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You Are Here Dreams 1-2-3 » About JM DeBord

About me – J.M. DeBord the most trusted name in dream interpretation

Becoming the most trusted name in dream interpretation starts with leading the largest online community for dream sharing, r/dreams, and reaching millions of people. Known there as RadOwl, since 2009 I’ve shared my expertise in the spirit of openness with the millions of people who visit every year. Their trust in me speaks volumes.

Authoring four acclaimed books about dreams adds to that trust.

J.M. DeBord, the most trusted name in dream interpretation

Co-hosting a popular podcast about dreams helps, too. On the Dreams That Shape Us we explore the life-changing power of dreams and bring to our listeners the deeply personal stories of our guests.

Since 2017, more than 5,000 students across 200 countries have taken my online courses in dream interpretation. I call it the Owls School of Dreaming and it’s the most in-depth training of its kind you’ll find anywhere.

DREAMS 1-2-3 is the process of dream interpretation I created that’s simple and effective but thorough enough to guide everyone from novices through experts into their dreams.

Media interviewers often start off by asking what got me into dream interpretation. My answer is it found me while I was at a crossroads in life and seeking guidance, and from the moment I first grasped that my dreams are meaningful and full of wisdom I was hooked. In my study of dreams I’ve immersed into many schools of thought, but Dr. Carl Jung is my favorite source. Below is an interview that starts off with my story about my journey as a dream interpreter.

I’m guessing I’ve done more than 200 media interviews, including three appearances on Coast to Coast AM. When major newspapers like the Boston Globe or The Guardian need a dream expert, they come to me.

But what matters most to me is when a person I’ve helped at r/dreams says wow, thank you for that, you helped me understand my dreams like never before. Thousands of such interactions gave me the courage to really put myself out there as a dream expert. I don’t have a PhD and I’m not a therapist, and it means I’ve had to prove myself other ways. Mission accomplished?

Simple and effective dream interpretation

Most people don’t know where to begin interpreting a dream. One source says a dream means one thing and another source says something else, sometimes contradictory. Unless you study the subject in-depth you won’t have the base of knowledge to judge for yourself. That’s where I come in.

I’ve studied all the major schools of thought about dream interpretation so you don’t have to, and I boil down the best of what really works into a user-friendly system I call DREAMS 1-2-3.

Dream work comes in threes:

  1. Remember your dreams.
  2. Interpret your dreams.
  3. Live your dreams.

Dreams have three story elements:

  1. Settings
  2. Characters
  3. Symbols

And they have three narrative components:

  1. Action
  2. Reaction
  3. Resolution

Learn how to use D3, my process of dream interpretation, and you can explore the meaning and interpretation of dreams.

radowl's crash course in dream interpretation
My intro to dream work. Available at Amazon and other retailers.

Dream Interpretation 1-2-3

For a complete rundown, visit

  1. Break down the dream into story elements and narrative components.
  2. Translate the symbolism and analyze the story.
  3. Connect the dots in context and reflect on your life.

A complete picture of the dream’s meaning and significance usually emerges as you take those steps. Some dreams require more time to reveal themselves to you, and some are simply beyond the ability to comprehend for all but the very best interpreters. But in my experience, with some effort and the right approach, you can understand most of your dreams.

My Approach to Dream Interpretation

A dream interpretation workshop by jm debord

You are the best interpreter of your dreams because you create them, and that means somewhere inside yourself, you know what they mean. Right?

Of course you do, subconsciously. Dreams are created in the unconscious mind, so the better you understand that part of yourself, the better you understand your dreams. Dreams are so foreign to most people because they don’t understand the unconscious, which is to say they don’t understand the vast majority of their own mind. The unconscious mind is part of the psyche, which is a self-regulating and balancing system. I’ll teach  you how it all works.

Dreams are stories, so the better you understand storytelling, the better you understand your dreams. And the better you understand your dreams, the  better you understand yourself.

I’ll show you how it’s done. Subscribe below so I can send you info and links that will enlighten you to the world of your dreams.

“We Love Dreams” newsletter

Dreams can tell you about all areas of your life and lead you to a deep and true knowledge of yourself and your life. For thousands of years they have been used as guides, as emotional and personal outlets, and as oracles. They are truth in a fake world, the antidote for feeling lost and listless. Choose how you want to learn and let’s get started.

47 thoughts on “About me – J.M. DeBord the most trusted name in dream interpretation”

  1. My dream recall isn’t as good as it used to be. I am waking up from nightmares, doing my best not to panic, not breathing. Usually in these dreams I am either under water, stuck in a tight space, or my boyfriend’s arm/ half his body is obstructing my breathing. I don’t know what to do, but I know I’m not getting good sleep. This happens every other week I feel, sometimes more often. Is there any advice you could give me?

