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Yet, throughout the ages, men and women have used their dreams in order to better understand themselves, to achieve scientific breakthroughs, create great works of art, compose music and write literature. Both Freud and Jung recognised that dreams are an important route into the subconscious. If seriously explored by the dreamer, dreams can help to integrate life experiences.

They can also lead to tremendous insight into human nature and human consciousness. Dreams are important. They are not just commentaries on waking events. They are meaningful and working with them can be the start of a journey to self understanding. They explore the emotion of a life situation and show us how we are experiencing that event on a psychic level.

They reveal our inner talents and encourage us to use them. They provide the opportunity to transform negative experiences into positive life changes. Dreams give us important information, providing we can understand how to use it. If you diligently work through this book and complete all the exercises, you will develop the skills you need. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you. That our fears, our bigotry, our disappointments, our need to love and be loved, all those things that bubble and boil in our psyche, may not kill us, but they affect our beliefs and our behaviour.

These things can destroy relationships, ruin careers and bankrupt souls. Yet, when uncovered and transformed, they have the potential to move mountains, initiate acts of immense courage and bravery, and foster empathy and altruism. Let me add a cautionary note at this point. Dreams do sometimes bring unresolved past trauma into the spotlight of consciousness. If this happens to you, and you feel unable to deal with it alone, I would urge you to seek professional help from a reputable counsellor or therapist.

Your family doctor will usually be able to provide you with the contact details of suitably qualified professionals. If we take notice of our dreams, and take time to understand them, we will see that they are steering us away from those things that harm us and towards a life path that has a heart. This was a sign, well understood within the culture at the time, that they followed the path of their heart.

It was a. Of course, in the case of the Egyptian Pharaohs, this could just have been to enhance their reputation and increase their popularity! A path without a heart is hard work. It feels wrong. It hurts you or other people, or everyone. You can find the signposts to this path in your dreams. This work is not to be taken lightly, nor must it be embarked on half-heartedly. This is serious work that will pay dividends if you succeed. Your first hurdle involves honesty. Perhaps the most important expectation is that we should be happy with our lot in life. To say otherwise infers that we have failed in some way, or that all our past struggles were worth nothing.

Buy from amazon. Universe of Learning Ltd is a UK registered limited company. They are not. There has been ongoing debate for many years about the difference between these two terms, but no consensus of opinion has emerged and the debate continues. It could be argued that such categorisations are completely arbitrary anyway and are attempting to describe things that actually are not separate entities.

Consciousness is better likened to a continuum, with fully awake at one end and no signs of life at the other.

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However, if we are to discuss the workings of the psyche we must use some intellectual terms to try and put what we are saying into a comprehensible framework. Such is the case in this book and so, to avoid confusion, I have chosen to define the terms in the following way. Others may use different definitions. I do not claim to be the final authority on this matter. Unconscious — the part of the mind of which we are totally unaware. For instance, we may exhibit unconscious tendencies.

An example may be someone with a phobia but with no idea why. Subconscious — the part of the mind lying just below consciousness. With a little help these things can be brought into consciousness. An example would be intuition or gut feelings. Throughout the book I assume that dreams arise from the subconscious, purely to avoid unnecessary repetition of both terms.

Bear in mind that unconscious elements can also be incorporated into dreams. Modern dream dictionaries are popular because they give dreamers a quick answer. However, their content is dependent on the knowledge and traditions of the culture in which they originated. For example, modern Western society is not like Ancient Egyptian society, nor has it the values of the Victorians. Some have their origins in Gypsy folklore and tend to assume that dreams are divinatory; that is, that they always tell the future.

Successful dream analysis, or interpretation, rests entirely on uncovering the intimate relationship between the dreamer and the dream. This can only be achieved by the dreamer exploring the dream within the context of their own life and experiences. In view of this, I do not generally endorse the use of dream dictionaries. However, as you begin to explore your dreams, you may sometimes find yourself unable to make any personal connection to a particular dream image.

