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Symbols: Translating Dreams and the World

Updated on October 18, 2012

“There are signs and symbols everywhere. Knowing what they mean, well, that is the trick. Isn’t it?”

The world speaks you. It isn’t like television broadcasting straight into your consciousness but it is almost as obvious. In fact, I would go so far as to say movies are a spot-on metaphor for how your life speaks to you. The show is playing all of the time but usually the only thing we notice is when something blows up, or someone makes us cry. Life requires as much (more) suspension of disbelief as any Hollywood movie being created on any given day. More so since your life is playing all the time even when you sleep. Talk about some subconscious programming.

The beauty of living human is that we get create the stories of our life. How fun is that? For instance, you could believe that if you walk under a ladder you will have bad luck for 13 years, break 4 mirrors on your mothers back, and step on cracks for cats….WAIT! I am getting my metaphors all mixed up. I am so out of my rocket! What if though…what if there were some universally stable symbols we could look to with some degree of reliability? Well, then, might we be able to tell ourselves some beautifully, grand, and complicated stories? Not only about ourselves, but our world, our universe…how our multiple versions of self and universe might come into being, and how it is expressed into form.

What if the universe was speaking to you all the time, giving you clues to what your life is all about? Did you see three dragonflies today? What if I told you that dragonflies speak to the nature or world and that it is mostly illusion? I love the idea of smoke and mirrors because most people can grasp the concept of being deluded and having their attentions misdirected. We do that to ourselves all the time when allow ourselves to be misled by the events of our life and not paying attention to the symbols that are showing up, and possibly giving you clues to a greater meaning to it all.

I used to wonder where all the walls in my mind came from. I would puzzle over something until I simply had no other direction to go with it, then I would drop it. There was always a way around the wall. Sometimes it was waiting patiently for the wall to dissolve. Sometimes it was actively digging around or under, or climbing over the wall. Sometimes, the path would be to just walk away and allow the new path to be the way to since I couldn’t find a way through. I began to ask questions about who put these walls, the mental boundaries within my mind. After all, they couldn’t exist unless someone has passed this way before. The am the only one who could have passed this way, was me. I am the only one living here inside my mind. I can assure that is the case for you as well, nobody gets play time inside your mind but you. So, if the world outside our mind is subject to change, interpretation, colored if you will by our own judgments…then might they also be uniformed with comfortable clothing for you to recognize as familiar territory? I say clothing, meaning metaphorically, that the world is dressing in a way that your mind is able to feel comfortable with.

That is just a hypothesis, and perhaps my personal belief…you don’t have to believe anything of the sort. Signs and symbols still hold vibrations that are complimentary to each other. Things that are vibrationally compatible have a tendency to hang out together. Birds of a feather flock together. There are some common patterns that happen in systems that we use every day. Not all cultures and peoples will take meanings the same for a symbol specifically what they will often take as a similar symbol is how something feels to them. In the world of symbology, you learn to use many modalities to translate the world around you. It sounds complicated, but not so much so. It is like learning a language and getting versed strongly enough in the tongue that you can sing it with some skill.


One – individuality, single, unity, self, beginnings, a, j, s

Two – couple, relationship, partnership, cooperation, b, k, t

Three- small groups, trinity, synergy, thing: spiritual / physical / energetic connection, creativity, c, l, u

Four – dimensional, structure, physical form, work, stability, d, m, v

Five – change, chaos, sexuality, fame, excitement, e,n , w

Six – family, responsibility, harmony, f, o, x

Seven – religious doctrine, imagination, dreams, g, p, y

Eight – money, power, karma, infinity symbol, h, q, z

Nine – Endings, completion, spiritual, wisdom, I, r


Cups: The emotions, hearts, water, rain

Swords: Communications, mental, air, spade, wind

Wands: Fire, passions, desire, motion, clubs, heat

Pentacles: Earth, seeds, stars, money, diamonds, earthquakes

If I mapped and connected all the symbols and things they corresponded to, this article would be a book and to be honest, I would miss something. It’s all connected. I laid out the two basics above because they are common symbols that are used in Tarot. But those same definitions come from numerology, and you could use them both on a regular deck of cards. Each of those categories could also have a planet attached to it, a musical note, and particular letters of the alphabet.

Numbers correspond to letters, numerology, astrology, musical notes, music of the spheres, tarot, dreams. All full of symbols, all full of connections. Someone is speaking to you, who do you think it is? Animals can be associated with a particular number, to specific qualities with each animal, they are a symbol themselves. This is a very short list.


Dog: Loyalty, friendship, comfort (Wolf, Bear, any dog related animal)

Cat: New abilities / possibly psychic, aloof, calm, disconnected (Lions, Tigers, any feline related animal)

Bird: Messages, communication, air (Hawks, Crows, Ravens, Peacocks, any bird related animal)

Mouse: Scrutiny, small details, infestation, paying attention (Rats, Gerbils, Moles, Squirrels, any rodent related animal)

Insects: Patterns, mind hive, group behavior (Bees, Ants, Wasps, any insect related species)

I have lumped some of these together so you can see how they relate in a broader sense. Take birds and their corresponding qualities. When you get into the individual birds and what they represent, they take on additional depth. Ravens have the reputation for being able to keep one eye on the past and one on the future, Crows a harbinger of death…or eating crow, not all black birds are created equal. A dream of a peacock might be relating to the colors of one’s life, it might mean someone is posturing in your life to get your attention…in some cultures, a peacock represents prestige and wealth.

Everyone will have a slightly different version of each symbol, or find in time that they don’t quite hit the norm for what a dog represents for instance. Wolves can be teachers, or they can be tricksters. The messages will speak to you specifically in a way that your mind and subconscious is most comfortable with. The best way to get familiar with your own language is to keep a journal of symbols that repeat in your life and what you notice popping up in correlation to those symbols. You don’t have to be a dreamer to get to the symbols that appear…they will show up in your life around you, just pay attention. And you can test the ability of your subconscious to perform for you. Take one symbol, as for help in understanding the nature of…pick anything…take orange. Orange might be a color that shows up. Orange might show up as fruit. It might show up in construction symbols. The mind is an amazingly creative tool whose only limitation is what is placed upon it by each individuals beliefs.


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    • MzChaos profile image

      MzChaos 5 years ago from Indianapolis

      Thank you, I have been trying to be more active on HubPages so I hope to see you out one of your hubs yesterday...actually a couple of them. I think I would like to learn Bridge now - lol, travel the world. :)

    • sandrabusby profile image

      Sandra Busby 5 years ago from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA

      Very interesting reading. Thanks for the follow. I'll reciprocate.