  2. I heard your interview on Jim Harold’s Paranormal Podcast yesterday & thought it was very interesting! I’m not sure I would call this a dream, but as I was waking up this morning a song was “playing” in my head. It was “Dream a little dream of me”. It was like it was in my dream & just stayed there as I woke up. Any thoughts on music in dreams & what they mean? I haven’t heard or thought about that song in years. Thanks!

    1. Hey Beth, sorry it’s taken me so long to reply — been traveling. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about my appearance on Paranormal Podcast. I’ve had that experience of waking up with a song in my head that somehow matches my thoughts and mood. I’ve learned to pay attention to the DJ deep in my mind that knows just what to play. Sometimes it happens too when I’m fully awake — the seemingly “random” song that pops to mind is actually purposeful. It helps me to keep tabs on what’s happening below the surface.

  3. recently had a dream where i pushed on my front tooth slightly and it fell out easily. any idea what it could mean if it means anything at all?

  4. I’ve been having sort of the same dream for a few months, small things in the dream are changed but in each dream I somehow end up grinding my teeth and clenching, it hurts my teeth and I can’t open my mouth, it feels as if my teeth are going to break but I wake up before. It feels so real but never is. I don’t know what it means. Any ideas?

    1. I used to deal with this sort of teeth grinding, too, and have similar dream imagery. Only once in a while does it happen these days and when it does it’s always because of stress. When I address the stress — relieve it — the grinding stops. I used a mouthguard for a while. It makes my jaw relax. My dentist said my teeth were getting damaged, and I woke up a few times with my jaw in spasms but it began just as the sensation and imagery in dreams, then by the time I woke up the grinding had relaxed so I didn’t realize the true cause till I woke up once in full jaw spasm. Something else that helped me is periodically checking on my jaw during the day. I’d find myself clenching so I’d loosen the jaw. For a while I made a habit of placing my tongue on the roof of my mouth. It makes the jaw relax.

  5. i don’t dream, well i may do but i have no recollection of any dreams, never have, ever.

    I go to sleep when i’m tired, no matter what time it is, i wake up when i need to wake up no matter what time it is.

    in between there is – NOTHING!!!

    any idea why? or why not?

    I’m not troubled by it, it is what it is, i would appreciate your input if there is any.

    1. Something we know from many decades of sleep research is just about everyone dreams. Some rare exceptions have been found but we’re talking like .01 of the population. You are dreaming. You just aren’t remembering. You have a few possible reasons to consider off the bat:

        You aren’t sleeping well. Deep dreaming requires deep sleeping, especially in the second half of the sleep night. The first half of the night focuses on the need of the body. Those dreams often disappear into the memory hole and that’s OK, there’s not much important there. Then, dreams focus on the needs of the mind, heart, and spirit. Those are the most intense and vivid dreams, and they usually occur during REM stage sleep. I wonder if you are sleeping but not getting much REM.

        You don’t want to know. Dreams can be uncomfortable. They can give viewpoints contrary to the ego. They point toward things that need to change.

      I wrote an extensive post about remembering dreams. It has many tips and suggestions.

  6. I’ve had a recurring nightmare since I was 7. I’m in an empty room, stuck in the corner with my nose in the corner. The walls start closing in on me and I wake up from the nightmare feeling squished. I’m now in my 60s so this has been going on for a while now. Any insight? Thank you.

    1. A child with her nose stuck in a corner is a classic image of feeling shame and punished. Then the walls close in…wow, what a metaphor in motion. Does it describe how you feel — how you felt back then when the nightmares started and now as an adult? “The walls are closing” is something people say when a situation is too much to bear but there’s no changing it. That’s material for a recurring dream like this one, and for it to last all these years says that the feeling has never gone away.

  7. I dreamed the other night that my phone was ringing. And when I picked it up, it said Death on the caller id. Any insight as to what that could mean? That’s really all I remember from thaat dream. I wasnt scared or upset, I was more concerned and kind of brushed it off. But then Death called right back when I didn’t answer.

    1. This dream could be a message to think through your thoughts and feelings related to death. It’s something everyone should come to terms with before they actually die. Once you accept death, you can live more freely. Also, it can add impetus to doing the most with the time you have (left).

  8. I was at a convenience store. Looked down and saw a large black snake close to the door. I started trying to sop people from getting up close. Then i saw it strike at two little birds down at the door, and they immediately died. I knew it was very poisonous at that point! It visiously moved up to under the front cashiers counter, when we all noticed there were two snakes. My dream jumped to a house. My family and I were there being chased by those wild and visious snakes, room to room. No phone would work…i woke up. Weirdest thing though, they never actually comfronted me. Help please?

