what do your dreams mean? we asked an interpreter…

Posted on January 25th, 2012

Our own dreams are the most fascinating things ever. Other people’s dreams? Hmmm, not so much. For this post, I asked Jo to interview a dream interpreter. I’ve written about dreams before (and how you can use them to train yourself for tough decisions)…scroll to the bottom for a special reader offer. But, now, over to you Jo….

photo via happy blogger

Weird dreams that don’t make sense? Who better to ask about them than someone who spends their days as a dream analyst, therapist, and alchemist. I chatted to Jane Anderson about some weird and wonderful dreams a few of us have been having lately…

q. Sarah and I were talking. She has ‘breast-stroking through the air’ dreams. What’s the deal?

Sarah describe it like this: “I’m usually chased and have to springboard off precarious surfaces – like tree limbs or balcony bannisters to get “traction”…I have to breaststroke for hours, trying to keep off the ground, and trying to get “traction” from the air.”

 Jane: You feel that aspects of your practical life are precarious, and respond to this by exploring ideas you’d like to get off the ground. You’re working hard at this but your efforts may be unconsciously more driven by escaping practical issues than finding solutions for them. You may feel that you springboard from one precarious situation to another, but you always hope that this time hard work and the right mental approach will save the day. To manifest ideas, to make them happen, we need the right balance between mind and body, between developing ideas and establishing practicalities.

[Actually rings very true – Sarah]

q. Your job is to investigate and interpret dreams. How did you get into that?

Jane: My curiosity grew throughout my years at university studying science where I specialised in developmental neurophysiology – how the brain interprets the world. In the end, it was a leap of faith, driven by passion, that got me into this field.

q. This reader dreams about wolves…?

The reader asked: “Wolves howl at my bedroom window. I think I’m safe because they’re outside, but they howl for ages, and their voices raise in pitch, until finally the high pitch shatters the window. And then just as they’re about to come into the bedroom I wake up.”

Jane: The wolves represent an energy or instinct you’re trying to keep at bay. It all depends on how you see the wolves. If you see them as hungry, ask yourself what hunger you are trying to keep away. If you see them as having to raise their pitch beyond howling simply to break through, ask yourself where this applies in your life – where do you feel you would have to scream to be heard, and why are you trying to ignore this inner voice? This is about setting your personal boundaries and keeping perspective. Imagine having a conversation with the wolves. What might they say to you and how might you negotiate a peaceful outcome?

 q: How can we train ourselves to wake up from a dream that is upsetting?

Jane: It’s best to run the course of a dream if you can, as the dreaming mind will often find a solution, and this is healthy for you in the long run. You may dream that you are falling and be feeling all the terror of that, but when you stay in the dream and hit the bottom, you’ll often bounce, or step out of your dead body and move onto something pleasant.

When a dream finds a positive solution, the rewards spill into waking life the next day

when you find yourself suddenly feeling ready to release something, or automatically seeing a solution to a problem.

q: what about recurring dreams?

Jane: If you have a recurring dream that terrifies you, and your dreaming mind doesn’t seem to be able to find a solution,

the most powerful approach is to interpret your dream so that you understand how it relates to your waking life

and follow up with dream alchemy. The dream is unlikely to recur, but tell yourself that if it does, you’ll change the ending of the dream. When you understand your dream and its symbols, it’s easy to rewrite a better ending that not only transforms the dream experience but transforms your waking life for the better too.

q: secrets, balloons, and the inability to speak. What’s happening here?

This from a reader: I’m trying to tell a friend a secret, and I can’t speak. My body freezes and shuts down. Then she hands me balloons and we laugh, and I can talk while I’m holding the balloon, but not when I let it go. When it pops, I wake up.

Jane: The secret is something you need to admit to yourself, but fear has been freezing you out. What feels shut down in your waking life? Why are you afraid to speak your truth? A light-hearted approach helps, so try to not to take yourself or heavy issues so seriously. Balloons are uplifting; have you been feeling depressed? Have you experienced breathing difficulties (asthma), the body counterpart of feeling restricted, of not having enough space to express yourself? Think of the balloons as lungs filled with air.

q: Let’s talk about sex dreams.

