In an earlier post on color I talked about color meanings and symbolism. I’ve collected a number of my own color specific images over the years and submit these (to the left of this column) of past images.
The split rainbow that could be seen only by shifting my visual perspective (this may be reinforced by the symbol of the window as well) may be a metaphor for seeing the whole, or more, of the beauty in life by shifting my perspective. It might also suggest the need for a bridge between my spiritual and earthly self.
The ascending yellow splotches may be about the need to increase my sense of self-worth, or to pay attention to my ever growing creativity, or the need for more moral behavior, right thinking, or can represent the need for lightness and vitality though it too could be pointing to the need for a different perspective, perhaps one that’s more bent toward optimism. This could also be a metaphor for how I see the world moving from a center, more balanced, position toward a radicalized rightwing bent. In this case the yellow may be broadcasting a warning and caution. It’s still ill defined however, hence the splotch-ness.
The green machine could represent my more mechanical behavior that seems to go on and on. The green could suggest growth in this area, or the need for serenity, or to show how hooked I am on the sensory area of my life. It should also be noted that green is the color of the heart chakra and the heart a machine in itself and thus represent complex emotions such as compassion and tenderness and in my case might suggest more compassion for myself.
The light blue bubble-like objects could have a spiritual meaning, or be intuitions bubbling to the surface.
The brown Raccoon could be asking, “What trouble am I getting into?” or be speaking to my more earthy aspects such as cleverness, wildness, and ingenuity. The little guy could be speaking to my inner animal nature and my more basal instincts.
Interestingly enough all these images have some connection with the right visual field and thus be speaking to some kind of action, or need for expression, or be advocating greater mental consciousness, or encouraging making the “right” choice about something.
All seemed to evoke some lightness in feeling as well, or were somehow affiliated with the intuitive me.
Four out of the five had an upward kind of movement suggesting a higher thinking, or experience. This could also refer to the rising of some passion, or spiritual ascent. The feeling of the numinous in each of these dreams might support the spiritual aspect as well.
You might want to add what the colors and images would mean for you if they had visited your dreams.
I’ve spoken of the logic of dreams before, or seeming lack of it. Things happen in dreams that follow no logic you would see in the waking world such as turning a corner and walking into your childhood home, the backyard of which sits on the edge of a great chasm (for those of you where that’s the norm, just ignore this example).
Some scientists suggest that this is proof that dream stories are but a failure of cognition, while others suggest that this is an extension of the cognitive process and allows for inspiration, creativity and religious expression. It could also be a little of both in that dreams become so singularly focused that details such as your childhood home still being in existence when it’s not are incidental to the theme of the dream. Long-term memories that may be affiliated with the theme are allowed to come to consciousness in a dream where the waking logic system has been suspended. This allows for greater participation on the part of the dreamer, whereas they would reject the event were it to show up in a waking state, or if not reject, then just imagine it as ‘pretend’ and not engage it as thoroughly. In a dream one can interact with the non-logical dream material in a way not possible in the awake state. In short, dreaming allows one to interact with deep and frequently hidden, emotional traces, but can only do so if the conscious logic system is shut off.
There is also the possibility that non-logical thoughts, or patterning, in dreams create symbols that when run through the logical waking state transforms them. Is the unconscious sending out symbols it knows will be interpreted in a certain way by the wakened dreamer, based both on their personal and collective archetypal images?
I’m a firm believer that nothing exists without a purpose, that God doesn’t add meaningless junk to the equation. As I’ve mentioned before the sleeping brain shuts down the prefrontal area that among other things regulates our experience and mediation of reality and helps us to develop a logos for what we experience. This shut down is what prevents us from ‘reacting’ to what we see within a dream (known as REM Atonia). It also helps us to “accept” the logos of the dream and to then participate in it.
Fundamentally, the neurophysiology of the sleeping brain allows for an expanded consciousness because that which is not focused on during the awake cycle can be accessed, analyzed, and synthesized by the subliminal self and added to the overall awareness that we call consciousness. God seems to have given us this expanded potential for consciousness. I wonder why after so many millennia we seem to not use this ability more to our advantage? It may be an answer as to why humanity goes so much faster in advancing its technology while its social abilities remain so slow to progress.
