Four ways to tell
How do you know a dream interpretation is accurate? I’ll say first, the point isn’t always to be right or correct. Just work with the dream. The energy it sends into your unconscious mind returns to you. The effort pays off whether or not you correctly interpret the dream.
If you really want to know something and your motives are good, you’ll find out what you want to know. The unconscious mind, aka the Dream Source, wants you to know it and it wants to know you. There are rules to this interaction, though, and rule #1 is the conscious mind must engage, must have the desire and intention and be ready to know the truth and see into the unlit spaces inside.
I can take one dream to four dream interpreters and get four different interpretations. Which one, if any is accurate?
- You know a dream interpretation is accurate because it feels right. You respond internally, whether you figure it out for yourself or someone figures it out for you. Like a word on the tip of your tongue, you know subconsciously what your dream means, and you feel a sharp reaction internally when the meaning comes to you.
- You know a dream interpretation is accurate because it is consistent with other dreams. Most dreams run like rivers through our lives. They have commonalities in the themes, narratives, stories, symbolism and meaning. Always consider the element of surprise as you work with dreams, but I find more often than not that there’s a consistency to them, and I can use my work with dreams-past to decipher dreams-present.
- You know a dream interpretation is accurate because every detail can be understood symbolically or as part of the story and experience. Dr. Carl Jung says a correct dream interpretation accounts for every detail. Everything fits into a big picture, and in one look it shares a jackpot of information about situational and personal dynamics. It’s a picture that says a thousand words — and then some.
- Time will tell. Interpretations are proven correct by subsequent experience.
It’s possible to get four dream interpretations and each accurately analyzes a layer of the dream. Jeremy Taylor, the author of numerous books about dream interpretation, says there is no such thing as a dream with only one meaning. See #3 on the list of six tips for dream work.
Dream symbols are packed with information, and the layers multiply when strung together as dreams do to tell a story. By the way, I independently reached the same conclusion as Mr. Taylor that there’s no such thing as a dream (a fully formed dream, not just a snippet or fragment) with only one meaning.
Dreams preview coming attractions in your life’s journey and your inner development. Dr. Carl Jung tells us that dreams invariable show the ego what it does not know or understand — but is soon to be known and understood because it’s coming into the light of conscious awareness. It’s emerging in you, and the best midwife in this birthing process is your willingness to see yourself as you really are and know the truth. It takes time.
With some dreams you simply can’t know right away whether or not an interpretation is on target. The amount of time for the light to switch on inside you can be a moment, or a month or longer. I’ve had the meaning of a dream come to me years after the fact, sometimes seemingly out of the blue. Seemingly. The work was going on behind the scenes — mostly subconsciously — the whole time. My desire to know the truth about myself keeps the flame burning.
Also, the dreaming mind is like a time machine. It can look forwards in time, known as precognition, and backwards in time, known as retrocognition. Some dreams will NOT be fully known and understood until time passes and you can see how life unfolds.
Trusted sources for dream interpretation
Like any researcher or investigator, as a dream interpreter you go where the evidence leads, but first you must establish the factualness of the evidence.
This question is the cloud that hung over me for years as I learned about dreams and their interpretation. How do you know a dream interpretation is truly accurate, especially when it comes from sources I can’t test or verify? It felt like taking an exam but never finding out if my answers are correct. I had case studies and teachings from Carl Jung and a few other trusted sources, but lacked a body of knowledge that encompassed the entire expanse of the dreaming experience.
Then I found Edgar Cayce and the many hundreds of dreams he’s on record as interpreting. Cayce channeled his interpretations from the source — the ultimate Source, whatever it really is. From dreams cooked up by bad digestion, to visitations from spiritual beings, and everything in between, you can follow along as Cayce touches all points. He doesn’t always explain how he reaches his conclusions — his interpretations were meant foremost for the people who experienced them — but you can work backwards and catch on.
Two books about Cayce’s interpretations are spot-on: Dreams: Your Magic Mirror by Elsie Sechrist, and Harmon Bro’s Edgar Cayce: On Dreams. I found them when I moved into a new home and the former owners left them behind. Coincidence? Sure, maybe, but for me it felt more like guidance.
I think Mr. Cayce would approve of my Crash Course on How to Interpret Dreams:
You are the best interpreter of your dreams. You already know what they mean because you create them. So you are ultimately your own best source for knowing a dream interpretation is accurate.
Get your copy of my Dream Interpretation Dictionary and become your own best source!