Thursday, March 22, 2012

River Rafting in a Convertible: Water, Journey and Cars

(photo by Horia Varlan)

This is a dream from a friend of mine. In his dream he was river rafting but not in a boat but rather a convertible car with some other people. He went to go down a chute and got thrown clear and then had to swim through the rest of the rapids on his own. He asked me what I thought this dream meant.

Water, as an image, symbolizes the emotional state. For example, if the water is calm and still, you are feeling calm and still. If there are rapids you are feeling turbulence. Travelling on water in any kind of vehicle represents a journey. Choppy water means the journey is difficult.

The convertible could represent different things depending on how one feels about convertibles; for example, freedom, recklessness, or loss of youth. My friend didn't say whether or not he was the driver. In my blog entry, Driving a Car, I talked about the significance of the driver. If my friend was driving, he was in control (or rather out of control). If it was someone else, my friend was feeling that he had given the control to someone else.

The chute image in the dream represents a tunnel (like to a different dimension or state, or reality). The fact that he got thrown from his vehicle and had to navigate the rest of the rapids on his own makes me think that maybe he is part of an organization or group of friends that he feels he needs to leave to go his own way.

Swimming symbolizes the effort my friend has to make, or is making, to get through his difficulties. It's great that he saw himself making it to the shore. This is a dream that could have played out as a nightmare, but my friend "rode it out" (like you would if you were really rafting) and came through on the other side. I think my friend can feel hopeful and confident for the future.


Friday, March 9, 2012

Dreaming of Frogs

(photo by Joi Ito - frog on corn leaf)

The other day, a friend told me about a dream she had. In it, she was yelling at her boyfriend who was sitting on a couch. Suddenly, he turned into a frog. She continued to yell at him, "And damn you, now you're a frog!" What did it mean?

Frogs and other types of wildlife can definitely be viewed as symbols when they appear in our dreams. I think this refutes the ideas that some people have that dreams are just the residue of our daily lives brewing in our brains. Because, why would a frog appear at that moment in her dream! (Unless she works with frogs or happened to see one that day). So, her dream is telling her that her boyfriend is like a frog. What does that mean? Well, there are several interpretations.

1) He actually has the qualities of a frog. He is slimy, has a long tongue, catches flies.
2) One dream book I read said a frog symbolizes "physical and emotional malformations". I have seen the guy and he appears to be very well formed! But it reminds me of the fairytale the Princess and the Frog where the prince is turned into a frog because of some character flaw, but he will be restored to his true identity with the kiss of a princess. Is my friend the princess who will save this man/frog?
3) A frog represents spiritual and emotional changes, and the potential for transformation (as seen by a the change from tadpole to frog).

Traditionally, a frog is seen as a good omen for money and love. What you do with the frog also has meaning. For example, holding a frog in your hand means you're going to win something and killing a frog means you are about to harm yourself (taken from Podder, 2004).

In my friend's case, she felt comfortable with the interpretation that the frog symbolized the potential for transformation and change in her boyfriend (which is what she was hoping for all along).

If you have ever had a dream about a frog, please tell me about it and comment below.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Dreaming of Vomit

(photo by Phil Gyford at flickriver)

Personally, I have never had this dream myself, but I became intrigued with the image after my daughter told me about a dream she had. In her dream she was at school and everywhere she looked people were throwing up. The people in the dream were her friends and classmates. She was disturbed by the dream, it didn't sound pleasant.

So when I did some research on this image, Dreaming of Vomit, I found that it could be interpreted both literally and symbolically. I took the information and wrote an article about it. You can see it here at my suite101 site if you're interested in more specifics. Surprisingly, this is one of my most viewed articles! Either lots of people have this type of dream or they are fascinated with the topic (and the picture I use, see above - it's pretty great).

The literal interpretation of vomiting in a dream would mean that you are trying to purge yourself of something (an idea, situation, a person). Something that is literally making you feel sick. Seeing someone else vomit, like in my daughter's dream, means that the person is, or you think they are, being false to you. Literally, they are spewing out crap! You might not be conscious of this in waking life but there may be signs that you have registered unconsciously.

I was surprised at how many symbolic or mystical interpretations there were of the image of vomiting in your dreams, especially in the Islamic tradition. Apparently, people dream of vomiting many different things and some of them are quite funny. For example, if you dream of vomiting dishes, it could mean you will lose money or property. Dreaming of swallowing pearls and then vomiting honey means you have a deep understanding of the Quran. And, my personal favourite, dreaming of vomiting a chicken and then watching it as it hops away, means that you will suffer disappointment in a relative's illness. (I find the image funny, not the outcome!)

What I like most about the image of vomiting in your dreams is that, like many dreams, the literal image and words that would describe it (being sick, purging) and analyzing what you are vomiting up (a symbol of wealth, a person, a chicken? not so much!) can tell you a lot about what your dream means.