So how far removed is the sleeping and waking dream? We assume that the sleeping dream is a reflection of what’s going on in our waking life, but is our waking life also just a reflection of what’s going on when asleep?* Are they exclusive or inclusive? Do they each generate the other? Are we no more lucid in our waking life than in our sleeping life? Is it all just one big dream? How do you know you’re not dreaming as you read this article?
“Because this all makes sense, it follows a logical pattern” you might say. Does it? The pattern and logic in a dream while you are dreaming makes sense, doesn’t it? It’s only after you’ve “awakened” that the sense of it seems odd. But isn’t that because you’re comparing it to a different set of rules that you have labeled, “these make sense”. But when sleeping the rules change don’t they? For example, in a sleeping dream you can fly and time can move backwards, we can walk through walls, and people can morph into animals.
But in the waking-dream time only travels in one direction. Why is that? Physicists say that perhaps that rule isn’t as hard and fast as we experience it to be e.g. sometimes effect may come before cause.
In the waking world everything seems pretty solid, smash your toes into the leg of the coffee table and it hurts like hell– seems pretty solid to me! But physics says that nothing is really solid, there’s enough distance between each of our atoms so that they should never hit each other– we should be able to pass through walls without the slightest bit of pain!
And people who seem more animal than human? Tell me about it! I’ve seen normal, peaceful, fun loving people turn into violent monsters right before my eyes when certain fear triggers are pulled. One only needs to look at all the mass school killings, revenge murders, hate crimes, and honor killings to get a glimpse of how mild mannered can morph into a predatory animal spirit.
Definitely all the rules about reality aren’t as they seem.
There’s also evidence that not only does the waking world experience affect the sleeping dream but that the sleeping dream affects the reality of the waking experience– each informs the other, so much so that they are hard to separate.
So which rules are the real ones? Which are the fantasy or the dream worlds and which is the awakened world?
“Well I remember the waking world and I can’t remember my dreams!” you might say. But what you remember is never really accurate and most of it is affected by the 80-90% of your mind that you aren’t even aware of, the same 80-90% that produces your sleeping dreams. Besides, you’ve convinced yourself that only the waking world is important that of course primes the conscious memory to recall only that material. Shift that belief to include your dream memories and you’ll be surprised at how many dreams you’ll remember and after awhile they’ll all seem to run together making it even harder to tell when or not you’re dreaming.
No matter, I suggest that you are always dreaming and you haven’t even begun to wake up.
I had a dream the other night that didn’t reveal its meaning right away at least not until I started a list of the potential symbols.
In it I dreamed of walking under an unfinished wooden frame of a gigantic airplane. It was made of varnished 2x4s and designed by a cousin who was being so proud of his invention. As I wandered through I thought, “This is too heavy to fly.”
The cousin in the dream was symbolic of ideas that were impractical and illogical (which often were with him, though I always admired his creativity) as was the use of the materials to make the aircraft. I recalled how many grand ideas he had had over the years that would have small not well thought out flaws in them that would eventually cause the project to end in failure or folly. Normally we would just get a good laugh out of it when he’d realize his error. So I guessed that the dream had something to do with my own foolishness, illogicality or impracticality.
That lead me to what was probably the real message of the dream, my own illogicality regarding a relationship with a business acquaintance where I was hoping it could develop into something more profitable. On closer inspection it became obvious that this couldn’t possibly work i.e., it just couldn’t “fly”. Unconsciously I had been picking up on the signals and my intuitive sense that I had been ignoring knew the reality and did an end run on my ego, that wasn’t ready to concede defeat, through my dream.
This is often the case with dreams because they don’t have to deal with the ego-self what with that part of us being shut off while in the dream state.
When we awake dream material appears enigmatic and without much tie-in with conscious reality and this can be a good thing because it can force one (assuming that one is conscious of their dreams) to try and decode the out of the ordinary and mysterious symbols which can then take one out of the “same old, same old” narrative which can often lead one astray or into a dead end.
It is here that the value of dream work reveals itself and can add so much more to ones life.