In such cases, a modern edition that offers sensible, psychologically-based, suggestions and comments can sometimes provide thoughtful prompts which can then facilitate personal associations. Exercise 1: Dreams about Food Read the two dreams that follow and jot down what you think the dreams might mean. Dream 1 I was looking at a vine growing up a sort of trellis.

I noticed there were three branches at the top and, as I looked, the buds on them burst open and a flower came out, and then bunches of ripe grapes. They looked really delicious. I had a cup in my hand and I started to press the grapes into the cup to get the juice out. I then noticed that my employer was standing by me and I gave the cup to him. Your interpretation:. As I walked along, I became aware that birds were swooping down and eating all the bread out of the baskets.

Suggested interpretations: Dream 1 The image of a healthy vine growing up a trellis might suggest organisation, success and prosperity. Healthy vines mean lots of wine, leading to high profit and social enjoyment. This suggests something is blossoming and bearing fruit. If you do, you will likely add things in or take things out.

They will reward you a hundred fold. Only you can really know what it means. Marsha Norman. I explained that most of these dictionaries are based on cultural or historical associations, many having their roots in gypsy folklore or superstition. Although they can be very entertaining, they can only offer superficial, and often misleading, interpretations. You are the script writer, the director, the producer, and casting director of your dreams and the stuff you put in them is there because it has a personal, and often unique, meaning for you.

You are also the actors, the props, the stage scenery and the audience. Your dreams are the product of your own personal symbolism and, because of this, I want to reiterate the Golden Rule of dream analysis. Only the dreamer can fully and correctly interpret the dream. Your dreams are very personal messages from yourself to yourself and, as such, you are the only person qualified to fully, and accurately, interpret your dreams. Dreams are the language of the unconscious. They are the product of a part of you that is more ingenious, more creative and more beautiful than you give yourself credit for.

Once grasped, the language is simplicity itself, and yet an understanding of that simplicity can be so very elusive. It experiences only the emotions that are stirred as you go about your daily life. From these emotions, it forms concepts and produces a cornucopia of literal stories to try and make sense of it all. Dreams Are Complex Dreams operate on many different levels and one dream can often address more than one life issue at the same time, blending everything that is presently of interest.

Yet there will be dreams where you instinctively know there is more to understand and so you will want to investigate the latent or hidden content by exploring the symbols and emotions in more depth. Doing this can reveal how inconsequential aspects of a dream can sometimes carry within them profound, emotional associations that can lead to a deep understanding of self and a treasure house of wisdom. So, let us look more closely at the language of dreams. Often the meaning of the story evades us but by looking at the symbols and asking ourselves what they mean to us personally, we can start to unravel the meaning.

Everything that is in your dream is significant and very relevant to the dream story. Nothing is chosen at random. What is a symbol? Symbols represent more than their physical appearance. They are a very economical language that can describe and express a vast and subtle range of human feelings and motivations in one object. Although, there are universal symbols that many people recognise and experience in similar ways religious icons are a good example most dream symbols are very personal to the dreamer. So only the dreamer can decide why their subconscious might have chosen that particular image, above any other.

Take, for example, the image of a clown. One of my nephews developed a phobia about clowns because of a silly incident that happened when he was watching a Christmas circus at age five. The clown, looking fearsome to such a small child, came towards him with a jaunty walk, nodding his head, pointing at him, asking him to stand up and join him in the circus ring. My nephew was terrified, jumped up from his seat and hid under it. No amount of persuasion would get him out and eventually the family had to leave.

Clearly, the appearance of a clown in his adult dreams would be tapping into the anxiety that he experienced all those years ago. In this case, it would be safe to assume that the dream clown is symbolising something in the present that is demanding his participation, but of which he is fearful and anxious. It may be a great opportunity or it may be something to be avoided. Exploration of the dream will uncover which it is. If he remains unaware of the reason for his anxiety, he may well make the wrong decision.

