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The Complete A to Z Dictionary of Dreams: Be Your Own Dream Expert

The Complete A to Z Dictionary of Dreams: Be Your Own Dream Expert

The Complete A to Z Dictionary of Dreams: Be Your Own Dream Expert

5/5 (4 ratings)
1,216 pages
15 hours
Feb 10, 2015


If you've ever woken up wondering, "What was that about?" this fascinating dream dictionary with over 12,000 definitions will explain everything and enable you to become your own dream expert. By exploring your dreams in a deeper way, you'll reach a profound understanding of what you really want in life – and work out how to achieve it. Whether you dream about flying above canyons, your teeth dropping out, missing the bus, or standing naked in a crowded room, psychologist and author Ian Wallace will help you understand what your unconscious is trying to tell you and how you can use your dreams to help you live a richer and more fulfilling life. By exploring your dreams in this practical way, you'll reach a deeper understanding of what you really want in life – and work out how to achieve it.
Ian Wallace pairs these definitions with his completely original Dream Connection Process, which is being shared here for the first time. Through this process, developed by Ian, the dreamer can connect the imagery and symbolism that they create in their dreams to situations and opportunities in waking life, using this awareness to make a valuable difference in their lives.
The Complete A to Z Dictionary of Dreams: Be Your Own Dream Expert also contains background information on dreams and dreaming, answering questions such as:

  • What is a dream?
  • Why do we dream?
  • How do I remember my dreams?
  • What do my dreams mean?
  • What are symbols and where do they come from?

  • In this comprehensive and easy to use guide, Ian Wallace articulates the complex psychological principles of dreaming in a very straightforward and engaging manner. He puts the power of the dream firmly in the hands of the dreamer so that they can understand the imagery that they create in their dreams and connect it to situations and opportunities in waking life.
    Feb 10, 2015

    About the author

    Book Preview

    The Complete A to Z Dictionary of Dreams - Ian Wallace

    Health Communications, Inc.

    Deerfield Beach, Florida

    Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available through the Library of Congress

    ISBN-13: 978-0-7573-1835-1 (paperback)

    ISBN-10: 0-7573-1835-5 (paperback)

    ISBN-13: 978-0-7573-1836-8 (ePub)

    ISBN-10: 0-7573-1836-3 (ePub)

    ©2014 Ian Wallace

    All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of Amer­ica. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photo­copying, recording, or otherwise, without the written permission of the publisher.

    HCI, its logos, and marks are trademarks of Health Communications, Inc.

    Publisher: Health Communications, Inc.

    3201 S.W. 15th Street

    Deerfield Beach, FL 33442–8190

    Cover design by Dane Wesolko

    Interior design and formatting by Lawna Patterson Oldfield

    ePub created by Dawn Von Strolley Grove



    What Do My Dreams Actually Mean?

    The Dream Connection Process

    The Dream Dictionary—A

    The Dream Dictionary—B

    The Dream Dictionary—C

    The Dream Dictionary—D

    The Dream Dictionary—E

    The Dream Dictionary—F

    The Dream Dictionary—G

    The Dream Dictionary—H

    The Dream Dictionary—I

    The Dream Dictionary—J

    The Dream Dictionary—K

    The Dream Dictionary—L

    The Dream Dictionary—M

    The Dream Dictionary—N

    The Dream Dictionary—O

    The Dream Dictionary—P

    The Dream Dictionary—Q

    The Dream Dictionary—R

    The Dream Dictionary—S

    The Dream Dictionary—T

    The Dream Dictionary—U

    The Dream Dictionary—V

    The Dream Dictionary—W

    The Dream Dictionary—X

    The Dream Dictionary—Y

    The Dream Dictionary—Z

    About the Author


    In my work with dreams and dreamers, the question I am most frequently asked is What does my dream mean? Although many people are interested in the dreaming process and how it can reflect a wider awareness of human consciousness, understanding the meaning of a dream is what most people want to discover. When a dreamer asks, What does my dream mean? he or she is actually asking a more powerful question, which is What does my dream actually mean to me?

    Trying to find out what your dream means to you can often be a confusing and frustrating experience. Most dream interpretation sources offer a variety of meanings for a particular symbol. Although it can be interesting to explore the different viewpoints of Jung, Freud, the ancient Assyrians, and many other sources that offer dream insights, it often results in a situation where you end up spending most of your time trying to resolve contradictions between the various opinions. Using this dream dictionary is different. Instead of looking at all possible opinions, it is firmly based on taking constructive action. The symbol definitions are practical and a great way to ask yourself fundamental questions that will move you into specific action. These definitions have emerged from over thirty years of working with dreams and by consistently working with dreamers to help them identify opportunities that will lead to healthy and fulfilling outcomes. Rather than delving into the more esoteric aspects of working with dreams, this dream dictionary provides a practical method of understanding what your dreams actually mean, so you can put them into real action.

    There are a number of ways to use this dictionary. You can just dive right into The Dream Dictionary (see page 51) and look up the definition of a dream image that has particular significance for you. You can read through What Do My Dreams Actually Mean? (see page 3) to find out more about the practical aspects of what dreams actually are and why we create them. There is also information on the development of dream interpretation (see page 6) and on how symbols emerge (see page 10). To understand your dreams in greater depth, you can work your way through the examples of The Dream Connection Process (see page 14), so you can quickly and expertly explain what you are expressing to yourself by creating a particular dream. By using examples, I show you how to define what a symbol means to you, how to ask yourself questions about its significance, and how to create an action statement.

    The Dream Dictionary contains over 12,000 definitions, from Aardvark all the way through to Zzz’s, and when used as the basis for The Dream Connection Process, they offer an almost infinite number of interpretations. Each of the definitions is around twenty words long and enables you to get an immediate sense of what your dream imagery means to you.

    Using the definitions from The Dream Dictionary as part of The Dream Connection Process will help you to be your own dream expert. By connecting your dream meanings to the reality of your day-to-day life, you will be able to make the most of any opportunities to turn your hopes and aspirations into waking reality.

