Saturday, 30 November 2013

Dream 202

This was a very confusing dream as it kept changing, although the actual narrative was quite simple. It started with me just having given birth to a baby. I was in an unfamiliar room which was quite dark and had a shop counter along one wall and a bed along another. I was standing at the shop counter, looking at the shelves behind it, which were stocked with groceries. Next to me at the counter were two males - both quite short with black hair and wearing white shirts. It was obvious to me that they were gay men in a relationship. I was also aware that I had just given birth to a son, and that one of the men (the one standing closest to me) was the father. The non-father male went behind the shop counter - it was his shop. I turned to my son's father and said: "When you have access to the baby you must always feed him whole foods". I was very concerned that my baby have the correct nutrition. The male said: "What about meat?" I said: "No, I don't want him to eat sausages". The male then said: "What about bread?" to which I replied: "Only if you bake it yourself". I looked at the groceries behind the counter and said: "The baby must not eat any food from this shop..." I felt anxious about letting my son's father look after him, as I wanted to care for him by myself. 

The scene changed and I was in a large family home - which was also unfamiliar to me in waking-life, but which was the home of my ex-boyfriend HL in the dream. His whole family lived there with him. The house was decorated in white and had lots of sofas in a huge lounge, where his family were gathered. This was the first time I actually saw my baby and I could see he looked Chinese. I was talking to HL's sister, and found his family were very supportive and wanted to help me care for the baby, which I was holding, wrapped in a white shawl. I was passing the baby to his family members and chatting in a friendly way with them. 

The scene changed again and I was watching the action from a disconnected, third person perspective. There was a girl standing in the centre of a forest which had a forked road in it. The girl had strawberry blonde hair and was wearing a long, flowing white dress. She stood at the fork of the road, looking confused. To her (and my) left side, there was another girl - she was dark-haired and wore glasses, dressed casually in jeans. She was trying to persuade the blonde girl to go home to her parents, but the blonde girl was refusing, saying that she was waiting for her boyfriend to arrive. Suddenly, a young male arrived, riding a large horse. He stood to the right of the two females. I was aware that the blonde girl was intending to ride off with the male - and take part in some kind of race. However, instead of a horse, she was going to ride in a white lorry-like vehicle, which I could now see in front of  the characters. The male rode off on her horse. Then, without the girl getting in the lorry, it started to move away, at speed. I was watching the scene from above and witnessed the lorry driving by itself onto a residential road lined with trees and other parked vehicles, where it crashed into a load of cars.

I then was standing outside a building, leaning on a brick wall, which was approximately waist-height. HL's family approached, his sister carrying my baby. She said to him: "There you go, back to your grandmother!" I was confused as I was his mother and not old enough to be a grandmother. I said: "No, I'm his mother" and took the baby from her. He now seemed very big - about the size of a four year old child, although he still had the face of a baby. I laid him down on the brick wall and started tickling his belly - he had a really strange protruding belly button. He was laughing and said: "Do it again!"

Olfactory Dreams - Do we perceive smells in our dreams?

Can we experience smell in dreams? Many people would say that they experience a distinct sense of smell when dreaming, myself included. JK Huysmans, a nineteenth century writer and dream diarist recounted vivid dreams where he experienced intense smell and colour sensations, but the scientific basis for claims that smell is possible in dreaming has received little empirical research. In the "Statistics of Dreams" published in American Journal of Psychology (1893), Mary Whiton Calkins analysed the dream diaries of two subjects, recorded over a 6 - 8 week period and found that olfactory sensations appeared very rarely - visual and auditory perceptions are much more common. A later study at Wellesley College by Sarah Weed and Florence Hallam (1896) stated that olfactory perceptions appear in less than 15% of dreams. A further Wellesley College study by Hall and Titchener, published in American Journal of Psychology (1901) cited olfactory dreams, such as one where the dreamer was holding a can emitting vapours which were absorbed into a sponge, and created the sensation of an 'oppressive' and "strong, stifling, choking odour". Another olfactory dream cited in this study was as follows:

"I dreamed of looking off towards Milton and saying that beyond lay the ocean. I immediately got the keenest and most natural smell of wind from the flats and the delicious ocean odour. This gave me such intense pleasure, as it always does, that I awoke."

In Freud's Interpretation of Dreams (1900), he included an account of an olfactory dream:

"Eau de Cologne was held to his nostrils. He found himself in Cairo, in the shop of Johann Maria Farina. This was followed by fantastic adventures which he was not able to recall."

AL Zadra, TA Nieleon and DC Donderi, researchers at the McGill University in Montreal published "Prevalence of auditory, olfactory and gustatory experiences in home dreams" in Perceptual and  Motor Skills (1998). They asked 164 subjects whether they had experienced taste or smell in dreams - 41% of females and 35% of males stated they had. Subjects were asked to record their dreams upon waking, enabling the researchers to gather 3,372 dream records. More than half of these dreams recounted auditory perception, but less than 1% recounted smell. They found that experiencing smell in dreaming was a widespread, but low frequency phenomenon, with huge gender differences - 20.9% of females, compared with just 2% of males recalled experiencing smell in their dreams. 

Since 1950s research, we are aware that external stimuli such as light and sound may occasionally be incorporated into dream content. K Trotter, K Dallas and P Verdone, sleep researchers at Cal State, Sacramento, published "Olfactory stimuli and their effects on REM dreams" in Psychiatry Journal of the University of Ottawa (1988) following experiments where they exposed subjects to a smell for five minutes during the REM stage of sleep. The subjects were woken a minute later and asked to recall their dreams. Around 19% of the subjects recalled a smell perception during their dream - which is consistent with the rate of dream incorporation associated with other forms of external stimuli. One piece of anecdotal evidence from the study claimed:

The subject was presented with a freshly cut lemon while in REM sleep. The resulting dream was: "I dreamed I was in Golden Gate Park. I was walking by some gardenias. They were just opening. All of a sudden I could smell the gardenias, but they smelled like lemons rather than gardenias".

The researchers used both pleasant smells (lemon, peanut butter, roses) and unpleasant smells (dog faeces, match smoke, onions), finding that the pleasant smells were more likely to be incorporated into the subjects dreams - in 27% of cases, compared with 11% for the unpleasant smells. However, the pleasantness of the smell was found to have little effect on the emotional tone of the dream itself - approximately 33% of odour-stimulated dreams were unpleasant. A study of 15 female subjects by German researchers, Stuck and Schredl et al, of the University Hospital Mannheim, "The impact of olfactory stimulation on dreams" (2008) presented at the American Academy of Otalaryngology in Chicago found that unpleasant smells (i.e. hydrogen sulphide, which smells like rotten eggs) produced predominantly negative dream content, whereas pleasant smells (i.e. phenyl ethyl alcohol, which smells like roses) tended to produce positive dream experiences. The researchers also used a neutral substance as a control. After waking the subjects for recording of their dreams, it was discovered that the specific smells did not appear in the dreams (i.e. the rotten egg smell was not incorporated into the dream content as rotten eggs). The olfactory sense is closely related to the brain's limbic system, which is responsible for emotion and behaviour. The brain handles smell stimuli in a very different way to visual or audio sensory information, and so the female subjects of the study recalled dreams about activities linked to smell (i.e. cleaning a toilet or walking through a garden) rather than the particular smells themselves. This research is clearly at odds with the data obtained by the Sacramento teams. What is certain, however, is that the boundary between smells and dreamscapes is porous - and indeed smell can be incorporated into the dream experience, much like other forms of external stimuli.