How often I’ve heard those discounting accusations leveled at children as though the creative imagination were something less real, therefore less important than what hard thinking adults have. The imagination often gets a bad rap, especially from mechanical-thinking, or concrete–thinking personalities. It’s often assigned the same low respectability as fantasy. Dreams and their meaning have also been folded into this heap of what many consider to be unimportant and distracting ephemera and yet…
Yet, all children interact with and learn about the so-called shared reality through exercising their imagination and fantasy. The pretend play, or narratives of children are their practices for being a healthy functioning adult. It is said that we all use the imagery of fantasy and imagination to create our own individual myth, or world-view. And many psychologists say that imagination and fantasy help to unite our “real world” experiences into an interconnected whole.
Some say that the senses present the “real” world while the imagination presents only a facsimile (read as unreal). Though an imaginary experience is indeed a facsimile, it may not be any the less real than that of the cognitive projections of our biased minds (read as beliefs).
Imagination can be defined as the ability to “see” what the senses cannot see e.g. to see all sides of a three-dimensional cube. It’s what the “cubists” were trying to do in their art i.e. depict all sides of something simultaneously.
Imagination is not limited by physical rules i.e. it can stop a Nova, enter a black hole, or go faster than the speed of light. Einstein used imagination to see into the secrets of the relative universe. Often the imagination serves as proof of what the senses tell us, or uncover what the senses cannot.
“I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”
Aristotle thought that imagination existed within a specific place in the mind, and in fact 2300 years later there is MRI research evidence that memory and imagination travel identical blood routes and are linked to the neocortex and Thalamus.
Deductive reasoning requires the imagination in order to see all sides of an issue so as to deduce a solution.
Without the imagination there would be no awareness of the possibilities of higher truths, or even higher order thinking. Without imagination man would not explore the seas, search for other lands, wonder how to communicate across vast distances, harness the power of the wind, or sun, discover how the body works, or explore the vastness of space. Without imagination, man would not know about himself.
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
-Antoine de Saint Exupery
Without fantasy we cannot imagine what can be and thus have no dreams to aspire to. Without imagination and fantasy we become prey to the dictator, the theocrat, the oligarch, the tyrant.
“Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.
Without imagination there would be boredom. Imagination provides meaning, interest and magic. It is the main ingredient to creativity and invention.
Without imagination there would be no United States of America, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, no industry, no agriculture, no wheel, no clothing. Can anything be named that wasn’t originally the dream, an imagining by someone? Even God dreamed of the world before he commanded its formation.
“To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.”
Imagination allows the individual mind to stretch out and enfold all the rest of reality. We would be trapped in the dark emptiness of our minds without it. Without imagination we could not look into the infinite, and be forever trapped in the finite. We could not see into a heaven for it would not exist for us.
“To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.”
A dream becomes so much more when you can embody it through the active imagination. It becomes something more real that can be interacted with so as to reveal so much more information about you in your world than a cold forensic application of a traditional interpretation.
“Dreams connect me to an intelligence that is beyond anything I learned in school. The dream images themselves come with an “intelligence” that opens us to insights and perspectives that are often outside the box.”
So what is imagination and fantasy, but maybe the very spark for the meaning of our lives? Are we even human without it? It seems to me that it stimulates faith and understanding, discovery and ambition, knowledge and learning, love and romance, possibilities and options, even reading and storytelling. We should be doing whatever it takes to cultivate it, not depreciate it.
“Without the playing with fantasy no creative work has ever yet come to birth. The debt we owe to the play of imagination is incalculable…All the works of man have their origin in creative fantasy. What right have we then to depreciate imagination?”
Even when the use of fantasy and imagination is used as an escape from the stress of shared reality of the world you live in and assuming you have conscious control regarding when and how often you enter it, fantasy and imagination serves ones health and well being.
“Imagination is the eye of the soul.”
“The soul without imagination is what an observatory would be without a telescope.”
–Henry Ward Beecher
Finally, I’ve presented an overview of the imagination in support of its usefulness, but I’ve only alluded to where the images of our imagination come from i.e. what is the source of these images? Ahh, you might say that they are rooted in the images of our senses and you’d be right, partially, mechanistically, but it’s what we do with these source images–their processing that makes the difference.
