Dream Interpretation – the wrong and the right way to do it

Ever since the beginning of time, dreams have been very important to people, and there were always those who were skilled in their interpretation. They didn’t know more about the dreams than the actual person having the dream. They were just more social, talkative, and had more understanding about the human psyche. Sure, there were always those trying to make money off of it too, but I have no problem with that. It’s the law of demand, and everyone chooses what to spend their money on. Just like people buy bread because they don’t know or don’t want (for any reason) to make their own, people paid (and still do) for dream interpretation. An easier and cheaper way in the long term is to buy a dream book that explains the symbols, and so many of them have been written. A completely free way is to consult one of the many online sites with dream symbols. Or…. you can actually do the work yourself.

“A dream uninterpreted is like a letter unopened.”

Ancient proverb

Not all people dream in the same way. Some may dream in symbolism, some may speak to Spirit, and some are focused on intuition. What we feed our subconscious during the day will lead the way in dreams. Your mind isn’t dormant and inactive while you sleep, and the messages you receive in that state, when interpreted correctly, can help you understand yourself, clarify your purpose, discover ideas, resolve fears, and reduce stress in your daily life. Whether you think your dreams come from the greater source or from your subconscious, they are the greatest guidance you could receive. Oh, and spoiler alert, since the source is part of you, giving it a label of the subconscious, inner source, soul, or any other word doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that dream interpretation has been a valid part of psychoanalysis for a long time now.

When it comes to science, the latest research concludes how dreaming is an ancient biological defense mechanism of repeatedly simulating potential threatening events. This enhances the neurocognitive mechanisms required for efficient threat perception and avoidance. The latest MRI techniques show us how dreams are connected with the amygdala and hippocampus and that the neurophysiological mechanisms employed while dreaming and remembering the dreams are the same as when we construct and retrieve memories while we are in the awake state.

“The dream is the liberation of the spirit from the pressure of external nature, a detachment of the soul from the fetters of matter.”

― Sigmund Freud

Remembering your dreams

There are people who rarely remember their dreams and those who have a vivid memory of them on a daily or weekly basis. It depends on what time you go to sleep and when you wake up. There is a much higher chance of you remembering a dream if you wake up during or immediately after the REM phase. Since sleep cycles have four parts and only one of those parts is REM, there is a higher chance of awakening in the first three of them than in REM. Let’s look at what happens in each cycle of sleep.

StageTypeLengthWhat happens
1NREM01-05 minutes dozing off,  light changes in brain activity, easy to wake up, the stage shortens with next cycles, alpha waves (8–13Hz)
2NREM10-60 minutesa drop in temperature, muscles relax, breathing and heart rate slows down, brain activity slows with short bursts of activity, the stage becomes longer with next cycles and makes about 50% of sleep, theta waves (4–7 Hz)
3NREM20-40 minutesdeep sleep, muscle tone, pulse, and breathing rate decrease even more, harder to wake up, critical for restorative sleep, the stage becomes shorter with next cycles, delta waves (less than 3 Hz)
4REM10-60 minuteshigh brain activity, rapid eye movement, a body experiences atonia – a temporary paralysis of the muscles with only eyes and the muscles that control breathing active, essential for healthy cognitive functions, vivid dreams, stage gets longer with next cycles, a combination of beta waves (13-30 Hz) and gamma waves (30-80 Hz)

Dreams can occur in any state, but rarely and less intense than in REM. An average first occurrence of the REM stage comes after you’ve been sleeping for about 90 minutes. Once you go through stages 1, 2, 3, and 4, stage 1 starts again and the next cycle begins. Sleep stages are affected by many things, and they change as we grow older. The older you are, the less time you will spend in REM, but don’t worry. That just means you won’t be in REM 50% of your sleep as you were up to the age of five. Alcohol, sleep disorders, and sleep hygiene (sleep environment and sleep habits) play a huge role in the quality of your sleep.

To assure a healthy sleep and a meaningful dream, avoid drinking alcohol and watching TV before going to sleep, wear comfortable clothes, have enough oxygen in the room, and sleep on a comfortable bed and pillow.

If you want to make sure you remember your dream and that your dream wasn’t just a result of the last movie you watched for the previous two hours, avoid TV and try to wake up during or just after your REM stage. This could take some practice and a trial and error approach with the help of an alarm clock if you want to force it, but I recommend just relaxing and planning your sleep with gentle moderation. Having your alarm clock go off in the middle of the night is not something I encourage. But hey, you do you.

Surprise! You are unique

As I’ve already mentioned, there have been many books written on the subject of dream symbols, and almost every psychologist in history (including Jung and Freud, of course) have at one or more times dabbled with their meanings. None of that could have anything to do with you, and on the other hand, it could all be perfectly true for you. Why? Because humans are not robots. One symbol can mean something to me, but it can mean something completely different to you. That is why you should be extra careful when reading about dream symbols. Humanity is rich in different cultures, and it is impossible that symbols work the same across the globe. Just think about how different Chinese and Japanese cultures are even though they are geographically close. Now imagine how different a Finnish culture is from Spanish. Do you think the symbolism in Indian culture is the same as in Italian?

But what about the global consciousness

Ah, yes. The global consciousness, Divine Matrix, Akashic Records, or whichever term you like, what about that? Well, sorry for stating the obvious, but if you understand that, you don’t really need this text, do you? Humor aside, the connection between you and the global consciousness and the number of messages you receive/download/realize from it is a personal thing, and I wouldn’t touch that subject with a long stick even if you begged me. But to put it simply, painfully simply even, the global consciousness communicates with you in the language YOU understand. That means that it will not “send” the same symbol for something missing to a software developer and a farmer. If a farmer had a dream with a 404 number, would he understand what it means? A programmer would understand it, sure, but a farmer?

