The Magical World of Dreams
Mankind has always been fascinated by dreams. In most cultures, the motifs have different meanings. Throughout history and its eras, the many theories about the meaning and origin of our dreams have changed. Why do we dream? What do our dreams want to tell us, and how can we interpret them? Even then, dreams played an important role for many people. Many people viewed dreams in the past as messages from the gods, whereas scientists today see them mostly as reactions to our senses and processing them.
But for many of us, dreams still have something magical. We are immersed in another world that we usually cannot influence ourselves. We look forward to wonderful dreams and are afraid of nightmares, in which we are often confronted with our deepest fears.
Dream Interpretation in the Old Orient
When the first writings emerged, people began to deal with their dreams and write them down. Even then, they tried to interpret the dreams correctly, because they couldn’t explain their origin. That is why the different dream symbols were written down and compiled into writings.
For example, the Egyptians wrote a book over 4000 years ago that was intended to interpret the symbols of dreams. In this book, you could read what certain dream images would mean. The oldest dream book is, therefore, an Egyptian papyrus. The Egyptians were firmly convinced that they would meet their gods in their dreams.
The clay tablets from Nineveh are another important document from the ancient Near East that deals with the interpretation of dreams. They were found in the library of King Assurbanipal from Assyria. The panels are viewed as an encyclopedia for dream interpretation. You can see how important dreams were for people back then.
The ancient Greeks also dealt with dreams back then. They were pushed by their thirst for knowledge and therefore dealt particularly intensively with dreams and dream interpretation. It was about the questions, what meaning the dream would have, and how one could get answers to certain questions from dreams. The Greek philosopher Heraclitus, in particular, dealt with dreams and the opposites of the sleeping and waking state. He was of the opinion that mankind enters their inner world during their dreams.
The Meaning of Dreams and their Interpretation
In reality, we dream all night long, but when we wake up, we rarely remember what we dreamed of. Some people can hardly remember a dream, while other people know exactly what they were allowed to go through at night. Many of our dreams can be completely chaotic or even very bizarre. Sometimes they are fascinating or scare us. It is, therefore, no wonder that we would like to know what a particular dream wants to tell us.
Of course, one can ask the question, why should one deal with one’s dreams at all and not simply forget them? To some people, dreams almost seem like an unnecessary side-effect of their own brains that should not be taken seriously. Other people wish that they would not dream at all because they are pursuing certain thoughts and ideas at night. But it can also be very worthwhile for yourself to deal with your own intimate dreams. Dreams can give us a lot of clues about our inner being.
They are like a bridge to our subconscious and can even be a new source of inspiration. Therefore, interpreting them correctly is not a bad idea because we often understand them better through certain thoughts, behavioral patterns, and deepest fears. Sometimes certain things make us aware of our dreams. This does not always have to be something negative, but can also show positive things such as falling in love with a specific person.
The Subconscious Speaks in our Dreams
It is really fascinating that our subconscious speaks to us in our dreams. During our sleep, we are freed from all external impressions that we would otherwise be exposed to in life. Dreams are, therefore, also a feeling of freedom, a time when our subconscious can speak to us. Our subconscious becomes active in our dreams, and we can come in contact with our innermost. Most of the time, the insights we draw from our dreams are particularly revealing. Therefore, if we want to learn more about ourselves, we should also deal with our dreams. These messages can sometimes frighten us because we are confronted with ourselves.
There are many things that we don’t want to admit or do not even want to think about. However, our dreams do not participate and often show us what is really going on.
The dreams are divided into different categories. Certain types of dreams appear in many people. We usually divide the dreams based on the topic. For example, you will find fear dreams, animal dreams, flight dreams, or fall dreams. You can also differentiate between a dream, a fulfillment dream, or a nightmare. How often and intensely we dream also depends on our gender and age. For example, children often dream more intensely than adults. Women generally more often than men. Of course, it also matters how open we are to such things.
Always interpret dreams individually
Dreams are very personal and should, therefore, always be interpreted individually. It does not depend on a specific scheme. Notes and guidelines for dream interpretation can be useful, but mostly do not reflect reality because they are not individual enough. You should always concentrate on yourself because the dreams come from yourself. You yourself, therefore, know best what is meant and why you dream what you dream.
Based on your background, emotions, and experiences with the world, the meaning of each dream varies. In short, one can say that the underlying meaning of the dream is unique to the individual. Typically, an interpreter of the dream will try to make queries regarding your background to evaluate what the dreams mean to you.
Dream interpretation dictionaries can provide a good basis and starting point. But it is important that you listen to yourself and discover the meaning of the symbols and images individually. However, we do not have to give every single dream picture a deep meaning. Sometimes certain things are actually just processing information, or are the result of a film or experience from the previous days. Sometimes, however, they can be real messages from the subconscious or maybe even from another world. However, these dreams are usually very different from ordinary dreams.
It is, therefore, a good idea to write down the dream immediately. It is best to do this immediately after waking up, even if this takes place in the middle of the night. Most details are quickly forgotten, and you may not remember important details later.
