Tag Archives | Dream Sight

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:


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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It’s 1 – 1 – 11! What do the numbers in my dream mean?

Happy New Year dreamers!  Today’s date is 1/1/11.  I’ve been watching people delight in the lining up of the number one which inspired me to share some information about the symbolic meaning of numbers.  Below is the term from my upcoming book, Dream Sight: A Dictionary and Tool For Interpreting Any Dream which will be out February 8th.  Enjoy!


Universal Landscape:  The building blocks of all reality.

Dreaming Focus:  Did a number itself feature in your dream?  Was it the number of something that was significant?  Is there more than one digit or is your dream number from one to nine?  Is there calculation involved?  Did the number have a specific purpose, such as a phone number or address?

Personal Focus:  Numbers are the building blocks for our understanding of how life is constructed.  The movement of the earth, moon and other planets are geometrical in nature.  Music is simply math expressed as tone.  Digital technology reduces various data to numeric sequences and then back again to its original form.  Our need to describe physical phenomena led us to create nine whole numbers that, in different sequences, can express anything from gravity, the speed of light, to the way visitors can identify which house on the block is yours.

The universally accepted meaning of numbers is what informs the discipline of numerology.  From this tradition we get the foundational and metaphysical interpretation of the nine whole numbers.  Use this as a base to inform how you consider the image from your dream with which the number is associated.  If there is more than one digit involved, add all the values together until you arrive at a final, single number.  For example, if an address is 115 Main Street, you would add one plus one plus five and get seven.

The explanations below are meant to be read in order in one sitting, no matter what specific number you are interested in examining.  There is a structure to the way the meaning of each digit expands on its predecessor which will give you a powerful sense of the whole system that will aid you in using numbers in the interpretation process.

One:  One represents beginnings and is the starting point of existence.  In human terms, it is the self alone.  It is the idea before any action is taken.  As such, it embodies the concept of potential and that which has yet to happen.  In fact, the energy of one is limited by its inability to do anything by itself.  However, it also connects to stillness and the cultivation of desire that that precedes movement.  One is the beginning of the journey, which can be a very exciting energy.  However, this can bring with it the challenge of loneliness and isolation.

Two:  When a second joins the one and two is formed, partnership is created.  The concept of relativity evolves out of the energy of two, as the one has something to which it experiences itself as relative to.  The one can now know itself as self, because there is that which is other.  All of the elements of two are embodied in this idea– partnership, duality, opposites, yin/yang, balance, sharing, to name just a few.  The shadow side of two is the potential for collapsing into one another and losing the sense of self.

Three:  When two are gathered, eventually their energy will create a new element, and a third is born.  Three is the number of creativity.  A powerful energy, there are many examples of the concept of three:  mother, father and child is perhaps the most universal.  The holy trinity in Catholicism is another instance.  The artist, the paint and the finished work is just one case that can be applied to any creative endeavor.  In music, a trine is the simplest and perhaps most pleasing harmony.  In the world of geometry, it is only when you have three points to work with that you can create an actual shape and accurately define a location in space.  The challenge of three is a lack of grounding and separation from reality.  This is because three relates so strongly to the drive to create, that feeling unable to do so would be the fear-based side of this energy.

Four:  When you add a fourth point to a triangle, you end up with a square.  Four is the number of structure.  Once the creative impulse has been satisfied, it is time for solidification, which can be accomplished by the power of four.  A wonderful weight-bearing shape, a square is what allows for building the foundation on which the creative energies of three can be supported.  Four connects to the establishment of institutions, order, rules and regulations.  While a number of great strength, it can engender a sense of limitation and the concept of restraint.

Five:  What follows the foundational sense four is the freedom of five.  Once a structure has been established, there is now a sense of safety and security for exploration.  The number five embodies this expressiveness.  The human body expresses the number five as represented by the four limbs and the head.  The ability for the body to move about through space is a vibrant and exhilarating experience.  In this way, five symbolizes joy and bliss.  With this, comes the shadow of freedom; indulgence.  This expression of five can carry grave consequences such as compulsion and addiction.

Six:  Six is the number of partnership, marriage, creative collaboration and balance.  After the freedom of five, there is a need for stability, which is provided by the even number six.  This energy can also be seen as a pairing of two threes.  If three is about primal creativity at an individual level, combining two systems of three allows for six to engender worldly partnerships and the concept of marriage and union.  This number represents partnership on every level: business, social, educational and spiritual.  In the personal realms, the number six represents the happy union of opposites within us and the integration of our own opposing forces, such as containing two powerful emotions that contradict each other.  The challenge of the six energy connects to responsibility and a sense of burden.

Seven:  After all the work in the external world which brought us to the concept of partnership, we are now prepared for a more elevated experience of human expression.  Seven is the number of spirituality and higher thought, which is only possible after the basic human needs are met.  We are now free to look up and contemplate our existence in a more esoteric manner.  Meditation and any consideration of the interior landscape of our humanity is governed by the number seven.  This includes thought, contemplation, mysticism, prayer, faith, psychology and any endeavor that seeks to understand life from a higher perspective.  This is a number we are all familiar with as significant:  seven days of the week, seven deadly sins, seven notes in the diatonic scale.  The challenge associated with this vibration is to get lost in the ethers and lose contact with life on the ground.

Eight:  After spiritual matters have been made manifest, great abundance is possible.  Eight is the number of infinity and all that it implies.  This includes wealth of every kind:  love, money, bliss, joy and every amazing experience life has to offer.  The concept of infinity states that there is no limitation in the universe; that time and space continue forever and ever in a way that is beyond our ability to truly comprehend.  When an understanding of infinity and abundance are combined, there is a realization that there is an endless supply of anything you could possibly desire, even those things that you perceive as limited and unavailable to you.  Eight is the magic of seven in action.  The shadow side to this is greed, hoarding and withholding love.

