..The Intuitive Times


The Language of Dreams: Symbols

by Rev. Sandi King

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Symbolism can appear to be a secret or mysterious language that dreams use to speak to us. Actually, there is no mystery in the symbols used by dreams if interpreted skillfully. A message hidden in symbolism can help align our personality with our many levels of consciousness known as our Higher Self or Soul. Dreams allow us to communicate between our conscious and unconscious selves using symbols. This process can happen through the inner contemplation of the symbols and images presented to us.

To fully appreciate the power of this communication, we need to be good detectives and have a trust in our own intuition. To get good answers, you must ask the right questions. Here are some basic questions to unearth the message behind your symbolism. Understanding the meaning of individual symbols is merely one step to understanding a whole dream:

Remember: What were the main symbols you remember from your dream?

React: What is your first response to each symbol?

Associate: Do these symbols remind you of any one or any thing in your life?

Intuit: How do you feel about the dream and about each symbol?

Context: What recent events may be affecting you and influencing your dreams?

Carl Jung, a dissident student of Sigmund Freud, was the first to suggest that dream symbols have universal meaning. He believed that the meaning was the same regardless of culture, race, geography, religion or colour. Most experts today concur with Jung. It is also important to understand that in addition to universal meaning, a symbol can also have personal meaning for individuals depending on their background and experience. For example, a person who has been bitten by a dog may have a different personal interpretation of the dog symbol than someone who has not.

Below is a Mini Symbol Dictionary with common symbols and their universal interpretation.

If a particular symbol or dream is causing you concern, consult with a trained professional, such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, counsellor or spiritual counsellor. Don't let the 'little dreams,' those that are merely processing the day to day stuff that has little relevance to your Higher Self, bog you down. Focus on the 'big dreams,' those that bring inspiration and alignment with your Higher Self.

Jeannine from Montreal sent in this dream to be interpreted. She notes: I feel that this dream was sent to me from my mother who is in Spirit.

Dream........I am in a big department store like the Bay. The department store's dining room looks like a hotel's and is scattered throughout the Store. The dining room tables are located in different departments - like one in the dishes, one in socks - they are everywhere. I have a meeting with the staff who serves the meals. The meeting is in a little bar that has an island - very relaxing, chic, but not too loud or aggressive. I explain how they have to provide a good service to the clientele. I explain, 'What you are serving is an edible master piece'. Then I had a sandwich on the table beside me, with a very fancy presentation - no crust, etc. After, I explained how the staff should develop their attitude towards customers. Their attitude towards the customer must be perfect. They must also praise the chef in the kitchen. He's by himself and never has any encouragement. Everyone praised the chef and then went back to their jobs. Three men came to me - they were the owners of the hotel - they were letting me know how pleased they were with the way I trained their staff. They gave me the job to continue to supervise the staff. To me, this job was compatible with other jobs that I was doing - but wasn't my main job.

Analysis.......Your dream would suggest that you are in the business of serving clients and that you regard this as the most important aspect of your business. You offer extensive and personal training to your staff and representatives. Your excitement and enthusiasm, coupled with a well founded knowledge and skill foundation allows you to transfer your values, skill and knowledge to others in a relaxing, creative and growth - promoting venue. You extend the boundaries of current thinking in your career. Although this can initially appear scattered or out of context, you very quickly convince people of the new energy that can be found through new or innovative venues and approaches. The hotel suggests that your current situation is only temporary. The department store suggests that you are currently shopping for and trying out different approaches to find the best for you and your clients. Perhaps the Bay or a similar department store was also a comfort spot for you and your Mom. You can enjoy the beauty and comfort found in 'things', yet you don't have to be burdened with purchasing or owning beautiful 'things.' You are expert at finding spiritual beauty in whatever setting you find yourself. You are still searching for the setting that will ground you the most. Choosing servers to train says that you enjoy training and working with those who will care for others. The essence of this dream affirms that you are a wonderful soul, whose Divine spark has not only been lit, but burns brighter because of its ability to spark the divine in others.

Mini Symbol Dictionary

This short list is meant only as a guide to universal interpretation of a few symbols. Interpreting a dream requires an understanding of your personal interpretation of each symbol, as well as associating the whole dream within the context of your life. We do not have space to cover all aspects of symbolism in this article, however, the symbolism in colour and in religious symbols is important. In future columns, we will explore both the universal symbolism in colour and of religious symbols.

