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Dream Analysis/Interpretation by Dream Analyst Gerald Gifford
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5000+ Posted Dreams with Interpretations follows 'Dreams - What They Are and Their Function'
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Dreams - What They Are and Their Function
Dreams are a succession of images, actions and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind primarily during the REM stage of sleep. Dreams are unbiased, spontaneous products of the unconscious, outside the control of conscious will. The act of dreaming is physical but the contents of dreams is psychological. They are NATURAL expressions of the dreamer's emotional/personal life illustrating experiences that possess strong emotional energies. Although there are literal applications in dreams the primarily language is symbolic, metaphorical of the dreamer's emotional energies.
  • 1. Dreams are about the emotions, emotional energies of the person who is dreaming. They offer advice and a deeper understanding of our waking life as well as the foundations for the emotional energies of the dreamer.

  • 2. The language of dreams is symbolic, but also with literal applications {literal waking experinces}. The symbolic images and actions are metaphors for the patterns or motifs for the dreamer's emotional/psychological/physical life. Every character in a dream is a different aspect of an unacknowledged aspect of the dreamer and/or a prevalent situation in the person's life involving actual persons/experiences {dreams will address both aspects}.

  • 3. The purpose and function of dreams is to guide the conscious self to achieve wholeness and offer a solution to the problems in waking life. Solutions to problems and conflicts from everyday life, as well as the deeper underlying issues, 'emotional injuries' that stem from the foundations of the dreamer {early life experiences and trama experiences in life}.
    ---Dreams attempt to reveal the authentic emotions and feelings that are often concealed from the conscious mind.
    ---Dreams compensate for conscious attitudes and personality traits that are out of balance.

  • 4. Dreams are intentional. Nature provides us with dreams to understand and help heal emotional conflicts/issues. Just as the body has the immune system to heal and protect, the psych{ology} has the dream.

  • 5. Dreams possess 'Archteypal' representations. Archetypes are universal, original patterns and images that derive from the collective unconscious and are the psychic counterpart of instinct. An archetype is an inherited tendency of the human mind to form representations of mythological motifs-representations of the symbolic images/actions without losing their basic emotional pattern. Dreams and mythology share the same archetypal images, myths as illustrations of the universal patterns and dreams as illustrations of personal patterns.

  • 6. All dreams have at least two meanings or applications. One is the symbolic representation, metaphorical of the emotional energies, and the second being a literal application where a person, place or experience is addressing a real life experience. More about this in the Basics of Dream Analysis section at Power of Dreams

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    Dreams Analyzed/Interpreted by Gerald: Childhood Pet

    Dream Title: Childhood Pet

    Submitted by Chiara
    Age: 27
    Location: Toronto

    The Dream

    I was with my dog from childhood. I was so happy to be reunited. It was a feeling of such joy, and I kept thinking that this time I would do better by him, as though I had neglected him in the past. And I would think this each time that I saw his back legs. They were cut off, or rotted off. They were stumps, and it was somehow my fault, my neglect, that they had become like that. His fur was much lighter then it had actually been, almost like this time, I was really seeing him. We were both very excited to see each other in this dream. The overall feeling was a stab of pain and regret about the past, and joy that I was getting another chance.

    The Interpretation

    I have found that in most circumstances a dream with childhood recollections or experiences are actually speaking to those experiences. The dog in your dream is the central metaphor that needs to be determined and understood. The fact that the dog a 'he' gives me the impression that dream is communicating something about your animus, your masculine qualities. The dream's time imagery also gives me cause to believe that what you lost {and are now being reunited with via the dream} was something lost during your childhood. This lost aspect has been neglected, and it something that you will be better off with by reuniting with it.

    One possibility of the dog symbol may be addressing the masculine aspect of aggressiveness, assertiveness, taking charge, being in control. Not having back legs prevents you from having the proper 'legs' to stand on. The legs, part of your masculine aspect were cut off and perhaps you blame yourself for the neglect you have shown toward this aspect of your psyche. There may have been some experience, perhaps involving something or someone other than your dog, that has robbed you of this particular aspect.

    The lighter fur and the fact that you were 'really seeing him' may be a reference to the fact you are finally recognizing this important aspect that has been lost and/or neglected. Being reunited with this aspect should be exciting since it is a vital part of a balanced self and life.

    Another possibility of the dog symbol may be it represents an actual person. It could even be speaking to an actual experience with your pet dog although I see this as less acceptable. If this is the case there may have an experience as a child where you were too aggressive, too assertive with someone, or perhaps even your own dog, and you still have regrets over your actions. The fur symbol/image would be the same, you are finally seeing the past experiences. The masculine aspects, even as a child could hold true also, the fact that you may have been to aggressive, disagreeable or even cruel to someone or something.