For someone else, the image of a clown may bring back wonderful memories of a protected and carefree childhood and remind the dreamer of a particularly happy time in their life. So, for instance, what was the clown wearing? Where were they? What were they doing? If it reminds you of a real experience, how does the dream differ from that experience? If we dream of a rose, for example, our dream rose will not be any old rose; it will be a statement within itself and will possess qualities not necessarily seen in all roses. So, it may be red, or pink, or white.

It may have a scent. It may be a single rose or one of a whole bunch. It may be fresh or it may be old and wilting, growing in a garden or displayed in a vase. Whatever its state, it will remind you of something or will elicit a specific emotion within you.

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Think of a dream symbol as an effective expression of something that the subconscious fully understands, but the conscious mind has yet to recognise. For instance if you sit on a three-legged stool in your dream, why was the stool not a chair? When would you sit on a stool instead of a chair? Remember, dream analysis is all about discovering what lies in the subconscious and so you need to look beyond the facade.

Read through the list of emotions in the Table below and assign a colour to each one. There are no right or wrong answers to this. Our associations with colour are not just instinctive; there are also psychological factors that affect how colours make us feel. These factors may be very personal and will often be influenced by subconscious impressions formed in emotionally charged situations situations that may have been happy or sad. Meditate on each colour in turn. How does it make you feel? What associations do you have? How would you feel if your lounge was decorated entirely in that colour?


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Researchers have identified many factors that influence whether or not we find it easy to remember our dreams. The most important of these are sleep quality, life-style, stress, creativity and your attitude towards dreams. Your attitude to dreams This is the easiest factor to control. This involves consciously programming your brain with new neural pathways.

In this case, you need to instill. You could also try viewing your subconscious as the best friend you ever had, a friend whose main purpose in life is to help you. Respect your dreams. REM periods occur approximately every ninety minutes and get longer as the night wears on, with the early hours of the morning being the time when most dreaming occurs. Hence, the quality of sleep affects dream recall.

Nocturnal awakenings are common during light sleep which is why many people say they remember their dreams if they are sleeping away from home or in an anxious state of mind. There are devices on the market that are designed to wake you gently, usually by flashing lights inside an eyepiece, every time they detect a period of REM, signalled by moving eyelids. This is a bit extreme for most people and the devices are still rather expensive and certainly not necessary.

If using pen and paper, often the best place is under your pillow, enabling you to scribble out a remembered dream without too much movement and without opening your eyes too wide. What to record What you record is probably more important than how you record it. My advice is to record everything you can remember. Similarly, anything that you see written in a dream should be recorded as quickly as possible.

For example; if you woke up feeling angry, lonely, happy; the feeling will undoubtedly be connected to the last dream you had. This detail can be added later in the. Of course, you could always set your alarm for five minutes earlier! Make sure you date the dream record and, if possible, make a note of the time you had the dream. This is important if you record a dream in the middle of the night because research has indicated that dreams dreamed on the same night tend to deal with the same issue, with each dream in the sequence following on from the previous dream.

There are many different ways to do this; none of them are right or wrong. Some may work better than others, but the final decision is yours; use whatever method suits you best. And on a fundamental level we all experience the same emotions in response to the things that happen to us. This means that our dreams, which are forged from our emotions, can have important and deep meaning for other people. This, of course, is why story telling has been popular since time immemorial. Dream sharing was common in many societies and is, currently, undergoing something of a revival on the internet.

Have a look on the internet for dreamwork groups and blogs. You can do this by incorporating your dreams into your life by acting on them whenever possible. For instance, if the dream seems to be suggesting that you contact a certain person; contact them. You might be surprised by what you learn. You could wear clothes of a particular colour on the day following a dream where that colour was prominent.

Perhaps, you will chance on one of your dream images in your everyday reality. I remember so well a dream I had in that featured a white candlestick decorated around the base with yellow flowers. On exploration of this symbol I came to realise that it had a very important message for me. A couple of days later I saw the exact same candlestick for sale in a shop window.

