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Symbols in Our Dreams

Symbols in Our Dreams

Here Mary-Anne analyses several dreams based on the key symbols in them


A valley will represent a low point, crisis or turning point in the life of the dreamer. Going down into the valley usually means getting to the bottom of something or descending into the unconscious. If the valley is in shadows, it can symbolize dark areas of the self. If shaped like a canyon, can be female sexuality or sexual anxieties. Sometimes a valley can be a warning of upcoming illness.


Sleeping in a dream is often indicative that something important is not being understood – there is a lack of clarity and consciousness, possibly avoidance of problems or a need for rest. In folklore, can be a negative omen.


Any images of waking up are becoming more aware of yourself or certain characteristics of yourself. It may mean a fear of waking up to something dreadful. but does reflect positive development in awareness, new perspectives and a desire for something new – a new beginning.


This will represent a part of yourself or a father figure if the male is much older.


Leg is a symbol for setting things into motion on your own initiative. It is also a symbol of your attitude towards life – and to being grounded. I wonder from this does someone else control your life or do you look to others to validate or “give permission” for some of the choices you wish to make?


A bit of a threat reflecting your own fears of moving or thinking independently without someone “approving” of the choices.


You can successfully get to the bottom of this and come out of any difficulty by your own initiative – and not as difficult as you might think it will be. You will surprise yourself with knowing more than you thought you did about what is a good future direction for yourself in general in life. You seem afraid that some important “other person” won’t approve.


Trees are luck, fullness and, ironically enough a frequent symbol during any “nocturnal sexual releases” from the body. A tree is a very positive and strong symbol of individuality, strength and independence.


Circle is the symbol of life itself – no beginning and no end. It is a symbol of wholeness and a defense against danger. Anything within the circle has special meaning. The circle can symbolize immortality as mentioned above – wisdom as well. The circle is pointing out that you are on a path of being initiated into yourself.


A village can be a symbol for the personality of the dreamer; unsophisticated but well-balanced. It can also mean restriction but not always. Usually, peaceful existence, family, protection and belonging.


Represents a symbol for leading a natural life. Wanting adventure – the current state is temporary. Also indicates wanderlust and being in the mood for a vacation.


Finding individuality – moving out of a difficult time and centreing yourself proudly in who you really are. This whole dream speaks to me of a potential problem in life now – or an upcoming (but not fatal) illness which is going to trigger you to move forward in some directions you have always wanted to take. You are somehow not sure of yourself or uncertain of what you even want at the start of this dream, but you are moving through the levels of your own psyche and personality and determining what it is you really want and who you really are. I feel you may have been influenced a lot by others or have others expect things from you or to be a certain way, but now are finding your true centre and willing to live it and show it without fear. This is a journey into your own psyche and I feel you will be coming out of it a new person – a feeling of understanding yourself, your life and relationships better than ever with a strong new focus on what is good for you and directions you should be moving in. You have to move your life along on your own initiative and shake of undue influences. You will be quite fine. I won’t pull any punches and there may be an upcoming illness of some sort (possibly even emotionally) but it will be cured or you will be much better soon after having discovered many things about yourself and your desires and wanting to be the deciding factor in your own life.

That’s what has come around this – I hope it helps. Mary-Anne

Hello April:

The symbols in this dream for the most part appear to be pretty straight forward. The street – a sidewalk or pathways is generally representative of life’s path. It is important to note the condition of the street and the direction you are walking in. Who or what is being met on the street? What is the destination? Intersections symbolize decisions, streets signs are aid in finding direction. I’ve left your note intact and responded throughout indicated by *****. Please note, some of the symbols do have mature themes in them so the fact that this started at 11 years old is quite interesting. Was life very serious for you at even that age?

this is regarding a reoccurring dream that I have had since I was 11 years old. It starts with me walking down a street whose scenery never changes.

