In dream interpretation only the person who has the dream can interpret it and give it meaning. You can’t just tell someone your dream and they ‘know’ what it means. Besides, if someone can tell you what it means it is just a statement, a string of words. Real dream interpretation is a deep inner understanding of the dream that transcends the words used in interpretation. In that sense, dream interpretation is a ‘revealing’ of oneself on a deep level, not something that can just be stated. Not only that, different symbols can mean different things to different people. As a result, any dream interpretation is individualized. You cannot make a dictionary of dream symbols and their meaning.
In psychoanalysis it is the patient who brings out the material and the psychoanalyst who ‘guides’ the patient to an interpretation. Still, only when the patient accepts it is it interpreted.
I have found, from experience, that its not the images and symbols of the dreams thats important, but passion that motivates the dream. It’s this that must be accessed. There is often a tendency to only look at the symbols and themes of dreams. This is because of their mysterious nature which is what often brings them to our attention.
Usually, by becoming familiar with the passion behind the dream a stream of thoughts, feelings, and images come to me. From these I can see a pattern that slowly reveals its meaning. How this is done is very complicated and mysterious in its nature, as I cannot say how its done exactly. I do know there are some factors that are required such as these:
– Experience. Experience. Experience.
– Knowledge of oneself. The better you know yourself the easier it is to interpret your dreams.
– An ability to be honest with oneself.
– A belief system that patterns how you interpret them. This, I think, is why many people fail at any dream interpretation. You can’t just ‘interpret’ dreams. You need some framework for them to be interpreted.
– The development of what can be called an ‘interpretation style’. This refers to a certain way or style in interpreting dreams. By developing this it makes dream interpretation easier.
– An ability to have insight into yourself and life. It will be hard to interpret dreams if you are not an insightful person. This, I suppose, shows that there is a ‘knack’ to it.
The most difficult aspect of dream interpretation, I think, is associating the symbol, theme, or happening in a dream with its corresponding passion. In many ways, thats where the real intricacy and difficulty of dream interpretation lie – in symbol association. And it is this association that makes dream interpretation so individualized . . . so much so that only the person who has the dream can interpret its meaning.