I bought it and still have that candlestick with its pretty yellow flowers. Whenever I. He used it to describe the part of the psyche that is conscious, the part that most immediately controls thought and behaviour, and is most in touch with external reality. In our conscious mind we form an image of reality and of ourselves, as an individual, separate from other things.

Without it we would not be able to make much sense of our life or our purpose. However, many people make the mistake of thinking they are, in their entirety, their ego when, in reality, the ego is only one part of the multi-faceted, complex human being that they are. Dreams are not created by the conscious mind; they come from deep within the psyche. Dreams are the voice of your intuition. They originate from the you that is operating on a far more primitive level and are the result of emotions stirred by external and internal stimuli.

This means that if something is affecting you, whether you are consciously aware of it or not, it can be woven into a dream story. Take your time.

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This process cannot be rushed and the most important insights often come after many days or weeks of contemplation. Make detailed notes during your analysis. Include drawings and sketches to illustrate the dream and your findings. Afterwards write a brief note in the box below, describing what you have learned about yourself, and what action you intend taking, as a result of this first step into dreaming yourself aware.

Other ideas may arise as you continue to work on the dream, months or even years later. Remember, the whole point of dream work is not to interpret a dream per se, but to increase self-knowledge so that you are empowered to take action in your waking life; action that will improve the quality of your life and bring you closer to the ultimate goal of self-realisation.

If you see a development, give yourself a pat on the back; you have undergone a period of growth. I recommend you come back to this exercise time and again, working on other issues from exercise 5 feedback. Important reminder Dream interpretation without action is like buying a map and never setting foot outside your front door. Joan Harthan. I hope you enjoyed using the technique given in the last session and, more importantly, I hope you gained a lot of useful insights.

However, dream analysis as a tool for self-knowledge is only really useful if it is ongoing. No part of this book may be reproduced either electronically or on paper without permission in writing from the publisher, except for passages of less than words for purposes of review. It will benefit my counselling skills and confidence in risk taking. The insights I gained about myself, through understanding my dreams, have been truly amazing.

I was able to use what I learned to make my life better. Thank you. It takes the reader by the hand and leads them into ever revolving doors of ways of working with their dreams, understanding them, and learning and growing through them. What is mind-blowing is that these different ways of working with dreams keep coming! All clearly explained and accessible.

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So no matter where you are in your relationship with dreams, you can pick up this book and find a new perspective from a very experienced guide. She describes herself as a bridge between two camps. Having worked in mainstream academia for many years she acknowledges the spiritual aspect of dreaming and has a particular interest in Shamanic dream work.

Her successful and varied career, developed relatively late in life, was directed and informed by her dreams. Following many years of living in the grey twilight of what if, may be, when and if, her dreams encouraged her to make the decision to go to University at age Here she instigated undergraduate research into the dreams of women attending a bone density clinic to see whether deteriorating bone condition was being reflected in their dreams.

She also studied the effects of nutrition on sleep disturbance in menopausal women. Always a strong dreamer, she never saw her dreams as any more than a curiosity until a personal tragedy, over twenty years ago, was foreshadowed in a dream, forcing her to take them more seriously. She has kept a daily, illustrated, dream journal ever since and has recorded in excess of dreams to date. At the end of each year she has her journal professionally bound; they make a very interesting addition to her large book collection.

A member of the International Association for the Study of Dreams, IASD , she has had articles and papers published in their magazine Dreamtime and has presented at international conferences in Europe and America. Her dreams gave her the confidence to make major life changes, secure in the knowledge that she was making the right decision. They have been the lanterns that have illuminated the path ahead. This book is designed to help you interpret your own dreams. You need to take an active role in recording and using the exercises to help you understand not only what the dreams mean but also how they can help you change your life.

Warning This book is intended for those wishing to increase in self knowledge and become more self-aware.


