Dreams & Interpretations

The interpretation of dreams is an ancient process whose history I may go into at some future time. For now, I'd like merely to introduce myself, and my approach to interpretation.

We are perhaps all aware of the interpretation of the most common types of dreams: when you dream about falling that means you feel alone, when you run in slow motion from something you are feeling stressed, when your teeth fall out you think you've said something you shouldn't have, and when you show up to school or work naked or in your underwear, you're afraid people can see right through you and you have nothing to hide.

These simplistic interpretations are often sufficient. However, they aren't always correct. A friend of mine has dreams of his teeth falling out, but he doesn't feel like he said something he shouldn't have. Instead, he has these dreams because he grinds his teeth in his sleep and is afraid of them falling out.

I also once had a dream in which my teeth fell out, but in my case it was because I had been reading dreams on the Internet and discovered that teeth falling out is one of the more common dreams. I hadn't had this dream before and wanted to experience it, so I would know what it was like.

When you start sending me dreams you've had, my interpretations will likely be short and to the point. The purpose of this forum isn't to dazzle you with my extensive knowledge of dream symbols, but mainly just to read other people's dreams, since I find them interesting. I think most people out there are interested in what other people dream, despite the cliché that "Dreams are only interesting to the person who dreamt them".

Besides, dream symbols aren't all that reliable. You may, for example, have a dream about an owl and look up owl in a dreaming dictionary to find that it means wisdom. But owls can also stand in as symbols for ill omen, night itself, or something mysterious.

If you're afraid of owls, they stand for fear. If there was a cartoon owl you liked as a kid, the owl in your dream could stand for the pleasures of childhood. In fact, an owl showing up in your dream may mean nothing more than you were watching the Discovery channel before you went to sleep.

What an owl means in general, versus what an owl means to you makes all the difference in an interpretation. Some of the better dream dictionaries will acknowledge that what an owl means has everything to do with your personal experience and little to do with cultural themes.

The best person to interpret a dream is the person who dreamt it. A psychologist, when a patient describes a dream, often does no interpretation himself, but rather asks the dreamer what the dream means to her, digging deeper into the details of the dream and continuing to ask questions, until the dreamer comes up with the interpretation herself. I look at this as my primary function here. I won't tell you what your dream means, you'll tell me by answering the various questions I ask about it.

When sending in a dream, be as detailed as possible and explain not only what happened, but how you felt about what happened. For a quick example of how I interpret a dream, I'll describe a dream I had below:

I get out of the Bronco and find myself in the parking lot for the University of Utah's Union building. The building is long and narrow like a hallway with walls around it and the parking lot more closely resembles the one in front of the library. I notice that I am wearing no shoes, or hat, which are equally important to be wearing. I want to drive back home to get them, but then suddenly I don't care what other people in public think of me, so I just go ahead and walk across the parking lot. I can feel the hot pavement and small pebbles on my feet as I'm walking. I go into the Union and everyone looks at me and talks about what a weirdo I look like behind my back. I don't care. I sit down next to my dad, who doesn't recognize me, and I watch TV and read the newspaper.

After awhile, I realize I've spent enough time here, so I go back out to the parking lot. I almost bump into a late middle-aged African American woman, probably a professor, who is a bit over weight and has black spots on her cheeks. [I ran into her in a previous dream in another nearly empty parking lot. I followed her to her car since I didn't know where mine was and she described the encounter to a friend as "the time she almost got mugged."] Knowing that I make her nervous, I don't follow her, my first instinct, and instead go in an entirely different direction.

When I get back to the Bronco, Kid Rock, Joe C, and a group of other people, perhaps the rest of the band, are walking past. I overhear their conversation and learn that they are looking for a car. I pull my keys out, ready to get in the Bronco, but then it pulls away. I see my brothers are in the truck, and that the truck has a different paint job and license plate, so this isn't the one I drove here in. I ask the group if they've seen another Bronco in the parking lot and they say no. I ask if I can help them look for their car and they could help me look for my truck. They say they won't pay me. I say, "I'll just be looking for my Bronco and happen to look in the same places you do."

