What is Dream Interpretation

What is Dream Interpretation

By definition, dreams are a series of images, events, sensations, and ideas that come into mind when one is asleep. Different kinds of dreams come to people when they are in different stages and levels of sleep. The purpose of dreams is yet to be proven scientifically, even though they have attracted a lot of religious, scientific and philosophical interest over the years. There are dreams that are more vivid than others and the main difference between these two is the stage of sleep they occur in. In the rapid eye movement stage of sleep, the dreams that occur tend to be more vivid and memorable compared to the dreams that occur in others stages of sleep. In most cases, dreams tend to last longer when the night gets darker and in most cases, people have an average of 3-5 dreams every night, with an exception of few that have up to 7 dreams. Dreams are mysterious to many people and this is the reason why more and more people are venturing into the study of dreams. This way, they are in a better position to explain more about dreams. The scientific study of dreams is referred to as oneirology.

What is dream interpretation?

Even though science and religion have not been fully able to give an accurate interpretation of dreams, people over the years have developed methods to give meanings to dreams. In many societies, dreams have considered being communication between supernatural beings and humans. Dreams have therefore been considered to involve supernatural forces and the people interpretation was therefore done by people considered to have supernatural powers. This was however in the past. Today, several schools of thought, neurobiology, and psychology have come up with theories on the meaning of dreams and how to interpret dreams. Most of the theories used to interpret dreams today are based on the Freudian Theory of dreams in countries.

History of dream interpretation

People have been interpreting dreams since civilization. Due to the great diversity and isolation of human civilizations in the early years, different people in different regions interpreted dreams differently. According to ancient Egyptians, for instance, dreams were considered to be messages from the gods. Records recovered 1300BC from a Dream Book contained 200+ messages delivered by the gods to ancient Egyptians. The dream interpreters in Ancient Egypt translated dreams to be opposites of real dreams. For instance, a dream on drought, hunger, and starvation, would be translated to mean that there will be plenty and productivity. Another theory used by ancient Egyptian dreams interpreters were that dreams were a record of the adventures undertaken by the soul when the body fell asleep. In other African societies, dreams were and are still considered to be important and part of day-to-day life. For instance, the Zulus believed that battles in dreams really took place in real life and used this theory to explain why warriors woke up sore muscles.

Midsummer Nights Dream Interpretation
By Edwin Henry Landseer

Ancient Greeks and Romans also shared some beliefs with the ancient Egyptians. They also believed that dreams were important and messages from superior creatures. This belief was shared by almost all schools in human civilization that aimed at accurately interpreting dreams in the early years of civilization. However, the ancient Greeks and Romans deviated a little from the other beliefs of the Egyptians concerning dreams. They believed that dreams were divine messages and they even set up sacred places where people would go to dream. These people were administered with concoctions and herbs to induce sleep and the dreams they had were considered prophecies. In the later years of civilization, another theory was also developed by the Greeks on dreams and dream interpretation. Plato wrote in an article that dreams occur when the soul is party asleep and the voice of reason has been silenced. When this happens, the subdued beast in human beings awakens and it only seeks to fulfill its instincts without prudence and shame. This explains why some dreams are very wild and unrealistic in real life.

Modern interpretation of dreams

In modern times, interpretation of dreams is very derivative of the ancient Roman and Greek theories. In addition to these theories, modern dream interpretation reasons that dreams are not only prophesied events and predictions of the future. According to an article written by Jung on the modern interpretation of dreams, dreams and the people experiencing them are not mutually exclusive. In addition to being impossible to separate the dream from the dreamer, there is also no accurate and straightforward way to interpret any dream. This, therefore, means that every dream is unique to the dreamer and even though two people experienced the exact same dream, there may be a different translation to the same dream.

Why people have dreams interpreted

Generally, most people think that dreams have a very important role in human life. There are people that take dreams very seriously and they believe that all dreams have a deeper meaning. In most cases, dreams that people have tend to affect their real-life decisions. For instance, some people may end up canceling their trips, flights and other activities because they had dreams in which bad things happened to them during these activities. In most cases, these people cancel their previously planned activities due to the dreams even without formal warning from the authorities on the possibility of risk.

Common methods of interpreting dreams

As mentioned above, dreams are complex and mysterious and it is very difficult to accurately interpret dreams, leave alone understand them. Dreams tend to be very volatile and the contents of the dream can change very rapidly so that it may be impossible to find the pattern of dreams. The contents can also be very vivid and frightening with bizarre features and occurrences, which leads many people to strongly be convinced that there is a deeper meaning to dreams. Even though science has not been quite able to give a demonstration on the purpose of dreams, researchers and experts have proven otherwise; dreams have a meaning. There are different schools of thought that are used as methods of interpreting dreams and some of them are listed below.