However, are there not some images that seem to come from something, or somewhere, or even somewhen else? What’s that all about? It’s part of the mystery that is life. Part of the mystery that we all must regain and explore in our lives.
That’s the fodder of the mystics, the shaman, prophets, or the Depth Psychologist but also for us and that’s for a future discussion.
During an interview with Valder Beebe on her talk show early last week I was asked about the difference between daydreams, visions and sleeping dreams. My answer was rather limited by time in that I revealed only a small part of the relationship between these three forms of “seeing”.
Firstly all three come from the same place, our unconscious mind. However, some may see all three as being spiritual in nature maybe even spiritually generated or induced.
Visions can be said to come to us in a trance, a meditation or in a dream though visions tend to be clearer and more vibrant than dreams. Prophecy and the supernatural are often associated with visions whether they show up in a trance, dream or just walking down the street. Frequently they seem to be numinous in nature and have a mystical quality to them. Often one feels connected to all things, feel a sense of the timeless and experience the sacred. They frequently come to us when there is an unfilled and unfillable void or deep and unresolved questioning in our lives and when they arrive cannot be understood through our rational selves. However, the message of the vision experience is often quite clear and is something that most sleeping dreams do not give us given their chaotic nature.
Often these otherworldly vision experiences come with clear messages written or heard and are frequently the point of the vision. Dreams rarely come with a clear message or point and though we may see words or hear them in a sleeping dream they almost always make no sense. This is probably due to the fact that the part of the brain that processes written or spoken language* is shut down or suppressed during sleep whereas in many vision states the language part of the brain continues to function almost normally.
Visions no matter how experienced usually come with four states to that experience e.g., they are ineffable (they defy expression), noetic in that there is a “knowing” that cannot be plumbed through the regular intellect and beyond what was known before, transient in that they don’t last for long, and lastly passive in that they are almost always unbidden though they can be encouraged by focusing ones attention.
For many a vision feels as though they have been taken over by some greater power. This must have been the experience retold in the biblical story of a Pharisee named Saul a Christian hunter and persecutor who experienced being overwhelmed by Jesus in a vision on his way to Damascus and being shown the error of his ways and ultimately converted to another way of being and seeing and becoming the über Christian and Jesus interpreter Paul in the process.
Saul with his split allegiances to the Jewish diaspora and the Roman empire and suffering from a deep hatred of the Christian sect (a hatred that creates or is born from inner conflict itself) was probably dealing with any number of psychic conflicts but also searching for meaning and/or absolution from denied inner guilt. Under conditions of such inner conflict and the fatigue that he probably experienced throughout his travels his psyche was opened to such a vision experience. For most of us who have had this kind of world shattering vision experience these are often the conditions through which we become open to our deeper Self and that Self’s connection to a greater being.
We often call this kind of insightful vision an epiphany or an aha moment. But new clarity can come from dreams whether during sleep or during a day reverie of a lazy moment though they may be harder to read. The deeper self is always trying to make itself heard but often finds itself suppressed or shouted down by the continuous chatter of the mind full of all its worries, anxieties, activities and agendas. It’s only when we give this ego-self a rest that the inner self can come out to play. And play it will through our music, dance, poetry, writing, socializing, meditations, dreams, all kinds of art, and even on the road to the grocery market.
Lastly daydreams can be another way of tapping into the inner self and are seen as a detachment from one’s immediate surroundings where their connection with reality becomes blurred and a sort of visionary fantasy takes place. It’s sort of a mild dissociation and happens to many folks throughout their lifetime. Often these reveries can be disruptive to the tasks at hand (especially when those tasks are boring, in which case daydreaming can serve as an adaptive function) but they can also provide information related to future-thinking and increased creativity.
I envisioned the story of The Archipelago of Dreams: The Island of the Dream Healer** during a daydream one summer day at a lake in northern Wisconsin. Though fully formed during that summer’s reverie it took me another twenty some-odd years to put the story into print. That fantasy journey through time and space stayed with me for all those years and even informed much of my subsequent interest with psyche, soul, and dream-work.
