We continue our “12 Days of Halloween” look at dream symbolism connected with the holiday. Today’s subject: Werewolves!
A werewolf is a heck of a metaphor for the dark side of someone, and for something that lurks beneath the surface. It can mean that a person has an inner Mr. Hyde.
The idea extends to situations, too, such as when you know that people are only being friendly with you because of the circumstances. Something dark and ugly is hiding behind the facade.
The key association is the change from human to monster. Werewolves are ordinary people who transform under certain circumstances, then wake up and don’t remember what happened. That association can be used to create symbolism of being “out of it.” You aren’t your normal self. A period of time is missing from your memory. You blacked out.
Werewolves are also used by dreams in association with sexuality. It can symbolize animal passion and lust or a person’s wild side. It can mean that passions and instincts take over. It can be a way of saying you have something powerful inside of yourself that needs to find expression.
With werewolves, a situation can quickly spiral out of control. Emotions can explode. Dark forces threaten. You could dream about a werewolf in connection with the potential for trouble.
Also consider that werewolves can symbolize general fear or paranoia. Any creature that sparks fear can symbolize it.
Of course, what a werewolf means to you is the most important factor for interpreting what it means in your dream. What are the first words that come to mind related to werewolves in general? Now, think about the werewolf in your dream and just let thoughts come to mind spontaneously. Those associations are used as the basis of your dream symbolism. Look at the werewolf in the context of the dream-story. A werewolf in a cage is an entirely different picture than one running loose in a bar district. Your feelings and the context of the dream are your guides to decoding the symbolism and deciphering the meaning.
Ghost Dreams: How to Interpret the Meaning of Ghosts in a Dream
With Halloween right around the corner, let’s explore related dream symbols. Today, we look at the symbolism of ghosts.
A ghost in a dream can be a reference to the past, because ghosts are perceived as relics from the past. Like memories and feelings, ghosts can linger. They won’t go away until dealt with.
Ghosts haunt, and people can be haunted, for example, by guilt and regret. Someone who is “seeing ghosts” is haunted by the past, usually associated with misdeeds and guilty conscience.
Ghosts can symbolize fear, since they are commonly feared. Usually the symbolism is tied to associations specific to ghosts, such as fear of death or fear of the past catching up with you. But ghosts can symbolize any fear, or paranoia—a strong possibility considering the amorphous nature of ghosts and paranoia. However, a friendly ghost is not likely to symbolize fear. You can tell by how you feel about or react to the ghost.
A ghost in a dream can refer to someone who isn’t around anymore. For example, after the death of a loved one, especially one you lived with, you can dream about a ghost to symbolize the feeling that the person is still around. You feel their presence. The same idea applies to someone who left, such as after a breakup or divorce or just a long time apart.
Ghosts are associated with death, and in dreams they can refer to someone who has passed away, or to a brush with death. See: Death.
A ghost can refer to being overlooked or ignored. If you “feel like a ghost,” it means nobody is giving you attention or recognition.
As with all dream symbolism, the meaning is found in the context. For example, a ghost in a place you used to live can symbolize something from your past. A ghost haunting the bedroom of a sibling who ran away from home and hasn’t been heard from in a long time can symbolize the sibling or the situation. The person is thought about or remembered but is absent physically. A sad ghost can connect with the feeling of being ignored or overlooked, or something from the past that makes you sad.
Going further, a ghost can symbolize the influence of someone who is not physically present. For example, long after leaving home you can still feel the presence of a parent or other influential figure in your life. In which case, the dream is likely to include references to that person and actions such as doors opening and closing on their own.
Ghosts are used in the sense of “ghost of your former self.” It means loss of energy, prestige, status or influence.
Ghosts are known as “lost souls,” and that can symbolize someone who has no direction in life or no close relations.
To dream about the afterlife can connect with trying to escape a hardship in this life. You want it to be over.
It can represent something you have been putting off. For example, people say they will do this or that when they get time or reach the next phase of life—after this phase of life. “I’ll start painting once my kids are grown,” or, “There will be plenty of time to travel later in life.” Perhaps it’s something that shouldn’t be put off.
Some dreams about afterlife address spiritual beliefs. People who strongly believe in an afterlife can dream about it as a way of processing information they receive, such as scriptures they read or sermons they hear.
People who don’t believe in an afterlife can be challenged by powerful and vivid dreams about it. Atheists have been known to become spiritual after having dreams that rearranged their notions and beliefs. It’s one thing to conceptualize something you have not experienced, and quite another to experience it fully and realistically in a dream.
