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Dreams are messages from our subconscious regarding issues we are facing in our lives. They can be teaching dreams, psychic or precognitive dreams, or just sorting out dreams. By using the combined gifts of intuition and empathy you can understand the underlying messages behind you dreams.

"Once upon a time," said the philosopher Chuang Tzu, "I dreamt I was a butterfly. I was conscious only of my fancies as a butterfly, and unconscious of my individuality as a man. Suddenly I awoke, and was myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly dreaming that I am a man."

All human beings, regardless of race or custom, have similar thoughts upon arising from a singular dream. We ask ourselves, "What does it mean?" We wonder if the dream foretells a coming event, or if we have seen a hidden aspect of past events. Many of us try to use the dream creatively, to plumb the unconscious mind. We employ the dream as inspiration for art or literature, or business decisions. Some of us are heartened by our dreams. We feel something lucky is bound to happen. Others view dreams with trepidation, leading to a vague sense of fear or unease.

In the West, the analysis of dreams is a valid part of psychotherapy; occupying the attentions of practitioners such as Freud and Jung. Indeed, dream interpretation occupies a place in the antiquity of Western thought. See Aristotle's 350 B.C. work On Prophesying By Dreams In China, dream analysis, or Chan-meng, is likewise traced to antiquity and has spawned countless numbers of schools, systems, interpretations and techniques.

The early Chinese philosophers believed that dreams are the wanderings of the soul's conscious immaterial duplicate, set free by sleep while the actively operating soul remains in the body. Thus dreams were counted as an instructive reality, no matter how fanciful they might be. This idea was hotly contested by later philosophers, notably Wang Ch'ung in the First Century, who wrote a lengthy diatribe against Chan-meng, seeking to prove dreams as mere illusions.

But Wang Ch'ung was alone in his opinions. Dream augury formed an important part of imperial court life and countless numbers of examples of dreams-as-portents are included in all histories of all ages. Dreams were taken as instructions from the divine to rulers of men, and woe to those rulers who left their dreams unheeded or interpreted them wrongly.

The interpretations set forth in the following link date to about 1050 B.C., and are generally based on the dialectical school of Chan-meng. This system of interpretation relies on the antithetic explanation of dreams, and is said to have been popularized by the Duke of Zhou, compiler of the popular dream interpretation manual Zhou-gong jie meng. We have also included interpretations dating to a later period; that of the Chin Dynasty, 265-420 A.D.

Although the interpretations herein date to antiquity, they are subject to recasting in a modern light. The interpretations for dreams of cars, for example, are taken from interpretations for dreams of chariots.

A Note On Tibetan Methods

In Tibet, there exists a practice known familiarly as "Dream Yoga," which is of substantial value. Although instruction in this so-called Dream Yoga is rarely presented in the West there are a few exceptions and the interested reader is advised to contact Tibetan Buddhist centers for further information.

Tibetan doctors are instructed in dream interpretation as a means of diagnosis. According to one authority:

If the patient dreams of riding on a rat, monkey, lion or jackal, this signifies death. If he dreams of riding south on a horse, pig, buffalo, donkey or camel, all these are bad signs.

If the patient dreams of a tree growing from his forehead, where a bird's nest has formed; or of falling from a precipice, or of sleeping on a cremation ground; if he sees himself surrounded by crows, hungry ghosts, or drowning, or feasting with the dead, or wearing red clothes and a red flower necklace, this kind of dream signifies death. If persons of good health have such a dream, it is a bad omen.
Dreams to be taken into consideration are those that are dreamt early in the morning, when they are fresh in one's mind.

It is good to dream of: images, gods, priests and holy people, kings and famous men, a big fire, people in white attire, crossing oceans or big rivers, escaping from dark places or prison, overcoming enemies, being praised by parents. To have such dreams is a sign of prosperity, longevity and wealth.

Of the Method of Recalling Dreams

The best method of recalling dreams is to sleep on your right side, with a pillow behind the back so that upon awakening, you will remain lying on the right side.

The dream will remain vivid as long as the body is motionless. If the body rolls over, the dream will be quickly forgotten.

Of Protection Against Bad Dreams

Above we reproduce a traditional talisman that may be of some protection against bad dreams. This can be copied and hung over the bed, or alternately, placed beneath the pillow. A "coin sword" is also occasionally held to be of some value, and these may be obtained at curiosity shops. These are usually hung over the bed. Abstaining from certain foods and spices, such as garlic, onions or peppers is sometimes recommended.

On Keeping A 'Dream Journal'

It is useful to keep a journal of your dreams, noting the dream and the events which follow. This will assist you in developing your own personalized set of symbols. Dream symbolism that is "lucky" for one person may be "unlucky" for the next, and vice-versa.

Keeping a dream journal will also assist you in judging the accuracy of the interpretations contained in the following link.
 

Consult the Dream Interpretations analogy for an interpretation of your dreams

 
 
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