The first and most important rule of dream interpretation is to always remember that symbols may have different personal meanings for different individuals. As an example, one might dream of a horse. If, as a youngster, one had a horse and it was one of one's fondest childhood experiences, then dreaming of a horse could symbolize something far different than for someone who rode a horse only once in his life, was thrown badly and broke his collarbone.
The importance of a dream is usually in direct proportion to the impression it makes on the dreamer.
Dreams that generally have little or no prophetic value are those that:
Occur during the first few hours of sleep;
Concern a person or event recently spoken of;
Result from external stimuli, such as a book just read or a film or television show just watched;
Result from illness, especially if medication is taken.
According to Ibn Sirin, one of the first writers on dreams, if one wishes to have a prophetic dream then, "The sleeper, lying on the right side, will have abstained from all excess of food or of drink. He will have gone to sleep with a light heart, an easy conscience."
Rule of opposites: there is a well-recognized rule of opposites in dreams; thus, dreaming of death often means a rebirth of some sort, such as marriage or the start of a new career. This same rule is operative in interpretation of the Tarot, and in many other symbol-systems as well. One explanation of this phenomenon is that the subconscious does not deal with opposites in the same manner as the conscious mind. Thus, "heads" is not the opposite of "tails;" either is related to the other, or so can be used to call to mind the other. As a side note, there is mention of this need to "twist round" what happens in a dream to get at its meaning in an obscure song called My Dream Blues, which was recorded by "Black Bottom" McPhail in the 1930's.
Dream Dictionary - Key to Dreams
Angel - protection.
Barrel - if full, prosperity. If empty, tightness of money.
Bear - a friend who is awkward will help you, if you are kind to him (her).
Bees - successful work.
Birds - if flying high, good luck. If flying low, bad luck. If singing, success.
Boat - a fortunate journey.
Book - sought-after wisdom is within reach.
Bread - material well-being.
Bridge - if crossed, a happy solution to a problem.
Cabin - Comfortable retirement.
Calendar - timeless.
Chair - a change in employment.
Cheese - gain, profit.
Cigar - comfort, reflection, prosperity.
Crab - separation.
Desk - if one is working at a desk, it means one should spend more time outdoors. If the desk is empty, it means a change in jobs.
Duck - someone acting anonymously.
Eggs - abundance.
Fishes - on the surface of the water, abundance and wealth. At the bottom, danger. Fishes can also indicate fertility or pregnancy.
Flag - change, success.
Fruit - abundance.
Gambling - good, if one loses. Bad, if one wins. (see Rule of Opposites, above).
Glass - if broken, success. If empty, distress.
Goat - inconstancy in a relationship or job.
Grasshopper - loss.
Guitar - declaration of love.
Gun - deceptive gain.
Hermit - need to bring quietness into one's life.
House - home life, often future home life. If one dreams of a home with a light inside or smoke rising from a chimney, it means one is unlikely to live alone. An empty house denotes living in solitude.
Key - opportunity for gaining wisdom.
Kiss - betrayal or self-betrayal.
Lamp - be prudent.
Mirror - betrayal.
Monkey - someone near is not to be trusted.
Mushrooms - long life, protection.
Mustard - problems anew.
Owl - don't start anything new on next day.
Palace - sorrow caused by pride.
Pen - a new offer or proposal.
Playing Card - good luck through associates.
Prison - if entering, oppression. If leaving or escaping, recovery from depression.
Rabbit - if white or grey, friendship, partnership, success. If black, lies and reverses.
Reptile - slander, betrayal.
Ring - reconciliation.
Scissors - quarrels.
Snake - someone has a grudge against you.
Spider - you will be undergoing a positive period of spiritual development in the near future.
Stapler - becoming attached to someone of questionable integrity.
Swan - great success.
Tarot Card - mysterious occurrence awaits.
Telephone - bad news awaits. Bad luck, especially financial bad luck due to speculation.
Tower - A sweeping change must be endured.
Trees - if a path through a forest, one will soon find one's purpose in life. If downed trees, success. If trees bare of leaves, a new beginning. If full trees, danger from complacency.
Umbrella - lasting friendship, security.
Volcano - adventure, passion.
Water - if flowing water, such as a river or stream, increased romance. If water is murky, one is unsure of one's own feelings. If fish in the water, abundance and creativity.
Weapons - be on guard.
Whiskey - a happy and active life.
Wine - a happy old age.
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