Common Dream Symbols – Pt. 1

Isnake2t’s been established that I’m not big on symbols in dreams.  Visual representations mean different things to different people.  Only you can really determine what these elements mean to you, but here are some suggestions for further self-exploration.

I grabbed a few items from a list of 30 Common Symbols:
Animals are common elements in dreams. Depending on how you feel about an animal, the meaning may vary. Some people are terrified of snakes while others think they’re pretty and keep them as pets, so your interpretation of the symbol really depends on your relationship with the animal or the interaction you’re having with it in the dream. Even something you normally love can have a frightening presence in a dream. It’s suggested that the primal dream of being chased by an animal represented repressed fear, which is understandable.

Babies. Oh boy, there’s a topic for ya! Going back to the animal symbols, I’ve been told that dreams of fish represent desire for children, but I have seriously no desire for children. Babies in your dream could be literal, or they could represent how you feel personally or about someone else. Perhaps you feel you have needs that aren’t being met, or on the other hand you feel like you’re being called upon for caring/nurturing. Babies may also signify a new beginning (though they also say that about death in a dream).

Exams are a form of evaluation. If you felt unprepared for the exam, consider the subject. Perhaps there is something you need to work on. I often have dreams that I’ve returned to school only to realize I haven’t attended my math class in months and I’m sure I’ll fail the class. The exam doesn’t necessarily have to be a school subject, but it could reveal some feelings of inadequacy (even if it’s all in your head and you’re actually brilliant in the subject).

Falling is a really common element. It might wake you up clutching your sheets, but sometimes it doesn’t startle you awake. If you dream of prolonged falling it might actually signify letting go of things in your life that bring you stress. Adversely, it may also represent some perceived failure or fall from success.

Houses in dreams can take the form of any place you’ve been in your life, someplace entirely new, or some strange combination of places. You might find yourself inside your best friend’s childhood room, then walk out the door into a convenience store. However your mind is trying to tie these things together, what you’ll want to pay attention to are the things you associate with those places. Grandma’s kitchen might make you feel happy and welcome, but what’s with the museum in the hallway? Well, it really depends on how you feel about museums. If your grandmother has passed away quite some time ago, that could be relevant, and you’re simply wishing to reminisce about that time in your life.

Yes, I will return with more symbols like teeth falling out, tornadoes and floods, public nudity…all that fun stuff.

Nightmares

I’ve got a schedule planned for this blog to give it some structure. Tuesdays will be the scientific/research/medical entries, Wednesday will be the personal subject commentary entries, and Thursday will be a free day for cool dream related stuff I’ve found. I’ll be adding a few more pages to the blog for helpful links and terms used in the blog.

Today is a Wednesday, so it’s a personal subject day. I chose nightmares.

I don’t remember much of my dreams from early childhood, but I do remember the nightmares. They were really simple and symbolic when I was a toddler. Between the ages of 2 and 4, I remember a recurring nightmare that I called “The Eyes.” But they weren’t eyes at all. They were just two spots that sort of floated in the air and followed me around. One was small and black, the other was large and orange. They were positioned like eyes, which I suppose is why I called them that. The dreamscape was usually some sort of newsprint. Black and white buildings, black and white paper cutout people from some era I’d only seen in old photographs. Perhaps the eyes were actually cigarette burns in this paper dreamscape and that’s why they were so scary, but I really felt stalked/haunted by them.

As I got older, the nightmares would have more real fear triggers, like snakes or tornadoes. I was terrified by natural disasters in my teen years. The big movies at the time were all about tornadoes and volcanoes, and a town nearby mine had been devastated by a tornado. I kept imagining how easily one could rip my little house apart and it was a very real concern of mine for years. I also had terrible dreams about monsters and zombies at this time in my life. During the early teen years I was very religious, and I was actually baptized at 14. I was plagued by nightmares several times a week.

During my later teen years, my parents were divorced, and the nightmares weren’t so terrifying anymore. There were some awful subjects, but they didn’t scare me awake anymore. I felt like I could handle them. In one, I actually remember myself dying. That’s something many people believe you can’t witness, but I know several people who have experienced that. I was fleeing from some people who had a Predator with them. I tried to hide in an old abandoned hospital. They found me and asked me “How would you like to die?” I suggested “Old age.” “Not an option!” My next choice was to be injected with something from the hospital, which they did. I saw myself sitting on a table, the needle go into my leg, and as my body fell back, I was suddenly watching from darkness above. There was nothing. No feeling, no light, just nothingness. It wasn’t scary. It was peaceful, like this was the most natural state of existence. I thought “Okay…what now?” Then I woke up.

Other nightmares involved the deaths of people close to me, but I actually woke up crying when I had nightmares of my pets getting injured. Around this time, I wasn’t going to church anymore and my spiritual interests turned more toward witchcraft. This continued into college. Infrequent nightmares and nothing so bad I couldn’t face the problem in my dream.

After leaving a bad relationship, for nearly the entire duration of the next serious relationship, I would have nightmares that my ex was back, but I would violently attack him and often wake up frustrated that all the yelling and hurting I could inflict wouldn’t make him go away. After entering the third serious relationship, the nightmares stopped. Nightmares now only involve separation from my important people from which I will sometimes wake up crying. There are other dreams that I would call “bad dreams” with some absolutely disgusting elements, but very rarely do I have nightmares anymore. At this point, I wouldn’t say I’m devoid of spirituality. I feel a great spiritual connection to the universe, but I experience it as an extension of the sciences.

Upcoming topics for this blog: REM sleep, time-lapse video sleep study, chemicals of sleep, and lucid dreaming.