Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dream On

Dreams are a strange phenomenon, but I've always found them fascinating. It seems like often our subconscious tries to solve our problems by working through them in our dreams--unfortunately this often results in nightmares. 

It's fun to dissect dreams and try and understand them. Whenever someone tells me what they dreamed about, I try to break it down and see how it applies to their life. 

When I was younger, I had this little dream book that gave vague descriptions of what symbols in dreams meant. Dreaming about a key meant you were feeling successful in life, a ladder meant you were trying to achieve something important, and a snake was symbolic of your fears. That was probably when I first became enthralled with dream interpretation. 

While some dreams may mean nothing, others can be a window into our relationships, thoughts, fears, and  desires. 

Writing about character's dreams is important because it shows an in depth, unique view of who they are. We might find out about fears we didn't know that character had. We can go into their head and learn things about the character that they might know themselves. Or sometimes their dreams will be a warning from their subconscious. 

Julia, my character from The Shapeshifter's Secret, often suffers from nightmares. Some of her dreams are simply based upon thoughts weighing on her conscious, while others are a lot deeper and are symbolic of her life.

On Dreammoods.com I found a great dictionary for dream meanings. Here are some common themes in dreams and what they might mean: 

To see a spider in your dream indicates that you are feeling like an outsider in some situation. Or perhaps you want to keep your distance and stay away from an alluring and tempting situation. The spider is also symbolic of feminine power or an overbearing mother figure in your life. Alternatively, a spider refers to a powerful force protecting you against your self-destructive behavior. If you kill a spider in your dream, then it symbolizes misfortune and bad luck.

To dream that you fall and are not frightened signifies that you will overcome your adversities with ease.
To dream that you fall and are frightened indicates a lack of control, insecurity, and/or lack of support in your waking life. You may be experiencing some major struggle and/or overwhelming problem. It may also imply that you have failed to achieve a goal that you have set forth for yourself.
To dream that you are free-falling through water indicates that you are feeling overwhelmed with emotions. You may feel that it is easier to give up, then to try to stay afloat or prevent yourself from going under.

To see a house in your dream represents your own soul and self. Specific rooms in the house indicate a specific aspect of your psyche. In general, the attic represents your intellect, the basement represents the subconscious, etc. If the house is empty, then it indicates feelings of insecurity. If the house is shifting, then it suggests that you are going through some personal changes and changing your belief system. To dream that a house has no walls represents a lack of privacy. You feel that everyone is looking over your shoulder or up in your business. If you live with others in your walking life, but dream that you are living alone suggests that you need to take new steps toward independence. You need to accept responsibilities and be more self-reliant. If you are locked out of the house, then it represents rejection and insecurity. You feel you are being left behind.

To see an abandoned house in your dream implies that you have left behind your past. You are ready to move forward toward the future. To see an old, run-down house in your dream represents your old beliefs, attitudes and how you used to think or feel. A situation in your current life may be bringing about those same old attitudes and feelings. 

To dream that you are inside a stranger's house indicates that there is something that you have yet to discover about yourself. It may mean that there are repressed memories, fears or emotions that you are not confronting.

Pretty interesting, huh? 

How do you feel about reading or writing character's dreams? Do you ever try to interpret your own dreams? 

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