Tag Archives: snake

Episode 151 The Dream Show: A cruel punishment

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Episode 151 The Dream Show: A cruel punishment

Carmen, my guest this episode, dreamed of a white carthorse decorated in rainbow paint, dragging a cart without wheels, and carrying the heavy wheel axle in its mouth as a cruel punishment. But punishment for what?

Meanwhile there’s a jeep that needs to be fixed, but the chances are that the guy who owns it will just continue on as before, rattly seats and all.

Carmen is angry, something needs to happen!

Also featuring in this dream are two lizards – one quite magical – and, living at the bottom of her garden in a Womble shanty, an unsettlingly calm man who verbally abuses his very weak girlfriend.

Here’s a dream that sounds like a modern day fairytale, but does it have a happy ending? Like all good fairytales, dreams seem far removed from our everyday lives until we take a good deep look at the metaphors and find them ringing true deep within ourselves, often much to our surprise.

The beauty of working with dreams is that once we understand them we can apply dream alchemy: tweak and change the key points of the dream to create a fulfilling resolution (that filters through to the life situation which the dream reflects), a different kind of happily ever after than we might ever have dreamed possible for ourselves.

The Dream Show with Jane Teresa AndersonYou’ll witness all of this as you listen to Carmen and me working with her dream, interpreting it, relating it to her life, discovering helpful new insights, and creating potentially life changing dream alchemy. Enjoy and please share.

The Dream Show was launched 5 years ago this week: happy birthday The Dream Show!

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The Dream Show is an enormous free resource designed to help people worldwide acquire the basic skills they need to gain deep self-understanding and healing through understanding their dreams.

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Episode 142 Pythons in the backyard

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Pythons in the backyard

Nicole is my guest with a dream about pythons writing in her backyard, and if that’s not dramatic enough for a scary dream, how about that sabre tooth tiger that emerges from the bushland? Oh, and did I mention unicorns?

People often ask “what does it mean to dream of snakes?” There is no universal answer, and like all dream symbols, the snake in your dream may mean something quite different from the snake in someone else’s dream. As you listen to this episode, you’ll hear us uncover the meaning of the pythons in Nicole’s dream, as well as the meaning of all the other key symbols and how they relate to what is happening in Nicole’s life.

Interpreting a dream accurately is an art, science, and skill that goes far beyond identifying personal dream symbols. It involves looking at the overall picture of the dream, breaking down the elements of the scenarios, examining how the symbols interact (in Nicole’s dream you’ll witness blending and transformation of some of her dream symbols, for example), and listening to the words a dreamer uses when talking about a dream. And that’s just for starters.

The Dream Show with Jane Teresa AndersonIn this episode, you’ll discover how to apply some of these techniques as well as enjoy an insight into Nicole’s life through understanding her dream.

The goal of dream analysis is to reveal the dreamer’s mindset, because that gives the dreamer a deep understanding of why they see, interact with, and respond to the world in the way that they do. If they wish, that mindset can be changed using dream alchemy techniques that work directly on the unconscious mind.

During this episode, Nicole mentions her new website, and when I chatted with her after we finished recording, I asked her if she’d like to share the link. She’s delighted to invite you to meet her at www.healthywomentv.com

Enjoy, and please share.

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Episode 133 The Dream Show: Dream stories and breakfast radio

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Episode 133 The Dream Show: Dream stories and breakfast radio

Dreams of worms, snakes, rats, ghosts, and bare bottoms, and what they mean, have all been topics on breakfast radio or drive radio when I’ve been on air as the dream expert, taking calls from listeners or interpreting presenters’ dreams. I enjoy radio work, and over the last couple of decades have discussed, interpreted, or bantered about thousands of callers’ dreams over many different radio formats. Whether the approach is light-hearted or deep and meaningful, there’s always something to get across to the listeners, a dream interpretation tip, an insight into how to look at their dreams.

Radio is in the moment, so to extend my contribution I sometimes blog about a dream we’ve briefly talked about on radio, fleshing out the interpretation and the story.

The Dream Show, a free monthly podcast with Jane Teresa AndersonIn this episode of The Dream Show, episode 133, I bring you some of these radio dreams and stories, so you’ll hear all about worms, snakes, rats, ghosts, and bare bottoms, and what they mean, and much more.

In this episode I also bring you into my world as a radio dream expert, share a little of the whys and wherefores, the fun, and what can and can’t be done within the medium to contribute to the understanding of dreams.

