Tag Archives | dream dictionary

The end of the world; what do apocalyptic dreams mean?

Last night the world came to an end.  At least the world as I know it in Los Angeles.  From my vantage point fairly high up in the eastern hills of the LA basin, I could see the mushroom cloud erupt into destruction, off in the distance.  My first thought was that I was far away enough so that at least I wouldn’t be killed by the blast itself.  As I began to wonder about the aftermath of radiation poisoning and how long it might take for that to kill me, I saw that there were more nuclear blasts occurring, and each one was getting closer.

Now this was a lucid dream, meaning I was aware that I was dreaming.  But it was also a dream within a dream.  In my awareness that I was asleep and dreaming of the end of days, where I thought I was asleep was in the house where I was witnessing all of this destruction.  Sleeping in another bed was one of my oldest friends in the world and as long as he remained asleep, I knew that I was at least somewhat safe, because this was, after all, just a dream.  That being said, I was really hoping to wake up and wake up soon.

When I finally did wake up for real, I was very confused because the layers of the dream within a dream were pretty powerful.  Once I got my bearings, I had a disturbing thought.  Had I included the apocalyptic dream as a term in my new dictionary, Dream Sight?   I stumbled into the other room to check and when I saw that indeed I hadn’t, I felt a momentary sense of embarrassment.  How could I have forgotten such an important dream image, probably a standard in every dream dictionary ever written?  One reason was that I had never had one before.  And for whatever reason when I had been polling my friends, acquaintances and clients for ideas over the past several years while writing terms, no one had suggested it.

I have, of course, had the opportunity to interpret such an image for others on many occasions.  Endings are beginnings.  Death is always followed by a rebirth of some kind.  An apocalyptic dream where your world is literally coming to an end is a very good news dream indeed.  It means that change is afoot and the nature of that change is so enormous, it implies that your entire world is potentially being restructured.

Now, this process is not always comfortable.  In my case, there is no doubt that the world that is coming to an end in my life and the new world that will inevitably follow connects to the fact that I’ve just published Dream Sight and am about to get back to working on my next book called “Not Just A Dream: A Parent’s Guide for Interpreting Children’s Dreams.”  The past year was so engrossing with one project and I am in the process of shifting my consciousness to the next.  Truly, my world has just come to an end and a new one is just beginning.

When this sort of dream comes up for you, ask yourself how your world is changing.  And I promise that the next version of Dream Sight will include apocalypse as a term.

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More and more spiders!!!

For anyone following my posts of late, I wanted to add a brief spider-synchronicity on the spider front. Months ago, I posted about spiders because they were coming up often and one of the moments where that happened was at a local eatery where a waiter asked what I did for a living and when I told him his eyes got as wide as saucers and told me about his constant dreams about spiders. Other spider moments followed, so I posted about spiders.

Yesterday, not fifteen minutes after I posted about spiders yet again, I was driving past that same eatery and there he was – my spider-fixated waiter. I chuckled to myself about the memory and went on my way.

This morning, I awoke and made the trek across my kitchen to the pantry to retrieve my hazelnut creamer for my coffee and there on the floor, just sitting there, was a spider.  Just lazing around as if to say, “Yes, Michael, there really is a Santa Clause, and his name is synchronicity.”  So, even if it feels like overkill, I’m posting my term “spiders” from my new book (FINALLY available in book stores everywhere and on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com) Dream Sight: A Dictionary & Guide for Interpreting Any Dream.  If you want to become more facile with dream interpretation, but my book!

And now, once again from Dream Sight, the term: Spiders:

Spider/Spider-web

Universal Landscape:  Powerful feminine energy.  Patience.

Dreaming Lens:  Were you encountering a spider or spider webbing?  Was it frightening?  Were you in danger?  Did you kill the spider?  Did you want to?  Did the spider want to harm you?  Was the overall scene macabre or more magical?

Personal Focus:  Spiders are a powerful image of the feminine principle, which relates to creativity and receptivity.  Spiders embody this by virtue of the creative act of making a web and the patience involved in awaiting their prey.  Many, if not most people, have an aversion to them which makes them a creature of the shadow.