    For some time now, one of my personal ambitions has been to create a modern dream dictionary that enables dreamers to connect with their unconscious power and potential. Many people have helped me put this dream into action, and I would particularly like to thank Clare Landon, Susanna Abbott, Clare Hulton, Jo Godfrey Wood, Catherine Knight, Daniel Rodger, Dagmar Kress, Caroline and Eric Cochrane, Owen Crawford, George Jamieson, Stuart Jenkinson, Marianne Garvey, Iain Banks, Carol McGiffin, Denise Welch, Shobna Gulati, Jane Mcdonald, Carol Vorderman, Alan Titchmarsh, Emil Shavila, Russell Howard, Sarah Millican, Eddie Izzard, Ryan Tubridy, Nicky Campbell, Rachel Burden, Shelagh Fogarty, Tony Blackburn, Jonathan Miles, Louise Elliott, Sally Boazman, Ricky Marshall, John Dutton, Simon Mayo, Tim Smith, and Steve Wright.

    What Do My Dreams

    Actually Mean?

    A Dream Is Just a Dream Until You Put It into Action

    Everyone dreams. Every one of us dreams, but many of us tend to dismiss our dreams as bizarre experiences that don’t appear to mean anything. Nor do our dreams seem to be of any practical use, as we often assume we cannot readily use any of our dream experiences in the real world of waking life. However, we keep being drawn back to the dreams we create every night because they may contain information that can help us realize our ambitions in waking life.

    The word dream has two meanings for us. It can be the adventures we create for ourselves every time we sleep, and it can also represent our greatest hopes and aspirations in our day-to-day reality. Although our nighttime dreams may just seem to be a distraction from our pursuit of health and happiness in everyday life, they can provide us with vital insights that enable us to ask ourselves powerful questions about how we can turn our dreams into reality in our waking lives.

    Trying to find a way to work out what your dream means can often be as bewildering as the imagery from your dream experience. There appear to be countless theories about dreams and seemingly endless debates about the function of dreams, where they come from, what they are, if they actually do exist, and so on. Although this debate and opinion are healthy, it often means that dreams end up being viewed as quirks and curiosities rather than being used as a fundamental part of human experience that can help us to live the lives we want to live.

    The theories and opinions about the dreaming process have become polarized into two main areas. These two areas are the academic and esoteric approaches, which usually tend to firmly oppose each other. The academic approach often tries to work with the dreaming process by using outside-in methodologies. These methods involve studying the physiological and neurological activity that occurs during dreaming as a way of trying to understand why dream imagery is being produced. This is valuable work, but it can result in a dream being treated as a biological phenomenon rather than being seen as an opportunity for personal development.

    The more esoteric approaches to dreaming tend to view the dreaming process as an experience that happens to the dreamer. This is also an outside-in approach that takes the ownership of the dream away from the dreamer by suggesting that the dreamer is merely a type of psychic receiver. This can result in the dreamer becoming disempowered and reliant on a process that offers little practical help in getting to a positive and healthy outcome.

    Instead of trying to make a compromise between these two opposing perspectives, I take a different approach, which is to engage with the language and imagery the dreamer is creating emotionally. Rather than using the outside-in methods of the academic and esoteric approaches, mine is an inside-out process that enables a dreamer to clearly express the imagery he or she is creating, thereby taking full ownership of it and using it as a basis for practical action. This is not just an attempt to be different; rather, it is a robust process that enables dreamers to reach a specific outcome so they can take action to step into their power and positively transform some aspect of their waking lives. This inside-out approach is highly practical and has proved successful for my thousands of clients.

    The basis of this inside-out process is realizing that dreams don’t just happen to you; you create the dream and all the imagery and emotions you experience in it. Understanding that you are the author of your dreams immediately begins to empower you by allowing you to question why you created that particular dream experience. Instead of being unwelcome neurological intrusions or mysterious visitations, your dreams become a form of self-expression that can help you understand more about who you are, what you need, and what you believe. As you expand your self-understanding, you naturally begin to connect more deeply with your hopes and aspirations in waking life. This encourages you to step into your individual power and take action on your dreams. The guiding principle I use in working with the imagery a dreamer creates is A dream is just a dream until you put it into action.

    From this practical perspective, let’s explore some basic questions about dreams and dreaming.

    What Is a Dream?

    A dream is how you naturally express a fundamental aspect of your self-­awareness. This fundamental awareness is your unconscious self and is quite simply all the areas of yourself you are not consciously aware of. Although these may seem to be of little consequence in waking life, most of your behaviors are driven by your unconscious self and all the information you absorb with it in every waking second.

    When you create a dream, you are using it as a natural way to make sense of all the information and experiences you are unconsciously aware of in day-to-day reality. This individual sense-making process can give you meaningful insights into specific challenges you encounter in waking life. The language you use to express yourself as you make sense of your unconscious awareness is the language of imagery.

    As well as using visual imagery in the dreams you create, you can also use auditory (hearing), olfactory (smelling), and tactile (touching) imagery. The images you create in your dreams reflect how you see your self-image in waking life and enable you to imagine the person you have the power to become. A dream is how you imagine yourself. That’s what a dream is.

    Why Do We Dream?

    At the most basic level, we dream because it is a natural function that has evolved. Although some people who, due to a brain injury or a congenital condition, lack the neurophysiology to dream, everyone dreams. By using our dreams to make sense of all the information we have unconsciously absorbed, we can become far more successful in identifying valuable opportunities for personal development in waking life.

    Dreaming also contributes to our sense of physical well-being. If for any reason we are unable to engage in dreaming activity, we can experience a variety of unsettling physical symptoms. The human brain, however, is not just some wet organic computer that needs to be regularly decluttered and defragmented. Your brain is much more complex than the most powerful computer, and dreaming has evolved as a vital aspect of how you create your perceptions of the world around you.

    The unconscious awarenesses we use our dreams to make sense of are not just the events of the previous day but are drawn from the whole of our life experience. As we recollect and reconnect with these meaningful experiences, we project them into our future lives so we can naturally position ourselves for success and fulfillment. All humans are dreamers, dreaming of brighter futures.