How to Get Started in Dream Interpretation
For making a meaningful analysis, you should try to recollect every detail of your dream. Each symbol visualized by you in the dream reflects your inner-most thoughts, emotions, or it can be tidbits from your memory brought forward from your subconscious mind. From colors to the symbols, background, places, objects, animals, etc., all can be used to make a meaningful interpretation of your dreams. Sometimes it might be speaking about what your mind longs for, or what it is scared of, with or without your conscious mind being aware of it. These hidden emotions can be pulled into the light if you can try to picture these dreams and try to interpret their significance.
The Most Common Dream Symbols and their Meaning
Those who dream of flying often experience this as a kind of a high. You feel light, above everything, unassailable. Sigmund Freud interprets dreaming of flying as an erotic wish and as a need to overcome limits (also self-imposed) or conflicts.
In modern dream research, the focus is no longer on the desire for changes, but on self-confidence. Depending on how high you are flying in your dream, one assumes a differently exaggerated self-confidence. The risk of falling is always taken into account.
Anyone who hovers weightlessly in their dream over unknown landscapes that cannot be defined should try to take their eyes off the troublesome things in life. Try to shut yourself off and to suppress unsightly things. In this case, flying is something of an escape from yourself and your problems.
Water is generally a symbol of everything emotional in the interpretation of dreams, so it is associated with feelings. Freud sees water as unconscious psychic energy.
When interpreting swimming in dreams, a distinction must first be made as to whether you are swimming in clear or cloudy water. Swimming in the clear and/or flowing water indicates balance, satisfaction, and a state of happiness that can be characterized, for example, by love or professional success. Cloudy water, on the other hand, can mean the fear of an exam, for example. It symbolizes insecurity or a lack of self-awareness.
From a statistical point of view, women in particular dream most often of water. For example, anyone who has already experienced pregnancy will consciously or subconsciously remember the child’s movements in the amniotic fluid, which in turn can trigger positive dreams of water. When women dream of water, it can also mean that they have a strong desire for a change in their lives.
If you dream of cheating on your partner, you do not have to panic that you will actually do so. However, you should think about whether you are really happy in the current relationship.
Dreaming of infidelity indicates that you are out of tune with your personality and have problems that you may not have admitted to yourself. There is something in your life that prevents you from meeting your needs.
Another way of interpreting this dream: This expresses feelings of guilt. However, these do not necessarily have to refer to your own partner but can have other causes. If the dream is extremely sexually charged, it can simply be a matter of not being able to sufficiently live out your sexual needs – and want to change something about it.
Packing your Suitcase/Travel
If you dream of packing your suitcase and/or going on a trip, you may long for a change in your life. The further the journey takes you in a dream, the greater the desire for change.
The dream journey can also represent the desire to explore one’s own personality. In any case, such a dream always has something to do with the design of your own life path. A departure indicates a new beginning. If you sit behind the wheel, you enjoy being in control. The nature of the travel destination can also provide information about the dreams of the future.
Fighting, Arguments or Disputes
As simple as it sounds, those who dream of quarrels have internal conflicts for which they have no solution. A distinction must be made here between who is arguing with whom and whether one is involved in the dispute or not. If you only watch a fight in a dream as a spectator, you may be going through a turbulent phase of life that you cannot avoid. Anyone who is at the center of the conflict may feel pushed into the corner in their current life situation – or the dream is an indication that one should be more flexible with one’s fellow human beings.
In general, falling in dream interpretation is associated with fear, insecurity, and self-doubt. The dream of falling can thus refer to the fear of not being able to meet the demands and expectations of others.
A fall can also symbolize current problems caused by a significant change in the life of the dreamer. Those who fall into the void or from a staircase can interpret this dream as an indication of a certain emotional emptiness or as a fear of the future.
Losing Teeth and Tooth loss
In general, dreaming of teeth indicates sexual or material needs, because teeth represent an important instrument of power and aggressiveness. Those who dream of having white and healthy teeth are probably going through a positive, successful phase in their lives.
The dream of wiggling or pulling teeth can symbolize the loss of power and the fear of any impotence (affective, sexual, professional). The tooth loss can also refer to a lack of vitality. Loss of teeth can mean intense excitability and lack of self-confidence, which prevent the dreamer from developing his personality.
Naked in Public
If you walk naked in your dream, you have at least two options to interpret this. Incidentally, neither of them has anything to do with sexuality, although ‘nudity’ suggests it. If you feel comfortable in your nudity and are observed by others, you may want to show (even) more of your true self than you normally do.
If you feel good naked in your dream and are completely alone and unobserved, you are at peace with yourself and have no problem expressing it freely.
If you run naked in a dream and are ashamed of it (alone or under observation), you may have a problem with exposing yourself (mentally or physically). So this dream is connected with a feeling of fear, possibly also with a lack of self-confidence. Often this dream also indicates how much importance the dreaming attaches to the opinion of others.
If women dream of being pregnant, this can indicate the most obvious thing: a desire to have children. But the environment can also make women dream that they are pregnant through constant pressing questions about pregnancy.
The dream symbol “pregnant” can also mean something else. Pregnancy symbolizes a new beginning or personal growth. The dream of pregnancy is also associated with creativity. The phrase “let an idea mature” is no coincidence. So if you dream of being pregnant, it can also indicate an upcoming personal change or a creative process.
