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Your Dreams

Are you convinced your dreams are trying to tell you something? If you think there's a message hidden in your dreams then Charmaine may be able to help you interpret it. She provides dream analysis for a number of newspapers and magazines and is now helping Aphrodite's readers understand their dreams. You can email Charmaine for help and read her weekly interpretations here. More recent dream interpretations are available here.

Too Much Violence
6 June, 2007
Q. I have tried to look up this topic before, but most times it deals with the individual being violent or violence happening to the individual in the dream.  My problem is a little different.  The violence in my dreams is always very vivid and realistic.  I wake up remembering all the details as though I just lived it.  The difference in my dreams is that the violence is always happening around me, but never to me.  A couple quick examples are:
* An intruder breaking into my house.  They pushed their way into our bedroom, but I woke up just before they stabbed my boyfriend.
* While walking down a street, I witnessed a homeless man being beaten to death.
* An auditorium filled with people being held hostage and one by one people were being randomly killed.
I always wake up feeling disturbed and uneasy.  Falling back to sleep is never easy.  I would love some insight as to why I am having these dreams and how I may prevent them or fix my life to help prevent them. 

A. If the action of a dream is removed from the dreamer, as in your case where you keep only observing violence, it means the message is less relevant to you. For example, if you dream that you see your neighbor run down by a car, whatever meaning the action holds would be about the neighbor and not you. So, that's the good news. But (sorry!) if you keep having violent dreams, that indicates a less than ideal state of mind. They are obviously affecting you because you wake up disturbed. All nightmares reflect fears of some kind so if you really want yours to stop, you will need to identify the source of your fear. From the examples you gave, it seems to me that you're over-anxious about potential danger and problems, like burglars, violence, hostage situations and the like. Try to relax more and worry less.

Sexual Abuse
30 May, 2007
Q. I'm really hoping you can help me. I've had two particular dreams in the last few weeks, where I'm being sexually touched or being told to do something sexually against my will. Both dreams have involved men I know. I've never been in an abusive relationship like this. I am recently dating my first boyfriend of 8 months, and I'm 18. These dreams have really disturbed me; do you think you could help me understand why I'm having these dreams? Thank you.

A. I keep needing to remind enquirers that dreams don't depict life in a literal form. So, your dream of being touched is not trying to indicate either past, present or future experiences. As you are 18 and dating your first boyfriend, I think somewhere inside, you are anxious about your sex life, whether or not you are already sexually active. If you recognize this, I suggest you educate yourself with some reputable material, either books or pamphlets. Also, sex is one of those activities that you get better at with more practice, so worry less and relax more. You'll be fine and the dreams won't recur. 

Haunted By Ex-Wife
23 May, 2007
Q. Just last night I had a dream that I was driving in a car with my boyfriend and we somehow happened upon his ex-wife's old things. Once he looked at them, he told me that he cared for me, but he loved his ex-wife more. He apologized but said that he couldn't get over her. This is quite odd because in reality he tries to not talk or even think of his ex wife; she cheated on him and controlled him. I was just wondering what this could mean.

A. Dreams either reflect real situations or express our fears and anxieties about them. In the case of this dream, I think it's more likely that a part of you wonders if he still has feelings for his ex. When you see a car in your dream, it represents your life. You are traveling along with your guy next to you - that's a good sign in itself. Also, you find his ex's "old things." That says it all, doesn't it? It's pretty clear that your dream is about the past but your fears are in the present so if you want the dream to not recur, let your concerns fade away.

16 May, 2007
Q. I was going out with my boyfriend and I broke up with him because he was too immature. About two weeks later, I had a dream where I was at school and as usual, I went to the bathroom and saw my crush.  I went to tell my friend about it and after that I sat next to my ex and he said something funny, then I laughed and he said, "What are you laughing at?" After that, he asked me to come back to him and then I said, "What?" And he repeated the question. I didn't reply because I woke up. Please help me! I am so confused!

A. It's not the dream that confused you; it's just the normal mix of emotions that breaking up involves. Dreams don't necessarily reflect past, present or future events precisely. They can do, but mostly they're more about our feelings, perceptions and ideas. To me, this dream you had is more about the way you're responding to the end of your relationship. Whether your ex really wants you back or not is not really revealed by these dream events. That's probably why you woke before you gave an answer. If you feel you broke up for a good reason, don't now second-guess yourself or let this dream change your mind.

Deadwood Dreamer
9 May, 2007
Q. I dream I'm playing cards with some other guys. Sometimes it's like a setting right out of a Western, on the wooden saloon tables, in a saloon or some such. Other times, I'm playing with guys from my unit in an army barracks. I'm always losing in this game, and somehow figure I'll bet my girlfriend and win it back. I then lose my girlfriend in the hand, and the situation turns violent, and I end up shooting the man I lost to in order to take my girlfriend back. I have this sort of dream once or twice a month for the last while.