As we approach the end of the year, and as you are hopefully enjoying some time away from work during the festive season, this episode is designed for leisurely but insightful listening. Enjoy and please share.

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Is this your life?

One simple sentence

How often has your alarm clock saved you from a worrying dream you thought was real? What a relief to wake into your everyday life, where all the quandaries and confusions of the dream evaporate and leave you free to get on with your day! You may have spent all night trying to catch that dream plane but now, awake, your confidence in getting places on time is restored. Phew. Missing a plane would never happen to you, would it? You may have endured hair-raising confrontations with a slippery, fang-endowed snake but now, awake, you know that’s one encounter you need not worry about, living in the city, as you do. Or perhaps that alarm clock intruded on a passionate, illicit love affair. Plummeting to earth on opening your eyes you console yourself that at least your waking life is guilt-free. “No,” you conclude, looking around your bedroom, “This is my life. This is what’s real. There are no missed planes, lurking snakes or secret lovers in my life.”

“No,” you conclude, looking around your bedroom, “This is my life. This is what’s real. There are no missed planes, lurking snakes or secret lovers in my life.”

“No,” you conclude, looking around your bedroom, “This is my life. This is what’s real. There are no missed planes, lurking snakes or secret lovers in my life.”

But I invite you to take another look. No time? No problem! This is an easy exercise. It will take you no longer than five minutes a day and you can always set that alarm for five minutes earlier, can’t you?

This is what to do:

Write one sentence a day. It’s best to write this sentence a few minutes after waking up, while your dream is fresh on your mind, so keep an exercise book or diary by your bedside for this purpose.

The sentence is a summary of your dream, written in the present tense, starting with the words ‘I feel’ and including the word ‘something’. It can only be one sentence though! Here are some examples.

Your dream:

I feel worried that something precious and fragile may break.

I feel worried that something precious and fragile may break.

It was a long and complicated dream, but the part that stood out for you was when your son was carrying a stack of precious, fine china crockery. You were moving house and were worried that the plates, cups and saucers should have been properly packed to prevent them from breaking.

Your sentence might be:

I feel worried that something precious and fragile may break.

 

Your dream:

I feel frustrated that so many delays are slowing me down from achieving something so simple.

I feel frustrated that so many delays are slowing me down from achieving something so simple.

It’s your recurring dream theme again. It’s long, it’s involved, and the essence is that you have a plane to catch but everything goes wrong and you never get airborne.

Your sentence might be:

I feel frustrated that so many delays are slowing me down from achieving something so simple.

 

 

Your dream:

I feel surprised that something I expected to be painful was not as bad as I had anticipated, but only time will tell the full outcome.

I feel surprised that something I expected to be painful was not as bad as I had anticipated, but only time will tell the full outcome.

This dream was an epic adventure involving snakes appearing from nowhere, chasing you and threatening to bite you. At one point you were actually bitten. Surprisingly it didn’t hurt as much as you thought it would, but your dream ends in trepidation. Was the snake poisonous or harmless? Only time will tell.

Your sentence might be:

I feel surprised that something I expected to be painful was not as bad as I had anticipated, but only time will tell the full outcome.

 

Your dream:

I feel an attraction to something deeply and personally fulfilling, but I feel the only way I can protect my current way of life is to keep this secret.

I feel an attraction to something deeply and personally fulfilling, but I feel the only way I can protect my current way of life is to keep this secret.

You were magnetically attracted to an awesome person and ended up having a deeply loving sexual tryst that left you feeling elated physically, mentally and spiritually. In the dream you know you have been unfaithful to your partner. You decide the solution is to keep this affair secret.

Your sentence might be:

I feel an attraction to something deeply and personally fulfilling, but I feel the only way I can protect my current way of life is to keep this secret.

 

Your dream:

I feel surprise that when I dive into something I think will be painful, I discover such rich rewards.

I feel surprise that when I dive into something I think will be painful, I discover such rich rewards.

The bit that stands out for you in your dream is the swarm of bees. You get stung, yet you decide to chase the bees. They lead you to the hive where you dive in, as small as a bee now, and see all the honey being made. Rows and rows of tasty, golden honey glisten.

Your sentence might be:

I feel surprise that when I dive into something I think will be painful, I discover such rich rewards.