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It is not suitable for those seeking help with problems caused by past trauma. Even where no such problems are apparent, the in depth analysis of dreams can sometimes uncover unresolved issues from the past, which may be upsetting and difficult to deal with. If any such issues arise whilst using this book, and you feel unable to deal with them alone, it is recommended that you seek professional help. As a child I was fascinated by my dreams and the dramas that played out in my imagination.

However, it was a rather covert interest that never progressed beyond introverted entertainment. It never occurred to me that perhaps not everyone dreamed as I did and that perhaps this was the reason no one else seemed to be interested in the nocturnal goings on. Sadly I never recorded any of my dreams from that time. How fascinating and insightful it would be to read them now, all these years later. I only remember one dream from my childhood, but it was one that recurred frequently. I would find myself running down the stairs at home as fast as I could. If I ran fast enough, I would fly out of the house through the arched window above the front door and climb the clouds up to Heaven.

It was always very hard to climb up the clouds and there was usually something chasing me, trying to grab my feet and pull me back down. This phenomenon is now referred to as precognitive dreaming. The dreams so startled him that he conducted a series of experiments in which he invited the public to take part.

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In the last ten years I. During that time, I met others who were as fascinated by dreams as I was. It was early on in my studies that I had a troubling dream that seemed resistant to analysis. A week later I had another one in a similar vein. It was then that I realised the profound importance of our dreaming life and have recorded my dreams every night since. I now have over twenty years of dream records, totalling in excess of six thousand dreams. After completing my degree in , I embarked on doctoral research.

To supplement my research funding, I asked my Local Education Authority if they would be interested in hosting a regular dream workshop. I was thrilled to get the go ahead and started running workshops the following autumn. Participants were from all walks of life with no prior experience in working with dreams. The weekly sessions involved learning and practising techniques that can be used to analyse dreams. It was a rewarding experience for everyone involved and fostered deep social empathy and lasting friendships. Since then I have run similar work groups in the Midlands and also work group sessions with counselling students.

There is scientific research over the past twenty years that has proven beyond doubt that dreams are about the concerns of waking life and are a window into the mind. A dream is a real experience to the sleeping brain. Experiences change us, they mould us into who we are. Your dream experiences affect you whether you remember your dreams or not. Sadly, there are still influential academics who fail to acknowledge this growing body of evidence and continue to deny this important function of dreams.

To me, the unconscious and subconscious are like the back stage workers in a theatre company, our dreams are the performances.


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The performances may make us laugh or cry, make us happy or sad, or leave us bewildered or unimpressed. We may even sleep through the entire performance! Whatever happens, we have the opportunity to be enriched by these performances, to learn from them and lead a more fulfilling life because of them. It is that they are either nonsensical or simply reflections on our daily life. Yet, throughout the ages, men and women have used their dreams in order to better understand themselves, to achieve scientific breakthroughs, create great works of art, compose music and write literature.

Both Freud and Jung recognised that dreams are an important route into the subconscious. If seriously explored by the dreamer, dreams can help to integrate life experiences. They can also lead to tremendous insight into human nature and human consciousness. Dreams are important. They are not just commentaries on waking events. They are meaningful and working with them can be the start of a journey to self understanding. They explore the emotion of a life situation and show us how we are experiencing that event on a psychic level.

They reveal our inner talents and encourage us to use them. They provide the opportunity to transform negative experiences into positive life changes. Dreams give us important information, providing we can understand how to use it. If you diligently work through this book and complete all the exercises, you will develop the skills you need. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.

That our fears, our bigotry, our disappointments, our need to love and be loved, all those things that bubble and boil in our psyche, may not kill us, but they affect our beliefs and our behaviour. These things can destroy relationships, ruin careers and bankrupt souls. Yet, when uncovered and transformed, they have the potential to move mountains, initiate acts of immense courage and bravery, and foster empathy and altruism. Let me add a cautionary note at this point. Dreams do sometimes bring unresolved past trauma into the spotlight of consciousness.