Spiders can be found everywhere, which is one of the reasons why they feature prominently as a common dream image.  While not all are venomous, the most widely known spider is the Black Widow, famous for mating with and then killing her male counterpart.  This is the feminine principle in its most ferocious expression.

A spider’s webbing is a miraculous feat of engineering and unparalleled beauty.  Its purpose is two-fold.  On the side of nurturing, it is a home.  However, it is also a weapon of prey–a trap set to capture, kill and eat.  Spiders also connect to the numerological expression of abundance because of their eight legs (see Numbers).  Any or all of these themes may be being expressed in a dream that features this image.
 

A spider web may point to creative ideas that are currently being spun.  This also indicates that a period of waiting must follow in order for success to be achieved.  A spider bite may indicate that an infusion of the feminine principle may be in order for your current dealings to succeed.  The irritation, illness or death that is possible with a spider bite indicates the level of sacrifice that will be required of you on an emotional level at this time.

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What does shoes mean in dreams?

Today’s term from Dream Sight: A Dictionary and Guide For Interpreting Any Dream is Shoes.  For no particular reason…

Shoes

Universal Landscape:  How grounded you are.

Dreaming Lens:  Were you wearing shoes?  Were you looking for shoes?  Were you shopping for shoes?  Were you putting them on or taking them off?  Were they yours or someone else’s?  Were you aware of whose shoes you were wearing?  Was someone else wearing your shoes?

Personal Focus:  Shoes simultaneously protect our feet as well as express our sense of style.  Our feet symbolize how grounded we are and our ability to maneuver effectively on our chosen path.  The shoes that we wear or see in a dream reflect two things:  how we protect the stand we take in life and how we express ourselves with regard to the steps we take as we walk through life.

Looking at a particular pair of shoes to wear in a dream connects to a direction you have not yet embarked upon but may be considering.  Noticing someone else’s shoes might point to a number of thoughts about others, including envy, judgment or compassion–the latter of which can only occur when you have walked a mile in another person’s shoes.

A single shoe means a path that is only half-considered, or a switch that occurs midway through a process.  Losing or looking for shoes might point out insecurity that keeps you from moving through life in a more grounded fashion.  Sneakers or athletic shoes connect to speed and increased performance.  High- heeled shoes make a statement about a deliberate presentation that has impact, but can debilitate movement.  Wearing a very expensive shoe might illuminate issues around the desire for abundance.

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Avalanches and landslides in your dreams!

Someone shared a dream image with me yesterday; he wanted to know what meaning I would attribute to an avalanche.  It took several days for us to finally reach each other by phone, and by the time we spoke voice to voice, he had forgotten most of the dream.  But he was still curious about what I would say about an avalanche.  I began to go on about water and frozen states of emotional blah blah blah when he interrupted me and reminded me that he had told me that the avalanche was formed of sand (which he had said, but I missed that detail).  So, I switched gears and began talking about land as consciousness and higher states blah blah blah.

When I woke up this morning, I thought that since there were a number of dream symbol “basics” that this discussion illuminated, I figured it would make a good blog entry.

Our planet is divided into land and sea.  Our mind is divided into consciousness and the unconscious.  Land represents what we are conscious of and the ocean is the realm of the deep unconscious.  Masses of terra firma that reach higher into the atmosphere represent higher levels of conscious awareness.  This is due primarily to the notion of the vantage point that elevation brings with it.  The higher you go, the more you can see.  Of course, this comes with a price; the higher you go, the further you can fall.

One important point that my friend reported in the dream was that he was safe from the dangerous event; he watched it from a distance.  The sand-like avalanche was more of a landslide and probably connects to a vantage point that may have been interesting for him to consider, but one that was, ultimately, not safe to traverse.  And he got out just in time.  I asked him to consider things in life right now that may have followed this course of action – the desire to see certain possibilities that he chose NOT to pursue that might have been in his best interests in the long run.  The sand implies that something that may have appeared to have had some grounded strength was actually flimsy and lacking in foundation.  The net result was that the entire structure fell in dramatic fashion and he was gratefully out of harm’s way when it did.