Bill Domhoff on dream interpretation

This school of thought states that dreams are a reflection of the real life of the individual. According to Domhoff, an expert in dreams and dream interpretation, dreams are as a result of neurological processes in the brain, and the content of dreams, therefore, reflect the concerns and thoughts the individual in real life. An average of 70-100 of the dream content of an individual can be used to give a rough psychological picture of the individual in real life. This can be translated to about 1,000 dreams to give a very accurate picture of a person’s mental state. The accuracy of this picture can be as accurate as of the individual’s fingerprints.


Calvin S Hall on Dream Interpretation

Calvin S. Hall documented that dreams are just part of a cognitive process and that the brain viewed dreams are conceptions of the elements we interact with in real life. According to this theory, the main aim of dream interpretation is not only to understand the dream but to also get to know more about the individual involved. In order to get an accurate picture of the two, it is important to consider the actions the individual was involved in during the dream and the figures and objects in the dream. It is also important to understand and get a clear picture of the actual interactions between the individual and these objects in their dream and also the setting of the dream.

Carey Morewedge and Michael Norton

These two are researchers and they set up an experiment that involved 1,000 people from South Korea, USA, and India. A few of these people, mostly the college and university students, believed that dreams are simple responses by the brain to random and normal stimulations. A larger population of the people involved in the study, however, said that dreams are a reflection of the individual’s desires and urge. From the study, it was also discovered that the weight attached to dreams by many people depends on their individual biases. For example, people tend to remember and take seriously the bad dreams they had about people they hate and dislike and good dreams of the people they love and are fond of. The interpretation of the dreams by individuals is also influenced by the current situations of the individuals, beliefs they have about themselves and other people around them, and also how they perceive the world around them. All these factors determine how different people respond differently to different kinds of dreams they have.


Dreams have been and remain to be mysterious for the human brain to contemplate and all that is left is speculation of what dreams are and what they mean. While there may not be any significance in dreams, they greatly determine the future of many people. Depending on the seriousness attached to dreams, they may end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy. People interpret dreams differently and the reality of the dream to the real life of the individual greatly varies depending on their belief about dreams.

What Does It Mean When You Die In Your Dream?

What Does It Mean When You Die In Your Dream?

The great mysteries of our dreams have plagued human beings since the dawn of creation. Seemingly, we are brought out of this physical world and taken to another dimension. In this new dimension, the laws of physics don’t exist. Anything can happen, whether the dreamer intends for it to or not.

While often dreams are very pleasant, allowing us to experience things we might not otherwise get the chance to experience in real life in a way that very much feels real, sometimes the things that happen to us in our dreams can be incredibly frightening upon awakening.

Human Skull Symbolizing Death

Dreams about death

One of the most frightening dreams a person can have would seem to be a dream in which they die. However, those who have lived through such dreams have come to realize that while the dream frightened them at first, the experience of the dream might have actually represented something very positive for them.

While in the physical world we die and we are gone, some believing our souls live on somewhere beyond and some believing we are completely gone and never to come back, in the dream world, death is not so finite. You could experience the feeling of dying every single night in the dream world and you would still come back to life in the morning, totally untouched physically by whatever ailment or attack had befouled you in your dreams.

This poses the question to us of what exactly our dream selves are.

What does it mean when you dream about death?

The most common answer would be that our dream selves are various manifestations of our soul across all other dimensions besides the physical. Simply, when we dream, we are experiencing first-hand our soul without the screen or filter of our physical bodies and its mechanisms. This is why dreams are so widely venerated in spiritual communities.

Spiritual communities tend to look at and appreciate dreams in ways that more atheistic communities do not. While there is no absolute scientific proof of the soul, many true dreamers have real first-hand accounts of the soul that they have attained through their experience of luscious and vivid lucid dreams.

Symbol for death

Now, the soul is immortal, as far as can be understood, especially in comparison to our physical bodies. Our physical bodies get old and sick and die in what amounts to one single wave or blink of the soul. Our eternal souls will last far beyond these bodies and anything else material in this world.

We have to ask, then, if the dream representation of our souls is dying while we sleep, how are we still alive? Obviously, when we die in our dreams, death is somewhat symbolic. The concept of “rebirth” through assimilation with religion or some other spiritual reawakening is very similar to what we are getting at here.

