DREAM LANGUAGE: HOW TO FIND THE MEANING (WITH EXAMPLES) - Inner Beyonds (2024)

DREAM LANGUAGE: HOW TO FIND THE MEANING (WITH EXAMPLES) - Inner Beyonds (1)

Like clouds in the sky, dreams are elusive and fragile. Often we wake with a memory of a dream without understanding its context. It’s like knowing the answer but not given the question. However, the more we ponder upon dreams, the more we may discover symbols and patterns. If A dream appears to hold its own cryptic language, how do we begin to understand the dream language?

Carl Jung, founder of analytical psychology, theorized that dreams are like text in a different language. Perhaps, with a new way of approaching our dreams, we can better understand its underlying meaning.

How to start unravelling the meaning behind dream language:

To sail with the language of dreams, the right attitude can direct our coarse to further horizons. Dream interpretation challenges us to carry the capacity for uncertainties and doubt. We develop an investigative and open mind as we chase the mystery behind any dream.

Like poetry, dreams are abstract and add layers of depth to its use of language. Poetry is full of creative wordplay that make use of rhythm, imagery and feeling tones. Poetry and dreams both have the power to convey abstract emotion.

Sigmund Freud, founder of psychoanalysis , discovered that without desire – we cannot dream. A connection appears to exist between the emotional language of poetry and the flow of dreams.

There exists an intrigue to read between and beyond the lines. Here are some of many poetic ways dreams may express itself:

DREAM LANGUAGE: HOW TO FIND THE MEANING (WITH EXAMPLES) - Inner Beyonds (2)

1. Exaggeration:

A dream is often the stage for the imagination to perform. At times, visual exaggeration is a way for a dream to emphasize meaning. Dreams of monsters, candy castles or slow motion running are just a few examples of exaggerations to possibly illustrate a point.

When I was little, I used to be afraid of escalators. So every time I dreamed of going up an escalator, I saw the escalator stretch out like a roller-coaster ride.

In the dream, the elongated escalator would rise higher and bend into a roller-coaster loop. While holding onto the banister of the twisting escalator, I could feel my feet dangling in mid-air while the escalator continued to twist and turn into the sky. It seemed that this fear of escalators often manifested in my dreams as an exaggerated steep and dangerous escalator. Perhaps the apparent exaggeration in the dream was also a way to mock my fear of something so harmless.

DREAM LANGUAGE: HOW TO FIND THE MEANING (WITH EXAMPLES) - Inner Beyonds (3)

2. Expressions:

Many of us have experienced dreams of falling and felt the adrenaline rush racing through our senses. This tells us that dreams can master further depth with use of literal and figurative expressions.

A fall in a dream could reflect an actual physical stumble to the ground and/or a fear of failure, among many other things – depending on the context of the dream. The word “fall” ,for example , may associate with affectionate expressions such as “ falling in love someone.” Conversely, It may be used negatively such as “I fell for a trick” or “I am failing in this decision” – to illustrate a weakness.

DREAM LANGUAGE: HOW TO FIND THE MEANING (WITH EXAMPLES) - Inner Beyonds (4)

3. Distraction:

Dreams may make use of distracting imagery to lure our attention away from something else in the dream. Splashes of swirling colours, obscene to embarrassing dream scenes are all examples of possible distractions.

Dreams have the ability to mask a guilty conscious, blur secret thoughts or repressed memories behind confusing imagery. Freud compares dreams to a crime scene that leaves the dreamer with the role of a detective.

One dreamer wrote to me and shared a very vivid dream that bedazzled her up for days. In the dream, her dog squatted down in front of her and began to lay an egg . The melon-sized egg popped out, rolled to the ground and glowed. The glowing egg began to split into two eggs that split into more eggs until the entire lawn was covered in glowing eggs. She saw her brother in the far distance sitting on a swing with his back to her. The image of her little brother was very distant and faint. She hardly noticed him as the glowing eggs began to multiply and fill the entire scene of the dream.

