying' with. As you grow, you repress natural and instinctive traits, like aggression, neediness or pain if you believed it was not good in the face of social restraints. Evil is simply the opposite of the good or unacknowledged power within you. As this energy seeks expression, it can appear threatening or repulsive in proportion to how tightly you block its expression in daily life. See Evil, Devil and Shadow.

Back to top

Dentist

The character that pulls or fixes your teeth is associated with the side of you that cares for ‘what happens with the mouth,’ like expression. If pain or blood is involved, the dream is exploring the idea of painful communication, where ‘pulling teeth’ symbolizes your frustration and inability to change your expression. Associated with teeth, it can also represent enlightenment. See Teeth under Anatomy and Body Parts, and the Wise Man and Wise Woman under Archetypes and Universal Characters.

Back to top

Depart

To dream of leaving is a common theme associated with Vehicles and Places of Transportation, in which you are hurrying or late. The time of departure can have symbolic meaning, portraying the sense of where you stand in relation to the stages of your life. Generally, if you are dreaming about the need to depart, you may be stuck in a transformational stage and 'need to move on.' The other symbolism of the dream will shed light on what part of you is departing, embarking or coming forward. See Time of Day under Placement and Perspective, Arriving and Leaving and Numbers.

Back to top

Descending

Going down in a dream can show how you are attempting to go below the surface of consciousness into the subconscious/unconscious. This type of dream can also be a message about getting grounded or how life is circular and not always about upward growth. In some cases you may need to go back, or step down in order to continue on your upward journey. See Placement and Perspective; and also, Floors under Houses and Buildings.

Back to top

Desert

The environment portrayed in a dreamscape can personify the condition of your 'inner landscape.' If you dream of being in a desert, you may be feeling undernourished or unfulfilled. The barren landscape can be a message that coaches you to make changes that will lead to abundance and growth. A desert can also be associated with religious ideas as you explore your spirituality and how it might become more fulfilling or enrich your daily life. See also Landscape and Scenery.

Back to top

Desk

Representing your ‘work space,’ the desk is often associated with finding something unusual, looking for something, or writing as a way of exploring potential and your idea of authority through communication. See Book; Black or Red and Yellow writing under Colors; Lighting under Placement and Perspective, and Room under Houses and Buildings to uncover additional meaning.

Back to top

Devil

The devil is a common Archetype explored in dreaming. One can have unconscious associations with the devil because it can represent a type of power within that is unexpressed and appears frightening or disturbing. This power is usually associated with all the wonderful things that were viewed as making us different from others, and were therefore repressed. Resurrecting this part of our natural self is important in helping us to actualize our destiny.

The devil can wear the mask of the critical tapes of conscience that would prefer we do right and not rock the boat of conformity. Joseph Campbell called this area "thou shalt" in his wonderful work on how myths can guide us to actualize our purpose. He also wrote: Gods become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when turning inward." Like dreaming, the hero undergoing initiation will first discover the clues that will reveal one's true identity. Like any good story, just when it seems the hero is home free, the monster appears to scare the hero back into a fearful world of seeking only acceptance.

In dreams, we are the hero who must slay the dragon as a powerful symbol of claiming our rightful power. Dreams are like the mythical tales of mortals who confront frightening giants and beasts to succeed - only by doing so are we worthy of our destiny. By confronting one's deepest fears, we discover the magical elixir that releases us from our shackles and misunderstandings. In fact, it is common when one is going through a type of transformation that includes honesty and self-examination that these type of Shadow dreams come forward. Confronting fear and transforming it into self-actualization is a necessary part of the hero's journey of individuation. See Shadow, Evil and Demons.

Back to top

Diamond

This ‘precious stone’ often emerges in dreams where you ‘discover’ it as the answer to all the difficulties that you may face. As the most valuable aspect of your nature, the associated symbolism will reveal its current ‘well-being’ and how ‘uncovering it’ can help you through difficulty. See Purses, Wallets, Luggage, Jewels and Keys.

