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 to Dream About Spiders?

What Does It Mean to Dream About Spiders?

Did you dream about spiders recently? Dreaming about spiders is a common thing. Seeing it in a dream can have many meanings. Many people despise them, they think it is a bad omen. However, spiders don’t symbolize a bad thing in all cultures.

Spider Web

Spiders are considered as creators since they can craft fine webs. Generally, it is the female spiders that build the web. They are larger and hold more poison in their sac. As a result, spiders are addressed as feminine creatures. The male is also able to create webs, but the webs are only for sperm induction and courting. They are not web builders like the female spider.

In some places, they symbolize creativity. It is because spiders can fabricate fine webs, which need detailed work of art for the web to be efficient. Web making involves a lot of knowledge and creativity. Hence, spiders symbolize knowledge and creativity as well.

In other cultures, the eight legs of the spider represent infinite ideas of creativity. So, if you see a spider in your dream you should not jump to bad conclusions. Seeing a spider in a dream can be a good thing as well.

Meaning of Dreams

You might find it crazy to think that seeing something in the dream could have a meaning in your life. But our dreams do have meanings. Everything that happens around us is recorded in the subconscious mind.

Normally, these are not noticed by us, but the information is collected and stored in the subconscious mind. Sometimes the brain shares this information with us as dreams.

Spider Symbolism

Spiders have many different meanings. There are both bad and good meaning to spider. Some of the meanings are shared here to understand them better.

Dream World

Positive Symbolism of Spiders in Dreams

There are several positive interpretations about seeing spiders in your dreams. These are often related to their characteristics.

Weavers: Spiders circularly connects webs starting from the center. They connect threads one with another to form the entire structure.

Craftiness: Since spiders are able to construct the web, they got this interpretation.

Creativity: The spider web is a piece of art, which needs a lot of vision and imagination before the built.

Patience: Creating a web takes time.

Oneself: A spiders web art makes it unique. The web is a part of itself, a presentation of the spider’s own self.

Tenacity: Making the web is hard work. It must be firm enough to hold the prey, but still smooth enough for spiders to move around freely on the web.

Negative Symbolism of Spiders in Dreams

Like positive meanings, there are also negative interpretations when dreaming about spiders.

Captivity: A spider forms its web to capture food. The houseflies and similar smaller insects get stuck in the web until the spider comes to feast on its.

Evil: You can only imagine how another insect must feel once it is trapped in a spider’s web and waiting to be eaten. At the moment of the spider’s arrival, it can appear ill to its prey.

Hubris: After making an artistic web the spider rests on the web with excessive pride appreciating its work.

Shadow: The spider completes it an artwork and waits in the dark until its prey falls for the trap.

Cunning: Although the web is an art, it can also be said as a skillful trap. So, it symbolizes a tricky nature.

Cruelty: It feasts on the trapped life by releasing fluids that melt it before it has its way with the prey. Thus, the spider is said to be harsh.

What does it mean to dream about spiders?

If you understand the meaning of the spider and how the meanings are interpreted, the answer is easy. Our subconscious mind acts up and directs us by showing spiders in our dreams. The spider, its web and activity can have different meanings. You can interpret them in the following ways to understand the meaning of your dream.

Spider and Prey

Interpretation of your own feelings

A spider is always around us, but we are unaware of its existence. That is because it is quiet, it moves around silently without making anyone aware of its presence.

Similarly, if a person in real life feels, that his presence is not known to people around him. As it is with the life of a spider, a silent life with few people knowing about his presence or activity. The feeling can lead to the person seeing a spider in his dreams.

You are close to meeting your goal

Sometimes seeing a spider can mean that you are taking steps to achieve your goal. A spider weaves the web patiently. It knows that when it is done with its masterpiece, there will be rewards waiting for it afterward.

The spider slowly weaves toward its goal to achieve a nicely crafted web for itself. Similarly, when a person is taking steps towards his goal, he could dream about the spider.

However, the spider in the dream also has meaning. If you see a spider crawling up the wall, it means you are progressing towards your goal successfully. It means an improvement in both professional and personal life.

On the other hand, if you see the spider is trying to move up, but it faces many hardships, then the meaning is different. As it is in the dream, you are probably facing many obstacles in your pathway to success as well.

Anxiety and threats

A dream where you see a spider could mean threat or insecurity that you need to address. To make it easier to understand, imagine how you would feel if a spider swings right in front of your from above. You would feel threatened, right?

In your dream, if you see a spider hanging down right in front of your it means the same thing. You probably feel threatened by something in real life. There is an insecurity in your mind and heart that is yet not solved. It is time that you should take this problem seriously and work on it to deal with your anxiety.

A touch of creativity

As mentioned earlier in the article, spiders represent creativity. The spider web needs both artistic view on a large scale and microscopic detail in the close-up. Hence, the spider is a symbol of creativity. If you see a spider in your dream, it could mean you have creativity inside.

The talent is trying to burst out of you. It might also mean that you are about to take a creative adventure soon. If you are seeing a spider in your dream, you can take steps to achieve any creative goal you were dreaming about.

Presence of negative forces

You might dream of a spider that seems harmful to you. It could be a spider crawling over your or a poisonous spider looking to bite you. Any such indication could be an impression of something negative in your life.

There may be something that threatens your life. It could be your career, personal life, or education, which is in danger due to some bad characteristics or actions. If you dream about a spider crawling over you, it means there is a bad influence in your life. It could be a bad company or a bad habit that is ruining your life.

You find it difficult to get rid of this negativity. But you need to isolate yourself from it. Drug addiction could also be a good example of this dream interpretation. Since most people ruin their careers and personal lives due to taking drugs.

Beware of Manipulation

Spiders weave their crafty web to catch their prey. The web is a trap set by the spider. If you see a web in your dream it could mean manipulation.

Depending on the dream, seeing a spider web could mean the dreamer is a manipulator. He is preparing plans to manipulate things in his life. As a spider weaves and connects each thread, the dreamer is planning to catch his prey in a tight thread.

The dream could mean otherwise as well. It could mean that the dreamer is being manipulated by someone in his life. Hence, the dream is an alert to the dreamer to beware of the web and keep himself safe from it.

Feminine force

Spider symbolizes feminine forces. So if you are seeing the spider in your dream it could mean there is a presence of feminism. It could mean new female energy approaching your life. It could mean a connection with the feminine force.

Another meaning could be the awakening of feminine energy. It can be creativity, receptivity, or patience. Rather than being in connection with a person, it could also mean that your feminine energy is trying to reach out.

Woman Looking Out A Window


Seeing a spider in a dream can mean a lot of things. To understand your dream, you could try the examples we have given above. Try comparing your dream and see if a similar condition is present in your life. There could be more meaning to seeing a spider in your dream.

To understand your dream better, you need to contact an expert in the matter. You need to find someone who can discuss your dream with you in detail and interpret it accordingly.