But my favorite game is to ask, “If there were a message for me here, what would it be?” With dreams, you have to play right away, or the details will be lost. I’ll often narrate the dream to my cat upon waking, because speaking it helps me remember.
Why I don’t rely on dream books for interpretations
Dream dictionaries seldom help with this game because symbols in dreams are personal. For example, a dream featuring a baby. To an artist, it could represent a new creative project that needs nurturing. To an overworked manager, could represent a time-consuming responsibility. To a hopeful mother, it could represent a promise of pregnancy, and to a grieving mother, regret and loss. Etc.
My murder of crows
Last night, I dreamt of a tree full of crows. The tree stood between me and a place I visited often. As I approached the tree, crows flew toward me. I dropped to the ground and covered my head to protect my face. But the crows flew right on by.
Seems the crows were saying, It’s not about you.
Turning big symbols into personal tools
I should have known the crows weren’t a threat to me. Earlier in the dream, I’d shared coffee and conversation with someone at a table beneath that tree. So why the paranoia? And perhaps the more interesting question, why was “saving face” my primary concern?
(You can see why I’m a fan of narrating dreams and listening to the details I choose. That’s how things like saving face show up, along with other personal symbols unlikely to be in a dream dictionary.)
And connecting the dots
I’m reminded of my real-life crow visitation, about a year and a half ago. I saw that as a call to find magic in everyday things. But I used a book for that interpretation. If it happened today, I might see my food-carrying crow as a prompt to pay attention to juicy opportunities.
Could having dream crows fly past me indicate great opportunities I’ve failed to notice? Perhaps I tend to miss seeing opportunities that don’t mesh with my precious self-image (to bring saving face back into it).
Lots to think about.
You say you don’t remember your dreams?
A couple of things you can do to get better at it:
- Before you turn out the light, set an intention to remember
- Before you get up, spend your muzzy-headed minutes fishing for dream memories
- Anything you get, speak it out loud. Write notes ASAP
- Keep a notepad, pen and small flashlight handy for mid-night captures
Once you’ve nailed one, play the game. Bring friends.
A couple of my friends make great dream sounding boards. They catch things like saving face if I miss them. Maybe you’ve got similarly perceptive friends who can listen to you describe your dream and help you play the “if-it-had-a-message-for-me” game.
Have fun. Dream big.
Photo credit: SqueakyMarmot