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Dream Analysis/Interpretation by Dream Analyst Gerald Gifford
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Read the following. Posted Dreams follows.

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 reveal vital information that expose 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

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    Desolate World, Men as Beasts, Really Strange

    In the dream that I recall I was at first in an exterior environment, though the particulars in this early part of the dream are largely lost upon me. I briefly recall something about melting Lego bricks and perhaps other Lego related things, but this recollection is brief and tenuous. I feel like this brief dream fragment before the main body of the dream relayed below was set against a backdrop of gutted, burned buildings rising into an overcast sky at sunset but this is an equally tenuous recollection.

    After the brief scene above I beheld a large and craggy formation of rocks situated atop a great dune of pale tan sand. This rock formation was in the middle of an expanse both great and desolate, but particulars about it are lost upon me besides its sheer emptiness. The rock formation that I saw did not seem terribly massive, perhaps being only some 150 feet wide and 50 feet tall. The composition of the formation was mostly jagged, craggy spires that rose from a larger hunk of rock that jutted up from the sand. I recall that there was a roughly circular cave that led into the rock formation itself. I recall that the coloration of the rock formation was a dull, chocolate sort of brown.

    I recall that the sky was cloudy and tumultuous and was dominated by storm clouds that roiled and that crackled with lightning. The clouds themselves seemed otherworldly and had an almost neon purple hue to them, though the hue was muted by the thickness and darkness of the clouds. Despite the fact that the clouds were dark and utterly choked out any sunlight that could have theoretically been above them the scene before me was brightly lit as if by daylight.

    I had some sort of knowledge or intuition in the dream that civilization had abruptly collapsed after a period of relative stagnation or slow decline that had gone on for an indeterminate period. The land before me was dead and utterly devoid of flora and fauna of any kind, though there were people present in the dream. I beheld humans in front of the cave and rock formation who moved on all fours like savage mongrels. They were wild and unkempt and were almost entirely naked save for loincloths that they wore which was the only indication of modesty that they possessed. These men did not communicate with words or with gestures, but instead subhuman howls and grunts, and all reason had departed their minds. I only recall seeing men here and I do not remember seeing either women or children.

    I recall that there was a loud sound that came from somewhere in the distance and then there was a flash of light as if there was an explosion of some kind that had occurred. It didn't seem that this disturbance came from a lightning strike but instead as if something fell from the sky above and impacted with the earth. Now I was no longer a disembodied observer but instead I was one of the men before the cave. I recall that I was inhabiting the body of a tall and wiry pale-skinned male with a long and scraggly brown beard and scraggly brown hair. Though I was sinewy and muscled I was also gaunt with bony joints and exposed ribs on my chest.

    The noise and light caused a great commotion among us as if we were cavemen running from shadows that a fire would cast upon a cavern wall. We were mere beasts afraid of something loud and bright that we could not understand with our severely limited cerebral capacity. Myself and the many other men with me ran into the cave upon all fours. Though the human body isn't built for such travel we were able to deftly maneuver and were both agile and fast upon our hands and feet. There were a great number of us striving to get away from the noise and we became bottle-necked in the narrow cave passage once we were through the cave's entrance. We howled and whined in fear as would wolves or coyotes running from something bigger and more threatening than themselves. The inside of the cave was filled with the deafening din of our cacophonous, inhuman cries of terror.

    The cave itself was very well lit with a nice even light in a tone that was similar to daylight. This was despite the fact that there was no apparent source of light to be seen and that there was no visible opening in the ceiling of the cave that could have let light through. Every detail of the cave was visible in crisp detail. In structure and shape the cave resembled a lava tube. The floor of the cave was not rock as one might expect but was instead comprised of the same sand that was outside. The tube-like cave was not particularly large, perhaps some five feet high and equally five feet wide. The passage was somewhat pinched with regards to size in that the cave was wider both at the mouth of the cave I had come in through and the destination that we were fleeing towards. One strange detail that I recall is that the rock of the cave itself was very finely grooved all around the circumference of the cave.