Abandoned: represents severance from someone, some thing or an issue; to be without restraint, a sense of or a need for freedom.

Accident: the unexpected can be expected; you may have anxiety about the unknown; it may be a warning about the consequences of carelessness.

Altar: usually has a spiritual or religious implication, such as a heart and soul commitment to an intent or goal; a communion of earthly and spiritual concerns and/or of like-minded is needed or about to happen; you may have or need a place of protection and refuge.

Arch: indication that you are moving to a new stage or level of awareness; doors are opening for new learning or for new responsibilities.

Attack: if you are being attacked, there may be a fear or real threat in your life that you have to deal with; if you are the attacker, it may be a message that you need to seek calmer and less aggressive ways to express yourself.

Balcony: either we are seeking a higher understanding or a higher status, or we are affirming our wisdom in a particular situation.

Balloon: the message is that you can find joy amidst your stress and challenges that will bring out an awareness of your spiritual nature; a feeling of 'light spiritedness' is needed in a situation.

Barefoot: humility is required, approaching something through faith

Bell: bells tolling can be a warning of a pending hardship or death; it can also be a sign of our need to seek approval; a call to prayer and to follow the divine or spiritual path; bells can also ward off misfortune.

Birth: as we slough off the old, we start a new beginning; we have a fresh, new outlook and perception on things; the symbol of birth is telling us to extend our current boundaries of perception to let in the light of the new.

Burial: a need for us to come to terms with the loss of something we value; the need to leave something behind

Candle: a need to clarify that which there is confusion about; a transition; a sign that you are using fortitude and strength in dealing with a current challenge; you are affirming that you do have knowledge and wisdom that will shed light on an issue; the candle is illumination, that spark of inner, divine wisdom, the symbol of the Soul - take note of how strong and bright it burns.

Death: an awareness of a transition to a more spiritually aware plane; as in birth, it symbolizes the sloughing off of the old, to allow for a new beginning; heralds a major change, perhaps of a personal nature or of a rite of passage (such as puberty to adulthood); death represents the birth of new coping strategies in dealing with challenges allowing us to adjust our perception and therefore our approach; this is a symbol that you will find the courage to do so.

Dog: as humankind's first domesticated animal, the dog represents fidelity, loyalty and protection; in a dream, the dog can symbolize the need for this or affirm that you or a significant other have these traits; unconditional love, affection and mutual respect and value.

Falling: a sign that you need to be grounded; you may have a feeling of not being in control or your life; you need to retake your personal power in respect to a specific situation; stepping into the void

Flying: flying implies that you fell unencumbered with what others think and that you are devoted to following your spiritual path; you may also be feeling proud of a recent success.

Gift: a gift symbolizes our creativity and our inherent talents; something is being offered to us; a hidden opportunity

Home: the home symbolizes shelter, warmth and nourishment; a return to our roots - a need to balance our roots; a home needs to be a sanctuary where you feel free to be you; a house can also represent different parts of being human - the roof, our consciousness - the outside, our outer self or public facade - the kitchen, a place of transformation - the basement, our unconscious drives and instincts.

Horse: just as we can tame and keep the majesty and beauty in a horse, we can also take heed that we can do the same with our instincts, passions, impatience, judgements and criticisms - we can transform these into wise discernment, bringing out in us a strength of character and compassionate action.

Hospital: symbolizes a need for respite and healing; take heed and begin a healing process, re-evaluating your motives and intentions.

Killing: an extreme solution to a challenge - it indicates our attempt to rid ourselves of an external power over us; you are put on notice that you must find a way to take back you personal power, a call to action

Mask: symbolizes your outer facade or public self; in a dream this is a sign that you should reassess your public masks to see if it is still serving you, and then reshape it so it does serve you; this is a sign that your ego is now strong enough to have your public self more aligned with your Higher Self.

Rain: a releasing of emotions; an emotional cleansing.

Rainbow: a connection to the heavenly world and spiritual awareness; a sign of hope, completeness.

Wedding/Marriage: usually a symbol of a union within you; perhaps two separate ideas are coming together or perhaps your Higher Self is integrating more with your personality; your life's purpose is becoming clearer to you. You may be embarking on a new vocation.

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