About a week after her dream, she discovered that she had forgotten her brother’s birthday that past by a month ago. Upon realizing this, it explained why he was ignoring her for a little while. In her dream, it is possible that the dream used a distracting image of glowing eggs to draw attention away from the vision of her upset brother. She theorized that the distracting images of glowing eggs may also symbolize repression of her guilt for not paying enough attention to family.

In this example, it seems dreams may use distraction as a subtle way of hinting at something we chose to ignore. Other ways dreams may conceal subtle hints, include unclear words, sudden switches from one dream scene to another, and blank dream moments. Something may be hidden through censorship.

DREAM LANGUAGE: HOW TO FIND THE MEANING (WITH EXAMPLES) - Inner Beyonds (5)

4. Metaphors:

This happens when a direct comparison is made between two different objects that have something in common. Some metaphors used as expressions are, “she’s a leech,” “he is pig,” or “love is blind.” Once again, the dream may conceal meaning behind a raw image of a metaphor.

One dreamer shared a dream about her family cat portrayed as an actual person dressed in a lion costume. She found the dream very humorous as she does accept the cat as part of their human family.

5. Root words:

Instead of referring to a dream dictionary, it may help to consult a real dictionary that may further explain the origins and historical root meaning of the word(s) related to a dream image. For example, the word “money” is derived from the Latin word “moneta” which originally means “warning.”

A dreamer once told me a story about his grandfather who couldn’t find the key to a compartment in his attic. As a result, the grandfather was very troubled by this and often had difficulty sleeping. The grandfather further complained about two dreams he had in which he found this key.

The dreamer asked his grandfather to describe the dream. It turned out the grandfather had 2 dreams of finding his key at the public library. Eventually, it was the grandmother who discovered the key under a pile of rocks beside their garden tree.

The dreamer was interested in the connection between the dream image of the library with the actual tree where the key was finally found. Interesting enough if we look up the root meaning of “library”, we discover that it’s derived from the Latin word “liber” which means “to peel.” This refers to the inner bark of a tree as early manuscripts were written on this tree bark. It appears that there was some connection between the dream and real life as the originating meaning of the word “library” may be associated with the actual tree.

Investigating deeper into the words may help brainstorm associated historical or alternative meanings that may have more relevance to our dream analysis. After all, dreams may communicate in very unusual ways.


6. Oxymorons:

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This is a combination of two contrasting words or concepts to collectively convey an complex meaning. Common oxymorons are “love-hate relationship,” “a fine mess” or “a just war.”

As an example, once I dreamed of fire burning against calm waters. To me this reflected an oxymoron that may symbolized an attitude to keep peaceful against burning chaos. This seemed relevant as the dream occurred during a chaotic period of my life and the only solution was to remain calm and composed.

8. Repetition:

Sometimes, we may dream a lot about certain people or places. Many dreamers share their experiences of often dreaming about an ex , old school friend or someone who passed away. The experience of déjà vu – or having experienced something before is also another common theme.

Sometimes dream repetition occurs through recurring nightmares or dream characters. Repetition may serve as a dream’s way of trying to tell you something new about something old. As dreams are greatly responsive to our feelings and thoughts, a shift towards this awareness may help discover a lesson that breaks the cycle of dreams on repeat.

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As an example, I used to still dream about my ex even though I had moved on happily with my life. Years later, I still continued to experience dreams of my ex. Ten years later, I had one dream of my ex that really stood out amongst the rest – I had an entire conversation with him and we caught up on life. This was the first dream that felt most peaceful. In other dreams, there were a lot of confusion and messy flashes of random scenes. Personally, this opened my eyes to how long it took me to emotionally heal to the best of my ability – and, that though I outgrew the past, it was still okay to miss the memories and wish him peace.

Without desire, we cannot dream – this has been scientifically proven. As dreams respond to the patterns of our thoughts, fears and desires – we have a chance to redefine ourselves in a new and greater way.

-By Nikita King

For examples on dream interpretation, check out these posts:

Dreams about Escalators (How to interpret the Meaning)

Dreams about a black dog (How to interpret the Meaning)

DREAM LANGUAGE: HOW TO FIND THE MEANING (WITH EXAMPLES) - Inner Beyonds (2024)
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