A. What does playing cards and gambling mean in waking life? Risk. So, what do you feel you're risking? In the dream, you bet and lose your girlfriend so that seems to be the vulnerable area for you. To emphasize this, you have the dream regularly which means the anxiety for you in this matter is ongoing. It's also quite intense by the way you actually kill someone! Try to figure out the source of your insecurity and deal with it or the dream will keep coming. This dream could also be a warning that you are too careless in the way you're conducting your life.

Baby Boy
2 May, 2007
Q. Within the past 2 months I have had two people tell me that they had a dream that I had a baby and both said it was a beautiful boy. The first time was kind of surprising, but after hearing it again by a different person, I grew curious as to know what that means. Can you please help me? I'm 20 years old.

A. When a dream message appears more than once, it's quite likely to be an actual forecast, especially if they arrive within a close proximity of time. I'm intrigued though as to why you didn't dream this message yourself but instead it came through other dreamers. Have you ever told them you desire a child? Are you in the position to get pregnant at present? It's certainly nothing to worry about. You'll find out in due course if this dream had a literal meaning!

Falling Pregnant
25 April, 2007
Q. I have this recurring dream where people tell me that I will get pregnant. One time there was an old lady (though I didn't see her face) at the church where I was walking up the center and I stopped to talk to her. She was writing something on a small piece of paper and once she's finished, she said that I will be pregnant soon though I will have 2 miscarriages first. She was hysterically happy about me getting pregnant. Weird dream! Then last night, I woke up feeling so cold that I had to ask my husband for a blanket (take note it was scorching hot here last night) and I felt that there was someone beside me apart from my husband who was on the left hand side of the bed. I felt a strong sense of someone I know sitting and looking at me. I opened my eyes but I didn't see anything. I just felt that he was there. I realized that it was my distant cousin who recently died of heart failure. He was saying that I will be pregnant soon and he was so happy about it. I forced myself to get up and went to the toilet as I got really scared. Then this afternoon while I was having my nap, I felt the same sensation again though this time he didn't say anything. What's the meaning of these? I'm really scared though happy at the same time as I've wanted to fall pregnant for almost 7 years now. The reason why I am so scared is because in 2 weeks time I will have a laparoscopic surgery to check my fallopian tubes.

A. It's a fair bet that you'll be falling pregnant soon. I say this because a message coming through several times in a dream usually indicates an actual prediction. You may or may not have miscarriages first but if you do, at least, you'll be comforted by the thought that success will possibly follow. These various messengers that your dreams are conjuring up could be your spirit guides or simply aspects of yourself giving you reassurance. It's possible that your cousin did really visit you as he died recently and also because you felt the coldness that usually accompanies spirit visitations. There's nothing to be afraid of. These visitors obviously love you and are bringing you happy news. Trust that and rejoice!

Horses And Carriage
18 April, 2007
Q. Last night I had a dream about dark-colored flying horses with a carriage at the back. I was standing somewhere with a few people and we were waiting for something or someone.  I was waiting with men who I think were gay.  We had been somewhere, a social event, although these details are quite hazy.  We were standing in a large space and all of a sudden I looked up and saw 4 dark-colored flying horses - the horses were strong and healthy. Attached to these magnificent horses was a carriage dark in color and very polished.  Who or what was inside I do not know, but I had more of a sense they were looking for something or someone, perhaps me, but somehow this thing whatever it was, passed by.  The way it was flying was not straight but more a swooping style.  The feeling I had upon waking up from the dream was far more disturbing than in the dream.  In the dream I was looking up - no thoughts or feelings, just looking up and taking in what was going on in.  In another part of the dream I think someone needed help and I went to assist them. 

A. Dreams in which we are observers often make us feel detached while they're happening but depending on the content, can leave us very shaken-up once we wake. This is not really a very dark dream but rather puzzling with a lot of unanswered questions, so it's easy to see why you felt disturbed. There is an air of menace about the horses, carriage and unidentified people, but horses represent freedom and it's also a good omen to remember specific numbers of things. So, all in all, I don't think you have anything to worry about. As to the meaning, my analysis is that you feel restricted in your life in some way and the flying horses are telling you to get moving.

Visited By A Spirit
11 April, 2007
Q. I had a dream last night that a dead person kept shaking my arm saying; "Tell Sara (my friend at school) I said Hi.  Remember this. Tell her Jason said Hi.  Tell her the name starts with J.  Tell her I said Hi."  So I went to school today and asked Sara if she knew a dead guy named Jason (I felt dumb at first).  She said; "No, but my friend Justin died 8 years ago.  You would have liked him."  Is it possible that it was him, or just a weird dream? I'm still weirded out by it. 

A. I think it really was the guy's spirit appearing in your dream with a message for your friend. This happens more than most people realize. I can understand why you found the incident puzzling, mainly because you would expect his spirit to visit his own friend not you, but perhaps you're more receptive. It could be as simple as that. I'm glad you passed the message on and didn't just dismiss it. The mix-up in names doesn't mean anything as words/images are often garbled in dreams. Also, some dreams are so stark and clear that we would swear we were awake. Whether the spirit came to you in actuality or through a dream, I can't say, but the main point was the message. It's nice to know our friends still think of us long after they die, don't you agree?