Back to top

Dice

As a symbol that suggests the random turning of events, dreaming of dice can portray the idea of gambling, or the uncertainty that you feel about the choices you are making. See Numbers.

Back to top

Digging

In daily life, you dig to uncover the roots of something. You may dig for the truth or dig to bury an aspect, which you’d rather not face. This symbol goes deeper than just searching for something. It suggests that you know where it is and need only discover the roots to bring it back to life. On the other hand, digging can suggest the need to remove it completely, by destroying its roots. Digging portrays a desire to see something or understand the dynamics of things hidden. See Burial.

Back to top

Dinner

Like Banquet, you are exploring nourishment in a social setting, sometimes associated with family dynamics. Its connection to ‘the later part of the day’ can bring the idea of nourishment/fulfillment in the later stages of life. Dining can suggest finding nourishment hidden in darkness or the unknown, as ‘issues you may need to sleep on,’ and is different from the nourishment of Breakfast that sustains and motivates you for the day. See Food.

Back to top

Dinosaur

Reptiles can personify areas of the brain that act instinctually or autonomously. Stress or the flight or fight response can take the form of a reptile, and sexual impulses too, can be personified by these creatures. If a dinosaur threatens you in a dream, consider whether you are existing in a prolonged anxiety condition that may not be healthy. At the same time, not allowing for the free reign of sexual feelings can make these feelings overwhelm you in the dream state. There is a part of all of us that is as old as time and not easily controlled. Dreams of dinosaurs can show the activation or life of these instinctive responses. If you are finding only the bones of dinosaurs, the message can revolve around old issues, wounds or a healing that needs to take place. See also Reptiles.

Back to top

Dirty

This is a symbol often associated with sexuality and intimacy. Something only becomes ‘dirty’ because it is ‘unclean’ or taboo. Whatever symbol is recognized as being dirty will suggest that part of you that has been overlooked or neglected. Dirty can also be associated with attempts at transformation. When you are moving away from a past way of being that was adopted through conformity, your new persona, costume or clothes can appear dirty, yet dirty symbolizes a more earthy and organic side of you that is emerging. This is also the case when you dream that your house or inner architecture is dirty. Whether it is sexual or organic, the idea of dirty is a positive symbol about growth. See Bath and Clean.

Back to top

Disaster

Often dreams will portray natural disasters as how the inner foundation must go through periods of upheaval and renewal. See Natural Disasters, Landscape and Scenery and Accident.

Back to top

Ditch

As a waterway, the ditch can portray how emotions are wearing away at your foundation. It can also suggest a place where you ‘ditch’ something and allow it to be covered or buried through the accumulating passage of time. Sometimes it suggests a ‘last ditch effort,’ where you may be forced to approach the ditch to dis-cover or ‘uncover’ the truth of something. The ditch symbolizes how you have buried something that ‘collects floating debris’ in the same way that projection overlays the past upon the present. See Abyss, Water, and River.

Back to top

Diving

This symbol can be associated with ‘going beneath the water,’ or delving into your unknown feelings or aspects that you are coming to recognize that were previously hidden 'below the surface.' It can also appear as something ‘diving toward the earth’ which shows fears about your aspirations and ability to achieve your goals. You may have a sense of ‘being brought back to earth’ if your ambitions are not fulfilling. At the same time, diving is a classic image of going deep to retrieve the treasure of untapped potential. See Water; Plane under Accident, Boat under Vehicles and Places of Transportation and Deep under Placement and Perspective.

Back to top

Doctor

The doctor is the character that heals us. As a part of the psyche revealed by characters in our dreams, when this character appears you are working to heal something or moving toward integration as a type of 'operation' takes place. Your well being may require the symbolic removal (surgery) of another aspect that no longer serves you. Hospital under Houses and Buildings.

Back to top

Dog

A dog is a faithful companion and demonstrates unconditional love as the easy expression of feelings and love of this type in your relationship with others. If you are dreaming of a dog, you are exploring unconditional love and the idea of being domesticated or changed by a relationship. A coyote on the other hand, is wild and uncivilized and can portray the need to have a type of freedom in your current relationship. See Animals.