 

In each of these examples, notice that ‘something’ is usually one of the main dream symbols: it’s the crockery, catching the plane, the snakebite, the lover and the beehive. In other words, ‘something’ can be a thing, an action or goal, a sensation, a person or a place.

Use the examples as guidelines and remember to start with “I feel” and to include the word ‘something’.

Use the examples as guidelines and remember to start with “I feel” and to include the word ‘something’.

Five minutes a day to write one sentence summarising your dream. There is no right sentence. There are many ways to summarise a dream, so dive in and just do it.

Use the examples as guidelines and remember to start with “I feel” and to include the word ‘something’. As the days go by, you’ll get quicker at this.

Five minutes will become two. Just two minutes a day!

So what do you do with all these sentences after writing them down?

Choose a day, perhaps a weekend day or an evening you usually have to yourself, to take 30 minutes to review your list. Make it a weekly appointment with yourself. Allow no interruptions.

You will have seven sentences to review, assuming you remembered a dream on each night, less if your dream recall was not so hot. (If you remember more than one dream on any night, you can choose to summarise only the most vivid one, or to summarise them all.)

My relationship is precious to me but it feels fragile and in need of careful handling.

My relationship is precious to me but it feels fragile and in need of careful handling.

During your 30-minute weekly review, read each of your seven sentences in turn and ask yourself, “Where does this apply in my life?” If an answer comes to you, write it down, using – you’ve guessed it – one sentence.

As a guide, your answers to the examples in this article might be:

1. I feel worried that something precious and fragile may break. Where does this apply in my life?

Answer: My relationship is precious to me but it feels fragile and in need of careful handling.

2. I feel frustrated that so many delays are slowing me down from achieving something so simple. Where does this apply in my life?

Answer: Losing ten kilos in six months should be so simple, but here I am, still way overweight after twelve months of setting my goal.

3. I feel surprised that something I expected to be painful was not as bad as I had anticipated, but only time will tell the full outcome. Where does this apply in my life?

Answer: I finally got enough courage up to talk to my partner about a sensitive issue, and it wasn’t as painful I had expected it to be, though how things will turn out in the long run, I don’t know.

I want to build an energy-saving home and embrace a self-sufficient lifestyle, but to do this I risk losing the support of my family who enjoy the luxuries of life my current high income allows.

I want to build an energy-saving home and embrace a self-sufficient lifestyle, but to do this I risk losing the support of my family who enjoy the luxuries of life my current high income allows.

4. I feel an attraction to something deeply and personally fulfilling, but I feel the only way I can protect my current way of life is to keep this secret.

Where does this apply in my life?

Answer: I want to build an energy-saving home and embrace a self-sufficient lifestyle, but to do this I risk losing the support of my family who enjoy the luxuries of life my current high income allows.

5. I feel surprise that when I dive into something I think will be painful, I discover such rich rewards. Where does this apply in my life?

Answer: I finally decided to tackle my tax problem by enlisting the help of an accountant who not only taught me some simple, helpful bookkeeping skills but also got me an unexpected tax rebate!

What is the value in doing this exercise? These examples might give you the feeling that dreams simply tell us what we already know, but not so. It’s easy to think that, looking in on someone else’s dreams, someone else’s summary sentences, someone else’s answers. But we rarely appreciate the deeper patterns of our lives until we look closely. Your dreams draw your attention to the way your life is. They exclaim, “Hey! THIS is your life! Is this how you want it to be, or would you like to change this pattern?”

So, what might our example dreamer conclude?

She began to see why she tiptoes around her partner’s moods, fearful of breaking up

She began to see why she tiptoes around her partner’s moods, fearful of breaking up

1. Her dream about handling fragile crockery helped her to see that she regards her relationship as both precious and fragile. Strange though it may seem, she hadn’t seen her relationship in this light before, but her dream view suddenly made sense of a few things. She began to see why she tiptoes around her partner’s moods, fearful of breaking up, instead of finding a mutually beneficial way of relating, perhaps taking a tip from the dream and looking at better ways of strengthening the relationship (better ways of packing the crockery). Her dream gives her a metaphor to contemplate. Does she want a fragile relationship?

The delays, she saw, were all her own work.

The delays, she saw, were all her own work.