    You state the overall feeling was a stab of pain and regret about the past, and a joy that you were getting another chance. The regret part may fit with the second possibility. The fact that you have another chance may just be the dream providing you with information about past behavior, and by acknowledging it you have reconciled the bad. But also, when such chances are seen in a dream there is a stimulus that 'takes you back', and thus the dream. Has there been any childhood acquaintances that fit in your dream that you have come across just recently?
    {Just yesterday I had an old high school mate contact me}. Or has there been an experience with dogs that may be a stimulus?

    Look back at your childhood experiences during the time you had your dog and see what may be there. By putting energies into recalling the past you often see things that have been forgotten or even repressed. Let me know what you come up with and perhaps we can better see what the dream message is about.


    A couple of more observations about your dream. If in fact you lost a part of your masculine identity during childhood, it would be reflected today in your behavior as an adult. Do you find yourself lacking some of the masculine aspects I mentioned, not being assertive enough, not taking charge as you wish you could, etc.? This would say a lot about the dream message. Yet, it may not be the only aspect of the dream message.

    Also, if there was an experience where the masculine was involved in your childhood, there may be that possibility there was some masculine person, a male, who was responsible for it. Mistrust of the masculine could be caused by childhood experiences. Is there a mistrust of men in your life today? Has there been a recent experience where that trust may have been restored in some sense?

    If indeed the dream is communicating an experience related to childhood, it is important to resolve that childhood experience. Acknowledging it is the first step but resolving it may take more effort. Taking the time to reflect {something we do naturally when we enter mid-life} will provide you with information that you have long forgotten.

    In closing.
    Some dreams come across with certain clarity, I am able to see {using Jungian dream techniques} into the dream. The particulars are seldom available, just the framework. I try to point out all the possibilities especially if there is real doubt to the dream message. If you will take what I have said and examine the possibilities I believe you will come up with answers addressing the particulars, on your own. I do hope you will share your conclusions. The Forum is a learning experience for all who drop in and have an interest in dreams.


    Response to Interpretation

    Hello, and thank you for your response, I think it was quite accurate. Both interpretations seem to apply.

    When I was sixteen, my dog was very old and ill. We brought him to the vet to put him down, but my mother wavered, because my dog started looking a bit better, and seemed to be trying to hobble away. I took control of the situation, and said that we should really just do it now, because he was only getting worse, and will suffer more. I thought I was being strong, and doing the right thing at the time. So that is where the regret fits in.

    Next, you mentioned reclaiming the masculine side of myself, which also applies. I have recently become more assertive in my life, and even recognize situations that call for more assertiveness, where before I wouldn't even have noticed the need.

    I have recently been going over my past experiences, and acknowledging the times where I did not act in the best of ways, although I did not know it at the time. SO in a sense I have revisited with some old friends, at least in my mind.

    Life is full of new things for me right now, and is changing very fast. I am in a way looking at my life and myself in a new way, lately. It is as though I was maimed in some way in the past, but now, I have gotten those parts back and I can now move forward, in a more full, and conscious way.

    You mentioned a mistrust on the masculine, something I never thought I felt. But recently,I met my father for the first time in my life. He had deserted my mother with four kids. I never knew him, and never felt impacted by this, but after meeting him for the first time, it was as though a piece of myself was acknowledged, and made real somehow.

    Also, my mother was pretty aggressive, and i found as a child that this kind of behavior did not work coming from me, so I would dissociate instead. I do that less and less these days, and am more present in my life, so I am seeing things as if for the first time,with more clarity, and at times more assertion.

    I think it was a very positive dream, one that was sent perhaps as a reminder that, yes that was me in the past, but now I can see myself and my life more clearly. My relationship with my dog simply paralleled my relationship with myself, so the mix of joy and painful regret fit.

    Gerard's Response

    Thanks for your detailed response. I believe you have come to a good understanding of the emotional impact of your dream. Dreams try to communicate what is often not consciously known. Dreams are indeed direct links to the unconscious. When they are interpreted properly then the energies they possess open up and what was hidden and not understood is suddenly realized and has meaning.

    If you have other dreams or comments please post them at the Forum. We appreciate the responses we get that helps us all learn how the dream functions. And it is so good to know that we at the forum can be of some help in the personal understanding of the inner life of our dreamers.
    Thanks again,

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 66 Cocoa, Fl

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