Back to top

Dolphin

This playful mammal interacts with humans and could be classified as ‘the dog of the sea.’ Like dogs, who are ‘faithful’ and represent the easy expression of feelings and love in your relationship to others, dreaming of a dolphin suggests this loving connection taking place within you as you move to access the depths of the unconscious. See Sealife and Water.

Back to top

Donkey

Beasts of burden suggest being saddled to responsibility, while the 'animal-ness' of these creatures suggest that it is not the right representation of who you are. The donkey is stubborn and can portray how you fail to see how you are yoked to responsibility that is not really yours. At the same time, the donkey can appear in a dream when the psyche is poking fun at obsessive or hard headed behavior. See also Animals.

Back to top

Door

Doors represent both barriers and the idea of exploring potential. You may dream of a familiar house with a door leading to a room you didn't even know existed. Since the house represents your 'inner architecture,' the door can symbolize opportunities, unacknowledged potential or strengths that you are not considering. The door captures the idea of the way you hold yourself back from new experiences and also, the pathway to new experiences. The door can be a sexual symbol if this area of your life is currently being held back.

The front door is associated with how you reveal yourself in social situations. Dreaming of the front door represents a type of 'coming out' or a change in the way you appear to others. The backdoor leads to the area of the mind that is kept more private, and a dream associated with the backdoor can symbolize blockages or opportunities that you are not facing head on. Side doors capture the idea of influences, or the middle way between two tough choices. Associated with peripheral vision, the side door embodies ideas that encompass more of life than you are currently 'allowing in.' The coming and going through side doors can signify a type of hiding. Any characters associated with door openings should be explored. Consider the adjective that best describes the person and explore how they represent aspects of you that are currently 'coming or going' as in being adopted or released. See Door under Houses and Buildings.

Back to top

Dragon

The dragon is an ancient Archetype found in stories where the hero is challenged to a type of metamorphosis. In mythical stories of virtually every culture - the dragon embodies the power to go 'below the surface' and rise above the earth with 'expanded awareness.' This is a powerful dream that captures the transformative journey that will allow you to tap your fullest potential. Although the dragon may be frightening - symbolically it represents your power for rebirth. At the same time, the fire breathing dragon can personify anger or defensiveness to cover your insecurities. A parent may have demonstrated a fiery temper, while you were not comfortable expressing anger because it was viewed as something bad. Later, you may dream of the dragon as a representation of unprocessed anger. In any case, the dragon symbolizes the awakening of full and free expression that leads to empowerment. See also Reptiles.

Back to top

Drapes

Since drapes cover the windows, there is a sense of not being willing to see something or putting on pretenses, rather than expressing who you really are. See Curtains.

Back to top

Dream Basics

The human body holds an ability to heal and renew itself that requires no thought or action on your part. The brain is the most important survival organ and regeneration doesn't stop at shoulder level. Even while you may not remember your dreams, your ideas and attitudes are being processed in the same way as food is digested and eliminated. Healthy thought processes nourish you and keep you open to growth and transformation. On the other hand, dysfunctional ways of warding off change can hold you back and will be processed and eliminated through dreaming. Aspects undergoing exploration are either given full expression or eliminated during the dreaming process. Dream analysts work with the imagery to understand the type of energy that is undergoing transformation.

Understanding the language of dreams can become a powerful tool to access self-knowledge, achieve health and wellness, and actualize lasting success. They can also reveal one's life purpose as they guide us toward authentic expression. When faced with a difficult transition, dream symbols can provide clues about how we get stuck and how we might find a way through the crisis. Monitored and deciphered over time, dreams demonstrate a different time sense. They reveal an understanding of who we are and where we are going, as if some part of the psyche knows us better than we know ourselves. In many ways, dreaming helps us to become self-actualized as they guide us toward our destiny.