    When we unconsciously create our dreams at night, we follow the same process we use when we imagine our ambitions in day-to-day reality by forming images of how our future might look. In waking life, however, we often tend to form an idealized future, where our dreams suddenly manifest in reality. As we know, this is highly unlikely to happen, and trying to always instantly connect to this idealized future means that we can find it difficult to take the practical steps we need to put our dreams into action.

    By working with the dreams we unconsciously create every night, we start to become aware of the obstacles and frustrations we may encounter as we try to put our dreams into action in reality. In waking life, these obstacles can seem insurmountable, but by working with our dreams we can raise our level of self-awareness and understanding to realize that the obstacles are not so insurmountable after all, and we can immediately take practical steps to move toward our ambitions. If dreams are such a vital sense-making process, how can I remember my dreams, because I am sure that I don’t dream?

    How Do I Remember My Dreams?

    You have to remember the dreams you create before you can realize their value. Even though it may seem a challenge to remember your dreams, all you have to do is remember three words: will, still, and fill.

    As you lay your head on your pillow to go to sleep, say to yourself, "Tonight, I will remember my dreams." When you wake up, lie completely still for a minute. Don’t move, don’t look at the time, and don’t even wiggle your toes. By staying still, images and emotions from your dreams will emerge for you. Then fill in the gaps between the images from the dreams you created, and your dream narrative will appear. The more you use will, still, and fill, the easier you will find it to work with your dreams. At first you may recall only vague images and feelings, but as you specifically engage with them, these will become clearer and more vivid.

    Now you have a basic understanding of what is a dream is, why you dream, and how to remember your dreams. But the reason you are using this book is because you want to know what your dream means to you.

    What Do My Dreams Mean?

    Before we get into this fundamentally practical approach to understanding what your dreams mean, it is worth looking at the history of dream interpretation and some of the viewpoints and perspectives that have emerged from it.

    At some point, probably around the same time language skills were emerging, early humans were trying to convey their dreaming experiences to one another. Although there is no documentary evidence of this, there are indications in the 30,000-year-old cave paintings at Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc in the Ardèche region of France. Cave paintings that appear to be inspired by dream imagery are also to be found at Lascaux and Altamira, dating from around 16,000 years ago.

    The earliest known dream diaries date from 5,000 years ago and were found inscribed on clay tablets in the library of King Ashurbanipal of Nineveh, in the north of what is modern-day Iraq. Around 4,000 years ago, the ancient Egyptians documented their dreams and believed they were communications from the gods. Egyptians also created special dreaming areas, where they felt they could receive insight and healing from their deities. The ancient Greeks continued this practice of having special dream areas with their sleep temples, known as asclepieia. The earliest documented dream interpretation work was written by the Greek Sophist Antiphon, and although his work seemed to have had a major influence, there is no full record of it in existence today.

    The first coherent work on dream interpretation was provided by another Greek, Artemidorus Daldianus. His five-volume work, Oneirocritica, was compiled from a variety of sources, and he used analogy as his main method for dream interpretation. He observed that dream interpretation is nothing other than the juxtaposition of similarities. The Greek philosopher and playwright Aristotle also observed that the most skilful interpreters of dreams are they who have the faculty for observing resemblances.

    Dreams also played an important role in the emergence of most major religions, particularly regarding visions and visitations. Many religions and their spiritual inspiration emerged from the dreams of individuals; therefore, there is a great tradition of dream interpretation in all religious practices.

    Until the late nineteenth century, when Sigmund Freud began to take a more methodical approach to dreams and what they might signify, dreams were still usually considered to be a phenomenon that happened to the dreamer rather than being created by the dreamer. This resulted in a situation where fortune-tellers provided dream interpretations, and a dream was an experience that foretold a predestined fate instead of being an opportunity for the dreamer to take individual action to decide the outcome. Freud’s work began to move dream interpretation out of the realm of the soothsayers and into a more modern understanding.

    Although Freud took a more rigorous approach to the interpretation of dreams, he often based his processes on analogies drawn from late nineteenth-century industrial chemistry. The terminology he used to describe his work with dreams included definitions such as condensation, transference, binding, residue, discharge, sublimation, latent content, and mechanism. This reflected a wider shift from the interpretation of dreaming to the analysis of dream content. Freud’s method of dream analysis gave him a repeatable process he could use to consistently work with patients, but it could often result in situations where he was trying to fix them from the outside in rather than enabling them to transform themselves from the inside out.

    Freud’s protégé, Carl Jung, also based his work with dreams on a framework of analogies. Rather than using the technology that was contemporary to him, Jung used analogies from more ancient esoteric technologies such as alchemy, astrology, tarot, and the I Ching. His use of these esoteric traditions was inspired by Helena Blavatsky, one of the originators of the New Age movement, which began to fully blossom in the early part of the twentieth century and became much more widely accepted in the latter part.

    Using contemporary technology as an analogy for the dreaming process is a trend that continues today. As personal computers became increasingly prevalent, it became more common to use computer terminology as metaphors for dream experiences. Rather than being seen as a way of expressing one’s unconscious awareness, dreams became a way of defragmenting personal beliefs or refreshing and clearing the human memory cache.

    The metaphors we use to describe our brains and the experience of human consciousness tend to be based on whatever technology we have available at the time. In the future, some will no doubt attempt to explain the dreaming process by using analogies from the technological marvels that may be emerging, whether they be nanodrones, sentidroids, or amoeboputers. Although analogy and metaphor are a fundamental part of understanding your dreams, using technological processes as metaphors for the experience of dreaming is an outside-in approach, whereas understanding why you are creating specific metaphors is the preferred inside-out approach.