Jane: Your sexual drive can spill over into your dreams, but not all sex dreams are the result of hormones. Look at who you’re having dream sex with, how you feel about it, and how the sex fits in with the rest of the dream story line.

One tip is to give three words to describe the personality of your dream sex partner. Since everyone in a dream represents something about you, your dream suggests you’ve been intimately bringing at least one of those personality traits on board in your life during the last couple of days. Good dream sex suggests you feel good about this; bad dream sex suggests it’s time to reconsider your approach.

 q: What about the old ‘don’t eat cheese before bed or you’ll have bad dreams’ deal? Valid?

Jane: Food, and a number of external stimuli such as ringing alarm clocks, sudden temperature changes, drink, a blocked nose, can find its way into a dream, but usually not in a literal way. Your dream might interpret a biting mosquito as a syringe injection, or that cheese-induced indigestion as an intruder sticking a knife into your guts. Like sex dreams,

the interesting thing is how your mindset works the mosquito or indigestion into the dream story line.

 q: There’s a lot of talk about some dreams being the outworking of past lives. True?

Jane: Dreams set in a past era are more likely to be symbolic – a soldier symbolising conflict, or a serf symbolising servitude – than actual past life memories.

If there is outworking of past lives to be done – and yes, I believe this is likely – then remember that this is done in the context of your present life. Dreams process your experiences of the last 24-48 hours, so look into your dreams to understand how your current mindset is processing your current life. You have the power to transform any unconscious belief that is currently operational for you, and there will be enough references to your current life experiences to be able to understand context.

q: What happens if someone we love dies in a dream?

Jane: Dreams are symbolic, not literal. What does this person represent to you? Which three words would you choose to describe their personality or approach to life? Your answers define something you feel is dying (ending) within yourself.

Jane consults worldwide through her website.

Readers can enjoy a 20% discount on Jane’s services (Dream Therapy by skype or phone; Interpretation by Email; Life Coaching) until Friday 3rd February 2012.

To claim, email Jane at JaneTeresa@dream.net.au to make your booking.






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  • Jas

    Who needs to pay $249 for a ‘interpretation’ service. Anyway with an ounce of self awareness can easily work out their own dreams by having a look at what’s going on in their life, any stressors, the people involved, any unresolved issues etc…

    It’s not rocket science. And I would have said exactly the same about Sarah’s dream, even before I read the response.


  • Rachael

    One thing I’d be asking, Sarah, about your dream is ‘who’ is chasing you. Do you recognise the face(s)? Is it an individual or a group? And like Jas says, would be looking at what’s going in my life when you have this dream. Pretty sure you will find a pattern.


    Rachael Reply:

    Furthermore, even the movement is symbolic. Breatstroke is very gracious. Don’t think Jane has provided you with much of a response at all Sarah. She’s missed too many clues.


    Sara Reply:

    Hi Rachel, I agree with you about breastroke being gracious. Also, if you look at the technique, the swimmer actually keeps their head above water and looks ahead (compared to face up and being unable to see what’s ahead for backstroke or face down and underwater for butterfly and freestyle). These facts might seem unimportant to most, but it kind of says a lot about how Sarah copes with situations.


  • Anthony

    When I studied psych, particularly Freud at uni, Freud’s premise was that sex is the basis of our dreams. For example, if you were dreaming of water,Freud believed that that related to liquid in the womb. Freud’s theory on dreams was not universally held at the time and he had a major falling out with Jung,a friend and another leading shrink at that time.


  • Mia Bluegirl

    Dreams are funny. I have recurring nightmares involving corpses. The situation varies, but they always involved me finding dead bodies and being very upset. I used to have them every few nights until I figured out that the corpse represented my subconscious self that was being hurt & abused by my negative thoughts. I always have the dreams when I am being too hard on myself! I started being kinder to myself and they stopped. 🙂 I only have them very rarely now, and only when I slip back into old negative patterns. Very heavy-handed symbolism I know… but hey, it shocks me into action so I cant deny it works!