*These areas of the brain associated with language are known as Broca’s area (for production of language) and Wernicke’s area (comprehension of spoken and written language).
The following dream and comments were sent a while ago from a frequent dream-sender. I present it here in its entirety along with my edited and amended comments in hopes that it will aid you the reader in interpreting your own dreams and to illustrate the power of your dreams to inform your waking world experience.
“Comments: Hi, Coming across your website is such a beautiful event in my life. i have been going thru a crisis and have been asking “why my son? why did this happen to me? etc kind of questions… I meditate regularly but I guess had a breakthrough last night. I had the following dream which I request you to interpret hoping that your wisdom would give me the guidance that the dream intended to give. This is how it goes: I write three “my life” questions on an A4 size paper with the intention of them getting answered (I guess i am sitting there waiting for an old lady to read the questions and give me the answers) . But after writing 3 questions, i start sketching/painting beautiful designs on the paper with red color so much that i lose sight of the questions and I have forgotten the questions. I unable to see the ques.. Some time later, same night, I have another dream that I have written the same ques.. but I made a boat and I have left the paper sailing on water – the water drains the ink and I again lose the ques.. I realize that i have forgotten the ques.. and then another dream same night, I write the ques. but i again lose the paper. At the end , I try to rmmbr but i am not able to recollect what was i asking… I know this dream holds a profound message to me. Can you please let me know as to what it could be? Thank you for giving your time and wisdom… Regards, _____________”
I wish that I had come to this dream a little quicker if only to help relieve a little stress.
The questions may be symbolic of your own self-doubts, or reflect your quest for a spiritual answer to what’s going on in your life right now. Each time you are distracted before you can get the answer and I wonder if this is because 1) you are easily distracted through worry about the answer, or 2) your not asking the right questions.
The asking of questions also reflects the idea of answers and perhaps they have come to you and you may not have heard them? If you are looking for answers re: why me? then you might also be restricting the answer (or solution) because you’re looking for something specifically to solve your dilemma. You might want to ask your questions more open-ended.
A suggestion: You might try a meditation where you ask the universe, “What do I need to know?” and/or “How can I respond to what’s happening?” You might also bring the “old woman” into your meditation and ask her “Why have you visited me?”
Painting and drawing can have numerous meanings (painting can even be a metaphor for covering something up), but often they represent expressions of the soul. If your questions come only from the head, you may need to look deeper and ask from the soul. Red is almost always a passion color and a danger color, it is also the color of blood–that which gives life and energy and enlivens one. I also wonder if the “beautiful designs” aspect of the first dream may also suggest that all is going as designed and though you try to control the outcome, you do not and cannot.
Both dreams may have a “let-go” aspect to them.
The water in the dream may represent your emotional state while the paper boat may say something about how well you are navigating your emotions–in this case it is sinking and being overwhelmed and the boat itself (representative of how you’re doing) is pretty fragile.
Because the “ink” is draining away I’m reminded that ink can represent creativity–perhaps you need to adopt a more creative approach to what’s going on before you lose it?
The old lady in the dream is no doubt an inner wisdom symbol.
In a later communication that also included a dream I added the following to the flow of dreams that this person was sharing.
I recall when a good friend, who is an accomplished artist, went through a period of soul searching that often left her feeling disconnected and sad, and began to draw and paint her sadness onto canvas. I recall how many of these drawings drew you the observer into her melancholy and how over time and healing the paintings became brighter in feel. For her it was the only way she could express what was going on for her–a way of bringing her shadows into the light so that they could be dealt with.
A suggestion: Try painting (or whatever your medium is) your feelings, don’t resist them, but express them. They are part of your soul as well and will often point you to what is wanted and needed in terms of nourishing your life right now.
I too suspect your “Questions” are really judgments i.e. rhetorical in nature that you may not even want an answer (that’s part of the spiral in depression). They can also be distractions that are keeping you from what’s really important to you i.e. what we call “red herrings”. Does all that make some sense? Note also that the ego likes to maintain control and there’s no better way than to keep you depressed because it robs you of your energy and shifts away your focus on what is really needed, thus making you dependent on the ego-self instead of your bigger self.