Interpreting dreams is a bit like learning a new language because nothing is what it appears to be on the surface. The ABCs of dream analysis is simple if you keep in mind these basic ideas in approaching your dreams for guidance:

(A) All symbols, characters, even the landscape and lighting are actually a mirror of your inner world. Dreaming is like the Mind’s Mirror, because everything is a reflection of the dreamer. The landscape and symbols reflect your ‘inner architecture’ or current mindset as you move through life. Dream symbols can best be understood if you approach them the way you might interpret the metaphors in a poem. In poetry, the metaphor or symbolic language captures the deeper ‘flavor’ or 'essence' of an unspoken idea or feeling. In the same way, we tend to dream of what we are not facing, using symbols that best capture those aspects. If you can use this "All reflects Me" perspective, you can begin to decipher how dreams attempt to wake you to your potential. For example, teeth fall out at monumental times of our lives and are also associated with communication, credibility and chewing on something. If your teeth fall out in a dream, ask yourself: am I not making a necessary change or transition that would better reflect my growth? Or, is my credibility and way of expressing myself to others an issue right now?

(B) Before analyzing anything, it is important that you write down as much information as you can remember. In some cases, you may only be left with a feeling. Dreaming moves us in the same unspoken way as a movie would, so the feeling we are left with becomes important in understanding how it may currently remain unexpressed. Be open to the guidance, no matter how bizarre. Dreams use cryptic symbols as a way of tricking consciousness into exploring the unknown. They are cryptic because it is the only way that emerging information might reach you. Often, these bizarre symbols can teach you the most about your unknown potential. It is not important to remember all of the symbols because the message is often repeated. Using various scenarios, the dream often describes the same situation in different landscapes. Exploring only one dream sequence can become a snapshot of possible pathways through conflict and resolution. In this way, dreams illuminate the pathway before you.

(C) Clues come forward in dreams that reveal emerging sides of you, often through other characters. Upon waking, you may wonder why this person was in your dream. Explore the adjective that best describes the person, and how that quality may currently be active/inactive in your approach. Inspiration for our dreams manifests from a side of the psyche that developed before language and therefore speaks in symbols. Dreams draw on memory but also describe future events with a type of omniscient perspective. They use cryptic symbols because that is the only way emerging or new ideas can make it past the walls of critical consciousness. The mind is ingenious in its ability to utilize a bizarre symbol that can capture the complexity of an idea undergoing exploration. If its message were blatant or straight forward, we might shut down the idea. We dream specifically to explore what we are not facing or allowing into conscious awareness. When we dream, we are all hero's undergoing a profound transformation as we tap the clues that emerge to reveal our destiny.

Cherish your dreams as a compass point and map. If you can take the time to begin deciphering your dreams you can fast forward your growth to achieve lasting wellness and success. See also Dream Processing, Facts about Dreams, Types of Dreams, Defense Mechanisms and the Unconscious.

Back to top

Dream Processing

You spend one third of your life, the same amount of time dedicated toward your career, exploring existence in a topsy-turvy world of dreams and symbols. As if you have entered a world of mirrors, all that you encounter becomes a reflection of you. Taking the time to understand your dreams allows you to take ownership of your life. When you are facing crisis, dreams reveal the way ahead, activating self-knowledge and direction in life.

Since the time of Freud and Jung, enormous data and research has validated the patterns they wrote about that reveal how dreams demonstrate an organizing force within the psyche. Recurring dreams are a message that you are not 'getting' some type of message. Once the dream is understood and the message applied toward making changes in your life, the dream does not recur and the dreamlife moves on to the next step in your development. The more this input is ignored, the more aggressive and conflicted dreams become. Dreaming allows you to test your development while avoiding the real life crisis that can ensue from being off track to whatever destiny has in store for you.

The subconscious mind breaks through all barriers to provide this profound direction to the dreamer. As if some aspect of the brain has an understanding that transcends a sense of time and self-awareness, dreams function like another sensory organ that allows for the exploration of potential.