    Looking from the Inside Out Rather Than the Outside In

    To understand why you create specific images in your dreams, it is much more valuable to observe how the imagery you create emerges into waking reality than to have someone else attempt to look inside your head and make assumptions about what is happening in there. The imagery we create in our dreams is based on the same images that we use in the idioms and metaphors we use in everyday life. For example, we often use the fluid and potentially turbulent nature of water to symbolize our emotions and experiences, with idioms such as I am at a low ebb, She was in floods of tears, and He poured his heart out. The metaphors we use often reflect a more universal cultural awareness. Most cultures use teeth to symbolize power and confidence, as in the French idiom of les dents longue, which means big teeth and describes a person who is confident and ambitious. An individual who is considered extremely ambitious is described as having les dents qui rayent le parque, which literally means teeth that are scraping the floor.

    This universality of idioms and imagery can sometimes be confusing. Many dream dictionaries are translated from other languages and often lose the subtleties of particular metaphors and idioms. For example, some dream dictionaries that have been translated from French into English state that seeing an almond means you will have some regrets. This is just a subtlety that has been lost in translation rather than describing what an almond symbolizes. In French, the word for almond is amande, and the word for regret is amende, as in making amends. The imagery we consistently use in our imaginings then emerges as specific symbols that become the basis of our imaginal languages.

    Dream Symbols

    A symbol is often considered a simple representation of something else. This can often lead to confusion when you are trying to understand what a particular symbol might mean to you and can diminish the value of any understanding that might be associated with it. Rather than adopting a simple this means that approach to working with symbols, it is valuable to understand what symbols are, how to use them, and how they emerge in the first place. The word symbol is derived from the Greek symbolon, which was a way of authenticating the identity of an unfamiliar person or object.

    A symbolon was a physical token, such as a coin, that was broken into two pieces that could form a whole only when fitted back together again. Like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, parts of one symbolon would not fit with parts of a different symbolon. The fundamental power of a symbolon was not its ability to substitute for something else; its power was its ability to connect an individual to something that was unfamiliar and held potential value for him or her. This remains true today. The power of a symbol is not in its ability to be a substitute; it is the ability to make a connection.

    The connection a symbol can make is powerful because it connects an individual to the universal, the known to the unknown, and the familiar to the unfamiliar. One of the main reasons there can be so much confusion in interpreting dream symbols comes from using them as substitutions instead of connections. This has led to some schools of thought that suggest all symbols are universal, and therefore everyone must experience the same meaning from every symbol. This view is opposed by other schools of thought that declare there is no such thing as a universal symbol, and any symbol is uniquely meaningful to a specific person.

    The reality is that a symbol embraces both these viewpoints, and it is a connection of the individual to the universal and the universal to the individual. By understanding the meaning of a symbol, an individual can become much more aware of how what is happening in his or her inner life is reflected in the outer life.

    In realizing that a symbol is a dynamic connection rather than a static substitute, we become aware that the function of a symbol is to make a connection. When we create a symbol, we are usually connecting our individual potential to opportunities that may currently seem beyond us. The meaning of a dream symbol is the connection it makes.

    How Symbols Emerge

    Our symbols are not consciously decided by some central authority. Instead, our symbols unconsciously emerge from the meaningful connections we make. Rather than asking how it is possible to connect a dream image with a symbolic meaning, it is much easier to turn that question around and observe how the imagery we create in our imaginations emerges in the shared symbolism we use in everyday life. The most obvious aspects of this are in the metaphors and idioms we use in our day-to-day language.

    The same imagery dreamers report in the dream experiences they create is also found in the language they use every day in waking life. Although dream imagery can be identified in a number of areas in our language, it is most prevalent in the images we base our idioms and metaphors on. Like our dream symbolism, the most common of these linguistic expressions are based on the landscape and the body. For example, we use the solidity of the ground to symbolize the more practical aspects of our inner lives by using idioms such as well-grounded and down-to-earth.

    The meaning of a dream symbol is the connection it makes, and the first dream symbols were probably based on our experience of our bodies and the landscapes we lived in. Even today, many of our symbols are based on the physicality of body and landscape. As we grew more technologically accomplished, the symbols we used reflected the more complex aspects of our lives. For example, here is how the meaning of the dream symbol of a submarine may have emerged. The function of a symbol is what it connects us to, so we need to look at the connections associated with the image of a submarine. A submarine is a type of boat, and a boat is how we navigate across water. Let’s start by looking at The Dream Dictionary definition for water, which is a potential to fulfill an emotional need by immersing myself in my feelings so I can go with the flow and gain experience. So we know that a boat will have something to do with our emotional needs and how we gain experience of them.

    When we look at The Dream Dictionary definition for boat, we see that it is an ability to navigate complex and unpredictable feelings by using my instincts and experience to maintain my emotional stability. This suggests that creating a submarine in our dreams is somehow based on how we need to use our instincts and experiences to navigate complex feelings while maintaining our emotional stability.

    A submarine goes below the surface of water, so the connection it makes as a symbol is about going deeper into the emotions. As we go deeper underwater, hydrostatic pressure increases, so a submarine also needs to guard against external emotional pressures. This leads us to The Dream Dictionary definition for submarine, which is an ability to confidently explore the depths of my emotions and navigate them safely instead of cracking up under pressure.

    We can then continue this process by exploring the symbolic connections of other parts of the submarine, such as the conning tower, which gives us the definition a situation where I can take a more elevated perspective on how I can explore my emotional depths and navigate them safely.

    Composite Symbols and Characters

    As well as using specific imagery that may exist in waking life, we also create composite imagery in our dreams to reflect qualities and insights that have more complex characteristics. For example, you may be trying to consistently navigate your way through some complex emotions in waking life for which you need to use the power of your wisdom to illuminate the full spectrum of connections between your thoughts and feelings. One of the images you could create in your dreams to make sense of this waking-life situation would be a rainbow lighthouse, which meaningfully combines the qualities of a rainbow and a lighthouse. You might create a lighthouse with the beam as a clarifying rainbow, or the lighthouse might be painted in bright rainbow colors, or perhaps the whole lighthouse is glowing like a rainbow. However you imagine it in your dreams, it reflects how you are methodically making sense of a complex situation in your waking life.

