Sunday, 13 March 2016

Tallulah La Ghash Guide to Dream Interpretation & Meaning

I have recently received criticism on some of my Youtube videos from people who disagree with dream interpretation being used as a tool by dream explorers such as myself. One person who watched one of my videos told me that it was 'dangerous' to offer to help someone interpret a dream and tried to remind me that there is no one universal, objective dream interpretation/meaning which can apply to everyone's dream symbol. I have never claimed this to be true. If my critics had delved a little deeper, such as visiting the Blog articles I linked in the information box below my video, or even listened more carefully to my explanation in the video, they would realise that I take a very subjective approach to dream interpretation and specifically state that I disagree with the 'one-size-fits-all' method of dream interpretation, or even the notion of universal dream archetypes proposed by Carl Jung.

I will provide a very basic and simplified version of the perspective I adopt towards dreaming and dream interpretation. I take a neo-Freudian approach, which takes Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic approach to dreaming as a starting point and then applies a postmodernist understanding to symbolism and meaning. 

I believe that dreams provide a psychological function - Freud suggests they perform 'wish fulfilment' and display violent and sexual impulses which come from the animalistic part of the brain. The logical part of the brain is deactivated or functioning in a limited way during a dream, so that we can 'believe' in the reality of the dream and do not wake up from it. Day residue is very influential with regard to dream content. 

Like Freud, I see the 'events' of the dream as manifest content, under which sits the latent content - or 'true' meaning of the dream. The manifest content is likely to be made up of things from our waking memory, to which attach subconscious associations and symbolic meaning. Dream characters may represent either people we know in our waking life or projected aspects of ourselves.

While some symbols within a dream have a relatively objective and clear meaning - such as a heart meaning 'love' or a dollar sign meaning 'money'. We understand these symbols because they are embedded deeply into our culture, or have been produced and reproduced and recycled until they become shorthand representations for an agreed meaning. This is the influence of postmodernism. These symbols may have shared cultural, or even universal meaning. However, it is the latent content which holds the real meaning of the dream for the dreamer. The latent content can only be unlocked, by probing below the surface of the manifest content, which 'hides' the real meaning. To do this, the dreamer must discover the personal, subjective and individualistic/unique associations, symbolism, memories, thoughts, feelings, experiences which are woven into the manifest content. 

This cannot be achieved by looking up dream interpretations in a book, although a book may provide examples of the range of meaning typically given to manifest content as a result of cultural norms or universal archetypes or shared meaning. It just cannot find the subjective associations - the latent content. This is how a dream interpreter might be able to help. I think it is only possible to help a dreamer interpret their dream by entering into a dialogue about the dream and asking them to search for the associations and personal symbolic meaning they can attribute to their dream. By getting the dreamer to undertake stream of consciousness/free association techniques and asking them probing questions about the dream, it is possible to assist the dreamer in interpreting their own dream in a personal and relevant way. It also provides them with the tools and techniques to continue to analyse their dreams. I have helped many people find meaning in their dreams, and in every case the dreamer was able to tell me that analysing the dream and attributing meaning helped them gain insight into either a waking life scenario/situation; a mental or emotional conflict; or a past experience. 

Am I qualified dream analyst/interpreter? No. I am not sure there is such a qualification - most 'professional dream analysts' are actually counsellors or psychologists who have an interest in dreaming and provide this as an additional chargeable service or as part of a therapeutic package. Some psychologists/psychiatrists are experts in dreaming, as are a section of neuroscientists or other scientists concentrating on sleep studies. These persons are not dream interpreters either. Most dream analysts/interpreters operating on the internet are simply dream explorers who have a personal interest in dreaming, much like myself. My 'qualification' for helping others interpret their dreams is a number of years worth of experience and a lifelong interest in dreaming, being someone who has experienced natural, spontaneous lucid dreams and lucid false awakenings since my earliest memories; and starting to learn dream recall and dream incubation techniques from around the age of 8 years, having read a library book about dreaming. I have been seriously researching and writing about dreaming and lucid dreaming for approximately 6 years, and apply my skills as a postgraduate researcher to my dream studies. I do not charge any money for helping people interpret their dreams: I also do not make any money from this Blog at all; and have not started earning any money from Youtube. All my advice is from personal experience or comprehensive research, neither endorsed nor sponsored by any other person. I am the sole author of this Blog. I do not seek to be known as an expert in my field, but neither am I an amateur. I just like dreaming and talking to others interested in dreaming. 

I write dream interpretation articles because they provide a good starting point for dream interpretation. They not expected to provide complete answers or explanations for individual dreams and I make this clear on each post which provides some dream interpretation. I compile these articles, which are completely authored by myself, from research into different cultural meanings of common dream themes and from my own personal insight into symbolic meaning. These articles are intended to be a bit of harmless fun for people who want to know what meanings have traditionally been given to certain dream symbols. 

Here is a list of some of my Dream Interpretation articles which you might find interesting - just click each 'HERE' for the relevant article to open in a new window: 

  • Colour Symbolism - click HERE
  • Snakes & Serpents - click HERE
  • Teeth - click HERE
  • Crocodiles & Alligators - click HERE
  • Knives & Stabbing - click HERE
  • Weapons & Violence - click HERE
  • Cats - click HERE
  • Clowns - click HERE
  • Falling - click HERE
  • Nakedness/Nudity - click HERE
  • Phallic & Yonic Symbolism - click HERE

I hope you have enjoyed reading these Dream Interpretation articles. Please leave me a comment to let me know if there is a special dream symbol which you would like an interpretation for.

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