Since you rehash daily events in your dreams, you probably fail to see the special nuances that make the dream different from what you experienced. However, research shows that the mind is processing this information specifically because it may have impacted you in ways that you failed to recognize. When the opportunity to transform comes up against the walls of your beliefs, self-awareness still finds productive ways of breaking through. This process of self-enlightenment can be heightened when you take an active approach in understanding your dreams.

Freud called dreaming ‘a peculiar form of thinking.’ He suggested that dreams only appeared cryptic as a way to allow transformative information beyond the walls of defense mechanisms active while we are awake. Dreams allow us to understand existence from a broader perspective and Jung understood dreams as the compensation mechanism that balances the one-sided awareness of the ego. Dreaming takes place in a part of the brain that developed before language and therefore, communicates in images. Acting as the Mind’s Mirror, they offer an objective view of who you are, and hold the clues to your unacknowledged desires and potential.

The challenge you may face in understanding the language of dreams is in recognizing that everything that appears in the dream is a reflection of you. Characters portray unacknowledged aspects that you associate with them. Even the landscape, mood and objects will conjure up personal meaning designed to affect you in the same unspoken way that art and cinematic drama can move you.

Dreams provide a point of view that is unique and strange, but more importantly, can move you emotionally and inexplicably toward a change in perspective. Therefore, while you may not remember your dreams, they are changing you in profound ways. Since they usually reveal the exact opposite of what you believe to be true about yourself, understanding the language of the dreams will offer you an indispensable tool in harnessing the power of self-awareness.

Dream Processing

• Prior to sleep, make a conscious decision to remember your dreams and ask for guidance. This actually improves your ability to remember a dream.
• A healthy and balanced diet in addition to a regular sleep routine will improve dream recall.
• Have a notebook or tape recorder next to your bed to immediately record the dream.
• Since dream imagery takes place in a different part of the brain, you will notice how allowing your thoughts of the day to intrude will make accessing dream content more difficult. Train yourself to stay with the dream, prior to thinking about what you need to do that day. If nothing else, capture the sense of emotion that the dream invoked, and use that as a thread to allow the dream imagery to return.
• Write down as many details as you can remember. It is not important to catch every aspect because many portions of the dreamscape will reveal the same message in several different ways. Start slowly, capturing the mood, landscape, and as many details as you can recall. The dreamscape lends itself well to association so even if you are not sure of the accuracy of the symbolism, in the beginning you can use whatever words or images come to mind. This will allow you to start recognizing the profound input that always emerges from within.
• Once you are able to easily recall your dreams, start looking for the less obvious symbols, like time of day, lighting, colors and numbers.
• You dream of the type of things that consciousness would rather keep ‘below the surface.’ Do not become frustrated when you are unable to recall the content. If accessing this information were easy, it wouldn't be the subject of your dream. Sometimes finding the appropriate words appears difficult, so try drawing images. Explore the ‘flavor’ of your dream and the feelings it created.
• The most important part of dream processing is the practice of recording information before your mind moves to analyze it. Approaching the content as objectively as possible to record the details will allow you to analyze it later. Even while it may appear nonsensical to you, discussing the content with a friend or partner can sometimes help you to understand it.
• Remember that the subconscious speaks ‘cryptically,’ specifically to allow repressed information to come forward so record everything.
• Assume that the dream knows more than you do. Gather the imagery and symbols and let the dream become your guide. The dream is trying to offer a fresh perspective about what you are failing to acknowledge in your daily experiences. Once the dream’s message begins to unfold, try to apply it toward the situations that you face.
• Those aspects of the dream that appear the most bizarre will in time, provide the most profound clues about your identity and destiny.

Analyzing the Dream

Approach the symbolism objectively and identify the setting, characters, symbols and theme of the activity. It will usually take a series of dreams before you begin to see how conflict and its resolution are being described by your unique associations. Since the story is unique to you, the symbolism will also be personal, although the Dream Dictionary can lead you in the general direction.

Trust that the information is relevant and is being revealed to you in the only way it can be expressed. The dream may appear just beyond the grasp of your memory. You can begin to observe how concrete belief structures ward off this emerging information. You dream from a more fluid awareness, and must use a similar free flowing consciousness when retrieving the content.