When we die in our dreams, something is definitely dying or represented as dying, but it isn’t exactly “us”, meaning our selves, as we exist right now.

It could be our worldview that is dying. It could be the end of an era, the death of a moment in time. It could be that tomorrow you’re going to get fired from your job, which may open up opportunities for you to find a better and higher-paying one. It could be that you are getting over the grief of a loved one, and the stages of grief have plateaued, allowing you to finally reach the end of your torment and move on.

Breaking it down, death of your self in a dream is most commonly believed to represent moving on from some phase in your life, or a great and impactful change that is taking place in the soul.

Black Crow Represents Death

Death as an omen

If you are reading this, yet are not convinced, it is possible that your dream may mean something else. No one knows better than you about your feelings and emotions, and, given that dreams are a realm of feelings and emotions first and foremost, feelings and emotions being the lifeblood of the soul, this should definitely be taken into consideration.

If your death dream gave you cause for serious anxiety and was an all-around negative experience, it could mean that instead of something in your life-changing for the better, there is something in your life that you are needing to change for the better. Perhaps if you don’t make some change there will be negative consequences.

In this interpretation of the death dream, dying is less spiritually symbolic and more of a dire omen. Now, it doesn’t mean that you are going to die, it might just mean that things in your life might not turn out the best that they can for you given some current circumstances being put into place or certain life choices that you may or may not be making.

If you feel like this may be a more solid interpretation of your dream, it might be time for you to do some serious self-reflecting about who you are as a person and what exactly you are doing with your life. Commonly, our dreams can be considered the time when our true soul interacts on a one-to-one level with our ego, communicating dire truths that cannot be totally understood and comprehended outside of dreams.

If there is something very, very important that your soul needs to tell you and it doesn’t feel that it can communicate the idea through signals and symbols in your waking life, dreams become the best arena available for your soul to go about making some active changes for the better to you and your being.

Be very considerate about what your soul has to tell you. While often the message of the soul can be cryptic, conveyed through vibrations, symbols, and feelings much more than directly through words, it can always be understood, and your best method for understanding it is not in any book or compendium but in your own trusting and understanding of your self.

Consider your soul your best and truest friend, both your highest self and your closest companion. While there is a basic language of dreams that can be understood and communicated through the knowledge of man, it is imperfect, and nothing is as pure and vital as your own communication directly with your soul. Take heed of what it tells you about yourself and your life.

Mental preparation for death

The third most common thing that dreams about death and dying can mean is that death and dying are literally things that are involved in your life at the moment, in the past, or sometime in the future. In this case, the death of yourself in the dream could actually be considered a much more literal omen than before, in which case the dream might be preparing you for some acceptance of your possible fate.

It is a very good idea for the human being to be mentally prepared for death and dying, and to accept that it is the fate of all physical beings to eventually die. This is merely the law of the universe. There is nothing wrong with dying. In fact, most cultures widely venerate death in at least some capacity, most believing death to be merely a new beginning for the immortal soul.

Our existence is full of cycles, at both the macro level and the micro-level. Both large cycles and small cycles thoroughly dictate the ebb and flow of our physical universe. The end of one cycle is the beginning of a new one. The end of one cycle should not be feared, loathed, nor resented by anyone involved in the cycle.

Most commonly in this instance of the interpretation, your dreams about dying will represent repressed feelings you have about the death of a loved one, or the very existence of death in general. Death affects all living creatures, whether they are the ones experiencing it at the moment or not.

If you are upset about the death of a loved one, your soul might attempt to make some peace for you in the dream world by allowing you to experience death from a different and more personal angle. This is a means for your soul to allow you to come to terms with the death and develop an appreciation for death.

If your soul is telling you to think about death, it might be time for you to consider what it is about death that you should be thinking about. No one knows better than you, in your personal experience, and no one can understand your soul better than you can.

Day of the Dead


And with that, we have presented for your consideration several of the most common interpretations of the many dreams we may all be faced with concerning death and dying. While it is often very frightening to have a first-hand experience of dying in such a vivid form as a dream, when you are safe and comfortable in your bed just trying to relax and sleep away the day, dreams about death are very rarely something to be looked on negatively.

Most often, in fact, death dreams are a very positive way for you and your soul to come to a higher understanding of life in general and often dreams about dying actually represent the coming of some great and beautiful change. Let us consider that in order to be “reborn”, in some way we must first “die”, and that death can be manifested internally in a broad spectrum of ways. Any way you look at it, don’t fear and dream on.