If this happens to you, and you feel unable to deal with it alone, I would urge you to seek professional help from a reputable counsellor or therapist. Your family doctor will usually be able to provide you with the contact details of suitably qualified professionals. If we take notice of our dreams, and take time to understand them, we will see that they are steering us away from those things that harm us and towards a life path that has a heart.

This was a sign, well understood within the culture at the time, that they followed the path of their heart. It was a. Of course, in the case of the Egyptian Pharaohs, this could just have been to enhance their reputation and increase their popularity! A path without a heart is hard work. It feels wrong. It hurts you or other people, or everyone.

You can find the signposts to this path in your dreams. This work is not to be taken lightly, nor must it be embarked on half-heartedly. This is serious work that will pay dividends if you succeed. Your first hurdle involves honesty. Perhaps the most important expectation is that we should be happy with our lot in life. To say otherwise infers that we have failed in some way, or that all our past struggles were worth nothing. Buy from amazon. Universe of Learning Ltd is a UK registered limited company. They are not.

There has been ongoing debate for many years about the difference between these two terms, but no consensus of opinion has emerged and the debate continues. It could be argued that such categorisations are completely arbitrary anyway and are attempting to describe things that actually are not separate entities. Consciousness is better likened to a continuum, with fully awake at one end and no signs of life at the other. However, if we are to discuss the workings of the psyche we must use some intellectual terms to try and put what we are saying into a comprehensible framework.

Such is the case in this book and so, to avoid confusion, I have chosen to define the terms in the following way. Others may use different definitions. I do not claim to be the final authority on this matter. Unconscious — the part of the mind of which we are totally unaware. For instance, we may exhibit unconscious tendencies. An example may be someone with a phobia but with no idea why. Subconscious — the part of the mind lying just below consciousness.

With a little help these things can be brought into consciousness. An example would be intuition or gut feelings. Throughout the book I assume that dreams arise from the subconscious, purely to avoid unnecessary repetition of both terms. Bear in mind that unconscious elements can also be incorporated into dreams. Modern dream dictionaries are popular because they give dreamers a quick answer.

However, their content is dependent on the knowledge and traditions of the culture in which they originated. For example, modern Western society is not like Ancient Egyptian society, nor has it the values of the Victorians. Some have their origins in Gypsy folklore and tend to assume that dreams are divinatory; that is, that they always tell the future. Successful dream analysis, or interpretation, rests entirely on uncovering the intimate relationship between the dreamer and the dream.

This can only be achieved by the dreamer exploring the dream within the context of their own life and experiences. In view of this, I do not generally endorse the use of dream dictionaries. However, as you begin to explore your dreams, you may sometimes find yourself unable to make any personal connection to a particular dream image. In such cases, a modern edition that offers sensible, psychologically-based, suggestions and comments can sometimes provide thoughtful prompts which can then facilitate personal associations.

Exercise 1: Dreams about Food Read the two dreams that follow and jot down what you think the dreams might mean. Dream 1 I was looking at a vine growing up a sort of trellis. I noticed there were three branches at the top and, as I looked, the buds on them burst open and a flower came out, and then bunches of ripe grapes. They looked really delicious.

I had a cup in my hand and I started to press the grapes into the cup to get the juice out. I then noticed that my employer was standing by me and I gave the cup to him. Your interpretation:.

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As I walked along, I became aware that birds were swooping down and eating all the bread out of the baskets. Suggested interpretations: Dream 1 The image of a healthy vine growing up a trellis might suggest organisation, success and prosperity. Healthy vines mean lots of wine, leading to high profit and social enjoyment. This suggests something is blossoming and bearing fruit.

If you do, you will likely add things in or take things out. They will reward you a hundred fold. Only you can really know what it means. Marsha Norman. I explained that most of these dictionaries are based on cultural or historical associations, many having their roots in gypsy folklore or superstition. Although they can be very entertaining, they can only offer superficial, and often misleading, interpretations. You are the script writer, the director, the producer, and casting director of your dreams and the stuff you put in them is there because it has a personal, and often unique, meaning for you.