    My favourite dream involved my best friend & I inside a Salvador Dali painting, with beautiful oceans we swam in and giant long-legged creatures. I dont think there is much you can read into that, except that watching Gotye video clips before bed is an EXCELLENT idea!

    Great article Sarah, I love learning more about our subconscious thought processes. Some dream analysts are a bit extreme but Jane seems really cool, will definitely check her out! xx


    Rachael Reply:

    Mia, how can you say you can’t read much into your dream. Of all artists, you chose Salvidor Dali – master of surrelism. Were you and your friend having fun or were you fearful of the giant long legged creatures? There are so many things to say about this dream that you shouldn’t write it off as nothing.


    Mia Bluegirl Reply:

    Hehehe 🙂 Hey Rachel! Ok, let me rephrase that – I don’t think there was anything hidden in my subconscious about that dream. It included all the things I love – Salvador Dali (my favourite artist since I was about 16, I look over books of his paintings whenever I feel sad) long legged creatures from Gotye video clips which I also love, and which remind me of Dali. And my best friend, who I had flown to Melbourne to see Salvador Dali’s Liquid Desire exhibition with.

    The feeling of the dream was one of overwhelming happiness. The long leggies made me feel happy and safe. We were diving off a giant ship, and had special weights that adjusted gravity so we could dive comfortably, how cool and sci-fi! The water was beautiful, the ship was beautiful, everything was magic and I woke up thinking about how wonderful life is. That’s all I read into it… life is beautiful when you have ships and best friends and Salvador Dali.

    Feel free to correct me if you think I missed anything though 😉


    Rachael Reply:

    haha…now knowing all the background to the dream, think you have summed it up yourself pretty well. I have read a few of your blogs and know you have some medical challenges, so the fact you can still feel this overwhelming happiness (even if it only manifests in your dreams) is great. And important to keep enjoying all the things that bring you pleasure.

  • Dreams are an important fundamental part of our lives more than people know, I dream a lot for one reason or another mainly to defrag/sort out psychological issues.

    Remember everyone & everything in your dreams are a part of you no matter how horrid or terrifying the experience dream is. How would it be without your participation?

    Most people avoid dark area of their dream but not me as I used to hide in the dark away from bad things; this meant that I was hiding from a part of my known self, I was afraid of the known not the unknown. I still look in dark places to this day & know I haven’t got something sinister to hide from, quite the opposite…. Love Mathew


  • Cathy F

    Used to have recurring dream with my(self) running through old house with scary dark haired man chasing me …. then one day I met another woman who had same dream …. and boy did things get woo woo after that! Had dream from roughly age of 2 years and so had she.

    This tale has become the start of my first novel which I am hoping to get published this year! THANK YOU SARAH … for helping me on my journey with your various blogs. They’ve inspired me and got me off my arse at last …. well, kind of …. I usually write sitting down on my arse but am sure you’ll know what I mean.

    Once I started writing, I found I couldn’t stop and now have ideas for another 2 novels and book of short stories. Thyroid unblocked Ms Hay! Much love xo


  • Sarah

    I have a recurring dream where i am failing HSC maths (my best subject at high school). I’ve been out of school for nearly 15 years, and have a uni degree. but this bloody maths subject keeps invading my dreams!

    i actually think its just my subconcious telling me i put too much pressure on myself, as obviously, the HSC was a major pressure situation and I actually came out of it quite good, with excellent results (could have had a better maths score though i think! i wanted 95 or more in my math exam and i only got like 92, MAJOR DISAPOINTMENT).


    Rachael Reply:

    Hey Sarah, do you usually have this dream when you actually in stressful situation?

    And it still sounds like you are still MAJORLY DISAPPOINTED about your result, 15 years later! 92 was a good score. Don’t keep beating yourself up – it’s over now, time to move on. I’m sure once you let it go, so will the dream.