Dream Work


The terms I use to discuss psychological and spiritual concepts are outlined below. For those of you familiar with Jungian psychology, a brief definition of some basic terms are listed in this section to help you interpret your dreams. Also included is a list of symbols and their symbolic meanings in dreams. This list is by no means exhaustive. It is instead compiled based upon research from several books I have studied on dreams. I will update the information at few times per week. I hope it will help you find enlightenment and inner peace. 

How Does God Speak Through Dreams

Here are a few things to remember about how God speaks through dreams:

  1.  God is always present, not only in the physical world, but also in the spiritual world, which constantly breaks through our consciousness via the dream and the vision.
  2. God gives direction to those who are open to them.
  3.  We can directly confront and experience this spiritual world.
  4. God is much more anxious to communicate with us than we are to listen.

Things to Remember About Interpreting Dreams

Here's a few things to remember about interpreting dreams:

  1. Often, the best dream interpretations are the briefest. When the essence of a dream can be expressed in one sentence, we are most likely to be on the right track.  John Sanford, Dreams and Healing (53).
  2.  Only the dreamer really knows if their dream is interpreted correctly... There may be an "aha! so that's it" reaction, a gut-level "yes"... The unconscious, which has produced the dream in the first place, also knows when the dream has been correctly understood. John Sanford, Dreams and Healing (53).
  3. When dreams are being correctly understood, they will tend to change. John Sanford, Dreams and Healing (53).
  4. Dreams are often important in helping us make decisions. They frequently offer valuable hints about which way we should go in life, although they do not write out a message in bold letter proclaiming what we should do. John Sanford, Dreams and Healing (71).
  5. Dreams do not make choices for us. Making decisions is part of the work of the ego, and people who turn the decision making process entirely over to the unconscious are usually disappointed and sometimes make wrong choices. There is a tendency in most of us to avoid "biting the bullet" and to shirk the hard choices that must be made in life. We want God, or dreams, or prayer, or someone else to do the difficult thing for us. We can expect to find guidance from our dreams but at some point, we must choose to be responsible for our choice. Otherwise, we would not mature. John Sanford, Dreams and Healing (71).
  6. After the meaning of the dream has been consciously dealt with, if a decision has been made, a subsequent a dream will often comment on it. 

Working with Our Own Dreams

  1. Write them down. Keep a journal so that you can record your dreams, your reflections upon them, and other matters that relate to your psychological and spiritual life. According to John Sanders, "A psychological journal is, in fact, a most helpful and useful tool, the most inexpensive form of psychotherapy..." He goes on to say, "Into the journal go the dreams, the chance thoughts, the creative ideas, the angry, dark moods and thoughts, the conflicts, fantasies, that cross our screen of consciousness. John Sanford, Dreams and Healing (56).
  2. Making a habit of recording our dreams brings about subtle but significant changes in the consciousness, even when we do not understand them. John Sanford, Dreams and Healing (56).

Psychological - Spiritual Terms

Ego - The ego represents the conscious part of our personality. We are all aware of ourselves. We know what it is like to be awake and to fall asleep. We have continuity of memory, and a certain capacity for making decisions and taking action. That part of us which we are immediately aware, and which we usually identify as "I" is called the ego. Strictly speaking, some parts of the ego are unconscious. But for our purposes, we may call the ego our consciousness. In our dreams, our own person always represents the ego. John Sanford, Dreams: God's Forgotten Language (xiv)

Unconscious - The unconscious represents the parts of our consciousness we do not know. Sigmund Freud long ago established the existence of unconscious personality components. Carl Jung calls this part of the personality of which we are unaware the unconscious...The term unconscious is preferred over subconscious because the latter implies something below, hence inferior to, consciousness. As we shall see, the unconscious realm is just as much above the ego as it is below it; our higher spirituality is as much part of it as is our lower nature.  John Sanford, Dreams: God's Forgotten Language (xiv)

Psyche - The psyche refers to the entire personality, including the ego and the unconscious: since the psyche embraces both, it is the term used for the total psychological organism. 

Psychic - Psychic is used as an adjective to describe the inner energy or activity of the psyche.


Psychic - Psychic is used as an adjective to describe the inner energy or activity of the psyche.

Automobile - the automobile usually represents one's ego. It is something that gets around in the world. A typical automobile may go something like this: I am driving down the street. I step on the brakes, but the car doesn't stop. This most probably indicates that I have little control over myself. I am too busy.  Morton Kelly,  Dreams a Way to Listen to God (51)

Unknown woman or unknown man - The unknown woman in a man's dream and the unknown man in a woman's dream can represent the feminine side of a man or the masculine side of a woman. If a person wants to understand the meaning of this faceless figure, he or she will need to become familiar with this inner man or inner woman.  Morton Kelly,  Dreams a Way to Listen to God (51)

Horses - In dreams, the horse usually represents our physical body.  Morton Kelly,  Dreams a Way to Listen to God (52)

Dogs - In dreams, dogs usually represent animal like masculine energy. Morton Kelly,  Dreams a Way to Listen to God (52)

Houses - All of us have dreamed that we have gone into a house, opened the door, and suddenly discovered a room we did not know existed. The house usually symbolizes the total psyche of a person and the dream points out to us that we are greater and have larger capacities than we can imagine.  Morton Kelly,  Dreams a Way to Listen to God (53).

John A. Sanders echoes this idea regarding houses. He says, we may dream of finding a new rooms in our house we did not know were there before, or of moving into a larger more resplendent house; in this way, dreams express the change that is happening inside of us John Sanford, Dreams and Healing (56).

Swimming Pools - We may dream of having a swimming pool in our backyard. The pool could symbolize refreshing and renewal if it is included with the house symbol.

Aquariums - If we dream of having an aquarium of beautiful tropical fish it could could represent trying to remember dreams or a small part of our unconscious as it represents a small portion of the ocean which is usually a symbol of the unconscious. Therefore, the information the aquarium represents could be something you don't want to fish out, but something you want to keep hidden.

Shadows or Attackers - We may dream that we are being followed by such a figure, perhaps a criminal with a weapon or a dangerous looking person with a knife. As a rule, we will usually take flight a quickly as we can. This signifies that we are fleeing from a part of our own selves. However, we must be brave enough to face our opponent and discover what our opponent represents. Our shadow attacher is usually 90% pure gold and our task is to discover how we can come to terms with this figure  and integrate it. Only as we face the shadow can we see what parts of it are rejected parts of ourselves which need to be integrated and which parts are essentially destructive and from which we need to be protected by the Holy Spirit.  Morton Kelly,  Dreams a Way to Listen to God (53)