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by Arastorm the Golden

And now we come to the "good stuff": how to interpret dreams!

OK, you've had a dream, and you are pretty sure it means something, you've thought about the various other types of dream it could be, and eliminated them. You've looked at the emotion in the dream, but while it feels familiar, you still can't spot the connection in your life. Time to look into symbolism. I am not, here, going to give you a list of symbols, there are too many. Rather, I suggest if you are going for a dream book, try once based on Jungian interpretations. The human race DO share a lot of common symbols. And you may be getting a message from your subconscious that needs a tweak to translate. There was a woman who dreamed of an odd animal that she didn't recognize, but knew in the dream that it was a "polecat". She was sure she'd never heard that expression before, but when she looked it up, it turned out to be another name for "skunk". Suddenly, she realized that she as thinking of her husband as a skunk, but didn't want to admit it even to herself. Had she heard the term before and forgotten it (except in her subconscious)? This is where interpretation books become useful. But we, in modern America, come from a wide variety of cultures, and what means something to one culture may mean something different to another. Always stop and feel whether any given interpretation really resonates with YOU.

Overall the objects, even the people and environments in your dreams, are not symbols as we usually understand symbols. What is most useful is the feeling or reaction you show within the dreamscape. You may find yourself overcome by anger, pity, fear, or lust. This is the important thing to examine and understand. In a dream you have plunged yourself into a fantasy situation, but your reactions are real. You may hope upon waking that you would in a similar situation be braver or more clever, or, perhaps, you may not believe that you could be that brave, or that you could kill, or that you could lust for someone other than your spouse. Think again. Remember that there is no reason to be ashamed of your feelings, but you'll have a better grasp of your inner reality if you can accept their existence.

To recap, before you try to interpret a dream, first you need to remember it. Accept that your dream life is both important, applicable to your waking life, and extremely varied. Then figure out what type of dream you've had. This will tell you whether what you can learn from it is simple information, recreation, or if it could be responsive to interpretation. We gain different benefits from different parts of our waking life- work, play, eating, etc. Sleep takes up about a third of our lives and offers just as varied benefits once we are open to them.

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