Now that you know the method I use to interpret dreams, I thought I would give you a little example of it in action.
Below you will find a dream that was submitted through my Dream Collector website by a regular dreamer. Read through the dream and pick out the pieces. What do you find as the most relevant nouns? Any descriptions stand out? I will also note that this dreamer related that the dead snake image was the most prominent when she woke up because she felt was graphic and disturbing.
I was in some kind of school or college but I felt confused about why I was there or what I needed to do. I lost my timetable so I didn’t know where I needed to be.
Then I ended up somewhere I think I got lost and I can’t remember the precise details but basically I had been carrying around a lot of heavy books and bags all day around this school. Somehow some of my books ended up in a belly of a dead snake
I had to cut the snake open and pull my books out, they were all stinky and disgusting with snake guts on them so I had to leave some books behind and only take the most important ones. One of the ones I took was the manual for my yoga teacher course but I can’t remember what the others were!
Step 1: Where does your dream take place?
This dream takes place at a school or college. So right away we know that this dream is about some lessons or guidance on a path of learning that this dreamer is currently on. This step wasn’t too hard no was it? This dream is about learning.
Step 2: What is your dream about?
Now we need to look at all those pesky nouns – and there are, of course, a lot of them. Let us first just look at the nouns that stick out at us and seem really important. Here is the list I came up with:
- heavy books and bags
- yoga teacher course book
Now let’s analyze each of these nouns in our three part method (personal meaning, characteristics of noun, cultural meaning):
Timetable: I’ll be honest, I didn’t actually know what a timetable was when I read this dream. This dreamer is located in a different country than I am and I was unfamiliar with this term. But from the context (and a quick google search) it is easy to see that at timetable is a schedule.
Personal Meaning: this dreamer did not relate any personal associations or meanings to timetables. So we don’t have this category to go off of.
Characteristics of Noun: this is where we will likely get a lot of symbolism for this noun. Timetables are used to tell us where we need to go. They also have a list of the subjects we are learning and what we need to focus on right now in our daily lives. To me, this seems most relevant for our analysis so I will keep this definition high on my list.
Cultural Meaning: I am not aware of any cultural meaning associated with timetables, so I am again going to skip this step.
Heavy books and bags: I left the adjective on these nouns so I wouldn’t forget them and I grouped them together for ease of use.
Personal Meaning: again no personal meaning was given.
Characteristic of Noun: books are items where we gain knowledge and learn from. This seems important based off of our setting description from step 1. Bags are what we carry these books, or items of knowledge in.
Cultural Meaning: none that I know of, so again we will skip this step.
Snake: here is that snake again. I have found that the image of a snake is actually a pretty common symbol to appear in dreams so it is not surprising that it shows up here.
Personal Meaning: the dreamer did not mention whether she had a deep fear of snakes or not.
Characteristics of Noun: As discussed earlier, snakes are about transformation. They shed their skin, one way of being, and come into another way of being.
Cultural Meaning: I don’t know of any specific meaning for this dreamer’s culture, however, she mentions she is in a yoga teacher training program and so we can add in the cultural meaning of snakes in eastern regions. Snakes are associated with Kundalini energy and a rise in consciousness.
Belly: this seems important so I am going to add it in here. What is the significance of the books ending up specifically in the belly of the snake.
Personal Meaning: I don’t know specifically any personal associations with the belly to this dreamer, but I do know that she is a young adult that is a female. What young adult female do you know of that isn’t concerned with the size of their belly? So keep that in mind that this dreamer could have a love/hate relationship with her belly – although we do not know for sure.
Characteristics of Noun: a belly is where you digest food. This is where the nutrients of food get absorbed into your body. So this is a location where you take in things that help you function.
Cultural Meaning: knowing again that this dreamer has some association with yoga we can speculate that the chakra system is known to her. The belly is the basic location of the solar plexus chakra which is associated with self-confidence and willpower.
