Interpreting dream symbols is fascinating and can unlock all kinds of mysteries for those who learn how. Check out this article by CFU Instructor, Curt Johnson.

Dream symbols are the stuff that fills space within dreams. Cars, houses, restaurants, people, and the spinning top in the Inception movie are all dream symbols. The meaning of individual dream symbols depends upon the person dreaming and how and where the symbol appears in the dream.  In preparation of my CFU Dreams Unveiled Class, here’s a little introduction to dream symbols and how to figure them out.

Dream Symbols Mean Different Things to Different Dreamers

Dreamers who grew up around water will perceive a water dream differently then a person who came close to drowning as a child. It’s all about experience and perception. That doesn’t mean someone who’s afraid of water can’t have a dream where water is a positive symbol. It’s just not extremely common. One aspect of interpreting dream symbols is understanding that symbols will most often be used in ways that are familiar to the dreamer.

Dream Symbols Don’t Always Mean the Same Thing

  Once you take the steps to figuring out what a certain dream symbol means, that symbol won’t always mean the same thing in every dream. Dream symbols can change meaning from dream to dream. That said, it doesn’t mean they will. One of the most helpful things you can do is to start a little journal of the symbols that appear most frequently within your dreams. Jot down the meaning and start with what you know about that symbol and work from thee. If the known meaning of that symbol fits, all the better.

Figuring Out What A Dream Symbol Means

  Dream symbols have gotten a bad rap for being difficult to understand. Perhaps it’s because symbols don’t behave in ways you’re used to. One of the most challenging symbols to interpret in a dream is people. Dreams are not confined by time or dimension. Therefore, a loved one who has passed decades ago can appear in your dream and act like they’re supposed to be alive.

  How then do you figure out what a dream symbol means? Believe it or not it’s not that difficult. 

  One thing you can do is consider the nature of the symbol and take note of its actions. If you see a tiger is it friendly or is it licking its chops?

  If it’s an object from waking life ask yourself what is the primary function of that object. For example, the primary function of a vehicle is to get you from one place to another. Therefore vehicles often represent jobs. The type of vehicle is important as well. Is it a flashy car? You’ll be going in luxury and getting other’s attention. Is it an old, well known car? You’ll be taking the way that’s tried and true or “vintage”.

Making Sense of Symbol Nonsense

  Normal dream symbols are fine, but how do make sense out of nonsense? What’s involved in interpreting dream symbols like vampire giraffes or a person who has a waffle for a head?

  The answer again lies in simplicity. The same questions you ask to identify normal symbols can be quite helpful in identifying the strange symbols of nonsense. Here’s a couple of examples.

Vampire Giraffe Symbol

  To get to the bottom of this dream symbol, you have to reduce the image you see in your mind to its essential elements. The most basic definition of a vampire is one who drains the life from others to gain life for themselves. They are thieves, actually, and the worst kind. They steal life from others.

  What’s a giraffe then? A very tall animal, of course. But what are the benefits of being as tall as a giraffe? Giraffe’s are able to see a long way for one. They are also able to reach heights that others would not naturally be able to reach without the help of a ladder. When we put a vampire and a giraffe together we get a creature that is able to drain the life from things that are high up that people aren’t normally able to reach. Fruit that grows high up in a tree comes to mind. In other words, a reward for going higher than most are willing to go.

Person That has a Waffle for a Head Symbol

  This symbol can seem cartoonish and hilariously funny at first, until you consider the obvious word play. Yes waffle can mean breakfast food, but it also means the inability to make up one’s mind. The context of the dream is key here. The head is where the mind is housed, and this symbol could very well symbolize a person or people who have difficulty committing to decisions in some area of their life.

Blood Veins Symbol

   The most basic definition of this symbol is things that transport life. However, sometimes blood veins can be a word play for blood lines, since they appear as lines running beneath the skin. Again, the context of the dream is vitally important when considering the meaning of this symbol.

Mermaids Dream Symbol

    These creatures may be mythical, but they have great meaning as a dream symbol. So mermaids are sea creatures where the bottom half is a fish and the top half is a person. When we look at the most basic definition of this creature they are able to function well in the water (which is often a symbol for spirituality or spiritual things), and they ‘re able to communicate with those who dwell on the land. In other words, one who’s abe to function in spiritual things but also able to communicate well with those who are earthy.

Patterns of Thinking

  I recently talked to a person who had a dream with some very interesting metaphorical symbols that, on the surface, did not make sense. The answer to their symbol’s meaning lies in the interaction between the symbols. Understanding realtionships between symbols is a frequent aspect of interpreting dream symbols

  In this dream the dreamer found a narrow grooved area circling her scalp. She traced  the area with her finger and found something making its way around in the groove. That something was a worm with a snail’s head.

  That was a startling find, as you can imagine. To find a snail’s head on a worm’s body states that something that spends its life mostly underground has not only gained what it needs to live above the surface, eyes and antenea, but that it’s found a path into the dreamer’s thinking. What about the dream symbol interaction?

  The nature of a worm is to live underground and the nature of a snail is to make its way somewhere very slowly. This indicates that this “underground” thinking has been with the dreamer a long, long time.

 Therefore, the answer to the mystery of the dream is found in the way the snail and the worm interact to make one symbolic meaning.

Cobra Dream Symbol

  The dreamer is outside and sees a cobra within striking distance. They are not afraid and have a sense that the snake is under control, even contained, although it’s out in the open and there are family members milling around who don’t see the snake. The cobra is standing tall, as if ready to strike.     End of Dream.   When looking at a dream symbol in context of this dream dream (which should always be done), you’ll notice the dreamer is not afraid. That fact should stand out because when such a deadly reptile is within striking distance it’s very common for any person to be afraid. It’s also important that the dreamer has a sense that the cobra is under control and contained. The dream meaning of a snake is a long tale or lie. So then, the dream means that the dreamer sees a lie that no one else in their family sees. It’s contained and not currently a threat. The dream doesn’t define what the lie is, but when I told the dreamer the interpretation they knew exactly what I was talking about. It was like a missing puzzle piece that completed a picture.

How You Can Know the Meaning of Any Dream Symbol

  In order to figure out the meaning of any dream symbol you simply need to apply a few principles. The first is the principle of simplicity. Reduce the symbol down to its most basic meaning.

  Second, you must consider the meaning of the symbol within the context of the dream. This means take a look at the setting. If you see a large dog in a park at noon on a sunny day it’s quite different than seeing the same dog in a dark alley at midnight.

  Third, consider what the symbol means to the dreamer. Again, the experiences and feelings of the dreamer toward a symbol is vitally important.

  Fourth, don’t obsess on trying to figure out a symbol. If the meaning of the symbol isn’t coming to you when you apply the above principles, take a few steps back and try to look at the dream as a whole.

  In other words, try to sum up what happens in the dream in two to three sentences– even if its a long dream. By doing this you’ll be able to see the dream as a whole. Sometimes a change of perspective is what you need to gain understanding.

  Finally, understand that you don’t need to understand every symbol in your dream to understand the dream. Don’t focus on understanding dream symbols more on understanding your dream as a whole.

   One of the best ways to get answers to dream symbols I didn’t cover in this short post is to take my Dreams Unveiled Class at CFU. The next class begins in a few short weeks on March 7th; after that, April 25th. Follow the link below for more information.

Get started interpreting dream symbols for yourself. Check out Curt’s 3-week CFU class, Dreams Unveiled. Join him for his session starting 3/7.

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