Richard Stevenson and Trevor Case conducted a 2004 questionnaire study, "Olfactory Dreams: Phenomenology, Relationship to Volition Imagery and Odor Indentification" published in Imagination, Cognition and Personality (2005). They asked 284 subjects to answer questions about smell perceptions in dreams. They found that 26.4% of the subjects had olfactory dreams. When the dream content was analysed, around 50% of smell perceptions were found to be food-related, with bacon being the most common food smell recorded. Additionally, 21% of the olfactory dreams were associated with smoke or burning smells and another 21% involved body or animal odours. Similar to the waking world, smell sensations in dreams were briefer, but more emotionally-charged than visual perceptions. A second survey study by Gilbert, Crouch and Kemp on visual and olfactory mental imagery ability, published in Journal of Mental Imagery found multiple links between smell ability in waking states and dream states. Olfactory dreamers were found to experience both visual and olfactory senses more vividly than non-olfactory dreamers, and secondly, persons with more vivid mental imagery for smells experience more vivid smell dreams. It was also found in a follow-up study that olfactory dreamers tend to perform better in identifying specific odours in waking smell tests.

For a very useful literature review on olfactory dreaming, I would direct you to read Weitz, Croy, Seo, Negoias and Hummel, "Studies on Olfactory Dreaming" in Chemosensory Perception (2010). This paper produced arguments and counter-arguments and empirical data on the topic, as well as providing a very useful overview of all the main research studies on the topic of smell perceptions in dreaming.

Another theory of olfactory dreaming is that you do not 'smell' an odour in a dream, but rather, due to the emotive, highly evocative nature of smell-memories (i.e. the fact that smelling a certain perfume out of context, but which you associate closely with another person, can bring to mind vivid memories), the brain is able to trigger an olfactory memory (much like it can trigger other memories while in the dream state) leading the dreamer to believe they are able to smell in the dream. Indeed, smell is the sense which is said to be most closely linked with emotional memory.

Some oneironauts claim that one way of testing whether you can experience smell in dreams is to use Smell Induced Lucid Dreaming techniques. Smell is different from our other senses, where information is processed by the thalamus before being sent to the primary regions responsible for handling the sense perception. When visual information hits the photo-receptors in the eyes, the data is processed by the thalamus before being sent to the optical lobe; with auditory information, the data is sent to the primary auditory centres after being received by the eardrum and processed by the thalamus. A similar process occurs for touch and taste. However, smell is a more 'primitive' sense which bypasses the thalamic switchboard, travelling straight from the nose to the cortical areas of the brain responsible for conscious thought. Professor Tim Jacob, an expert in taste and smell at Cardiff University states: "Smell is the only sense which does not 'sleep'. Information continues to reach the limbic system of the brain and that includes the hippocampus or memory area and the amygdala that is involved wtih emotional response. Other senses have to pass through the 'gate'of the thalamus, which is closed when we sleep."

Therefore SMILD may be an effective lucid dream induction technique as the smell sensation is not routed away from conscious recognition by the thalamus. However, smell is habituated to, very rapidly - fading from conscious awareness very quickly even when still present in our immediate environment. Therefore, in order to be a successful lucidity trigger, the scent employed for this purpose would need to be sprayed into the sleeping environment on a timer system, rather than relying on a single scent being placed in the room at the start of sleep. Essentially, the best way to do this, would be to time the scent activation with the REM sleep stage, which is quite complex - and perhaps even impossible - to achieve in a normal home environment as opposed to within a fully-equipped dream laboratory, but which mirrors the standard method used by dream/sleep researchers in the studies outlined above.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Dream 201

Dream during afternoon nap

This was the longest and strangest dream I have had in a long time. It was very vivid and the scenes kept interchanging, but I could make out a narrative nonetheless. I woke up in a really good mood and felt happy that I had experienced such a dream. Before I went to sleep, I saw this picture, of a baby squirrel which had been found in a bag of mulch by a man, who then cared for it and posted the images of its development on the internet site Reddit. The story was reported in the news and a friend of mine posted it on Facebook. At the time I saw the photo of the baby animal, I did not know it was a squirrel and I did not click on the link or read the story. I only did so now, while writing up my dream, so I could retrieve the picture. 
Baby squirrel found in a bag of mulch
In my dream I started off in a house which was unfamiliar, and it was night-time. I was standing outside in a courtyard garden, which was typical - with some usual garden items laying around and a tall wooden fence separating it from the neighbours' gardens. I was with a male - who I thought was PS - but who may not have been. He was telling me about an animal he had saved - he said it was a hare. He said: "The mother 'fronted' and I found it had give birth to this hare, so I raised it". The hare was huge - about the size of a Labrador dog, and grey in colour. It's head did not look particularly like a rabbit/hare - more like a strange deformed kangaroo, and it sat back on it's hind legs, which did resemble those of an over-seized rabbit. It bounced about on it's hind legs, as a kangaroo would. It had very sharp teeth, but when it took my finger in its mouth, it just chewed gently. I spent some time in the garden with the male and the hare, playing with it. I was then in my nan's house, sitting halfway up her stairs in the hall, while she made a telephone call to someone. It was still night-time. My nan was saying: "It's a dog!" referring to the hare. I was interrupting her, saying: "No, it was a hare!" My nan ignored me and said: "It was a sheep, it was a horse". I said: "No, it did not have hooves, it had the feet of a rabbit". 

The scene changed and I was walking down the top end of York Street in Norwich, where I used to live. However, it also seemed like it was the upper part of Pine Grove, Sheringham - where my former childhood home used to be. It was like the roads were merged now. It was daytime. I saw a car, with the boot open. Inside were lots of long black metal items - all identical and brand new in boxes.  I am not sure what they were, but I helped myself to two of them and continued walking, with the intention of going home. 

The scene changed and I was outside my nan's house in Sheringham - it was still daylight. I was watching this scene in the third person. Louis Walsh got out of a car which had pulled up outside the house. The front door was open for him. He sprinted up the path, and entered the house, with me following him. Inside the house, the interior was very different - it was no longer my nan's house, but instead some form of children's home/orphanage. Louis was supposed to have brought some sweets for the children (who were not present), but had forgotten. I saw a big box of chocolates on a table - the box was cardboard and the chocolates were wrapped in shiny colourful foil, but were extra large - each about the size of a family-sized bar of chocolate, but different shapes. I heard a disconnected voice say: "Louis Walsh is Phil Mitchell! He's Alfie Moon! He's Ian Beale!" (these are all characters from Eastenders). I got the impression that Louis Walsh was going to be replacing the actor Adam Woodyatt who plays Ian Beale. Louis Walsh was walking around the dining room of the orphanage, looking confused. He was wearing a white T-shirt.

The scene changed again and I was in the Student Union Bar at university, on the sofas in front of the window in the Red Bar. It appeared to be exactly as it would be in real-life. I was sitting with a group of people I did not know, and I was bored by them. On the table next to us was another group of people, including one male who had black hair and black stubble on his chin. He was wearing a grey Nike tracksuit (my favourite outfit for a male) and bare feet. He had headphones in. He went to the bar and ordered something - he had his right foot lifted up and placed on the bar. The group of people at my table left and I felt relieved that they were gone. Then I saw the group of people at the male's table had also left. He said: "Thank god for that, now I can buy salad". I said: "What's your name?" and he told me "Nick". He said I could join him, as we were both alone. I went to the bar because I wanted to buy some cigarettes. I bought some of the Rothman's brand - but I was unhappy as I actually wanted  rolling tobacco, which they did not stock. I wondered how to get rid of the cigarettes as I knew I would not want to smoke them. 