2. Her dream about missing the plane because of so many delays helped her to see that her weight-loss goal is achievable. Why? She travels widely with her job and never, ever misses a plane. If she can achieve something as simple as catching a plane by taking a step-by-step approach, she can achieve the equally simple goal of weight-loss. She looked at her dream again and suddenly saw all the delays in a new light: her lost baggage was her fear of losing weight, her lack of passport gave her a feeling that maybe, just maybe, she wasn’t ready to give herself permission to achieve her goal and all the rewards that go with it. The delays, she saw, were all her own work!

3. Her dream about the snakebite helped her to see that other sensitive issues that she fears broaching may also be less painful once faced. Her dream gave her courage, not only to face pain, but also to trust the outcome. She decided to visualise this dream whenever she needs to address an issue, summoning up a feeling of trust in the process.

4. Her dream about the secret affair helped her to realise just how important her desire to embrace a change of lifestyle was. It also helped her to see that her ‘secret affair’ was a form of infidelity to her family. In trying to protect them, she was hiding a wonderful part of her being from them. She wasn’t being true to them. From here she began to understand why some of her family relationships weren’t as fulfilling as they could be. She saw she needed to share more of herself. She called a family conference – an entirely new approach – and shared her dream of building an alternative lifestyle. She was blown away to discover that they also had ‘secret dreams’ and that they all had more in common than they had believed.

Whenever a task looked too daunting, too stinging, too deep, she closed her eyes and imagined flying into the hive and discovering all that honey.

Whenever a task looked too daunting, too stinging, too deep, she closed her eyes and imagined flying into the hive and discovering all that honey.

5. Her dream about the beehive, you might argue, was an afterthought. She had already dived into her tax problem and been rewarded with some very golden honey, so how could this dream be of help? Dreams confirm our excellent moves, cementing in positive new attitudes and patterns. She used the dream as a visualisation from that day forward. Whenever a task looked too daunting, too stinging, too deep, she closed her eyes and imagined flying into the hive and discovering all that honey. Her visualisation helped her to dive in, uplifting and inspiring her forward.

Five minutes a day, one simple sentence a day, one thirty minute contemplation once a week. Give it a go. What’s that? Can’t stop, you’ve got a plane to catch? I don’t think so. Is this your life?

[Copyright Jane Teresa Anderson, March 2006. First published as a Dream Sight article.]

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2012 Wake up call

2012 Wake up call

What’s your recurring dream? If you’ve been following my blog, listening to my podcasts, and reading my books, and you’re still experiencing a recurring dream, today’s post is your wake up call. It’s time to put what you’ve been learning into action if you want to enjoy life changing results in 2012!

Let’s review the basics:

1. A dream is the experience you have, during sleep, while your brain processes your conscious and unconscious experiences of the last 24-48 hours.

2. Think of this processing as like updating your hard drive. Your brain and mind compare your latest experiences to all your past experiences, drawing conclusions – beliefs – about how life works. Mostly you consolidate your oldest beliefs. Sometimes you modify your beliefs. Sometimes you completely overwrite an old belief and wake up with a transformed personal view of how the world works.

Imagine a painter trying to capture your mind’s fast processing of experiences, emotions, and beliefs, as an abstract picture.

Imagine a painter trying to capture your mind’s fast processing of experiences, emotions, and beliefs, as an abstract picture.

3. During dreaming, you are more in touch with your unconscious mind, which is why dreams seem surreal. Imagine a painter trying to capture your mind’s fast processing of experiences, emotions, and beliefs, as an abstract picture. She might use metaphor, analogy, colours to represent emotions, shapes to represent belief structures, any number of creative techniques to help you ‘get the picture’ – or, at least, to store it in your archives under ‘update on how life works’.

4. The magic begins when you know how to ‘get the picture’ – how to interpret a dream – because this helps you to understand your unique mindset. You get to understand your unconscious beliefs, both the ones that work for you and the ones that work against you in your everyday life.

5. You can then see which beliefs need to be changed to get the kind of waking life results you desire. If you stop there, you probably won’t see those results. You need to apply a deeper magic – dream alchemy.

Dream alchemy is a way of working with your unique dream symbols to reprogram your unconscious beliefs.

Dream alchemy is a way of working with your unique dream symbols to reprogram your unconscious beliefs.

6. Dream alchemy is a process you can use to transform an unconscious belief. It’s a way of working with your unique dream symbols to reprogram your unconscious. It works because your unconscious mind relates to your personal dream symbols – after all, it created them!