Indications of life path set early, clear and consistent. Not much ambiguity about where you are going in life.

it always has the same houses and playground every time,

Houses are mostly indicative of basic personality structure and character. The consistency here suggests consistency in your own desires and way of going through life and the perception of the consistency and steadiness of personality of the people in your life. I think they represent a strong influence on you. Also, with recurring themes and always the same, the structure is shown as supported and consistent – not easily swayed off her path.

with the exception of the one house that I walk into. its structure will sometimes change.

The changes that can be brewing on the inside of you that are wanting to get out. Each change in the dreams shows new levels of personality emerging or wanting to emerge.

so as the dream goes I walk past three houses on either side of me,

Everyone else is the same – solid and consistent.

then I enter the house. as i walk into the main entrance on my left will be a table with an old style phone,

Table is vitality a symbol of matter and earth. Table can often be an indication of the arrival of guests who must be entertained. According to Freud, it is a symbol for the body of women. The phone is a frequent dream symbol for men suggesting good connections. It also symbolizes contact with the other side of the self. Seeing it and not using it suggests you are aware of the other aspects of yourself and your personality but will not allow them out because they don’t fit with the structure of the others in your life – important others in your life who don’t want you to change and want you to stay the same. You want to do that for them, but are finding it difficult to keep the growing and emerging parts of yourself down.

a vase, and a box with keys in it.

Vase is too much dependence on external things – in this case on other people and how they want you to be. It can suggest that you are guided by sexual moods and feelings that are confusing. In a woman’s dream, the demanding side of your sexuality needs to be lived out more fully.

The vase and the box both represent similar symbols. These containers symbolize the body of the woman and female sexuality, at least in men’s dreams. Male body and male sexuality is seldom, if ever, represented by a vase. If the containers symbolize male sexuality, it generally appears in the shape of a barrel or bottle. For both genders though, a vase can represent the innermost part of the person in the sense of the unconscious. What is inside the container is important (in this case keys). Keys indicate you have the right attitude and are posing the right question in the sense of how you are using your personal qualities. Also symbolizes ideas and new experiences. Locking it up would be speaking of fear of relationship or of getting involved. According to Freud the key symbol stands for sexuality – key being the penis – the lock being the vagina and the function of locking usually means intercourse.

then on my left will be the living room with a fireplace.

Room is a structure of personality. Fireplace is a symbol of confined physical urges; family or a comfortable home. According to Freud yet another female sexual symbol. Floral patterns are a traditional symbol for emotions. Beauty and fertility. Growing and fading away, sort of like life. Expectations of and hope for love and relationships. Colour of flowers can be telling – red points to sexual love, white to innocence, blue to strength of the soul and emotions. Flowers can be the symbol of the highest pleasure. Freud again says this is a symbol for women, tenderness and female genitals. Emotions and feelings.

and floral pattern sofa and dark wooden coffee table.

Table also – desire for unencumbered connections to others or accept whatever connections are present. Sticking together and belonging. Can refer to a noble attitude that is either already there or needs to be incorporated. The dark colouring suggests you have a fear of deep levels of connection or are fearful of it bringing up deep emotions.

however I have never entered the living room

Suggests keeping yourself away from that level of intimacy.

in this dream. from the main entrance with the living room to your left there is a stairway leading up to the second floor

Stairways always represent changes and transformation – starting from below (the unconscious) and coming to the surface (consciousness). Personal growth and wholeness. The landings correspond to the dreamers’ energy chakras. According to Freud, going up symbolizes sexual union.

and as I approach it there is a girl with shoulder length brown hair whom i have never seen before.

Often an erotic dream. If a woman dreams of this, it points to their feminine side or to childhood. What is addressed is usually lighheartedness of a child’s life. In both genders, it symbolizes the feminine side of the dreamer. When the soul appears in the deam in the form of a girl, it oftens points to the natural, lively and innocent side of you, but also to the undeveloped and childish side.Hair is a sign of femininity also. Hair often appears in connection with wanting to create a certain image – one that we would like to present to the world. Hair dreams are thought to be about close relationship as well as possibly spiritual and intellectual property. Freud says hair, as a secondary sexual charcteristic, has phallic meaning. and she is sometimes on fire it is so real i smell her burning hair.