I was then in a strange bedroom, which was well-lit - I was with PS. It was 'our' room, but it did not really resemble the real room we used to share. I was sitting on the bed, and he was adjacent to me, with his back to me, using a computer. He said: "I left my lighter with MS, so I need to borrow some off you". I said: "Some lighters?" and he said: "No, some money". I asked him what he meant, because I assumed he would just need another lighter, which I would be able to give him. He was getting annoyed by my confusion over his simple request and said: "Look I need £3.50 so we can move house". I said I would give him the money, but wondered why he had mentioned lighters in the first place if he wanted cash. I started looking at a TV guide magazine. I was able to tell that it was Saturday night, by reading the date at the top of the page I was on. There was a picture printed in the middle of one of the listings - of a painted countryside scene with a cottage and flowers and children looking jolly. The caption said that it related to a movie adaptation of the BBC children's high school-based programme Grange Hill (where many Eastenders actors started their career). The caption said: "Shows such as [then listed a range of programmes set in schools, which I cannot recall] and Madison Square [I think I made this one up in the dream] do not have to worry about following in the wake of this less than formidable movie". I thought that the movie must be rubbish and started looking at other TV shows listed in the magazine. There was one, scheduled for 6:25 am - there was no title or caption given, but it caught my interest and I felt annoyed that it was going to be shown at this inconvenient time. The picture was a cartoon drawing, in black, white and sepia tones. It showed a cavern with a river flowing through it, and some industrial elements. There was a big sailing vessel in the centre of the image, and in the forefront (left) there was a stack of boxes, each with an evil clown doll inside. In the foreground (right) there was a female in a flowing dress, chained to the wall of the cavern (standing on a ledge, so she was not in the water, which appeared to be 'choppy'). Behind her, half-blended into the wall, was a full-sized clown - looking as if it was waiting to take her by surprise. I wanted to find out more about this TV show, so I decided to find the listing from the previous week to see if it gave me more information. I thought to myself: 'I bet the TV guide starts on Sunday, not Saturday...' but as I flipped to the front of the magazine, I saw that there was a listings page for the previous Saturday. The same cartoon show had an entry which spread over two pages - from the bottom of one page, to the top of the second page (which I saw when I turned the page). I saw another image from the cavern scene - instead of boxes of small evil clowns in the right foreground, there was a stack of skulls. The woman was no longer chained to the cavern wall, and the sailing vessel was closer to the foreground of the image - I could see there were people depicted - men on some sort of mission. The show was called: "Intergalactic" and described as a 'horror'. I looked in a hand mirror which I found beside me on the bed. It was a magnifying mirror. I looked the same as I do in real-life, but I noticed I had wrinkles by the side of my eyes (crow's feet) which are not really there. I put the mirror down, then raised it again to check my reflection. This time, I saw there was bright blue paint on the centre of my face, with a slightly darker blue/high saturation of paint on my nose. I wondered how it had got there. 

The scene changed again, and I was in another strange house - it was night-time and the lights were on it the house. The staircase was bare, unsanded wood, with visible splinters - leading down to a lounge, where there was an old red and white striped sofa, at the foot of the stairs, against the wall. You could then walk a few steps and go through to a kitchen area - the wall was knocked through and had not been rebuilt, The house looked a mess, but quite homely. Louis Walsh was there - I was watching the scene without any form of interaction. I followed Louis Walsh down the stairs (I did not see anything of the upper floor of this house, as the scene started when we were already halfway down the stairs and could see the ground floor). Louis Walsh - as Ian Beale - was on the phone to the producers of Eastenders who were also the police at the same time. They were questioning him over a text he had sent to Hetti Bywayer - who plays Ian Beale's teenage daughter, Lucy Beale in Eastenders. The police were asking him why he had not forwarded them a copy of the text (it appeared that they were investigating him for sexual abuse/incest or suchlike). Louis/Ian was explaining that he thought that when he text Hetti/Lucy, he was 'acting' - he said: "But on the show, when someone texts another character, the recipient receives a text straight-away. I thought I was meant to text her in character so she would receive the text in the scene" - he was basically trying to say that the text had been sent as part of the scene they were both acting in, and not as a personal text to Hetti, the actress. The police told him he was going to be arrested for his inappropriate behaviour. Louis was pacing the kitchen, looking very anxious.
A March Hare
Rothman's cigarettes
Evil Clown - 'Pennywise' from Stephen King's IT (1990)
Louis Walsh
Adam Woodyatt & Hetti Bywater aka 'Ian & Lucy Beale' in Eastenders

Dream 200

It was night-time. I was the owner of a house, which I could see in front of me - it was a square cottage, with a white interior and large windows which allowed me to look into the property. However, the cottage was the size of a large doll's house from the position I was looking at it. I think it was actually a normal sized house, but the scale was different. I was in a forest, in a clearing, surrounded by trees. There were other people with me, but I did not see exactly who they were. I was telling them that I was finding a tenant for my cottage, and then suddenly, I was aware that the house was occupied by a person - I could see them moving inside the property, through the window. I told my unknown companions: "It's the gingerbread witch" (I assume I meant the witch from the Brothers Grimm Hansel and Gretel fairytale). I could only see the bottom of her skirt, which was flowing and pale pink through the window - she was seated at a table and I knew she was drinking a cup of tea. I felt anxious, because I did not want to lease the cottage to a witch. I thought I should leave the forest before she noticed me outside.

The scene changed and I was in a dark room of another house, talking to PS. I was telling him I wanted to travel around London on the Tube. I had decided a couple of locations I wished to visit - one was Highgate and the other was a random town in West London, which in the dream I was familiar with (it seemed like a very pleasant, enjoyable place to visit in my 'dream memory') but which I cannot identify or name. I was standing beside a noticeboard, marking down the places I intended to visit, but PS did not seem keen. I then went outside the house, where there was a table in the corner, adjacent to the wall, and gravel on the ground. I noted that it was night-time still. My mum was there. After standing outside for a few moments, I began to feel panicked and anxious and was crying and screaming, although I do not know why. My mum grabbed me, and took me back inside the house. My aunt, CJ, was standing beside the noticeboard. She was talking about her daughter, my cousin, CAJ. I was still in a state of panic, and my aunt said: "She's gone psychotic!" I was then asked by my mum and aunt whether I had left anything outside on the gravel. I went back outside to check and found huge screwed up balls of used tissue, which I brought back inside and put in the dustbin. I was aware my mum and aunt were organising a barbecue. I was keen to go and undertake my travels around London, particularly the visit to the unnamed town which I 'remembered' had nice trees and lots of interesting buildings and thrift shops.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Dream 199

Dream during afternoon nap
I was in a room by myself. The room was very dark, with a blue haze in the air. I am not aware of what furniture was in the room, but there was a toy trainset running in a circle around the floor. I was aware that I was supposed to be meeting PS, but that he was late. I kept trying to ring him on my mobile phone, but could not get through. I exited the room and went into the room directly next door. This happened to also be dark, but I could see it was a larger version of my bedroom at my nan's house - there was more floor space as the end of the bed was no longer near the door, but halfway down the room. PS was standing at the foot of the bed. He was masturbating and reaching orgasm. There was a small, old-fashioned television set on top of my dressing table, paying a pornographic movie. I was annoyed that PS was spending his time watching porn rather than meeting me as arranged. PS put his penis back into his underwear (he had simply undone his trousers - he was not naked). He did not seem sorry for failing to meet me. I left the room and used my mobile phone to contact ED, telling him I would be coming to visit him, to which he agreed. I went back into the first room to get ready. The trainset was still operative on the floor, but the room was no longer dark - it was completely white, with white drapes and white laundry bags lining the bed which was in the corner. 
Sarah Lucas, 4 Works: Get Off Your Horse and Drink Your Milk (1994)
Sarah Lucas, Got a Salmon on Prawn (1994)

Interpreting popular dream themes (5) - Knives & Stabbing

I have a lot of dreams involving knives and stabbings so I thought I would write an article about interpreting this very common dream theme. 

