What Dreams May Come

I’ve always had a very active imagination, and it hasn’t been limited to my consciousness.  I enjoy the dreams that take me on adventures on par with novel story lines.  The nightmares not so much.  Then there are the ones a little too close to real life, but not quite, or the very strange ones.  Why did I dream I was melded into the trunk of a tree?

A friend suggested I check out Betty Bethards’s Dream Book on dream interpretation.  I was curious, so I went ahead and got it from the library.  Dreams are a way for us to process events in our lives and work through issues.  This makes sense.  Growing up, I had a recurring dream of being trapped in my backyard.  I would try to climb the fence to see the world beyond, but it was too high to climb.  I’d try flying, but would get caught in the power lines.  Night after night, I would struggle against the prison of my little world, until one night I finally broke through.

It makes sense that those dreams were my subconscious working through feelings of being stifled, whether from the limitations of health problems or the emotional domination that made me feel trapped in my physical body.  Dreams provided that escape.  They still do.

So what about the ones where my mind is still trying to process issues?  Well, frankly, I’d rather my subconscious didn’t.  I prefer to have fun in my dreams, not work through stress using weird symbols.  I have to admit, though, Bethards’s dream analysis has been mostly correct.

Take, for example, the dream where a tree wrapped its branches around me and melded me into the trunk.  (It wasn’t nearly as creepy as it sounds writing about it.)  According to the Dream Book, a tree is a symbol of personal growth.  The roots represent the foundation/support.  Is it strong or shallow?  The trunk represents the backbone and strength.  Branches are talents and abilities; leaves are the manifestations of your gifts–the fruit of your life.  A scrawny tree means not recognizing your self-worth.  An old gnarled tree means “the storms of life have taken their toll.”

Now, according to the book, being a part of the tree “represents aliveness that can be molded or shaped into new form.”  Since I’m working on personal growth and trying to take care of myself, this makes sense.  Yet, my tree was old and gnarled.  So while I’m in a state of transformation, I am apparently at the same time not learning my lessons in order to prune my tree.  It seems somewhat paradoxical, but the mind is a complex place.

As fascinating as all this is, I’d still rather dream of warrior women and men cursed to be dragons, flying ships and sword fights.  And in case any of you are thinking those symbols can be decoded, I checked, they don’t fit.  They’re simply the muse unleashed.

What do you think about dream interpretation?  Have you tried it?  Do your dreams help you work things out?  Or are they a refuge from reality?  Have a weird one you want to share?  I love hearing from you!  I’ll have the dream book for another week if anyone wants me to look up a specific symbol for them.  🙂