Explore the dream in pieces: a) I was in a car that drove off a bridge; b) I was at a train station with a strange man and forgot my baggage; c) There were several children playing in a garden where I walked through a door into strange house. All of these symbols describe essential elements of where you stand in relation to your growth. The car describes your ‘drive to move forward’ or motivation. The train station is a place of growth that shows your desire to go somewhere new or transform. The unknown characters represent unrecognized aspects of you. The strange man can be the idea of unrecognized 'masculine' traits, like being assertive or moving toward independence. The children can portray young or emerging sides of you, which are also represented by the unknown house. Forgetting baggage or 'the things' you carry with you is a common theme from the aspect of growth. The other symbolism will reveal how you are approaching change and what is necessary to move forward.

Without pre-judging the content, write it down immediately. Look at the words individually and objectively. You will see that in most cases, they are saying the exact opposite of what you believe to be true about yourself.

In dreams, all symbols have relevance, no matter how ridiculous they may appear. Besides things, look for colors, time of day and numbers.

See also Dream Basics, Types of Dreams, and Facts About Dreams.

Back to top

Dress

Clothing in a dream can symbolize aspects of the Persona. The various articles of clothing will have different meanings. The dress is the most feminine of these symbols and can portray sensitivity or the aspects of the persona influenced by the mother. If the dress appears in a positive way - the message leans more toward acknowledgement, arrival or making your debut. If the dress appears in a negative way - you may have insecurities about how others view you. For a man to dream of a dress, the dream may be using this symbol as a representation of the activation of the Anima. For the woman, the message relates more to her identity. See also Clothing and Makeup.

Back to top

Drinking

Drinking fluids suggests fulfillment or a necessary change related to emotional needs. See Water, Food, Alcohol and Cup.

Back to top

Driving

The idea of driving has associations with what motivates you. If you are driving, you may be in control of your sense of direction but if the vehicle is out of control, you may feel insecure about changes you are making. The person driving you needs to be considered in terms of how they may be dominating you or more in control of your sense of destiny. See Car and Driving under Vehicles and Places of Transportation.

Back to top

Drowning

Like other Water dreams, your movement in water signifies how you are approaching change related to feelings and how you feel about your ability to do so. To dream of drowning in water, shows the enormous impact of your emotions, and how you are fighting to keep your head (thoughts) above water (your feelings.) Drowning dreams are a wakeup call to integrate your feelings and express them so that you can master them.

Back to top

Drugs

Similar to Alcohol, dreaming about drugs can be indicative of not facing the idea of substance abuse. Since they alter perception, taking drugs or being given a drug can be a message about changing how you view experience. If the drug is associated with healing, the other symbolism can provide additional insight into a lack of wellness or dis-ease. Receiving an injection by a needle has the additional association of pain and blood, which suggests difficult feelings that once integrated or ‘injected’ into consciousness will have the power to heal.

Back to top

Drum

The idea of ‘beating a drum’ can symbolize standing up for a cause or something that has become a major focal point to the exclusion of other equally important issues. The drum can also represent the heart, bringing to light the things that you are passionate about. Drums are also sexual symbols and can relate to organic or earthy processes that are being activated.

Back to top

Drunk

Being intoxicated in a dream can symbolize how you are exploring the idea of being uninhibited. See Alcohol.

Back to top

Duck

Ducks and other types of waterfowl sit at the surface of the great sea, representing the unconscious stirring, as a way of suggesting your movement into this area. Dreaming of creatures of this type can be a message about being an easy target or victim (as in sitting duck) as you explore being vulnerable or defenseless in some situation. Of all birds, the duck is multi terrestrial or living in many habitats. It seeks sustenance below the water; ascends to the sky and walks on land. Dreaming of a duck can offer you a message about being multi faceted or acknowledging your talent to function successfully in many capacities. Ducks also migrate and follow the flock so the message can be about finding your tribe or becoming more sociable.

Back to top