A suggestion: Along with your healing routines this may be a good time to express what’s going on within you in as many ways as possible e.g. through song (make it up and sing it to whatever tune moves you), poetry (the soul loves poetry and doesn’t care if you follow the rules or even rhyme), art, dance (a silly shake-off-the-spiders dance can be helpful here), and journaling (not as a chore but as a joy–don’t do it if it’s a chore, to hell with chores!).
I suspect that often depression results when one is unable or perhaps even unwilling in some cases to express their soul freely, when they are limited or restrained by past experiences, thoughts, beliefs, or by circumstances surrounding their lives. Because the dream is where the soul can express itself without editing, dreams such as the above can come to us in the service of our renewed health and well-being. Sometimes our inner wisdom can be a good physician and healer.
Express yourself in as many ways as possible, be playful
Be as much in the world as you can possibly be, don’t hide
Give of yourself to something you know to be worthwhile
Work on sharing what is behind the mask that you wear not only with the world but with your self as well. Try for consistency between the two worlds of your inner and outer self.
I’ve noticed that in my dreams events seem to occur chaotically as though pieces of images were scattered randomly across a table and picked up in no particular order, much as I’d do if I were filling in the center of a jigsaw puzzle. For example, in the dream I would find myself in front of a wall, in a hall behind it, momentarily at one end, the other end, facing it as though I had never moved, then without warning I’d be outside. These snippets would often repeat but not in any particular order.
When I awoke and began to describe the dream in my journal I would create a somewhat linear narrative e.g. I might say “there I stood before a wall looking from one end to the other. As I peeked behind the wall I suddenly* found myself outside.
In order to bring the experience of the dream images into consciousness I would have to run the discontinuous images through a more rational filter i.e. the linear world of the conscious mind, the ego-mind as it were. This is because the dream comes to us in images and emotions and not in words that require some sort of linear pattern to make any sense.
The “experience” of the dream is almost always different than its description. This is due to the fact that the unconscious mind produces dreams in a non-linear manner. In our waking lives we also may not experience events in a continuous way but due to the way our consciousness is wired we will force the narrative into some linear form that makes sense to us. In short, there are experiences and there are descriptions of these experiences– often two different realities.
Inherently dreams are discontinuous in nature as though they take place outside of time and even outside of space certainly outside the time and space that we are used to in a three dimensional world.
Certain waking visions seem to follow this outside-of-time pattern as well when one may feel as though all of space and time is falling inside one tiny area or moment. It’s a feeling where time stops, but incorporates all the past, present and future simultaneously. These usually unbidden visions can leave us breathless and with an expanded experience of reality that never completely goes away.
It’s like walking through a dream and suddenly becoming aware that you are walking through a dream– a moment of lucidity within the dream of our lives and a chance given by the fates to explore the images of the dream carefully, and in broadened detail, so as to see where they are taking us.** Using these times of lucidity whether in the sleeping or waking dream provides us an opportunity to go deeper into their meaning and enrich our reality.
*In Fred Alan Wolf’s book “The Dreaming Universe” the physicist suggests that words such as “suddenly” used in an experiential description are often seen in the narratives of those who have experienced Near Death Experiences (NDEs) as well as alien abduction stories. In other words, in those who have experienced otherworldly realities.
** One can also explore the images of a dream by re-embodying the dream through a meditative imagination technique known as Active Imagining.
Recently I was working with a shaman who occasionally shares his dreams with me. He shared a dream that included a snake, a very popular image in dreams (along with spiders, but that’s a topic for another day).
Though a snake or multiple snakes in a dream can represent positive transformational, healing (especially if the snake bites and causes an elimination of bodily toxins), perceptivity, patience, wisdom, or rebirth energy, I thought that I would spend a moment looking at the negative energy associated with the snake image in dreams.
Snakes in dreams can suggest deceit especially of someone in your immediate environment, though it could also suggest your own deceit especially if the snake is biting someone or devouring them. There can be fearful or chaotic people in your life that are affecting you negatively. This may be even truer if a Medusa image shows up and you experience feeling trapped or imprisoned. This can represent someone who is highly critical of you or of others, or someone who just has negative thoughts about you and directs them your way passive aggressively, someone who literally steals your energy when around them.