7. Now, back to your recurring dream: Since dreams reflect the last 24-48 hours, your recurring dream reflects a recurring waking life issue. Have you noticed that most recurring dreams are unhappy, frustrating, or unresolved? That’s because they reflect an unhappy, frustrating, or unresolved issue in your life.

8. To resolve that issue, apply the formula: Dream interpretation + Dream alchemy = Success + an end to your recurring dream.

Ok, that’s your wake up call. Do your dream alchemy to make 2012 your best year ever!

Listen as DK asks me about his recurring dream of driving a car that goes way out of control ... and more.

Listen as DK asks me about his recurring dream of driving a car that goes way out of control … and more.

On a more light-hearted level, here’s an hour’s entertainment about recurring dreams. DK, host of At the Watercooler on Z Talk Radio, invited me onto his show. In this podcast, he asks me about his recurring dream of driving a car that goes way out of control, and, excited by the discovery, moves on to ask me about another recurring dream featuring buildings.

Listeners ask about their dreams and we cover lucid dreaming, falling and floating dreams, a variety of toilet dreams, dreams of snakes, dream sharing, and the question of astral travelling. Oh, and we also talk about dream alchemy and much more.

Listen here. Note: the interview starts halfway through the podcast, so move the slider halfway, or enjoy DK’s interview with the guest before me, Jane Congdon, author of It Started With Dracula.

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Radio ABC WA: Sickbed dreams

Why are dreams extra vivid when we're sick?

Why are dreams extra vivid when we’re sick?

“It was a cool vampire dream that would make a cool vampire novel,” said ABC Radio WA host Glynn Greensmith, of the dream he had while he was sick.

Glynn invited me onto his early morning show yesterday to talk about dreams, wondering if there was a link between being sick and having unusually vivid dreams. Well, is there? We dream several times every night, so why is it that some dreams are more vivid than others?

Our dreams tend to be most vivid when we’re experiencing change, challenge or inner conflict. Of course, the solution to inner conflict and to overcoming challenge is to change, but sometimes we need a little help in seeing what to change, and how. It’s at times like this that we tend to get sick, isn’t it? On a simple level, most illnesses are stress-related. On a deeper level, you can read the health of the body as a direct reflection of the health of the mind.

On yesterday morning’s show, we didn’t discuss Glynn’s vampire dream, though just knowing the dream featured vampires suggests Glynn may have been feeling drained of energy (as if his lifeblood was being sucked out of him), or needing an energy boost, or, given that vampires bite into the neck, conflicted over a communication issue, or feeling under pressure to convert in some way, to become ‘one of them’, not a vampire, but a member of some other kind of tribe. Without the details of the dream, this is all conjecture. Glynn’s question was more general.

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, was a dream interpreter.

Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, was a dream interpreter.

So dreams may be more vivid when you’re sick because they reflect the stressful issues underlying the sickness. When you interpret these dreams, you can discover the nuts and bolts of the core issues and beliefs contributing towards the sickness, then acknowledge and address these using dream alchemy.

Hippocrates – the father of modern medicine – was a dream interpreter who worked in this way. His work is immortalised in the symbol of the caduceus – the entwined snakes. (More info: see my blog A tale of two snakes.)

Some medications result in vivid dreams. One reason is that medication (especially anything designed to help you sleep) can block REM sleep (the phase commonly associated with dreaming), so it’s only when the drug begins to wear off that the dreaming mind has a chance to squeeze in a whole night’s essential dreaming work into a very short time. This phenomenon of vivid dreams towards the end of the sleep period is known as REM Rebound. The same thing happens when you drink a lot of alcohol: no dreams all night then wham-bam, REM Rebound.

Some medications result in vivid dreams. Why?

Some medications result in vivid dreams. Why?

Medication can also cause vivid dreams because the drug is perceived, by the body and mind, as an invader, a foreign substance. While we may need some medication to aid our healing, or keep us alive, if it blocks the old communication lines between body and mind, our dreams let us know about it. When pain is the body’s way of communicating that something is wrong – that we have an unaddressed emotional pain making itself heard in the body – is it really helpful to block that pain? The dreaming mind may up the ante, reflecting the situation in increasingly vivid dreams.

Viruses, bacteria, toxins and other disease-causing agents may be reflected in invasion dreams: people breaking into your house or bedroom, perhaps even vampires breaking into your blood supply.