If you wish to read my newer, updated, more comprehensive Dream Interpretation Guide on how to interpret the meaning of ALL VIOLENT DREAMS INVOLVING WEAPONS, please click on this title link: 'DREAM INTERPRETATION: Weapons & Violence in Dreams (Knives, Guns, Bombs etc)'.

A blade generally indicates that the dreamer is making some important or difficult decisions in their waking life. You must be able to make clear distinctions between available choices and may be walking a 'thin line' and must balance aspects of your life carefully. Carrying a knife in a dream represents anger, aggression, emotional conflict, division and separation. There is something in the dreamer's waking life that he needs to cut out or get rid of. It may be that the dreamer needs to sever ties or end a certain relationship. The knife symbol may also indicate sexual tension or confrontation. A knife wound symbolises masculine or animalistic aggression and power. 

If the dreamer merely observes a knife in their dream, this refers to frustration, anger and aggression. It can reflect the dreamer's insecurity and need for protection of some sort. A set of knives reflects inner turmoil and the fact that the dreamer is 'battling' with himself. The dreamer may be pushing himself to act in a manner which will cause pain to himself and those close to him, but is being inhibited by his mind.

If the dreamer is female, dreaming of being chased by a man with a knife, this typically symbolises a fear that the dreamer will be dumped and become single - they are struggling to keep their partner happy. Alternatively, it may represent the woman's desire to avoid aggressive sexual advances - a fear of penetration and masculine power. A knife may symbolise sexual immaturity and a danger in allowing this to be acted on in an unrestrained manner. Male dreamers often dream of knives when facing conflict over opposing ideas and agendas. A knife is symbolic of a piercing mind and intellect - if sharp and able to cut through objects. If blunt, it will represent the opposite. If the knife seen in the dream is double-edged - it shows an ability to both attack (i.e. impose one's will on others) and defend.

A knife may symbolise a need to get everything out in the open - so problems in the dreamer's waking life can be successfully confronted. Because knives are used to cut, slice and penetrate, this symbol will also relate to a need to delve deeper into a matter in order to bring about greater understanding and resolution.

To dream of another person holding a knife represents a loss of control or power in a situation or relationship. The person holding the knife may be symbolic of a source of dominant masculine power in the dreamer's waking life. 

To dream of being stabbed symbolises the dreamer being wounded by someone's words or actions - particularly within a domestic scenario. It may also represent guilt, shame and disgrace. The dreamer perceives that someone wants to see them lose or get hurt in some way. A dream of stabbing may indicate a struggle for power, inadequacy, betrayal or sudden shock. Dreaming of stabbing someone else represents the fact that the dreamer is taking out their anger or aggression on others. It may represent a desire to restore the dreamer's independence in a relationship or situation. It can also symbolise wanting to feel another's pain or know your actions are hurting them. The dreamer may also wish to take someone important away from someone else. Being attacked by many knives at the same time is indicative that the dreamer perceives himself to have many enemies or opponents and suggests a need to take pre-emptive action to protect oneself. Cutting yourself with your own knife is symbolic of deception or disappointment. Highly polished knives may indicate worry or anxiety. Giving a knife to someone as a gift symbolises the severing of a relationship with the person receiving the knife from the dreamer, or vice versa.

A broken blade indicates ambiguity, ambivalence or confusion regarding the waking life decision. The dreamer may have experienced counter-productive circumstances from their current actions. It may also symbolise the idea that anger is not the solution to problems - it is a warning to address waking situations calmly. Rusty knives represent dissatisfaction, domestic disputes and the separation of lovers. 

A butter knife symbolises ease and simplicity. Attempting to cut something with a butter knife indicates ineffectual actions and difficulty in completing tasks. The dreamer is lacking some knowledge or insight and may be embarrassed by their impotence. A dull or blunt knife symbolises the fact that hard work will lead to little gain or a bad result. A knife grinder/sharpener represents a loss of freedom and autonomy, or additionally, a heightened desire for separation or conflict in the dreamer's waking life. The dreamer is preparing or improving their ability to face such conflict or strengthen their power against an enemy. Also, a knife grinder appearing in a dream may indicate that someone is taking liberties with the dreamer's personal possessions. If the dreamer is female, the symbol of the knife grinder represents unhappy union and drudgery. A dreamer who dreams of sharpening a knife may be facing sexual temptation or the instinct to cheat on a partner or friend.

Dreaming of a pocketknife represents the notion that a good friend is hiding his or her true feelings, or alternatively, confidence that the dreamer can deal with any problem which suddenly arises. A dream about an electric knife represents the dreamer's power to get down to the truth of a situation quickly and easily. A penknife represents hidden intentions to defend a permanent choice or decision in the dreamer's life. It can indicate preparedness to stand your ground or an inability to discuss your true feelings with others. 

A butcher's knife represents conflict which is severe, drastic or unsympathetic. There is a problematic person in the dreamer's waking life (or a situation causing some problems to the dreamer) which requires the dreamer to give 100%, but does not offer any reward or anything in return. Someone wants the dreamer to fail. A butcher's knife may also symbolise unyielding beliefs or absolute unwillingness to compromise when dealing with such issues. The dreamer may fear that someone is out to get them, leaving them with nothing - or these actions on the part of the dreamer in relation to another person. A cleaver represents bravery and courageousness - and the ability to distinguish between right and wrong. 

Dreaming of being sliced by a knife during an operation is symbolic that something needs to be cut from the dreamer's waking life. The dreamer needs to make a drastic change or change their habits. If the dreamer is performing the operation on another, this means they are facing a deep problem or dealing with repressed issues. 

Finding a knife in a dream represents luck and profit in the dreamer's waking life. To pick up a knife symbolises that the dreamer is facing some quarrel or dispute which needs to be addressed. A knife in a sheath or scabbard represent a buried or settled quarrel or problem. A knife on a covered table indicates to the dreamer that he can rely on his friends' loyalty, while a knife seen with other household appliances or objects symbolises an invitation of some sort. Losing a knife tends to indicate loss in business.

