Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
LLEWELLYN JOURNAL
Article Topics
List of Articles
RSS Data Feeds
Mission Statement
Use of Our Articles
Writers' Guidelines

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

March / April 2014 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Journal
Print this Article Print this Article

The Theme of a Dream

This article was written by Robert P. Gongloff
posted under Self-Help

In a dark corner of a crowded night club, Trinity presses Neo against the wall and whispers, “It’s the question that drives us.” The Matrix, the movie from which this scene was taken, has become a classic. It has a dream-like quality, demanding us to question: What is reality? The point Trinity makes is what educators and great thinkers have known and valued through the ages: While the answer may impart knowledge, it is the question that leads us to understanding.

Over the years, I have found my nighttime dream experiences present more questions than they do answers. Perhaps their purpose has always been to lead me to understanding—about my life and about what drives me. Questions are what led me to write my book, Dream Exploration: A New Approach. And questions form the basis of the approach itself.

Certain questions have always persisted in my work with dreams: Is there some easy, logical way to examine my dreams? How can I relate my dream life to my waking life? Can dreams give me guidance on what to do next when dealing with life’s issues?

My research into these questions helped me realize that I needed to change my outlook about dreams. Like most of us, I had always viewed dreams as a mass of symbolic data to be analyzed. I came to realize that dreams are stories to be enjoyed and understood. I had always seen dreams as providing answers to my questions. I found that dreams are showing me the questions I need to deal with in my waking life. Storytelling versus analysis; questions versus answers; understanding versus knowledge—the key to this new outlook is the exploration of themes.

The theme is the important message, idea or perception of any story, any waking event, any dream. Exploration of themes is easier and more logical than the tedious, ofttimes misleading examination of symbols. Themes throw you right into the middle of the questions of your life. Themes lead you to understanding. For example, the theme of a dream in which you find yourself naked in public might be, “I am vulnerable and need protection.” This dream is leading you to examine areas in your waking life in which you are vulnerable.

Once I had become comfortable with this new approach of “theme” work, I began to ask myself, “Is there a set of common core themes—general themes that can address any event or experience? From this, can we create a model of universally accepted messages, ideas or perceptions that will help us to evaluate and explore the themes of both our dream lives and waking lives?

I found the answer in the following sources: the twelve houses in astrology, the twelve archetypes of every hero’s journey as presented by Carol S. Pearson in her book Awakening the Heroes Within, and the twelve universal dream themes identified by Patricia Garfield in her book The Universal Dream Key.

Each of these sources describes twelve distinct groupings of human activity. And the activity descriptions of each are amazingly similar. The correspondences of each source are such that they can be used collectively to describe each of the twelve basic life activities—or themes.

Astrologers divide the heavens into twelve sectors, called “houses.” Each house represents an aspect of life. For instance, the first house deals with who you are—your self-image. The second house deals with what you have—your personal possessions and resources. Pearson identifies the archetypes that influence each person’s life journey. They can be seen to correspond to the houses in astrology. For instance, the first archetype deals with your persona, your self-image; the second with your personal needs.

Garfield identifies twelve “universal” dream themes that are found the world over, across different cultures and classes. These “themes” present excellent examples of the twelve areas of human activity as seen in the houses of astrology and Pearson’s archetypes. For example, the common dream of being naked in public corresponds to the first “house” theme as it relates to your self-image. Dreams in which you have car trouble correspond to the second theme relating to satisfaction of personal needs.

My book, Dream Exploration: A New Approach, builds on these sources and offers a universal set of common core themes that apply to your dream life and waking life. This model, called The Theme Matrix, provides the questions that plague all of us. It can be used as a guide for dealing with the issues raised in your dreams. The book provides guidance on how to use themes and The Theme Matrix to take positive action on these issues—the questions you face in your waking life.

It’s the question that drives us. Live in the questions your dreams present. Enjoy the mystery. I guarantee you will come to new self-understanding and true wisdom.

Robert P. Gongloff

RELATED PRODUCTS

Dream Exploration
Dream Exploration
A New Approach
Robert P. Gongloff
$12.95 US,  $17.50 CAN | Add to Cart

Please note that the use of Llewellyn Journal articles
is subject to certain Terms and Conditions

When we are told we are being taken to a haunted location, long before we reach our destination, our mind will have already created its own ghosts and demons. In fact, the mind is the common denominator where any respectable paranormal investigator is concerned; and whether you are a sceptic or believer, you can never be certain exactly what... read this article
7 Ways to Welcome Spring with Crystals and Gems
The Witch's Broom: Magic for Everyone
Astrology: The Energy of Color
How to Get Rid of a Ghost: 3 Easy Ways
A Healing Spell for Your Cat

Most recent posts:
The Angel of the River Thames
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Billy Roberts, author of The Holistic Way and the new Ghostly Tales. Today the subject of angels is...

Marseille Cat Tarot
The Marseille Tarot is very popular in Europe and is now gaining popularity in the US. Some people think that Marseille style decks are harder to...

The Four Elements
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Donald Tyson, author of a vast number of books, including The Serpent of Wisdom, The Demonology of King...





Llewellyn's 2014 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2014 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2014 Herbal Almanac Llewellyn's 2014 Herbal Almanac
Herbs for Growing & Gathering, Cooking & Crafts, Health & Beauty, History, Myth & Lore

By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2014 Magical Almanac Llewellyn's 2014 Magical Almanac
Practical Magic for Everyday Living

By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2014 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2014 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $10.99 US,  $12.50 CAN
$2.75 US,  $3.13 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2014 Astrological Calendar Llewellyn's 2014 Astrological Calendar
Horoscopes for You Plus an Introduction to Astrology

By: Llewellyn
Price: $13.99 US,  $15.99 CAN
$3.50 US,  $4.00 CAN On Sale!