    We also create composite characters in our dreams to reflect aspects of characters that cannot simply be represented by a single person. It may be that you create a character in your dream who is a combination of an ex-lover and a new business partner. If you found your ex-lover to be unreliable, creating this dream may suggest that you have some doubts about how reliably you can connect in your relationship with your new business partner. Perhaps your ex-lover was very creative, and your new business partnership will allow you to express your emerging creativity. It might also be that your new business partner appears to be very confident, and you are blending this quality along with your ex-lover’s creative qualities to explore how you can be more confident in your own creativity.

    It is possible that many mythical beasts also originally emerged as composite dream symbols. For example, the centaur is a composite character of a man and a horse, embodying some of the unique characteristics of each. Different animal qualities are used in different ways to construct composite characters. A vampire is a composite creature that combines some of the qualities of bats and humans, whereas the superheroes Batman and Batwoman combine these qualities in quite a different way.

    Dream Symbol Connections

    Your dreams are how you imagine yourself, and the dream symbols you create are how you connect your individual potential to the opportunities you experience all around you. In waking life, you make most of these connections at an unconscious level, which results in your distributing your awareness of yourself into the world around you. Rather than unconsciously experiencing yourself as a completely separate and isolated individual, you use the people, places, events, and objects you encounter as a way of reflecting the connections you are making to a wider self-awareness. The images you create in your dreams are reflections of how you see yourself in your day-to-day reality. This process of unconscious symbolic connection is consistently used in The Dream Dictionary as a way of defining the connection each symbol describes.


    A person connects you to some aspect of your character. Any time you create a person in a dream, they connect you to some quality you need to be more aware of in waking life. Any symbol involving a person usually begins with Aspect of my character . . .


    A place connects you to a particular situation in your waking life, so any symbol involving a place usually begins with Situation where . . .


    An object connects you to some ability you have in waking life. Objects give you a specific ability, so the definition for an object usually starts off Ability to . . .


    Any time you create an event in your dreams, it is connecting you to an opportunity in waking life. The dictionary definitions for events usually start off as Opportunity to . . .


    Any animal or creature in a dream is a reflection of your instinctive creativity in waking life. Any symbol definition involving an animal usually begins with Instinctive ability . . .


    Plant imagery connects you to your ability for natural and healthy growth, so the definition for a plant usually starts with Natural ability . . .


    Dreaming of parts of your body connects you to your essential ability to take action, so body-part definitions usually begin with Essential ability . . .


    Colors in your dreams often connect you to a particular mood that is coloring how you are viewing your position in waking life. Color definitions usually begin with Mood that colors my perspective . . .


    As well as creating images in our dreams, we also create the emotions we experience in them. An emotional experience usually connects us to a particular realization in waking life, so emotions are usually defined in the dictionary by starting with Realization that . . .


    When you create particular numbers in a dream, you are usually using them to connect to an understanding in waking life that is specific to you. While dreaming of two of something may be an indication of having to place emphasis or redouble efforts, any number beyond that usually has a personal significance in your day-to-day reality. Although there are a variety of symbolic meanings attributed to numbers in various esoteric systems, the esoteric significance is usually secondary to the symbolic connection you are making.

    Dreaming into Action

    The imagery you effortlessly create in your dreams is your natural way of connecting your emotional self to the realities of your day-to-day world. By connecting your unconscious insights to your conscious awareness, you have the opportunity to turn your dreams into action. In the next section, The Dream Connection Process, we will look at some examples of how to use The Dream Dictionary definitions as a basis for taking practical action in waking life.

    The Dream

    Connection Process

    The Dream Connection Process connects the imagery and symbols you create in your dreams to situations and opportunities in waking life, where you can use this awareness to make a healthy difference. The process uses the dictionary definitions to ask questions about the imagery you have created, enabling you to identify actions you can take. First we’ll look at how to simply use the definitions. Next we’ll go through some examples of how to ask questions based on these definitions, and then we’ll work through examples of how to use the definitions and questions to put your dreams into action.

    Using the Definitions

    Every definition in the dictionary section describes a specific dream connection. For example, the dream connection for house is defined as Situation where I have the security and support I need so I can comfortably explore all aspects of my inner and outer lives. Each of the dictionary definitions can be used as a dream connection, and the simplest way to use the dictionary is to recall an image from your dream and look up the definition. This will connect your dream image to its meaning and immediately give you insight into what is happening in your waking life. To make an even deeper connection, you can then create some questions about how to use this powerful understanding in your waking life.

    Asking Questions

    Your dreams are a natural way of making sense of all the experiences you unconsciously absorb. In waking life, our usual sense-making method is to ask a question. Your dreams do this naturally and make sense by answering questions you are not consciously aware you are asking. Although your dreams are unconsciously answering your sense-making questions, the answers you respond with are in a language of imagery. This image can sometimes be directly applied in waking life, but the best way to put The Dream Connection Process into action is to use it to create some questions. To do this, we take the definition for a particular dream symbol and turn it into a question. It is easy to think that a question is just a statement with a question mark at the end, but being able to create a good question will increase your awareness, and a great question will lead you to powerful action. There are three stages in asking a powerful question:

    1. Naming the subject of the question.

    2. Naming the extent of the subject.

    3. Naming how you can modify the subject.

    By naming the subject of the question, you identify what meaning is emerging for you. When you name the extent of the subject, you reflect on its existing value. As you name how you can modify the subject, you expand your awareness of how your situation can evolve. So by using a question to name, reflect on, and expand the subject, you can use your dream image as a basis for taking practical action.

    Let’s look at an example of how to use a question to connect your dream image to practical action in waking life. The question begins with the identification of the definition connected to a particular symbol. If you create the image of a ladder in your dream, then there is a situation occurring in your waking life that involves your ability to use a particular series of steps to achieve a specific ambition so I can continue to perform at a higher level.

    The first stage in creating a dream connection question is to name the most significant aspect of your dream by looking at a symbol you would like to explore further. So a first question for the ladder dream could be What specific ambition am I trying to achieve? or What steps do I need to take to raise myself to a higher level? Using naming questions like these is often enough to identify the answers you need to put your dreams into action.