Electrical Shock
4 April, 2007
Q. What does it mean when you receive an electrical shock (of great force) in your dream and then you suddenly wake up? Thank you!

A. This is an easy one to understand. It's actually a wake-up call. Something is going to shake up your life or give you a big surprise. Some dream analysts believe that a shock in a dream heralds the arrival of money. I would say simply that this dream either wants you to realize something or it's a prediction of a "shock". But don't start worrying. It doesn't have to be anything frightening. You might win the lottery - who knows? You woke up straight after because of the intensity of the dream, probably. Often, we automatically wake ourselves if we have a scary or very powerful dream experience.

Why Him?
28 March, 2007
Q. I had a dream about some guy I'm talking to and I don't know why I dream of him when I know deep down I love my boyfriend. I know I'm not confused because I love my boyfriend so much, but why did I have a dream of some guy that likes me?

A. As I often say, dreams are not about real things that happen in a real way. Think of a dream as being like a jigsaw puzzle with lots of pieces missing. It's up to dreamers to fill in the gaps but don't let your imagination run away. Dreaming of a guy who is not your boyfriend doesn't mean you want him. There could be any number of reasons for this type of dream. Maybe because this guy likes you, your mind is trying to process the idea. It's nothing to worry about, honestly.

The Family Home
21 March, 2007
Q. I really like your interpretations.  I wonder why is it so easy to interpret others' dreams while your own remain a mystery?  Can you shed some insight into my recurring dream?  I frequently dream about returning to my childhood home when there is a new family living there, but they are not at home at that time.  I always feel upset, but I don't really have a good reason.  I always feel like it is my duty to check out the house inside and make sure it is okay.  I often break in, and sometimes I realize that I still have the key and they haven't changed the locks.  Many times there have been changes made to the house/backyard- sometimes better, sometimes worse.  It always upsets me.  I often steal things from the new family, usually money and food.   Every time I awake from this dream I have a bad feeling.  Why am I stealing?  Why am I obsessed with my old house?  I lived there from age 4-18.  I am 26 now.  I've been having these dreams for about a year now.   Any input will help.  Thanks. 

A. You're quite right that understanding another's dreams is easier but, of course, as I do this professionally, I get lots of practice! Actually, the best person to understand a dream is the dreamer but because dreams use a cryptic language, the message can be difficult to decipher. All dreams about the past and childhood are essentially about nostalgia and often, unresolved issues. So, think about that time in your life. Did you feel displaced, like you didn't belong? That's one possibility. Recurring dreams are always somewhat urgent so they don't stop till the matter is sorted. I don't think it means you're obsessed, just that maybe you have a longing for something that existed then which you no longer have. The new family is simply representative of the loss you feel but you still possess a "key" which means a way in. Stealing is your response to wanting that life/time back. It's easy to see why you're upset when you wake. Instead of worrying about it, come to terms with the past, make peace with it, release it, and you should sleep more easily.

Someone Who Cares For Me
7 March, 2007
Q. My older male friend, currently in a relationship, had a dream last night about me. His dream was simply that I was attending college in the state he used to live in, and that there was a government conspiracy of some sort, against me. He had to take me to the airport so that I could fly safely back to my home state. However, when he reached my campus dormitories, he couldn't find me, and had heard that I got to the airport by myself. What does this mean?

A. It's very difficult to analyze another person's dream because you don't know what's going on with them. I do it professionally and so get plenty of practice but otherwise it's just guesswork. When it's about you, it's understandably thought-provoking. What I make of your friend's dream is that he somehow feels protective over you and is concerned about your safety. This doesn't mean that you are in danger. A one-off dream is rarely prophetic so I wouldn't worry about it. Dreams are also not literal so whatever the details, they're just symbols carrying a message. For me, the message is that you're okay, independent and don't need help.

Longing For Romance?
28 February, 2007
Q. I keep a dream diary and lately I've had a couple that I would like to hear your interpretation for. I've been dreaming about a man in one of my college classes (a classmate, not a teacher) who I've always felt a connection with although he is quite a bit older than me. I'll call him D. Here is the first dream: I dreamt I was in Grammar school standing in the aisle talking to D and a girlfriend. We were talking about Chinese restaurants and D asked if I liked Chinese food. Then he said we should get together to chat and have Chinese food sometime. I said something such as "I'd like that." It was odd that my other friend witnessed this because the friend was O, a girl who has disapproved of my dating of an older man (in reality). I went from my seat to the photocopy machine and when I returned, I was no longer wearing pants but a miniskirt and high heels instead. I walked past D and felt his eyes on my legs. Then for a second time I dream that D asked me out. This time it was on a post-it note. It had his phone number and he wrote that it would be nice to get together, or something like that. Eventually, throughout the day, I wrote back to his note and gave him my phone number and agreed to see him sometime. I remember thinking that maybe my original dream was a prediction of his decision to ask me out now (I thought the dream was actually happening and remembered the first dream). Later in this dream, a young man from my past began to torment me in my own home for hours before I was able to escape and run to the neighbor's house where I called the police. I can't remember exactly what this man was doing, only that I was horrified and terribly upset. A friend of mine was there too, throughout the dream. My neighbor was welcoming, I remember describing her house as "rustic," and she reminded me of a woman I've admired and thought of as a role model. Despite this, I felt slightly inferior and embarrassed by how "together" she was whereas I was almost in hysterics. My notes: I suppose it might just mean that I secretly want to date D. But I don't know if I really would like that, considering his age. I find him physically attractive and like his personality, but I'm not sure if we could be more than friends. Also, I had recently read an interpretation where you said that a house is supposed to represent "you," or yourself. Would you be so kind as to offer your thoughts on this?

A. You obviously have a deep interest in dreams which, of course, I think are fascinating. They teach us so much and offer many useful insights. Dealing with the issue of D first, when we dream of people from the past, it can be simply nostalgia, not necessarily about a specific person. I don't believe your first dream was predictive, but when any dream recurs, it contains a special message. There is a sense of longing permeating through the two dreams. You literally grew up within the scope of the first one and the second one contained wish-fulfillment - something happening in a dream that we wish for. I don't think it's really about D but more about the past and a longing for romance. I think that the house dream was separate as it has an entirely different tone, almost that of a nightmare. This dream expresses anxiety and vulnerability. Do continue to record your dreams as patterns will emerge and they'll tell you more than any single dream can.

Lucid Dreaming
21 February, 2007
Q. I was just wondering what it means when I'm having a dream and I know that I'm in a dream.

A. This is called "lucid dreaming" and what it means is that you are half-awake, even though you're sleeping and dreaming. You have an awareness of being asleep and engaging in a dream. It's a very interesting ability and can be used to advantage once you know you can do it. The best benefit I know of is with nightmares. If you're in a scary dream and you're not enjoying the experience, you can actually choose to wake up! Isn't that great? Lucid dreaming is nothing to worry about - enjoy!

The Power Of Love
14 February, 2007
Q. A few days back I had a dream in which my dead mother's (she passed away recently - November, 2006) spirit came into me. We were somewhere in the ruins of a fort. When my mother's spirit came into my body, I was giving the same expressions as she used to and I was wearing her nightie (which I wear very frequently). I called my younger sister, dad and one little kid (don't know who it was) close to me and I hugged them and consoled them endlessly. It was not me but my mother's spirit in me doing all that. There was someone else in that fort too. He was dressed in black. I don't know who it was but he looked like some kind of faith-healer (had a negative aura though!).When he saw our entire family hugging and loving each other, he ran away and probably went to call people. Then I saw a glimpse of my uncle.  I felt extremely heavy during the dream and was cold when I woke up. It's a strange dream and I really need to know what it's trying to tell me. I would greatly appreciate if you could help.

A. A fort represents safety and protection, for obvious reasons.  When we dream of the spirits of our deceased loved ones, it's either that they are truly present in our lives - maybe with a message for us – or, we ourselves need to conjure them up for healing and closure. It does sound like your mother was using your spirit to achieve what she needed. The dark man is Death and he ran away when the love of all of you together over-powered him. It always hurts to lose people we love so it's easy to understand why we might dream of them. The cold and heaviness when you woke was caused by the fear you felt in the dream. Your particular dream is very systematic in its resolution with various family members. I think that was its purpose so you shouldn't have to endure it again. Make sure you let these loved ones go in your waking life so they can rest in peace.

Visiting Relatives
7 February, 2007
Q. I have had these two recurring dreams for as long as I can remember and since my loved ones passed.  The first one is that I am back in high school and I don’t have any of my books and I can’t remember what the combination to my locker is and I have no clue where or what my next class is.  The second and most interesting to me is the recurring dream about my grandfather and my aunt visiting me in my dreams.  I have had it since my grandfather passed away 7½ years ago.  My aunt passed away just 5 months after my grandfather (they were father and daughter).  In my dream, they are always coming back knowing that they have to leave soon and in my dream I always know they are coming back from the dead, so to speak.  But we talk and she always visits her children (my cousins), but I can’t ever remember what we talk about after I wake up. I was very close to my granddad when he was here. My granddad never really talks that much in the dreams and we always seem to be near mirrors in some form.  There have been a few instances where I have seen coffins in the dream and it’s like they have to go back there when the dream is over… but the coffins have only been in a few dreams.  It’s just very odd in my dream because I know they are dead and I always wonder in my dream why they get to come back to life so many times.  I have this dream several times a year and we are always someplace different.  I wonder why they are the only two relatives that visit me in my dreams.  My uncle (son of my grandfather and brother of my aunt) passed away a few years ago and he hasn’t visited me in my dreams either. 

A. Both of these dreams are very typical and therefore easy to figure out. Firstly, all dreams of the past, school and childhood relate to old feelings, what we call nostalgia. They recur usually when we have unresolved issues, or, if for some reason you are thinking about people, situations or places that have passed. It could be related to the other dreams about your relatives. There's also anxiety there because you don't remember things, lose things and so on. With the dead loved ones, some people believe these are actual spirit visitations but if you believe they're just coming through dreams, then it's not about them but you. The relatives that are not appearing maybe don't have anything left to deal with or you're fonder of the others. I don't think the details are the important part but the thread that's running through all these dreams is the past. So, actively work out these feelings and then let the past go - the dreams will then stop.

31 January, 2007
Q. I am sixteen and I have a boyfriend who is turning 16 next month. I have been with him for just over 1 year. But I keep having dreams of him cheating on me or falling in love with someone else. I end up waking up all sulky because in my dream I am crying. My boyfriend isn't the kind of guy that cheats and I know him really well. We see each other a lot. About 4 years ago, I met a guy and we are still close friends. He and I dated for a while but my dad was a very strict man back then. So we decided to leave our feelings for each other and maybe try something in the future. But we do still talk about it a fair bit and we both still have feelings for each other. I always think that he is my true love and still do. But I care about my boyfriend and we have been together for a long time. Most days I think about the other guy because I wonder what it would be like if we were together. My boyfriend is very stubborn and when he is, he can hurt me emotionally really badly. I am unsure what to do. Is there any way you can help me understand my dreams or life?

A. As you're written to my dreams column, I will focus on that but by understanding your dreams, you'll understand your life better anyway. The dream you describe shows a lot of anxiety. At first, I thought it was because you're unsure of your boyfriend but when you explained about your ex, I now think it's your own feelings you're unsure about. You should never be with someone who is second-best. If you're still thinking longingly of your ex, you should either try to get him back or let him go once and for all. Your dreams are simply reflecting all this emotional confusion in your life. It's not healthy. You're very young and should be just out having a great time. Try to sort things out in your mind and your dreams will be less troubling.

24 January, 2007
Q. For as long as I can remember I have had the same dream, at least once a month. I have it sometimes as often as four or five times a night. In the dream I am standing in the middle of a glass house. Behind me and to my right are beautiful green rolling mountains. To my left is the ocean and in front of me is a long, green meadow. It's a lovely calm day. As I am trying to make my way out of the house, I realize that my family and friends are with me. Before we know it, the ground starts to shake like an earthquake. Looking behind us we see thousands of people running down from the mountains. As they get closer we see that they are black. At first I think they are just dark-skinned but as they get closer, I realize that they are burnt. My family, friends and I begin to run across the meadow, which seems never-ending. The burnt people are catching up and one by one they reach out a hand and touch a member of my group. As they are touched, that friend or family member becomes burnt too and joins the chase until it is only me running. Just as one reaches out to touch me, I wake up. I find this extra disturbing now because I am a volunteer fire fighter and have been for two years. I am about to get into fire-fighting full time and my partner is a firefighter although surely there isn't a connection considering I've had this dream since I was about three. Can you please help me to understand this dream?

A. All recurring dreams are memorable but it's unusual for anyone to have one dream as often as you describe. It tells me that your inner self has a very urgent message for you. If you began having this dream as a young child, is it possible you witnessed a fire or were you perhaps afraid of fire? That could be why you got into fire-fighting. Let me mention some of the other relevant symbols - a house is yourself in dreams and being in a glasshouse means you feel exposed in some way. Yet you have beauty all around you. But then you and your family/friends get a shake-up which represents a disruption. Without knowing anything of your background, my assessment is that you experienced some kind of upheaval as a child and it has stayed with you all this time. Try to get to the bottom of it so that the dream can stop.

Relatives On The Other Side
17 January, 2007
Q. I'm writing you to ask you for some insight about my dreams. I have frequent dreams that involve my dead relatives. Sometimes they talk to me, sometimes they are just there. In all the dreams, I am as old as I am now (43) and they can be my grandparents, or cousins, or uncles/aunties. When I'm in the dream, some unforeseen event happens though not necessarily a bad one. My spiritual life has been marked by the sighting of the Virgin Mary when I was 5 years old although I'm not a practicing Catholic. I would be grateful if you can let me know what you think. By the way, I have seen the light but also have seen the darkness, more than once.

A. Many dream therapists believe that dreaming of dead relatives is actually a very good omen. They bring happy tidings. Another interpretation is that your relatives have a message for you, not necessarily a profound one. They might just want to visit you and let you know they're okay and at peace. If they talk to you, take note, in case they do have something specific to tell you. Ask them what life's like on the other side! Unforeseen events, light and dark, are all part of dream mythology. As long as there's not an excess of any one element, you're okay.