Fire is a frequent symbol in recurring dreams as it represents either fearing or yearning for inner fire or passion. Always be careful here because it is always the fire of life that is being addressed. Either it is destroying something or it is giving a signal. Accumulated urges – big desire inside trying to come out.

and sometimes she is just asking me to go upstairs with her. she also calls me by name.

She is you or at least knows you very well and is likely the image of an as yet not integrated part of your feminine self. She seems to want you to own it. I feel like this dream, being with you for so long now initially was a sort of warning or indication of the you that would eventually emerge. If it is now increasing in frequency or intensity, you’ve simply got to look at what part of yourself – your desires or dreams and your natural passionate life force is being inhibited and why. It seems like if it is inhibited, it is because you’ve decided to inhibit these expressions for fear of changing the dynamic in the group too much or not being what they want you to be – it’s like coming from a family of doctors where everyone”just knows” you too are going to be a doctor only to discover that you really want to be a ballerina. Very different from expectations and in the interest of pleasing everyone, you can put the ballerina desires away.

Seems there is a desire for another part of yourself to come on out. It seems to me to be a dream speaking to the other aspects of yourself yet to be actualized or brought out into the full light of day. It seems to me that this dream is telling you there is more to you than you thought – that you can keep the general personality structure you have in place and add to them this other, feminized dimension of your being. Although the dream has many femininity symbols and sexual symbols – I find it is also about the desire to bring a more creative, innocent and playful aspect of self into your life. Everything being the same before you enter the changing houses is a strong symbol of some of the confinement you could be feeling in general character and personality because of others expectations of you and also because others know you to be a certain way and you don’t want to alter their definitions. It seems there is some fear around letting this part of yourself out.

this dream is very vivid as you can tell. I have always wondered what it means. also there are times when i begin my dream with me walking down the street that I will have people from my real life come and convince me not to walk into the house.

Like they don’t want you to change at all.

can anyone help tell me what this dream means and why I am still having them some 17 years later?

The issue of repetitive dreaming generally means the message has not been received and the changes are not manifesting. It’s like the soul keeps trying to send you the same message about where your best and greatest growth lies and there is resistance or hesitancy due to ouside influence. What is in you that wants to come out? Is there a way you are in life that could be softened with a more receptive quality? Are you seeking relationship? If you are in one, are you as free sexually as you wish to be? Have you discovered these parts of yourself? Are you in a man’s world – in the sense of doing a man’s job or having lots of male influence around you that you think the masculine way is better than the feminine way? Do you consider yourself “not like regular girls” or something? Have you developed only the assertive or more “masculine” qualities to the neglect of the receptive or more feminine qualities. Because it is the feminine qualities that seem to be calling you to go ahead and incorporate those energies into yourself – to let some of that part of your soul shine out – and you are either resistant or others don’t want you to change at all and they have some influence here because you don’t want to rock the boat or”change the neighbourhood” so to speak. Some questions to ponder on the more unqiue and personal meaning of what these symbols seem to come together to tell you about. I hope this helps. Mary-Anne

Thanks for writing in and sharing your story. This dream has lots of sexual theme in it as well as emotional and spiritual. The shop represents the work of creativity and production where energies mobilize and where things are exchanged. It speaks to wanting to be served and also to choosing the right thing to do with your energies. According to Jung, shops in dream images are the place where you get something you don’t have or that you have to pay for something (like paying dues).