    1. First, read what I shared about snake dreams.

      Something that stands out to me is the setting, a convenience store. Begin with the idea of convenience, then add the danger represented by the snake. Do you do something out of convenience that’s potentially dangerous to you and your family? Since convenience stores are full of convenience foods, and snakes consume and inject venom, there’s a possible connection. The snake moves under the cashier’s counter, a way of saying that the symbolism is related to what you’re willing to pay in time and energy to prepare the right foods for you and your family.

      This is only a guess based on my experience with this type of dream. Lately I’ve run across multiple examples of dreams connecting snakes with health, for good or ill. I also know from past experience that a convenience store setting can speak symbolically to what you do that’s convenient. Plus, I know how difficult it can be to plan and prepare healthy meals. But I also know how important it is. You are what you eat!

  9. I heard your guest spot on coast to coast the other night, I have a show similar to coast to coast I call Way out there. I have a big interest in dreams. so does my wife. I love to dream and I’m conducting an experiment to see if I can dream about what I want to dream about, In other words munipulate my dreams. It would be great if you could be a future guest episode of Way out there. My station is GJRB Online. and I’m on Spreaker, if you are familier with it. Anyone can podcast from it. In fact I would suggest you use it and do podcast about dreams. I would listen to them and you are welcome to follow me when you get an account. Let me know what you think GJRB Online is also on Twitter and I’m also on You tube Gary Russen GJRBTV on you tube where I have live you tube shows frequently. Look foreward to hearing from you

  10. You gave out a lot of secret information the other night on coast to coast. Did nerds giving out iphones help the plebs?.. arguably no …… encouraging them to obsess on the golden rule would serve them better, prior to entering and manipulating other dimensions, in my opinion …..

    1. I do think that doing basic dreamwork is the necessary foundation before taking on the more advanced stuff such as lucid dreaming or astral projection.

  11. Hi J.M., listened to you on Coast, definitely picking up your book. I often have dreams that focus around animals. I’ve swam with a white dolphin, spotted a snow leopard, killed a snake, tamed a snake, caught a snake, all sorts of snakes come up. I saw a polar black roaming a crowded beach in Florida. Once a pink tarantula walked across my mind during meditation and the next day one of my students brought a pink tarantula toy to school and showed me. I could go on and on. Usually when I have a feeling in the morning that there was a powerful message coded in my dream, it was one of these animal dreams. I now keep a dream journal. Any other suggestions or sources you recommend?

    1. At my website is a post about animals in dreams — it’s on the sidebar under most popular posts. I think that’s a good place to start. My book is packed with examples of how to interpret animals in dreams and many of those entries go into more depth than what I offer on the website. Snakes…yeah, a popular dream symbol with a wide variety of possible meanings. Notice on the sidebar there’s a popular post about snakes. Take a look.

      If you subscribe to my newsletter you will get emails with links to lots of resources for how to work with and interpret your dreams. My book The Dream Interpretation Dictionary includes a dream interpretation guide and encyclopedia of concepts and methods. It’s really the best resource I can offer.

      The pink tarantula…that’s a very specific symbol and it’s hard to write it off as coincidence that your student brought that toy to class the next day. Check out my post about precognitive dreams. It will help you to understand dreams that appear to preview future moments in time.

      That Coast to Coast interview was a real thrill for me. Thank you for your feedback.

  12. My little girl dog is my best friend. I had a dream about 4 years ago…we were sleeping together, curled up, and I woke up (in the dream)…..and found a big knife, and methodically, slowly, with no regret, cut her right in half. No regrets. Killed her.

    What does that mean and how can I forget it? It still scares me.

    BTW, I didn’t really kill her.


    1. Susie, the thing to realize is your little dog in the dream is symbolism for something, and so are your action of cutting her in half. Begin with the symbolism of your dog. She’s a friend, a companion, loyal, comforting. Perhaps the dream is about a division between you and a friend (you “divide” the dog in half). It could be about feeling divided about a subject such as loyalty or the desire for companionship. The imagery is not literal.

  13. I posted my dream up here for more an answer, and u pulled it down, care to elaborate on why, I had a dream my on and off ex kept feeding me his never ending dick, and it just kept going down by throat. What does this mean?

    1. I get a lot of comments and don’t remember that one specifically, but am happy to give you some ideas now. For this dream, I’d focus on the symbolism of his penis and what it means to swallow it. In simplest terms, you’re getting a never-ending supply of something. Like, he won’t stop acting like a dick, or he talks about his dick or fellatio all the time. It could symbolize taking in his masculinity or even connect with feelings about giving him oral sex.

As Dr. Frasier Crane says, I'm listening. Leave a comment.