    To take it a step further, create a question that reflects the dream connection. The simplest way to do this is to think of the opposite of the symbol definition in the dictionary. For the ladder image, this question might be something like Why am I currently working at a lower level than I feel I should be? or perhaps What is preventing me from taking the steps that I need to achieve a specific ambition? By using reflecting questions like these, you can gain insight into some of the existing challenges you may be encountering.

    The third stage of creating a dream connection question is to expand the image so that you can explore alternatives and evolve some possible actions. This expansion might involve asking questions such as Do I actually have to go through this particular series of steps to reach the level I want to reach? or After I have achieved my chosen level, what are the next steps I would like to take?

    By using The Dream Connection Process to ask yourself specific questions like these, you naturally set yourself up for the possibility of attaining opportunities to put your dreams into action.

    Let’s create some other questions from another dream image. In this example, you have created a situation in your dream where you are naked in public. The definition from the Dream Dictionary for naked in public is an opportunity to uncover my need to express my talents rather than trying to conceal them from the criticisms of other people.

    So a first question that names the situation might be something like What talents am I currently concealing from other people? or Do specific people criticize my unique talents? Moving on to the reflecting part of the question, you could ask yourself, Why am I covering up my need to express my talents? or Am I being too self-critical of my talents? As you expand the question, you may further ask, How do I want to show up to other people? or Why do the opinions of other people make me feel vulnerable? These are powerful questions and directly connect the dream image you have created to possibilities in your waking life.

    Let’s look at the questions we can create from another dream, this time about a loose tooth. From The Dream Dictionary, the connection for a loose tooth is an Essential opportunity to stay firmly connected to my fundamental power and confidence rather than feeling I can’t speak up. So the first questions that name the situation might be What might give me a firmer sense of confidence in this particular situation? or perhaps What is preventing me from confidently speaking up? Reflecting questions for a loose tooth could be What is making me feel disconnected and less confident? or What do I need to do so I can speak up confidently about my present situation? Questions that expand on why you have created a loose tooth in your dream might include What situations do I feel most confident in, and what situations do I feel less confident in? or What do I need to change about my situation to make it feel like I can confidently speak my truth?

    With all these dream images and questions, you can take your opportunities for practical action further by exploring the imagery you have created in your dream. For example, from this dream of a loose tooth, you could also look up the connections for symbols such as losing teeth, which is an opportunity to regain my self-confidence by acting in a more self-assured manner, even though I may feel a bit wobbly inside. You can take this process even further by looking up the connections associated with loose, an opportunity to give myself freedom in how I approach a challenge while maintaining a firm connection to my wider ambitions, and tooth, an essential ability to confidently display my power to other people rather than feeling that I have to keep it concealed from them, so you can create more questions from those perspectives. By exploring the images you have created and the possibilities they reflect, you can connect to some real actions you can take in waking life.

    Let’s move on to some examples of how to put your dreams into action.

    Stating the Actions

    Successfully putting your dreams into action requires that you have a clear understanding of the specific action you need to take. Rather than having vague ideas about what your dream might mean, you should use the image definitions and associated questions to create specific action statements. The following examples will show you how you can take the imagery from your dreams and use The Dream Connection Process to identify what the images mean, question their purpose, and decide the actions you will take.

    Since there may be more than one image you would like to work with in a dream, we will start off the examples with one symbol and then add more symbols to build a more powerful understanding. Let’s begin with the most common dream that everyone experiences, which is being chased.

    Example 1: Being Chased

    In this dream, you are trying to escape from something or someone who is pursuing you. Your pursuer may be animals, monsters, madmen, crazy women, a gang dressed in black, or anything else you can imagine. Although you may have created a number of images in your dream, we will begin by identifying the meaning of the most significant image, which is being chased. In The Dream Dictionary, the definition for being chased is an opportunity to resolve an ongoing tension by turning my energies toward a pursuit that will help me to achieve my ambitions. The first awareness this definition connects us to is that we create this chase dream because of an opportunity we are becoming aware of in waking life. Rather than trying to avoid this opportunity, we are looking at ways to actively engage with it.

    Because it is a chase dream, the opportunity is involved with some sort of pursuit you are engaged in or would like to become engaged in. This may be an ambition you are pursuing, such as a professional promotion, or it may be pursuing the possibility of becoming romantically involved. Whatever the nature of the pursuit you’d like to become engaged in, it is causing you some tension in waking life because you are also trying to avoid it in some way. This may be due to a lack of confidence or perhaps a feeling of being unprepared. To identify the actions you can take from this chase dream, let’s create some naming, reflecting, and expanding questions.

    Naming questions for this chase dream could be What ambition am I actively pursuing in waking life? or What situation am I currently experiencing tension in?

    Reflecting questions for this dream might include What ambitions do I feel most confident I will achieve? or Where am I not using my energies as effectively as I could?

    Expanding questions for the chase dream could be Are there any other current opportunities that will help me to achieve my ambitions? or Do I need to purposefully create some healthy tension to speed up my pursuit?

    By using questions like these to name, reflect on, and expand the meaning of the dream imagery you have created, define an action statement that will help you put your dream into action. This action statement can simply be a reflection of The Dream Dictionary definition, so the statement might be I am going to resolve an ongoing tension by turning my energies toward a pursuit that will help me to achieve my ambitions.

    You can define additional action statements by simply using the questions you have created; therefore, other action statements could be I am going to use my energies as effectively as I can or I am going to purposefully create some healthy tension to achieve my ambition more quickly.

    Example 2: Being Chased by a Wolf

    Let’s study some of the other imagery you may be creating in this chase dream and imagine that in your dream you are being chased by a wolf. We know that The Dream Dictionary definition for being chased is an opportunity to resolve an ongoing tension by turning my energies toward a pursuit that will help me to achieve my ambitions, so let’s look at the definition for wolf, which is an instinctive ability to protect those closest to me by being fiercely loyal to them, even though it may sometimes set me apart. As well as separately working your way through the definitions, you can also join them together to reach an immediate awareness. This may not always be grammatically correct, but you can easily edit and adjust it. So then the immediate definition of being chased by a wolf would be an opportunity to resolve an ongoing tension by turning my energies toward a pursuit that will help me achieve my ambitions and by using my instinctive ability to protect those closest to me and by being fiercely loyal to them, even though it may sometimes set me apart.

