Dream Signs for Decoding Symbols in Your Dreams for Deeper Meaning and Unlocking the Mysteries.
The paintings in this article were created by myself during the year of Covid Lockdown. Each has a very dream like quality, as do the quotes that are associated with two of them. Join me on a transformative journey.
Dive into the world of symbols through signs in Dreams as I share my experiences and insights.
“If light were not beginning
again in the east, I would not now
wake and walk out inside this dawn.”
-Rumi - Wake and Walk Out 2004O
Dream Signs for Decoding Symbols - How I Came to Know That Symbols are Always Personal
As a young art teacher, 24 years old, I embarked on a profound journey of discovering the true essence and validity of finding meaning in symbols, in art, and later in dreams. I began to uncover the significance of their impact on our understanding of the human experience.
I was in a small, country town in the Province of Alberta, Canada, lacking easy access to museums and galleries. I creatively utilized Fine Art Prints, displayed on bulletin boards, to teach Art History.
One pivotal moment forever changed my perspective. I wanted to introduce my high school students to the dreamlike works of Salvador Dali, I presented a striking print of "The Persistence of Time" (1931). Instead of providing a preconceived interpretation, I chose to ask my students a simple question: "What do you see in the painting?"
What followed were moments of revelation. We listened to first one, then another, and another of the students. Openly and candidly, they each talked about different Images and symbols within the painting. It dawned on me that the only experience each could have with that painting was within their own person, in their own minds and hearts. They spoke about how the painting made them feel, and why, and how they had seen something like this or that symbol - in their own life.
How This Led me into Dream Symbols and Their Messages
This transformative encounter between student and art inspired me to delve further into the realm of symbols and their meaning. It led me to embrace Jung's influential book, "Man and His Symbols," and eventually paved the way for my exploration of dreams. Finally, the truth I discovered from my own experiences and the stories my students shared about each print was undeniable. Symbols hold profound, personal significance in shaping our perception of the world.
Much has been written about Signs, Symbols and Dreams. Carl Jung followed, and many say even surpassed (I tend to be biased, as a Jungian scholar, in favor of Jung myself) Freud’s work with Dreams in Psychoanalytic settings. I will only add a few words of caution about using dreams at the bottom of this article.
"Eve's Owl" Drawing by Marilyn Wells, Oil Pastel on Black Paper, 9"x 11"
What Are Signs - Dream Signs for Decoding Symbols
Later, again as a young art teacher, I was led to study what is the difference between a regular Sign, which is common and pretty straightforward, and Symbols, which abound in Art. As artists and art teachers, we want to make use of and be familiar with this distinction, as part of the language of the imagery of art making.
Signs are what you learn as a child. The Stop Sign. The No Crossing Sign. You also learn them when you study for your Driver’s License. A turn, a Railroad Crossing Sign.
They are guides, pointers to keep you on track going the right way down the road and in your travels. Check this link on driving in Saskatchewan for clear examples. Red is Stop or Prohibition, as is the Red Octagonal Stop Sign. White is Regulatory, and so forth. Even though they are abstract, they are still very linear and basic logic - data informative.
So, when I say, “Find Your Signs to Hope, Peace and Joy”, I am really asking you to look for guides that point you to or show you Symbols. Symbols, wherein you may begin to discover something of Meaning in your life. Symbols have a much deeper basis in Meaning.
We are meaning-makers in our lives, or we perish. Remember Victor Frankl’s book, “Man’s Search for Meaning”? Frankl was a psychiatrist who founded logotherapy, a school of psychotherapy that describes a search for ones life meaning as the central human motivational force.
(“This is a book I reread a lot . . . it gives me hope . . . it gives me a sense of strength.”
—Anderson Cooper, Anderson Cooper 360/CNN)
What Are Symbols - Dream Signs for Decoding Symbols
There is ocean in me
Swaying, swaying, O, so deep
Old ocean within a woman.
- D. H. Lawrence - 2108O
A Definition of Symbols
Something may strike you as meaning more than the literal description of the object, item, thought. Something that has personal meaning for you and moves you in your heart and soul - call that a symbol.
A bird may just be a bird flying by. Or it may evoke in you memories of childhood, the soaring moment of success you are experiencing. Or it may be about beauty in you life encapsulated in the iridescence of its wing and feather colors. This may move you to pause and reflect upon that meaning in your own life at that time. Now the bird has become a symbol for you.
"Defining Symbol" — A symbol is a person, place, action, word, or thing that (by association, resemblance, or convention) represents something other than itself ... “
Some Dream Stories I Have Heard Recently
These are real-life Dream Stories that follow.
My recent dream of "The Naked Golden Boy"
In a wondrous dream, I found myself immersed in a grand auditorium. Its vastness echoed with anticipation from where I was seated in an upper level. As I gazed upon the stage, a remarkable sight unfolded before my eyes.
I dreamed of a tall, young boy who was totally golden, from his curly top hair down to his toes, glistening gold. He gracefully roamed the stage, then the audience spaces, cradling a mysterious object resembling a staff. A companion silently trailed behind, their purpose shrouded in enigma.
From my elevated perch, I observed the boy's captivating presence as he curiously approached me. Time and again, he returned to my side, his golden aura pulsating with familiarity. With an air of profound connection, he imparted whispered secrets, sharing glimpses into hidden realms of wisdom and enchantment. Each encounter left an indelible mark upon my soul, as the boy's ethereal essence intertwined with my own.