It’s also possible to dream about deceased loved ones in the afterlife. It can symbolize something such as the hope that the person is “in a better place.” But you can also dream about deceased loved ones as a way of actually connecting with them in the afterlife. It’s an idea that will severely challenge people who think that death is the final end. It’s something that you have to experience for yourself—don’t take my word for it. It’s a fact in the dream world, and dreams have to be treated as a reality unto themselves.
However, usually the afterlife is used as symbolism. For example, a man dreams about being in the afterlife and going to a sterile white office building. He waits to be told what his assignment will be. Everything is very orderly and subdued. A supervisor tells him that his job will be janitor. It’s upsetting but he figures he can work his way up.
The dream reflects a situation where the company he works for is being sold. The owner tells him he will be hired by another company owned by the same person, but his position will be entry-level. Being a janitor in the afterlife means he’s starting over and working his way up from the bottom. The dream sums up the situation and his feelings about it.
Crow Dreams: Interpreting the Meaning and Message of Crows in Dreams
Crows and ravens have long been associated with bad omens and death, and in dreams they’re still associated that way.
But this reputation really sells crows short because they are among the smartest and cleverest types of birds. In dreamland, death is part of the cycle of life and rebirth, part of the process of initiation into the deep mysteries of life and your existence, and coming to terms with it can lead to tremendous creativity. In this sense, crows serve a very valuable purpose. By accepting death, a person can find the capacity to live more fully.
Crows can symbolize fear of death and the unknown, especially when you react to them with fear in a dream.
They’re associated with dark thoughts, doom, and gloominess about the future.
They can symbolize a sense of foreboding or feeling of unease. Something’s not right but you haven’t put your finger on it.
They can symbolize the dark side of someone you, especially a father or father figure.
They can symbolize humiliation from admitting you’re wrong after taking a strong position, as in the term “eat crow.”
Crows have long memories for people who do them wrong. In this sense, they’re associated with plotting revenge.
Crows can symbolize clever thinking or craftiness, especially in regard to getting something you want or working around obstacles.
A flock of crows can symbolize many troubles and difficulties, gossip, or chaotic thoughts. The flock is the picture of loose organization—or disorganization! Now compare that disorganization with your thoughts. Do you see a connection?
Crows can symbolize the ability to let people go their own way and make their own decisions.
The sound of crowing can be unnerving, and that association can be stretched to symbolize the feeling of being unnerved or out of synch. It can be a warning from within that you’re out of your element or venturing into dangerous territory.
Crowing can be the sound of triumph or gloating.
Crows are used in dreams to symbolize messengers from the unconscious mind. The black color of crows connects with the mystery of the unconscious mind, especially when it’s moved to action. And the fact that crows fly and talk makes them appropriate to use as messengers. In dreams that use this symbolism, you’ll sense that the crow wants to tell you something. If it beckons you to follow it, go ahead. You will be led to important self-knowledge.
A white crow is a particularly good sign of protection from danger, and harmony with nature and spirit. The messages coming to you from your unconscious mind are positive and propitious.
Crows help make you aware of your hidden, unconscious potential, and for that we should all be thankful when they appear in our dreams!
Some of the most powerful and traumatizing dreams involve rape. Females and males have rape dreams. The first possibilities for symbolism to consider revolve around non-sexual definitions of the word. Think of times it is used in conversations to mean something other than physical rape. It’s heard in reference to losing in sports or video games when one side is dominated by another, or someone is humiliated. It’s used in reference to exploiting the natural resources of the planet, and as an expression of helplessness and anger.
Rape means domination, exploitation, violation and humiliation. Dreams enact these other definitions of rape, turning them into scenarios of sexual rape.
Another way that dreams use rape is to express the feeling that you’re being forced to do something you don’t want to do or be someone you don’t want be. It’s a frequent theme in the dreams of males and females who resist living up to the cultural ideals and expectations of their gender.
Some females resent having to wear make-up and heels, and are discriminated against when they don’t. Some males don’t want to act tough and distant, or to dominate, or to spend hours in the gym buffing up. Cultural pressure to live up to gender ideals can be intense, and the consequences of resisting it can be extreme. Even if a person tries to live up to gender ideals it can still feel like being coerced or forced. It’s not necessarily “consensual.”
A man has recurring dreams about being raped and connects it with being forced to hide his homosexuality. Instead, he tries to force himself to feel and act straight and to be attracted to women. Rape sums up how he feels.