Based on the description of the early activity in the dream and the closing time coming up, it is like trying to find the “right vocation” or right thing in life before “you’re out of time.” Out of time does not refer to death, but to a feeling of wanting to make some kind of choice or change before you become trapped in a life or in a way of being within yourself that you don’t want. I’ll use some of the body of your note and respond where appropriate

I can only remember bits of the start of my dream but the end is very vivid because thats when I woke up. It started with me walking through a shopping center near closing time rushing to try and get something, I made to the shop I needed (k-mart I think) and purchased what I need. As I walking out I ran into a friend who I used to play in a band with.

Symbol of a reminder of what was in the past.

He was there for the same reason as me so we both tried to rush off and make the shop before it closed,

Did you have a musical career (or do you)? Any regrets?

unfortunately by the time we got there the steel grate was down and it was too late. My friend who was quite distressed want to a public phone and called his girl friend who he organised to meet. We went to a park where my friends girl friend was and also the guitarest from his current band. They had a giant grey blanket about 10 feet high in the middle of where they were sitting

Generally representative of closeness, protection, warmth and belonging and also of being secretive. To be under cover with anyone generally indicates intimate connections and trust.

and behind that there was a giant paper shredder

Paper is generally symbolic of something you are aware of which is long overdue to be resolved. The shredding appears to suggest that old matters (especially anything hurtful or that made you angry) are being let go of once and for all.

which for some reason I related to a recording studio. I started to use the shredder/recording studio,

Question – have you been afraid of relationships or intimacy? Or found yourself attracted to who is not available?

as I did a thick green snake crawled across the top of the shredder, even though I was scared I kept going, not taking my eyes off the snake. It was attracted the warmth of the blanket.

Do you have issues with intimacy and have you perceived you want to be involved in something really really close? This could be relationship or a group.

As I looked around I noticed that more and more snakes were comming all attracted to the blanket, this time all different colours and sizes.

Noticing that intimacy and love creates higher sexual fusion and satisfaction than the absence of love in sexual expression. Noticing that a softer, deeper and more meaningful approach to matters in life gets desired results and brings much more depth to life.

I looked at my friends girl friend and she had the original snake in her hands, she wasn’t scared of it at all.

Not afraid of intimacy and sexual expression and the feeling side of life. Dream seems to suggest you are or were and if you were, are completing the process of dealing with those inner trust and intimacy issues. Also, opening up your own “feminine side” for lack of a better term and becoming more drawn to and aware of the fullness that comes with true intimate sharing. Without being crude, I also want to add, becoming a much better lover as if something you never knew about or never knew made a difference is becoming known to you. Snakes themselves are a symbol of fear and of wholeness, transformation and rebirth. Also a sexual symbol and a symbol for healing and immortality (meaning, recognizing the life of the soul is not limited to the life of the body), secret wisdom and revelation of the hidden.

This dream is very rich in symbols and does seem to speak to huge inner emotional changes within yourself, coming to terms with something you may not have actualized in yourself (rock star dreams?) – speaks strongly of growth within you and moving through old fears surrounding love, sharing, relationships and sexuality and noticing in the dream how everyone else seems to be comfortable there. No matter what the circumstances, something very healing or very damaging (feels healing from the balance of the dream description) is happening and it seems highly emotionally and sexually transformative for you. You could very well be in the most solid relationship of your life right now, but if so, this still indicates a true deepening of expressions.

Any last minute attempts to recapture something? Any longing for roads not taken? If so the wisdom of the choices you did make are being shown to you and if you have been hanging on to any regret about anything, it will be cleared from you. I feel you are in some kind of emotional strong place where fears that may have been there for your whole life are being transformed and deeper levels of awareness you might have dismissed or thought you understood are becoming more fully known to you.

One more question here: You and your friend don’t have feelings/attractions for the same woman do you? I may be off the mark here, but this one question has come up before I signed off here.

So Stuart, this is what I have in relation to these dream symbols. By no means would I consider this the ultimate interpretation, but I share what came to me in reading your story. Let me know if you have any further questions. Thanks again for sharing and all the very best to you. Mary-Anne

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