    I ran to the back of the cave, still on all fours (as was everybody else). I eventually saw that the cave terminated before an entrance to an artificial bunker of some kind. Everybody was crowded around the bunker's entrance which was in the form of a metallic hexagonal door some five feet in width by five feet in height, which at the time was open. I recall that there was a room inside that was visible that seemed quite large but I did not get a good look due to the other men visually obstructing my view. I never made it into the bunker; by the time I had arrived people were already crammed together inside and were jammed near the door trying to squeeze in. I recall one man in particular that prevented me from being able to get inside. This man was tall with either sunburned or naturally blushed skin. This man had messy blonde hair in wild curls that almost looked like they were permed and his blonde beard was just as messy and unkempt as my brown one. This man seemed older than the one I was; he seemed to be in his early forties whereas I was in my early thirties. There was no room for me to enter the bunker and I was stuck outside. The door was closed to me and I was left in the cave alone.

    I ambled away from the entrance to the bunker on all fours. Strangely, I now no longer felt afraid but instead felt curious about what had occurred outside that had caused such commotion. I went back towards the entrance of the cave and as I neared it I beheld a strange being.

    I saw before me a sapient and vaguely humanoid creature. Though this being was roughly in the form of a human female there was no possibility that she was actually human. Her body was made entirely of lush green ivy with blossoms about her in various striking colors. I use the word "body" loosely because while her shape was roughly humanoid she seemed somewhat like a formless congregation of individual ivy strands. Her leaves were very small and densely packed on her form unlike any ivy that I have seen in waking life. Her leaves were a brilliant shade of deep green in coloration. I recall that she had a pure white face in the shape of that of a woman's. This face appeared almost like a mask of porcelain rather than a face of skin, flesh and bone. "Hair" of long flowing ivy trailed from her head. This female being was beautiful in the sense that a topiary or floral arrangement is beautiful, though she did possess distinctly humanoid characteristics in some respects. I have the sense that this being floated above the ground instead of walked but this is not a perfect recollection. I do not recall seeing her walking using legs or anything of that nature. I recall that flora sprang forth from the dead earth from mere proximity to her. Grass, shrubs, and flowers emerged from the sand of the cave's floor and from the solid rock walls of the cave itself.

    I suddenly rose from the ground and was no longer on all fours, but instead stood upright on my feet. I felt no longer like a mindless brute but instead like a thinking and rational being. I said nothing to this plant-like being and at first she said nothing to me either. The being then lifted her left arm (viewed from the front it was her right arm). Her arm was a tentacle-like appendage made from the same ivy that the rest of her body was. At the end of this arm were three smaller appendages, also tentacle-like, but similar in function to fingers from what I could observe. Her arm, in total length, was similar to that of a human's, but her "fingers" were each about one foot long. These three appendages touched my stomach and perhaps painlessly passed through my skin and into my body. My stomach then became distended and my sex changed from male to female before my very eyes. The being then spoke in a kind, almost loving tone using a female voice and said, "you are going to make a great mother!" She sounded joyous as she made this proclamation. I then realized that I was pregnant as if I had been carrying children for several months, perhaps almost completely to the point of giving birth. I knew somehow without being told that I was now carrying three children in a womb that the man I was in the dream did not possess previously. I also knew somehow that the children in my womb were to be the first children to be born in this world in an extremely long time. It also seemed in the dream that the world that this dream was taking place in would experience profound change for the better, though this was intuition that came from no discernible source.

    The dream abruptly ended at this point and I awoke. I pondered the dream idly as I got up and went about my business, but I hadn't completely pieced it together and realized the strangeness of it all until a few hours later when I consulted my notes and then went to make a proper draft of the occurrences I had seen during sleep. The general mood and feeling after waking was one of mild bewilderment, though there was also a vibe of enjoying what I had witnessed as I really enjoy strange and unusual dreams as long as they are not terrifying or otherwise disturbing.

    There are waking life things I feel may have somewhat dictated the imagery, course and structure of the dream. I will keep these points as brief as possible so as to not unduly change your perception of what the dream may have actually conveyed on a deeper level.

    1) My life is pretty intense right now because I have been transitioning from male to female. My life has been changed in innumerable ways, the vast majority of which are positive, because of finally following through on a course of action I have known that I have needed to undertake for an extremely long time.