Yoga teacher book: I separated this book out in particular because it seems to play a large role in this dream. This is the only book that the dreamer can remember being taken out of the snake so it must have a great significance in the dream.
Personal Meaning: There is a high likelihood that this book has a personal meaning for the dreamer. We don’t know it but we should keep that in mind. This book likely brings up strong emotions or associations.
Characteristics of Noun: again we have a book that is where we gain knowledge.
Cultural Meaning: none known.
Step 3: Who is in your dream
We have it easy here. No other people make an appearance in this dream in any major way. This dream is just focused on the actions of the dreamer.
Step 4: Add in those adjectives
Okay, let’s get those nouns back again and look at the adjectives and descriptors that are associated with them.
Timetable: so we know that a timetable is something that tells you where you are supposed to be and what areas you need to focus on. In this dream the dreamer has lost her timetable. She doesn’t know where she needs to be or what she needs to focus on. This seems very significant, especially for a dream based on learning. We now know that in this learning dream the dreamer does not know where she is supposed to be or what she is supposed to focus on.
Heavy books and bags: The books she is carrying are heavy and she has multiple bags. So we know that these items of information are heavy and there are a lot of them. It seems that this dreamer has a lot of different subjects or topics that she is learning about and focusing on. These words can also be associated with the idea of feeling burdened by something. There is the phrase – carrying a lot of baggage – there could be a past that makes this dreamer feel weighed down.
Snake: we don’t really have any great adjectives that go with the word snake. We just know that that her books ended up in the snake. If we knew the color of the snake or the type of snake (was it poisonous?) that would give us more information on it – but we don’t and that is okay. Maybe just knowing that a snake is here is all the symbolism this dreamer needs.
Belly: the only descriptors associated with the snake’s belly is that the books are in there and that the dreamer has to cut this area open (I know, not real adjectives here).
Yoga teacher course book: the adjectives associated with this book are that they are in the snake’s belly and so are stinky and disgusting and they had snake guts on them. But the dreamer says she could only that the most important ones and she deems this book as one of the important ones. This tells us that the other books, or areas of knowledge, are not important enough to her to keep, but this one is.
Step 5: What happens in the dream
Now let’s look at what is actually going on in the dream – those verbs that seem important.
The verbs that seem most important are that the dreamer is lost and that she cuts open the belly of the snake.
Lost: we can see that in the beginning of this dream when the dreamer is carrying around all the books and bags she is lost. She doesn’t know what she is supposed to be doing or where she is supposed to be.
Cut: when we cut into something we open it up and expose a portion of it. Cutting is also a way to eliminate something that we no longer find important.
Can you see this dream coming together?
Step 6: What are you feeling?
This is a very subjective area to look at. The dreamer doesn’t disclose in detail how she is feeling after this dream so we don’t really know what to put here. She could feel strong and courageous opening up the belly of the snake or she could feel frightened. We just don’t know. But if we did that would add another layer to this interpretation.
Step 7: Let’s put Humpty back together again
We can already see how the bits and pieces of this dream fit together, but now let’s take the time to create a story from them.
This dream is about what the dreamer is currently learning (takes place in a school). At first she is feeling lost and does not know what she is supposed to be focusing on (lost timetable). She is likely focusing on too many things at once and has too many interests which just end up confusing her more (many heavy books and bags). But then she starts to go through a transformation and shed those things that are no longer working for her (snake). She is able to remove those areas of focus (cut into the belly) that no longer have and interest to her and only focus on what she feel is most important (yoga teacher training book).
From this dream we would ask the dreamer if she is trying to figure out what are to focus on. Perhaps have her list out her interests right now. Then we would ask what area does she think is most important in her life right now? Maybe she needs to work on just focusing on a few areas that she deems most important so that she doesn’t feel confused. We may even find that the dreamer is already in the process of narrowing down her interests and cutting out those pieces of her life that are not important.
See – that wasn’t too hard now was it? You can easily interpret your dreams, you just need to do it!