Being forced to take time off work because you’re sick can bring up dreams reflecting a whole host of challenges: how will people at work survive without me; who will do my job; will I lose my job; how do I really feel about being at home all day; and so on.

Stephenie Meyer got the idea for her vampire novel, Twilight, from a dream.

Stephenie Meyer got the idea for her vampire novel, Twilight, from a dream.

It’s a huge subject, but I’m not here to write a book, I’m here to write a blog.

Talking about books, I wonder if Glynn has thought any further about making his cool vampire dream into a cool vampire novel.

Didn’t Stephenie Meyer get the idea for her cool vampire novel, Twilight, from a dream she had in 2003?

Also see: Can dreams help heal disease?

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How things change!

How things change

How things change

During February, we spent a few weeks out on a rural property. Business is pretty transportable, what with laptops, skype, podcasting equipment that fits in a handbag – well, almost – and the ease of doing live radio over a home phone. Or so we thought.

It wasn’t that easy. Old, crackly phone lines, fickle internet connection, no cell phone connectivity. Thank goodness dreams don’t need special equipment. On tap, every night, come what may.

I left a few days before Michael. One night, he awoke from a dream in a freezing sweat. Something heavy and cold was slowly climbing up his arm. No really, it wasn’t a dream. He turned over the possibilities: snake (most likely), deadly snake (very possibly, there are plenty in the area); spider (maybe), deadly spider (they do exist); cockroach (would have to be a big one). Whatever it was, he knew that moving too quickly increased the chances of getting bitten. And how, he thought, would he summon help? No cell phone, crackly phone line, 50 acres to crawl across, if bitten by something venomous, to get to a rarely travelled country road in the middle of a dark night.

We had been told the property was haunted, and, well, maybe it was. Finally, Michael opened his eyes. It was a little green frog. Harmless, quite beautiful, but not really what you want to find in bed with you in the middle of the night.

So we’d had enough rural experience for a while, yet what did I see yesterday when I opened the back door here, back in the city? The biggest green frog I’ve ever seen, so still and translucent that at first, I thought it was a child’s toy.

How things change! This time last year, Australia was in serious drought. Now we have such an abundance of rain that we have huge green frogs in the city. I thought about kissing the frog, but, hey, I already have my handsome prince. Which brings me back to dreams: are you doing your dream alchemy practices? Are you transforming venomous snakes into bountiful green frogs, frogs into handsome princes, droughts into fields of green?

Work with the stuff of your dreams to create waking life magic.

PS Anyone recognise the purple road image? It was on the front page of www.dream.net.au when it was first launched back in 1998.  How things have changed and evolved since then! Ah, the power of dream alchemy indeed.

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Radio 5AA, Adelaide: Former glory

Alison dreamed she inherited a big, run down mansion

Alison dreamed she inherited a big, run down mansion

Words can be very telling, especially the words we use to describe our dreams. They often come direct from our unconscious mind – perfect keys to interpretation. So next time someone is telling you about a dream, listen for those tell-tale words.

Alison called Radio 5AA last week when I was interpreting dreams on Amanda Blair’s show.

Alison asked about a recurring dream in which she inherits a big, run down mansion that would need lots of money to return it to its “former glory”.

It was the “former glory” bit that stood out to me. What insight do you get from those particular words?

There was a bit more to the dream. There’s always a snake in the house, but with each successive dream Alison has felt more comfortable with it being there.

The dream started 3 years ago. Since dreams always reflect the last 24-48 hours, recurring dreams reflect recurring issues in our lives. Every time the issue comes up, so does the dream. In Alison’s case, we know this issue first came up 3 years ago, when the recurring theme began.

According to her dream, three years ago Alison realised that she had an opportunity to “return to former glory” an aspect of her life that had become run down, probably due to neglect. My feeling is that this is to do with her career or study. During the past three years she has been gathering the courage, step by step, to face her fear and do this. In Alison’s dream, the snake represents the fear she is becoming increasingly comfortable with.

I didn’t get much further than this on air, as Alison leapt in to affirm that she could relate to the interpretation. I suggested a dream alchemy practice: visualise the house swiftly returning to its “former glory” at the wave of a magic wand and see herself moving into it and feeling good about this. The point of dream alchemy is to communicate with the unconscious mind using its own language (the same language it used in the dream) to create change – in this case, a fear-free return to “former glory”, a former, much cherished way of being.