In many cultures, the knife is symbolic of survival, protection and retribution. Islamic interpretations of the symbol of the knife state that the knife is representative of the dreamer's servant, right-hand man or someone else who protects the dreamer's interests in some way. The sharpness of the knife represents the implementation of the dreamer's will. A knife entering a sheath - like in Freudian dream interpretations - would symbolise male penetration of a female.If a bachelor obtains a knife in a dream, it is a symbol  that he is to soon be married, whereas if a woman dreams of handing a knife to another woman, the knife symbolises the love interest of the dreamer. Swallowing a knife represents the idea that the dreamer will 'consume' or take some of their child's inheritance or resources intended for their offspring. Typically, in Islamic interpretations of the knife symbol, the knife will represent the dreamer's son. For example, some interpretations suggest that dreaming of stealing a knife indicates heightened love for a son over and above other children of the family, while dreaming that you have been given a knife as your sole weapon is indicative that you will have a son, or find some form of brotherhood with another male - particularly in situations of conflict. If a pregnant woman dreams of a knife, it symbolises that she will give birth to a male child. Lacerating your own hands with a knife in a dream suggests that the dreamer is to witness something spectacular in their waking life. Holding a knife means that finances are due to come to the dreamer, although if the knife is poor in some way, this may be less than expected or needed. A table knife represents someone who is lazy and cheats at their work, while using a table knife symbolises the fact that a project supported by the dreamer is void or will not come into fruition. Strangely, if a teacher dreams of stealing a knife, Islamic interpretations suggest that this means the dreamer is sexually tempted by children and has desires to abuse a child in their care. I am not sure whether this is a particularly apt interpretation and obviously, care should be taken when reading meanings into any dream. Islamic interpretation of the knife symbol also highlights the meanings of proof or evidence - the dreamer may require a witness to assist him in his 'testimony' or 'trials' - a sharp knife would indicate that this 'witness' will come up to proof, while a blunt knife means the opposite. To dream of a 'trial' where the dreamer carries a knife which is sheathed, indicates the dreamer will defend themselves perfectly by themselves, without the assistance of others. A knife sharpener represents a teacher of adroitness, sageness or skills - and additionally, the dignified bearer of adversity, sobriety or a decisive person. In the negative, it can symbolise a troublemaker or vile personality who possesses some of these traits. 

Freudian interpretation of a knife, blade - or anything sharp and pointed which can cut or penetrate - typically refers to the psycho-sexual and phallic, specifically the penis. The dreamer who dreams of objects with a sharp edge desire to rush headlong into instinctual action without restraint. 

Dream 198

I was in a very dark room. Along one wall of this room was a grey box office counter with a man standing behind it. There were other people in the room, but everything looked unclear and hazy, like the room was smoky or foggy. I was standing in a queue with my friend NN. We were holding some boxes. While the man behind the box office was talking to another person (customer?), he kept swearing, in particular using the word 'fucking'. NN said to me that this was a scene from Eastenders. I said: "But they don't swear in Eastenders". NN said: "They do now, it's a new thing..." We stood in queue listening to the swearing man for a while. Then the scene changed - we were now in a long, brightly-lit room. NN had organised for every person from our high school year to come - for a party or some sort of gathering. Suddenly, every student from our year of high school came rushing into the room in single file - I was able to recognise these people as they ran past me. They all looked the same as they had at school - i.e. they were their 16 year old selves. They passed through the room and out of a door at the other end. Then, one boy, LM approached us, asking if he had missed out on the party from arriving late. NN told him he was too late to join in. 

The scene changed and it was now daylight. I was sitting in a car with PL, at an intersection. I could see that we were in a town, with shops and traffic lights visible through the car windows. PL kept repeating himself, asking: "But would you be OK with the...laundry?" Every time he said "laundry" he stumbled and stuttered the word, which made it seem as if the word was difficult for him to say (he is British-born Chinese so speaks English fluently as a first language, with a local accent). Whenever he said "laundry" I got the impression he meant "rubbish",  but tried to reassure him that I was 'OK' with it - I am not sure in what context he was asking me. 

I was then in a brightly-lit space with JT. She was trying to make a telephone call to her mum, who was apparently unwell. We were sitting on a white tiled floor, but I cannot recall any other details about the environment. I was aware I was receiving £500 into my bank account. I saw the number 500 in big blue letters, close-up. JT and I were then packing white clothes into suitcases which were placed on a bed with white linen. Everything seemed unclear and confusing. 

Monday, 25 November 2013

Dream 197

I was in America - with JC (a Facebook friend and artist from America). We were getting off a school bus (a typical yellow one, as seen on TV shows depicting US schools). It was afternoon and nearly dark. JC said we should go into the school warehouse - it may have been the janitor's shed - it was a large wooden outhouse building. Inside, was some kind of open-top vehicle - like an motorised lawnmower or golf buggy. JC decided to climb on top of it. I was standing, watching him, with my back against the wall. Suddenly, the police entered - a male and a female police officer (my boy cousin, who also has the initials 'JC' had posted on Facebook - just before I fell asleep for this afternoon nap when the dream occurred - that he had some involvement with the police today following an incident where he confronted some bullies).The male went to JC and made him get off the vehicle. The female approached me. I tried to remain calm and friendly as I had not done anything wrong, other than going into the shed, unauthorised (i.e. trespassing). The police officer seemed to accept that I had not done anything very illegal. She said to me that she just needed to arrest me so she could question me about JC. I said: "No comment". She advised me that I was going to be arrested anyway. I said: "I will not snitch on anyone - no comment". I then put my hands in my pocket. She asked me what I was doing. I said I was going to get a cigarette to smoke and showed her that I was holding a lighter. Suddenly, the female and another police officer who came from nowhere, were conducting a search of my outer layers. I said: "You will find nothing on me, I haven't done anything wrong". They found nothing during the search, but they put handcuffs on me - to the front. The female officer led me out to the police car. I told her I was waiting for a CRB check (Criminal Records Bureau check - for employment purposes. I am in fact waiting for my certificate to arrive in real-life and received an email from my employer today informing me I should have it, but it has not yet arrived, causing me some anxiety, although I know it will be 'clean'). The officer told me that I would be found guilty of a criminal offence, but I could just declare it. I said: "Is in an indictable offence?" to which she replied "No, it's unlawful access". I asked her if this was the same as trespass, and she agreed it was. The police car was parked by some trees on a street beside the school. It was now pitch black night. I stepped away from the police car and now found the handcuffs were no longer on my wrists. The female police officer then 'ran herself over' - I cannot explain how this happened - only that she made her car jerk forward and strike her, causing her to fall to the ground injured. I was aware she was trying to 'stitch me up'. She laid on the floor, and shouted: "You assaulted me!" I felt very concerned and started to run away. I kept turning down as many streets as I could, hoping no-one would know which direction I was running in. I could hear police sirens in the distance. After some time I stopped on a residential street. I entered a small hut-like house - the door just opened. There was a cupboard under the stairs in a well-lit, but unoccupied room. I hid in the cupboard, listening to police sirens. I decided the best thing to do would be to return to the UK. I wondered if I would be stopped at the airport - as there would most likely be a warrant for my arrest. I decided that I should travel with a misspelled last name, and used a biro to change the spelling of my name on my passport. I thought this may let me travel undetected. I was then back in the UK - in my nan's house, with various members of my family. My uncle, GC (my cousin JC's dad, who had told him not to worry about the police when he posted the status on Facebook earlier in real-life) was present. He said: "They can't extradite you from here". I felt slightly relieved and asked if I now had a criminal record. GC said: "They haven't tried you. You aren't guilty". I felt even more calm and happy. I then found out (I am not sure how) that JC (my American Facebook friend) had been tried, but found not guilty because he had blamed the whole incident on me. I felt betrayed and angry. On the living-room table was a cake, decorated with huge red words, reading "Guilty". I was then standing outside in the sunshine with my family, asking if it was likely I could be extradited to America to be tried for the assault on the female police officer. They were trying to convince me it would be fine, but I did not feel reassured anymore.

