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
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

January/February 2017 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

Decoding Dreams

This article was written by Henry Woodhouser
posted under Dreams

There are numerous "dream interpretation" books available today, but none quite like Dreams: Working Interactive. What makes this title unique is the combination of its authors, Stephanie Clement, a Minnesota professional in Transpersonal Psychology, and Terry Lee Rosen, a computer programmer at Front Range College, in Colorado. Together, they have created a straightforward system to document , decode, and analyze dream images in a book and software presentation.

The accompanying compact disk allows for journalizing our dreams in the context of Dr. Clement’s interpretations. These are primarily of a Jungian nature, in that the identity of dream types are perceived as rooted in the subconscious, our inner voice expressing itself in the psycho-dramas we experience, although do not always remember, every night. I was especially attracted to the book’s third part, its Dream Symbol Dictionary. Here the visual elements are alphabetically listed, each with their own succinct definitions.

Dr. Clement argues that dreams are composed of many significant details forming themes and patterns connecting waking conscious with its subconscious underpinnings. An understanding of the archetypal symbolism involved can real much about the deep-seated motivations activating our attitudes and behavior. Beginning with A, I read through the entire Dictionary section, looking for those elements remembered from dreams past. Although psychologists tell us we dream every night, we cannot recall most of our dreams, and those we do are usually fragmented. Clearly remembered dreams are relatively rare for most dreamers.

Even so, I have several times dreamt of cats, always in sympathetic is sometimes bizarre situations, undoubtedly because I live with a beloved feline, Sally. In one such dream, she suddenly sprouted wings and flew through the air, attacking a sea-gull, which she dropped at my feet. In looking up the various details of the dream in the dictionary section, an interpretation suggested itself.

Dr. Clement writes that a cat “symbolizes the depths of a dream, and therefore the mystery you are facing in your waking life.” Sally’s untypical wings indicate spirituality, “and also the ability to remove oneself from a situation literally or figuratively.” The gull she caught “reflects your personal relationship between the world of logical intellect—objectivity—and the world of the unconscious —hidden emotions.” Clement points out that proper dream interpretation can only be achieved in the context of one’s waking state, which is symbolically reflected in such psycho-dramas.

Following her observations, my dream recollection changed its character from a someone amusing piece of nonsense to an insightful comment on the state of my conscious mind. Sally, in other words, represented the psychological problem, as it were, “the mystery you are facing”; namely, a struggle between external attempts at behaving rationally (i.e., in a socially acceptable fashion) and inner feelings which, if expressed, would today be condemned as uncivilized behavior. This conflict is underscored by Dr. Clement’s observation, “A lesser-evolved animal in a dream may indicate a primitive instinct, or that the instinct is emerging from a deeper level of the unconscious.” Sally’s wings, however, suggest “the ability to remove oneself from a situation”, an ability she presented as a gift.

The meaning of the dream is as follows: The dreamer is conflicted in his daily life between what is expected of him by others and his innate, contrary emotions, but should have confidence in his ability to avoid the conflict without compromising either his own feelings or duty toward others.

Recurring dreams commonly take place in the lives of many persons, but so too certain themes often show up more than once in our psycho-dramas. Motifs that appear time and again in dreams I’ve experienced all my life belong to cities, clocks, a deluge, a house, serpents, and water. I’ve never read a truly satisfying explanation of any of these recurring themes until Dr. Clement’s interpretations. Remarkably, she writes that these six elements are among the most frequently experienced by dreamers in the Western World, implying that their reappearance is culturally inflected.

To dream of cities, she explains, shows deep concern for the workings of social life, while a clock is a kind of mandala of the subconscious mind, significant less for the passage of time than the division of life into phases of development. To dream more than once of a deluge usually means that the dreamer feels overwhelmed by circumstances, although such a frightful metaphor also possesses a purifying aspect in the thorough cleansing of old ways. Carl Jung associated dreams of a house with the dreamer’s self-image, particularly his or hers own body. Dr. Clement expands this concept to include the dreamer’s entire being of body, mind and soul.

Whenever I dream of serpents, they are not invariably threatening or even frightening, a reaction in keeping with her definition of this archetype as symbolic of the potent force of spirit. “Because it sheds its skin in order to grow,” she writes, “the snake is a powerful symbol of transmutation ... the serpent is a powerful creative force when it appears in your dreams.” Water, too, sometimes recurs in those nightly dramas that fill the subconscious mind, for reasons I never consciously recognized until Dr. Clement explained that its appearance in a dream “reflects something about the way you see life at any given time.”

With a book like Dreams: Working Interactive, readers will be able to save a great deal of money by canceling all further visits to the psychiatrist’s couch. Everything they need to help them properly analyze and interpret their dreams and connecting with their subconscious lives is available in this single, insightful volume with its attractive software.



Dream Sight
Dream Sight
A Dictionary and Guide for Interpreting Any Dream
Michael Lennox
$19.95 US,  $22.95 CAN | Add to Cart

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

If one thing has been sacred to our species since time immemorial, it is our trees. Dwelling between the realms of earth and sky, we humans are beings of both worlds, and our very life is a balance and synthesis of form and spirit, below and above. What more appropriate symbol for this could there be than a tree, rooted in the earth, and... read this article
A Checklist to Discern Your Empathic Abilities
Being Physically Active: Plan for Success by Planning for Failure
The Witch's Crown: Sovereignty, Power, and the Faery Tradition
The 7 Habits You Must Adopt in 2017
Trance Dance Your Way to Happiness

Most recent posts:
Not just for tarot beginners
Tarot Fundamentals is the first in the three part series. This first volume provides over 600 pages of everything you need to develop a strong...

Into the Realm of Enchantment: Pop Culture and Magical Consciousness
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Storm Faerywolf, author of the new Betwixt & Between. Magic is the heart of witchcraft. The...

When Mindless is Better Than Mindful
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Sharon Lipinski, author of the new 365 Ways to Live Generously. Some things you have to think about...

Everyday Witch Tarot Everyday Witch Tarot
By: Deborah Blake, Elisabeth Alba
Price: $29.99 US,  $34.95 CAN
Llewellyn's 2017 Moon Sign Book Llewellyn's 2017 Moon Sign Book
Conscious Living by the Cycles of the Moon

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.99 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2017 Magical Almanac Llewellyn's 2017 Magical Almanac
Practical Magic for Everyday Living

By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.99 CAN On Sale!
Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook Llewellyn's 2017 Witches' Datebook
By: Llewellyn
Price: $11.99 US,  $14.99 CAN
$9.59 US,  $11.99 CAN On Sale!
The Elusive Elixir The Elusive Elixir
By: Gigi Pandian
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN