We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

How to interpret your dreams

We all dream – and quite often we wonder if our dreams mean anything. As it turns out . . . they do! If you’ve ever wanted to find out what they might mean read on. 


Everybody dreams, and dreams — like fresh air — are free. Your days begin and end with the gift of dreams, even if you have forgotten how to remember them or how to unwrap them. The weirdness of a dream is only its wrapping, its language. Once you have cracked the code, the meaning of your dream is revealed.


Your dreams are messages about you and your life, in code. Your dreams reveal how you picture the world and how you envisage your place in it. They show how your early experiences shaped your beliefs about the way the world works and about who you are. Every night your dreams update the data, consolidating, refining, questioning or changing your understanding of the world according to the events of the day.


Imagine standing at the bottom of a mountain, looking up at its peak. You see an overhanging rock and a snowy precipice. Your belief is that this mountain is hard to climb. Next to you stands a man, and next to him stands a woman and so on as you are one of thousands of people forming a circle around the base of the mountain. You are all looking up at its peak.


The man next to you sees a slightly different view. He too sees the overhanging rock and the snowy precipice but he has climbed many mountains tougher than this one. His view of the mountain and his belief is that it is relatively easy to climb. The woman standing next to him looks up at the peak in fear. In her younger days she lost a lover to a mountaineering accident. Her view of the mountain is one of fear and grief and it is her belief that the mountain is best left alone. Around the other side of the mountain, a child looks up at the peak. He sees a gentle slope leading all the way to the top, all green grass glistening in the sunshine. He holds his mother’s hand as they step forward to take the cable car all the way to the top. His view is that the mountain is an easy, fun adventure and his belief is about to be confirmed and strengthened.


The mountain is life — or perhaps it is all the secrets of the universe. We each look at the mountain every day. What we each see depends on where we stand, on our past experiences and on our beliefs. Every night your dreaming mind adds your experiences of the day into your mountain picture. Your dream updates the information on your mountain — your  view  and  beliefs  about  life  —  but  it  does  this  in  code. Every rock and every stone that forms the mountain is captured in dream code. Every pebble, every grain of sand of your belief about life is there in your dreams.  Just  as  a  mountain of desert sand can be blown away, so too mountains can be moved and life — as you think you know it — can shift and change slowly or suddenly.


When you understand your dreams you understand why your life is the way it is. You understand the grains of sand that are your beliefs, the pebbles that are your experiences, the stones that are your insights,  the rocks that are your foundations, the peaks that are your goals, and the climbs that represent your feelings about how easy or difficult life is. When you understand your dreams you understand how your fears and beliefs shape the mountainous path ahead of you, and in understanding all of this you have the beginnings of magic. You have the ability to change what you see. The mountain, your life, your path, yourself is yours to change.


If you want to get started on learning to interpret your dreams you must start by remembering them.


Why might you not be able to remember your dreams?


Everybody dreams. If you let someone sleep but prevent them from dreaming, they suffer extreme physical and mental symptoms. Dreams, whether you remember them or not, keep you sane. But when you do remember them, interpret them and act on them, they also provide you with  life-changing insight and capabilities. So how can you remember your dreams?


The most common reasons for bad dream-recall include


  • Your parents soothed your nightmares by telling you they were ‘only dreams’ so you learned not to bother remembering them.


  • You have blocked dream-recall because you had a series of scary dreams.


  • You jump out of bed in the morning when the alarm goes off, jumping straight into your conscious world — not giving yourself time to bask in the twilight zone and remember your dreams.


  • Deep down you don’t want to look at, let alone change, anything about your life.



If you’re struggling to remember your dreams here are some useful tips:


  • Tell yourself your dreams are important. Buy an exercise book or another special book to use as your dream journal and expect to remember your dreams.


  • Keep paper and pen by your bed and jot down a couple of words of the dream you have had as a memory jogger to read in the morning. Or keep a tape recorder by your bed to record your dream in the middle of the night.


  • When you wake up in the morning, lie in the position you usually dream in. Your body muscles hold memories of your dream so lying in the same position often triggers your memory.


  • Set two alarms. Set the second one for the time you must get out of bed. Set the first one for about twenty minutes before. When your first alarm goes off, lay in your dreaming position and float along in the twilight zone. Banish any thoughts about the day. Think of the first alarm as waking you up to your dreams and the second alarm as waking you up to your day.


  • Write something in your dream journal every day, even if you can’t remember a dream. Write about your waking feelings. These are often a hangover from the feelings in your dream, so writing about these gradually triggers your dream recall over several weeks.


Once you can remember your dreams you can learn how to interpret them in The Dream Handbook. Jane Teresa Anderson BSc (Hons) is a dream analyst, dream therapist, writer and mentor, consulting, training and mentoring worldwide through JaneTeresa.com. Jane Teresa also hosts a podcast series, The Dream Show, where she analyses guests’ dreams and shares dream interpretations and insights.