    2) This dream has vague imagery similarities to a personal project I am working on. I have developed a universe of sorts that serves as the backdrop for a story I am writing. The desolate landscape, bunkers underground, and devolved hominids bear resemblances to a small piece of this aforementioned universe. The visuals of the dream, however, bear only superficial resemblances to what my consistent imaginings of that place are (the sky is not purple, the land is not brown, and the hominids there are not derived from humans). Nothing that took place in the dream bears any resemblance at all to any story treatments that I have written that take place in that place, most of which are vague concepts or brief snippets. I really don't know if the imagery is a coincidence or if it is somehow derived from what I have created.

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 27, NH - USA

    Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

    How Did You Find the Dream Forum? No

    Re: Desolate World, Men as Beasts, Really Strange

    I'll address a great part of the dream directly but will look for specifics as I do that. I will provide an overall assessment of the dream at the end of my analysis.

    The first part of any dream is usually the most important because it sets the stage for what the dream is attempting to communicate {the emotional conflicts in your life that need resolution}. From the language you provided, the Lego building blocks and burned the buildings, may pertain to 'building blocks' in your life {early life experiences/influences} that have left you with a sense of a dreary outlook on life because of the early life impressions molded in your psyche. What was your early childhood like? Does it fit with the 'overcast' sky {an overcast sky foretells sadness} and the burned buildings {damaged buildings would represent damaged emotions}}? The Lego blocks would represent an 'artificial' foundation, not one built on firm foundations.

    The second paragraph would be a general description of your life and foundations. It could also be addressing particular experiences as well, emotional experiences that fit within the general description as outlined and experiences that contribute to them. It isn't whole {150 vs 50-a third of what it should be - 150/150}. Your foundations {rock} are jagged with massive emotional energies. The brown color is one of decline {much like the overcast sky}.

    Your early life, and a good chance your present life, was/is dominated with 'stormy' emotions. What should be a bright future is instead choked out of any sunlight. This would point to your early life and its foundations as well as emotions you possess today. Caves represent the unconscious and the contents within that are often neglected, repressed or forgotten.

    The knowledge/intuition you feel is an unconscious knowledge {consciously not aware of}. Intuitively you know it is there but consciously may not be aware of it {forgotten or perhaps repressed emotions}. The civilization is your inner self and there is/was an emotional explosion of some kind that possessed strong energies. It is a result of the overcast skies with those early life experiences/foundations having an influence in your present day life {psychologically}. The part about the male may be purely metaphorical {addressing your masculine aspects} or/and it could be pointing to actual life experiences that contribute to the 'stormy' emotional conditions in your life. Actual experiences may be associated with the subhuman howls by the men in the dream {only you can know if and where this would fit}. The 'recall' may point to memories from your 'distant' past pointing to an emotional explosion {this could also point to emotional energies that now cause explosions of anger or such in your present day life}. Again there is the cave.

    Cavemen would suggest deep, dark issues within the unconscious. The shadows would be your Shadow. There are emotional aspects you are trying to get away from {which requires strength to overcome and may be 'ONE' reason for the men in the dream}. This is describing your current inner self.

    Now the dream seems to be pointing to remedies to your emotional 'storms'. When you finally are able to look into the cave/unconscious there is light, being able to see the unconscious motivations to your emotional foundations. This is despite the desire to forget/repress these emotions {our dreams show us the true condition of our lives where we consciously want to see/know them}. 'Intuitively' you want to know about these emotional energies/forces {the natural process of resolving emotional conflicts} and you are 'fleeing forwards' to consciously understand them {with the help of your dreams}. What is on the inside is fluid in how you live your life on the outside {sand}.

    But you still strongly repress these emotions. So much so you have created a bunker to re-inforce the blocking of these emotions. The reason for this may lie within the paragraph about the older man in his 40s. This may be pointing to an actual experience earlier in life. The 40 to 30 may be a ratio pointing to actual ratios of age when the experience occurred. It may also add up to a particular age of 7.
    You have blocked these experiences off and they are locked within the unconscious. On the outside you are stuck with the motivations that have over your waking life.

    The strange being you encounter is yourself. Inward you are not human {because of the emotional energies in your life}. But even with these emotional energies, despite the distortions they cause in your conscious life, there is a beauty quality that still exists. The human quality is there and it 'floats' above the negative foundations. There is still much room for growth despite the unconscious rock walls that are barriers. You are able to persevere despite these emotional wounds and are capable of giving birth to a new being {yourself}. {These may point to personality traits you possess of outer strength}. There is a lineage in your family {of abuse?} and for the first time YOU are able to wrest free from those restraints and give birth to a progressive person. You do possess intuitive abilities {another personality trait?} that allow you to overcome the negatives in your life.