Dream 196

Dream date: 23rd November 2013

I was in a hotel room, watching a scene up close. There was a young couple, making some kind of miniature tarts, which were placed on a metal over tray on the bed. The tarts were normal sized, with a pastry case and some red filling. The female (I could see her face - she was quite ordinary-looking, with mid-brown hair) was placing piles of frozen peas in the centre of each tart. The male (I could not see his face, only his arms) was taking some of the peas off the tarts, but his girlfriend then replaced them. I knew the tarts were sweet and was confused as to why the couple were putting frozen peas (which seemed larger than normal) on top of a dessert. This process of placing and removing the peas kept continuing, but the couple did not seem to be communicating. I was aware that the male worked in catering and knew better than his girlfriend, but I was passively watching the scene and did not say anything or interact. We were then in a different hotel room, where there was a big stainless steel industrial oven, and two men operating it. They were wearing white chef's uniforms, standing either side of the oven. They took the tray of tarts (from me?) and placed them in the oven to cook. I thought it was weird that the oven was in a hotel bedroom. I looked over to the bed - the room was brightly lit. I could see two middle-aged men seated beside one another on the bed. They were wearing white shirts. One of the men was covered in purple gunge - it was on his face and down his chest. I recognised this to be blueberry jam. I felt disgusted by what a mess he looked. I was then looking at a computer screen up close, reading a quote from someone named "Anne Banham". The quote was about 'Home' - and was accompanied by some cute pictures of a country cottage. It was all in lower case letters and I was able to notice that it was grammatically incorrect. I cannot recall if the language the quote was written in was proper English or not.

I was then being chased through the hotel, although I could not see my pursuers. I was running down the corridor, aware that I was going to be stabbed with a knife. I did not feel scared in any way - I actually felt calm and quite happy. I could see it was daylight through the windows.

I was then outside my university supermarket with my friend AK, who does the same job as me. It was night-time and raining heavily - the concrete ground was very wet. We were standing under the walkway, to shelter. I received a call on my mobile phone, from a male student in residences. They were explaining a problem to me, although I cannot recall what the nature of the problem was. I told them I was not on duty in my job in student welfare and that if they needed immediate assistance, they should call the Senior Resident who was on duty. The student was arguing with me saying: "It doesn't seem as if you care". I was trying to reassure him that I did care, but when I am not on duty I am not always immediately available to visit students in halls, although my colleague would be pleased to help in the short-term. The male student was telling me I "wasn't bothered about him" and throwing accusations at me, which made me feel slightly frustrated and angry. I ended the phone conversation and AK told me that my advice had been appropriate in the circumstances - it appeared that we were about to go out for drinks. I then wondered if I should learn German language. I had an overwhelming desire to study a new language (in real-life AK and I had been discussing language as he studies philosophy and linguistics). I then wondered if I would find it easier to learn French, as I had some basic knowledge from studying this at high school. I saw a close-up image of a piece of paper, with both German and French writing (typed) on it - I am not sure what was written on the paper as I could only recognise the specific language, not translate it. I decided it would be best to learn French.

Dream 195

Dream date: 22nd November 2013

I was working as a Legal Secretary for my former employer, MF, once again. I was aware that I had previously left this job, but had been given an opportunity to work there a second time. However, I was seated at my computer audio-typing in an outside environment, away from my colleagues. MF was seated behind me while I typed letters for his clients. He told me: "Perhaps we could arrange for you to start going to Crown Court again" - which made me feel happy. I then realised that my computer (which had originally been a desktop PC) was now a laptop, but was covered in dirt - mud. I lifted the laptop up and held it upside down to shake out the mud, feeling both confused as to how it got there and also worried. 

The scene changed and I was in an empty flat with EB. The walls were painted white and the only item of furniture which seemed to be in the room was a large wooden dining table in the centre. I was standing by the window and could see that outside it was a seaside town - although not wholly familiar. It was daytime, but not especially sunny. I was aware that EB and I were viewing the flat with the intent to find a new home to rent together - I felt very happy and optimistic about this. I walked over to the table and leant on it, in a standing position. EB was in a similar position opposite me. We started to discuss the flat and it seemed that we were definitely going to sign the lease. From the right-hand side of the room, a middle-aged male entered through the door. He was the estate agent. I said: "We'll take this one". The sun shone through the window very brightly and I felt at peace. EB was smiling at me.

Dream 194

Dream date: 21st November 2013

I was in my old primary school canteen - it had the tables laid out like it would at lunchtime. I left the canteen and went into my nan's house - although I am not sure what room I was in. I looked in the mirror and realised I was not 'me' - I was a woman of a similar age, but I had straight black shoulder-length hair and very pale skin. I realised that I was also pregnant and I was not happy about this realisation. I did not feel as if I was me with a different appearance - I was a completely different woman. A young boy (approximately 10 years of age) approached me. He had straight black hair which hung down either side of his face. He was my son. He was upset that I was having a baby, but did not know who the father was. He started crying and laid across my lap - in the pose seen in Michaelangelo's Pieta sculpture - while I comforted him, telling him everything would be fine. I then found myself (I am not sure if I was me or this pregnant woman) back in the primary school canteen. I was seated at a table with my nan, and could see PS sat on the opposite side of the room. A young female teacher approached my table - with a huge sheet of white paper. She was explaining an exercise to us. The sheet of paper had some badly drawn crayon pictures with boxes next to them. The teacher was writing 'ticks' in the boxes. 
Michaelangelo, The Pieta (1498-1499), St Peter's Basilica, Vatican City

Friday, 22 November 2013


Why not follow me on Twitter? Just follow @TallulahLaGhash, by clicking on the hyperlink above. I post tweets to show when I have updated this Blog, with links to new dream records and articles, for easy navigation and enjoyment of Viva La Ghash. You can also email me directly at by clicking on the link. I now analyse and interpret dreams for other people FREE OF CHARGE, and will provide you with a detailed Dream Interpretation Report in exchange for a written account of your recalled dream and permission to include it and your La Ghash Dream Analysis on this Blog (I will of course protect your identity  by anonymising the Dream Interpretation Report so far as possible and NEVER printing your full name or contact details). Please email your dreams to my above email address, or send me a Tweet and I will respond as soon as possible. 

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Dream 193

I saw a desk in front of me, made of dark wood. I could not see anything else at all. I heard a strange disconnected voice say: "It flies on wings". I then saw a mobile phone, which seemed to have wings attached to it, floating in the air in front of my face. I said: "No, it's a Samsung mobile". 