This use of the symbolism arises more often in dreams about being raped by a group of men. It’s a way of saying “men in general,” not a specific man.
Being gang-raped in a dream can be an exaggerated way of expressing the idea of being ganged-up on. It can express the feeling of everything and everyone being out to get you or hurt you. It can express a dynamic about your inner life.
Rape in a dream can have roots in your inner life. In a graphic way, it shows how you treat yourself. One part of yourself overpowers the others. Your ego is coercive, threatening, takes what it wants. If that’s how life is in your head, it’s likely to show outwardly. Some people are best described as rapists just based on their personality and character.
Rape in a dream can have sexual roots. People who have been raped are likely to dream about it. It seems cruel to bring up a traumatizing event like that, but it actually helps by creating a psychological cushion between the present moment in time and what happened in the past. Once the dream is over it is in the past, and when something can be thought of as in the past it creates personal distance. The same sort of process happens with other traumas such as combat and abuse.
On the other hand, rape dreams can show that you’re still chained to the experience even though you have the potential to move on. For example, a woman dreams about finding her rapist working beneath a car. She coldly pulls out a gun and pumps rounds into him. The dream is an expression of her thoughts of revenge. She didn’t report the rape because her best friend’s brother did it, and it’s eating her up inside. Her thoughts of revenge rip open the scab and keep the wound fresh.
Dreams exaggerate, and rape in dreams can be used to exaggerate a situation related to sexual tension or exploitation, such as when a person is used as a sexual plaything.
It might connect with a recent or ongoing situation that’s dangerous, or potentially so, sexually or otherwise. It’s the sort of comparison dreams are known to make because dangerous situations can lead to rape. For example, passing out at a party. In which case, dreaming about rape connects with putting yourself in danger.
A rape dream can come in response to feeling vulnerable, powerless or disrespected. For example, after being hit on at a gas station by a creepy guy, a woman dreams that night about being raped at that gas station by a similar guy. It’s an expression of feeling raped in the sense of having her dignity attacked, compounded by recognizing her vulnerability to men who are stronger than her.
Dreams can act as simulations, and a dream about rape can be a way of acting out an issue related to it. For example, you hear a graphic story about a friend who is raped then dream it happens to you. It’s a way of really understanding what that friend went through and perhaps fearing it could happen to you—or taking steps to prevent it. Or you have a rape fantasy and dream about rape. Something about the idea of domination and humiliation turns you on.
For example, a young man with a rape fantasy had two dreams that when looked at together present a choice. In one, he has normal sex with a girl he is attracted to, an imaginary character, and in the other he rapes a random girl. The dreams are showing him his choices. On the one hand, sex with someone he is attracted to (normal sex) appeals to him but lacks the stimulation he feels at the thought of raping someone. The rape dream shows that the stimulation of rape comes at the expense any sort of intimacy. He can have one or the other but not both.
If you have found this post because you were raped, dream about it and want help, try dream rescripting, used for chronic nightmares and treatment of ptsd. Search online for general info, and use this link when you’re ready to get to work: Dream rescripting worksheet.
So, I hear you’re looking for a dreamworker in Tucson, Arizona. Some people call them “dream interpreters” or “dream analysts.”
I know a guy.
He’s down to earth about dreams, and definitely not a Freudian. Most dreams use symbolism to describe what’s happening in your life. They help you answer questions, solve problems, resolve issues and get perspective. They reflect back your life to you in ways that help you see deeper into it and identify specifically what’s happening in your emotions. But some dreams go deeper, can even be life-changing, and those are the ones most likely to make a person seek help understanding them.
The guy I know is really knowledgable, but he won’t try to convince you he knows what your dreams mean. That’s a fool’s errand. Instead, he’ll help you figure out what you already know.
That’s right, you already know what your dreams mean, subconsciously. After all, you create them, right? Or did the aliens beam them into your head? In which case, sorry, can’t help you.
This guy will help you understand your dreams as stories about yourself and your life. He’ll help you decode the symbolism. He’ll then help you figure out what can be gained from them. How they can help you.
The guy I know has been working with dreams for like 25 years and has helped millions of people better understand their dreams. Granted, “millions” is a big number, but it’s fair to say because this guy is big on a website called reddit.com, where he’s been the moderator of the dreams forum for like, forever. Tens of thousands of people per month read his stuff. And when you multiply tens of thousands by forever, that really adds up! He’s known as RadOwl, the reddit.com dream expert. Or at least, that’s what his publisher calls him. It’s on the cover of his last book so it must be true.