In general snakes suggest that you may be experiencing some negativity that needs to be dealt with and cleared. Also snakes in dreams can represent unresolved issues that you have with others or people you’ve managed to annoy somehow. Consider also that they may be warning you of something you aren’t paying enough attention to. This symbolism can also be heightened if the snake is red in in color.
To deal with these negative energies you either need to confront them by standing up for yourself (this probably shouldn’t include any attacking strategy) if they are presenting as bullies or avoid being around them completely. You might also consider removing any other negative influences like negative movies or negative video games, or loud, gossipy people– basically anything and/or anyone that doesn’t serve you spiritually.
Shaman sometimes see snakes in their dreams when they are encountering or about to encounter some really negative energy. Interestingly seeing live snakes in your waking life can sometimes be symbolic of the same negative energy. This can be especially true if live snakes in your environment aren’t a common experience.
In the Australian Aborigine “Snake Dreaming” a snake is the protector of the land, the source of all life but also a destructive force if not treated respectfully.
I mentioned earlier that snakes can represent transformation, or change, this can be positive of course but change can also be negatively charged and regardless of what the snakes are doing in the dream you might want to compare their behaviors with your own waking world behavior or those behaviors of others e.g. are they just lying around, being sluggish, stealthily slithering, biting– snapping at you or others, poisoning the water with their presence, filling a pond or lake making it too scary to climb in, or crushing and trapping in their suffocating grip?
Note that snakes in dreams also present the dreamer with interesting dualities such as healing/poison, death/rebirth, charm/deceit, and life/death so that when they visit a dream they can represent both blessing and curse and therefor suggest that the dreamer apply both to their waking life.
In general animals in our dreams represent our instinctual feelings or behaviors. Some dream therapists think that animals come to us in our dreams almost as spirit guides, each bringing their own voice, symbolic energies, and usefulness to the dreamer.
Light comes in many forms within a dream. Sometimes it comes from whence it is born i.e. the darkness. It can be the dawning of some new awareness, a new beginning as with a rising sun or with the setting sun and clearing the stage for a brand new day.
It can be the symbol for transformation or a means for shedding some light on something unattended.
It can be a metaphor for God, the Spirit, the Tao, or for great wisdom. It can indicate the divine within.
In the beginning was the One. It lay at the bottom of the sea
in the darkness of the unconscious mind. The highest goal being
to bring it to consciousness and reunite what was separated once again.
Frequently light is paired with the image of a mandala where the light of creation resides at the center. When I dreamed the mandala above I experienced it rising from a ‘formless and empty’ black sea suggesting my unconscious mind, bringing with it a new awareness leading me to spiritual growth. At the time the mandala also suggested that I needed to look deeper into the darkness of that unknown part of me for it was in that blackness that a much needed awareness lay.
It can refer to the need for clarity, understanding, and insight. It can be about truth or if cloudy and shadowy it can suggest parts of the unconscious self that have yet to have been brought to full consciousness. If it’s particularly bright you may need to move toward a higher level of awareness.
Those who have been near death often speak of a bright light beckoning in the distance.
In the form of a light bulb it may suggest that you are ready to face some reality, or idea, perhaps even some new spiritual consciousness. A burned out bulb could refer to a loss of effectiveness or negative self-image.
Lighthouses can refer to the need for guidance. In the form of lightning it can suggest sudden awareness or spiritual revelation or even a shocking turn of events that is beyond ones control. To be struck by it might mean a permanent transformation or change taking or having taken place. All “lights can speak to the qualities of intellect, leadership knowledge, and transformation”.*
Light is often a symbol for the creative point in ones awareness, of bringing new light to consciousness. It can also be symbolic of beacons to follow and is also found within the third eye chakra, that is the “light between the eyes”. This light may be speaking to the primary force of life and creation.
Many if not most “light” dreams are part of the psyche’s way of reuniting what was separated at birth, i.e. wholeness and what the psychiatrist Carl Jung might have said was part of the process of individuation of becoming fully human.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.”