    The dream ends here. I am now reading for the first time your notes. I can see where you got the title for your dream {Desolate World, Men as Beasts, Really Strange}.

    Transitioning from male to female. This would fit with the imagery in the dream but I also suggest looking to early life to see what else is there {in the framework I laid out}. Not often do I see dreams where there is an actual literal' transition' of male to female {usually it is symbolic}. If you apply literal experiences to the dream imagery you probably will see how they fit {which is what dreams do, reflect your true self}.

    The transition could point to the humanoids, not being human in the sense you are a female having been locked within a male's body. But again the imagery may be pointing to other emotional aspects of early life. All dreams as well as all dream images have at least two meanings/applications. The dream could very well be addressing your 'literal 'transition {the light within the cave} as well as other emotional issues that are just as deep.

    As for your writing. The imagery flows from your inner self and not vice versa. Our deepest self is reflected in our creativity. The vague concepts would fit with your 'cave' and the depths to which you have pushed the negative experiences. What is inside must find an outlet and creativity is the best way to 'let it out'. If it is not let out creatively it will take other forms through negative behavior. You are expressing your deepest self and that is the best therapy there is.

    Let me know your thoughts and any questions you may have. Being a long dream there are parts I did not provide a direct analysis. But overall I can see where it fits with your 'transition'. But again look at other emotional issues. As long as they are left unresolved you can never be whole, not even if your transition from male to female is a shining success {which I hope is true}.


    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 64 Cocoa, Fl

    Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

    How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

    Re: Desolate World, Men as Beasts, Really Strange

    Firstly, thank you for going through the effort of reading such a long entry and then evaluating my experiences. I chose to post this dream here as opposed to other forums that I had looked at because it looked like there would be a much higher chance of intelligent discussion occurring here. I do appreciate the work you have done and I wanted to make sure that was expressed.

    Without going into too much detail I will describe my childhood as follows: my childhood and much of my young adult life was very unpleasant. As a child I experienced severe psychological abuse and psychological trauma at the hands of my peers, emotional neglect (at best) from almost all adults in my life, and was raised in a family which, while stable, was mired in drama and where everybody seemed to have their own demons to battle. I was rarely able to be my own person and pursue my own goals, be they related to gender or otherwise. Making this worse was the fact that I never felt comfortable with who I was and felt like I was acting in a film in the wrong role and without a script for almost two decades, though that is largely attributable to my assigned male identity not matching my internal and consistent female one. I am pretty confident that these facts were reflected in my dreams which for many years were equal parts bleak and horrific. I suffered from nightmares, some reoccurring, for a long time. I also was plagued by hypnagogic hallucinations before falling asleep where I was led to believe that I was to be imminently harmed physically.

    The overcast sky and ruined buildings and landscape were common motifs in my dreaming life during my preteen years and my early to mid teens. One dream that comes to mind that so perfectly fits this archetype is one where I dreamt I was in a neighborhood that I resided in at the time. The buildings were but charred wreckage set amidst a menacing hellscape and the sky was a roiling storm of blood red, smoky clouds. Though it was night the land was bathed in a dim red light as if it were coming from a full moon of pure crimson. Ghouls in the form of cadaverous dead stalked the neighborhood and sought to kill me, and I myself was a mangled and beaten man with horrific burns and severe physical debilitation almost to the point of sheer immobilization. Most dreams from that time that I can remember were like this, though various particulars would be different. I was never really certain if waking life was an escape from dreaming life or if dreaming life was an escape from waking life, though I was always aware of the distinction between the two.

    On the subject of repressed emotions I suffered from severe depression for many years and was never given the help I needed as a child, or at least not help that was adequate. My expressing my profound misery and pain caused problems in my life and never seemed to prompt any constructive changes so I just stopped talking about how I felt and projected a persona of calm, confidence and contentment even if internally I was mired in strife and self-hatred. My being transgender had as much of an effect upon my psyche as I reviled that part of myself and it was handled similarly. I kept a lid on that for as long as possible until I was going absolutely bonkers from having kept it hidden from everybody for so long. Thankfully, both of those areas of my life have received great attention and care within the last five years and I am truly a different person now that I ever had been before. I have a positive outlook, a passion for life, and a level of self confidence that I never imagined to be possible. It gets even better every day that I am on the journey that I am. I truly feel that I am flourishing now and am positively uplifted by transitioning from male to female.