The guy writes about dreams. His second one, The Big Book of Dreams, is due for publication in spring, 2017, and it’s the Bible of Dreams. OK, maybe dictionary is more accurate. I think he has a blog somewhere on the internet, too.
Seriously though, he’s the best around, and I’m not just saying that. Read his About Me page, and see the list of media programs he’s been on. Dude was on Coast to Coast AM, and host George Noory said he’s “one heck of a dream interpreter.” That’s some big praise.
It’ll cost you a dime or two to get this guy’s help. Or $55 per half-hour, whichever is greater. Or you can take a chance and post your dream at dreams.reddit.com and maybe he’ll notice it and offer some ideas.
The rate is negotiable. Dude just wants to help people understand their dreams, but he’s got a mortgage and all that so, you know, contact him and see what can be worked out. You can use the contact form on the About Me page linked above, message him on Facebook, or shoot an email to groovywriter at gmail.com.
Tell him Jason sent you. He’ll know who you mean.
And you can talk with him via phone or skype or whatever. You don’t have to be in Tucson to see this dreamworker, but if you are, hey, you might be neighbors.
In the meantime, here’s a picture of him with Santa.
Bee Dream | Interpreting the Meaning and Symbolism of Bees in Dreams
Bees in a dream are generally a positive sign, but look at the context of the dream before jumping to conclusions. Obviously, being stung by a bee or attacked by a swarm is not a positive sign unless it is, at heart, a message that something about yourself or the circumstances of your life needs to change. In which case it is a sort of mixed blessing.
Bees are communal, self-sacrificing, diligent, and orderly. Any of these ideas can be expressed in dreams featuring bees.
Dreams about bees can symbolize the relationship between you and the community or neighborhood in which you live, or the circle of people with whom you associate. For example, a school or work community can be symbolized by a group of bees.
Bees connect together a neighborhood or plot of land because they regularly visit every place with nectar to offer, and that idea can connect with anything that creates a sense of cohesion.
In that sense, if you think of the psyche as a collective, the bees are the beliefs, values, feelings, thoughts, and processes that connect everything together.
To dream about busy bees can symbolize hard work and being busy, as in the phrase “busy as a bee.” It can symbolize a family or community in harmony. You are part of a hive.
A bee hive can symbolize group thinking, as in the term “hive mind.”
Another possibility is a hive symbolizes building something as a part of a community. The product of the labor can be material, but also consider less tangible possibilities such as building a sense of togetherness or cooperation. Good relationships are built through cooperation, trust, and responsiveness to the needs of others, all of which are exhibited by bees working together.
If you fear bees they can easily be used in dreams to symbolize a fear. If so, you can express to react with fear to the presence of bees.
Another possibility is bees can symbolize an annoyance that won’t go away, something that pesters. This use of the symbolism is likely to be accompanied by the action of swatting or stronger actions to rid yourself of bees. For example, grabbing a shotgun to get rid of an annoying bee in your house can symbolize a strong desire to be rid of a house guest who drops by and won’t leave. You are ready to take drastic action.
Running from or avoiding bees can symbolize avoiding a responsibility or pain. Avoiding a colony or swarm can symbolize avoiding a group of people or a collection of related thoughts.
An angry swarm of bees can symbolize symbolize disagreement with, or within, a community, or a distaste for teamwork.
Angry bees can symbolize that you said or did something—or neglected to do something—that angered a group of people. For example, you post something on Facebook that draws a lot of stinging comments.
Another possibility for a swarm of stinging bees is it symbolizes a swarm of thoughts in your head.
It’s also a picture that says one word: trouble! It’s something you want to avoid, such as a bad disagreement among friends or a perilous situation.
More possibilities for a swarm of stinging bees are it symbolizes a swarm of stinging thoughts in your head, or confusion, or pain—especially nerve pain.
To be stung by a bee can symbolize a stinging remark. Feelings such as regret and guilt can sting. It can symbolize the ways you say things to yourself that hurt.
Think more expansively and it can mean a situation you are in is painful in some way.
Because bees make honey, they can be associated with wealth and sweetness. Honey symbolizes the product of your labor or good intentions. It can symbolize a reward or indulgence, especially the intimate and sexual varieties of indulgence.
Honey in a dream can relate to the digestive process, including the digestion of thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Bees digest nectar to produce honey. You digest your experiences in life to improve yourself. When you dream, especially REM-stage dreaming, your mind digests the experiences of your day so you can learn and grow.