They're satisfied with this and let me come along with them. I then notice that in addition to wearing no shoes or hat, the front of my shirt is zipped down, revealing most of my chest, and I get embarrassed remembering being at the Union.

We walk around for a while, and then go into a building. I realize I don't know what they're looking for, so I ask them. They say they're looking for a car from the future, which looks newer than the rest of the cars. I look out the window of the building and see many ordinary cars, but the ones that jump out to my eyes are the newest looking ones (there's even some from Test Drive 6 - a video game I played before I went to sleep). Many of the vehicles look new, but I don't know what futurist cars look like, so I don't point any out. They're looking out the window with me anyway.

The room we're in fills with people and Kurt Cobain is on a make shift stage. He says he's going to play a song he's never played before. I mouth the words along with him since I know the song, and Joe C looks at me. I realize the same time he does that I'm the traveler from the future they're looking for.

It's too loud for us to talk in that room, so I motion towards the front of the house. We go to the kitchen. I tell them that I'm the traveler from the future. They want to know what I'm doing here. I didn't even know how I got to the past, let alone any reason for being here, so I just say I'm trying to get back to my own time and they're satisfied with this answer.

Something occurs to me. The song Kurt was singing was rare and I think someone might be recording us. I tell them. One of the guys smiles and reveals a tape recorder, hidden between the counter and refrigerator.

We go back to the back room where Kurt is still playing alone in the corner. I want to sit down. I see an open spot on the couch and sit there. Kurt is on TV and so I watch that, but then I remember that he's in person too, so I turn my head. A skinny bald guy with a tattoo of a green dragon on his shoulder is sitting next to me. He has a child on his lap.

First, I'd like to point out that what a dream means varies from person to person. Who does the dreaming has everything to do with what the dream means. Since I was the one who had this dream, I'm best equipped to interpret it.

Okay, dreams have a lot of crazy stuff in them, and I won't bore you with explaining each and every thing I see here. I'd like to point out that I'm not a Kid Rock fan and he appeared only because I saw him on the Simpson's. There isn't really any significance in him. Celebrities often appear in dreams just because they are familiar faces. However, celebrities can have significance in a dream depending on the dreamer.

For example, Kurt Cobain's appearance seems to have a deeper meaning. I'm not exactly a Nirvana fan, but I do like listening to their songs and have one of their albums. Although he is dead, my clue that I'm in the past isn't that he's alive, but that he's playing a song he hasn't played before and I know the words. Even though the lyrics are nonsense, he seems to be a spiritual guide to the people in the room he's singing to.

Looking for a car in a parking lot is something all of us do from time to time. Common everyday tasks often find their way into dreams. The fact that both my dad and my brothers ignored me might say something about my relationship to my family. The dream doesn't reveal anything about them, but rather how I feel they feel about me. At the time I dreamt this, I probably didn't feel particularly close to my family members.

Also, I look at the setting. I used to go to the University of Utah, so it's a familiar place to me. I am not a student there any more, however, which may explain why I feel slightly embarrassed about my appearance. Since I'm no longer a student, I no longer fit in on campus, and I'd feel awkward being there if I went back.

This dream is rather long and detailed. This is because I've gotten practice at remembering my dreams by writing them down when I wake up in the morning. I'm not always able to do this and usually I only remember small parts of what happened. How much time I spend analyzing the dreams you send in will depend on how much material is there.

So, until next month, I encourage you to write down your dreams when you have a chance and email them in to me. I'll get back to you shortly and start helping you to interpret what you dreamt.

Don't be worried if your dream is too short or too long. And if you already know what your dream means and don't need any help in analysis, go ahead and send it in anyway as we'd be happy to read it. Remember, I plan to emphasize the dream part and downplay the interpretation part.

Have a good night!

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