    I have attempted to channel my dreams, both past and current, into creative endeavors. My dreams are a source of profound inspiration for my writing and I have used them at times to compose music. I feel pretty empowered by being able to make horrible images that haunted me for years into something that I can use for a constructive and positive purpose.

    I very rarely have nightmares anymore and some places I visit in dreams with relative consistency bring me great enjoyment. I truly often see wondrous and beautiful things now in my dreams on a regular basis as opposed to the bleak and dreary (though, at times, these images have a beauty of their own).

    Thanks once again for your efforts in this. I do hope I have an opportunity later to relate to you a dream that may seem more uplifting. I really did not consider the dream I wrote in my opening post to be a negative one and I actually enjoyed it thoroughly, but it pales in comparison to others I have had as of late. These entries can often span over 4,000 words, but I think I would spare you the obsessive amounts of recalled detail in instances such as that.

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 27, NH - USA

    Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Female

    How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

    Re: Desolate World, Men as Beasts, Really Strange

    I appreciate the detailed response. Every dream is a learning experience not only for the dreamer but also for those of us who work with dreams. There is nothing more definitive than first hand experience.

    I dare say much of the horrific dreams you had as a child were because of not being able to who you really are gender wise. We all suffer from not being able to express our true selves {and knowing who that is} but to have gender issues adds to the emotional suffering. Both physical abuse and mental abuse become a part of the nightly dramas in our dreams. And there is a reason for that.

    Dreams are therapeutic, they attempt to help us realize what the emotional issues are that hold energies so strong they can unconsciously control the conscious life. Much like the immune system is to the body, dreams are nature's device to heal the psyche {ology}. When we take time to 'translate' the coded message in our dreams {symbol and metaphor} we are performing 'soul' work {soul in Greek means psyche}. When we awaken to our true being, the self that resides within and not the ego perception we have of ourselves, we are able to see what is really beneath the layers of ego consciousness. And it always begins in childhood. Working through the emotional issues is how you change yourself and your dreams. Using dreams are therapy is the best way to access the unconscious. Using dreams as a creative tool is fulfilling nature's intent to be truly whole. Jung discovered that wholeness is centered in a creative self as well as a spiritual Self. Your ability to endure and prosper {as I indicated in my analysis} is likely due to your creative endeavors. It allows you {all of us if we take the time to utilize our creativity} to express what is within in a way that is not available in any other way. To let it out is to expose what unconsciously drives us. To realize what that is allows us to overcome its power to control our conscious lives.

    You are a good candidate for Jungian psyche. From your response I gather you have already read some of his works. You may want to delve deeper into his philosophy and concepts, especially his Individuation Process. This process can help better understand the creative aspects and the importance it has to self discovery. I was 42 when I first encountered Joseph Campbell and began my path to wholeness. It is never too late to turn the tide and with what you have learned already I dare say there is great potential for you in the next 50 years. You are the heroine in your own life and as you travel the path to wholeness using your talents you are fulfilling one of the main ingredients of the hero journey. Sharing what you have learned with others so they too can find wholeness.

    If you have other dreams that you feel important, negative or otherwise, feel free to post them. Your life, your dreams have a lot to tell and your unique experiences can be valuable lessons for us all.

    A Note about your dream and my analysis
    Most often I read the whole dream before giving an interpretation. But on many longer dreams I take the dream and translate the images to determine if there is a visible pattern. Often long dreams are repetitive, stating the same thing in different ways. Your dream was one that unfolded and had a message that kept my interest peeking. That is why I did not see your notes about being transgender until the end of your post. As it turned out it allowed me to see beyond those emotional issues.

    Age & Gender & Location {Required}: 64 Cocoa, Fl

    Have You Posted Before? Date of Last Post {Use Search and Your Post Name to Help Find Last Post} Male

    How Did You Find the Dream Forum? Yes

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