Since the original image was described as an avalanche, I decided to include some thoughts about that here.  Anything related to water is representative of our emotional selves.  Water that has formed into ice is likely to be connected to emotional matters that we have frozen ourselves off from.  A large snow pack might be symbolic of years of accumulated emotional baggage that is considered far away enough to be a non-issue.  However, if something stimulates this old, hardened snow-pack (think emotional patterns that don’t really serve or nurture us) it may become dislodged.  It will then drop down from the upper realms of our awareness to exactly where we are in our consciousness and sweep away the current landscape in one fell swoop and destroy us in the process.  The moral here is: If we don’t melt our hardened hearts every once in a while, what will we use to quench our thirst for love?

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What does it mean if I’m crying in my dream?

Last night’s dream circle had a theme; it was vulnerability.  And of course, I woke up this morning feeling very vulnerable.  I couldn’t remember any of my dreams, which left me feeling all the more at sea with regard to how to approach my morning practice.  After meditation, I found myself feeling even more deeply the sadness that humanity can bring with it and I found myself crying those tears that come when we feel exposed and, well, vulnerable.  So here is my dream dictionary term for Crying from Dream Sight coming from Llewellyn Press in February 2011.

Crying

Universal Landscape:  Emotional expression and cleansing.

Dreaming Lens:  Were you crying in the dream or were you watching someone cry?  If it was someone else, did you know them?  Did you comfort them?  Did anyone (or anything) comfort you?  Could you feel yourself crying?

Personal Focus:  It is said that the eyes are the windows of the soul.  In the spirit of that saying, crying washes the windows of our souls.  It cleans and lubricates them so they can see more clearly and easily.  Water represents emotion and tears are the fluid expression of our deepest emotions as squeezed out by the body.  Just as crying in life is an involuntary expression of deep feelings, the same can be said about crying in a dream.

Often people report the sensations of crying when dreaming; that it is felt as acutely as it is in the waking state.  The interpretation is generally very literal, though the Dreaming Lens will provide some focus for how to understand and utilize the emotionality that is being expressed.

If you are crying in a dream, then you are likely in some sort of mourning or expression of grief.  If someone else is crying, then a character aspect that lives within you is involved in a powerful emotional process.  If this is the case, then use the character who is crying to have a deeper understanding about what part of your personality is undergoing a shift.  Tears of sadness connect to loss.  Tears of joy connect with gain and could indicate getting to the other side of a challenging transition.

The more acutely you can feel the physicality of crying upon waking, the closer to consciousness the wound is.  The level of disconsolation you feel may give you an idea of the intensity of the hurt you are cleansing.  Remember that in your dreams, just as in life, crying is a healthy and powerful way of processing grief and facilitating transition and transformation.

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What does my dream about war mean?

Once in a while, I like to blog with a term from my dream dictionary, Dream Sight (Llewellyn Press, February 2011).  Usually, a dream I have had or heard from another person inspires me to pick a specific term and post it.  Recently, several people have shared with me their dreams that are either about war or taking place in war.  And, of course, we are all in a battle with our selves every day of our lives.  It is my hope that though dream work, each of us can be on the winning side of our own personal wars and emerge from the fray with our dignity in tact, more self-aware and conscious of who we really are.

With that, here’s “War/Battle.”

War/Battle

Universal Landscape:  Shifting boundaries.

Dreaming Lens:  Were you in a battle?  How much danger were you in?  Were you connected with others on your side, or were you close to the enemy?  Were you advancing the front line, or attempting to damage the resources of your enemy?  Did you know the cause for which you were fighting?

Personal Focus:  The object of war is for one entity to obtain the land and/or resources of another.  Therefore, war in a dream indicates change on such a large scale that it can only be accomplished by the use of major force.  Our world is a set of organized boundaries we know as countries.  Our psyches are divided in a similar way.  These boundaries are, ultimately, fluid.  Things change—sometimes dramatically—which leaves us feeling vulnerable.  When the change is sudden and violent, the unconscious may use a dream of war to express the enormity of the internal shift that’s occurring.

There is a distinction between war and battle.  War implies an ongoing state of flux whereas battle is the actual shift taking place in a small increment of upheaval and change.  If you dream of being in wartime, then your life may reflect a grand cycle of transformation that is currently taking place.