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Radio 2GB: Once upon a time

Kim dreamed of three snakes entwined on fresh, clean sheets

Kim dreamed of three snakes entwined on fresh, clean sheets

Once upon a time, four months ago, to be precise, there were three venomous snakes – a red-bellied black, a brown, and a tiger snake. The three snakes appeared to Kim in a dream.

The next day, Kim asked someone the meaning of her dream, and was told to beware three dangers coming her way.

If you were Kim, how would you feel, and what would you do?

Kim worried. Naturally.

And then, during the Christmas week, she called me when I was interpreting dreams on Glenn Wheeler’s evening show on Radio 2GB, to ask my opinion.

In her dream, she had changed the sheets on her bed, and then saw the three dangerous snakes, all entwined, on the fresh, clean sheets. She calmly lifted them onto a stick and removed them from the bedroom. She felt safe. She then went to the children’s bedroom where there were also three snakes and did the same. Again, she knew they were all safe.

How would you interpret this dream?

The feelings in a dream are a major interpretation key. In her dream, Kim defused a potentially dangerous situation by remaining calm and taking practical, empowered action. The danger was gone. All was safe.

Dreams process the last 24-48 hours, so at the time of her dream, Kim faced three related (entwined) fears or situations she regarded as potentially dangerous, and, by remaining calm, dealt with them by taking appropriate action. If Kim had been asked, the morning after her dream, about which fears or dangers had come up for her, she would have recognised them and noticed that she had faced them with relative calm. Noting this, she would have felt more confident about facing other fears by remaining calm and taking appropriate practical action.

But Kim had missed this opportunity because her fears had been fuelled, rather than quelled, when she was told that the dream was a warning of three dangers coming her way.

Night by night, our dreams update our picture of life. At the time of her dream, Kim had made a change (represented by the change of sheets), a clean, fresh start, most probably a change in attitude. This change enabled her to see her fears more clearly and approach them with calm, practical resolve. What a win!

What an insight! What an encouraging formula to follow, to reinforce in the days that followed!

The dreaming mind often chooses snakes to represent fear – most people are fearful of snakes. And when we face our fears, we heal the pain that lies behind the fear. Such is the power of a dream to reveal the way to ‘live happily ever after’.

Clean, fresh sheets anyone? There’s a whole new decade beginning in a few days time, so how about it?

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A tale of two snakes

A tale of two snakes

A tale of two snakes

I’ve just had coffee with a beautiful soul who is creating something quite exquisite to celebrate dreams. You’ll hear about it here first, when it’s ready to unveil.

“What is that pendant you always wear? Some kind of totem?” she asked, leaning forward to examine the fine detail of the chain that I wear day and night.

“Two snakes, from a dream,” I smiled, settling back to tell my story. “It all began in the year 2001. Oh, and it also began more than 2,000 years ago …”

I had a powerful dream in 2001. A huge golden snake opened its mouth and swallowed a huge silver snake, leaving only its tail protruding from its mouth, still very much alive. I watched, horrified, expecting the golden snake to snap shut its mouth and consume its prize. Then I realised that the golden snake was in an equally vulnerable position, because the silver snake could start eating the golden snake from the inside.

Then came the greater realisation. This was not a dog-eat-dog or snake-eat-snake situation. This was a situation of trust. This dream was about trusting the process of facing fear. As I watched, I noticed I was covered in cobwebs, which I pushed away, emerging into sunlight, like a butterfly – I thought in my dream – from a chrysalis.

So yes, snakes are a totem for me. They’re a personal symbol for transformation through trusting the process of facing fears at the deepest level.

Now, let’s go back some 2,400 years, to the healing temples in ancient Greece. If you were sick of mind or body in those days, you went to a healing temple to spend the night sleeping in a room filled with (harmless) snakes. In the morning, you told your dream to your healer, whose job was to interpret your dream to diagnose your situation and prescribe a cure.

Shades of my approach: first interpret the dream then prescribe a dream alchemy practice to create the desired result (healing).

One of these dream interpreters was Hippocrates, the very same Hippocrates immortalised in the Hippocratic Oath sworn by western medical practitioners. That’s why the caduceus, that symbol of modern medicine, is a snake entwined staff.

Michael surprised me, back in 2001, by taking my dream to a jeweller, immortalising it in white and yellow gold. Pure dream alchemy.

What’s your totem? Where can a little extra trust take you?

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