Bees landing on flowers, extracting nectar and depositing pollen, can symbolize something related to fertilization. Perhaps you are laying the groundwork for a future endeavor or personal growth. Or take the idea further and it can symbolize conception, the fertilization of the female egg with the male sperm.
The image of a bee on a succulent flower is charged with sexual references. The flower is associated with the vaginal area, and a bee extracting nectar and leaving pollen is a heck of a metaphor!
Using Contrast with Dream Characters to Create Symbolism
A primary way that dreams create symbolism and meaning is through comparison. Detail A in a dream is comparable to Detail A about the dreamer. For example, driving off a cliff in a dream is comparable to “going over the edge” somehow in your life. Comparison is used in metaphors and figures of speech such as “drive off a cliff,” and it’s the #1 thing I look for when decoding dream symbolism.
But what about comparison’s fraternal twin, contrast?
When a dream creates contrast, you can bet it’s symbolism and a great place to look for meaning.
Take for example the following dream shared at Reddit Dreams by a young female:
About a week ago I had a dream much unlike any I’ve ever had before. In the dream, I am back at the community pool I used to frequent while growing up in California. I am 22 now, but in my dream I feel as if I am somewhere around age 14.
In my dream, I meet this other girl who is a few years older than me. She is a lifeguard at the pool. She has very short boyish hair and an upturned nose. She is confident, easy-going, and seems to have this lust for life and an ability to live everyday as if it is her last. She doesn’t seem to let anything bother her and takes every setback as a challenge. Don’t ask me how I know all this, I just know it upon seeing her in my dream.
From the moment my dream-self ses her, I know I am in love/she is my soulmate/meant to be etc., etc. Fast forward (anywhere from a few weeks to a year, who knows) and my dream-self and the mystery girl are dating (?). I visit her at the pool and she sees me at school. I am shy to kiss her in front of other people, but she has no qualms about being openly gay. For some reason, I know in my dream that she has all the qualities that complete me and contrast my qualities.
The dream sets up a contrast between the dreamer and the main dream character. What is the contrast saying? Let’s start with what it’s not saying.
It’s not saying that the dreamer has a desire to date a woman. It’s not revealing a secret gay desire or anything.
It’s not saying the character is a personified aspect of the deep psyche, such as an anima figure, which is what the dreamer first wondered. A female can’t have an anima figure because her conscious personality is female, and anima is, by definition, contrasexual.
However, this idea is on the right track if you consider that dream characters can be personified aspects of the dreamer.
The dreamer herself tells us what the dream character represents:
I know in my dream that she has all the qualities that complete me and contrast my qualities.
Other details from the dream support the idea that the character the dreamer falls in love with is a personification of everything that she wants to be. The dream-story takes place when the dreamer is 14 years old. That’s a formative time of life. A person’s basic personality is set. It’s when the dreamer’s shyness and timidity took root. As she says in her own words:
I just remember waking up [from the dream] and thinking to myself, “Wow, she is everything I’m not. I stress at every little thing that can or does goes wrong, while she laughs in the face of danger. She has no anxiety whatsoever and is completely free to be herself (openly gay amidst people who believe it is wrong, has short hair, etc.) while I hesitate to be myself even around friends.”
I don’t really think the dream has anything to do with me being gay and not knowing, I think she just represents the self I wish I were. I tend to have a lot of anxiety and am not the type of person who just floats through life carelessly like she does.
Now, why the reference to a gay relationship? The dreamer tells us she admires the dream character being completely free to be herself, even in the face of social pressure, which is true for gay people in many situations. It’s a comparison. But I think the reasons go deeper.
Falling in love in a dream can be a way of creating and strengthening bonds between your ego and other aspects of the psyche. If you love someone you will do anything for them, even become more like them. In this case, the dreamer falls in love with her “other half” because in the character she sees everything she wants to be. And the good news is, her dream paramor is part of her that’s unconscious and thus can become conscious.
Basically, the dream is showing the dreamer what she can be—what she already is deep inside—through a contrast with the dream character.
In other words, opposites attract, and through that attraction they unite. Everything in the psyche is made of opposites, and when united they “transcend” to create something new.
As Betsy Perluss says:
[Carl] Jung says that holding the tension of the opposites is essential to bridging the gap between ego-consciousness and the unconscious. If the tension between the opposites can be held long enough without succumbing to the urge to identify with one side or the other, the third, completely unexpected image, one that unites the two in a creative new way, comes into view.