Oneirology is the Greek word for the study of dreams. The fact that the Ancient Greeks had a word for the practice indicates that it is worthy of everyone’s consideration!
There are so many benefits to taking a little time each day to reflect on the important messages sent from your subconscious mind whilst you are asleep.
For those who study dreams (oneirologists), dreams regularly reveal depths to ourselves that we could never imagine exist!
For those who have yet to experience the benefits of dream recall and analysis, where do you start?
In Dream Interpretation for Beginners, Diane Brandon offers her insights and experiences, gleaned from her years of dream study.
She is aware that newcommers to the subject might feel a little uneasy about entering the world of dreamwork and so she dedicates a chapter to answering the core questions about the subject.
She poses questions such as:
- Does everyone dream?
- How can I learn to remember my dreams?
- Why do I have nightmares?
- Do men and women dream differently?
Of course, not everyone has the same psychological makeup. As a consequence, everyone dreams differently.
Brandon explores the environments that people tend to dream about. This includes dreams of being indoors or outdoors, flying through the sky or stumbling through dark tunnels.
She also explores the different types of dreams that we can recall. This includes dreams with messages, healing dreams, precognitive dreams and even dreams that contain recollections of past-life experiences.
Most people recognize that dream content is usually symbolic in nature. This presents a problem when you try to decipher their message.
The author examines the more common dream symbols and reveals their meanings. This includes dreams of being naked, being chased or taking a test.
Dreams that involve drowning, getting lost, falling, being attacked and dreams about the dead can be disquieting but, as the author explains, the reason behind these can be relatively easy to determine and resolve.
If you fancy learning how to interpret your dreams for yourself, Brandon offers a step-by-step guide containing fourteen specific tips to help you unravel your nocturnal experiences.
Most important of these is the advice that you keep a dream journal in which you record your dreams and interpretations. This is a powerful way to develop a close dialogue with your subconscious.
Brandon also offers a practical way in which anyone trying to unravel their dreams upon waking in the morning can capture and understand their content.
Writing them down is the first important task but, following on from this, she offers advice on how you can apply certain criteria to the dream, unravel its context, interpret any symbols that have significant relevance to you, trace a dream’s general theme and determine whether you need to act in any specific way to respond to its wisdom.
This process may appear a little daunting to some readers and so Brandon includes a number of actual dreams and uses them as examples of how you can unravel their meaning and relevance to you in your life.
Twenty-five different dreams of varying types are included and, between them, they cover a wide range of the most common dream themes, such as psychic and deeply spiritual dreams along with those with more mundane qualities.
These can include dreams that reveal otherwise hidden factors of our daily lives, health, wealth and well-being, as well as advice from our inner being on the correct way to conduct our outer lives.
The author then offers her reader the opportunity to test your understanding of dream interpretation. She presents a sequence of over 40 dreams and invites you to unravel their meanings according to your own criteria. At the end, the author offers her own explanations of what they meant to her.
Brandon dedicates a chapter to how to handle the advice and guidance that dreams offer.
One of the ways you can integrate the wisdom of your dreams is to work with your dreams through ‘dream incubation’. This is achieved with a little preparatory work before falling asleep by focussing your mind upon what you wish the outcome of your night’s dreaming to be.
The book ends with a collection of additional hints, appendices, recommended reading and a bibliography.
I began recording my dreams in a daily journal in 1985. I have done it every day since!
Back then, there was very little information about dream interpretation… just the occasional dreamer’s dictionary—which I have found to be less use than a chocolate teapot!
I wish I had had a copy of Dream Interpretation for Beginners back then to teach me what took over two decades of personal research to discover for myself.
This is a terrific book but do not be misled by the use of the word ‘beginner’ in the title. It is far from it. As a seasoned pro in the art of dream interpretation, even I learnt a great deal from its content!
The most important aspect of this book for me is the fact that it focuses upon the reader. It works with the central premise that dreams are personal to each of us and that only through the application of our own symbolic language can we unravel their meaning.
This is where other books, such as dream dictionaries, go wrong. They assume that one dream symbol fits all. Whilst, as Jung pointed out, there is a level to the unconscious that contains archetypal imagery common to us all. These do not, as a rule, float up to our normal nightly experiences. Each dream that we have forms part of the way that our inner selves strives to bring information through to our conscious selves.
This is a book that does require a little work on the readers part to get the best from. It offers no immediate solutions to the problem of unravelling symbollic meaning. Instead, it teaches you how to work with your own dream content.
All you need is one great dream of a deeply profound spiritual meaning, one that offers you valuable insight into a challenging problem in your life or one that steers you away from danger or harm and you realize that dream work is one of the most powerful and effective methods for improving your life on every level.
Diane Brandon presents her readers with a powerful tool for understanding the benefits of dream work. Through the insight, advice and guidance that she provides, the book acts as a practical point of reference to anyone seeking to understand the mysteries of their inner world.