The scene changed. I was in a weird house which seemed to be made up of many different levels, all existing on the same level. I am not sure how to describe this - it seemed like the floor was made up of lots of square blocks of varying heights (some white with black polka dots, others in different colours and some plain white) which were all on the same level so you could walk across them without climbing, but could see that they were uneven as you looked at them. I was with an unfamiliar group of people whom I perceived to be part of the same family, although their individual characteristics are indistinct and unrecalled. I remember that some were male and some were female. The lights were bright in this strange house, and the only furniture was pushed up right against the walls, which again, were made of different sized boxes, which protruded from the walls at different angles. I stepped outside the house - I could see that there was a transparent glass door with wire, and lots of fir trees surrounding the house. I then became aware of one of the persons - a young adult male, who can only be described as white with mid-brown hair, of average height and build. I was aware that he had some kind of problem - but I could not tell if he was a criminal or mentally ill. Someone else then told me that he was "a mix of mad and bad" and that he had inherited these traits from his father. I then became aware that I had a qualification in Genetics, and I started to explain how some personality traits are hereditary, by drawing a picture - but this simply showed a stick figure man and woman with a child underneath and arrows showing the transmission of genes from the parents to the offspring. Basically, my theory was that each person has six character traits, three inherited from the father and three from the mother. The genetic disorder of the male (mad/bad) was that he had inherited all of his genetic traits from his father and none from his mother. This meant that his personality was conflicted and totally wrong/abnormal. He was both insane and evil as well as possessing four other traits which I cannot recall. I then walked back into the house and went into a pure white room where the male was standing. I noticed that attached to his chest was a massive speech bubble, made of solid material. It seemed to be both blue and brown at the same time (I could not make this colour on Paint, so I have used a different colour to illustrate). Engraved on the speech bubble was a list of his six character traits. Suddenly everything seemed to make sense to me. 
Human DNA

Dream 192

I was with ED - walking down an urban street in the daytime. I managed to walk faster than him, and left him behind. I then turned round to see where he was and managed to spot him through the crowds. He was about 50 yards behind me, with a girl I recognised as being his ex-girlfriend (made-up in the dream, I have no idea who ED's ex-girlfriend is in real-life). She was petite with blonde hair. ED and the girl were about to cross the road, but before they stepped out, ED kissed her on the lips. I turned round and continued walking. 

There was a scene change and I was now in a room - I think it was a kitchen, but it was unfamiliar and very dark in the room. There were many people in the room, I think they were ED's housemates (again, made up in the dream as I only saw them very briefly in real-life on one occasion and cannot recall them). One of the male students present was a very obese computer science student, wearing a white shirt (sleeves rolled up) and braces. On the kitchen table was a mountain of chopped fruit - all very fresh and tropical. I could see pineapple, mango, strawberries, kiwi fruit etc. However, I was only interested in drinking vodka. 

The scene changed again and I was in another room - or it may have been a pub. I was standing beside a family, but was only concentrating on one person. The family were seated at a high table (circular) on tall bar stools. I was standing beside a petite female with an angry looking face and orange coloured hair, wearing a white vest top. She and I started arguing, although I cannot recall what we were arguing about. She was shouting at me in a hostile manner. She then said: "You used to be my hairdresser!" I denied this (I have never been a hairdresser - although the evening before this dream I had attempted to dye my hair red, but it was very subtle) and I told the shouting female that she was mistaken. I then saw that one of the family members had a baby sitting on their lap.

The scene changed and I was walking up the concrete steps in the 'Square' at university. I was with a mixed-race couple and their baby. I thought that they may have been members of the family in the pub, where the argument with the orange-haired girl had taken place, but then I realised these people were not in any way connected with that group. The male was holding a baby (it appeared to be in a baby sling, but he was also holding it with his hands) and the female had a huge red and white striped umbrella, which she offered me shelter beneath as we climbed the steps. She had shoulder-length Afro hair and was very attractive. I thanked her. At the top of the steps, was a different location to that in real-life - we entered a doorway which appeared to be the front door of a residential property, and began to climb the stairs. The umbrella barely fit through the doorway and the female had to close it. She was walking ahead of me, and her partner (with the baby in the sling) was behind me. I then found myself in a very dark, cave-like room with ED. Against one of the cave walls was a wide ledge, upon which two unfamiliar white males (middle-ages) were crouching. They started to abuse me, shouting that I was a "fat slut". I started shouting back to them, saying: "You should see your fucking wife then! She's the fattest slut in the world!" Suddenly, the 'wife' of one of the men appeared beside me - I am not sure what direction she came from. She was middle-aged and fat and wearing a brown sack-cloth dress with a white apron. She had grey hair tied back in a bun and was carrying a tray of pastries. She did not say anything. I said to ED that we should leave, and noticed that I was holding the bottle of vodka from which I had been drinking earlier. I told him that we needed to fetch some mixer for the vodka.

The scene then changed and I was in a warehouse - it was quite dimly lit and was filled with stalls (like an indoor market) and crowds of people. I saw a young female who had a deep cut beside her right eye. I was aware that she had received the cut from a lady running one of the stalls. I approached this stall with both the girl with the cut eye and ED by my side. The woman running this stall (I am not sure what was being sold, but there were many items - all white - piled up on the surface) was small and wizened, but quite young. She had blonde hair and big earrings. I would estimate that she was about 30 years old, but she looked very old at the same time. I told her that she should pay compensation to the girl with the cut eye. The woman running the stall said she would pay her £1. I said this was not enough for the injury. The stall-holder then offered £2, but again I said this was not enough. I tried to say: "She could sue you for a thousand pounds", but instead of saying "thousand" I accidentally said "hundred". The stall-holder lifted a huge device - it was orange and square shaped and made of metal. She placed it on the cut-eyed girl's shoulder and pressed a button, which made the girl shudder. I tried to walk away, but she did the same to me. As soon as the device touched my shoulder, I felt an intense electric shock pulsate through my body. I was then uncontrollably shaking and fell to the floor. I was dragged along the concrete floor by some invisible force. I was aware that the stall-holder with the device was making this happen. I was helpless, shouting at ED and another unfamiliar male he was standing with to come to help me. They - and a group of other persons - all rushed over to help me. I was laying in a crumpled heap against the wooden wall of the indoor market. The stall-holder jumped on top of me, intending to assault/attack me, but was pulled off by ED and other persons who had come to my assistance. Before she was removed from on top of me, she managed to bite my right forefinger, really hard, causing me pain and teeth-marks, which I stood and stared at for a moment after the incident. I was standing outside the indoor market, in a bright pasture, with ED,who had a bottle of lemonade. 

The scene then changed again and I was in a brightly-lit interior scene, but ED was no longer present. I saw Michael Moon from Eastenders (played by Steve John Shepherd) standing in the corner. In the dream, he was 'Michael Moon' not the actor who plays him. I approached Michael Moon - I was aware he was leaving to go somewhere (he was murdered by stab-wound in a recent episode of Eastenders) and I was very upset. I was crying and clinging onto his arm, begging him not to leave. Michael Moon was acting very cold and telling me that I would not change his mind. We were then both in an outside location - it was night-time. Michael Moon and I were preparing to visit a nightclub. He was sitting on a waist-high brick wall and I was standing beside him. There were a couple of other persons also standing around nearby. A strange man approached us. He was small, with dark hair and a moustache/stubble, wearing a checked shirt and jeans. He said: "Let's play a game". I was aware that something bad was going to happen and told Michael Moon we should leave immediately, but he said he wanted to play the game. The small man in the checked shirt had something in his hand which looked like a pen  - I would describe it as similar to an insulin pen for diabetics to inject themselves with, and orange. The man was so short, he barely reached Michael Moon's knee from where he was standing beside me on the pavement. He leaned over to where Michael Moon was sitting on the wall and stabbed him twice - once in the left thigh and once in the stomach. I knew Michael Moon was going to die and began screaming. I woke up.
Steve John Shepherd aka 'Michael Moon' in Eastenders
Chopped fresh tropical fruit
Insulin pen for diabetics

Interpretation of DG's Dream - Gender-swap Washrooms & X-Men

This is a dream I have interpreted for DG - an online friend who is a male computer science/engineering student from India. For this interpretation I have varied the format from my previous Dream Interpretation Report of third-party dream (see DA's Dream here).