10 January, 2007
Q. I have had two people, both a guy that I'm dating and a female colleague; tell me they had dreams of being pregnant.  I was wondering what if any reason there is for the dreams and also their need to tell me the dream.

A. Dreams of pregnancy usually indicate wealth, actually. As with so many dream themes, they can rarely be taken literally. That's why both men and women can dream of being pregnant! Why they told you would vary according to the person and their relationship with you. I admit it's a bit of a coincidence that two people you know both had this dream in the same period, but I doubt they had any special motives in telling you. Your colleague probably told you because she thought it was an interesting dream. Do you know if she's trying to get pregnant? As for your guy, he undoubtedly thought it was amazing for him to be pregnant, even in a dream. Anyway, now you can tell them they'd better buy some lottery tickets!

Deja Vu
3 January, 2007
Q. I had this dream where I turned on my stereo and no sound came out, and some of the stations I turned to had that weird high-pitched testing noise. I went over to the stairs to yell down to my Mum that my stereo was acting strange and no voice came out. I had lost my voice! I went downstairs to try and tell her about my stereo, but I still couldn't talk. So, I began writing what had happened on a piece of paper. Then I realized I could talk so I told her and she didn't believe me. We went upstairs together where I turned on my stereo and there was a news broadcast on. She then said "Alicia, I am seriously thinking of putting you in a psych ward.'' A couple of weeks later I had a deja vu of the dream. I was in class and the teacher asked us a question for our journal: "How far would you go for something you love?" I began writing in my journal about the things I love and just how far I'd go for them. Then the teacher went up to the front of the class and she asked, "Let's say you turned on your stereo, and no sound came out, no matter what station you turned to. So then you went to the TV, turned it on, and there was a news broadcast on. Across the bottom of the screen, it says 'Music has been banned, and those caught listening to it will be fined and sent to jail.' Would you still listen to music?" Well I was absolutely stunned. I completely lost my voice, and couldn't say anything until she began asking about religion in which I answered that no one could make me stop believing and I would go to jail for it.  I really think that this dream/deja vu was trying to tell me something. But I just can't put my finger on it. Please help if you can.

A. How very interesting! Your dream was a clear forecasting of what then subsequently actually happened in your life. One of the mysteries of understanding dreams! There's no rational explanation for it but I know it happens, probably more than we realize. I can certainly see how you would be freaked-out by this occurrence. Your amazement was reflected in the fact that you lost your voice in class after you had lost it in the dream itself. As for the message, it's probably something to do with your relationship with your mother, for example, that she's not hearing you or believing you. It's a common story between mother and teenage daughter, no? The dream offers a combination of ideas - fears of being sent to a psych. ward, attitude towards your mother, stating your views in class. This may not be the last time you experience a foretelling dream. It's a gift so just enjoy it and take what you can from each one.

Chased By A Bear
20 December, 2006
Q. For about a year now, I've been having a dream of a big black bear chasing me. Last night I dreamt I was in a big old house. A lot of people were in it and once a day, the bear came and we all hid. I tried to hide in hampers, beds, cabinets... I thought to myself I am glad I am not wearing perfume so it can't smell me and find me. Then I was out in the woods and a man was there. I don't know if he gave me a ride back to the house but I went. Someone was trying to make a gun, and I said you don't have a gun here. I am afraid and hiding. I don't know if the bear wants to hurt me.

A. A house represents "you" and a bear is usually an oppressive person in your life, especially as it's large and black. So, without knowing anything about you, I could offer the suggestion that you have had or currently have a bully or very dominant influence over you that is coming out in your dreams. If it's been happening over the last 12 months in particular, has something happened or changed in this period? Were the people in the house familiar to you? If not, they're probably aspects of you. There's no point hiding. There's no escape from your inner motivations, desires and fears. Deal with them and the dream will stop.

Back To School
13 December, 2006
Q. I dream constantly about being a letter-girl again and I'm back in high school. A letter-girl is a cheerleader who wears letters and the group spells out the school's mascot name. It's strange because I'm older in the dream trying out for this, or I'm back on the team again, but they don't have a uniform that will fit me. I have this dream about once a week. Most of the dreams are featured around my parents' house where I grew up.  The best dreams are when my teeth are falling out. I've also been in my parents' house visiting and talking to my grandma who has passed away. What does all this mean?

A. Dreams of the past, especially school and childhood, are about nostalgia and longing for something or someone. The fact that you're older makes it clear that you're in the present looking back. If you're having this type of dream so often, ask yourself why you're looking backwards. Try to be more happy and content in the present. As to your grandma, it's very common for dreamers to see dead loved ones, and it's actually very beautiful because it means their spirit is visiting you. It's nothing to be afraid of or worried about. Another common dream is teeth falling out but that can sometimes be an indication of poor health so I suggest you have a check-up.