Remembering your dreams

So if you claim that all dreams come from some higher form of power, even then you must realize how that upper something has a personal relationship with you and gives you only messages that are connected with you and that you can understand. Even then, the online lists of symbols will do you no good, and it could even be seen as insulting to that upper something if you consulted those web pages, wouldn’t it? Imagine if you were listening to a person who was trying to explain something to you, and then you turned away, ignored the person and asked someone else about what the first person was saying. Wouldn’t it be more logical to ask the person who was actually giving you the message?

You are unique. Your subconsciousness is unique, and your relationship with upper something is unique. This means that there isn’t a person on this planet who can tell you what your dream means. You can talk about your dreams and get a perspective from someone else, sure. You can read about what others think, but the final realization, the understanding of it is yours no matter what they say.

Deciphering your dreams

When it comes to understanding your dreams, it is emotion first, logic second. You could have a dream about scissors and be happy in one dream and have them in another dream and be sad about it. Those scissors don’t represent the same thing. So the first thing you need to have in mind is how you felt while dreaming about something and understand that dreams work as symbols. This means that there is no reason for panic if you dreamt about killing someone and felt joy about it. You are not crazy, and you are not a killer in real life. Relax. Killing something or someone is a sign of change, letting go, destroying a part of your life, conquering something, and so on. It is not literal. Dreaming how you are naked in front of everybody isn’t literal either. Ask yourself if you have an event coming up and are scared to embarrass yourself, or if you feel like you are doing something regularly and believing people are making fun of you about it. Nothing is literal, and nothing from dreams translates directly to your life A for A and B for B. You need to decipher it.

Deciphering your dreams

Deciphering your dreams is actually deciphering yourself. And like any other part of your self-discovery journey, it does take some work. After you’ve realized what emotion was in the dream, now you know which way to go when it comes to thinking about the dream and deciphering it. Relax. The surroundings and the way you are dealing with deciphering is your own too. You may go for a walk and think about it, write it in your journal, meditate, or just drink a cup of coffee and stare at a white dot on a white wall. Whatever works for you is the best approach. Think about what something might represent, what it’s connected to, what it can be a symbol of, and don’t limit yourself. Scissors can take you to think about cutting something, but what kind are they? Are they made of metal, and could they mean something firm and sharp in nature?

Even something stupid or weird has its meaning. I once dreamt of giving my friend a bunch of blue dogs. There are no blue dogs in the world. Just because something doesn’t make sense to you when you are awake doesn’t mean it was not completely natural in a dream. It is not about how you feel about it now. It is about how you felt about it in a dream. Again, know the emotion from the dream, and then use the logic and deciphering while you are awake. On another occasion, I dreamt about strangling a woman until her head rolled from her body. In the dream, the woman was trying to kill a lot of people and hurt them, so I was trying to stop her. First I was brave and willing to make a change, but I felt remorse and fear once I killed her because I saw how sad her family was and how eager to revenge her. After some deciphering, it came down to me wanting to make a certain change in my life and let go of something that was holding me down, but I still had doubts and fears of what would happen if it was the wrong decision.

When you start to decipher your dream, it will feel like going down a rabbit hole. That is normal. You never know what kind of realization you will come to from even the simplest or craziest of symbols.

Maybe it will take you a minute or two. Maybe it will take you hours. Maybe you will be stuck until a friend nudges you in a certain direction and provides a different perspective. No matter how long it takes, you will know when it hits you, when the epiphany comes, and you finally understand it. And don’t worry if you don’t. That is okay too. There is no reason for stress if you don’t understand what your dream means. Maybe you are just not ready to deal with something.

The wrong and the right way

In conclusion, there is a wrong and a right way to interpret your dreams. The wrong way is to read or listen to someone else and to accept it as truth without any thinking on your part. For example, almost every dream dictionary will say how doves represent strength and tranquility. If you are surrounded with doves in your daily life and they are shitting all over your car, I am pretty sure they don’t represent tranquility to you. They say dreaming of the city Paris brings desired love, romance and connection with the opposite gender. First of all, opposite? Can’t we be gay according to these sites? Secondly, I was once robbed in Paris and left without money and a passport. Paris is definitely not a symbol of love for me.

The right way is to do the work yourself. Realize that you are a unique person that has its own life, thoughts, emotions, psyche, and symbols. You know yourself better than others do, or at least you should. Think about your dreams, study them, and connect the symbols to things in your life. What is your inner you trying to tell your outer you? You already have all the answers you need. You just have to become aware of them. You are a magnificent being, and you got this.

Merry meet, and merry part, and merry meet again my dear pagan soul. Rejoice in life, and life will rejoice in you. May God and Goddess bless you in everything you do and spirit guides follow you wherever you go.

Pagan life, pagan blog, blog o paganizmu

In love and light,


11 thoughts on “Dream Interpretation – the wrong and the right way to do it

  1. Excellent post on dream interpretation. Dreams have always fascinated me. You have written it so well that I was actually glued to reading it. Thanks for sharing information on one of my favorite topics, dream. Most of my dreams are about traveling in a train Or an airplane.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Fantastic content, per usual, my friend! I have always been an intense dreamer. I think the point you make most clear is that we are all unique, and what means something to one will mean nothing to another. Or what means something today meant absolutely nothing yesterday. I wish we could walk through life looking at ever human and situation we face with such a perspective!

    Liked by 2 people

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