The dreamer and his friends are at college. They enter the washroom and are surprised to find it is clean and decent – however they are unaware that the placement of the male and female washroom has been swapped. Some girls enter the washroom whilst they are inside and ask “is this a common washroom?” The dreamer’s friend replies “we don’t know, it was a boy’s washroom before”. The girls leave, laughing. A member of staff argue with the dreamer and his friends, telling them it is a female washroom. The dreamer then proves him wrong by showing him the changed nameplate on the door. The scene then changes and the dreamer is in the X-Men’s house, chatting with a few X-Men. Wolverine enters and the dreamer rushes towards him and hugs him tight, saying “you are my favourite X-Man”.

College/learning institution
Generally, dreaming of college or another learning institution refers to the dreamer undergoing some form of social or cultural change – typically the expanding of knowledge or awareness. It may also symbolise changes within your circle of friends. It indicates that the time is right for experimentation and the college location is a symbol of where you are now – your current circumstances and environment. It may mean that the dreamer is undergoing some form of stress and perseverance is required to achieve goals.

Public washroom
The symbol of the public washroom represents a ‘disorderly attempt’ to cleanse the mind of unpleasant or unruly emotions or negative thoughts. The fact that the dreamer sees a usually dirty or unkempt public washroom in a surprisingly clean state may indicate that this ‘cleansing’ process has been successful in some respect. Typically, a bathroom appearing in dreams, signifies basic instincts and desires. It is possible that these feelings are overwhelming the dreamer and it is his or her intention to rid himself of anxiety caused by them. Public washrooms may symbolise the fact that other persons are interfering with the dreamer’s ability to ‘cleanse’ negative situations/thoughts and are holding him back from making important changes in his life. I wonder whether the fact that females entered the washroom is an indication that certain relationships or interactions with females are a distraction to the dreamer and are creating confusion – this would certainly also relate to the fact that the dream symbolism suggests there was some uncertainty as to whether the dreamer was in a male/female-orientated environment and whether the genders were supposed to mingle in the washroom (i.e. ‘is this a common washroom?’) or remain separate. More effort is required to face and resolve issues in the dreamer’s current waking life in order to bring about purification and renewal. The presence of other persons in the public washroom may also represent an intrusion into the dreamer’s personal space and privacy, although in this particular dream it does not appear that the presence of either his male companions or the females who enter are the source of anxiety or aggravation. Dreaming of a washroom may also represent the problem of holding onto old emotions or feelings and the dreamer’s fear that revealing these feelings may lead to criticism or judgement by others.

Gender-swap of washroom
Specific to this dream, the dream concept of being in a washroom intended for the opposite gender (i.e. the fact the washrooms had changed and there was some confusion by both the females and the staff members) may indicate that the dreamer has crossed a boundary and ‘overstepped the mark’ in some way. The fact that the dreamer confronts the staff member as to whether he is in the correct washroom points to the idea that he is able to defend his actions/feelings, which are justified in the circumstances. The dreamer may realise that criticism or judgement by others is unfair and unwarranted.

Fictional characters, superheroes, mutants, Wolverine
To dream of specific characters from fiction may indicate the dreamer’s personal feelings about these persons – whether it is the actor who has played the character in a movie, or the character itself. In the case, I feel the dreamer’s emphasis is on the characters, rather than the human actors who have played them in movies based on the X-Men comics. The characters will represent some aspect of the dreamer’s personality or internal thought – it may be positive aspects which he is pleased to possess or it may be negative attributes he wishes to change.

The dreamer indicated to me that he was having some issue with linking this dream scene including the X-Men with the earlier washroom scene of his dream, but I feel the link may be quite clear, if the individual components of the scene are broken down further and analysed. X-Men are mutants. To dream of mutants is symbolic of negative or worrying aspects of the dreamer’s self which he is unable or unwilling to confront. It may also indicate the need to perceive things from a different angle or perspective in order to resolve them. Something in the dreamer’s life needs to drastically change and the mutant symbol may represent a fear of difference or transformation – openness and tolerance is needed. However, as the dreamer was chatting with the X-Men, it may be that he is confronting such issues or attempting to assimilate changes into his waking life. Dreaming of superheroes tends to reflect an admiration for the courage and characteristics of the character. Wolverine – the dreamer’s ‘favourite’ of the X-Men (and the only one he embraces in the dream) is an overtly masculine character with extremely sharp instincts, enhanced physical capabilities and healing ability. He has near-destructible metal alloy (adamantium) bonded to his skeleton, meaning that internally he supernaturally strong and powerful. ‘Wolf’ brings to mind the symbol for repressed anger, violence and aggression, but also survival, self-confidence, solitude and pride. It represents to the dreamer that he should not underestimate his own strength and abilities/instincts which will allow him to bounce back from setbacks and navigate obstacles faced. I believe Wolverine here, symbolises an assertion of masculinity and a signal to the dreamer that he should actively embody the characteristics of this character into his waking life. He may subconsciously desire the attainment of some of the ultra-masculine qualities embodied by the Wolverine character – such as inner strength and durability; assertiveness and aggression etc, and the dream is either highlighting the fact that these qualities are either already possessed by the dreamer, or that he needs to actively encourage their growth and development through some form of personal transformation (which would also link in to the symbol of mutants generally). This transformation should not be feared. I see the earlier dream scene in the washroom as an indication that the dreamer needs to ‘man-up’ and face a current problem which he is already attempting to resolve in some way, or at least has taken some steps to confront – whether mentally or in relation to other persons or situations in his waking life. However, some confusion remains (i.e. the confusion as to whether the washroom was male or female) – it may be that he has doubted his own masculine powers and wishes to assert them in the future (hence, embracing Wolverine) or has been in some way bewildered in his interaction with women (i.e. understanding how females think or feel) – and the dream is reminding him that he (as a male) is fundamentally different, possessing masculine traits which are to his advantage – indeed in arguing with the college staff member and proving he was in the correct washroom, and the later scene with Wolverine, tend to suggest this. The fact the females ask “is this a common washroom?” may reflect the dreamer’s uncertainty as to whether he and female acquaintances share the same common qualities, beliefs or goals etc - but he is reminded by the symbolism discussed above that this is not the case and he should embody the gender differences rather than fear them. Perhaps, on the other hand, he has been too concerned with masculinity and maintaining such qualities and the dream is reminding him that he may indeed benefit from encouraging some personal qualities typically associated with the female gender – such as compassion, nurturing, caring etc. The later scene with Wolverine and the X-Men may suggest that this causes some anxiety in the dreamer, who is proud of his masculinity and does not want to appear weak to others (although this would be an unfounded fear) and thus, scared of any transformation into a different self, he is clinging to stereotypes of what a male should be rather than acknowledge the advantage of personal change. This ties in with the idea that the dreamer may need to view current situations from a different perspective – i.e. instead of taking what he considers to be a ‘male’ stance, maybe he should try and address a scenario from a different angle, even if it means using aspects of the personality or unwanted feelings which the dreamer is scared of confronting.