6 December, 2006
Q. One repetitive dream I have is about my parrots who I love dearly. I'm in the middle of a tornado or a storm and I'm going crazy trying to get to them. Or in other dreams, someone kidnapped them and I break into a house trying to get them and fighting people for them. The last dream of my birds, I was pregnant (my third dream about being pregnant) and I took my two macaws and beat them up against the wall because they were possessed and a voice whispered; "The baby made you do it."

A. Your dreams exhibit a lot of mixed emotions. The first part about bad things happening to your birds is reasonably straightforward. You love them and worry about their safety; you want to protect them, etc - all perfectly understandable. These recurring dreams tell me you're a bit over-anxious though, even to the point of fighting people physically in your dream. Don't worry so much. There's a belief that a recurring dream you have three times is actually going to come true so watch out if you don't want to get pregnant! The last dream you describe is a bit more sinister and I think it's related to the idea of pregnancy; obviously you think the baby would be jealous of your birds and so you get rid of them. Your emotions are in turmoil so try to calm down and these dreams should stop.

29 November, 2006
Q. Why do I have nightmares?

A. Nightmares are a manifestation of a fear that you have in your waking life. They are rarely literal so a bear chasing you is more likely to be a raging boss or parent. The ones that recur are the most significant because just as the dream is persisting, so is the fear, whatever it might be. Children have more nightmares than adults because there's more to be afraid of in a child's world, more that feels uncertain and unsafe. The only way to stop a nightmare is to identify and release the root cause. Nightmares can reflect a current concern or predict a future event. They are very disturbing and disrupt sleep patterns so it's vital to discover the underlying fear and deal with it as soon as possible. How? You can consult a dream therapist or simply search your own heart. If you're honest, you'll know what's troubling you.

Dreams Of Violence
22 November, 2006
Q. I happen to be a person who dreams an awful lot, in vivid detail, every night. I don't seem to have too much trouble remembering dreams, though I pay a bit more attention to the stranger or more peculiar dreams that stand out a bit. A lot of my dreams simply revolve around my everyday life, with certain things being a little different here and there, which could involve driving my car around, drinking with friends, going to the shops etc. Along with these, I also have a lot of very vivid, very violent dreams. However, it is usually me being violent in ways I wouldn't contemplate normally. Most of the time I am provoked in some way, and retaliate in what always turns out to be a very gory, detailed scene of violence, generally ending in my killing the other persons.

A. "Everyday" dreams are simply processing our ordinary lives and therefore, usually have no special meaning. You obviously have a strong connection with your dreams as you're aware of them most nights and also remember detail. Your violent dreams, I would suggest, speak of buried anger and hostility. You say quite clearly that you're the one who's violent, you're the one who does the killing - doesn't that strike you as interesting? Perhaps you're too amenable or polite in your waking life, not showing your dislike or disapproval of things. The repressed resentments have to come out somewhere. The very fact that these highly emotional dreams are recurring should tell you they need attention. Please think about it and don't let your feelings make you ill in the long run because you don't acknowledge them.

Voice From The Past
15 November, 2006
Q. Nearly 5 years ago, I began a relationship with a wonderful man and we planned to marry. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond anyone's control, we were forced to part nearly 2 1/2 years ago. He was the love of my life and I was devastated. I still think about him a lot, but know that as things are at present (and there is no indication that they will change); there is no hope for us. I have always been quite a pragmatic person and have just gone on with my life. Now, about my dream. My ex-lover was in it and for a brief moment he was walking beside me (I don't ever remember having dreamt about him before). But he spoke to me, and that was what was significant. Not what he said; I can't even remember what he said. It was the fact that I actually heard his voice. In my dreams, although people speak, and I hear them and interact with them, I don't actually hear the sound of their voice, if that makes any sense. I woke immediately, feeling very upset at the sound of his voice. Why, after all this time, would I dream about him, why would something so unique (the actual sound of a voice) happen and why would it upset me so much? I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

A. Yes, it is uncommon to actually hear a voice in dreams. It's even unusual to recall actual words said although personally, I often do. With exes, they come back to us in our dreams because they have something to tell us or we have something to resolve. After a love affair a few years ago, my ex came in a systematic way to me in a series of dreams and I ended up with a clear message despite not seeing that person in waking life at all. You said your relationship ended not by choice on either part, so this man was literally calling you in the dream. That's why it affected you the way it did. I think the dream just reflects the emotion he has for you still. The uniqueness just makes it more special. Cherish this as a special communication.

Always Lost
8 November, 2006
Q. I would be interested in your feedback on a dream I have in which I am either searching in vain for something which is very precious to me, or I am lost. The dream is different each time, so I lose something different each time, or am lost in different places and for different reasons. In both cases, the situation I am in at the beginning of the dream is perfectly normal and familiar and I lose my possession or my way just doing something which is normal for me, even in my waking life. In fact, at the beginning, I believe I am always doing something that would not be out of place in my waking life. But as my search, either for the lost "thing", or to find my way back, goes on, the places I go to become less and less familiar until they are completely unknown to me and I start to become frightened of never finding what I'm looking for. There are always lots of other people in my dreams, sometimes they are known to me and sometimes they are strangers. They are never any help to me, although they never do me any harm, nor do they threaten to do me harm. The places I go to are also quite normal; just unknown territory to me. I always wake up feeling panicky and frightened and never having found what I was looking for or my way home. Any ideas?

