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Explaining Your Dreams What Do They Really Mean?

Updated on April 25, 2021
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Michael is interested in life's little oddities and finds writing helps him to understand the world around him.

What do Dreams Mean ?

Last night I had a dream about a removal truck arriving at my house and it was full of packing boxes; what does a steamer trunk symbolize in our dreams?

Like most people I wanted to find out. I had read about how to interpret dreams, many years ago and thought I would have a go at figuring it out.

The dream continued and I was a little perplexed as my house is already full of furniture and the usual stuff of the 21st century.

I told the removal guys that they would have to put it in the garage. Good luck with that task, trying to fit a 40 foot trailers contents into a 20 foot garage?

I stood there and watched as they began loading the boxes, neatly into the garage.

Dreaming Spires

Kings College Chapel Cambridge at dusk
Kings College Chapel Cambridge at dusk | Source

Explain my Dream

Detailed Dreams. The Elements

The boxes themselves were very specific in terms of size.

They were the size of box that would hold about 30 paperback size books.

I do have some books still in boxes from the last move. I moved about 6 months ago.

The second part of the dream involved our daughter,

She is staying with us at the moment and she will be flying home at some stage.

Like any modern young lady she has huge steamer trunks that she is going to take on the plane.

It is going to cost her a fortune in excess baggage.

I think this is crazy and that she should send it by cargo ship.

What does my dream mean?

When I awoke the dream was still very clear in my mind. I suppose the same as most people I wondered what it all meant. So I thought about it and I came to some conclusions.

The dream did not disturb me as such. It was more on the level of the feeling you get when asked “would you like tea or coffee” That was about the level of concern.

What do these symbols mean and is my interpretation of it in line with other people or unique to me?

And this got me thinking about the interpretation of dreams and the whole symbolism surrounding the dream and dreamer.

So I went to the source:

Sigmund Freud et al.

Freud's Perspective.

“With the application of this technique every dream will reveal itself as a psychological structure, full of significance, and one which may be assigned to a specific place in the psychic activities of the waking state.”


Ch.1 The Scientific Literature of Dream-Problems (up to 1900 )

'The Interpretation of Dreams' Sigmund Freud (1856 – 1939)

First published in German in November 1899 as Die Traumdeutun

So what exactly does Freud mean? First problem, it is an interpretation and therefore inexact.

Freud considered that dreams were worthy of study. He stated that to further understand his patients he would need also need other techniques. So he developed and has been credited with being the creator of Psychoanalysis.

Freud has been both attacked and deified in equal measure but I will leave that for others to comment on.

When Freud was writing his ground-breaking work on the interpretation of dreams he had no internet, TV or even radio.

There was of course the literature of the ages but no codified or collected knowledge regarding the subconscious mind.

This I think is one of Freud’s most important contributions. He started the conversation.

People started talking about dreams and taking the subject seriously. Are there common symbols in dream that we would all recognise?

So where did the idea come from, that there is an idea of a “shared symbolism”? Not from Freud.

The three founders of modern Psychology are Freud, Jung and Adler.

All modern dream interpretation and much of our modern concepts of symbolism was built on the shoulders of these three giants. But curiously none of the three ever mentioned a universally shared human symbolism.

Today a whole industry has developed explaining dreams and it still continues to fascinate and elude our complete understanding. The fact that international travel is much more common today may explain why some people may assume that we all share the same symbolic imagery and language. As we have see above. Its quite obvious that we do not.

A good night sleep

Getting a good nights sleep is very important. Our dream sequence follows a predictable pattern throughout the sleep phase. Usually in roughly 3 hour chunks.

The first phase - non rapid eye movement (REM) is fairly shallow and lasts between an hour and an hour and a half depending on circumstances.

The second phase which includes the rapid eye movement (REM) phase, consists of periods of dreaming and very deep sleep.

Any disruption from this pattern from snoring or other more serious disturbances like sleep apnea, will lead to feeling very tired during your waking time, and can lead to much more serious health issues.

In fact just a few days of poor sleep will seriously impair judgement and can lead to catastrophic failures. There have been many examples of car drivers, train drivers or pilots falling asleep and crashing.

Sleep and dreaming is so important to good health. We neglect it at our peril.

Understanding your dreams and interpreting them is something only you can truly do, if we are honest.

You can share your dreams with others to try to figure out the meaning but in reality only you can untangle the meaning of things and events that occur in your dreams.

A more detailed understanding of your dreams could be helped by reading the authors mentioned above. Collectively their's is a great contribution, to this, the most difficult of the sciences.

The study of humans.

Symbols in Stone Age Britain

Strength of the Bison

Bison Buffalo you decide. Explain Dreams Good luck
Bison Buffalo you decide. Explain Dreams Good luck | Source

Native American symbols

Hold on tight to your dreams
Hold on tight to your dreams | Source

Symbolism in Dreams

To understand our dreams we need to ask the question.

Do all humans share a common symbolism or do different cultures have different interpretations of symbols?

In indigenous native american symbols. To dream of the buffalo means:-

  • Provision, Gratitude, Abundance
  • Consistency, Strength, Stability,
  • Blessing, Prosperity, Provision
  • Gratitude, Abundance, Consistency

Ideas Don't Always Travel Well

The above explanation will mean nothing to someone from Australia as they would be unfamiliar with the form or shape of the buffalo. It would be like trying to explain high finance to a Banker!

The same applies in reverse; an aboriginal in Australia trying to describe the kangaroo in her dream to a Indigenous Indian living in the USA will have a hard task.

You can imagine the conversation.

Aboriginal woman. “Well it’s a big animal that looks a little like a mouse but huge and it bounces along and carries its kids....they call their kids Joey's don't ya know...they carry 'em in a pouch made from skin on its stomach.”

Indigenous American. “Huh?”

Another difficulty is that they don't speak each others language either.

I guess the rise in global tourism and the internet is beginning to create a global symbolic language but it is still a baby at the moment and therefore we are still culturally bound up in the symbols we are raised in.

So what does my dream mean? I have never had a dream quite like this one before.

I have a few ideas. Maybe the boxes in the garage, represent things that I have dealt with, and have put aside, but don't want to forget.

My daughter is going away. I suppose there is a little separation anxiety and we want her to be safe and sound, but who really knows?

Over to you. What do you think. Have you ever had an unusually memorable dream?

Interpreting Dreams can get tricky.

Depending on which psychologist you favour, will influence your interpretation of your dreams.

Some people think that 'you' are everyone in your dream. This makes some sense. But the people populating your dream are 'your' interpretation of those 'people' and not a true reflection of those people at all.

Only 'your' view of them.

So to find the clue's to interpreting 'their' actions on 'your' dreams you have to look at your own motivations.

Why do you think, you dream about a particular person in the way you do. As in reality these dream people are projections of yourself?

Hope this helps you to get a handle on your dreams and that you continue your journey, a little better informed. The books listed above are really useful. If you really want to explain and understand your dreams more deeply then check out the sources listed above.

The Dreamtime Aboriginal Creation Story

There is more than one creation story.
There is more than one creation story. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


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