Those who dream of death, be it their own, that of a close relative or a friend, often wake up with the bad feeling that this could be a premonition. Don’t panic; these dreams are not about making a dark prediction!
Rather, dreams of death are a sign of a new beginning, or of an end, or the fear of the end of a relationship of any kind with someone important to us. It can be about a love that we know has no future, or about our fear of losing the good relationship with our sister, for example, because you have not gotten along with her lately.
Death dreams can also be a sign that you want to change something in your chosen life path but have not yet consciously realized this. In general, it must be said that dreams of death belong to those that are most complex and that allow a lot of interpretations, depending on what you dream exactly.
Was there a snake in your dream? A snake can have very different meanings depending on which snake it is or how you interacted with the snake in a dream.
Seeing a snake, for example, can symbolize a false friend in the dream interpretation. Or it is a warning that someone around you is cheating on you. If a snake creeps towards you in your dream, it can predict an impending disaster.
And even the type of snake itself can provide information about what your dream means. If you dream of a snake that grabs you, it can mean that you feel trapped, that there is something in your life that is crushing you. This can be the partner who is jealous and controls you or the job in which you feel unhappy.
If there is a venomous snake in your dream, it usually has a completely different meaning than you might think. Because the venomous snake can stand for unfulfilled erotic desires, being bitten by a venomous snake in a dream can also mean that jealousy plays a big role in your life.
It’s hard to believe, but it’s true: dreaming of spiders generally promises something positive. Because in the dream interpretation, the spider is a symbol of luck. So whoever thought that the crawling animals would announce an impending danger can rest assured.
A spider can even be in a dream for an early blessing. So it can be interpreted as a good sign if you dream of a spider before a job interview or an exam.
By the way: A dream in which you try to catch a spider can mean that you are striving for happiness. If you have actually caught the spider, it can be a symbol that a difficult situation has been solved and that you have a firm grip on your life.
Animals often represent the part of your subconscious that feels connected to nature and survival. Being hunted by a predator suggests that you are holding back repressed emotions such as fear or aggression.
- Alligator – Dreaming of alligator connotes a warning to the individual to remain cautious of his actions, especially new ventures.
- Bees – The buzzing bees denote increase productivity that can earn you more financial gains. It also connotes contentment from life.
- Birds – Birds are a sign of freedom to soaring heights.
- Crab – The tenacious tentacles of the crab is a warning to be careful in your relationship with your partner. The likelihood of unnecessary arguments is more when you dream of a crab.
- Horse – Horse signifies success and contentment in professional and personal life.
- Rabbit – Rabbit signifies that your partner will remain faithful to you.
- Sardines – Dreaming of sardines denotes bad times that lie ahead of you.
- Tiger –Tiger is the sign of power – physically, sexually, and mentally.
- Whale – Whale is the sign of good times in the future.
The Meaning of General Aspects in Dreams
- Accidents – Dreaming of accidents is a word of caution about unforeseen transitions that can be detrimental, which can be witnessed in the near future
- Babies – Babies can symbolize the literal desire to have children, your own vulnerability, or the need to feel loved. They can also mean a new beginning.
- Being hunted – Being hunted is one of the most common symbols of dreams in all cultures. It means you feel threatened, so think about who’s chasing you (they can be symbolic) and why they pose a potential threat in real life.
- Cars – Like the way car is a sign of prestige, dreaming of the same denotes personal power.
- Clothes – Clothes make a statement about how we want people to perceive us. If your dream symbol is shabby clothing, you may feel unattractive or worn out. Changing what you wear can reflect a change in lifestyle.
- Darkness – If you dream of a dark place, it denotes the hardships that lie ahead of you.
- Demons – Demons are sneaky evil beings that mean suppressed feelings. You may secretly feel the need to change your behavior for the better.
- Exams – Exams can mean self-evaluation, with the content of the exam reflecting part of your personality or life.
- Gift – Many of us may dream of gifts. It says for itself the awards and good luck that is waiting for you.
- Hair – According to Freud, hair has significant relationships with sexuality. Rich hair can symbolize masculinity while trimming hair in a dream shows a loss of libido. Hair loss can also express a literal fear of baldness.
- Hands – are always present in dreams, but when tied up, they can represent feelings of senselessness. Washing your hands can express guilt. A close look at your hands in a dream is a great way to get clear.
- Jesus Christ – Dreaming of Christ offers you a ray of hope in the existing dull life.
- Killing – Killing in your dreams doesn’t make you a murderer; it represents your desire to “kill” part of your own personality. It can also symbolize hostility to a particular person.
- Marriage – can be a literal desire to marry or merge the female and male parts of your psyche.
- Plane – If you dream of an aircraft flying, it talks about the probability to move to new places. But, a crashing plane will have a different story to tell you. It might speak of the disaster and bad luck luring in the corner.
- Rose – Rose is always regarded as a sign of beauty with the nature’s goodness filled in it. It is a symbol of optimism.
- Sunrise – The way a new dawn begins, sunrise marks a new chapter in your life. It also reminds you to make the preparations for a change.