Most people living in America have never experienced wartime, but to live under the threat of war is to be in constant, hyper-awareness of danger lurking just about everywhere.  If this is the case in your dream, look to where in life your defenses might be running on high.  If you dream of an actual battle, then the immediacy of the symbolism implies something much more current in your waking life.  Look to where changes in boundaries are eminent, both in your outside world as well as within, as many battles are with ourselves.

Generally speaking, there are two points of focus for modern war: one is to advance the front line in either direction, essentially shifting the land borders between countries.  This connects symbolically to the establishment of boundaries that we must carve out each and every day of our lives.  The greater intensity of the war in your dreams, the more intense the daytime conflict being expressed is likely to be.

The other focus of war is to destroy the resources of the enemy.  This has a more complex symbolism as it involves invasion and aggression; qualities which imply assumption and risk.  When this is the focus of your dream, know that you are in some dark and dangerous territory.   If you knew the cause you were fighting for, you must add this information to your interpretation.

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What Does It Mean When I Fly In My Dreams?

Someone recently asked about flying dreams in which they can fly and use their arms as wings.  Flying is the third most common universal dream image, right behind falling and being chased.  I am fond of saying that flying in a dream is the most fun you can have while still remaining asleep.  I am including the term below from my upcoming dream dictionary, Dream Sight, coming from Llewellyn Press in February 2011.

Flying

Universal Landscape:  Ascension; rising above mundane life.

Dreaming Lens:  Are you attempting to fly in the dream, or are you flying effortlessly through the air?  Do you jump off after several steps or do you simply lift off?  Where are you flying to or from?  Are you alone?  Are you with others?  What are you flying over?  Are you joyful or fearful?

Personal Focus:  This is one of the most common universal dream images.  One of the most delightful aspects of dreaming, this cross-cultural symbol means that you are rising above everything that is on the ground.  Since this can be a wonderful sensation, it is often associated with intense feelings of a positive nature.  A flying dream could indicate strong feelings of freedom and bliss, which can represent moving toward a higher state of awareness or connection with spirit.  It can also provide a broader perspective on your life by virtue of giving you a higher vantage point.

However, it should not be overlooked that this very experience can be used as a defense by the unconscious.  When this dream appears, it begs the following question:  Is there anything that is being avoided or overlooked by rising above the conflict or simply not being grounded in reality?

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Why do I dream of spiders?

Why do I dream of spiders?

Spiders seem to be up for me.  I was having breakfast with a colleague the other day and our waiter asked what we did.  When he found out I was a dream interpreter, he almost fell down.  He excitedly told me he had just had a disturbing dream and wondered to himself, “what might a dream about spiders mean?”  Two days later, I was doing a radio show and what do you think was the very first question I was asked?  What do spiders in a dream mean?  So, in the spirit of synchronicity, here is an excerpt from my upcoming dictionary, Dream Sight (Llewellyn Press; February 2011) on spiders.

Spider/Spider-web

Universal Landscape:  Powerful feminine energy.  Patience.

Dreaming Lens:  Were you encountering a spider or spider webbing?  Was it frightening?  Were you in danger?  Did you kill the spider?  Did you want to?  Did the spider want to harm you?  Was the overall scene macabre or more magical?

Personal Focus:  Spiders are a powerful image of the feminine principle, which relates to creativity and receptivity.  Spiders embody this by virtue of the creative act of making a web and the patience involved in awaiting their prey.  Many, if not most people, have an aversion to them which makes them a creature of the shadow.

Spiders can be found everywhere, which is one of the reasons why they feature prominently as a common dream image.  While not all are venomous, the most widely known spider is the Black Widow, famous for mating with and then killing her male counterpart.  This is the feminine principle in its most ferocious expression.

A spider’s webbing is a miraculous feat of engineering and unparalleled beauty.  Its purpose is two-fold.  On the side of nurturing, it is a home.  However, it is also a weapon of prey–a trap set to capture, kill and eat.  Spiders also connect to the numerological expression of abundance because of their eight legs (see Numbers).  Any or all of these themes may be being expressed in a dream that features this image.

A spider web may point to creative ideas that are currently being spun.  This also indicates that a period of waiting must follow in order for success to be achieved.  A spider bite may indicate that an infusion of the feminine principle may be in order for your current dealings to succeed.  The irritation, illness or death that is possible with a spider bite indicates the level of sacrifice that will be required of you on an emotional level at this time.

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