A. It's a very common dream image to be lost, searching, losing your way or a possession, etc. I have this dream often myself, usually inside big buildings. This dream explains itself. My interpretation is that you are at a time of your life when you face a number of choices, none of them unattractive. Feeling "lost" simply indicates lack of direction, confusion and ambivalence. This does not necessarily indicate your conscious state of mind yet you wake up disturbed. This dream is indicative of "seeking", so face up to your soul's cry for some kind of closure and resolution.

Coming And Going, And Coming Back
1 November, 2006
Q. About a year ago, I met a guy and we started seeing each other. I was having dreams about us having a baby together. It so happened I got pregnant, but also in the dream, the guy left me, with no contact. Well, he really did leave - with no contact. Now, I've been having dreams of him coming back, but in my heart, I don't feel like he will. What does this mean?

A. Dreams are not literal, that is, they don't show life-events exactly as they occur. We can have dreams that foretell the future, but they are less common. It does seem to have happened in the case of your dream about your boyfriend leaving, but it's also possible that you were scared he would and that fear came out as a dream. Your current dream situation could be the same thing in reverse. Maybe you want this guy to come back and that's what your dreams are really saying. It's not necessarily a prediction. The best way to understand all this is to trust what your inner voice - not your heart - is telling you and live your life by that truth.

An Electrifying Nightmare
October 25, 2006
Q. In my dream, I feel an electric shock - twice! I could hear it crackling in my head and I was very frightened. I then dreamt that my brother, his girlfriend and I were all holding hands downstairs, looking out the window at a bright hovering spaceship. I have suffered some bad health recently and am dealing with my break-up so I might be a bit stressed. What do you think?

A. Daytime problems can certainly impact our nighttime adventures. An electric shock is literally that - something sharp and sudden that is "zapping" you a message. The spaceship is most likely related to a TV program or movie you'd seen before having the dream or have you perhaps got a special interest in UFOs and such subjects? I'd say you need to manage your stress levels and health concerns a bit better so that you don't need to have nightmares like this again. Holding hands with your brother and his girlfriend is a mark of solidarity - you obviously feel they're there for you. My main advice to you is to look after and love yourself more. All break-ups are painful, so give yourself some extra TLC!

Sporting Ceremony
October 18, 2006
Q. I dreamt that my partner and I were walking along a very long avenue, straight and wide. It's something to do with a sporting ceremony. I expect the athletes to be doing a torch exchange, but they're all just walking in a line in the opposite direction. The sun is shining on us. I say to my partner how wonderful the sun is and ask if we could imagine what the world would be like without it, how bleak and cold.

A. This dream has all the hallmarks of a wonderful future - a straight line indicating few obstacles or detours; a long road which suggests you and your partner will have a long relationship ahead; finally, the sun which promises all good things. The athletes walking in the opposite direction tells me that your life together will not attract a lot of fanfare and you may even go against the crowd or mainstream, but it won't matter. What a lovely dream - lucky you!

Riding A Bike
October 10, 2006
Q. I have a recurring dream where I'm riding my bike, usually on a plain gravel path or on the road and the recurring bit is I want to get off the bike. Instead of being able to stop and hop off, I always have to cause myself to fall off to get off and the fall to the ground is much higher than it looks in the dream. I end up feeling scared.

A. Do you recall having a similar accident in real-life? If you fell off your bike as a child, it would've seemed very scary so perhaps this dream serves as a re-enactment. It obviously affected you a lot at the time. If it's not that, then I'd say there's some area of your life in which you feel precarious in the present time. Dreams translate our fears into everyday incidents. Think about where you might feel unsure or unsafe then say this affirmation constantly throughout the day: "I am always safe in the world." The dream should start to rescind.

Can't Find My Room
October 3, 2006
Q. For the last few months, I've been having very vivid dreams. In each one, I'm lost and trying to find my way home. Last night, I was in a foreign hotel and couldn't find my room. I had a plane to catch and I didn't know how much time I had. I woke up feeling quite worried. Is my subconscious trying to tell me something? I've recently started meditation.

A. Being lost is a classic anxiety dream, for obvious reasons, especially if you're not only away from your home but also away from the familiar territory of your country. Other common anxiety dreams are acting in a play where you don't know the lines, getting lost in a multi-storey building with no way of getting out, going into an exam with no knowledge of the subject-matter. If you have recently started doing meditation, that would explain the vivid dreams you've been having. The more you get in touch with your inner self, the more you will dream and the clearer your dreams will be. The message is clear - something is troubling you, you're uncertain about an area of your life, a decision, whatever. Meditate upon it and you will get an answer.

More recent dream interpretations are available here.

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