Nine:  The final number in the system is nine, which represents completion and endings.  All things must end in order for the inevitable new beginning to follow.  Nine embodies that cycle of existence that demands that change occur and that the old give way to the new.  We have started the journey alone in the infinite (one), discovered opposites and relativity (two), invented creativity (three), built a foundation (four), expressed freedom (five), partnered with another (six), went inward to find spirituality (seven), expressed and enjoyed the rewards of the outside world (eight), and now we come to a close (nine).  The shadow side to the completion energy of nine is the fear that can be associated with endings and death.

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What do stairs mean in dreams?

Two nights ago, I have some very vivid dreams.  The most prominent image that has stayed with me in the days since is of climbing a stairway.  This particular set of stairs had a peculiar attribute; they got more and more narrow as I climbed.  The destination, while unknown to me, was someplace I very much wanted to get to and I had the sense that the landscape above me was very special indeed and worth whatever challenges there might be in reaching it.

When I say the staircase got more narrow – I mean VERY narrow.  Like “I’m not sure I can squeeze myself through that space” narrow.  The kind of narrow that sparked my claustrophobia.  I pressed on and began to slip myself into the limited space that was before me and I woke before I managed to get through and to the other side.  I was no longer aware of where I was coming from and I lost all sight of where I was going.  All I knew was that I had to get through this difficult transition and that was what was getting all of my attention.

This image has lingered long after the dream because I think it is very emblematic of exactly where I am in my life.  The long journey up from the past has led to a moment of intense growing pains as I transition from what it is to be writing my first book and what it is to have my first book published and arrive at the next floor, ready to face the next chapter and all that it will entail.

In this spirit, I share the term Stairs from my upcoming book Dream Sight: A Dictionary and Guide to Interpreting Any Dream, available on February 8, 2011.


Universal Landscape:  Transitions in life, often directly connected to personal growth or assessment.

Dreaming Lens:  Were you climbing the stairs?  Were you ascending or descending?  Where were the stairs leading to and from?  How many steps were there?  What step were you on?  What shape were they in?  Were they steep?  Were they dangerous?  Did you slip or fall?

Personal Focus:  Stairs represent transition, change and personal growth.  When we use them, we make direct contact with our feet.  This makes them symbolic of change on a very specific, personal level.  Climbing up stairs should be interpreted as ascending to higher levels of consciousness.  Going down stairs connects to revisiting places you have already been or moving into lower levels of thought, such as anger and envy, or facing your own emotional development by revisiting old issues.

Where the stairs are is important to consider.  A stairway in a home is about personal transitions, whereas stairs in public environments reveal issues around how we operate out in the world, in full view of others.  There may be literal elements of this image in a dream as a dream that takes place on a stairway at your workplace will likely connect to issues that are work-related.  A stairway in a public park may reveal shifts that involve issues of relaxation and leisure.  Use the Dreaming Lens to focus your interpretation.

Your actual experience of climbing the stairs is the key to working with this symbol.  A treacherous experience may reveal fears attached to issues you are currently facing.  Running up and down stairs with ease may point to an ability to operate at different levels with grace if your life is calling you to do so.  Fear of where the stairs may lead correlate to investigations that lay ahead of you where the outcome is not clear.  The number of stairs, if known, can be considered using numerology (see Numbers).  Escalators indicate more ease in the transition, but must also be looked at in terms of the potential to gloss over the change that is occurring.  Remember that going down is as important as going up in life.  We must often revisit where we have been below before we can move upward effectively.  Eventually, we must be able to easily exist on many levels at once.

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Abandonment in dreams.

Yesterday I posted the dictionary term Zoo, the last term in Dream Sight.  Today, I go back from Z to A and share with you the first term in the dictionary, which is Abandonment.
Universal Landscape:
  Fears around self-worth.
Dreaming Lens:  Who abandons you in your dream?  What are the circumstances around the abandonment?  Are there legitimate reasons for being left?  What is your emotional reaction to being abandoned?  What do you do as a result?  Do you collapse?  Do you take action?  Are you the one doing the abandoning?
Personal Focus:  The concept of abandonment is a fear-based illusion.  The feelings that come up when someone has left us are personal and rarely about the one doing the leaving.  The fear of being left alone is primitive in nature and has its roots in infancy.  If the loss resonates deeply enough, the emotional reaction taps into a deep reservoir of historical injuries and we experience it as a painful abandonment. The essence of this experience is connecting to what it feels like to be alone with ourselves in moments of vulnerability.  Thinking that you do not have the ability to face life on your own, especially in moments of adversity, is a falsehood born out of fear.  Overwhelming emotions are often accompanied by irrational thoughts that focus on our weaknesses and invalidate our strengths.

Dreaming of a circumstance in which this is a primary theme, is likely to be compensating for something in your waking life that is triggering thoughts of abandonment, whether consciously or unconsciously.  By processing these feelings in the dream state, we are better prepared to face the world when we wake.  Pay close attention to who is abandoning you as this will factor powerfully into your interpretation.

In a dream, we may be examining ways in which we abandon ourselves.   Even if the dream mirrors a life situation where someone you know is not available to you, use the concept of the character aspect as a mirror.  It may be that part of you is currently inaccessible to your sense of self.  For example, being abandoned by a boss might indicate a lack of inner authority available to handle a difficult situation.

The value of any abandonment, in life or in a dream, is being forced to see how we can survive when stripped of what we perceive as necessary for our existence.  To feel abandoned is to accept a myth that we are not okay without the assistance of others.  A dream may be helping you see where you are not trusting your own instincts and resources by allowing you to suffer an abandonment and find the strength to continue on that journey.

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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.


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.”


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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