This extraordinary dream awakened a profound realization within me. It stirred the dormant playful spirit that resided within me, igniting a sense of boundless joy and anticipation. Most important, I knew deep within that this extraordinary encounter heralded a chapter of abundant blessings and unexpected fortune. Such a dream, so vivid and extraordinary, had never graced my slumber before, leaving me brimming with excitement for the wonders that lay ahead.
At length, this made me think of the playful side of myself, which I have too seldom indulged in during my life of work and study. I need to indulge it more! I’d never had such a colorful, playful, mythic-like dream as this before.
A Dream of My Friend Long Ago
Linda stood at a critical juncture in her life, contemplating the prospect of marrying a persistent suitor. Haunted by past encounters that had concluded in heartache, she grappled with the weight of her decision. In the depths of her slumber, a dream unfurled, revealing her suitor in a new light. He transformed into a skilled carpenter, crafting beautiful cabinets and cupboards to house her cherished collection of cups and saucers. Together, they built her dream house, nurturing their shared vision.
Interpreting the dream as a call to action, Linda recognized that she held the power to shape her own destiny. She pondered whether this man, from her childhood years, deserved her commitment once more. Trusting the message conveyed in her dream, she took a leap of faith and married him.
As time unfolded, Linda's decision proved to be a fortunate one. Nearly two decades later, she continues to share her life with this man who rekindled their connection. Their union, while not without challenges, has brought them a sense of contentment and happiness.
And so, the dream that guided Linda's path continues to resonate, reminding her that sometimes, amidst the uncertainty of love, dreams hold the key to discovering a lasting and fulfilling partnership.
Another Friend - Another Dream and Its Telling in Symbols as Signs
My Friend R had this dream she told me about just a week ago.
"I was dreaming about Elon Musk. He had a yellow Afro with bunny ears carved into the style. He just completed body modification surgery to remove his nipples."
Then she saw a movie (in real time) where an actor in Apple's "High Desert" had his left nipple cut off by a woman seeking revenge. There was no way to reattach it, so the skin was sewn up.
A single dream initially caught her attention, but it was the synchronicity of encountering a movie on a related topic that truly captured her interest. For her, these experiences symbolized the importance of reclaiming some of her masculine strengths. Being a strongly right-brained and feminine individual, she sometimes feels disconnected from her grounding.
The humorous portrayal of Elon, with clown-like appearance and yellow hair, served as a reminder for her to find humor in life and not take herself too seriously. It also highlighted the need to playfully engage with her masculine side, which she had previously perceived as rigid. The non-binary dream body of Elon, devoid of nipples, represented her journey of no longer giving away vital energy or nurturing others excessively. The removal of the left nipple symbolized her need to let go of certain feminine aspects and seek balance within herself.
The meaning may change over time, but this Dream was very telling for R, last week, and she was reminded to live and work in the present. This is good work with Dream Signs for Decoding Symbols.
Predictive Dreams - Their Symbols as Signs
Just before the Covid pandemic, one of my daughters had a significant dream emphasizing the importance of consuming large doses of Vitamin C. In our family, inspired by Linus Pauling's teachings on its benefits since the 1970s, I have been a strong advocate of Vitamin C and have regularly incorporated it into our lives. As a result, she often wonders if this Dream was telling her to be prepared for something of unbelievable proportions.
A Typical Predictive Dream - Sad but True - In My Own Life
While I rarely have prophetic dreams, there is one that remains etched in my memory. Years ago, I dreamt of a devastating incident involving an airliner exploding in the sky above Europe and the Atlantic Ocean. To my astonishment, within two days of the dream, Pan Am flight 103, also known as the Lockerbie bombing, tragically unfolded on December 21, 1988, over Scotland, claiming the lives of all 259 passengers aboard and 11 individuals on the ground. This shocking event left an indelible mark on our collective consciousness. Many others also reported having similar premonitory dreams during that time.
Dream Signs for Decoding Symbols and Messages - A Few Brief Tips About Working With Your Dreams
Consider engaging in dream work with a trained therapist, particularly one well-versed in Dreamwork, such as a Jungian practitioner, for valuable insights. At the very least, work with a friend, someone who is more objective than you can be alone.
Avoid relying on Dream Dictionaries and instead focus on exploring the symbols within your own psyche, unraveling their significance and learning to work with them to foster hope, peace, and joy.
Capture your dreams promptly upon awakening, as they tend to dissipate within approximately 20 seconds, ensuring you preserve their essence for later analysis and reflection.
Dream Signs for Decoding Symbols - the Feminine Divine
You can tell me your Dreams. I don't do casual Dream work, but instead work within serious 1-1 1/2 hour sessions, to properly honor your dream. Contact me.
Finally, dear Reader, in my next Blog post, I will write about the “Active Imagination”, a phrase coined by Robert Johnson along with Henry Corbin, from Corbin’s work with Sufi traditions and Mursheeds. Jung is said to have favored the use of the “Active Imagination” or the Imaginal over ordinary dream work from sleeping.
Further, if you've missed them, see my Previous Blog Posts for a more Complete Picture of Find Your Signs to Hope, Peace, and Joy.
Yours in Peace,