If you want to understand the language of dreams, you must begin by understanding the meaning of the symbols in your dreams.
The sleeper surrenders conscious control of his or her thoughts and allows the sub-conscious mind to create a vivid landscape of symbols and images, many of which linger when we wake.
Once the sleeper awakens, the dream work begins. Occasionally one may remember an entire dream in minute detail, but more often we retain fleeting glimpses of people, animals, objects, locations, emotions, colors, and sounds. With time, practice and dedication, the dreamer can be trained in techniques to remember a dream in detail or even to become a lucid dreamer with the ability to consciously plan and participate in one's dreams.
Perhaps it is a sign of human arrogance that we would catalog and assign meaning to our dreams. However, modern science and decades of study have allowed us to find many common values to important dreams symbols. While these values are ultimately subjective, they do allow us better evaluate and understand our dreams.
In order to illustrate the concept, lets take a look at a few of the common symbols found in dreams and examine their meaning.
1. Animals - Animals in a dream represents the part of our mind that is connected to nature and the desire to survive. Being chased by a predator in a dream often indicates the dreamer is repressing powerful emotions like fear or aggression.
2. Babies - Babies may symbolize your desire to produce a child or point out your innermost feelings of vulnerability. They may also indicate a desire for a fresh start in life or the need to be loved.
3. Clothing - Clothing represents how we wish to be seen by others or how we think others perceive us. For example, if a person repeatedly dreams about being dressed in shabby clothing, it may indicate the individual feels unattractive or worn out.
4. Being Chased - Being chased is one of the most common dream symbols. It may represent a fear of a particular individual or some activity you fear in real life. It is important to try to remember who is chasing you and reflect on what person or event they may represent.
5. Death - Death in a dream is not a prediction that someone will die. Instead, it represents change. It may indicate the need to bring a troubling situation to a conclusion or the desire to start over after a failure or disappointment.
These are just a few of the literally thousands of symbols we all encounter in our dreams. The first step to understanding your dreams is to keep a catalog of the various symbols you remember and to record your own feelings about what they may mean. Dreams are deeply personal, and while there are general meanings to each and every symbol, it is ultimately up to the dreamer to define their dreams in terms of their own values and life experience.