    Although this definition is only forty or so words, it is quite complex, so you can take the imagery that is more significant for you from these definitions and summarize it in your own way. For example, your combined definition might be an opportunity to achieve my ambitions by instinctively protecting the people closest to me or perhaps setting myself apart by being fiercely loyal and causing tension.

    The combined definition indicates that the tension around whatever you are pursuing in waking life is being caused by your instinctive need to protect some people close to you. This may be your family or your friends or a group of people whom you feel fiercely loyal to, such as a sports team or your colleagues at work. Your feeling a need to be fiercely protective of these people may be causing tension and may even be distancing you from them in some way. To resolve this tension and make the most of the opportunity, you can consider how your feelings of loyalty are helping them.

    To identify the actions you can take from this more complex chase dream, let’s create some naming, reflecting, and expanding questions.

    Naming questions for this wolf-chase dream could be How can I use my fierce loyalty to resolve an ongoing tension so I can achieve my ambitions? and Where am I setting myself apart from the people I feel closest to?

    Reflecting questions might include Is my fierce loyalty causing the tension I feel? or When do I feel I am being taken advantage of by the people closest to me?

    Expanding questions could be Should I be devoting all my time to the people closest to me? or How can I stay connected to a successful outcome without becoming so attached?

    An action statement could be I am going to resolve an ongoing tension by using my fierce loyalty to protect those closest to me. Other action statements could be I am going to look out for indications that my fierce loyalty is causing me tension or I am going to devote some of my time to looking after my needs.

    Example 3: Being Chased by a Wolf Through a River

    Let’s take this dream a stage further and add another image you might create in it, such as being chased by a wolf through a river. The first step, which you are now becoming familiar with, is to look up The Dream Dictionary definition. River is defined as a situation where I can enter my emotional flow so I can understand the source of my feelings and the course they might take. In this dream your need to be fiercely loyal as you pursue your ambition has a fundamentally emotional aspect to it. To be able to pursue your ambition and your reasons for being fiercely loyal is about being able to understand the source of your feelings and the course they might take.

    By reflecting on your feelings and becoming more aware of where they come from in this situation, you can start to resolve some tensions around your fierce loyalty. You can then add this to what has emerged so far, so it gives you a more complex definition of an opportunity to resolve an ongoing tension by turning my energies toward a pursuit that will help me achieve my ambitions by using my instinctive ability to protect those closest to me and by being fiercely loyal to them, even though it may sometimes set me apart in a situation where I need to enter my emotional flow so I can understand the source of my feelings and the course they might take.

    Again, you can pick the most meaningful aspects out of the more complex definition, or you can just use it all to create some naming, reflecting, and expanding questions.

    Naming questions for this dream could be What is the source of my fierce loyalty? or How am I allowing the actions of other people to influence my emotions?

    Reflecting questions might include Do I need to decisively channel my emotional flow so I don’t get so attached to the people around me? or Is my emotional intensity causing me to feel vulnerable?

    Expanding questions could be Can I use my emotional power to take a different course of action? or Am I putting all my emotional energy into protecting the people closest to me so I don’t have to explore the source of my own feelings?

    An action statement could be I am going to understand the specific source of one of my feelings so I can resolve an ongoing tension. Other action statements could be I am going to channel my emotional flow so I won’t feel my loyalties are being misplaced or I will share the source of my feelings with the people closest to me.

    As with all these Dream Dictionary definitions, a lot of information is in each of the twenty-word definitions, so you can use your own experience and viewpoint to emphasize those that are more significant to you. This will give you a deeper awareness of the unconscious message you are expressing for yourself.

    Example 4: Being Chased by a Wolf Through a River in a Flood

    Although it is possible to keep adding images from your dream, doing so can sometimes obscure the imagery that is most significant for you. Let’s add one more image to this dream and then move on to other examples.

    As the dreamer recounted this dream, she realized that the most powerful aspect of it was that the river was actually in a flood. The Dream Dictionary definition for flood is an opportunity to rise above it all by powerfully channeling my deeper emotions so I don’t end up feeling too washed out, so as you pursue an ambition that involves your fierce loyalty, where you need to understand the source of your feelings, you need to rise above this emotional situation so you don’t end up feeling too washed out.

    To identify the actions you can take from this dream, let’s create some naming, reflecting, and expanding questions.

    Naming questions for this dream could be Is it possible for me to achieve my ambitions by rising above any emotional tensions I may feel? or How can I consistently direct my fierce loyalty so I don’t end up feeling washed out?

    Reflecting questions might include Is my overwhelming emotional intensity causing the tension I feel? or Am I allowing myself to be carried away by the ambitions of the people closest to me?

    Expanding questions could be How can I create a firm and practical boundary so my emotions don’t always come flooding out unexpectedly? or How can I maintain a consistent level of emotional involvement?

    An action statement could be I am going to achieve my ambitions by rising above any emotional tensions I may feel. Other action statements could be I am going to look out for indications that my emotional intensity is causing the tension I feel or I am going to set consistent emotional boundaries so I can look after my needs.

    Using these four simple but powerful dream images of being chased, a wolf, a river, and a flood, we have created a rich understanding of how to put this dream into action in waking life. In reality, the person who created this dream is a psychiatrist who works with disadvantaged children. Her dream reflected how her fierce loyalty to the children could sometimes result in her becoming too emotionally immersed in her relationships with them. By working through the images she had created in her dreams, asking the questions they prompted, and defining action statements, she achieved a consistent level of emotional involvement with the children. This in turn inspired the children to manage and maintain their own emotional boundaries, which led to some unexpectedly healthy outcomes.

    Example 5: Being Chased by a Crazy Woman

    Let’s look at another chase dream, this time with different imagery. In this dream, the chase involves a crazy woman. We know from The Dream Dictionary definitions that being chased means an opportunity to resolve an ongoing tension by turning my energies toward a pursuit that will help me achieve my ambitions. Let’s look up crazy woman, which is an aspect of my character that is driven mad when I neglect my creative wisdom and the talent it has to fulfil my aspirations. So the ongoing tension in your waking life around your pursuit of ambitions is about some aspect of your character that expresses your creative wisdom. There is a situation in your waking life where you need to express your creativity but feel you can’t, and it is driving you mad.

    As you work with the dream, you remember that you weren’t just being chased by a crazy woman but that you had locked yourself in a bathroom and she was outside trying to smash the door down. So let’s take a look at the definitions for both those symbols. Bathroom is an aspect of myself that ensures my emotional privacy so I can stay relaxed when I am taking care of my fundamental needs, and door is an ability to access different aspects of my character so I can develop possibilities that may have seemed closed to me. Before we move on to the naming, reflecting, and expanding questions, we can see that this dream is about the fundamental need to use your creativity, but you are trying to keep it to yourself in a private way. Your creative talent, however, can allow you to develop possibilities that may have seemed closed to you.

    To identify the actions that you can take from this chase dream, let’s create some naming, reflecting, and expanding questions. This time, instead of going through the dream images one by one, we are going to use the combined imagery as a basis for our questions and action statements.

    Naming questions for this crazy-woman-chase dream could be What areas of my powerful wisdom am I neglecting by always closing myself off to them? or How can I attend to my fundamental creative needs?

    Reflecting questions might include How can I methodically open myself up to my creative aspirations? or Where can I use my powerful intuition to help me achieve my ambitions?

    Expanding questions could be Are there other areas where I can fulfil my aspirations by showing up in a different way? or Why am I afraid of expressing my creativity?

    An action statement could be I am going to attend to my fundamental, creative needs by giving myself the personal space to explore them. Other action statements could be I am going to use my powerful intuition to decide which ambitions to pursue or I am going to look at a number of different areas where I can express my creativity. The dreamer who created this dream was a successful businesswoman who outwardly seemed very accomplished in her area of work but had been neglecting her huge creative talents. By using her intuitive skills, she became much more successful in realizing the practical value of her creativity.

    Let’s do one more chase dream and then look at some other dreams.

    Example 6: Being Chased by a Monster

    This is a common child’s dream, and this particular version was created by an eight-year-old boy and then told to his mother. To begin with, as usual, let’s look at the two main symbols so we can find their definitions in The Dream Dictionary. We know that being chased is an opportunity to resolve an ongoing tension by turning my energies toward a pursuit that will help me achieve my ambitions, and from the dictionary we learn that monster connects us to an instinctive ability to make the most of a huge opportunity rather than allowing my anxieties to grow out of all proportion. So when the boy created this dream, he had some tensions about a huge opportunity he wanted to pursue but made him anxious. Because this is a child’s dream, the opportunity may be something that seems minor to his mother, or it can be about exciting developments in his life in general.

    By using The Dream Connection Process, the boy’s mother created a number of naming, reflecting, and expanding questions for him, which included Is there a huge opportunity you are excited about but is also making you feel a little anxious?, Are you trying to pretend that it’s not really such a big deal for you?, and Is there anything else you want to do that doesn’t involve this big chance?

    Her son excitedly told her that the big opportunity was to be selected for one of the school football teams, but he had been rebuked by the sports teacher on a number of occasions about his unruly behavior. His mother helped him form an action statement, which was I need to concentrate my energies on my football skills rather than wasting them by just messing around.

    As they explored the questions and action statement, the boy described how he had also dreamed that he was taking part in a documentary as he was being chased by this monster. In The Dream Dictionary, a documentary is defined as an opportunity to understand what really happened in one of my life experiences so I can investigate my motives and behaviors. His mother helped him create another action statement: "Any tensions I might feel are always a big

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    What people think about The Complete A to Z Dictionary of Dreams

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    • (5/5)
      This is a wonderful book that explains dream symbology. Just flip to the letter something in your dream starts with and there is an explanation that is easy to read and understand. My mother kept having dreams of flying above trees, and trees are a way to show she's exploring her spirituality. It is a great book, with tons of items! It is very interesting to see what your subconscious is showing you when you sleep.I was given a free copy for an honest review.
    • (5/5)
      I received a paperback edition from the publisher through a LibraryThing giveaway, and the following is my honest opinion.What is a dream? Simply put it’s an action of our minds as we sleep rehashing the today’s events, something which is dear to us, or a mere fantasy of something we desire to be or to have. Most of us can remember when we woke up in the middle of the night screaming and crying and then have our mother tell us we merely had a dream, that it wasn’t real and then have us a comforting hug and kiss.We didn’t get our first REAL explanation until we watched the classic Disney cartoon Cinderella and heard the song “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes” and got your first true explanation which you could understand. As you read the lyrics of the song today as an adult, you’ll see how accurate it was:A dream is a wish your heart makesWhen you're fast asleepIn dreams you will loose your heartacheWhatever you wish for you keepHave faith in your dreams and somedayYour rainbow will come smiling throughNo matter how your heart is grievingIf you keep on believingThe dream that you wish will come trueA dream is a wish your heart makesWhen you're feeling smallAlone in the night you whisperThinking no one can hear you at allYou wake with the morning sunlightTo find fortune that is smiling on you.This might seem fine as an oversimplified explanation for us today; however, there’s an entire universe out there pertaining to the mystique which we’ve yet to learn to begin to understand what dreams are all about.In this book, Dr. Ian Wallace, Board Certified Psychologist, helps to lift the veil to this topic in terms which most laymen can begin to understand. There’s a meaning to all of our dreams; the people in our dreams, the location, the action taking place, etc. and the author gives several examples of this to help us understand this somewhat better. A vast portion of the book consists of over 12,000 definitions for items which appear in our dreams to aid in our understanding of them.For having fulfilled the intended purpose of this book in the manner it has, I’ve given this book 5 STARS.