You are also the actors, the props, the stage scenery and the audience. Your dreams are the product of your own personal symbolism and, because of this, I want to reiterate the Golden Rule of dream analysis. Only the dreamer can fully and correctly interpret the dream. Your dreams are very personal messages from yourself to yourself and, as such, you are the only person qualified to fully, and accurately, interpret your dreams. Dreams are the language of the unconscious. They are the product of a part of you that is more ingenious, more creative and more beautiful than you give yourself credit for.

Once grasped, the language is simplicity itself, and yet an understanding of that simplicity can be so very elusive. It experiences only the emotions that are stirred as you go about your daily life. From these emotions, it forms concepts and produces a cornucopia of literal stories to try and make sense of it all. Dreams Are Complex Dreams operate on many different levels and one dream can often address more than one life issue at the same time, blending everything that is presently of interest.

Yet there will be dreams where you instinctively know there is more to understand and so you will want to investigate the latent or hidden content by exploring the symbols and emotions in more depth. Doing this can reveal how inconsequential aspects of a dream can sometimes carry within them profound, emotional associations that can lead to a deep understanding of self and a treasure house of wisdom.

So, let us look more closely at the language of dreams. Often the meaning of the story evades us but by looking at the symbols and asking ourselves what they mean to us personally, we can start to unravel the meaning. Everything that is in your dream is significant and very relevant to the dream story. Nothing is chosen at random.

What is a symbol? Symbols represent more than their physical appearance. They are a very economical language that can describe and express a vast and subtle range of human feelings and motivations in one object. Although, there are universal symbols that many people recognise and experience in similar ways religious icons are a good example most dream symbols are very personal to the dreamer. So only the dreamer can decide why their subconscious might have chosen that particular image, above any other.

Take, for example, the image of a clown. One of my nephews developed a phobia about clowns because of a silly incident that happened when he was watching a Christmas circus at age five. The clown, looking fearsome to such a small child, came towards him with a jaunty walk, nodding his head, pointing at him, asking him to stand up and join him in the circus ring. My nephew was terrified, jumped up from his seat and hid under it. No amount of persuasion would get him out and eventually the family had to leave. Clearly, the appearance of a clown in his adult dreams would be tapping into the anxiety that he experienced all those years ago.

In this case, it would be safe to assume that the dream clown is symbolising something in the present that is demanding his participation, but of which he is fearful and anxious. It may be a great opportunity or it may be something to be avoided. Exploration of the dream will uncover which it is. If he remains unaware of the reason for his anxiety, he may well make the wrong decision.

For someone else, the image of a clown may bring back wonderful memories of a protected and carefree childhood and remind the dreamer of a particularly happy time in their life. So, for instance, what was the clown wearing? Where were they? What were they doing? If it reminds you of a real experience, how does the dream differ from that experience? If we dream of a rose, for example, our dream rose will not be any old rose; it will be a statement within itself and will possess qualities not necessarily seen in all roses.

So, it may be red, or pink, or white. It may have a scent. It may be a single rose or one of a whole bunch. It may be fresh or it may be old and wilting, growing in a garden or displayed in a vase. Whatever its state, it will remind you of something or will elicit a specific emotion within you. Think of a dream symbol as an effective expression of something that the subconscious fully understands, but the conscious mind has yet to recognise.

For instance if you sit on a three-legged stool in your dream, why was the stool not a chair? When would you sit on a stool instead of a chair? Remember, dream analysis is all about discovering what lies in the subconscious and so you need to look beyond the facade. Read through the list of emotions in the Table below and assign a colour to each one. There are no right or wrong answers to this.

Our associations with colour are not just instinctive; there are also psychological factors that affect how colours make us feel. These factors may be very personal and will often be influenced by subconscious impressions formed in emotionally charged situations situations that may have been happy or sad. Meditate on each colour in turn. How does it make you feel?